British Virgin Islands Staying: Privacy, Luxury, Adventure
Katitche Point Greathouse – When you think of destinations renowned for their architectural mastery, a tiny island in the Caribbean is probably not the first place that comes to mind. But Katitche Point Greathouse is a remarkable exception. Even though it’s just a 10-minute drive from the Valley, Virgin Gorda’s idyllic town centre, the property feels like a secluded oasis. Architect Michael Helm drew inspiration for the space from the pyramids in Egypt, constructing vaulted ceilings at a precise 51-degree angle.
The five suites that comprise the villa are situated around a verdant courtyard; each has its own private veranda with ocean views. Beyond the design, what makes Katitche Point 30 indulgent is the service — it’s like having an entire five-star boutique hotel to yourself. Maids and butlers are at your daily disposal, and there’s a concierge on hand to arrange massages and private chef dinners. Perhaps best of all, housekeeping will take care of your laundry. If you happen to be a Zen-seeker, the third floor of the main house offers a meditation room called the Crow’s Nest, equipped with mats and floor pillows.
Valley Trunk – The 16-person private compound owned by the Wildensteins, a family of billionaire art dealers, isn’t the most modern villa on Virgin Gorda, but it still has a leg up on all the others: Renting Valley Trunk also comes with the Use of the family’s fully staffed 68-foot yacht, Xanadu. Plus, you get to feel good about the amount of money you’re shelling out — the profits from renters are put toward the family’s black rhino conservation effort in Africa, which basically makes you a philanthropist. Valley Trunk has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the private home of a prominent family, like Frette linens on the beds and Hermes toiletries in the bathrooms.
As you whip around the property in your personal golf cart, you’ll find it hard to believe that just 35 years ago, it was completely uninhabited. Daniel Wildenstein scooped up the 19 acres of troprical jungle in 1981 and spent five years completing the estate, which now has multiple suites and villas, a cinema room, and an imported Balinese beach house that was rebuilt on the island in its entirety. The beach where the Bali House sits is widely considered the best in the BVI, and until last year, only the owners were able to enjoy it — they recently decided to open their estate to private renters. Rates: From US$168,000 pier week for up to 16 people and use of the yacht (not including fuel).
Villa Mas – Everything about Villa Mas — from the contemporary design to the villa’s name itself — suggests bachelor paradise. The property, which was just completed two years ago, is unusually modern for the Virgin Islands. It has stainless steel hardware, granite countertops, rain showers in each of the four bathrooms, a half-basketball court, and an outdoor kitchen with a bar and grill. The piece de resistance is Villa Mas’ infinity pod, tricked out with LED lights for atmospheric late-night swimming. The heme sleeps 10, though you can also take up the neighbouring (and equally slick) Palms at Morningstar villa, which accommodates an additional six people. Rates: US$l,142/night, per person, for up to 10 people.
Villa Carlota – Imagine plucking a villa straight out of the Italian Riviera and dropping it on a hillside in the Caribbean. That’s Villa Carlota, an opulent property full of European flavour, which is to say, there’s no shortage of marble. (One of the two massive Italian fountains is designed to look like a baroque lion’s head.) The 8,100-square-foot villa has five bedrooms in three separate pavilions and an infinity pool that seems to spill out over the Caribbean. It’s also located in one of St. John’s most exclusive areas, the gated community of Peter Bay, which locate often describe as a “billionaire’s hideaway.” With 60 percent of the island protected as national parkland, property on St John is considered a serious luxury — and Villa Carlota is no exception.