Most visitors arrive here on island at the John Osborne Airport in the North while a few of the brave ones opt for the longer ferry crossing into Little Bay - All are struck by the mountainous, very lush terrain and most importantly the warm welcome from the residents of Montserrat with its strong Irish Heritage dating back to 1600's. It does not take long to realise that you have arrived in Paradise when your passport is stamped with a shamrock, where the Patron Saint is St Patrick and 75% of the names in the local telephone directory are from Irish Origin. An interesting fact is that slavery was abolished in Montserrat before the Wilberforce Act was inacted,in 1807 so many of the slaves, unlike those on the other Caribbean islands, who returned to West Africa, decided to stay and marry the Irish slaves and indented servants and this undoubtedly produced the very friendly nature of the residents of Montserrat.
As a consequence - Montserrat is the closest you will get to visiting an Irish Colony with the added security of a resident British Governor, who is responsible for Law and Order on one of the few remaining British Independent Overseas Territories.
It is thanks to the UK Government, that vast sums of money have been spent to keep Montserrat open with a population of only 5,000 compared with 12,000 prior to 1995, when the volcano first erupted. Now, after 3 years of no significant volcanic activity, the scientists have decreed that it is more likely for Montserrat to be hit by a hurricane than to see the resumption of volcanic activity. So now the use of the British Government Aid Fund is more directed towards capital projects to reflect this positive outlook from the volcanologists. In March 2013, in order to reduce very high energy costs, an Icelandic company will start to drill for Geothermal Energy,
approval has been given by the UK for £8m to be spent over the next 4 years for the construction of a new hospital on the foot print of the existing one. Plans are also in an advanced stage for the development of the island’s new capital in Little Bay together with construction of a surrounding luxury villa complex. This is also the location of the Montserrat Cultural Centre, which was constructed a few years ago thanks to the generosity of Sir George Martin, who had a recording studio here in the 1970’s that was used by the Beatles, Sting, Boy George and Eric Clapton to name but a few.
You will soon realise that Montserrat is a villa not a hotel island, which adds to its charm without the commercialism of casinos and dubious night clubs yet you will find there is more than enough to keep you occupied if you only ask. We have provided a comprehensive set of notes for visitors and when read in conjunction with the Tourism Board published booklet, you will soon find you way around the island.
You might well ask , why should we stay in Flamboyant rather than any other Montserrat villa available for rental. Well our villa is our holiday home not an investment property – over the past 17 years we have tried to improve the comfort of our home for our benefit and that of the many friends and tenants that have stayed either with us or on their own. We are most fortunate to have Martin and his wife Aidee look after our home the whole year round so they keep the property and our
1 acre garden in A1 condition. When we purchased Flamboyant in 1995, we were located in the middle of the island 1995, now we are in the extreme South of the habitable part of the island. As such we are located in the rural part of the island in the company of free range chickens and wild life such as Iguanas and Agoutis roaming through our gardens, while at night in the surrounding bushes we are entertained to a concert of tree frogs conversing to the crickets. One aspect that will amaze you most is the clarity of the night sky with so many stars, planets and satellites that you are unlikely to have seen before.
One other major appealing feature of our house are the outstanding views from our balcony, whether you are curious about those walking on the beach, the fisherman’s catch of the day, the numerous cruise ships and yachts which pass us by or the spectacular mountains in the distance.
So whether you want to hang out around the pool with a Rum & Coke, top up your tan in the pool, lounge in the garden under the shade of the Flamboyant Tree reading a book or perhaps you might be seeking an energetic holiday with hikes into the mountains after that early morning game of tennis, all of this is available on your doorstep.
If you are unfortunate to select a week that our property is already occupied, may we suggest that you consider renting Lime Tree House ( Property Ref No 3500990 ) , which is directly below our villa and has shares many of the views of our house.