Robert De Niro Is Creating a New Caribbean Getaway

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By Stellene Volandes

“I like the word inn,” says Robert De Niro about what will, over the next three years, arise on 391 acres along the sandy shores of Barbuda.

And though it might be difficult to imagine the award-winning actor behind the young Vito Corleone and Jimmy Conway as a kindly innkeeper, the devil, as with everything De Niro does, is in the details—even sometimes in word choice. Inn is imperative here.

De Niro has been on these shores before. Thirty years ago, while taking a daytrip from Antigua, he asked the boat’s crew to stop so he could see a stretch of Barbuda. Some things you just remember, and by 2023, schedule permitting, the Nobu Beach Inn will offer one- to four-bedroom villas with private pools and direct beach access.

Surrounding the property will be privately owned residences, fully serviced by the inn. Enjoying the chef’s miso cod on this pristine beach sounds like a dream, and it has taken time. “I knew that if I were going to build something like this, I would have to find the perfect place. It’s a lot of work. And,” he says quietly, “I do other things.”

De Niro wants the inn to be somewhere people come back to year after year, a destination that is “not too formal, the kind of place people really want to go to, and that they will make the effort to get to.” JR

Some might remember this stretch of turquoise water as the site of the K Club, one of Princess Diana’s favorites. That resort had fallen into disrepair by 2004; 10 years later De Niro and inn co-founder James Packer started looking into developing the property. There was opposition from community groups, and then came Hurricane Irma, which devastated the island in 2017.

De Niro vowed to support Barbuda’s recovery. The word community comes up often—both the island’s existing one and the environment De Niro hopes to create with the inn. He wants it to be somewhere people come back to year after year, a destination that is “not too formal, the kind of place people really want to go to, and that they will make the effort to get to.”

Barbuda currently gets no direct commercial flights (an airport is opening next year that will accommodate private jets and small planes), so effort is required—but that seems part of the recipe for a low-key, word-of-mouth kind of place reminiscent of Mustique or Parrot Cay, or even De Niro and team’s Nobu Ryokan in Malibu or the Greenwich Hotel in New York.

“Bob’s vision is for the Nobu Beach Inn to have the feeling of a hideaway,” says Trevor Horwell, CEO of Nobu Hospitality group. “There will be a sense of privacy and anonymity. The Malibu property you can’t even book online. Barbuda is like that. It’s quiet. We don’t want to make it a big destination. And we want local families to be a part of this, and to be proud of it.”

“We want local families to be a part of this, and to be proud of it.” JR

Creating a place that people return to, that becomes part of their lives, takes vision, strategy, and a little magic. But it’s exactly such places T&C readers crave, so we will chronicle the making of the Nobu Beach Inn from the design process right up to the day you’re having spicy tuna on crispy rice in Barbuda. Which could be soon: Though the inn isn’t yet ready, a Nobu Barbuda restaurant is opening on the beach in December.

For information on the inn: [email protected]; for dining: [email protected] This story appears in the December 2020/January 2021 issue of Town & Country.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. MADNESS
    Tourism does not create wealth.
    Tourism is not an industry.
    Africans must be the dumbest people in the universe.
    How can a people consciously degrade their environment so that another race can have fun to the detriment of oneself?

    This is a major part of eugenics. WAKE THE PHUCK UP PEOPLE.

    • This insane corrupt government is literally inviting and begging disease carrying folks to come here and spread disease on this tiny island so that a FEW mostly foreigners will financially benefit.

      Look at the insanely low minimum wage that most Antiguans are paid.

      Look at who owns the best property on this island. Who owns the biggest supermarkets? Who owns the most prime real estate? Who owns the power company?

      Antiguans please wake up. The answer is not in your current corrupt “leadership” who are selling away your country right underneath you and it is not in the corrupt opposition party.

      You need real leadership composed of intelligent people who actually care about your country.

      You don’t need another plantation for the slaves to serve on.

  2. I hope Robert De Niro project on Barbuda fails and he losses all his money!
    he’s a pig.

    • Good gesture for Antigua and Barbuda?? Seriously?? You SERIOUSLY think they give a hoot about Antigua and Barbuda?? How are my people still asleep, smh!!

      • They dont have to like you-they are spending their Money and at the same time providing employment for the Barbudan’s that they won’t have to all be on the council roll,or sit at home and Drink..Just WTF more do people want from them.White or Black an Investor is an Investor and their money is theirs to spend how they want it.. You’ll are just bad minded and Dunce..

  3. Barbuda should remain a virgin like a nun (well some of them) until she is no more until the end of the world. No man, especially a white one, should not dare touch her! In the meanwhile, she will survive off of alms and beggings and demands and entitlements as we hear daily from the Council.

    As for Antigua, since we don’t want tourism, I think we need to go back to king sugar in our lush island with fertile soil and bountiful rainfall. Or better, since sugar is now unhealthy, do we have any “expert” who knows how to grow artificial sweeteners instead? Or as “Africans” who do not want tourist income, we want to live like or brothers and sisters in the motherland where we live on $2 or $3 per day and die of malnutrition and all the various diseases which results in the extremely low life expectancy they experience? And die by the thousands trying to flee to Europe?

    I am on board….who else??? Talk about people simply spewing pounds of BS and Horse sh..!

    • Could not have said it better.Some who are talking the BS do not even live here or barbuda they live in Uncle Sam land helping to make it greater and Richer than it already is.but Barbuda must remain for wild life and wild people while a few suck the life out of the already poor coffers of Central Government..If they so hate Caucasians then they should stay away from their Countries also.Ignorant stupid talks..

  4. What Project on Barbuda.Robert DiNero does not have the money needed to build anything.His so called partner in that Project.As many of us know he had a nervous breakdown.He does not managed the day to day running of his Corporation anymore.In my opinion he got knuckled.

  5. Hi Mr. DiNero thanks for giving me a ride on your private jet the other day when I lost my mom , your are quite a simple and kind individual and I wish success

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