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VIRGIN ISLANDS

PROPERTY&YACHT

, e n i D , k c Do iscover D

NOVEMBER 2019

T H E L I F E S T Y L E G U I D E TO PA R A D I S E

Oil Nut Bay’s gorgeous new Marina Village

TRAVEL

FOODSCAPING

BOATING

LAID-BACK ST. CROIX

NEW AND BEAUTIFUL WAYS TO GARDEN

THE PERFECT BVI DAY TRIP


You don’t need a lot of experts. Just the right ones. The more complex banking gets, the more clients appreciate our clear, direct style. We make sure that everything goes quickly and smoothly for you. Thanks to our fast response times and direct contacts with key decision-makers. Ensuring that communication channels are rapid and reliable. That, too, is what we call performance.

VP Bank (BVI) Ltd · VP Bank House · 156 Main Street · PO Box 2341 Road Town · Tortola VG1110 · British Virgin Islands T +1 284 494 11 00 · F +1 284 494 11 44 · info.bvi@vpbank.com VP Bank Group is based in Liechtenstein and has offices in Vaduz, Zurich, Luxembourg, Tortola/BVI, Singapore, Hong Kong and Moscow.


JASMINE VILLA Long Bay US$2,500,000

PONDA VISTA Belmont US$1,895,000

BELOVED VILLA Virgin Gorda US$2,250,000

FAR PAVILION Long Bay US$975,000

The Art of Living Living in the British Virgin Islands means having an intimate relationship with the ocean and our tropical climate; they permeate our daily activities. Beach day or forest hike? North shore surfing or South shore marina? Tortola or Virgin Gorda? The choices are many and varied. Choosing to eat out could take you to one of numerous restaurants on several different islands with countless beaches and hidden coves, all an easy boat ride away ‐ power boat or sailing yacht ‐ you choose!

INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS, LOCAL INSIGHTS BVISIR.COM

Each office is independently owned and operated

TORTOLA OFFICE +1 284 340 5555 (Maritha Keil)
 PO Box 188, Road Town
 +1 284 494 5700

maritha@bvisir.com


EDITOR’S NOTE

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. Sign up to our monthly e-newsletter at bvipropertyyacht.com Like us on Facebook Facebook.com/ virginislandspropertyyacht Follow us on Twitter Twitter.com/vipropertyyacht Read our publications on issuu issuu.com/alookingglass/docs

CON TACT US Advertising Enquiries sandro@alookingglass.com General Enquiries vipy@alookingglass.com Editorial Submissions erin@alookingglass.com

on the cover

Nova at Oil Nut Bay is the perfect place to gather to enjoy a beautiful day on Virgin Gorda

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TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF what we know can expand our worldview like no other activity. As a desirable tourist destination, the British Virgin Islands creates memorable experiences for visitors year after year. Oil Nut Bay in Virgin Gorda has long been a paradise for those wanting to experience true luxury in the BVI. But since the opening of the new Marina Village, guests and owners have even more to enjoy. Our cover feature explores the marina village and what guests can expect when they dock, dine and discover Oil Nut Bay. No matter where in the world you live, navigating the process of buying property can be exhausting. In a very informative Villas & Views piece from the Smiths Gore team, they explain property valuations in depth for better understanding for anyone involved. If you’ve invested in a rental property, our interiors piece dives into how decor and design can make a big difference in guest experience - and maybe even increase reservation numbers. While you’re thinking about renovating the interior of a property, your mind may begin to wander outside as well. In an insightful interview with Brie Arthur, author of The Foodscape Revolution, we learn how incorporating edible plants into ornamental gardens can provide produce, beautifully. As the tourist season begins to ramp up again, a day on the water may be just what the doctor ordered. Patrick Conway of Celtic Charters outlines the perfect BVI day trip that will delight guests of any age. Or, head to St. Croix in a travel piece all about the laid-back vibe and beautiful sights of another amazing Virgin Island. Whether you’re visiting these beautiful islands or are lucky enough to call them home, I’m honoured you’ve chosen to spend a moment with our magazine. Enjoy the issue,

Sara

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OUR TEAM / CREDITS

contributors

Conor King Devitt

Conor King Devitt is a freelance journalist currently based in Seattle, WA. From 2016-2018, he worked as a reporter and assistant editor for the BVI Beacon newspaper, covering politics, financial services, and the territory’s hurricane recovery efforts.

Smiths Gore BVI Limited Smiths Gore BVI Limited is a firm of real estate consultants that has been established in the British Virgin Islands since 1965. The firm undertakes valuations throughout the British Virgin Islands and Caribbean region and they have given a comprehensive overview of what is needed and when.

aLookingGlass Team

FOUNDING PUBLISHER Colin Rathbun EDITOR Sara Sherman

Erin Paviour-Smith Chief Executive Officer

Erin was Sales Director at aLookingGlass for the last 5-years. She liked the job so much that she purchased the Company in mid-2019. She has real passion for VIPY and helping clients achieve their marketing goals. Originally from New Zealand, Erin has made the BVI her permanent home and recently became Mum to twin boys Indo and Finn.

