Virgin Islands Property & Yacht | October 2018 | BVI Interior Architecture & Design Insights

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n g i s e D i n si g h t s


Interior Designer Debi Carson guides us on architectural renovations

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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 · VP Bank Group is based in Liechtenstein and has offices in Vaduz, Zurich, Luxembourg, Tortola/BVI, Singapore, Hong Kong and Moscow.


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The Art of Living Living in the British Virgin Islands means having an intimate relationship with the ocean and 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 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. 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 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 islands with countless beaches and hidden coves, all an easy boat ride away ‐ power boat or sailing yacht ‐ you choose! sailing yacht ‐ you choose!


Each office is independently owned and operated Each office is independently owned and operated

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



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on the cover

WE’RE BACK IN the high season! Hooray! This is a unique beginning for the British Virgin Islands’ most desired time period; tourists return and the island flourishes with increasing activity as the months progress; but, Irma made her rare stamp and so this entry into the high season is very different to any other. Now, the BVI and neighbouring islands are pushing forward mightier, growing stronger in the recovery effort to make certain that residents are contented and guests keep creating new, happy memories in their visit to these tropical isles. We open with an editorial from close friend of the VIPY family, Debi Carson. Debi—interior designer extraordinaire—has profound knowledge from being a long-term island resident. In her experience and proficiency, she’s relished perceptive insights into the rebuilding and restructuring of island properties. She shares her architectural perspective to help us with the intricacies of our ongoing residential or commercial renovations. Our sister islands—the USVI—also chime in about home design with Tiffany Cassidy of Lagnappe discussing professional tips to boost the vitality of a living room; the focal point of a home for relaxation and rejuvenation. Villas & Views feature a ‘pool showcase’ of seven of the BVI’s most attractive backyard bathing spots—you’ll be wanting to book a retreat in no time when you see these beautiful mini-oases! Our Harneys’ series continues with legal advice about renting properties. A prudent way of using a home in the Virgin Islands is the obvious—to rent it to holiday-makers—but this also incorporates some significant paper work to keep in line with the law. Harneys are only too happy to help. Sea Style goes diving for lobster this month; one of the benefits of Irma—for lack of better phrasing—is that we have an immense lobster season as 2017’s storms dispersed many of the lobsters’ predators. Divers have noticed an abundance of this tasty cuisine, so get ready to indulge this season! Speaking of the maritime, the yacht we peruse this issue is a triple decker social extravaganza. Named Panthalassa, she is sophistication and splendour personified. Join us in reviewing her pristine interiors and exterior for a visual feast. Resident Virgin Islands’ maritime museum curator and historian Geoffrey Brooks opens the doors to some old myths and legends to reveal the truth on one of the BVI’s most common fables, and Sara Sherman discovers the delights of Miami as a location a VI resident might visit for a change of scene; culture, cuisine, and captivating arts are signature activities of Miami with its injection of Latin flair. Closing, Green VI bestow the second part of the familiar slogan ‘Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle,’ by engaging the details of the ‘Reusing’ function to keep our Virgin Islands clean and green. Wishing you enjoyment of the LAND, SEA, and LIFE in the Virgin Islands.

Stephen L France Home design advice from an expert in the field. See Page 10

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PS – Let’s keep moving forward as the Virgin Islands returns, greatly improved #BVIStrong


IS YOUR PARTNER IN THE REBUILD CTL Home Center is committed to the BVI’s post-hurricane rebuilding needs, offering lower prices and free consultations.

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contributors Geoffrey Brooks

Lauren Hodgins

Geoffrey is the curator of the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum and both pioneers and takes part in many of the initiatives related to the traditional art of sloop building.

Lauren Hodgins is a crewed yacht charter broker based on St. Thomas, USVI. Working in the yachting industry since 2004 and sailing more than 8,000 nautical miles to date, Lauren now heads Caribbean Yachts International.

Debi Carson

Charlotte McDevitt

Tiffany Cassidy

Paul Mellor

Bernadette George

Sara Sherman

Debi is among the Caribbean’s most prominent interior designers, decorated with NCIDQ certification and heading one of the region’s most versatile full-service design firms.

Originally from Southern California, Tiffany moved to St. Thomas in 2002 and is principal designer at Lagnappe custom interiors. She enjoys working with private clients to create a personalised home that reflects their style and needs.

Bernadette heads up Smiths Gore’s operations in Virgin Gorda and leads a team who specialise in residential sales, luxury vacation rentals, long term lettings, and property management.

aLookingGlass Team Erin Paviour-Smith

Sales Director & Project Manager Originally from New Zealand with a background in brand management for three of New Zealand’s top-selling lifestyle magazines, Erin has strong understanding of sales and marketing within the publishing industry. She brings a fresh approach to advertising in magazines and digital media.


DESIGN & LAYOUT Sally Fullam

DISTRIBUTION Francoise Frank



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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.

Paul is a Senior Associate of the Private Client group at the Harneys BVI office. He advises corporate and private clients as well as financial institutions on a range of commercial and residential property matters.

Sara Sherman is a freelance writer, yoga teacher, and former resident of St. Thomas, USVI. You can find her work at

VIRGIN ISLANDS PROPERTY & YACHT is published eleven times a year (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November & December/January). © Copyright 2018 by aLookingGlass Ltd. 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: PHONE: 284 344 2172 MAIL: alookingGlass Limited, PO Box 3895, Sea Cow’s Bay, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

contents OCTOBER 2018


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Interior designer Debi Carson gives an expert perspective on the island renovation effort


RENEW YOUR LIVING ROOM Four professional tips to revitalise your space!




