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Virgin Islands


DEC JAN 2014 - 2015



Exclusive: Lambert Beach Resort The return of one of the greatest BVI residences

masterpiece perfect for family and friends

Mi Amor A jewellery retailer as inviting as its warm name

Exclusive Feature Property An architectural

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.

Doveland Tortola US$1,800,000

Elysium Tortola US$1,400,000

Celestial House Tortola US$7,775,000

Little Nix Tortola US$1,775,000



iving 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? East End or West End? 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! The British Virgin Islands comprise over 52 islands, rocky pinnacles and cays, appropriately named “Nature’s Little Secrets.”

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS our qualities are numerous, our benefits endless Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Maritha Keil

Mill Mall, P.O. Box 188 Road Town, Tortola, VG1110 t: 284.494.5700 | m: 284.340.5500/5555 e: |

December 2014 / January 2015


From the Editor “It’s the

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MOST wonderful time of the year!”

This line always brings laughter. Not only because Christmas is a great time of the year, but it might remind film lovers of that moment in Jingle All The Way when Arnold Schwarzenegger is running around on Christmas Eve trying to buy his son the popular action figure Turbo Man…sorry, digressing a little here…however, it is one of the best times of year and we have made this December/January issue very special, broadcasting some interesting news that you might not have heard. First and foremost is the exciting news about everybody’s favourite idyllic retreat Lambert Beach Resort and the return of their original owners, who are actively bringing the entire residence to its epic status once more. We advise you to visit this great spot in the northeast of Tortola – it’s blissful and like nothing you’ve ever seen – resurrection of a true slice of paradise. Then there is our cover feature Villa LaVida, an unbelievably serene property in Virgin Gorda’s Nail Bay, a haven fit for family life in the Caribbean. BVI Real Estate agent Bonnie Dougall of Dougall Associates presents expert advice in her field, granting a comprehensive guide to buying and selling property; the real estate guru unveils answers to queries that many off-islanders will be surprised to learn like the very common question – ‘can you buy property in the BVI if you’re from abroad?’ An inquiry we have received numerous times in our alternative publication’s BVI Newbie ASK website. By the way, the answer is ‘yes’, but it’s a process that ideally requires advice from a professional. A visit to St Thomas shows us the beautiful property Outrigger House – a phenomenal example of Virgin Islands’ architecture and luxury. Moving to our Sea section, our maritime historian Geoffrey relays a bit of black comedy in a story told to him by a famed BVI shipwright. The Yacht Spotlight casts its eye on the fantastic crewed yacht Enigma with renowned TV host of Galley Gourmet with Chef Lisa. Closing the segment, Chef Megan of Lolalita explains why a BVI crewed yacht charter at Christmas is the epitome of the word ‘vacation.’ In our Life section, successful businesses Mi Amor jewellery store and Studio One spa/salon show us why they are an attractively unique force in their respective industries, while House presents some festive favourite products. Concluding, Making Waves columnist Stacie Leiphart highlights a pioneering figure in our BVI community Natasha Rusheinski and her founding of the nonprofit animal welfare organisation PAW (Promoting Animal Welfare). In closing of this letter and this year, VIPY wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Contact Us Stephen L France

Editorial Enquiries Advertising Enquiries General Enquiries

PS – If you haven’t been to Lambert Beach Resort & Estate, we recommend paying a visit. It really feels like you’re stepping off Tortola, despite the fact that you’re still on the island



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Great Value Properties for Sale BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Gorgeous Long Bay Beach, West End, Tortola

Great Value Villa Long Bay Beach, West End, Tortola

Rare, elegant waterfront 6 Bedroom home available right on the beach! Buy to enjoy as a private residence or great rental property investment

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

Asking US $5,500,000

Asking US $995,000

Great Income Property! Cane Garden Bay Beach, Tortola

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

Asking US $1,250,000

Pretty, affordable 3 Bedroom Villa Lambert Beach, Tortola

Numerous Prime Land Lots for Sale!

Family Home with Fabulous Views from every room!

Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Peter Island and Anegada

Asking US $825,000

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

Aja Royale

Rebecca Paull


December 2014 / January 2015



Geoffrey Brooks 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.