Sandro Dos Santos Sales Manager

Sandro has over 16 years’ business development and customer service experience in Portugal and New Zealand. He is fluent in Portuguese and English with conversational Spanish. Sandro also loves to surf in his spare time.

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sara.m.sherman@gmail.com

DESIGNER Sally Fullam

sallyfullam@gmail.com

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Sandro Dos Santos sandro@alookingglass.com

OFFICE MANAGER & DISTRIBUTION Francoise Frank francoise@alookingglass.com

VIRGIN ISLANDS PROPERTY & YACHT is published eleven times per year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December/January). © 2019 alookingGlass Limited. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangements 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. 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. PLEASE DIRECT ALL ENQUIRIES TO: EMAIL: info@alookingglass.com PHONE: 284 344 2172

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BRING GREAT DESIGN HOME

To discuss your Project, contact Roy Keegan: Office: 284 494 5240 Cell: 284 541 7483 roy@arawakvi.com Arawak Interiors, Road Reef Plaza #9, Road Town

Arawak Interiors offers home interior design advice, custom designs and sourcing from Asia, Mexico and USA. We also offer an extensive range of furniture, fixtures and fittings to choose from at our interior store and warehouse located in Road Town. Arawak Interiors manages all the shipping and logistics to deliver to your door anywhere in the BVI. Overseeing projects for Private villas, Private Islands, Resorts & Restaurants.


contents NOVEMBER 2019

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A look at Oil Nut Bay’s beautiful new Marina Village

Timely information on property valuations from Smiths Gore BVI Limited

How to incorporate “foodscaping” into your yard

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Tips for creating an inviting and reservation-worthy vacation rental

Plan an unforgettable day with Celtic Boats

A closer look at the laid-back vibe of St. Croix

DOCK, DINE, DISCOVER

DESIGN ON HOLIDAY

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VILLAS & VIEWS

THE PERFECT BVI DAY TRIP

SECRET GARDEN

TRAVEL

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Casey Bay Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda Fully Restored Post Irma

Once in a while...very, very occasionally...we are asked to list a home for sale in the British Virgin Islands and everything about it is just about perfect. The proximity to a beautiful, very private sandy beach, breath taking views, breeze, design, layout, materials, quality of execution and finish, accommodation layout and furnishings and, of course, price. Casey Bay, perched just above the most private of beaches within the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Estate on Virgin Gorda, is such a home. The design takes into account the Rockafeller ethos of giving guests a beautiful place in balance with nature. The owners of Casey Bay, with the assistance of Berglund Architects certainly achieved this. And all with full access to the beach, restaurants and all other facilities at Little Dix Bay.

X

Asking Price $8m $6m

tel. 1 (284) 340 3000 www.coldwellbankerbvi.com


E XC L U S I V E C OV E R F E AT U R E / M A R I N A V I L L AG E

With signature over-the-water daybeds and hammocks, an afternoon spent at the Marina Village is island bliss.

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE Oil Nut Bay’s Marina Village is an exciting new way to experience the BVI BY SARA SHERMAN P H O T O G R A P H Y C O U R T E S Y O F O I L N U T B AY

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E XC L U S I V E C OV E R F E AT U R E / M A R I N A V I L L AG E

NO MATTER HOW you arrive on Virgin Gorda, chances are you’ll find yourself thinking you never want to leave. That sentiment will be even more true once you’ve experienced all the delights of the Marina Village at beautiful Oil Nut Bay. Starting the morning has never been easier at the Coffee Shop. Even those chronically allergic to mornings will enjoy a wonderful brew from Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters or a made-to-order espresso beverage. The shop’s full menu has something for everyone to enjoy, and guests will find cakes, cookies, tarts and more to peruse and taste. Whether an exotic tea blend is your cup of choice or a high-voltage espresso with extra foam is what gets you going, taking a stroll on the docks with a coffee shop treat is the best way to begin the day. You may even find yourself getting there early to be sure to snag one of the freshly-baked pastries; they don’t last long. After a lovely start to the day, you may wander into a cosy nook of the relaxed library. Fully stocked with an amazing collection of ocean-themed tomes and other books to browse,

As part of Oil Nut Bay’s commitment to reading and the local community, a library has been donated to the Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School in the North Sound.

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E XC L U S I V E C OV E R F E AT U R E / M A R I N A V I L L AG E

LEFT Small plates at Nova are perfect for sharing at any time of day.