Harneys direct us the right way with legal advice on renting properties

Virgin Islands’ myths and legends are great, but it’s nice to find out the truth…





Lobster anyone? Plenty to go around…

With its signature Latin flair, Miami welcomes VI residents for a retreat!







We admire seven of our favourite pools in the BVI

A cruising work of art, fit for all the family!

Focusing on ‘reusing’ this month in the commonly used slogan


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To discuss your Project, contact Roy Keegan: Office: 284 494 5240 Cell: 284 541 7483 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.


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DESIGN INSIGHTS An interior designer’s perspective on architectural renovations WO R DS BY D E B I C A R S O N

THIS PAGE Exhibiting excellent use of varied LEDs; all reflecting different moods!

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PEOPLE ARE NOT QUICK to embrace transformation, and yet 2017’s hurricane season thrust the region into a state of renewal. With last year’s natural disasters, Mother Nature dictated we make change, providing an opportunity to reflect on our habitats—be it inside, outside, at home, or at work. In light of all the devastation to our surroundings and our emotions, tackling these building projects can be overwhelming. Consider seeking advice from professionals to inject new energy and perspective. Professional interior architects approach your project from the inside out, working to analyse your needs, goals, and visions. Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behaviour, allowing the creation of functional spaces within a building. Consider these factors when renovating:

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The Individual This is the most vital part of the architectural interior design vocation—the person who the property is being designed for; the humanity within the project. From here, all the plans can flow, but the first instance is about studying the person(s) who will inhabit the space, whether it’s a commercial property or residential home. How will person(s) interact in the space? How far are they stretching their budget for the design? Do they have a long-term vision? Will the home expect to see growth in the family? Will the expansion of their occupation or business be a factor? These questions and many more assist the definition of the project.

Function of Space In the BVI, it’s wondrous to be involved in the creation of inhabitable spaces as we’re often not limited by

ABOVE Homeowners may choose an interior design that resembles a villa retreat bedroom

walls; therefore, design can reach the exterior and beyond to form a cohesive design solution, working to create from the inside-out, spending time researching client needs, patterns, and goals. For example; maybe you purchased your property from a former owner and always loathed the blocked view, misuse of materials, under-utilised space, or natural resources? Now is an opportunity to look at aspects with a fresh perspective and increase functionality.

Light, Airflow, & Natural Elements Design analysis of your structure incorporates the natural

DEBI CARSON, INTERIOR DESIGNER Interior Design & Architecture, Building Design & Project Management * Specification & procurement of luxury architectural products * Furniture & fixture specification and procurement, right through to installation * Artist - mixed media, fine art commissions *


Inspired Living by Design


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surroundings, phases of the sun, weather, and tradewinds. In this arena, you’re looking for a design which protects you from the elements, but allows the maximum penetration of light and natural breezes. Where light and airflow can be mis-managed in a room, makes the space appear excessively large, too small, or perhaps not properly orientated for its function. An example would be a space for relaxing, such as in a living room; one would want to make sure there’s a consistent airflow passing through, and not stillness and humidity. An instance of using airflow well can be seen incorporated in cross-ventilation, where the property has two openings across a room, allowing for the natural breeze to travel through. When planning the entertainment spaces in your home, take into consideration the positioning in relation to sunrises and sunsets; in a broader sense, one might think about the seasons that affect the penetration of light and breezes, making your home either a pleasant, cool place to inhabit, or a very hot one.

Use of Materials Materials are a core element in a successful design. Always keep in mind the harsh elements in the Caribbean. Often, mass production retailers do not manufacture for these surroundings. As a good example, stainless steel is offered in different quality variations. The ‘PREN’ (Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number) ideally greater than 40, is typically specified as the minimum for persevering against the corrosive elements of sea water.

RIGHT Airflow is vital in forming a comfortable, relaxing space

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THIS PAGE With attractive amenities like pools, safety precautions of hand rails are a necessity

When it comes to flooring tiles, remember that there are different types of tile and different varieties of slip-resistance. Ensure that you have the correct tile for the function of the space. Also, light fixture solutions made of a non-corrosive material such as clay—which are manufactured locally in BVI—are a wise choice. Quartz and granite for counter

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tops are less porous and more durable against the elements. An additional suggestion for fabric would be solution-dyed materials resistant to chemicals, sun-fading, and mould/mildew.

Safety ‘Safety’ is perceived in relation to exposure of potential future events—are your windows

and doors manufactured to appropriate specifications for natural disasters? Are they installed correctly and protected? Are your railings stable, of durable materials, and at the appropriate height? There are different safety considerations in commercial and residential properties.










In commercial properties, emergency exits need to be well marked out, lit with backup power, and easily accessed with doors that swing in the general direction of exit as well as fire detection and suppression systems. In residential homes, smoke detection systems, use of non-toxic finish materials, and ensuring fire extinguishers are on hand, stand as prime factors.

Alternative Energy Options The Caribbean has a wealth of natural resources to capitalise on which can reduce costs of operating and maintenance. Alternative energy options are trending.

