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Virgin Islands




Toad Hall Estate

BILLIONAIRE PLAYGROUND UNCOVERED Part 2 Why the North Sound is loved by all

A unique haven neighbouring Virgin Gorda’s picturesque hotspot The Baths

Rolex Swan Cup Coverage of one of the BVI’s exclusive regattas

Exclusive Feature Property

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

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



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Inspiration Point Kingston, Tortola US$675,000

Flamboyant Breezes Havers. Tortola US$735,000

Captain’s Studio Nanny Cay, Tortola US$180,000

Governor’s Point Land Scrub Island US$2,700,000

GREAT SAILING IS JUST THE BEGINNING 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!

BVI Sotheby’s International Realty has two offices in the territory. The Tortola office is located in the Mill Mall in Road Town. The Virgin Gorda office is located in the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour across from Scotia Bank. Both offices have opening hours from Monday - Friday from 9AM to 5PM.

Enjoy the BVI Regatta Season

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Sales Team

Maritha Keil 284.340.5555 Susan Gevers 284.340.5505 Isha O'brien 284.346.5553 Damara Penn 284.340.5558 Dietmar Lichota 284.340.5559 Heidi Schumann 284.340.3636


April 2015

From the Editor

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Riding the penultimate month of the traditional time allotted for high season, there are many events occurring across the island, but within the aLG team, we have had a little celebration of our own… We warmly welcomed our newest recruit on the ‘aLG ship,’ Lauren Charley. Lauren joins the team with innovative ideas and her unique approach to creative writing, after recently graduating with an Honours B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She has worked as a feature magazine writer, where many of her stories pertained to events, people, activities, and places in popular tourist destinations. Lauren’s love for tropical weather, aesthetically pleasing beaches, and welcoming Caribbean hospitality, prompted her to start this endeavour as a full time writer in the British Virgin Islands, and we are happy to have her on board. With our new addition, April’s magazine brings fresh content pertaining to our neighbouring island, Virgin Gorda. Our cover feature presented by BVI Sotheby’s International Realty, introduces the property Toad Hall Estate – a perfectly situated haven for vacation rental investment and that second home in the Caribbean you have been seeking. The final piece in the BVI Property Forum has Bonnie Dougall tackling more FAQs surrounding property ownership. To review all the informative articles in this series, please visit us at Roger Downing and Partner—2014’s VIPY Readers’ Choice winner for Best BVI Architectural Firm— extend us the courtesy of reviewing their earlier projects that catapulted their organisation. The second part of The BVI’s Billionaire’s Playground Uncovered story by Coldwell Banker broker Chris Smith, delves further into the enigma that made the North Sound the riveting hotspot it is today, and BVI HomeSense provides 10 aspects of property investment that all buyers should be aware of. Our Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015 coverage glides smoothly into our Yacht Spotlight that highlights one of the luxurious yachts that participated in the regatta, and our resident writer/chef Megan provides yet another tantalising dish – she certainly spoils her Lolalita guests! We talk to Spring Regatta Director Judy Petz about what to expect over the Spring Regatta Sailing Festival that takes place at the beginning of this month (started March 30); and VISAR makes a call-out to crewed yacht charter boats about their $1 per person program – an initiative that has created the foundation of the organisation’s funding. House provides the second half of their coastal chic range—bringing the beach into the home. And VP Bank, an organisation well-known for its philanthropy, accepted our invitation to talk more about the company and their 20-year celebration. All-in-all, an extremely busy month here, but an enjoyable one all the same. Whether resident or visitor, we hope you relish what April in the BVI has to offer.

Stephen L France

Contact Us Editorial Enquiries Advertising Enquiries

PS – Another great giveaway is up for grabs—free entry as always. The Moorings are offering two day sails – if you’ve enjoyed one before, you know just how much fun they are – don’t miss the opportunity to do it again right here! If you haven’t indulged in this kind of excursion, get involved and sign up for the chance to see what it’s like –

General Enquiries



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Great Value Properties for Sale BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Gorgeous Home 5 Minutes from Smugglers Cove, West End

Villa Sunshine-Charming Home on Havers Hill near Nanny Cay, Tortola

4 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom Home with Pool and end of Quiet Lane

Pretty 4 Bedroom/3 Bath Home with Pool on 0.64 acres

Asking US $1,750,000

Asking US $850,000

Rare, Private 1 Acre Beachfront Brewer's Bay, Tortola

Ideal Land for Golf Development South Virgin Gorda

Private, Gorgeous Home Tucked Away in Cane Garden Bay

Lower Eastern Side of Brewer's Bay with its Own Road Access, Electricity to Site

Rare Flat Land 10+ acres, road access and electricity to site

3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom Home with Pool. 0.338 acres Land

Asking US $1,250,000

Price on Application

Asking US $750,000

We are committed to finding your BVI home. Leave it in our capable hands. Your Local BVI Real Estate Experts... Bonnie Dougall 541-3003

Aja Royale 541-3311

Claire Massingham 543-0818

(284)495-3003 April 2015

Office now on Main Street, Road Town, Tortola


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

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

Maritha Keil Maritha heads BVI Sotheby’s International Realty; the global authority for property sales and rentals in the British Virgin Islands. Providing property valuation and management, the company specialises in residential sales, vacation villa rentals, commercial property, including private islands, marinas, hotels and resorts.

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

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

Web Developer Maros Pristas

Staff Writer Lauren Charley

Sales & Marketing Erin Paviour-Smith

Creative Director Nick Cunha

Distribution Francoise Frank

Design & Layout Scott Taylor

Finances BVI Accounting

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

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

Copyright 2015 by aLookingGlass Ltd. All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright by the creators or by the contractual arrangments with their clients. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the creators and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership.

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

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

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

Toad Hall Estate among the majestic boulders of Virgin Gorda: Photo by Todd VanSickle

APR V i r g i n I s l a n d s



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






10 Exclusive Feature Property

31 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015

44 44 Years and Still Sailing

Toad Hall Estate – the epitome of vacation rental investment situated in the picturesque setting of Virgin Gorda

Coverage of one of the most exclusive regattas in the BVI

Spring Regatta’s Director Judy Petz lets us know what to expect for this year’s festival

17 BVI Property Forum

36 Yacht Spotlight



The last article in Dougall Real Estate BVI’s FAQ’s series for property buyers and sellers

20 Readers’ Choice Focus We find out why Roger Downing & Partner have won Best BVI Architectural Firm for four years running

24 The BVI’s Billionaire Playground Uncovered! Part2

The second part in a story investigating the North Sound’s exalted name

29 BVI HomeSense Top 10 ‘must-haves’ of buying your vacation rental home

Introducing the prized yacht of Nautor’s Swan – Solleone

A ‘shout out’ to crewed charter yachts from this noble organisation

40 Moorings Reader Giveaway

48 Things We Love

Be in to win one of three incredible day sails, each for 10 people and valued at RRP$800

Part 2 of House’s coastal chic home decoration range

42 From Sea Level

50 Verwaltungs und Privat (VP Bank)

Chef Megan of Lolalita presents Sundried Tomato Pesto Farfalle with Voodoo Shrimp

Behind the scenes of VP Bank celebrating 20 years in the Territory

54 Property Listings

February 2015





Exclusive Feature Property:



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Words by Lauren Charley. Photography by Todd VanSickle and Heidi Schumann

Secluded amidst 5.5 acres of privately

Toad Hall Estate is more than just an investment opportunity for

owned land is an exclusive property, built between the mysterious boulders

deluxe rental accommodations; it is also a possible business venture

which comprise Spring Bay National Park, commonly known as The Baths on

for entrepreneurs looking to expand upon an existing vacation villa.

