Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine February 2015

Page 1

Virgin Islands



Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Yacht Spotlight Silmaril – a chance for romantic reconnection

between Rosewood Hotels and Coldwell Banker enhances home buying opportunities

Reader Giveaway This is the greatest prize yet!

Exclusive Feature Property New partnership

Keeping a steady course with your investments is a precondition for reaching your goals, whether you rely on our advice or entrust us to manage your portfolio along the course you have plotted. VP Bank – your partner.

VP Bank Group Domiciled in Liechtenstein – is quoted on the Swiss Stock Exchange SIX in Zurich. Providing bespoke banking services in Liechtenstein +423 235 6655, Switzerland +41 44 226 2424, Luxembourg +352 404 7771, British Virgin Islands +1 284 494 1100 and Singapore +65 6305 0050.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

February 2015


From the Editor We’re already one month in…

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It won’t be long before we reach 2016 and at the rate 2014 sped by, it’s recommended that any New Year’s resolution formed, should be founded in appreciation of the present; easily done when living or visiting a tropical paradise like the British Virgin Islands. With that notion of appreciating ‘today’ in mind, February’s issue explores the finer elements of Caribbean lifestyle with our opening feature presenting the partnership between the esteemed Rosewood Hotels, and realtors Coldwell Banker BVI. Great opportunities to own your own haven within stunning Virgin Gorda’s Little Dix Bay Estate are available, bestowing further diversity in the grandiose BVI property market. Continuing in our LAND section, Bonnie Dougall of Dougall Real Estate BVI provides more invaluable advice pertaining to the FAQs she receives in her area of expertise; this following the informative article the realtor wrote in last month’s issue that answered a good portion of those queries. Our SEA section views charming crewed charter yacht Silmaril, with one of their strong promotional points as the idyllic vessel for romantic reconnection – very fitting for this month’s celebration of love. To further hail Valentine’s, Megan Scholbolm of Lolalita SV provides her enticing recipe for spicing up the romantic day From Sea Level. Fusion BVI presents the opportunity for BVI residents and visitors to attempt a new healthy lifestyle with their range of water-based activities in the affluent North Sound – perhaps a late New Year’s Resolution option for those that would like another attempt. Our LIFE section is absolutely packed this month – Brandywine reveal why they are our Readers’ Choice for Best BVI Restaurant. Green VI present their great accomplishments in sustainable development and preservation of our environment. The internationally famed Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar graces us with their new chef and the exquisite fresh menu for 2015. Our Reader Giveaway is the best yet with your chance to WIN three nights for four people in a two-bedroom cottage at the exclusive Frenchmans Cay Resort – valued at over $2500.00! Home accessories retailer House keep us buying with some pleasant Valentine’s gifts for the season. Paradise Club in Cane Garden Bay unveil why they are the current popular hotspot for BVI nightlife. Also, we are happy to explore the BVI Tour Center, an organisation dedicated to keeping our tourism thriving with a fresh approach. Finally, the Virgin Islands Life photo column displays the most recent BVI Newbie Cruise Party – look out for the fantastic video online, created by aLookingGlass and SkyVision VI. It was a great time with new and long standing residents coming together for a phenomenal celebration. On that jovial note, we wish you a great 2015.

Stephen L France

Contact Us Editorial Enquiries Advertising Enquiries

PS – Don’t forget the FREE sign up online for the Reader Giveaway – Frenchman’s is an incredible resort so we are pleased to partner with them on this brilliant gift.

General Enquiries



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Great Value Properties for Sale BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Totally Green Home Hawksnest, Tortola with Amazing Views Private, Gorgeous Home Tucked Away in Cane Garden Bay

Rare, Remotely Located, Very Private 3 Bedroom Home, Office, Pool, Possible 1 extra Bedroom

3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom Home with Pool 0.338 acres Land

Asking US $1,400,000

Asking US $750,000

Great Income Property! Cane Garden Bay Beach, Tortola

Pretty, affordable 3 Bedroom Villa Lambert Beach, Tortola

Rare Peter Island Land for Sale

3 Bed, 3 Bathroom Beach Front Home... Rents 40 weeks a year

Family Home with Fabulous Views from every room!

1.28 acres Beach Front Land plus 4.48 Acres Hill Side Land near Peter Island Resort

Asking US $1,250,000

Asking US $695,000

Price on Application

We are committed to finding your BVI home. Leave it in our capable hands. Your Local BVI Real Estate Experts... Bonnie Dougall

Aja Royale

Rebecca Paull


Now with offices on Main Street, Road Town

February 2015



Bonnie Dougall Bonnie has been a property owner and BVI resident since the mid 1980’s and in real estate since 1980. The views expressed in her BVI Property Forum column are exclusively her own and may not represent the view points of the Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine.

Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell Kate and Fran are owners of House, a renowned BVI retailer that provides everything you need to make your house a home.

Charlotte McDevitt Charlotte is the executive director of Green VI, a non-profit organisation that works toward a greener, cleaner and healthier BVI, finding balance between development and conservation of the natural environment.

Megan Scholbohm Chef Megan has a fierce passion for cooking. Perfecting her menu on various yachts, most of her phenomenal culinary abilities are self-taught, bringing innovative cuisine to Crewed Yacht Lolalita in the BVI.

Charlie Smith Charlie has spent the last 10 years coaching kiteboarding and running the watersports centres on two private islands in the North Sound area of the BVI. He is a certified PADI scuba instructor, boat captain, kiteboarding instructor, windsurf and sailing teacher, and has a passion for photography and Marine Biology.

Chris Smith Chris arrived in the BVI in 1992 to work for Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island. After several great years on Necker, Chris moved to Virgin Gorda and became involved in real estate sales and development, and vacation villa rentals and management as managing broker of Coldwell Banker. Production Editor-in-Chief Stephen L France

Web Developer Maros Pristas

Publisher aLookingGlass

Sales & Marketing Erin Paviour-Smith

Creative Director Nick Cunha Design & Layout Scott Taylor

Distribution Francoise Frank Finances BVI Accounting

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht is published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December/January) by aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110.

Direct all inquiries to: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788

Copyright 2014 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership.

Mail: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

The publisher of VI Property & Yacht, assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content placed in its publications. For the avoidance of doubt, aLookingGlass gives no warranty or guarantee in regards to any information placed in its publications.

Editorial and Business Office: aLookingGlass Ltd., Road Reef Plaza 6 and 7 Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Web: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788 Fax: 284-494-8777 Mail to: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

One of the beautiful villas available at Rosewood. Photo courtesy of Rosewood Little Dix


Virgin Islands


E x c l u s i v e F e a t u r e P r o pe r t y







9 Exclusive Feature Property

30 Dining on Sir Francis Drake

42 Things We Love

A unique partnership between Rosewood and Coldwell adds extra luxurious options for property buyers

Best BVI Restaurant RC winners Brandywine explain their success

Our favourite home retailer House presents Valentine’s themed gifts

34 10 Great Projects and Events

44 BVI Nightlife Gets Better

16 BVI Property Forum Our resident property expert tackles more real estate questions

Improving the BVI

Green VI broadcast their most inspiring works

20 Yacht Spotlight

36 Swooping in with a New Menu

A romantic and unique charter experience with Silmaril

The Dove has flown in and the food is looking exquisite

25 From Sea Level

40 Reader Giveaway

Lolalita SV’s Megan provides the ultimate recipe for Valentine’s Day

27 The Perfect Addition to Your Island Lifestyle

Fusion BVI presents the best combination of activities for a healthy lifestyle

Partnered with Frenchmans Resort, this is our best giveaway yet. Free entry!