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

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

Stacie Leiphart Stacie is a freelance writer and teacher living on Tortola. She writes for commercial and trade magazines, among other forms of literature. She is a post-graduate student in English at Oxford University and holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Primary Education and Secondary-English Education, with special needs experience. She is currently teaching at Cedar International School.

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. Production Editor-in-Chief Stephen L France

Web Developer Maros Pristas

Publisher aLookingGlass

Sales & Marketing Erin Paviour-Smith

Creative Director Nick Cunha Design & Layout Scott Taylor

Distribution Francoise Frank Finances BVI Accounting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watching the sun go down at Villa LaVida. Photo by Heidi Schumann

DEC V i r g i n I s l a n d s JAN 2014 - 2015



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


9 9 Utopia Returned


35 34 A Sea Story out of the Past

Shrouded in mystery, for the last decade, the community has questioned what’s happening at Lambert Beach Resort. We reveal the answers

Our maritime historian reveals a unique anecdote from the Virgin Islands’ seafaring past

18 Exclusive Feature Property

35 Yacht Spotlight


47 46 Things We Love Ten festive favourites from your much-loved BVI home accessories retailer House

47 Mi Amor

Enigma is a highly kitted Lagoon 620 that has many upgrades and options not seen on a standard L620, plus a celebrity chef on-board

A jewellery store never radiated such warmth as this proud BVI boutique

24 BVI Property Forum

41 From Sea Level:

50 Making Waves

Real Estate Agent Bonnie Dougall answers some frequently asked questions regarding BVI property purchase and sales

The most wonderful time of the year – celebrated island style

Introducing up and coming BVI icon Natasha Rusheinski and her contribution to animal welfare

28 Showcase Property

43 Studio One

55 Property Listings

Architectural mastery and unquestionable balance in design, Outrigger House in St Thomas is a Caribbean delight

With their high level of professionalism, this just might be the first salon/spa of its kind in the British Virgin Islands

Villa LaVida is the ultimate indulgence in property ownership, situated in Nail Bay, Virgin Gorda

LAND Story by Stephen L France Photography by aLookingGlass and courtesy of Lambert Beach Resort

December 2014 / January 2015




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

This is a question that has maintained intrigue among BVI residents and visitors, who knew the highly successful retreat in its glory days. The vast geographical landscape of the resort is the personification of beauty with arguably the most gorgeous beach in the entire BVI. With the adoration the estate attracts, masses of the BVI community as well as tourists have wanted to know the future of the residence. In the last few years, theories and notions have been aired about the hotel’s activity; the original owners, who successfully made the retreat one of the best resorts in the BVI, have responded.

December 2014 / January 2015


In 1987, Elisabeth Beach Resort Ltd (EBRL) purchased the location renowned as LBR with a vision of building and developing a prosperous retreat. Subsequently, a 20-year period conceived construction and expansion of the land’s infrastructure comprising a 38key resort with residential units; the property was fitted with all the amenities to afford a luxurious experience. With 11 villas and 60 condominiums built, seven villas and 30 condominiums were sold to third parties. Following this success, the entire resort was sold to a local company in 2006, funded by a loan from EBRL. With the buyer defaulting on their obligations, the BVI’s Insolvency Act forced the buyer into liquidation. In 2013, EBRL repurchased the entire residence, but during the seven-year sale period, the resort had suffered greatly from inactivity.