Virgin Gorda.

Additionally, it’s an ideal residential home for families looking to stay in the

Presented by BVI Sotheby’s International Realty, Toad Hall Estate is graced with international character and charm, and currently operates as a popular,

beautiful Virgin Gorda at their own private retreat. Spring Bay National Park remains one of the British Virgin Islands’ most

secluded vacation rental. It is conveniently located 10 minutes from the

popular tourist destinations. Visitors come to not only see the famous, giant

main ferry dock in Spanish Town, yet the estate is tucked away down a

boulders, perched amongst the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters,

private driveway with its own parking area, allowing guests to escape the

but also the cactuses, coconut palm trees, and other lush vegetation which

commercialisation of Virgin Gorda.

contribute to this majestic tropical paradise.

April 2015


Toad Hall Estate’s founder purchased the desolate property in 1968, after

Additionally, there is a smaller, studio pavilion suitable for kids or additional

serving time in Asia with the US Army. He constructed the main buildings

guests. Two of these units are ground level with wooden gallery decks, and

over several months between the summer and winter Solstices in 1970.

one is elevated above the pool area. Inside these Caribbean-style houses,

The balance was designed to allow guests their privacy inside personal pavilions, with the option of congregating together outside in the shared spaces, just steps away from their bedroom doors. The kitchen and living areas are open plan, sheltered by sloping wooden covers inspired by traditional Japanese architecture. The stylish cooking area is complete with a breakfast bar and modern appliances, opening out to a hand-crafted wooden dining table. Comfy sofas allow the ultimate relaxation after a long day, or enjoy the common area to engage in leisurely activities. Accommodations at Toad Hall include three enclosed bed/bathroom pavilions, 20 x 20 feet, with king size beds to sleep two persons each.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

the rooms have been tastefully decorated with elegant, contemporary furnishings to highlight the property’s inner beauty, as well as its intriguing outer appearance. Each feature a unique outdoor shower, which have been built between the large boulders, and screened for necessary privacy. The property is built in a prime location to enjoy the best of the tropical Caribbean climate; located 42 feet above sea level, there is always a nice breeze to keep guests cool from the heat. Distinctive gardens have been specially decorated with native vegetation from locations around the world. South American Bougainvillea shrubs, painted with vibrant magenta flowers, glory cedar trees from Dominica, oriental Eastern Mahoganies, and the Caribbean’s symbolic coconut palm trees are amongst these beautiful plants.

April 2015


The attentively constructed landscaping provides the optimal amount of shade for leisure time spent in the common areas and around the property. Guests can enjoy a refreshing dip in the fresh water swimming pool, built circulating around the majestic boulders, trailing in and out patches of the midday sun. Surrounding the pool is a patio with loungers and parasols for peaceful relaxation. Perhaps the most original feature of the estate is its intriguing ’Meditation Spot’: a tiny nook between giant boulders, down a pathway of wooden stairs.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

This unique hideaway offers visitors a private access down to the famous Baths, along wooden footpaths leading directly from the sanctuary to the calm, sparkling

Toad Hall Estate

waters which encompass the iconic boulders. Along the way, the trail includes unique resting areas such as a stone terrace with lounge chairs, overlooking the

The Baths, Virgin Gorda

activity happening on the beaches down below, and the boats docked off shore. Currently, the villa includes its own on-site restaurant. While the establishment is owned by Toad Hall Estate, the daily operations, finance, and logistics of the business are managed by the talented restauranteurs who rent out Mad Dog’s Restaurant. Mad Dog’s is open to the public, and is a popular spot for both returning vacationers and first time visitors, as it is renowned for their delicious, fresh made, triple decker sandwiches, and refreshing beverages from their full service bar. Due to the size of the estate, there are endless possibilities for investors to build an additional on-site restaurant, cafe, or beach bar. Whether purchased as a private residential retreat, or a deluxe vacation rental villa, Toad Hall Estate offers infinite opportunities for its next owner to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of their personal paradise, or share with others the magical beauty which Virgin Gorda has to offer.

• Land area: 5.5 acres • Private walkway to The Baths • Private driveway and parking • 3 bed/bath pavilions • 1 studio pavilion • On-site restaurant • Fully furnished • Beautiful pool among famous boulders

US $10,000,000

For more info contact: Maritha Keil t (284)494.5700 m (284)340.5555

April 2015




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.


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

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

Requirements to reside annually in the British Virgin Islands All foreigners wishing to reside long term in the Territory must ask permission.

Working in the BVI Work Permit – if applicants are going to be employed in the Territory

The government will allow people to stay for various reasons listed below. In all cases, permission must be acquired before residing long term or arriving in

In the case of the Work Permit, a copy of the job letter must accompany

the BVI to live. At all ports, 30-day visas are issued by Immigration for visitors

the applicant when they arrive in the BVI as well as medical examination

to the Territory. These can be renewed, usually for another 30 days to allow

documents, police records, birth certificates, passports and where the person

visitors to sort out applications, but in some cases such as for Work Permits,

will be staying while in the Territory. These documents are usually acquired by

applicants must not be in the BVI until permission is granted.

their future employer.

April 2015


Opening a Business in the BVI

approval usually takes 3-4

Trade License – if applicants

submission of a signed

have been approved for a

request to the Chief

Trade License to operate a new

Immigration Officer, proof

business in the Territory

of financial support (bank

The Right to Reside weeks after receipt and

statements, bank financial A Trade License application

references, or 2 weeks/

must be acquired from the

months of current pay slips),

Trade Department. Once

copy of the bio-page of the

filled in and submitted,

passport, Birth Certificate, and

approval times vary

contact information. The approval letter will

greatly. A number of different business categories will

spell out any additional

only be approved through

medical examination

partnership with a local

documents and police

Belonger. It is best to contact

records to bring along

the Trade Department directly (call Government 284-494-3701 and ask for

with originals of birth certificates, passports, and where the person will

the Trade Department) to discuss what you wish to apply for. It is also wise

be staying while in the Territory. These must be presented in person to

to come to the Territory and discuss your plans in person. Applicants will

Immigration. Each person staying in the Territory will also be required to

also have to apply for a Work Permit before starting operation of their new

post a $1000 bond as surety which will be returned when the individual

business in the Territory.

leaves the Territory for good.

Buying a Property in the BVI in the BVI

Can I get bank loans and financing in the BVI? What are the general terms offered by BVI banks?

