The Old Fort Bay Club started its life as a fort. It was built by the British sometime in the 1700s during a lawless moment in colonial history when the Crown spent enormous time and energy keeping pirates, privateers and buccaneers under control in this part of the world.
The building had a century or so of use as a plantation house during the 1800s when sisal was grown all around it. In the 1920s the glamour began when American James Cox Brady won the property in a card game. Brady died shortly thereafter and his widow re-married a worldly character with the unusual name of Suydam Cutting and the house began a new and vibrant phase.
The Cuttings were famous world travelers. Mrs. Cutting was the first Western woman to visit Tibet and she returned with a pair of lhaso apsos that the Dalai Lama gave to her. The Old Fort in the 20s and 30s was the architectural beneficiary of these great adventures. There are tiles from Portugal and Holland and ornamental metalwork and lanterns from Spain. The Cuttings were known for entertaining under giant Tibetan tents with servants in Indian madras uniforms.
In 2002 restoration began and after one year the Old Fort was reborn and given a wonderful modern relevance. The magical flourishes that the Cuttings brought from the four corners of the world are now enjoyed and celebrated by the members of Old Fort who come to spend time with their friends and family in this timeless place.
Nowadays, children climb on the many cannons and play pirates amid the wonderful cliffs and caves. Members arrive early to walk the pristine beach and to read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, which are delivered daily at the crack of dawn. They enjoy espresso made the “right” way and the freshest, most modern lunch and dinner menus on the island.