Many BVI residents will know the name Claudio Arduini. He is the original architect of the LBR concept: a dream to build a scenic estate with all amenities situated in the complex at the shoreline of the BVI’s most picturesque beach— Elisabeth Bay; a concept that he brought to fruition with unrivalled success. Interviewing EBRL Director Fabio Arduini—Claudio’s son—and LBR General Manager Giorgio Paradisi, they explained that they are continuing Claudio’s vision with EBRL’s return to ownership. Initiation of refurbishment has already commenced with Fabio and Giorgio intending to surpass the success of the resort’s previous accomplishments. “It’s a family owned business,” started Fabio in reference to EBRL and his role in the company. “The first time we came to the BVI was 1982 with the purchase of a property in Virgin Gorda and my father developed what is now known as Mahoe Bay.” Fabio continued, relaying that his father came to learn of the land of LBR during this period. “At this time, it was called Elisabeth Bay and it was a single cow trail…with lots of bush and [foliage],” said the director. “We had been coming to the BVI for 5 years prior, and in 1987, my father purchased this land.” Fabio proceeded to explain that their family business was primarily in real estate, but he recognised that they could enhance their property buyers’ experience by creating a hotel with all the features pertaining to that industry. “We are real estate developers, but we always felt the resort had a key importance to create the value of the property surrounding it…with the amenities of a resort present, like a nice restaurant…not only for the tourists and short term rentals, but for those that wanted to stay long term,” said Fabio. It was the current EBRL director who persuaded his father to enrich the residential complex with a resort and the benefits akin to a tourist destination. Giorgio Paradisi—known in the BVI for his restaurant Giorgio’s on Virgin Gorda—has moved from the pristine showcase island to LBR because he views the area as “the best spot to live in Tortola after living on the [most coveted British Virgin Island],” said the General Manager. “Quality of life is what attracted me to work here at Lambert,” Giorgio commented further. With Fabio and Giorgio agreeing that there is a void in the Tortola market to be filled with a private, functional estate for property investment, their overall goal is clear. “We’re back and we’re going…to do better than what was before the sale,” said Fabio in reference to the success that Lambert was having prior to the EBRL sale. With the family who made the estate such a popular locale returned to management, their purpose is to create the idyllic place in Tortola for conscientious property buyers.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

December 2014 / January 2015


Pleasant landscaped grounds with walkways, pave way

continued in describing the unique physique of the estate.

through LBR’s distinctive complex. Palm trees granting

The structure of the residence permits sufficient spacing

shade and seagrape acting as a natural windbreak, keeps the

between the homes, allowing privacy yet harbouring the

air cool and still.

unison of a community within the ‘amphitheatre.’

Situated on approximately 47.5 acres of freehold land, one of LBR’s main allures is the 1,500ft stretch of shore renowned

where it’s not crowded and it doesn’t cost you a $1000 a night,”

as the most attractive beach in the BVI – the stunning

said Fabio who is attempting to translate the aforementioned

Elisabeth Bay, one of the only BVI beaches to have the benefits

tourist experience and appreciation of price to investors

of serenity and neighbouring sociable amenities.

looking for permanent residency in the BVI.

The geographical structure of the property resembles what

The structure of the properties on the estate encompass 38

Fabio describes as an amphitheatre with the land rising to over

resort rooms with en-suite bathrooms, walk‐in showers, king

300ft from sea line.

size beds (twins are also available), free standing and fitted

“The beach is our main asset but as a whole, I want to make the resort the top destination for all…reasons, not just for


“Most tourists mention to me…this is one of the few places

furniture, TVs and air conditioning. There are four villas that have been developed and remain

a singular reason,” said Fabio, discussing his goal to create

owned as part of the resort. Variable features include three-

a universally attractive location for real estate investment.

four bedrooms, private swimming pools, and property sizes

“…being a bowl shaped area…it is like another world,” he

ranging from 1431-3062sqft. These havens are nestled in the


Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

lush green of the natural environment with incredible panoramic views,

with a lounge, TV and pool table, it also has an outside covered

exclusive to LBR.

terrace with seating. A reception with porte cochere contains administrative offices, a selfcontained manager’s apartment and a business centre with workstations for up to 12 people. LBR is also famous for having the BVI’s largest fresh water swimming pool and swim up counter for their other bar with seating for 14 at stools (eight within the water). Future developments include security at the entrance, a convenience store and boutique, and a spa. “We would like to do a special dinner for the local community and then show them around the estate,” said Fabio in his desire to let residents of the BVI know that LBR is improving to a state beyond its best days over the impending months. Lambert Beach Resort is back in full operation with the original owners who made it the finest destination on the island. This is a residence for perceptive property buyers who will have the option of enjoying the