Paradise Club have shot into popularity – but why?

47 A New Fun-Filled Future for BVI Tourism and Local Businesses BVI Tour Center seeks to improve and diversify the tourist experience

52 Virgin Islands Life The BVI Newbie Cruise Day was a great one – check it out!

54 Property Listings


hammock sites

Words by Chris Smith, Managing Broker – Coldwell Banker Real Estate BVI Photography by SkyVision VI and Rosewood Hotels Little Dix Bay

February 2015


An exciting new partnership between Rosewood Hotels and Coldwell Banker BVI has taken home buying in the British Virgin Islands to a whole new level.

Rosewood Hotels are renowned the world over for their collection of residentially styled properties that offer a level of service once only possible in the finest of homes. Starting with the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, the group expanded to include Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda. Built more than 50 years ago by the famous conservationist Laurence Rockefeller, Little Dix Bay was already the epitome of the Rosewood philosophy: “A Sense of Place – a personal journey of authentic and exquisite discoveries”. Seamlessly blending the unspoilt natural environment with unobtrusive world-class luxury, it was a true eco-tourism resort before they became fashionable.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

At the end of 2014, Coldwell Banker Real Estate BVI was appointed as the exclusive agent for Little Dix Bay. As one of the most recognisable brands in global luxury real estate, Coldwell Banker is the perfect partner to broker the rare and unique real estate opportunities available at Little Dix Bay. The marriage of these two strong brands was a natural progression in the Little Dix Bay development strategy. Virgin Gorda is still a remarkably pristine jewel of an island where crime is virtually non-existent and visitors are embraced by genuine warm Caribbean hospitality. There have been several innovative new developments in the North Sound area of the island and business has never been better. In the

February 2015




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

meantime, the development at Little Dix Bay has followed a tried and tested formula staying true to the Rockefeller’s original designs and respecting the untamed beauty of the landscape. Opportunities to own your own heavenly hammock spot within the Little Dix Bay Estate include a choice of eight lots, six of which are oceanfront and all of which have simply breath taking ocean and island views. All provide easy access to the water and the first class facilities you would expect from a Rosewood Hotel. At close to three acres, Lot 6 is arguably the prime waterfront home site currently available for sale on Virgin Gorda. This exceptional piece of property provides everything you could wish for in a Caribbean home site – stunning sunsets, ocean and island views, walking distance to the incredible half-moon beach and spa at Little Dix Bay, complete privacy, a relatively flat building envelope, and a high standard of completed infrastructure. At 1.359 acres, Lot 8 provides plenty of space to build your idyllic oceanfront home. Situated adjacent to the magnificent cliff front spa,

there is still plenty of green space between the lot and the spa to allow for complete seclusion. Steps can be built down to your own little white sand beach – by law, you can’t have a private beach in the BVI but this is as close as it gets. The ocean and island views are to die for and the lot is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the cooling trade winds. Construction should also be a breeze as the lot is relatively easy to build on and not too steep. If you have visited The Baths and marvelled at the gigantic granite boulders, Lot 8 has some of its own. Incorporate them into your free form swimming pool with infinity edge. Lots 1A-1D are four waterfront lots; presented for under a million dollars each and being situated on Virgin Gorda is an offer virtually unheard of. If a dock is required, then Little Dix are willing to lead the charge in seeking the necessary permissions. Sunset views are sensational from each one.

February 2015


There is plenty of flexibility regarding the design of your Caribbean home and Coldwell Banker can guide you through every step of the process with their team of expert architects, project managers and contractors, all with impressive experience building luxury homes in the British Virgin Islands. You are encouraged, however, to design with the Rockefeller ethos of blending with nature. Once your home is complete, Little Dix Bay offers options for full property management, concierge services, and a rental programme, designed to offset some of the costs of ownership. Property purchased at Little Dix Bay is Freehold and includes the use of all resort facilities. For those who simply can’t wait, there is also a turnkey, fully furnished private villa for sale. Villa Joy has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, generous shady balconies and its own pool, nestled into the hillside overlooking the resort and the crystal-clear waters of the bay. Enjoy the panoramic sunset views from the comfort and privacy of your own luxury home yet within a short stroll of the beach and other resort facilities. Designed with your comfort in mind, Villa Joy has all the charm of an island home and the convenience of all modern amenities. The property management and rental programme are attractive, competitive, and well-managed as one would expect from a company of Rosewood’s stature in the luxury resort industry but once again, entirely optional.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

For more information on how to purchase your very own heavenly hammock spot at Little Dix Bay: • visit • email Chris Smith at or call him on 1 (284) 340-0300

February 2015


LAND Words and photography courtesy of Bonnie Dougall, Principal Dougall Real Estate BVI

For an introduction to this forum, please see Dec 14/Jan 15 issue of Virgin Islands Property and Yacht or log on to bvipropertyyacht. com, and visit the VI Property Advice section under the Property tab on the homepage. Any queries, please contact or the editor directly

Can I buy property in the BVI? The short and the long answer is ‘Yes.’ There are additional restrictions and requirements that off islanders must meet versus Belonger/Resident buyers, but land, resale homes and even custom building your own home are possible here. How do I buy property in the BVI? • The first step is to find the property, land, or a resale home you wish to purchase. Submit an earnest deposit, normally 10% of purchase price, along with a sales offer or Letter of Intent to Purchase to the vendor for an acceptable price and terms. • The property must be advertised in both the local papers and online advertising media for four consecutive weeks in order to allow BVI Belonger/ Residents an opportunity to match the offer and takeover the property purchase. If this does occur, your earnest deposit will be returned in full. • Purchaser and vendor then agree upon a legally binding Sale and Purchase Agreement. The purchaser must prepare and file for an Alien or Non-Belonger Land Holding License (NBLHL), which includes providing proof of good character, financial resources, a recent valuation of the property along with some miscellaneous items.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

• If you are building a new house, you must specify the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and pools. No detailed building plans are required at this point although it is wise to get an architect/builder involved to see what could be constructed on the land before filing. The license will only be good for the property you are purchasing and is not a general license to own property in the BVI. How Long Does It Take to Purchase Property in the BVI? • The overall period varies from six to eight months at the writing of this article. • A due diligence period of usually two to three months is normally required for getting property appraisals, structural surveys, plumbing or electrical inspections, etc. completed in addition to running the four weeks of paper and online ads for BVI Belonger/Residents as well as possibly organising bank financing here. • The Alien/ Non-Belonger Land Holder License application must also be put together in this timeframe. It is highly recommended using a reputable local attorney’s assistance to prepare the NBLHL application as well as help verify property title, etc. • Government approval time for the NBLHL varies, but currently have been

averaging two to three months from the submission of application. The BVI

• Annual Land Taxes – US $50 up to 0.50 acres; US $150 0.50 – 1.0 acres; +1.0

Governor must also sign off on the purchase which can take another one to

acres and above US $50 per additional acre

two months.

