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CELERIE KEMBLE’S PLAYA GRANDE BEACH CLUB (PART 2)

Celerie Kemble's home at Playa Grande Beach Club

James Andrew at Celerie Kemble’s home at Playa Grande Beach Club

Some of you may recall the Architectural Digest piece on Celerie Kemble’s home and compound at the Playa Grande Beach Club – a major achievement and a testament to Kemble’s brilliance, but even the best photos can never fully capture a place. I’m pleased to say the actuality of the Playa Grande Beach Club far exceeded our wildest expectations. One simply has to go!

Chez Celerie Kemble

Chez Celerie Kemble

Kemble’s own home at Playa Grande Beach Club is a marvelous mix of local Victorian architecture and ideas gleaned from her family home, the “Old Church” in Palm Beach. Her Playa Grande home is surrounded by a gracious veranda, white floorboards are strewn with Cuban tiles, accent colors are in the palest of Laduree pastels, and the perfectly patinated copper light fixtures are all Kemble designs manufactured by local artisans. The dreamy master bedroom is graced with a monumental four poster fantasy of a bed also designed by Kemble. The house is decorated with an elegantly eclectic mix of things and of course masses of wicker and rattan. It’s all quite perfect and imbued with great wit and charm – a relaxed elegance – just what one would want from a tropical retreat!

Celery kemble's Playa Grande Beach Club Master Bedroom

Celery kemble’s Playa Grande Beach Club Master Bedroom

All the houses and bungalows at Playa Grande Beach Club are Kemble creations and each one is slightly different from the others – all work together seamlessly to create a sense of an old family compound or small private club. It really is the perfect place to gather together a collection of your chicest friends and family! One can relax and enjoy a quiet morning coffee on the verandas with a glimpse of the sea and the sounds of waves crashing, or mingle with other guests at the club house or dining pavilion – everything has been so well considered by Kemble.

The Club dining room.

The Club dining room.

For my photo taken in front of Celerie Kemble’s Playa Grande Beach Club home (top) I’m channeling a Slim Aarons portrait – I’m sporting a Gucci palest pink cotton safari style shirt, Tom Ford Lavender silk herring bone pant and pink and white silk scarf, vintage Rolex, Gucci brown leather sandals, and my fragrance is Lorenzo Villoresi, Iperborea.

CELERIE KEMBLE’S PLAYA GRANDA BEACH CLUB (PART 1)

James Andrew at the Playa Grande Beach Club

James Andrew at the Playa Grande Beach Club


I recently attended a dinner given by eBay CEO Devin Wenig with my impossibly chic friend designer Celerie Kemble. Over cocktails I shared with Kemble how utterly smitten I was by what she had created at the Playa Grande Beach Club.

To my surprise, she suggested McBee and I come to stay at her place there! We of course pounced on her offer – it was the perfect little James Andrew Happy Birthday getaway – an absolute dream!

The Playa Grande Beach Club is located on the dramatic north shore of the Dominican Republic where the rain forest meets the most beautiful beach setting. Kemble, who simply gets everything right, designed a pristine confection that stands in smart contrast to its lush tropical surrounding, and yet the design is entirely in harmony there. The feeling one gets is of a place that has been there for centuries. Marvelously maintained, it harkens back to a time of elegance and sophistication. It exudes charm and grace, while remaining ravishingly rustic. I couldn’t help but think of a mini Mill Reef or Lyford.

Entrance to the Playa Grande Beach Club

Entrance to the Playa Grande Beach Club

detail: light fixture designed by Celerie Kemble

detail: light fixture designed by Celerie Kemble

The buildings are inspired by local Victorian era architecture, with some hints of Kemble’s family home, “The Old Church” in Palm Beach, and there’s also a sense of a garden folly fantasy.

The Playa Grande Beach Club

The Playa Grande Beach Club

Kemble lovingly designed every element and worked with local builders and artisans to create the Playa Grande Beach Club – the results are other-worldly. Over the next few posts I will share some more aspects of the Playa Grande Beach Club, and if we manage to tantalize, why not book your bungalows there for the upcoming season!

The Playa Grande Beach Club dining pavilion

The Playa Grande Beach Club dining pavilion

Arriving at the Playa Grande Beach Club I’m pictured (top) sporting a Tom Ford gray and ivory linen/hemp/silk jacket and white cotton twill pant, Charvet Pairs bespoke shirt in mint and white cotton, mint silk pocket square, Seaman Schepps aquamarine and diamond cuff links, vintage Rolex, white braided leather sandals from Schettino di Capri, and a misting of Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.