The Old Road Fund – The Beauty Behind Curtain Bluff, Antigua
Curtain Bluff is beautiful from any angle. The property is a veritable monument to luxury hospitality in the Caribbean. Its dramatic location, trailing up a thin, steeply sloping peninsula on Antigua’s south coast, is iconic, to say the least. The service here, the amenities, culinary delights, and appointments all add up to one of the most relaxing and fulfilling resort experiences you can enjoy anywhere.
Indeed, everything is beautiful at Curtain Bluff.
For me, though, this view from the sea showcases the property’s true beauty.
In the foreground you see guest accommodations set along famed Curtain Bluff Beach. Lush mountains tower up to the sky behind the property. Between the peaks and the resort itself, a collection of brightly colored homes stand out amid the green.
The Village of Old Road
A shade over 1,000 people live in those colorful homes just behind Curtain Bluff. The name of their village: Old Road.
Theirs is a quiet, working class enclave typical of small villages throughout the West Indies. The type of small villages most travelers to our region likely never take note of, or easily dismiss.
That’s not the case for guests of Curtain Bluff, though, or for the resort itself. At least not as it relates to Old Road. You see, this particular humble Caribbean village and its opulent next door neighbor share more than just an idyllic location.
The Old Road Fund
From its earliest days in operation, Curtain Bluff intended to be of benefit. Not simply to the well-heeled seeking R&R, but also to the local community in Antigua. Addressing the latter, resorts owners Howard and Chelle Hulford founded The Old Road Fund back in 1974.
The non-profit foundation is supported entirely by Curtain Bluff and its guests. To date, more than US$3 million has been raised, with funds directly benefiting education, healthcare, athletics, and other community projects throughout Antigua and Barbuda.
The foundation’s main focus, though, as its name suggests, is Old Road, home to a good 80% of Curtain Bluff staff.
On a recent tour of the property, Curtain Bluff Managing Director Rob Sherman pointed out the colorful homes of Old Road. He talked with pride about the development of the town over the years. He mentioned kids he’d seen grow up, benefit from academic or athletic scholarships awarded via the fund, and move on to bright careers.
We’d already toured the rooms and beaches; enjoyed the newly refurbished restaurant, the world class tennis club, decadent spa, and unique squash courts. All of it was worthy of praise and pride, of course. Sherman’s eyes sparkled most, though, when he spoke of Old Road, the Fund, and all the good that Curtain Bluff continues to do outside its stately gates.
The houses in Old Road, he told me, weren’t so nice way back when Curtain Bluff was getting started. In many cases, he surmised, their sturdy new construction and bright paint were owed in part to The Old Road Fund.
One of the Caribbean’s most elegant resorts and its neighboring village, side-by-side benefiting each other, growing together, and making something special… Beautiful, indeed.