• Annual House Taxes

• Once you receive your NBLHL approval, you would normally close the

• - 1.5% of assessed annual rental value of the Property. Norm runs $300-

purchase within approximately 30 days.

$500 but usually no more than $1000 annually • House Insurance – Numerous agencies provide good property insurance,

General costs of buying and purchasing a

which normally covers all perils such as hurricane, earthquake and floods with

property in the BVI

low deductibles usually in the 2% of total coverage range. Rates vary but usually

• Stamp duties and transfer fees-freehold – 12% of the purchase price or

average US $1000 annual insurance fee per $100,000 of coverage provided

appraised value of the property being acquired • Stamp duties for leasehold or leased land – 1.5% of purchase price plus first

How many properties can I buy as an off-islander?

20 years rent

• A Non-Belonger can only own one property in the BVI, but even children can

• Attorney Fees vary – 1-2% of the purchase price for the property is the norm

own property here. One exception to this is if a resale property is purchased

• Property Valuations or Appraisals – vary but are generally US $700-$1000

that was held under a previous Non-Belonger license – all property held under

• Structural Surveys – evaluate the integrity of the property’s structure.

that license can be sold to a Non-Belonger even though there might be several

Usually run between US $1500-US$2000. Inspections can also be ordered for

different properties or parcels involved.

electrical, plumbing, and roof inspections on a negotiated rate

• Property can be transferred to direct family members with no stamp duty

penalty. However, it is strongly recommended preparing an on island will with

Bank Financing – Scotiabank, Banco Popular, First Bank, CIBC

First Caribbean International, VP Bank, National Bank of the Virgin Islands.

a local BVI lawyer. Offshore wills very often have to be probated through the

Arranging fees vary widely but generally run 0.5%-1% of the loan cost and

courts here before they can be executed which could incur significant costs and

lawyer fees normally 0.5%. Rates vary but run between 5%-6% annual interest

time delays. Please note that if the relative being deeded the property does not

on the loans with construction loans up to 8%. The percentage of the property

yet hold a Non-Belonger license, one must be sought for that individual.

value a bank will cover will depend upon your financials but can range from

• Please note that British citizens are not recognised as Belongers in the BVI

75%-90% of the purchase price, with the norm being around 80% currently

and must file as off-islanders as well.

February 2015


Your Local BVI Real Estate Experts...

We are committed to finding your BVI home. Leave it in our capable hands.

Bonnie Dougall

Principal of Dougall Real Estate BVI mobile: 284-541-3003 Bonnie Dougall is the Principal of Dougall Real Estate BVI. Bonnie has been involved with Real Estate in both Canada and the BVI for over 34 years. Born in Alberta Canada, she attended the University of Alberta obtaining a BSc with Honors in Computing Science. However after meeting her husband Fred Warrilow, an experienced renovator, they began to invest in buying, renovating, renting and selling real estate in the Toronto area of Ontario Canada for over 15 years. Upon a sailing trip to the BVI in 1987, Bonnie & Fred bought their BVI tropical beach house and have been addicted to the BVI ever since. In 2002, Bonnie & Fred moved permanently down to the BVI. She worked for various BVI Realty companies finding both renters and

buyers for a wide variety of homes and land here. However in late 2008, she decided to launch her own Real Estate Company. With her extensive knowledge of buying and selling in the BVI market, Bonnie enjoys the Real Estate business and loves to help clients find the home or land of their dreams either to rent or buy. For clients wishing to sell their Properties, with her experience in home renovation, Bonnie can give Owners a lot of input on how best to market and ‘stage‘ their home to achieve a faster sale for the most money. Just as important, once a Sale or Rental has been negotiated, Bonnie focuses on following through the entire legal pathway to the end, helping clients understand and feel comfortable with process. “We look forward to getting to know you better and be of service. Give us a call”

Tingalayo -West End Mountain Top Home

Hawksnest-3 Acre Hideway Luck Hill, Tortola

Great Value Villa Long Bay Beach, West End, Tortola

Fabulous 6 Bedroom Upscale Villa

Very private 3 Bedroom home with Separate 1 Bedroom Guest House

Modern 3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom home with pool, on large land lot 1.265 acres

Asking price US $3,200,000

Asking Price US $2,250,000

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd. (284)495-3003 18 VI PROPERTY & YACHT

Asking Price US $995,000

Current State of the Real Estate Market in the BVI The BVI real estate market has for many decades been a very stable structure. Over 70% of the land is owned by Belongers/Residents in the BVI and is in most cases simply not offered for sale as these people wish to develop the properties themselves or deed to family members as they do not wish to become disenfranchised in their own lands. This coupled with various restrictions on property purchase with a view to minimising speculation, particularly by off -slanders, has resulted in a slowly appreciating market over decades with no huge appreciations or depreciations in value. With the world downturn since 2008 until recently, the interest by offislanders in acquiring resale properties or developing BVI land has been very minimal due to recessionary pressures. The market remained quite active however with local Belongers and Residents acquiring land and building their own homes. In general, resale homes were sold over this period at a much discounted rate (30%-40% off the listing price in many instances) or were not sold at all, resulting in a substantial build-up of inventories in the current market for homes that have already been built. However, the market for land has remained solid and has held strong demand particularly in Virgin Gorda and to a lesser extent in Tortola. This is also coupled with the fact that the 12% stamp duty that off-islanders must pay to acquire a BVI property only needs to be paid on land that is bought versus on the full value of a resale home, resulting in substantial savings. Also, a custom-built home will be exactly what a buyer wants in terms of space, newness, and finishings, making this a particularly desirable option. Over the last two years, many buyers have come from the US, Britain and Europe in particular looking to acquire a winter vacation home or year round off shore residence. Since many of these buyers have only just started looking in the last year or two, several are indecisive about what island they wish to locate, what area on that island they want to acquire a home in, and if they desire to buy a resale home and remodel or buy land and build. BVI realtors have been very busy showing a lot of property but resultant sales, although much busier than the previous 5-6 years, is still quite small. Nevertheless, this realtor believes that many of these purchasers will end up buying over the next few years so that is welcome news for sellers and the return of a reasonable sales market. Contributed by Bonnie Dougall, Principal of Dougall Real Estate BVI, a local BVI Brokerage firm. The views expressed in this Forum are exclusively from Bonnie Dougall and may not represent the viewpoints of Virgin Islands Property and Yacht.

