North Island’s upgrade is complete and has been well worth the wait! Designed and created by LIFE, the Island was transformed during the latter part of 2009 and was completed in January 2010. The upgrades are many, from the main areas to each villa itself, and comprise new furnishings, décor as well as brand new areas in which to enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world.
In addition, Villa 11 was completely redesigned by Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, the architects of North Island. Maira Koutsoudakis from LIFE added to the alteration with sumptuous décor touches to create the ultimate honeymoon retreat; this Villa is now only available for couples.
The main lounge is cloaked in new decorative touches, whilst still retaining its original, inimitable style. Other changes in the main area include a new handcrafted table in the dining sala, a deep lounge dining area and the Cellar Dining Sala – an intimate private dining area floating on a raised decked island off the main dining section.
At the pool, new marshmallow-fluffy sun-bed loungers and cushions sit in intimate pairs, a turned high-gloss ceramic side-table between them. Custom-designed by LIFE and created by a grassroots poverty-prevention ceramics group, the ribbed texture of the side-tables is punctuated by decorative hangings in turquoise glass and bronze metal trading beads, true to the trading history of this former Spice Route trading point.
The villas, with their panoramic view of the beach are now even closer to the shifting sands and breezy beach thanks to the design of their new beach decks. These circular decks are perched in front of each villa and bedded into the green verge just in front of the white sands. On the exterior deck of the master bathroom, the outdoor lounge area is a new area for rest and repose.
Finally, Villa 11 now measures a massive 750 square metres with a large portion of that space having been added in multiple, tiered levels cascading down the granitic boulders onto a private beach entry to the ocean. Amongst a number of changes are a Reverie Lounge, an outdoor sala – with a dramatic chandelier of recycled glass, aged beaten brass and white shell strands breezily chiming above – and the Tête a Tête dining area, with its unobstructed view all the way to the ocean horizon.
As always, all features were created with the mindfulness of sustainability, ecological soundness and local knowledge. This place not only looks natural and authentic, but is so. For example, all recycled decorative glassware and stemware is hand-made in Fair Trade production facilities in Swaziland from glass bottle waste collected in township empowerment and job-creation projects.