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...architectural professionals can not only ease the stress of getting the wheels of your renovation in motion, but can also add significant value to your project in helping you make smart, sustainable choices Solar, wind, and wave energy are all in abundance. Be sure to compare your fixtures for consumption and longevity. For example, LEDs are rated for hours of life, output, and energy consumption. Plumbing fixtures indicate how many gallons per flush or per minute are used. Low consumption plumbing fixtures will help you minimise use of your cistern water.

ABOVE The correct lighting can create the perfect atmosphere

In summary, architectural professionals can not only ease the stress of getting the wheels of your renovation in motion, but can also add significant value to your project in helping you make smart, sustainable choices. â–

s g n Thi

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For Interior Decorating Design Resources

Rug samples to help establish colour against flooring before committing

Large paint sample cards to help more easily pick wall colour that works

Paint decks to narrow down colour palettes

Tile and counter samples to ensure hard finishes work together

Colour samples for all special order wood furniture pieces

Villa, house, condo, yacht... We have 20 years experience decorating the Caribbean. From picking colours to managing the entire project, we can help.

Fabric samples for soft furnishings and finishes

Furniture. Accessories. Gift. Design. 284.494.1920 |



RENEW YOUR LIVING ROOM! Four expert tips to help revitalise your living space


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THE LIVING ROOM could be one of the most used rooms in a home. This is where you spend family time watching movies, talking, and enjoying quality time together. With all the time devoted there, your furniture and décor may be getting a bit stale. Having worked with clients to create a home that reflects their personality and needs, I’ve combined the artistic and scientific of a room to bring residents an interior that manages the complexity, and turns it into beauty. In accomplishing this, I wanted to offer four simple yet effective tips to liven up your living room, and get you started on creating a space that improves your life.

LEFT When planned well, a room’s appearance can stay exciting for years to come!



Making this change alone can turn your living room around; a curtain switch is quick and dramatic. Keep your current furniture outfit in mind, but go for a colour, texture, or pattern that you wouldn’t normally go with. This change will get you out of your rut and give you something new to look at. Remember that hanging curtains as high as possible in the room can accentuate the windows and make your beautiful Caribbean view seem that much larger.

Accessories or knick-knacks are great for adding little touches of colour around your living room. Many people like to have a bowl of seashells or hang bird cages in the corners, for example. You can also go bigger and repaint a side table or chair; this will make it feel like a brand-new item!

Pillows Throw pillows are generally inexpensive when compared to a brand-new couch or entertainment centre. These smaller items give you plenty of opportunity to experiment with the number of pillows you have and can get you out of your comfort zone with patterns and colours you’re not used to.


Re-Arrange Furniture If buying or repurposing furniture isn’t an option for you right now, consider re-arranging what you already have. Moving a couch to the other side of the room, or changing where your bookcases are can alter the flow of your room in a whole new way. Making big or small changes to a living room can be exactly what you need to get out of a visual rut. When thinking of reviving your living

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ABOVE The right perceptive additions and accents birth a new room!


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room, consider buying new curtains, pillows, accessories, or rearranging your furniture. Need more help? Not quite ready for DIY? Professional interior designers can make your new look a breeze. There are many qualified designers in the Virgin Islands that can advise you on everything from colours and style, to materials that last. â–

Our Brass #L-011 Sets the Standard for Durable Up & Downlighting

Kailua, Hawaii Rosie Nichols, USVI & BVI Rep. (340) 642-8981 Local installations include: Cooper Island, Peter Island, Saba Rock, Oil Nut Bay, and residences on St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.


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e v a r l Poo

We showcase seven of our favourite backyard bathing spots!


THIS PAGE The exquisite Mango Manor retreat

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IT’S NOT EASY choosing a favourite pool as there are so many in the BVI to select! The pools featured here are all memorable in their own right and they fit perfectly with their surroundings. MANGO MANOR is one of the BVI’s premier properties. It offers seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, three kitchens, two offices, a gym, a hot tub, and a stunning infinity pool. This is a property that provides home comforts and luxury at the same time. It is elegant, grand, and extremely appealing. The large and refreshing pool has a slide and views out across Cane Garden Bay. This is a heavenly property!




Elevated above the north shore on Tortola is GOLDEN PAVILION. The pool here is the central feature, looking and feeling as if it’s connected to the ocean beyond. This is a private escape where you can spend hours in the pool while listening to the waves crashing on the shoreline below. This property has recently been renovated and is in excellent condition.


Imagine a home that is designed to merge with the mountainside; SHANNON HOUSE is an architectural gem with boulders and mature palms as a key part of the layout and design. The property is at one with nature, exhibiting the epitome of privacy and tranquillity. There are two pools which are connected by a slide and there is innate joy swimming between the two. The house suffered some storm damage from Irma, but the pools are as beautiful as ever; the property is selling ‘as is.’