February 2015


Inspired by the epic writings

of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy world, crewed charter Silmaril was born into our reality. The title of the vessel stems from the famous writer’s fiction – the name of three precious gems sought out by the characters. The most cherished of the three Silmarils was placed in the sea and in this romanticised concept, the BVI charter Silmaril was given life. As an excursion that is unique and charming, the Silmaril experience elevates itself from alternative charters, leaving guests in awe of their vacation. The special persona of the boat is discovered in the hand hewn details of yesteryear with the warmth of teak carpentry while simultaneously retaining contemporary comforts. Crewed by married couple Captain Jason and First Mate/Chef Lindsay Geyser, who’s union is one of diversity—coming from South Africa and Canada respectively—their combined background carries sailing and scuba diving instruction, allowing introduction of Caribbean marine life to their guests. Priding themselves on their 10-year Caribbean charter experience, their skills lie in their intuition toward guests’ inclinations, encouraging a comprehensive honouring of the desires held by their visitors. Collaborating with the staff at internationally famous Peter Island Resort and Spa where Silmaril is docked, positions them centrally in the renowned Sir Francis Drake Channel – this facilitates fluid transition across the British Virgin Islands. In addition, living in the BVI equips the crew with local knowledge that is invaluable and conducive toward their goal of granting perfect hospitality. Silmaril—a 51’ Hans Christian sloop—is a 24-year old classic Norwegian designed sailing yacht, made for blue water and open-ocean sailing. She was commissioned in Taiwan, where the craftsmanship is of select Burmese teak and brass, breathing grace and sophistication in her aesthetics. The beautiful teak cockpit and accents evoke nostalgia, featuring wide berths, a welcoming saloon of classic elegance, a great galley enabling fantastic gourmet meals, an inviting deck top, a bow sprit seat allowing one to energise their senses with refreshing trade winds while floating over the crystal blue waters, and the stern seat for two bestowing an exceptional view.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


Yacht Spotlight:

Words by Stephen L France Photography by Jason and Lindsay Geyser and Rick Hankinson

February 2015


Offering exclusive charters, Silmaril focus their theme on romantic connection.

spacious vanity with marble counter tops and overhead lighting. Wi-Fi for

With vast possibilities for the journey, their most attractive itineraries are tailor-

phones, laptops, and other electronic devices are available for connection to

made tours with options ranging through half day, full day, sunset, or overnight

the globe with the ability to charge devices as well.

sail. Depending on guests’ wishes, they will escort holidaymakers to hot spots

With exquisite cuisine onboard, Caribbean infused dishes—courtesy of

for dancing, bar-hopping and socialising, or secluded locations for private

Lindsay—are extremely popular; the chef specifically caters to any dietary

snorkelling, beach combing, and relaxing, catering to a max of eight guests for

requirements maintaining their overall concept of a tailor-made vacation.

day charter and a couple for overnight charter.

Her enthusiasm lies in incorporating fresh locally grown organic produce

Specialising in honeymoon, anniversary, and couple reconnection

with Caribbean spices and flavours. Overnight guests are served gourmet

sailing excursions, an example of one of their overnight charters would

breakfasts and sumptuous lunches on board, and after a full day of relaxing,

accommodate a couple in a stately forward cabin with a double bed and en

sailing and snorkeling, appetisers and sunset cocktails are served before

suite head. The expansive guest cabin has soft angled lighting and many

escorting their guests ashore for a romantic beach restaurant dinner.

brass portholes and hatches, inviting the evening breeze. The head has a

Silmaril offers many resort inclusive deals including a honeymoon



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

package and an ashore/afloat package permitting couples to share their love of land and sea in their holiday time. A day may involve floating in a clam cove with lounge chairs and pool toys, giving guests the opportunity to slow down, breath deeper, and count the many shades of blue surrounding them, or for the adventurous, a hike to the highest point on the island to see the magnificent panoramic views. There are no limitations and other activities on the dreamy Silmaril include island exploration, shopping, lounging, swimming, sunrise coffee walks, and bird-watching. Like the precious gem in Tolkien’s fiction, Silmaril will present a piece of Facebook: Silmaril Sailing Trip Advisor: Silmaril Sailing Jason: +1 284 342-6248 Lindsay: +1 284 540-2441

Heavenly bliss to guests, allowing them to take a little part of fantasy home with them as memories they will treasure for eternity.

February 2015




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


Words and photography by Megan Schlobohm, Chef – SV Lolalita

ritish Virgin Islands fanatic, Kenney Chesney, wrote the song Magic, describing our beloved Virgin Islands. One of my favourite lines is: “This crazy rock has got a lot. Of romance and sex appeal.” Truer words couldn’t have been spoken – the Virgin Islands are full of romancing and dancing; wining and dining. All throughout the year, we host charter guests honouring a myriad of celebrations, from engagements to weddings, anniversaries to vow renewals, or even just a lifetime of partnership and friendship. But, there’s that one, unique, love-struck holiday that visits us in the middle of February: Valentine’s Day. Cupid sends his arrows soaring throughout the Virgin Islands on this romantic day and gastronomic celebrations accommodate the heart-throb-inspired courtship. For a Valentine’s dinner on board our crewed charter yacht Lolalita, we serve a multi-course dinner, ending with an enchanting, passionate dessert, paired with a delectable digestif cocktail.

Dark Chocolate Habañero Mousse Tart with Salted Caramel

• • • • • • •

1 package (approximately 36 cookies) Oreos, crushed 1 cup butter, divided 2/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, divided 12 oz. dark chocolate ¼ tsp Habañero Chili Powder Cocoa Powder

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed Oreos and ½ cup melted butter until smooth; press into a large tart pan, or 6 small tart pans. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a small pan, melt ½ cup butter and brown sugar together, whisking constantly, about 10 minutes. The sugar should boil and slightly darken in colour. Remove from heat and whisk in ¼ cup heavy cream. Pour half the caramel over the Oreo crust and set aside to cool. In a double boiler, melt together chocolate and 1 cup heavy cream. Add in habanero chili powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, then pour into crust. Let cool in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, up to 3 days. To serve, sprinkle plates with cocoa powder; heat saved caramel, adding in a splash of heavy cream to loosen. Cut tart into even pieces and place on plates. Pour caramel overtop and garnish with a red chili pepper.