In addition, there are 30 condominiums that will all eventually possess a contemporary, smooth interior design with a queen or king size bed, modern shower unit and kitchenette. Talking to Giorgio and Fabio about the resort amenities, that magnify the allure of property purchase, they imparted that the estate has a restaurant and bar positioned to give customers maximum benefit of the view of the beach and the infinite ocean. This will be catered by an Italian Chef from Tuscany providing traditional Italian cuisine and a wider range of fare for the brunch and lunch menu. A stage and a dance area on the outside of the restaurant will make for live entertainment, and a gazebo on the beach will continue to accommodate the numerous wedding requests LBR is known for. The Club House obliges meetings and functions with a maximum capacity of 120 people. Currently used as a social facility for guests

location as a resident or making an income from renting their BVI home.

December 2014 / January 2015




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

EBRL presents

Lambert Beach Resort & Estate


• • • •

• • • • • • •

• • • • •

38 key hotel with restaurant, bar and function room Four villas ranging from three-four bedroom 30 Condominium units (mainly studios and a few one-bedrooms) 45 additional lots containing approximately 27.5 acres of undeveloped land Manage your property through EBRL for an income Property buyers have option – short or long term rental 50% financing available from ERBL Restaurant and bar – capacity 60 10mins from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport 15mins from the capital Road Town Back of House / infrastructure Reverse Osmosis Plant – capacity of 15,000 gallons a day Two generators provide emergency power Main laundry with two washers and two dryers Central septic tank Largest freshwater pool in the BVI with swim up bar Car parking – 40 cars

Condo units starting from as low as US $110,000 Three bedroom villas starting from US $695,000 Four bedroom villa US$1,495,000

Contact Details: Giorgio Paradisi General Manager Elizabeth Beach Resort Po Box 534 East End Tortola, BVI +1 284 547 9519

December 2014 / January 2015





Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Exclusive Feature Property:

Villa LaVida Words by Stephen L France Photography by Heidi Schumann, Maritha Keil and owners of Villa LaVidaÂ

December 2014 / January 2015




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Nestled on the northwest shore of Virgin Gorda in the exclusive Nail Bay Estate is the beachfront beauty, Villa LaVida. “La Vida” translates as “The life” so according to the owner’s experience in this home, Villa LaVida means: “This is the life!” Presented by BVI Sotheby’s International Realty’s Maritha Keil and sales associates, Heidi Schumann and Isha O’brien, this unique property exemplifies a treasured family Caribbean retreat, offering views from every room with covered balconies, and abundant indoor and outdoor lounging by either the poolside or the beachfront. This house offers a much desired and often requested island escape home, located on a white sandy beach, with swimming and snorkelling at one’s doorstep. There are cool ocean breezes, gentle waves, and cooing birds in the surrounding canopy of mature trees, all conveniently positioned within a well-groomed and covenanted estate community. The polished Nail Bay Estate has approximately 20 well-constructed private properties stretching across 148 acres. The estate remains a favoured home for about five full-time residents. There are several vacation homes, designed for the world-travelling affluent resident who may have originally chosen to keep a 2nd or 3rd home in this part of the Caribbean, because of either the beautiful environment, year round warm weather, financial taxation benefits or passion for yachting. Most have stayed because of the overall definition of their quality of life. Several of these homes generate an income through vacation villa rentals, while others are exclusively occupied by their owners during the winter months here.   La Vida is a much desired ‘turn-key’ rental property, which not only covers the household expenses, but also successfully makes a profit after the taxes and running costs are paid.  

Even though this Caribbean escape, located within a sophisticated community, is a very successful income producing property, it is equally treasured by the current owners, because it has always been a sanctuary for their innermost senses.      This dual-level complex blends the open outdoor atmosphere with the cool air flow of a well-planned modern Caribbean beachfront home. It has 25ft high cathedral ceilings,  allowing for well-designed air circulation and generous interior spaces, which are further complemented by its earthen features, such as coral and natural stone decks, trims and hand rails made of exotic Imbuia hardwood and artisanal stonework pathways connecting  the interiors and exteriors, meandering down a gentle slope to the sea.       LaVida is one of the few fully air-conditioned villas on Virgin Gorda. Because of the consistent trade wind breezes, guests can choose from sleeping beneath cooling ceiling fans or remote controlled AC, while enjoying this five bedroom, seven bath luxury retreat, comfortably accommodating an extended family of 10, and even more if one chose to use a foldout couch in the additional living room space by the pool side, or complete the unfinished below-deck guest apartment. Through the garden and located below the southwest deck, this wellappointed home offers an additional, unfinished studio apartment, originally designed as a guest apartment or caretaker’s suite, but only currently used as an additional spacious storage area. The abundance of space simultaneously grants the option for residents to be as sociable or secluded as they desire. The top floor great room is comprised of a state-of-the-art kitchen, a truly grand living space, a view over the pool and beach, and a stairway down to the poolside living areas.