TINGALAYO is a stunning six-bedroom property in Tortola’s West End, which offers truly striking views of the north shore, and the islands and cays beyond. The pool is a central feature and sits beautifully between the Great House and the main bedroom block. There are expansive sun decks and a large dining area nearby so you can enjoy long, lazy and easy days by the pool enjoying the views and sunsets. This is a magical property which is available for short term rentals from February 2, 2019. OPPOSITE FROM TOP

Golden Pavillion, Shannon House, Tingalayo

Ask for home insurance from Colonial. Extra cover and benefits are on the house! FREE! $250* when you first insure your buildings with Colonial SAVE! 10% discount on car insurance with your home insurance FREE! Automatic cover for accidental damage FREE! $1 million liability protection ZERO deductible for claims (excluding catastrophe) Interest free monthly payment plan Call 494-8450 /495-6403 or visit

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

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


The pools featured here are all memorable in their own right and they fit perfectly with their surroundings


SOL Y SOMBRA is an exquisite British colonial beachfront villa. Its 45-foot oceanfront infinity pool is centrally located on a spacious pool deck, making Sol y Sombra a coveted venue for destination weddings. Footsteps from this exquisite pool is the pristine waters of Little Trunk Bay, with the incredible boulders of The Baths as its backdrop. Possibly the largest pool on Virgin Gorda, it’s perfect for swimming laps, lazy-floating in the afternoon, or late-night wine under the stars.


SOUTH WATCH is a stylish and elegant home nestled in the mountainside with views over the south shore. Everything about this property is calm and soothing; this pool is a cool escape when relaxing in the sun or dining alfresco. The name SYMBIO tells of the harmonious unity of this exquisite pool and its surroundings. Created to flow around the enormous boulders, the calming sound of rippling waves fills the air. Jump right into the deep end, or stroll into the wade-in edge-less entry surrounded by native palms and flowering Frangipani. ■



Sol Y Sombra, South Watch, Symbio

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Residential Sales Homesites For Sale Dreaming of your vacation home in the BVI? Now you can purchase land, and create your dream home.


8 acres, $1.2 m

Large acreage in a private, quiet neighborhood.



1.065 Acres. $185,000.

Several lots available. Prices Vary.

Flanked by incredible beaches, minutes from Road Town.

Coveted development on Tortola, incredible views and centrally located.



0.5 Acres. $55,000.

Prices begin at $225,000

Incredible views located on the North side of Jost Van Dyke.

Beachfront and hillside parcels available. Freehold, private and secluded.

For more information on these listings or additional offerings, Casablanca, Virgin GordaTORTOLA call 284 494 2446 or email Britannic Hall

VIRGIN GORDA Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 | 29


PROPERTY RENTAL GUIDE Harneys legal guide to gaining rental revenue on your property W O R D S B Y PA U L M E L L O R

MANY PROPERTIES IN the BVI feature self-contained apartments or guest cottages, and are therefore well suited for rental purposes. Currently, there is a healthy demand for rental property in the BVI, both on a long and short-term basis. This is partly a consequence of a lack of supply with a number of properties currently undergoing repair following the hurricanes of last year. The recent return of large cruise ships to the BVI, heralds the approaching 2018/19 winter tourist season with the hope that renewed confidence, repaired infrastructure, and attractions will result in an increase in the number of visitors to the BVI, further expanding the

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demand for suitable accommodation. Many property owners are keen to capitalise on the opportunity to rent their properties, either on a long or short-term basis, but they should make sure that they understand the legal and regulatory environment in the BVI before doing so to ensure that they do not run into difficulties.

Non-B elongers Land Holding Licences Property owners that hold their properties under a ‘non-belongers land holding licence’ should check the terms of their licence carefully; this is to determine whether it contains any conditions restricting their ability to rent the property.

While older licences may contain no conditions relating to rental at all, it is quite common for more recently granted licences to contain terms that restrict the basis on which a property may be rented. In some cases, the licence will include a requirement that any rental must take place through a designated property rental agent. In other cases, the licence will include a requirement that the owner of the property obtains a trade licence as a pre-condition to being able to rent it. The imposition of these conditions is partly to ensure that the requisite hotel accommodation taxes are paid to the Inland Revenue—where such taxes apply—by a named

and therefore accountable person. They are also partly to regulate competition in the property rental market to protect the interests of local property owners. Some property owners will discover that their ‘non-belongers land holding licence’ contains a prohibition on rental without the prior consent of the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands. In such situations, an application to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour for the grant of the requisite consent, must be made before the property can be rented. Where consent is granted, this may take the form of a letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour confirming that the property may be rented, or alternatively there will be a requirement for the existing ‘non-belongers land holding licence’ to be amended so that the consent may be included in it.

Trade Licence Before a person is able to engage in any operation of a commercial character in the BVI—whereby goods or services are provided to customers for a fee or a reward—that person must first have applied for and been

Currently, there is a healthy demand for rental property in the BVI, both on a long and short-term basis

granted a trade licence. Property rental will not necessarily constitute an operation of a commercial character and will not always require a trade licence, but this will depend on a careful examination of the particular circumstances in each case. In some situations, a trade licence will be required before a property owner is able to rent his or her property, irrespective of whether the intended property rental will constitute an operation of a commercial character. This is because some ‘non-belongers land holding licences’—typically more recent licences—include a condition that the owner of the property must obtain a trade licence before the property may be rented. To apply for a trade licence, the appropriate application form completed in duplicate must be submitted to the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs,

together with the required supporting information. An application for a trade licence is likely to take between 7-12 weeks to be processed. Trade licences are granted for a calendar year and therefore must be renewed at the beginning of each year. The Government fee for the trade licence is payable annually, on renewal.

Leasehold Properties Owners of leasehold properties should check their leases carefully to ensure that they are entitled to rent their property and if so, the basis on which such rental may be undertaken. It is not uncommon for leases to contain restrictions on subletting without obtaining the consent of the landlord. The lease might also prescribe that certain terms are included in any sublease of the property.


