It’s been 20 years since our first guests discovered the golden sands of North Beach Island. Our story began with our founder, Reuben James. Here’s how it all began.
Reuben, a Barbudan local, was a regular visitor to North Beach during his regular childhood fishing trips, Reuben had been first introduced to North Beach by his parents, where they frequented regularly on family picnics, spear fishing in the crystal waters and cooking their catches on the open fire as the sun set. Reuben knew North Beach was a diamond in the rough; a place he always wanted to share with others.
One day, working in his local taxi, he picked up a young lady at the airport. After asking where she wanted to go, the girl replied “I don’t know”. With no place to stay, and no idea of what Barbuda had to offer, Reuben took this adventurous traveler to a local resort in the southern part of the island, arranging for her to stay there.
This seemly unprepared traveler was in fact a writer for Time Magazine. She went on to write a spell binding article for the magazine describing the island and her experiences of the resort. Bookings soared, and Barbuda had officially been put on the map.
Forming a friendship with Reuben, the writer fell in love with Barbuda and wanted to keep returning. She confided that she was looking for somewhere even more secluded. Reuben realised that North Beach could be this destination. He promised to the young writer that he knew the right place, and he personally would build this island paradise.
In 1985, the rights to the land were granted by the Barbuda Council, and Reuben began to build the first cottage. Reuben bought a tractor, hired a few local people, and started to clear the land.
The remote nature of the island often caused challenges in getting materials to the island. Ferrying supplies by his small boat, a 15ft Boston whaler, which is still on the island today, Reuben slowly travelled back and forth the eight miles of shoreline. It was back breaking work as Reuben and his team laboured in the hot Barbudan sun day after day.
The construction took quite some time and, with little assets of his own and no possibility of a bank loan, Reuben financed the whole project out of his own pocket. He used his savings to invest in a water pump, a reverse osmosis plant and a water system, as well as a generator, meaning the island had fresh water and power.
Over time, the remaining cottages were built, as well as the dining area making North Beach what it is today. Our resort is anything but luxurious. It is island life at its best. An escape away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and a place that is so serene, it captures the hearts of all who visit.
“Some people compare it to a Robinson Crusoe experience, others say they feel like Adam and Eve. A secret spot in the Caribbean, there is nothing to distract you apart from the gentle breeze, the sound of the trees and the magical sight of waves breaking on the reef.”
Reuben James, North Beach Founder