February 2015


Cinnamon Ronchata Martini

• • • • • •

½ cup white sugar 1 tbsp. & ½ tsp Ceylon Cinnamon 2 oz. Vanilla Rum 2 oz. Cinnamon Liqueur 3 oz. Half-and-Half Cream 1 tbsp. Simple Syrup

In a small bowl, mix ½ cup white sugar and 1 tbsp. Ceylon Cinnamon. Pour onto a plate; lightly wet the rim of your martini glass and dip in the cinnamon sugar, spinning until well coated. Fill martini shaker with ½ tsp cinnamon, vanilla rum, cinnamon liqueur, half-and-half, and simple syrup. Fill shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain and pour into martini glasses, garnish with a dash of cinnamon.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

LIFE Words and photography courtesy of Charlie Smith – Fusion BVI

February 2015


when passion and career ambitions come together which is what happened when

HOW DOWS FUSION HELP KITEBOARDING BEGINNERS? One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to figure out kiteboarding

a group of us decided to set up

on their own, which generally ends in tears. It’s 100% worth the initial

Fusion BVI.

investment to get yourself going safely. Your progression will be faster with

Fusion is an active lifestyle company based in the British Virgin Islands offering kitesurfing lessons,

professional guidance saving you time and money in the long run. Also, due to the lack of launching space in the North Sound area, Fusion’s

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) hire, tours, events, and Yoga/Pilates classes; an

boat-based launching and teaching utilises the best beaches and teaching

organisation that bestows the unique aspects sought in living the tropical

areas based on the wind angle on any given day. This ensures students make

Caribbean life to an individual’s experience of the BVI. But why would you take

the most of every windy day.

up water-sports if you’ve never tried before? And why is the BVI special for these sunny, outdoor activities? Here are a few enticing answers:


HOW DO I GET TO THE NORTH SOUND FOR LESSONS? The team at Fusion have established the best methods to get their clients to and from the mainland or their charter boats to the kiting

The BVI is one of the most

locations, leaving it to a simple phone call.

beautiful places on the globe with

Once you’re in the North Sound, Saba Rock

a chilled vibe, allowing you to feel

has an awesome kite viewing deck which

completely removed from the

allows partners or family to relax with a

rest of the busy world. The water

Painkiller—an amazing local rum cocktail—

is warm all year round and the

whilst watching their loved

colours are breath-taking.

ones learning to kite right

The beaches aren’t too busy and

in-front of them. With our

are safe for all ages with some of

own teaching boat, Fusion

the best water-sports conditions

can also do pickups from

you can enjoy; this includes, steady

anywhere in the

trade winds to keep the kiteboarders happy,

North Sound.

secluded bays for the paddle boarders to explore,


and incredible views for the Yoga and Pilates classes to get that positive energy flowing.

WHAT DO THE FUSION TEAM BRING TO THE TABLE? The founders of Fusion have lived in the BVI for over a decade and during this time they’ve been lucky enough to have some unbelievable experiences on the water. Whether it’s kitesurfing, paddle boarding, surfing, cliff jumping, wakeboarding, or free diving, they’ve done it. The thinking behind Fusion was to share these novel experiences and get people on the water safely with professional expertise. All of their kiteboarding instructors are internationally certified and teach

The Fusion BVI website has details of the different lesson plans on offer which includes safety cover and ski lift style rides back upwind for those still mastering kiting into the wind. Take

a look at


with the latest 2015 Cabrinha Kiteboarding equipment and IKO/BKSA based

The company name represents a Fusion of three activities which really

teaching methods. I

complement each other and are all eco-friendly. SUP rentals on Virgin Gorda

have had the great luxury of running the water-sports operation on Necker Island and coaching Sir Richard Branson across the English Channel to secure three Guinness World Records in 2012.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

allow residents and visitors to explore the beautiful coastlines of the Baths National Park and other protected coastlines. Exercise from SUP can be quite strenuous and there is no better way to wind down and stretch out your muscles than a Yoga or Pilates class designed to relax the body.

Fusion’s experienced SUP guides and Yoga instructors will make sure that you get the most out of every session whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned pro.

HOW DOES THE BOARD RENTAL SERVICE WORK? Fusion will deliver and collect the boards from most villas on VG, offer instruction, and let clients know about the secret fun spots to explore. Rental

Satellite Television

rates are daily, three-day, or weekly.


Call for satellite internet services via VSAT, Inmarsat, Iridium, Globalstar & 4G.

Fusion wants to promote fun, healthy, active outdoor living while reinforcing the importance of keeping our waters and beaches clean. Last year’s beach clean-up on Prickly Pear was a huge success and the Fusion team are hoping to have even more people join in for the next one scheduled for mid-March 2015 – check the website for more details The entire Fusion team get involved and encourage not only BVI residents, but visitors to join in and make a positive change to the BVI coastlines.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS t +1 284 494 2400 f +1 284 494 5389

February 2015


Re a d e r s ’ C h o i ce F o cu s Words by Stephen L France Photography courtesy of Brandywine Estate Restaurant



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Best BVI Restaurant – this is arguably one of the toughest classes of the 32 categories in the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards due to the vast number of options across the islands. Regardless, there has to be a winner and in October 2014, Brandywine Estate Restaurant emerged victorious in what was the fourth annual VIPY reader vote (see more – the Lifestyle Tab – Readers’ Choice Focus). Regis and Claudine Bourdon—Head Chef and Manager—were ecstatic about the award and grateful to all who have supported their efforts over the years. Having dined at the establishment and following, interviewed Claudine, I found that Brandywine presents a service paralleling the management’s hospitable style at its distinctive venue, allowing one to enjoy the view of the famous Sir Francis Drake Channel – a scenic spot that is challenging to find anywhere else in the BVI. “This is what perhaps sets our restaurant apart,” Claudine said, explaining the various aspects that form their successful model. “It’s not just in the cooking but the whole restaurant. We believe our staff and style is not pretentious. It’s family style and full of fun, smiles and love,” she continued. With a drive for constant improvement in their service and consistent attention to detail, Claudine recalls their initiation in running the restaurant. “We were pleased that when we opened in 2012, we were quickly accepted into the BVI community…we were busy from the start,” said the

February 2015


manager. “We wanted to make certain that we maintained and improved upon that. We have worked hard to keep our menu fresh and interesting while making sure that the classics are still available.” In enriching the interior design of the restaurant, maintaining impeccable customer service, and their personal goal to source the best quality ingredients for their cuisine and wine selection, Claudine and Regis have witnessed exponential growth of their guests. Delving into their background, Claudine explained that Regis spent many years working as a private chef in luxurious homes and on board luxury mega yachts. “Catering to the demands of the affluent community and high standards gave Regis a foundation of knowledge in almost all culinary styles,” said the restauranteur. “However, in running Brandywine, he chose to return to his roots of pure Mediterranean cuisine. His style is not gastronomic and we won’t win a Michelin star…his food is Bistro Style. It’s tasty, well-presented, and not pretentious. For Regis, his food is home cooking—Regis’ mother and grandfather were both excellent chefs. We like to call it Bistronomic.” Claudine worked as an estate manager and chief stewardess on mega yachts, bringing her background in high end service to the partnership as well. “I enjoy nothing more than greeting customers at the door with a smile and a hug,” she said in light of her current role that was made possible by her varied skills. Reviewing her win of the RC award, she acknowledges that competition is fierce in the BVI: “There are many excellent dining



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

establishments across our various islands and we welcome the diversity, the competition, and the fact that these other restaurants, along with ourselves, keep bringing our tourists back to the BVI at the same time as keeping the BVI residents fed and happy.” In the future, Brandywine would like to cater for more destination weddings—a portion of tourism that is huge in the BVI due to its unspoiled scenery. Progressing forward, Claudine sees a bright future and anticipates healthy competition in the Readers’ Choice this year.