This Non-Belonger’s Land Holder License grants up to 6 months residency in

There are a number of International and Local Banks operating in the BVI.

the Territory annually. Purchasers of a home must first find a suitable piece

Loans can be secured for car, house, and land purchase as well as personal

of property and negotiate an acceptable offer to the Seller. The property is

or business loans. The larger banks are First Bank out of Puerto Rico, Banco

then advertised for 4 weeks in a local paper to see if a Belonger wishes to

Popular, First Caribbean (CIBC), Scotiabank, BVI National Bank, and VP Bank.

Non-Belonger Land Holder’s License – if applicants have purchased a property

match the price and terms of the offer. If a Belonger comes forward, they are

Each bank has their own terms, rates, and approval process. Generally

entitled to buy the property. If no Belonger emerges, it is normal to work

however at the time of the writing of this article, loans are being offered

with a local BVI Lawyer to prepare the Non-Belonger Land Holder’s Permit.

from between 5.5%-8%. Terms vary anywhere from five years to 30-year

Currently, approvals are taking 4-6 months once the papers are submitted to fixed, most loans being fully open and able to be paid down. Banks will vary Natural Resources (at the writing of this article). Once approved, the buyer

widely in the percentage they will lend based on an applicant’s strength of

usually has about 30 days to complete the sale of the property.

credit as well as whether they reside in the BVI annually, or are foreigners. Most Banks will lend 75%-80% of the purchase price, with some assets even

Right to Reside Annually in the BVI but Not Seek Employment

qualifying for 90% financing such as land purchase. All banks charge a 1.5%-2% arranging fee as well as an additional 1-1.5% for lawyer fees. In addition, the applicant will have to pay for the property

This is a possibility for foreigners wishing to reside in the Territory who

appraisal (usually $750-$850), an As Built Survey ($1500) plus an applicant

have the resources to support themselves without working, exemplified

fee usually around $150.

in the spouses and children of Work Permit authorised foreigners–these individuals must also apply for a right to reside long term.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Rental income is usually considered although not at full value, ranging between 50%-75% of the value credited towards income.

Bonnie Dougall

buyers for a wide variety of homes and land here. However in late 2008, she decided to Principal of Dougall Real Estate BVI We are committed to finding your BVI home.launch her own Real Estate Company. Leave it in our capable hands. mobile: 284-541-3003 With her extensive knowledge of buying and

Your Local BVI Real Estate Experts...

selling in the BVI market, Bonnie enjoys the Real Estate business and loves to help clients find the home or land of their dreams either buyers for a wide variety of homes and land to rentHowever or buy. For clients wishing to sell to here. in late 2008, she decided their Properties, with her experience launch her own Real Estate home renovation, Bonnie can give Owners a With extensive of buying lot of her input on how knowledge best to market and and sellingtheir in thehome BVI market, Bonnie enjoys ‘stage‘ to achieve a faster salethe for Real Estate business and loves to help clients the most money.

Bonnie Dougall is the Principal of Dougall Real Estate BVI. Bonnie has been involved with Real EstateDougall in both Canada and the BVI Bonnie for over 34 years. Born inReal Alberta Canada, Principal of Dougall Estate BVI she attended the University of Alberta mobile: 284-541-3003 obtaining a BSc with Honors in Computing Science. However after meeting her husband Bonnie Dougall is the Principal of Dougall Fred Warrilow, an experienced renovator, Real Estate BVI. Bonnie has been involved they began to invest in buying, renovating, with Real Estate in both Canada and the BVI renting and sellingBorn real estate in the Toronto for over 34 years. in Alberta Canada, area of Ontariothe Canada for over 15 years. she attended University of Alberta obtaining a BSctrip with Honors Computing Upon a sailing to the BVI in 1987, Science.&However aftertheir meeting her husband Bonnie Fred bought BVI tropical Fred Warrilow, an have experienced renovator, beach house and been addicted to the they began to invest in buying, renovating, BVI ever since. renting and selling real estate in the Toronto

find the home or land of their dreams either to rent or buy. For clients wishing to sell Just important,with oncehera Sale or Rental theirasProperties, experience in has been following homenegotiated, renovation,Bonnie Bonniefocuses can giveonOwners a lot of input howlegal bestpathway to markettoand through theon entire the ‘stage‘ their home achieve a faster sale for end, helping clientstounderstand and feel the most money.

comfortable with process.

Just as important, once a Sale or Rental has

“We forward to getting to know beenlook negotiated, Bonnie focuses on you following better andthebeentire of service. Give us ato call” through legal pathway the

area of Ontario Canada for over 15 years. In 2002,a sailing Bonnietrip & Fred moved Upon to the BVI inpermanently 1987, Bonnieto&the Fred their BVI down BVI.bought She worked fortropical various BVI beach companies house and have been addicted the Realty finding both renters to and BVI ever since.

end, helping clients understand and feel comfortable with process.

2002, Bonnie & Fred moved permanently Acre Hideway Gorgeous Long Bay Beach In Hawksnest-3 down to the BVI. She worked for various BVI Luckfinding Hill,both Tortola Great House, West End, Tortola Realty companies renters and

“We look forward to getting to know you Anderson better and be of service.Point Give us aHome call”

on Brewer's Bay

Gorgeous Long Bay Beach Great House, West End, Tortola

Hawksnest-3 Acre Hideway Luck Hill, Tortola

Anderson Point Home on Brewer's Bay

Rare, elegant waterfront 6 Bedroom home available right on thewaterfront beach! Buy to enjoy as a private Rare, elegant 6 Bedroom home available right onorthe beach! Buy property to enjoy as a private resident a great rental investment!

Very private 3 Bedroom home with Very private 3 Bedroom home with Separate 1 Bedroom Guest House

Pretty 3 unit Home...Top Floor 3 Bedroom Owners Unit,32nd down 2 Floor Bedroom Guest unit, Pretty unitFloor Home...Top 3 Bedroom Owners Unit, 2nd Floor 2 Bedroom 3rd Floor Downdown 1 Bedroom StudioGuest unit,

Asking Asking price price US US $3,995,000 $3,995,000

Asking Asking Price Price US US $2,250,000 $2,250,000

resident or a great rental property investment!

Separate 1 Bedroom Guest House

(284)495-3003 (284)495-3003

3rd Floor Down 1 Bedroom Studio

Asking Asking Price Price US US $995,000 $995,000

Office now now on on Main Main Street, Street, Road Road Town, Town, Tortola Tortola Office

April 2015


Readers’ Choice Focus Words by Stephen L France Photography courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition and RDP

Winning a Readers’ Choice award four times consecutively is a challenging feat and this difficulty is amplified when the competition is fierce. Roger Downing & Partner Company Limited (RDP) have achieved this

Talking to Director Thor Downing about their continued success, he said: “we certainly strive for perfection and pay very close attention to our clients’ needs and expectations. Communication is one of our key elements that we

inspiring accomplishment, emerging as Best BVI Architectural Firm in 2011,

concentrate on. Simple email responses cannot be underestimated. Our goal is

2012, 2013, and 2014 from the support of our VIPY readership voters.