Homeowners’ Associations Many properties are located on residential estates on which homeowners’ associations have been established to manage and maintain the common areas within those estates. They also enforce rules and regulations that govern the residential estate for the benefit of all homeowners. In such scenarios, property owners are likely to be subject to the terms of a declaration of covenants that regulates the relationship between an individual property, the remainder of the properties on the estate, and the homeowners’ association. Some of these declarations of covenants contain provisions that restrict to some degree the extent to which an individual property owner may rent his or her property, or may direct that properties must be rented through a

specified rental company. Property owners should ensure that any guests and tenants are familiar with the declaration of covenants and any applicable rules to avoid breach of them.

Properties Subject to Mortgage Security Property owners who acquired their property with a mortgage, should review their loan documentation carefully before renting their property since the loan documentation might contain restrictions on property rental without lender consent.

Hotel Accommodation Tax Property owners who wish to rent their properties should consider the provisions of the Hotel Accommodation—

Taxation—Act to determine if the provisions are relevant in their particular circumstances. If the Act does apply, then the property owner must remember to collect the relevant tax from the persons renting the property and remit it to the Inland Revenue within the requisite timescale to avoid the imposition of penalties. Harneys Private Client team regularly advises clients on the acquisition of BVI real estate, including devising ownership structures to satisfy the tax, regulatory, succession planning, and other needs of each client. For more information on these solutions or any other matters relating to acquiring property or a yacht, registering a business, or planning for future generations, please contact Sheila George, Johann Henry, or Paul Mellor. ■


Lobster Love This season, the Virgin Islands are teeming with sea-life, including the noble lobster! WO R DS BY L AU R E N H O D G I N S P H OTO G R A P H Y BY C Y I C H A R T E R S A N D TA N YA T H E R O N —M/Y IRRESISTIBLE

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CONTEMPORARY CULINARY enthusiasts know that when it comes to seafood, lobster is king. The pugnacious crustacean has enjoyed varied reputations throughout history. Now prized the world over for its tender, succulent meat, the humble lobster hasn’t always been so beloved. Historical records tell us that the American colonists viewed the creature—which washed up

Lobster...Now prized the world over for its tender, succulent meat on the beach in piles—as garbage food, suitable only for prisoners and indentured servants. Thankfully, we’ve since reformed our collective palate, and these days, lobster is in the spotlight again as the delicacy du jour.

ABOVE Lobster served up gourmet-style; one of a multitude of ways to enjoy this succulent meat OPPOSITE M/Y Irresistible Chef Tanya Theron with a giant lobster for dinner

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As a result of last year’s mega storms which swept away most commercial lobster traps, the Virgin Islands are now well-stocked for your next gourmet dinner. These days, VI lobsters happily roam the reefs, scuttling, fighting, and procreating with no natural predators in sight. Free divers exploring local reefs have delightfully discovered an unusually high number of monstersized lobsters living beneath dark ledges. This extraordinary abundance presents charter yacht chefs the perfect opportunity to showcase their skills with local specialities; lobster salad with farm fresh micro-greens, lobster ceviche with avocado mousse, or the modern yet decadent surf-n-turf. To integrate this year’s lobster abundance into a cruising experience, imagine drinking cocktails on board your charter yacht at the flybridge bar while your crew dive into the water to catch your dinner. Or, if you’re a little more adventurous, join them, lobster snare in hand, and return home at the end of your trip with a belly full of lobster, and a fantastic story to share with your friends. Lobster-lovers out there should plan their next charter around this year’s Lobster Festival in Anegada, November 24-25, 2018. This annual culinary event will showcase local chefs, who will prepare and serve sample lobster dishes at participating restaurants on the island. Give your charter chef the day-off and rent a car to explore, sip, and taste all of the wonderful delights, lobster and otherwise, that the island has to offer. ■


M/Y Irresistible Captain Evert Theron posing with lobsters; Kip Hodgins holding a lobster claw; guest captain Ched Sharpless reveals his catch of the day; a plethora of sea life! RIGHT Guest captains Aaron Wentworth and Ched Sharpless brandishing more king-size lobsters

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PLEASURE WITH PANTHALASSA Exuberant and sophisticated, this triple-decker social extravaganza is a cruising masterpiece WO R DS BY ST E P H E N L F R A N C E P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A L E X I S A N D R E WS

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THIS PAGE Panthalassa is a great family yacht with much open deck space

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ESTEEMED CHARTER YACHT Panthalassa has witnessed recurring and expanding popularity as a vessel featuring three decks, eloquently expressing her prowess for function and fashion. Designed with every kind of sea perceived, the 184-foot beauty—built by Perini Navi in 2010 with Naval Architect Ron Holland—accommodates 12 guests with 10 attentive crew members. “Panthalassa is a great family yacht,” said Panthalassa Captain Bill Bailey. “She has so much open deck space and the cabin configuration makes her ideal for charter. She is incredibly light and airy, and her design is not overly complicated, it’s simple and elegant.” Being the ideal boat for family anniversaries, groups of friends reuniting, couples’ retreats, or even a rewarding business respite for company employees, two master suites and four guest suites comprise the living arrangement of this striking super yacht. The cabin configuration encompasses two master suites, two doubles, two convertible twin beds, and four Pullman beds—perfect flexibility in obliging a variety of groups and their specific requirements. Decked out in chic-leather panelled walls, silk rugs, and marble clad bathrooms, ‘luxury-lifestyle’ is adhered to through the discerning design. ABOVE The central oval staircase parades ingenious mastery of design and architecture LEFT Panthalassa’s very own wine cellar OPPOSITE PAGE Plenty of open deck space! 40 | V I P R O P E R T Y & YA C H T