ABOVE Snag a freshly baked pastry first

thing in the morning, or enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up espresso at the Coffee Shop. RIGHT Pull your boat up to the Marina Village and explore a world of relaxing activities.

you may find that time slips through your fingers rather easily here. Guests can learn more about the stunning Caribbean region as well as the history and culture of the British Virgin Islands, or find a current novel perfect for beach reading. After a day in the sun, the cool library could be just the ticket for a quiet afternoon to refresh mind and body. Or if the sun still calls, don’t hesitate to check out a book and enjoy the gentle breeze on the overthe-water daybeds just outside. Shopaholics, rejoice! The beautiful upscale boutique at the Marina Village has plenty of treats to delight guests of all styles and tastes. Chic resort wear for men, women and children from international and Caribbean designers exclusively

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E XC L U S I V E C OV E R F E AT U R E / M A R I N A V I L L AG E

curated for Oil Nut Bay will have anyone and everyone looking stylish for any activity. New items for this resort season that guests are talking about include Nimo With Love resort wear and beach dresses from Pitusa. In addition to clothing, guests can find a variety of sundries including bags, gifts and sun and skincare products. Looking for the best-kept secret of the Marina Village boutique? Don’t miss out on the delicious truffles and stunning, locally-made Ana Gada jewellery. “Our goal at Oil Nut Bay is to blow away our customers with new experiences and the finest quality anywhere in the Caribbean. We have a magical team of professionals to deliver unique experiences,” said David V. Johnson, Chairman of Oil Nut Bay.

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A visit to Oil Nut Bay’s Marina Village isn’t complete without a bite at the new Nova restaurant. Guests are excited about the expansive menu and enjoy opportunities to lounge and relax in a truly unique space. Focused on global flavours and small plates to share amongst friends, Nova draws on techniques and tastes from around the world and will delight and surprise diners. The popular Copper Pot Cauliflower dish features a burnt butter-roasted whole head of cauliflower on a bed of Skordalia Sauce with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, finished with microgreens and more. Nova utilises the highest quality ingredients that are procured or grown locally whenever possible. The setting is as amazing as the food. Built out over the water, Nova provides a

ABOVE The boutique

features international and Caribbean designed clothing, crafts and accessories.

multitude of relaxing places to sip a cocktail or enjoy a flatbread, seafood or another delicious dish for lunch or dinner. The resort bar won’t disappoint either, with thoughtful and inspired cocktails, as well as island favourites ready to be enjoyed in the signature overwater hammocks. The Marina Village at Oil Nut Bay is an escape within an escape. Spend the day relaxing and enjoy a wonderful meal, or simply sip a fantastic coffee beverage while enjoying some retail therapy. The Oil Nut Bay experience is simply about enjoying the moment. ■

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Lifestyle Protection

Ocean Modern by

Beachside Lighting

Solid Brass Contemporary Pathlighting

From happy beginnings to happy ever after, we intended to make our mark. And we did. Colonial Insurance has been providing the best insurance cover at the best possible price in the British Virgin Islands since 2005. Our intention was to make our mark as member of our local business community, offering the support and resources of Colonial Group International (CGI). CGI companies manage $430 million in premium income and pension contributions and have settled over $400 million in hurricane related claims since 2000. Colonial Insurance (BVI) Limited is rated A- excellent by A.M. Best. That’s an internationally recognised rating for financial strength. For you, it means more cover and security for your lifestyle. For us, it means we’ve made our mark. Call 494-8450/495-6403 or visit cgigroup.com

COLONIAL INSURANCE (BVI) LIMITED Palm Grove House, P.O. Box 2377, Road Town,Tortola VG1110 Tel. 494-8450 Valley,Virgin Gorda,VG1150 Tel: 495-6403

www.cgigroup.com

A member of Colonial Group International Ltd. insurance, health, pensions, life

Kailua, Hawaii BeachsideLighting.com Rosie Nichols, USVI & BVI Rep. (340) 642-8981 Local installations include:

Colonial Insurance (BVI) Limited is rated A-(Excellent) by AM Best.

Cooper Island, Peter Island, Saba Rock, Oil Nut Bay, and residences on St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.


L A N D / D E S I G N O N H O L I D AY

n o n g i s e D y a d i Hol

Thoughtful design can go a long way in making a positive first impression for rental guests BY SARA SHERMAN

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THE TOURISM SEASON is ramping up in the BVI, and people from all over the world will be visiting this beautiful part of the globe. From honeymooning couples to families travelling together, renting a vacation home is a popular way to stay in the Caribbean. Vacation rental properties are often first and foremost, investments to create passive income. And rental property owners can make the most of their investment - and perhaps increase reservations when they take interior design into consideration when updating or decorating their homes.

Comfort It goes without saying that a renter on holiday is looking to step out of their normal and into something a little more comfortable. A great vacation rental feels softer, more sumptuous and more decadent than what one experiences every day. So it’s worth your time as an owner to make sure every inch of the property is just a little over the top. Think plush seating with plenty of pillows, clean and crisp bed linens and a tidy, well-stocked kitchen. Comfort can also mean practical items like extra towels, fans that can be moved around the house or even large totes to carry gear to the beach. By making it easy for the guest to enjoy themselves, they will remember their experience forever (and maybe return year after year!).

Details The little things make the biggest difference and can actually change the course of someone’s holiday. By paying attention to small details, a

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L A N D / D E S I G N O N H O L I D AY

guest can have a supremely enjoyable experience and come away with a “they’ve thought of everything” feeling. When designing a home, be mindful of where guests will store their items (as in closets or dressers) and how easily they can access linens, towels and extra pillows. Details are important when choosing decor as well. Mismatched furniture and art makes a rental property feel cheap and unfinished,

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while some modern furnishings can make a home feel cold and unwelcoming. A good balance is needed so a guest can feel at home but still pampered.