never to be satisfied with just ok—we strive to improve our service, quality of

Founded in 1969 by Roger Downing and Miles Outerbridge from Bermuda, residents and visitors will be familiar with some of RDP’s renowned projects—

design, and level of professionalism.” With their fervent passion for design, the company constantly researches

namely Necker Island’s original Main House and 2010/11 renovation on their

new materials, methods of construction, and advances in technology. They

Bali Units , Little Dix Bay, and the JOMA properties.

recognise the evolution of client’s lifestyles and as a founding principal, “each

Within the BVI, the organisation has emerged as a well-respected

site requires a bespoke solution,” said Thor in reference to RDP’s assignments.

architectural and engineering firm, steadily expanding in their field to

“We spend a great deal of care at the very beginning with the topographical

incorporate interior design in their services with the belief that this addition is

survey and modelling to be absolutely sure of the project’s placement, axes on

integral to any project.

views, and minimising ancillary costs for retaining structures,” he continued.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

With their expertise realised in designing on incredibly steep slopes—

of their concepts, striving to keep on the cutting edge of technology

arguably the most complex sites, at all times they attempt to integrate the

and sustainability while “[being] guided by the specific site as well as the

design of the property in the natural objects of the area, such as large trees

expectations of…clients, effortlessly blending the two.”

and boulders. “These are not obstacles to us,” said the director. “But opportunities to truly make the project unique and reflective of its surroundings.” RDP has been involved and responsible for the design and construction

Roger Downing & Partner co. ltd. Tel: + 1(284) 494 2762

of countless luxury villas such as Rosewood Resorts Little Dix Bay, Peter Island Hotel since the early seventies, Necker Island in 1988 and 2010, and Oil Nut Bay, as well as substantial private residential complexes, marine and commercial developments. Anticipating a healthy series of high-end residential works paralleling collaborative projects for the future, RDP pride themselves in the development

April 2015


Words by Chris Smith, Managing Broker – Coldwell Banker BVI Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI


y the early 1970s, Leverick Bay could be reached by a paved road from Spanish Town, there was electricity in North Sound, and for the first time residents could own a car. A consortium from Norway had purchased the land at Biras Creek and was preparing to develop it. Yacht charters were bringing visitors to the BVI, but it was North Sound that was making them stay. Little Dix Bay, at the other end of Virgin Gorda, had already been welcoming visitors for several years at that point, opening up a wealth of opportunities to



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Left: Looking over to BEYC and Saba Rock Below: Little Dix Bay Villas Inset: BEYC Cottages c. 1973

those living in North Sound. For many people, including Ashburn Harrigan who was born and raised in North Sound, his 16 years working at Little Dix Bay gave him invaluable exposure in customer service. He says: “I learnt so much from the management and from the guests.” It was literally the first time the people of Virgin Gorda had been able to get a job on the island other than in agriculture or labouring. Ashburn spent his time wisely, getting to know what the visitors wanted from their vacation and, with a true entrepreneurial spirit, planning to supply that demand. When he left Little Dix he bought a 13-foot whaler and started offering boat charters. Since then, he has not looked back, buying increasingly bigger vessels, expanding his business ventures and is now the owner of an exciting new development at Blunder Bay Estates in North Sound where preparations are being made for a 22-acre luxury residential waterfront development. The land is divided into 10 building plots, each with its own unique character from being right on the white sand beach, to having a private dock a few feet away. Before any work began at Blunder Bay, an extensive environmental report was commissioned. Fully aware that they are the custodians of a naturally flawless area with a finely balanced eco-system, Blunder Bay’s team includes environmental experts to ensure that every detail of the development adheres to strict green architecture guidelines combined with thoroughly up to date technology, a 12 berth marina, four private docks, a private road within the estate, a helipad and beach facilities. In 1964, Myron and Denice Hokin sailed around the BVI for the first time. At that time North Sound had very little organised hospitality to offer bareboat visitors. Consequently, the restaurant at Bitter End, owned by Basil Symonette, was a frequent stopping off point for the Hokins. So much so that they approached Basil to buy an acre of land at Bitter End for themselves to build their own cottage to use whilst in North Sound. Basil refused to sell an acre, but offered them the entire property instead. The

Hokins’ son and present-day owner of Bitter End, Richard Hokin, persuaded his father that it would be worth buying the property for use as a family vacation spot and the Hokin Family became the proud owners of prime beachfront property, a restaurant, and five cottages on the hillside behind. In those early days, the Bitter End was kept very much as a family retreat, although the restaurant remained open to visitors. There was never any intention to develop a resort even when the hillside cottages were remodelled. The Hokin Family had no experience or indeed any interest in the hospitality business, but the resort growth happened regardless. Bareboat charters were still very primitive and sailors repeatedly requested to come ashore for a hot shower and a comfortable bed. There was no master plan. The Bitter End grew gradually as a result of the demand and this year celebrated its 40th anniversary. John and Nici Dobson’s story is a similar one. Having first visited the BVI on a sailing holiday, they chose Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda for their honeymoon in 1987 and by 1989, were returning to Little Dix Bay for their second wedding anniversary.

April 2015


Top: Oil Nut Bay. Inset: Little Dix Bay Villas Right: Moskito Island development Inset: YCCS during the Loro Piano Superyacht Regatta Part way through their stay, a hotel waiter who remembered them from their honeymoon, suggested to buy some property, since they clearly loved Virgin Gorda. This enterprising young man, Ashburn Harrigan, borrowed a car and showed the Dobsons’ property all over the island, ending up in Leverick Bay where the temperature felt a good 10 degrees cooler and the breezes were constant. They decided on a lot that day and the sale was initiated. John worked closely with Chris Yates of Leonard & Yates Construction to design the house and construction began in 1991, spanning a two-year period due to the difficulties of building at that time. Leonard & Yates, the only construction company at that time, had one small cement mixer and no concrete pump, so it was a slow process. The house, Dos Sols, remains today and is still enjoyed by the Dobson family, and repeat rental guests who return for the uninterrupted views of Mosquito and Prickly Pear. The friendships they formed in those early days have continued to this day. It is the beauty of North Sound that draws people in, but the local people who make them stay. Ed and Jackie Silvers built the very first vacation home in Leverick Bay back in 1975. Ed was a Warner Brothers Music executive when he first visited the BVI and fell in love with Virgin Gorda instantly. He bought land and Leonard & Yates built the first wooden house



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at Leverick Bay as an all-inclusive package, which was subsequently replaced in 1991 with a concrete house on the same spot, designed and built by Sam Leonard. It was Ed’s close friendship with Sam Leonard that persuaded him to make the move to Virgin Gorda permanently and he retired from Los Angeles in 1981. Sam was half of the only construction company Leonard & Yates and he was a well-loved member of the North Sound community, always smiling and involved in all aspects of local life—even playing the organ at the Catholic Church. His untimely and unexpected death in 1995 shocked the North Sound community. The fact that his name has come up so many times in the research of this article is testimony to the cherished position his memory has in the community. As for Ed, he cannot picture himself anywhere else: “I am the luckiest guy alive to have ended up here. Here my life has purpose. I celebrate with friends, I try to be helpful to some and am helped by others.” Sir Richard Branson’s purchase of Necker Island in 1978 and subsequent development of the ultimate private island destination, shone a spotlight on the area and, although it has taken more than 25 years (we like to take things at a steady pace in the islands), it was inevitable others would follow to such an idyllic location.