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“She is incredibly light and airy, and her design is not overly complicated, it’s simple and elegant.” – CAPTAIN BILL BAILEY

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With a light-infused interior conceived by architectural experts Foster and Partners, the design assumes an identity completely unique and dazzling for all guests fortunate enough to enjoy her amenities. The main salon with dining area—which has the capability to convert into a fully soundproofed cinema or conference boardroom facility—boasts a central oval staircase, that parades ingenious mastery of visual delight. This spectacular staircase links all three decks—serving simplicity and ease of the space—while the main salon bestows chances for family recreational entertainment and/or business-meeting austerity. “The central staircase is particularly impressive and light floods all the way from the flybridge to the lower deck,” said Captain Bill. “The energy on board created by the dynamic new crew is also really exciting. She is a happy boat and guests who come aboard feel that. From a sailing perspective, she is a delight. Once the anchor is up and the toys are stowed, we can be ready to sail in around 10 minutes. She is a safe and sturdy yacht, so the motion is calmer and gentler than smaller yachts.” With a seamless indoor-outdoor living layout, and a fantastically spacious fly bridge, the flow of the atmosphere means that even if a party member desires solitude, the lucidity of the interior and exterior means that guests will always feel connected, experiencing the best of both worlds simultaneously. Another aesthetic wonder of Panthalassa is her floating bar in the main salon—an attractive touch that will entice visitors to a few cocktails while relaxing in the gentle water. Of course, part of a good yacht vacation is to experience the water, and like any renowned charter service, Panthalassa is host to an array of toys including wave runners, four SeaBobs, water-skis, wakeboards, paddleboards, inflatables, two 6.2-metre tenders, a trampoline, and six sets of dive gear for rendezvous diving. If these activities fail to entice a guest’s interests, adding to her provision of water sport mania, Panthalassa has incredible beach equipment for the anticipated days of ‘voluntary laziness.’ Such items include full barbecue equipment—ideal for the guest wishing to unveil their culinary aptitude. It’s clear to see that the brightness of Panthalassa’s design is contagious unto her character and attractiveness for repeat visitors. This year, Panthalassa will be cruising Caribbean waters throughout the winter till 2019. Keep an eagle-eye out. Panthalassa is available to charter through Y.CO from 200,000 USD per week. ■ OPPOSITE PAGE, FROM TOP Sleek interiors of the smooth contemporary persuasion

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

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


Myths, Legends, and the Truth Revealed Discovering the truth behind the myth in Virgin Islands culture and history! WO R DS BY G E O F F R E Y B R O O KS

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I HAVE BEEN studying Virgin Islands history for 18 years as curator of our Virgin Islands Maritime Museum and for my own personal enrichment. In those years, I’ve experienced countless times when what I understood to be the truth turned out to be a myth, perpetrated over the years until it was accepted as gospel. They say that you learn something new every day and this has always held true with me. It was literally yesterday that another myth was busted before my eyes, which prompted the subject of this month’s article—I’d now like to share some of these experiences with you. In my research, I’ve interviewed many people—most of them elderly—showing them old photographs and asking them if they can identify the location, the boat, or the people in the images. I then label the photograph according to their information and display it in the museum. Six months or a year will pass, and someone will visit the museum and inform me that the location is wrong, or the names are incorrect. They will say things like, “so-and-so was my grandfather and that is definitely not him.” I have two colleagues from the College— Hector Penn and Courtney De Castro— who share my passion for history. Whenever I acquire an enigmatic, old photo donated for the museum, all three of us examine it to determine the subject. Once I found a photo of a schooner in Road Harbour from the 1930s and just knew its location was mislabelled. Hector brought his grandfather Julian Maduro over, who identified it as the Eagle; a schooner from Anguilla. To support Julian’s identification, I emailed a copy of the photo to David Carty —a friend and historian in Anguilla—to see if it was indeed the Eagle. Three days later, he wrote back “God bless you, my grandfather built that boat and no one has ever seen a picture of it.” To identify it, David had to show it to the elderly members of his family who remembered it from their youth. In other cases, we have reviewed charts to find a location by the relationship to islands in the background of the photo; it’s all detective work and we love it. My favourite myth grew out of the sinking of the Royal Mail Steamer Rhone in 1867. The wreck of the Rhone has become one of the major