Less personal, more personality While it’s easy to want to put your own family photos around the home or decorate with your personal style, remember that holiday guests want to

ABOVE An elegant bedroom makes guests feel pampered, while plenty of storage keeps things out of the way.

feel as if this rental home is their home for their stay. Choose a decor style that can accommodate many tastes, as well as one that contains both feminine and masculine elements. Another way to make sure your property has some personality is to

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A great vacation rental feels softer, more sumptuous and more decadent than what one experiences every day. hang interesting art on the walls. Choose pieces that are unique to your region or that tell a deeper story about the Caribbean. A picture of a palm tree on a beach is nice, but it looks like a lot of other rentals. Guests will remember how a place made them feel, and you don’t want them to feel like they could have chosen better wall art.

Clear the Clutter People have enough clutter in their day-to-day lives; they are renting a vacation property to “get away from it all”. “It all” includes clutter. Knick-knacks and decor accessories that collect dust fall into the clutter category. Find a place for everything and let guests explore and use the space as their own. This applies to children’s areas as well as outdoor toys and gear. Keep watersports items contained in a garage or outdoor storage space to minimise sand and water finding their way indoors. Use baskets or bins to keep toys, magazines or other small items contained. A clean home is an absolute must for rental guests, so it’s worth your time and budget to design it well for optimal cleanliness, as well as investing in a cleaning company to turn the home over after each rental. BCQS_VIPY_ThridPG-Horizontal_Feb-Issue_PRINT.pdf

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Invest in Quality Less expensive furniture and decor may seem like a good idea when you have to furnish an entire home, but in the long run, it may come back to bite you. Durable, more expensive furniture will outlast rough treatment from repeated guests, and mean you won’t have to replace it as often. An often overlooked place to invest in quality items is the linen closet. A guest may not remember that a chair had a small scratch, but if the towels and sheets are thin, uncomfortable or simply look dingy, they will notice (and tell their friends). High-quality linens are a hallmark of luxury hotels around the world; make yours memorable and invest in luxe linens. If expensive items aren’t in the budget, don’t be afraid to save up and work them into the home over time. Another quality item to invest in is professional photographs of your rental home. When someone is viewing the property online, cell phone snapshots just won’t make the sale like beautifully composed and edited photos by a professional. The photos will not only benefit your reservation numbers but be potentially helpful if and when the time to sell the property comes along. ■


LAND / VILLAS & VIEWS

HOME VALUATION A deeper look at valuation standards and how market value is determined B Y A N T H O N Y J C C A M P B E L L , E D WA R D C H I L D S , A R C H I B A L D C C H R I S T I A N A N D A B D O O L I S AT TA U R OF SMITHS GORE BVI LIMITED


IN THE BVI, the terms valuation and appraisal as well as valuer and appraiser are used interchangeably. Valuation and valuer are the more commonly used terms in the UK while Appraisal and appraiser tend to be preferred in the US. But essentially, in the BVI, they are one and the same.

Valuation Standards Valuations or appraisals are undertaken by qualified and experienced valuers, who are familiar with market conditions, current sales activity and construction costs. Valuers are required to adhere to internationally adopted standards of valuation. Those standards most commonly adopted in the BVI are: - RICS Valuation – Global Standards 2017 (The Red Book) published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the UK -U  niform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice 2018-2019 Edition (‘USPAP’) published by the Appraisal Foundation in the US - I nternational Valuation Standards 2017, published by the International Valuation Standards Council All these standards seek to improve the credibility and reliability of valuations. Ethical conduct is a key part of these standards. Most importantly, valuers are required to render an independent and unbiased estimate of value.

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Definition of “Market Value” Although valuations may be required for many different purposes, most often, valuers are required to provide an estimate of market value. The following definition of market value, set out in the International Valuation Standards 2017 has been widely adopted: Market Value is the estimated amount for which an asset or liability should exchange on the valuation date between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s length transaction, after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion. (IVS 30.1) Market value is determined by numerous factors, including: - Title, including any legal covenants - Physical location and access - Building structure and its condition - Market conditions - Income generation capacity for some types of property In essence, where a valuer is asked to provide the market value of a property, they are seeking to estimate what the property would sell for if placed on the market at the date of valuation. Valuations are typically undertaken on a comparable basis (looking at what cost similar properties have sold), the income basis (adopted for income-generating properties) or replacement cost valuations (typically adopted for insurance valuations).

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Property valuations are necessary for getting the right amount of property or home insurance.

Market demand and supply can fluctuate which may cause values to increase or decline. Critically, valuations must reflect market conditions as at the date of valuation. For this reason, valuers need to be informed about current market activity and whether demand and supply are increasing or declining.