Into the 20th century and the North Sound is now seeing some dramatic and rapid changes. As former Chief Minister O’Neal predicted, the North Sound has indeed become a yachting mecca. In 2011, developer David V. Johnson completed the North Sound Yacht Club and Superyacht Marina with the vision of attracting the world’s most impressive superyachts along with their owners. The marina has 38 berths (nine have been sold) for yachts up to 300 ft. Though he still owns the Marina, Johnson finalised the sale of what is now Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) Virgin Gorda to His Highness The Aga Kahn in October 2014. The Yacht Club and Marina play host to some of the most spectacular regattas in the Caribbean, including the Loro Piano Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous held in March each year. Not only hosting some of the world’s largest yachts, the North Sound is now also home to probably more billionaires per square acre than even the most affluent Caribbean islands. Johnson is also well under way on the development of Oil Nut Bay, a 300 acre luxury, multi-generational residential resort on the very far Eastern tip of Virgin Gorda. Purchased in 2008, the property is being developed in harmony with the natural land and has dedicated 50% to green space. The low-density development will ultimately have 88 homes spread across 8 different neighbourhoods, each with unique topography and sea views. Of the 46 lots released to date, over 50% are sold with twelve villas complete and an additional twelve under development. All of the resort amenities and infrastructure are complete, including the Beach Club with three pools, restaurant, bar, Wellness Studio, tennis and pickle-ball courts, Nut House Kid’s Club, and Nature Centre as well as onsite emergency medical treatment.

The Marina Village on Deep Bay will open next season with a second restaurant and boutique shops to go along with 92 boat slips and twin jet heli-pad. Oil Nut Bay is the new Mustique of the Caribbean and it, along with its neighbours are setting a new paradigm for pricing in the British Virgin Islands. A few years ago, Sir. Richard himself purchased a second island, Moskito Island, and development is now under way on a very special community of residences for himself, his family and a few, very fascinating friends. Moskito, named for the Moskito Indians, will showcase the world’s best approach to eco-friendly development according to its charismatic owner. Ralph O’Neal remains an outspoken advocate for North Sound and is still vocal with his call for the continued monitoring of the impact that current and future developments will have on the economy and environment of North Sound. It is his hope that such development will continue to provide attractive opportunities for investors, whilst still benefiting the broader community in Virgin Gorda and the BVI as a whole.

For more info contact: Chris Smith Phone: (284) 495 3000 Mobile: (284) 340 3000

April 2015




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Words and photography courtesy of BVI Sotheby’s International Realty

Even ardent sailors occasionally need to spend some time enjoying the benefits of a stable platform; a place from which to observe the islands and boat traffic from a different perspective. Frequently, it is pressure from the less than enthusiastic boating fan-spouse that initiates a visit to the real estate agent’s office. Buying a land-base in a foreign country is not a light decision to make, but funds permitting, it’s really not a very difficult procedure; that process has been amply covered in other articles. Here, instead, is a top-ten list of things to look for if you are considering purchasing a property with a view to renting out to vacationers while you are at home – presumably dreaming about your next visit.


Easy access to the property is important, but easy 3 The view from the house should be memorable and access to the water is even more important. The property readily available from a number of vantage points. Each does not have to be right on the water’s edge, but certainly bedroom should have at least a view of a tropical garden, if not more than a couple of minutes’ drive away. not the sea.


The location of the house should provide for sufficient airflow. It should not feel dank or stuffy anywhere in the house, and especially not in the bedrooms. During the summer months, and frequently at other times of the year, the wind can and does die down. Air Conditioning will seem like a blessing at these times.


Finding a property with Caribbean charm and character can make the house more appealing to owners and renters alike, but it also has to fit the physical needs of the owner who may have serious storage requirements if they also happen to be a boat owner.

April 2015



A large covered deck no doubt adds to the charm of a property. Spending a lot of time outdoors is an important part of life in the tropics; come rain or shine.


If the property has rental income history, so much the better. You will hit the rental ground running.


Construction quality is of course very important, but it is difficult to measure without a trained eye. A structural survey will put your mind at ease and ensure the property will remain in good condition to sell when the time comes.


Having the electricity and telephone wires run underground will improve the property’s aesthetic and its value. The unimpeded views are what people appreciate.


The costs of maintenance and insurance are not always considered early in the selection process, but they are important aspects of purchasing that should be accounted for in the final reckoning.


Crime is very rare in the BVI, but if the area has low quality housing and rusted wrecks around, remember, “Location, location, location”.



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Words by Lauren Charley Photography courtesy of YCCS

April 2015


Nautor’s Swan he 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean

Nautor’s Swan is a renowned brand of high performance sailing yachts,

attracted 21 luxurious yachts, exclusively built by Nautor’s

handcrafted in Northern Finland. Their range—the Swan Line—features

Swan, for the five-day biennial sailing regatta; this was in

eight models of the finest quality sailing yachts, varying from 53 to 115

celebration of the long standing partnership of over 30

feet in length, and built for both competitive sailing and long distance

years between Nautor’s Swan, Rolex, and Yacht Club Costa

cruising. The company proudly holds a long lasting reputation for quality

Smeralda (YCCS).

and excellence within the business of luxury yacht building. It is the design,

The regatta is more than just a sporting event, as owners of Swan yachts from across the world gather to engage in sportive competition and also

craftsmanship and attention to quality and detail, which sets the brand apart from any other yachts.

participate in the glamorous social experiences hosted by Club-Swan and YCCS Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean is therefore a celebration of both racing and socialising between passionate sailors, who take pride in their Swan yachts on the beautiful island of Virgin Gorda in the BVI.

Why the North Sound is a Sailor’s Paradise The North Sound on Virgin Gorda is a nautical paradise like none other. Its location provides visitors with smooth, clear waters, and favourable yearround sailing conditions. This marine playground is not only the home to several anchorages, but also a selection of luxurious resorts, restaurants, and accommodations, as well as shopping hot spots and numerous water sports. The secluded area is best explored by boat, as some of the anchorages are only accessible by water vessels.

Since the foundation of the company in 1966, Nautor’s Swan has built more than 2000 Swans ranging from 36 to 131 feet in length. Swans are renowned for both their aesthetic appeal and stylish comfort, as well as their outstanding performances on the water. In 1974, during the first ever Whitbread Round the World Race, the winner was a ketch rigged Swan 65 by the name of Sayula II, testament to Nautor’s Swan’s credibility as builders of high-performance yachts. The boats are powerful, reliable, and safe, built with the best quality materials and latest innovative technological advancements.

Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) “At YCCS, we always try to be ahead of what’s happening in the yachting industry. We like to be aware of new trends coming out, and how they’re interesting for our sailors, members, and sponsors. We try to act accordingly and be on the forefront.” - Jan Pachner, Secretary General, Yacht Club Costa

Rolex Rolex designs and manufactures some of the world’s most illustrious


timepieces, esteemed for their incredible performance and prominent reliability. Today, the internationally recognised brand is treasured by

Serving as the venue of the biennial regatta, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda

millions of customers across the globe, who are proud to sport the very best

in the North Sound on Virgin Gorda offers a prime location for this world

in luxury accessories. The company was also the original manufacturer of

renowned sporting event. The state-of-the-art super yacht marina and

The Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, developed in 1926. Because of

exclusive clubhouse, showcase the best in luxury sailing vessels and affluent

their durability, precision and unique design catered to withstand a variety

nautical lifestyles. The YCCS was originally founded in Porto Cervo, Sardinia

of conditions, the Rolex watches remain a favourite amongst athletes and

in 1967 by H.H. the Aga Khan—the current president—as a non-profit

extreme sport enthusiasts, especially those who sail.

sporting association to serve those in the sailing community.



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The beautiful location in the North Sound was chosen to be the organisation’s new winter base in 2012, to hold prestigious events such as the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean and the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous. Jan Pachner, YCCS Secretary General, remarked, “There are a number of reasons why the BVI is such a perfect location for the YCCS: the natural beauty of the place and the great sailing conditions, as well as the political safety, the people here, and the overall environment.”

The Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015 This year, the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean was a tremendous success. The beautiful weather delivered consistent breezes upwards of 20 knots, for a challenging, yet healthy competition between all those who participated in the races. Swan 80 Selene claimed victory as the winner of Class A, and James Blackmore’s Swan 53 Music took first place in Class B, after both crews gave outstanding performances in all four races. “This has been a wonderful event for everyone – the owners, the crews, their families and friends. There is something for everyone and the atmosphere is simply unique. The Rolex Swan Cup is always a showcase of passion and sportsmanship, and a testament to the joy of sailing,” commented Nautor’s Swan Chairman, Leonardo Ferragamo.



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April 2015


SEA Yacht Spotlight:

Words by Lauren Charley Photography by Nautor’s Swan and Rolex Carlo Borlenghi and courtesy of YCCS



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April 2015




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The lion

is a symbol of bravery, power and dominance.

The majestic creatures are known for their natural strength and superiority as they lead like royalty within the animal kingdom – much like a Swan’s performance-cruising yacht conducting itself gracefully through the water. It is therefore, no surprise that the name ‘Solleone’, was derived from this iconic figure, which also appears on the uniforms of the crew who work onboard the beautiful Swan 90 S. Solleone is the prized possession of the Nautor’s Swan Chairman Leonardo Ferragamo, son of the late Italian designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, whose creative approach to fashion expanded into an entire luxury goods empire. Like all his sailing yachts, Leonardo included ‘leone’ as part of the yacht’s name, along with ‘Sol,’ borrowed from his daughter, Maria Sole. When not sailed by the Ferragamo family, Solleone is available for charter, and also participates in international sailing regattas. The boat is cared for by Captain Diego Manuta, and his first mate, Mariella di Canio, who were both selected personally by Mr. Ferragamo when the boat was built in 2009. The atmosphere on board Solleone is very important to Mr. Ferragamo; he takes great pride in this crew for his Swan, and he treats each member as a part of the family. The yacht is a 90 foot sloop, with a sophisticated exterior and intricate engineering, designed by the renowned naval architect, Germán Frers. Solleone frequently sails through international territories, yet calls Italy (Marina di Scarlino), her home waters. The boat comfortably accommodates eight guests with tastefully designed cabins, timeless nautical styling, and elegant, modern furnishings. Mr. Ferragamo’s personal retreat—the owner’s cabin—features beautiful oil waxed teak, embracing the importance of the yacht’s inner beauty, as well as its immaculate exterior. The luxurious interior design of this yacht is the distinct work of Florentine Architect Michele Bonan, although a majority of the elements of customisation were chosen especially by Mr. Ferragamo, reflecting his pride in Italian and Finnish craftsmanship. From the strategic placement of lighting and management of sound, to the specialised leather detailing, Mr. Ferragamo is known for his passion in the quality of materials and the workmanship that goes into perfecting the elements of his Swan yacht. Solleone proudly participated in the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015 in March at the YCCS Marina on Virgin Gorda. She was also present in 2014 at the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, and Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014. Leonardo Ferragamo is always honoured to have his personal yacht appear at or participate in these prestigious regattas to represent the Swan’s guarantee of timeless excellence, as well as his personal passion for sailing. “A Swan sailing yacht represents timeless excellence, a perfect union of style, comfort and performance.” - Leonardo Ferragamo, Chairman of Nautor’s Swan and owner of Swan 90 Solleone.

April 2015


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

Courtesy of



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Take a day to discover the British Virgin Islands from the deck of your private yacht. Experience a day sail with The Moorings where you can island hop with a professional skipper. You’ll find the freedom to swim, snorkel or simply soak in the sun while surrounded by turquoise waters. Prize includes: Day sail on a Moorings catamaran for up to 10 people from 8am to 5pm, plus skipper, snorkel gear and ice. Does not include any government taxes, meals, drinks and Skipper’s gratuity if applicable.

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

For further information about Moorings day sails, please go to: or call 393-2417 / 393-2436

SEA Words and photography by Megan Schlobohm, Chef – SV Lolalita

acations are absolutely, unequivocally exciting with the anticipation building as their commencement draws closer. There is a feeling of elation as one enters new territories, often exotic and full of varied culture. This is especially true of the BVI with rolling island accents, vibrant tropical flowers, and new cuisines that can even be perplexing to pronounce at times. When guests board Lolalita, as their chef it weighs heavy on my heart that they are out of their element. Part of the safety and living on-board briefing that Captain Ernie presents at the beginning of the week, touches on the fact that we realise they don’t live on a boat, and leaving a landlubberly life for a time requires getting used to. It doesn’t take long to grow accustomed and fond of the boating lifestyle—free and relaxed as it is—but there is a learning curve for the first day or so. Therefore, for guests’ first meal on-board, I like to prepare something comforting and familiar, yet never skimping on flavour, beauty, freshness, or gourmet flair. This recipe was created to remind our beloved guests that we want them to feel at home and at ease, just as if they were family.

½ cup sundried tomatoes (in olive oil) ½ cup toasted pistachios ½ cup shredded asiago cheese



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¼ cup olive oil (can be from the sundried tomatoes) 1 tsp minced garlic ¼ cup chopped fresh sweet basil 4 oz. fresh goat cheese 1 lb. whole wheat farfalle pasta 1 lb. fresh peeled and deveined shrimp 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper ½ tsp ground habañero pepper 1 tsp ground cumin

1 pinch ground cardamom 1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp ground pepper 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 tsp minced garlic 4 bundles fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces ½ cup white wine Fresh sweet basil flowers for garnish In a food processor, combine sundried tomatoes, toasted pistachios, asiago cheese, olive oil, garlic, basil, and goat cheese. Purée until smooth; set aside. Cook farfalle pasta to al dente doneness. After straining, return pasta to its cooking pot and toss in sundried tomato pesto; set aside. In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, habañero pepper, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Toss with shrimp. Store in airtight container in refrigerator, up to 6 hours. In a sautée pan, cook onions until slightly translucent; add in garlic and broccoli; when broccoli is just fork tender, add in bell pepper and deglaze pan with white wine. Remove from heat and toss vegetables with pasta and sundried tomato pesto, add salt and pepper to taste; set aside. In a skillet, sear the seasoned shrimp, flipping them to their other side occasionally, until just pink. Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine if needed. Plate out bowls of pasta and serve on a charger. Place shrimp in centre of pasta and garnish with fresh sweet basil. Enjoy with a glass of chilled white wine and fresh-baked bread!