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dive sites in the world and the story of its sinking was perpetuated over the years by the dive companies that bring visitors to dive or snorkel on the wreck. Their story goes like this. In the middle of the great gale of October 1867, the Rhone which was anchored off Peter Island broke its anchor chain, and in an effort to reach open sea the crew fired up her boilers and attempted to escape using her engines. Between Peter and Salt islands, she was holed in the side on a rock and water got into the boilers and caused an explosion which ripped the vessel in half; the bow or front section sank in deep water near Peter Island and the stern half sank in shallow water off Salt Island. It’s a very plausible story because if you snorkel over the site off Salt Island, you can clearly see where the boilers were blown apart. It just isn’t true. For many years, I never doubted its authenticity until June of last year when my colleague in the Virgin Islands Studies Institute, Dr. Michael Kent, launched his book on

the sinking of the Rhone Twice She Struck; the truth became clear. The Rhone sank because she was blown sideways onto a rock. She floated free once and then hit a second time and was broken in half. Three years later, two divers—the Murphy brothers from Turks and Caicos—were hired to salvage what was valuable on the wreck. Dynamite was used to blow apart the boilers in the stern section to extract the copper tubing inside. The wreck of the Rhone led to another myth that’s still very much believed today; this involves Salt Island and the pound of salt presented to Her Majesty the Queen every year. The Durant family has lived on Salt Island for generations. When the Rhone wrecked on Black Rock—the west side of the island—the Durant family rescued the survivors and buried the bodies of the dead in a graveyard next to their settlement. It’s still there and is a grim reminder of that tragedy. As a reward for their efforts, the myth relays that the Queen gave them

ownership of the Island for the price of one pound of salt per annum. This just isn’t quite true; the pound of salt is given every year as a gesture to allow them to remain in that part of the island, that they’ve always occupied. It might as well be called rent. An additional myth or legend I would like to clarify involves where Tortola got its name. I was told and always believed that Christopher Columbus named Tortola in 1493 and that it means Turtle Dove. I never doubted the truth in this story either until recently when I was asked to assist in a historical tour of Road Town for passengers off the Disney Cruise ship at the Tortola Pier Park. In the script provided by the Department of Culture, it stated that the name Tortola comes from a coastal island in the Netherlands, ‘Tholen.’ It was called ‘Nieu-Ter-Tholen’; meaning ‘New Land of Tholen’ by the Dutch who also named ‘Huntums Ghut’ and ‘Jost Van Dyke.’ Christopher Columbus called it ‘Santa Ana.’ ■

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s o d i n e v n e i B ami! a Mi

A hot spot for culture, cuisine, and captivating art, Miami welcomes visitors with its signature Latin flair WO R DS BY SA R A S H E R M A N

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L I F E / T R AV E L

FROM THE MOVIE-STAR level luxury of Bal Harbour to the thumping beats of iconic South Beach, Miami is one of the hottest destinations in the world. Filled with sights, sounds, and tastes you won’t want to miss, this ‘Venice of America’ has something for everyone to enjoy. You’ll be dazzled by its beaches and become obsessed with its food. And the Latin heartbeat of the city will have your feet moving long after you return home. Miami has grown to house more than 5.5 million residents, with much of that growth happening in just over 100 years. This growth contributed to the city being known as the ‘Magic City’—seemingly growing overnight—and is home to one of the largest Cuban-American populations in the USA. Latin flavour is omnipresent throughout the city and touches every part of Miami’s culture. The Port of Miami is the world’s busiest cruise port, making tourism, along with the financial industry, a major player in the city’s economy. Miami’s food scene is so hot right now, you’ll be hard pressed to find a bite you didn’t like. A melting pot of the city’s cultures are reflected in its cuisine, with a heavy nod to Caribbean and Cuban flavours. The iconic Ocean Drive has many lovely restaurants, but you’ll pay for the view.

LEFT From the turquoise waters

and soft sand to the impeccable music scene and up and coming culinary world, Miami has something for everyone

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L I F E / T R AV E L

You’ll be dazzled by its beaches and become obsessed with its food Restaurants like Yardbird and Macchialina serve delicious, comforting food while the ‘up and coming’ culinary scene in the Coconut Grove neighbourhood features modern American food— with a Latin twist—at Ariete. Seafood lovers will of course enjoy indulging in the many restaurants dedicated to delicacies from the sea. Food and Wine Magazine just named Miami Beach institution ‘Joe’s Stone Crab’ in its list of the 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Last 40 Years list. The restaurant has been serving stone crabs for more than 100 years and the chilled dish is a must-have treat when visiting Miami. No trip to Miami is complete without at least seeing the ocean, and the city’s beaches won’t disappoint. From the idyllic shores of Miami and South Beaches to the wind surfer’s paradise of Hobie Beach, there are

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plenty of places to put your toes in the sand. The Everglades National Park is only an hour south of downtown Miami and offers visitors a chance to experience the vast wetlands and marshes of Florida, while keeping eyes open for gators, egrets, and other wildlife. For those visiting with young ones—or simply the young at heart—Zoo Miami is home to more than 2000 animals and is a fabulous place for families. You can even feed a giraffe or ride a camel. Visit the oldest oceanarium in the United States at Miami Seaquarium— home to the original TV set of Flipper, or enjoy Miami as the cultural centre of the southeast, full of art, music, ABOVE With distinctive Latin flavors, seafood is a star of Miami’s culinary scene RIGHT Everglades National Park is full of beautiful natural wonders to see and explore

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L I F E / T R AV E L

and an eclectic variety of other creative pursuits. Known for its art deco architecture and decor, the Miami Art Deco District has more than 900 historic buildings to explore. With the highest concentration of 1920s and 30s architecture in the world, the plentiful bars, restaurants, hotels, and even the Miami Beach post office are all photo-worthy stops. In addition to the architectural wonders of South Beach, this colourful neighbourhood hosts the preeminent art show in North America each year: Art Basel Miami. Featuring works from across the globe from modern artists of all disciplines, this show draws more than 70,000 visitors to Miami and continues to contribute to the vibrant art scene of the city. Latin culture is ever present in the Miami music scene. From