Brandywine Estate Restaurant Tortola, British Virgin Islands + 1 284 495 2301 + 1 284 541 4586 Facebook Page: Brandywine Estate Restaurant

February 2015



Plastic bag ban Green VI and Worldhouse Caribbean partnered with eight major supermarkets to implement a one-year voluntary ban of plastic bags in March 2013. An education and awareness campaign was applied with the screening of the Bag it documentary for all Tortola students.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - Green VI partners with, and assists, the Department of Waste Management, local recyclers and the USVI Recycling Partnership to promote better waste management practices. Words and photography by Charlotte McDevitt, Executive Director – Green VI

Green VI sits on the working group to implement the progressive Solid Waste Management Strategy for the BVI. Green VI’s main goal is to help people utilise and re-envision ‘waste as a resource’ not a problem.

If you think BVI’s Green VI is just a glass studio – think again. Green VI is a local ‘not-for-profit’ organisation aiming to create a cleaner, greener and healthier BVI. Currently running projects that tackle waste, education covering a ‘greener’ Virgin Islands, and energy consumption, here are 10 great accomplishments that Green VI is proud to showcase.

Sustainability training - Green VI facilitated sustainability training of 35 key BVI representatives from government, local businesses, and NPOs. A vision and roadmap of how to achieve sustainability in the BVI

Glass Studio - located in Cane Garden Bay, Green VI’s Glass Studio demonstrates how ‘trash can become treasure’ as they transform old bottles into art, scrap materials into packaging, and used vegetable oil into fuel.

was created and is available online. A sustainability network was formed which meets quarterly – if you are interested in joining, email

Outreach - Green VI’s on-going outreach includes trash to treasure art demonstrations, presentations, field trips, and mentoring to raise awareness about sustainability in the BVI. Green VI mentor students to help them implement sustainability projects within their organisations.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

‘Greening’ Ivan Dawson Primary - Green VI’s 2014 Earth

Biofuel conversion -

Day event involved 100 volunteers working in partnership with students,

The Green VI Glass Studio is

teachers, and parents of Ivan Dawson Primary School. Sustainability

now demonstrating how to

activities included: de-moulding the school, repainting the interior with an

utilise used vegetable oil as

eco-friendly mould inhibiting paint, installing LED lights and five energy

an alternative fuel source by

efficient fans, creating a playground with used tyres and old pallets.

running their reheat chamber

Watch how they did it at

on this ‘waste’ stream.

LED retrofits - Green VI facilitated the retrofit of Ivan Dawson Primary with LED lights. Funding has been secured to retrofit the Youth Environment Project in 2015. The use of LED lights consumes over 40% less energy than standard light bulbs, can last up to 25 years, and contains no toxic mercury.

‘Greening’ events - Green VI assists in ‘greening’ events such as the National Parks Trust Flower Show, the BVI Spring Regatta, the BVI Boat Show, and others. Find out how to green your event by visiting

To support Green VI’s work, join for a day of family and Photo by AES

corporate fun at their annual CHAIR-ity fundraiser on the February 7, 2015 at

Online petition/ Handing over draft legislation -

Nanny Cay from noon until 6pm. As with past years, the ‘CHAIR-ity’ will auction-off chairs made from recycled materials to raise funds for Green VI. The new format will also include an ecofestival with vendor booths, plant sales, and a beach barbeque.

Have you ever wondered why there aren’t solar panels decorating every roof in the BVI? It’s because there is a law from the 1970’s restricting renewable energy sources. To help remedy this, Green VI created an on-line petition to call for amended legislation permitting the use of renewable energy in the BVI. Harneys—a law firm in the Territory—worked pro bono and drafted subsidiary regulations that Green VI handed over to government. Subsequently, the government of the BVI have been working diligently to change the status quo with the dream of clean, renewable energy as a reality in the BVI.

February 2015


LI F E Interview by Stephen L France Photography by SkyVision VI



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Being listed in Conde Nast Traveller UK’s 2014 Best ‘

of the Caribbean is certainly a prestigious award to achieve for ‘places to eat.’ With this publication’s high reputation, any awardee is obliged to maintain a level of eminence, which explains why BVI’s The Dove Restaurant—who won this grand accomplishment—continues to evolve. Following another recent achievement in Caribbean Journal’s ‘Top 50 Restaurants in the Caribbean’ (third year running), and another ‘Award of Excellence’ from Wine Spectator, The Dove’s latest update is the introduction of their new chef, and an innovative menu for 2015 that will most certainly entice residents and visitors alike.

Who is The Dove’s new chef and what is his background? His name is Joshua Campbell and he is native of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He graduated from the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was chef de cuisine for 11 Maple Street, a top restaurant rated by Zagat. He then accepted a position as executive chef at the Dunmore Beach Club on Harbour Island, Bahamas, an Andrew Harper ‘Hideaway Report’ Best Boutique Hotel. During an educational trip to Thailand, he obtained an advanced professional cooking degree from the Royal Thai Culinary Academy in Bangsaen. He accepted the position of director of cuisine for the esteemed five-star restaurant, Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas. He was honoured to serve not only celebrities, but royalty, alike. From there, he moved back home to Cincinnati and opened his own restaurant, Mayberry, which served his own brand of grassroots American cuisine for five years.

His emphasis since moving to the Dove this season has been to source as much local ingredients as possible, bringing out the natural, beautiful flavour of the island using global techniques. Chef Joshua also brought his Sous Chef Cameron Serrins with him from Cincinnati.

Has the new chef accomplished any notable awards? Cincinnati Awards; Best Burger Cincinnati Magazine Best Salad Cincinnati Magazine Best Guilty Pleasure Cincinnati Magazine Best Of Citybeat Magazine

What can we look forward to on the new lunch menu? Focus on fresh local ingredients. It’s a little less formal than our dinner menu; good selection of salads and sandwiches available quickly. The Anegada Lobster Roll and Fried Chicken Bahn Mi sandwiches have been hugely successful as well as our signature Burger.

What can we expect with the new dinner menu? We have a very strong kitchen team that combines a wealth of local and international knowledge. This year in particular, we’ve worked really hard to partner with as many local farmers and fishermen as possible. We want to showcase local flavours as well as ingredients on our menu. The goal is to be honest to our location and provide the diner with the best quality food that we can source – the fresher the food the better the dish.

February 2015


We are of course still making everything that we serve from scratch and using the skill set of our kitchen to elevate the ingredients to the highest standard.

What will the new dining space provide for new and regular patrons of The Dove? The new dining space allows us to cater to private parties a lot better. The new air-conditioned space offers 24 seats with a small bar and adjacent

patio that can seat another 16. The dining room has the same elegant feel that the main dining room has while also offering an ocean view. Larger groups—office parties, boat crews, birthdays—have loved having their own room and we can easily adapt it to whatever needs are presented. We’ve cleared all the tables out after dinner to provide a dance floor; we’ve even had legal teams in with big court cases that have turned the space into a lunch/meeting room with printers and presentation space. Concluding, it’s obvious that The Dove’s continued success will gain further momentum as they are tending to the strong demand of the present that calls for local ingredients for a more traditional, authentic BVI experience. Reviewing the new menu, there are many dishes that are sure to serve a wide range of tastes.