Valuations in the BVI Most commonly, homeowners will require a valuation for the following purposes: - Construction finance - Estate planning/probate - Mortgage - Stamp Duty - Non-Belonger Landholding Licence - Insurance

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CONSTRUCTION FINANCE

Purchasing a parcel of land to design and build your own home is a popular approach to achieving home ownership in the BVI. Such purchasers will commonly seek bank financing. At the outset, the bank will engage a valuer to assess the value of the land, the cost of construction and the market value on completion. During construction, the bank will monitor the release of funds to the contractor and at each drawdown, an updated valuation will be required to assess construction progress against the funds advanced. On completion of the building, the bank will require a final valuation to confirm completion and to update the original estimate of market value before converting the construction loan to a long-term mortgage.

ESTATE PLANNING / PROBATE

Frequently, property owners will require a market valuation as part of their tax planning or other personal reasons which could include probate or divorce proceedings.

MORTGAGE ON COMPLETED HOME

When a purchaser requires financing for a completed home, the bank will engage a valuer to estimate the market value of the property to assist the bank in determining how much to lend. Over the life of a property, homeowners may seek additional financing for home improvements and the lender will usually require an updated valuation to be prepared to assess the current market value and the

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Valuations prepared for insurance purposes are not concerned with the market value of the property. Instead they focus on the cost of rebuilding the property. impact of the intended improvements. As their means change, homeowners may also choose to seek to refinance their property. This could either be with the existing or an alternative lender and in both cases a re-valuation will likely be required.

NON-BELONGER LAND HOLDING LICENCE APPLICATION

Non-Belongers acquiring either land or a completed home in the BVI are required to obtain a Non-Belonger Land Holding Licence before they can close on their purchaser.

Amongst the documents that must be provided to the Ministry of Natural Resources is a valuation of the property being acquired.

STAMP DUTY

All private sector property transactions in the BVI are subject to stamp duty at the time of registration in Land Registry. Stamp duty is calculated at the rate of 4.0% for Belongers or 12.0% for Non-Belongers. The duty is charged on the consideration paid or the market value of the real property, whichever is the greater.

Stamp Duty is collected by Inland Revenue, who will require property purchasers to present a market valuation of the property along with a copy of the executed Transfer Deed.

INSURANCE

Every person who owned a home in the BVI in September 2017 following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria will require little persuasion on the importance of having adequate property insurance. Where a homeowner carries a mortgage, the lender will almost always require the homeowner to carry property insurance. Banks and insurance companies will commonly require an insurance valuation to be prepared to ensure that the coverage of the insurance policy is adequate.

DESIGN FOR STRONG CULTURE OBMI architects design modern office spaces that bring energy and drive performance, positioning your organization for success.

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ARCHITECTURE MASTER PLANNING & DESIGN

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OBMI.COM


LAND / VILLAS & VIEWS

Valuations prepared for insurance purposes are not concerned with the market value of the property. Instead they focus on the cost of rebuilding the property. This is because the basis of property insurance settlement is the cost of reinstating a property in the event that it is damaged by an insured risk. The most common risks in this region being fire, hurricane and earthquake. Before the storms of September 2017 it was quite common practise to base insurance coverage on either the market value of the property or the mortgage amount. As some homeowners discovered, using either of these measures can result in either under or over insurance as neither of these figures represent the cost of rebuilding which is the correct basis for insurance. Smiths Gore BVI Limited has a team

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of qualified and experienced valuers/ appraisers with more than 50 years of experience in the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Our clients include commercial banks, insurance companies, Government, Statutory Bodies and the private sector. Visit Smiths Gore BVI Limited at Britannic Hall, 150 Main Street, Road Town Tortola or visit the website at www.smithsgore.com or give us a call on 1-284-494-2446 to discuss your valuation/appraisal needs. Smiths Gore provides detailed market research and analysis of legal title that are fundamental to establishing market values in the Caribbean. Archibald C Christian Archibald Christian specializes in the valuation of single and multi-family residential properties, apartments and vacant land.

ABOVE Whether you live on the

property or use it as a vacation rental, proper valuation is key to proper insurance and any successful sale of a property.

Abdool I Sattaur MRICS MICE MCInstCES CBuildE M ASCE Abdool Sattaur is qualified as a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Surveyor, providing valuation, construction management, analysis and consulting services for residential and commercial real estate. Edward Childs MRICS Edward Childs specializes in development consulting and commercial valuations. Anthony J C Campbell FRICS Anthony Campbell undertakes commercial valuations in the BVI and Eastern Caribbean with emphasis on the resort sector. â–

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Vacation Villas Let our experienced team find you the perfect villa for your getaway to the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Our varied portfolio can accommodate couples to large groups, all with breathtaking views and stunning surroundings. Get in touch today to start planning your vacation of a lifetime!