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pumping electronic and dance music in nightclubs to live Latin and jazz in venues large and small, the city itself pulses to a rhythmic beat. Ball & Chain is a stellar Miami club situated between downtown and Little Havana. A focal point for Cuban culture in the post-war era, it’s re-emerging as a hot restaurant and live music venue for new generations of locals and visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for designer goods in the swanky Bal Harbour shops or enjoying the Florida sun on the white sand beaches, Miami is a city that will salsa its way into your heart forever. ■RIGHT Miami is famous for

nostalgic yet modern art deco architecture and decor BELOW From live jazz to thumping dance clubs, nights in Miami are always hopping

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A comprehensive, concise guide to change your ‘Reusing’ perspective! W O R D S B Y C H A R L O T T E M C D E V I T T— G R E E N V I P H OTO G R A P H Y CO U R T E SY O F G R E E N V I

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THIS SLOGAN IS often repeated, but what does it mean in daily life? Our last article revealed how to reduce our waste products; now we’ll look at ‘reusing’—another important way to manage waste. When we reuse, we’re consuming zero energy to recycle, and giving new life to ‘cast-offs’ normally headed for the landfill, incinerator, or trash heap. REPURPOSE: Glass jars, tin foil, newspaper, cardboard boxes, scrap-paper, plastic food containers, water bottles, straws, cutlery, and— importantly—plastic bags are just some of the items at home with ‘new use’ potential. DONATE/SELL: Instead of throwing out clothing, toys, and household goods, why not trade, sell,

When we reuse, we’re consuming zero energy to recycle, and giving new life to ‘cast-offs’ normally headed for the landfill, incinerator, or trash heap or donate them? The BVI Red Cross, Family Support Network, or a church/ social organisation can repurpose donations, and L&L’s Consignment Store can help sell used goods. Posting on Facebook’s BVI Recycle Exchange and BVI Bring & Buy can also give items a second life. REPAIR: Let’s bring back a BVI tradition and try to fix broken things before just tossing them out. For example, the BVI’s Radio Doctor will repair items they sell; a great strategy to reduce toxic electronic and bulky

appliance waste. Also, when you buy, look for quality, a repair warranty, and energy-saving products. RETURN: Two businesses providing discounts when you bring back containers are Sageroots and Island Roots. Look for more BVI businesses with this policy and support them. Also, Green VI are advocating for a

ABOVE All examples of re-used items including doors, textiles, and even an old truck finding new purpose at Lady Sarah’s

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Bottle Bill which will pay a refund for returns – watch out for it! STORM DEBRIS: Companies such as Sail Caribbean and many, many individuals continue to make the laudable effort to reuse wood, metal, and other remnants from the 2017 hurricanes in fun, creative ways. Efforts such as these are small, but significant steps to decreasing the mountains of storm debris. If more of this thinking was applied, we could reclaim valuable materials, significantly reducing the risk of toxic fires and associated health implications.

our neighbouring not-for-profit on St. John, Island Green Living Association. For many years, they have successfully diverted windows, doors, ceiling fans, toilets, sinks, flooring, appliances, and tools from the landfill and sold these items at up to 80% below retail cost, with profits going to recycling efforts and the creation of green jobs. This type of ‘reusing’ has—out of necessity— been practiced by individuals in the BVI for many years. We now seek to centralise, expand, and improve these efforts with a non-profit Resource Depot where recycling best practices are the norm.

RESOURCE DEPOT: Green VI now seeks funding to imitate

A CREATIVE JOURNEY: Learning to reuse our waste is a

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ABOVE More examples of reused bits and pieces, given renewed purpose

creative journey we can take together to show how a little imagination can make a big difference. Examples already abound in the Territory: used doors, furniture, and textiles at Lady Sarah’s; a décor of repurposed pallets at Soup; and old tires used for planters and borders in many gardens. Keep a look-out for more examples, and feel free to imitate. WE RECYCLE! This critical practice will be our focus next time. Meanwhile, check out to see where your closest recycling points are on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. ■

SOL Y SOMBRA VIRGIN GORDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS STEPS AWAY FROM Little Trunk Bay, this classic and timeless British colonial beachfront villa has five suites, each furnished with custom-made teak furniture. A great room, office/library, dining room and fully-outfitted kitchen offer spacious and elegant entertainment areas. A 45-foot ocean-front infinity pool, observation deck and lighted tennis court are set within over an acre of tropical gardens. The property is proximate to The Baths, Virgin Gorda’s famous destination, and two unspoiled beaches, Little Trunk Bay and Valley Trunk Bay. A private movie theater, daily maid service, exercise equipment and gym and a chef (upon request) complete the villa’s offerings.

Smiths Gore (BVI) Limited T 284.494.2446 E W

Introducing the new Marina Village and Bay Suites. Opening December 2018. A social destination for unwinding in the North Sound, Oil Nut Bay’s Marina Village offers relaxed outdoor dining, marketplace, boutique, coffee shop, library and spacious lounge deck with games, a pool and suspended overwater hammock. Looking to stay a little longer? The Bay Suites offer a luxurious retreat with beautiful sea views and world-class resort amenities. VIRGIN GORDA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS | 1 284 393 1000 |

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