Sample Items from the New Dinner Menu! Grilled Jerk Yellow Fin Tuna With plantain sweet potato cake, bok choy, sweet & sour eggplant

Local Strawberry Grouper With saffron couscous, nicoise olives, green beans, bagna cauda

Curry BVI Pork With black sesame steamed buns, pineapple cucumber kimch

Wagyu Kobe Beef With Roasted Bone Marrow, Bread Fruit Galette, Truffle Butter Asparagus and Papaya Mustard

The Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar +1 284-494-0313 Facebook: dovebvi

Ziggy Farms (Tortola) Duck Breast With Persimmon, Peter Island Honey and Heirloom Carrot Salad

Lobster Tagliatelle With Anegada lobster, English peas, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lobster cream



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Chef Joshua Campbell and Sous Chef Cameron Serrins with crew Tony Huggins, Martha Tiffany and Iris Onea

February 2015


R e a d e r g i v e a w ay




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Photography by SkyVision VI

3 nights for 4 people in a 2-bedroom cottage at the exclusive Frenchmans Resort. Valued at over $2500!!

Frenchmans is a small resort located on the eastern tip of Frenchman’s Cay just off Tortola. With just nine cottages set over twelve acres, Frenchmans is its own spacious paradise. We offer a small beach with luxurious cabanas, a regulation tennis court, lush gardens, ocean side pool, excellent snorkelling, kayaking, and the Clubhouse Restaurant. Our cottages are appointed with full kitchens, ample living rooms and large balconies to take in the ocean breeze and spectacular views. Renowned for our attention to great service, Frenchmans is the perfect escape.

For more about Frenchmans Cay Resort: +1 284 494 8811

To enter the draw and/or see Terms and Conditions, visit Prize draw closes on March 31 2015

February 2015


Note card sets or boxed notelets to help you deliver those anonymous declarations of love

... For him (or her) West Indian Lime collection by Crabtree and Evelyn. A wonderfully refreshing citrus scent to enliven the body and senses

By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell, House Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Small silk floral offerings that will never wilt! An appealing token of your affection that she will be able to keep

After a romantic walk on the beach, deliver some Valentine’s chocolates with a keepsake of an oversized flip flop tray

For the perfect Sunday Valentine’s breakfast, pancakes and pure maple syrup - liquid gold...

Finish that romantic dinner with an intoxicating taste of deliciousness. Stonewall Kitchen’s easy mixes show off your culinary skills For writing down all those important numbers or making notes on last night’s date! Kate Spade small leather books

This romantic line of nostalgic scents - the perfect gift for that special someone

Located on Wickhams Cay 2, Tortola, British Virgin Islands (284) 494 1920 I



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February 2015


Readers’ Choice Focus Words by Stephen L France. Photography by Sandor Gregorin and Jenn Hart

There are several things in this world that are unlikely to receive a negative response when offered – things loved across the world that can provoke obsession if not careful… 44


Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Two of these ‘items’ are

the satisfaction of a delicious pizza and the liberation that emerges from a good tropical party session. In the BVI, there are many rising options for the cheesy Italian delight

that has dominated the world. Similarly, the choices allowing enjoyment of BVI nightlife are multiplying; however, Paradise Club Sports Bar and Grille have streamlined their direction to be the ‘go-to’ location for the particular two indulgences of a tasty pizza and good social events. Located in Cane Garden Bay in Tortola—the strip for many renowned bars like Myett’s or Quito’s—new management at Paradise from May 2014, oversaw that the up and coming establishment snagged third place in the VIPY 2014 October Readers’ Choice vote for Best BVI Full Moon Party. With other options like, Bomba Shack and Trellis Bay in Tortola, Cocomaya in Virgin Gorda, and Foxy’s in Jost Van Dyke to name a few, special congratulations are in order for Paradise, who had recently revamped. With a welcoming environment for eaters, drinkers, and sports’ fans, a collection of fun beach games—beer pong, hula hoops, giant Jenga, Corn Hole—and a showcasing of the big sports’ games on their flat screen TVs and large projector screen, neighbouring revellers will find a second home at the seaside bar. Pizza is the cuisine they’re striving to make their forte. It is fresh and continually evolving with the unique element of homemade pizza dough and a large selection of fresh ingredients. Their homemade lasagne has also become a customer favourite. Incredible sunsets, an enticing cocktail menu, great beer selection, and nightly events with renowned local performers Oren Hodge, Al Broderick, Hot Sauce, and DJ Got Milk, make Paradise the one-stop establishment for social interaction and general amusement. The refurbished bar threw many impressive parties in 2014, proving their soaring popularity. Numerous BVI residents of both the young and mature generation would have attended the Vampires Vs Zombies party for Halloween that showcased entertainment from Hot Sauce, Thriller Flash Mob, and DJ Got Milk. Also, the Hawaiian Luau Full Moon Party that followed, had a Hula Hoop competition and performances from DJ Got Milk, Al Broderick, and the Luau Dancers. Not to forget their Carnival Full Moon Party with Hot Sauce and DJ Negril, Diandra’s Dancers, and DJ Got Milk. To close 2014, there was the addition of their Island of Misfit Toys Xmas Party with entertainment provided by Al Broderick, DJ Got Milk, and ‘Santa Baby’ dancers. The head count for these events averaged 300 - 350 guests and is constantly expanding with each party –the pleasant luxury of a spacious setting found in their indoor/ outdoor beach area, provides an airy feel to any function. Viewing the event line-up for 2015, it is very obvious that Paradise Club will continue to succeed and rise as a strong contender for the categories of the 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards.

February 2015


Upcoming Parties!

Feb 3 - Neon & Glow Paint Full Moon Party Feb 14 - First Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party Feb 20 - Harry Potter Theme Party Mar 5, April 4 - Full Moons every month with fresh themes (Fancy Dress etc.) May 4 - Cinco de Mayo Full Moon Party

Paradise Club Sports Bar and Grille Cane Garden Bay +1 284 340 4049 Facebook: Paradise Club Sports Bar & Grille

For Pools...

It’s crystal clear who offers the best selec�on of pool maintenance products! At CaribSupply you’ll find chlorine, pumps, filters, ligh�ng and more for residen�al and commercial pools.

Purcell Estate, Road Town, Tortola. Tel: 494-2885.



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LI F E Words by Stephen L France Photography by Antilles Helicopters, Mandi Frett, SkyVision VI and aLookingGlass

How can BVI tourism improve on islands that already provide everything needed for a perfect vacation?