TINGALAYO West End, Tortola

Rates from $11,500/week 6 Bedrooms, 7 Bathroom, Pool, Jacuzzi, Sleeps 12

6

ALFRESCO Long Bay, Tortola

Rates from $3,780/week

3 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bathroom, Pool, Sleeps 6

BATU VILLA Virgin Gorda 3

3.5

SOL Y SOMBRA Little Trunk Bay, Virgin Gorda

Rates from $14,525/week

6 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms, Pool, Sleeps 12

For more information on these listings or additional vacation villas, call 284 494 2446 or email vacationrentals@smithsgore.com

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Rates from $17,500/week

4 bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms, Pool, Sleeps 8

4

4.5

ON THE ROCKS VILLA Little Trunk Bay, Virgin Gorda 6

6

Rates from $7,500/week

4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathroom, Pool, Sleeps 8

TORTOLA Britannic Hall

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VIRGIN GORDA Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour

www.villavacationsbvi.com

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SEA / SEA STYLE

y a D t c e f r e P

A boat trip is an unforgettable way to see the BVI, and Celtic Powerboats will definitely not disappoint. BY SARA SHERMAN P H OTO G R A P H Y BY J I M S C H E I N E R / R A I N B OW V I S I O N S

A DAY ON the water is often a highlight of a trip to the beautiful British Virgin Islands. But with so many stunning places to see and amazing experiences to consider, how does one choose to spend the day? Patrick Conway of Celtic Powerboats has the answer and the perfect BVI day trip itinerary. As the sole proprietor, manager and captain of Celtic Powerboats since 2016, Patrick has lived in the BVI for more than three decades and cultivated a masterful set of hospitality skills. With more than 40 years of experience in the hotel industry all over Europe, Patrick built a life in the BVI managing Long Bay Beach Resort and the Sugar Mill Hotel.

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A love of the sea and boating paired with a knack for creating memorable experiences for guests made for the perfect blend of passion and skill for the charter business. Celtic Powerboats began with two vessels: Celtic Wisdom (a 2008 Glacier Bay 2665) and Celtic Tiger (a 2017 Worldcat 320CC). The devastating hurricanes of 2017 destroyed both vessels. By January of 2018, Patrick and Celtic Powerboats were back in business with Celtic Pride (a 2018 Worldcat 320CC). Celtic Powerboats is TripAdvisor’s #1 ranked BVI charter tour provider with nearly 250 five-star ratings.

A Perfect BVI Day Trip Itinerary

Celtic Pride is a great boat for Caribbean waters and gives a very smooth ride

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A full day on the water is an amazing way to see the beauty of the British Virgin Islands. The day begins from Celtic Powerboat’s private dock in West End, Tortola. Guests settle in and Captain Patrick briefs everyone on safety procedures and helps make everyone as comfortable as possible before setting out into the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. “I let my guests know that the boat is theirs exclusively for the day and my suggested tour is only a guideline and they ultimately decide how long we stay at each stop,” said Patrick. “I can tailor the tour to each group’s specific requests.” After a quick cruise, the first stop is Norman Island (which is reputed to be Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for the famed Treasure Island novel). Norman Island’s infamous Caves and ‘Indians’ rock formations provide excellent snorkelling opportunities. Peter Island is next, where Little Harbour offers warm, crystal clear water for swimming and snorkelling with sea turtles and viewing all kinds of coral and marine life. Guests will enjoy a glass of champagne on board while relaxing in the sun or while floating in the sea. What’s a Caribbean vacation without a great beach?

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SEA / SEA STYLE

Deadman’s Beach or Honeymoon Beach is next for strolling on the white sand and taking in the view. After this relaxing morning, guests may begin to feel peckish, so a lovely ride to Cooper Island is the perfect way to get to lunch. Cooper Island Beach Club offers delicious food in their beachfront restaurant, as well as a microbrewery, rum bar, coffee shop and boutique for guests to explore. “ Captain Patrick gave us a phenomenal day in the ocean. He took our family of 10 to four snorkelling spots and also to our own private beach to play to our heart’s content. Our family ages ranged from 3 to 68 and each of us had a spectacular day. When people ask what my highlights from vacation were I quickly tell them about the excursion with Captain Patrick.” - Pam S., TripAdvisor reviewer

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After lunch, a power ride to the Baths in Virgin Gorda gives guests a lovely tour of the area. Once at the infamous Baths, relaxing on the beach at Devil’s Bay or navigating the trail through the large boulders and enjoying the warm water pools is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The final stop is Guana Island’s Monkey Point for snorkelling the vibrant reefs full of schools of colourful fish and the occasional graceful sea ray. End the day with Captain Patrick’s famous Celtic Painkiller for the cruise home along Tortola’s north shore. “I truly never get tired of taking guests out on my island tours,” said Patrick, “The beauty of the islands is stunning and I feel blessed to see God’s amazing creation every day I go out.” The sun begins to set over St. Thomas and the perfect BVI day comes to an end.

ABOVE After a morning of

snorkeling, enjoy a glass of champagne and the warm Caribbean sun on Celtic Pride.

Tour Details Each Celtic Powerboats tour includes soft beach towels and high-quality snorkelling equipment (masks and fins) for the day’s use. Life vests and floating noodles are also included, as well as beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and snacks. All necessary BVI Customs Cruising permits and National Park fees are included with the day’s charter, and guests also enjoy Captain Patrick’s deep knowledge of the BVI while on tour. ■ Learn more at www.celticboats.com and book a charter at celticboats@gmail.com or 1(284)346 7766

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LIFE / FOODSCAPING

SECRET GARDEN An innovative way of landscaping that pulls double duty by providing a delightful view and delicious bounty BY SARA SHERMAN

Foodscape Revolution author Brie Arthur outlines how incorporating edible plants into ornamental gardens can be both beautiful and delicious

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LIFE / FOODSCAPING

THIS PAGE FROM TOP Tomatoes and peppers are perfect edible plants for bed edges. Zucchini flowers are gorgeous in their own right. Rice and lettuce can be beautiful additions to an ornamental garden. OPPOSITE PAGE Fruit trees like pineapple and papaya make stunning centerpieces in gardens and yards.