+1 284 346 5652 or +1 340 227 8356 Facebook: lolalita.charters

April 2015


SEA Words by Stephen L France. Photography by Todd VanSickle

This is arguably one of the most important months in the BVI calendar. It marks an individual, exclusive event - the momentous occasion known as BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival; seeing 44 years, this race and immense social gathering is internationally renowned and stapled in any true sailor’s annual itinerary. Talking to Spring Regatta Director Judy Petz, the 2014 entry list saw over 100 boats, testifying to the event’s continued success. “We brought back our One Design course and increased our International marketing for the past few years, which is paying off,” said the director with regard to last year’s achievements. The festival’s evolution reveals new activity for 2015 with the intention of maintaining a fresh delivery for repeat visitors. “The Wednesday race of the festival will be to the world famous Foxy’s,” said Judy in reference to the well-known beachfront bar/restaurant. “We’ll be sending the fleet on a fun race in the morning heading to Jost Van Dyke. Then all the participants can enjoy a beach BBQ, music, and the opportunity to check out Jost and Foxy’s. That’s a new island in the BVI that we haven’t gone to before.” In review of the yacht entries, Judy relayed her pleasure at the new line-up and optimism for further diversity: “Our early entries are on par to last year, but we are awaiting the multi-nationals to come on board. We are really pleased to see our fellow islands Puerto Rico and St. Thomas coming



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together with a class of Melges 32’s,” she said. There is a good fleet of Swan boats, which will also race to win the Best Overall Swan award,” continued the director. Focusing attention toward other activity that occurs during the festival, Judy highlighted the promotion of British Virgin Islands culture that is exhibited every year. “Maritime Heritage Day, with the Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge will be celebrated on Thursday our traditional lay day,” she said. “Over the past few years, the Sloop fleet has grown in number and they will be lovely to watch sailing just off the shore of Nanny Cay.” With sponsorship from brands that fit in with the BVI Spring Regatta theme of sailing and socialising, Mount Gay, Heineken, SOL, Seahawk Paints, The BVI Tourist Board, The Moorings, LIME, and their host sponsor Nanny Cay are all contributors, serving to bring this event to the fantastic delivery witnessed every year. The Anticipated Closing Sunday Night Music Line Up (FYI - Easter Monday follows so it’s a holiday for all the party people) Final Faze Hudson and Hoo Doo Cats Quito and the Edge Chef Al “Hot Sauce with Chef Al”

• • • •

April 2015


SEA Words by Lauren Charley Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Since it was established in 1988 by Barney and Lin Crook of TMM Yacht Charters, Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) has implemented the ‘$1 per person program’, in partnership with bareboat charter companies, who donate a minimum of $1 to VISAR for every guest who signs up to participate on one of their charter holidays. This system is what the current president of VISAR, Gerard Kraakman calls “the heart and soul of VISAR”. Gerard says, “This is our engine. This is how we run our whole program,” as the funds raised from these efforts contribute to a considerable portion of their $200,000 annual budget. The money collected from donations to VISAR goes towards the development, maintenance, and improvement of their current search and rescue capabilities by funding everything from rescue boat and engine repairs, to extensive training sessions, to educational school programs on safety at sea. In addition to the $1 program, VISAR welcomes donations from businesses, individuals, and private sponsors. The program also relies heavily on direct resources donated by larger companies including fuel from SOL gas, insurance by Caribbean Insurers, and the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, who rents their boathouse to them for the generous cost of only $1 per year. “It is important that local marine businesses and charter companies support VISAR. We supply the customers who purchase their vacations with the medical aid they need,” said Gerard.



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VISAR is a voluntary search and rescue organisation, recognised by the British Virgin Islands, dedicated to saving lives at sea. The institution works closely with the Royal British Virgin Islands police, fire, and ambulance services, to provide necessary emergency and medical attention to those in distress out on the waters, 24 hours and day, 365 days a year. It is funded almost entirely on charitable donations, relying heavily on the support of the community in order to provide residents and the thousands of visitors who come to the British Virgin Islands each year with the crucial search and rescue services they need. The organisation operates primarily as call centre for distress calls placed by people seeking assistance at sea. When coordinators receive a call, the volunteers will redirect it to the appropriate medical and emergency care. Approximately 10% of the calls received by VISAR become “SHOUT” calls, where trained members of the organisation are sent out on one of their two boats, stationed in Road Harbour, Tortola and Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, to give assistance to those in the emergency situation. Members are entirely volunteer based, and therefore do not receive any monetary compensation for their time, training, and emergency response calls. In 2014, VISAR received 850 calls. 81 of these became “SHOUT” calls, where volunteers were sent out on the water to search and rescue those in distress at sea. VISAR continues to welcome the support of the charter boat industry, as well as skippers, brokers, and marine businesses to be involved in the $1 program, as well as the generous contributions of private sponsors.

VISAR would like to thank the current participants of the $1 per person program: BVI Yacht Charters Carefree Yacht Charters Conch Charters Dream Yacht Charters Horizon Yacht Charters Mainsail Yacht Charters Ocean Getaways The Moorings Footloose (FCM) Marine Max Vacations TMM Yacht Charters Voyage Charters

April 2015


Pick out coastal hues for photographs and prints to display around your home

Coastal Chic Part 2 By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell, House Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Sophisticated table and floor lamps with coastal themes for a calm lighting ambiance

Coastal cocktail parties deserve a little hint of the sea with these seashell hors d’oeuvre picks

Coastal images on cushions to complement all colours and styles

Hillhouse Naturals coast diffuser and sea shells scented to bring the beach back to your house

Seaside inspired hand-soap and lotions. Extend the coastal look to guest bathrooms

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



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April 2015


LI F E Words by Stephen L France Photography courtesy of VP Bank

Behind the scenes at VP Bank’s celebration of 20 years in the BVI No, the article title is not a type error – simply German for Wealth Management and Private Banking, or more commonly known to the BVI community and the world as VP Bank. With a subsidiary office in the Territory, VP Bank specialises in private banking for individual clients and intermediaries as well as mortgage and commercial financing. Retaining position as the preferred bank for these type of transactions, they have relished great success and have become known for their involvement in charitable activities in the community. With the bank’s involvement in various initiatives for the improvement of the islands, Virgin Islands Property & Yacht invited VP Bank’s General Manager Sjoerd Koster to impart details about the organisation. “VP Bank seeks to differentiate itself from the other banks by taking the time to truly understand our clients’ needs and act on these,” he mentioned in reference to the principles the company adheres to in outstanding, tailor-made services. “VP Bank Group was founded nearly 60 years ago in 1956 in the Principality of Liechtenstein in Europe and its shares are listed on SIX Swiss Exchange,” said the general manager. “The Group extends over three continents with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Russia, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands,” he continued.