Introducing the BVI Tour Center – an operation based in Tortola, catering to a wide variety of visitors seeking a tailor-made experience of the tours offered in the BVI. Speaking to one of the staff members from the Tour Center—Samantha Bowen—she explained that the company’s vocation is to provide “a memorable vacation of the BVI that is true to its own specific culture.” To execute this concept alongside their mainstream tourist services, the BVI Tour Center is collaborating with most local businesses that provide an experience that exceeds their guest’s expectations, leaving an extraordinary impression. “We are a conduit for local vendors to get seen and get business through our website and resources. We want to ensure that everyone who works with us increases their own volume and profit,” said the Tour Center representative. “We mainly specialise in day tours with the potential to constantly branch out for the new, latest, and classic experiences which are constantly being discovered around the world and can be brought to the BVI,” Samantha continued. “Our trips are designed to combine the upmost safety with adventure, culture, comfort, and experiences which not only will be talked about, but read and repeatedly taken by guests for years to come.”

February 2015


With their vast experience in the BVI’s many services, they anticipate providing very particular ingredients to fulfil visitor demands. “We intend to be creative in the concepts of travel and tours within the BVI…” said Samantha in reference to the tourist packages that are being developed. “…to be leaders and innovators positioning ourselves within the best tourism companies and to be recognised by our professionalism and high quality products.” With BVI tourism situated as a significant sector in the Territory’s economy, the BVI Tour Center intends to function as a powerful appendage to both the community and the tourist market. “We are focused to ensure all walks of life benefit from our input into the community,” Samantha explained. “Demand will open up more jobs and with more exposure, we believe the local community will benefit from the influx of guests looking for something unique and valuable to purchase or



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

February 2015


experience here in the BVI…with a wide variety of activities to offer, we look to target not only seafaring visitors but also those by air, accommodating all types of guest - business, vacationer and traveller.” Ranging through water based activities for all ages to land based tours exploring the pristine parts of the BVI, to seeing the island from the skies via air charters, the BVI Tour Center aims to deliver a personalised venture for guests: “Anyone can be on a beach in the world, so we intend to ensure we make it unique and different to any other experience,” said Samantha. “With tour creations being repeated in continents on a regular basis, we want to keep up with the market and the constant changing demands of the vacationer, but ensure we stay true to the BVI.” With the company’s ethos comes vigilance over the environment; they propose striving for protection of both sea and land in light of the large crowds of tourists enjoying their service. Escape for a Day on Your Own Private Yacht

Concluding, Samantha said, “we plan to build constantly on what we have, ensuring that the BVI continues to be a destination for both new and repeat travellers and vacationers. As much as we want to meet any demand, we also want to ensure that we do not saturate the resources and keep originality as much as possible. “

BVI Tour Center +1 284 541 7494 Facebook: BVI Tour Center Twitter @bvitourcenter

Discover the British Virgin Islands from the deck of a private yacht on a Day Sail with The Moorings. You can island hop with a professional skipper or even indulge in a full crew. Find the freedom to swim, snorkel or simply soak in the sun while surrounded by crystalline waters.

Call (284) 393.2417 visit or email

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on the water


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February 2015


BV I Newbie—the ultimate guide book

for visiting and living in the British Virgin Islands—held its annual celebration of newcomers and residents, commemorating the release of the 2014 publication and continuation of the Newbie brand. Rebel Yell, the great party yacht of the BVI, escorted a group of newcomers, long-standing residents, and tourists around the BVI’s most entertaining attractions, renowned for great excursions – namely popular beach bar and restaurant Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke, and the famous Willy-T boat by Norman Island. Get a taste of the excitement here and make sure to get involved this year…

! e r e h u o y e e S



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Photography by aLookingGlass and SkyVisions VI For more images and a fantastic video, get online –

scan here for

Timeless Serenity

The BVI’s Signature Estate Is For Sale Guide Price $25m

approx. 8 1/2 acres

A landmark BVI property located on the very western tip of Tortola and the entrance to Soper’s Hole, the Estate consists not only of the iconic Steele Point Villa but also three additonal villas - Blackbeard’s Hideaway, Gestalt and The Tree House, each with its own private pool - two docks and a helipad. In short, Steele Point Estate provides all the breath taking beauty, complete privacy and exclusivity of a private island with a little more convenience. For more information visit... w w w. s t e e l e p o i n t e s t a t e b v i . c o m

Chris Smith Managing Broker c. (284) 340 3000 o. (284) 495 3000

w w w. c o l d w e l l b a n k e r b v i . c o m



ISLAND SPICE $1,600,000 Practically perfect in every way! 2 bed main/1 bed guest, pool . Walk to stunning beach

F L A M B OYA N T $795,000 Immaculately maintained 2 bedroom family home on ever popular Havers Hill.

quality finishes throughout.

Spectacular 5 bed home overlooking Brewers Bay. Highest


A delightful 2 bed cottage right on the beach at Handsome Bay. Calling out to be expanded!



Walk to the beach from this fabulous 4 bed home with pool. Simply stunning views of North Sound!





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Not a blade of grass out of place in this pristine, spacious 3 bedroom villa with pool, perched on the ridgetop above Smuggler’s Cove beach.



Visit our offices at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, or Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

PA R K V I E W $600,000 Affordable 3 bed with pool at Romney Park. Easy living with generator, shutters etc

tel. (284) 495 3000

THE RICE HOUSE $595,000 Delightful island cottage on Spyglass Hill. 3 beds, pool, great neighbourhood.


Waterfront 1.5 acres 3 bed


Waterfront 0.79 acres 3 bed


Adjacent to The Baths National Park. 4 bedrooms, pool. great luxury vacation rental villa.



O N E O F T H E B V I ’ S M O S T P O P U L A R R E N TA L V I L L A S



4 bed main home, 2 bed guest 1.5 acres beachfront, newly 1 3/4 acres 3 bedrooms. Walk to home. Glorious views. Short renovated, 4 bed, pool, best Spring Bay Beach. Beautiful stroll from fantastic beach sunset views in the entire BVI! stonework, boulders and views.

S AT O R I V I L L A S M A H O E B AY $2,900,000


“We understand the true value of a home in the islands”

2010 Winner, “Best Vacation Experience.” –Fodor’s Gold Choice Award

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

US$8 Million This spectacular beachfront villa boasts four beautifully decorated air-conditioned suites, each furnished with custom-made teak furniture. Outside amenities include an ocean-front infinity pool and lit tennis court, bound within lush tropical gardens. Inside, take advantage of a European-style kitchen, private movie theater, daily maid service and state-of-the-art gym. An in-villa cook is available upon request.

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

T 1(284) 494 2446 F 1(284) 494 2141 E

Seashell Beach Villa

Distinctly Refined. Exceptionally Rare. Consciously Preserved. On the secluded eastern tip of Virgin Gorda lies a place where life is spent in perfect harmony with the ocean tides. Here, spread across 300 pristine acres, Oil Nut Bay offers freehold home ownership opportunities and unparalleled resort experiences in a setting where attention to detail and casual elegance abound.

Contact us to schedule a personalized visit or to arrange resort reservations.



Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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1 284 393 1000


1 800 761 0377