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FOR CURIOUS GARDENING beginners or experienced home crop growers, foodscaping provides a fresh take on the traditional “garden”. By adding a layer of purpose to ornamental plantings, homeowners can elevate their yards to provide both beauty and bounty. Brie Arthur is a horticulturist and author of The Foodscape Revolution. Her book outlines how adding edible plants to a more traditional landscape can not only make it more beautiful but provide food as well. “Traditionally, our food crops are separated from our ornamental plants, often grown in the farthest corner of our backyard. With foodscaping we bring the edibles front and centre and mix them into the beds allowing the ornamental plants to offer the needed biological diversity to help ward off problem insects and diseases,” said Arthur. While living in a neighbourhood with strict Homeowner Association rules, Arthur planted vegetables into her ornamental landscape beds to help cut costs at the grocery store. Her sneaky gardening paid off, and she won “yard of the year”. She started thinking she was on to something. “When grown in a beautiful way, ‘food in your front yard’ isn’t offensive to anyone!” said Arthur.

Sustainable Living In a time when more and more homeowners are looking to live more sustainably, foodscaping offers people a gateway to growing their own food. Some find a robust traditional “food garden” too daunting and therefore don’t attempt it. Foodscaping allows people to start small and incorporate herbs, vegetables or fruits that they like into their yards slowly, knowing there is always room for more (if desired). “Every plant that we grow is a contribution to the world at large, especially food crops. Anytime you can grow something you eat you help reduce the global food miles statistics!

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From container plantings to sunny landscape beds every yard offers an opportunity to grow something that you like to eat while enjoying the beauty of flowering plants. Even the simplest change of your grocery stores habits leads to more sustainable living,” said Arthur. Global populations continue to rise and innovation in food production will need to continue to evolve. In the Caribbean, where imported foods can be extremely expensive, foodscaping can provide an alternative to produce that has been shipped hundreds or thousands of miles.

Tropical Tips Determining the best place to begin a new foodscape is quite important, as is quality soil and access to water. Arthur believes that bed edges are a good place to start: “Every landscape has an edge, and it is probably not planted. The bonus is that bed edges are the easiest part of a landscape bed to access for planting, watering and harvesting.” Many food crops grown by home gardeners are closely related, and therefore don’t provide as much vegetative variety or protection from pests and disease. Alternately, foodscaping encourages integrating plants of different families together, to create a thriving culture of natural species that not only looks interesting but if one tomato plant is infected by pests, it’s not likely that its surrounding plant neighbours would be affected by the same pest. Arthur suggests that tropical fruit trees like mango and guava are not only lovely food providers but can

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become central landscape features to be treasured and treated as such.

Reaping the Rewards From speaking to and encouraging gardeners around the world to finding creative “workarounds” for pesky and strict homeowner associations, Arthur believes that the simple act of growing plants - and food specifically - is creating a foundation for the future of our environment. “When you grow even small amounts of food that you eat you develop a strong appreciation for what farmers provide our global population. Gardening solves so many problems and it is a pleasure to share advice with audiences and help them grow successfully,” said Arthur. ■

You can learn more about Brie Arthur on her website at BrieGrows.com. Her books are available there and on Amazon.com and she can be found on Facebook at @briegrows and on Instagram at @brietheplantlady.

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L I F E / T R AV E L

The warm waters around and near St. Croix are host to some spectacular diving sites, including numerous wrecks to explore.

Dive into St. Croix

Steeped in Caribbean history, dotted with notable dive sites and home to a blossoming culinary scene, St. Croix is a great destination with something for everyone BY CONOR KING DEVITT

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LAND / TRENDY POOLS

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L I F E / T R AV E L

ST. CROIX HAS long been considered an islander’s island. Further removed and less travelled than its more visible USVI counterparts, it offers tourism experiences distinct from both the tranquil national park beaches on St. John and the mega-hotels and rowdy nightlife on St. Thomas. St. Croix is an 84-square mile island – the largest of the Virgins – is a great destination for people interested in something more than the simple sun-and-rum basics of a standard tropical vacation (though its expansive beaches can certainly accommodate that desire as well). Typically visited by less than an eighth of the USVI’s annual vacationers, it’s no surprise the territory’s Department of Tourism officials refer to St. Croix as “a hidden gem” of the Caribbean. From touring ABOVE Historic sugar mills still dot the hills of St. Croix; this one sits near the entrance of iconic island hotel, The Buccaneer. RIGHT Historic Frederiksted is home to a mid-18th century fortress.

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L I F E / T R AV E L

iconic 18th Century forts to sipping craft breadfruit vodka to kayaking across rare bioluminescent bays, it’s an island packed to the brim with unique, off-the-beaten-track adventures.