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April 2015


Recently, the company celebrated its 20-year anniversary in the BVI in February 2015, prompting one of two fruitful events that month; the other occasion celebrated was in recognition of the company’s recent relocation. “Our location on Main Street brings us back to the centre of town,” said the VP Bank manager, explaining that their first office was also established

This was held at Long Bay Resort and the momentous gala dinner ended with fireworks at the beach. The bank’s philanthropic behaviour is demonstrated by its commitment to the BVI through various community sponsorships and donations. The most recent noteworthy activities were the Necker Kids’ Cup event

20 years ago on Main Street next to the Dove Restaurant. “The central and

conceived with the BVI Lawn Tennis Association, the Tortola Sports Club,

historic location and the newly designed client areas seek to offer a unique

and Premier Tennis. “The event which was headlined by the world’s famous

experience in line with our service,” he continued, elaborating on Main

tennis coaches and entertainers—Wayne Bryan and Murphy Jensen—was

Street’s history with the Britannic Hall built in 1910 as well as Her Majesty’s

open to all children in the BVI interested in receiving a one day tennis clinic.

Prison constructed in 1774.

The exciting part this year was to see how much the children had improved

February saw an ‘Open House’ celebrating the relocation of the office followed by another occasion, heralding their Jubilee of 20 years in the BVI.

from last year and how the sport of tennis is growing in the BVI,” said Sjoerd. The bank continues to be involved in the Tortola sloop project which

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started two years ago when the company was able to facilitate the return of one of the oldest Tortola built sloops and donate it to the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum. ”We are looking forward to the annual VP Bank Tortola Sloop race organised by the BVI Spring Regatta this month which is a highlight of the event.” Another example of one of their recent sponsorships is the ‘More than Ball’ programme which covers all aspects of academics, basketball, and life skills for children from the age of 8-18. The initiative was established

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by Keith ‘88’ Malone and is run by Coach Mike Niles. For the youth participating, the course aims to instil the necessary discipline, training, and skills required by—for example—junior colleges and alternative

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educational establishments in the USA. “Some of the best testimonies of the programme’s success have come from the parents and community”, said Sjoerd. With continued activity in a variety of charitable pursuits as well as their stellar service, the company invites existing customers and new clients to visit their premises at the centre of Road Town on Main Street for further information about their bank and services: “We look forward to the next 20 years of banking in the BVI whereby we can offer our expertise to both domestic and international clients looking for mortgage and financing as well as wealth management for both our private clients and intermediaries. We are also exploring regional opportunities in the Caribbean for a possible expansion of our services.”

Escape for a Day on Your Own Private Yacht


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

t +1 284 494 2400 f +1 284 494 5389

on the water


Call (284) 393.2417 visit or email

April 2015


A Sense of Place

Heavenly Hammock Sites for Sale Villas from $3.6m

Waterfront Lots from $995k to $5.5m

Invest in a homesite or villa at Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda and you will discover the true value of a home in the islands. Never wavering from the vision of Laurance Rockefeller who created this timeless resort in 1964, Little Dix Bay is now benefiting from the development and strenthening of the Rosewood luxury hotel brand. For more information and to discover why their star is rising, visit... w w w. l i t t l e d i x b a y re a l e s t a t e . c o m

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

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

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

quality finishes throughout.

Spectacular 5 bed home overlooking Brewers Bay. Highest


4 bed

Beachfront lot- Jost Van Dyke! Just under 1/2 acre. Simply stunning spot to build your vacation home




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Exclusive Agents for

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



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

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

tel. (284) 495 3000

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

Newly refurbished


Waterfront 0.79 acres 3 bed


$1,995,000 Walk to the beach from this fabulous 4 bed home with pool. Simply stunning views of North Sound!

Immaculate 3 bedroom villa, move-in ready, delightful lot, moments from white sand beach




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



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

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


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


Longview Villa Long Bay, Tortola starting at US$430 per night

Explore our selection of extraordinary vacation villas for rent in the British Virgin Islands. Extraordinary Properties for Sale and Rent


Offering a unique blend of luxury and natural beauty, this is the perfect place for a family vacation home, or a romantic retreat.

TORTOLA, US$6,500,000




VIRGIN GORDA, US$4,200,000

TORTOLA, US$2,400,000

TORTOLA, US$995,000

Designed mixing classical Caribbean elements and modern, contemporary style. The villa has stunning 180-degree views over the Caribbean Sea .

Maritha Keil (Broker) 284.340.5555

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

This luxurious residence is situated on a 0.6-acre site in popular Belmont Estate with spectacular views to Jost Van Dyke and the Caribbean Sea.

Kim Huish (Vacation Villa Specialist) 284.499.1999

One of those special homes that allow the homeowner the luxury of having a very spacious top floor residence and two apartments below to rent out.

Isha O’Brien (Sales Associate) 284.346.5553

Extraordinary Properties For Sale

Truly unique homes for the connoisseur of life.



spectacular sunrises.

the islands of Marina Cay, Great Camanoe and Tortola.

Its location offers seaside swimming snorkeling right from your front deck; and dramatic views of luscious nearby Caribbean islands, enhanced by the setting sun and


The elegant two bedroom Marina Suites are envisioned as the heart and soul of the Scrub Island development, offering an air-conditioned space with fantastic views over the marina to

SCRUB ISLAND, US$1,500,000





on the white sand beach to having a private dock a few feet away. VIRGIN GORDA, US$2,000,000

Thomas of the USVI this pristine property is ripe for development. JOST VAN DYKE, price upon request

beaches of the BVI. Situated above boulders similar to the famous Baths.

welcome the seafaring homeowner back to this outer island retreat. GREAT CAMANOE, US$975,000





land, with high cathedral ceilings overlooking the popular anchorage of Soper's Hole, Tortola. WEST END, TORTOLA, US$725,000

outdoor living and is sold fully furnished with a mixture of wicker and glass and teak furniture from Bali. HARRIGAN, TORTOLA, US$700,000

advantage of the magnificent view and offers plenty of outdoor living space around a relatively small core. HAVERS, TORTOLA, US$650,000

not only to Road Town and all its shops but it also to a private marina slip right outside its harbour side door. ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, US$330,000

Each one of the 10 building plots has its own special character from being right

A modern home, on over half acre of

Overlooking Tortola and the western islands of the BVI and St. John, St.

This house is ideal for indoor and

Unique secluded beachfront property on one of the most long stretched and wide

Has been designed to take full

Lush trees, flowering hibiscus, and numerous other tropical plants

Its very convenient location has access

View all our properties on Susan Gevers (Sales Associate) 284.340.5505

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Damara Penn (Sales Associate) 284.340.5558

Tortola Office

Mill Mall, Road Town 
 284.494.5700 1.877.563.6755

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

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

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

Seashell Beach Villa

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

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



Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

1 284 393 1000


1 800 761 0377

Virgin Islands Property and Yacht Magazine - April 2015  

Editor - Stephen L France

Virgin Islands Property and Yacht Magazine - April 2015  

Editor - Stephen L France