History Travellers interested in the Caribbean’s chaotic, volatile history will be hard-pressed to find a location with more offerings than St. Croix. The island served as a major flashpoint in New World exploration, hosting the first skirmish between European colonisers and Native Americans when Christopher Columbus landed on Salt River on November 14, 1493. Today, tourists can visit Columbus’s landing site on pontoon boat tours of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, which is also home to St. Croix’s largest remaining mangrove estuary, according to USVI Tourism officials. Additionally, the preserve is known for being one of the Caribbean’s rare bioluminescent bays, offering adventurous travellers picturesque opportunities for twilight scuba diving and kayaking. Visitors interested in learning about the Danish occupation of the Virgin Islands, which lasted from 1734-1917, should head to Christiansted. The Christiansted National Historic Site, home to Fort Christiansværn and the historic wharf, offers tangible insight into Danish socioeconomic life in 18th and 19th Century West Indies. There are also numerous options for visitors interested in learning directly from locals about the island’s distinct history and culture – as well as the childhood spots of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who spent a significant portion of his youth on St. Croix.

St. Croix is an 84-square mile island – the largest of the Virgins – is a great destination for people interested in something more than the simple sun-and-rum basics of a standard tropical vacation

RIGHT St. Croix is home to a lush

“rainforest” full of hiking opportunities and even beer-drinking pigs!

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L I F E / T R AV E L

ABOVE Many icredible diving

sites are available near and around St. Croix and Buck Island.

“Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT) is an organisation that offers tours and venues for the visitor to experience the culture and traditions of St. Croix,” USVI Tourism officials explained. “Choose from a variety of tour options, ranging from historical walking tours of downtown Frederiksted, the Alexander Hamilton Tour of Christiansted and Eco Tours with local naturalists. Each tour will leave you in awe of the history and beauty of St. Croix’s many treasures.”

Diving In May, USA Today polled readers on the best dive sites in the Caribbean. Choosing from a pre-selected list of

44 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T

iconic options like the Wreck of the RMS Rhone in the BVI and the Andros Wall in the Bahamas, voters placed one choice above the rest: St. Croix’s Butler Bay Wrecks. “There’s a wreck for just about every type of diver in Butler Bay off the coast of St. Croix, as well as a few sunken abandoned cars,” USA Today reports. “Among the more popular options are the Rosa Maria, a 177-foot freighter; Coakley Bay, an oil refinery tugboat; and Suffolk Maid, a large trawler.”

Food and B ooze Foodies interested in the Caribbean’s unique culinary culture have a bounty of options on St. Croix. The USVI Department of Tourism recommends both the “Virgin Island Food Tours” and “Hanging with the Locals,” both of which are guided cultural trips that give visitors a chance to sample local delicacies like

Salt Fish Pate and fried Johnny Cake. For dessert, tourism officials suggest Estate Whim Plantation Museum, where visitors can learn how to make local candy. In addition to touring the local Cruzan and Captain Morgan rum distilleries, tipplers will definitely want to try Mutiny Island Vodka, chef Todd Manley and distiller Chris Richeson’s new spirit made from breadfruit. Portions of the local vodka’s proceeds are donated to groups like The Breadfruit Institute, a not-for-profit institution “dedicated to discovering, saving, and studying the world’s tropical plants.” Travellers looking for eclectic Crucian spots to drink should head to the Mt. Pellier Domino Club in the heart of St. Croix’s “Rainforest.” Though reportedly not a technical rainforest, the western part of the island is home to a 15-acre forest

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packed with mahogany, silk-cotton, red-birch and fruit-bearing trees, according to Frommers’ guide of the island. Smack in the middle of this dense area is the rustic Domino Club, where patrons can snack on Roti and order shots of “Mama Juana” – a Dominican drink made by soaking rum, red wine, and honey in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The Club even lets customers order non-alcoholic beer to serve to the property’s numerous pigs, which are kept pens adjacent to the restaurant.

An Unforgettable B eginning It’s obvious travellers have a wealth of options on St. Croix. But whether they choose to spend the week eating, drinking, scuba diving, or touring across the island – or some combination of all those activities – visitors should reserve one morning on their itinerary for an early wakeup. They’ll want to take in the sunrise at Point Udall, the easternmost point in the United States. At a lookout above the point, there’s a sundial known as the Millennium Monument, which was built for the New Year’s celebration nearly two decades ago and marks the angle of the first sunrise to shine on the U.S. in the year 2000. ■


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Visit our website for opening hours and menu. VIRGIN GORDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS | 1 284 393 1000 | oilnutbay.com

Profile for Virgin Islands Property & Yacht

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht | November 2019 | Oil Nut Bay's new Marina Village in the BVI  

In our gorgeous November issue, we dine, dock and discover at Oil Nut Bay's beautiful new Marina Village. There is so much to see and do whe...

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht | November 2019 | Oil Nut Bay's new Marina Village in the BVI  

In our gorgeous November issue, we dine, dock and discover at Oil Nut Bay's beautiful new Marina Village. There is so much to see and do whe...

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