December 2014 / January 2015


The rooms are all interconnected and each bedroom faces the sea. Large glass doors can slide open to create either an open outdoor living space or glass-enclosed air conditioned space. Hurricane-proof, 8 or 10ft high sliding glass doors deliver the fantastic sculpted views, blessing the eyes with a plethora of possible sights: delightful sunsets each evening, a series of distant sailing yachts, or puffy clouds reflecting dawn’s fiery glow. The villa’s location for seascape spectacles heightens its prestige. The various outer islands known as The Dogs, decorate this quintessential perspective, forming a yachtsman’s favoured superior panoramic view.  The benefit of spacious walk-in closets for each king-size bedroom suite with additional owner’s storage closets, computer/writing desks in each bedroom, comfortable lounge chairs and quality furnishings bestows a useful amenity for maintaining each bedroom’s independent retreat and airy appearance. Each bedroom offers a lounging balcony providing the gentle ambiance of the sea’s waves lapping the shore while accenting the tranquil ocean front theme. Some of the additional features include well designed lighting and openings from the showers across the spacious bedrooms which allow for additional dramatic views to the sea, even while showering. The ground floor with wet bar, is adjacent to the long stretching poolside deck outside and has a well-equipped media room with a 52’ flat screen TV,



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

The Nail Bay Estate Home Owner’s Association (HOA) fees are currently under $2000 per year, which is extremely reasonable compared to the HOA fees for any many other resorts in the BVI. All amenities and maintenance are available under this fee including access to the tennis courts and the wonderful Sugarcane Restaurant located on the Estate serving Caribbean fare, tailored to both casual and fine dining. Doug Riegels of Driftwood Resorts—the company behind Nail Bay Estate—has constructed a small golf course for the private use of Full Circle villa. He will control use of this amenity with regard to the rest of Nail Bay. Villa LaVida is the essence of Caribbean lifestyle for full or parttime residents who seek a blend of the modern and traditional aspects of this heavenly archipelago.

New Developments with BVI Sotheby’s International Realty BVI Sotheby’s International Realty is currently opening a new office branch in Virgin Gorda, across from Scotia Bank, located upstairs next to Cura Property Management.       Isha O’brien and Heidi Schumann will be managing the listings and sales transactions, while Maritha Keil will continue as lead broker for the company.

Sony PlayStation 3, and an entire media library, making for great indoor entertainment for young and old. Stepping outside using one of the many sliding doors available, introduces barefoot elegance and potential for alfresco dining, forming the spirit of the property’s blissful exterior. A large infinity edge pool encompassing an expansive deck, hammocks, and outdoor seating create a hub of serenity.  Set on the shoreline, LaVida’s physical position manages to accommodate its privacy, sustained by the mature foliage and vegetation surrounding the property’s exterior deck. With the practically private Nail Bay beach directly in front of the villa, this haven fulfils any family lifestyle, gifting residents with the opportunity of either private beachside or resort trail walks, fantastic snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding, or any of the other numerous water sports.  There is even a naturally formed children’s sea pool created in the shore side landscaping, encompassed by waist high boulders along the white sand shore. Residents are blessed with choices of various other beaches within walking distance at LaVida. Alternatives for sun soaking days are Turtle Bay, Mountain Trunk, and Long Bay beaches. Centrally located between two of the most famous Virgin Islands destination hot spots, one being North Sound—renowned for possessing the best waters, super yachts, water sports, fine dining and exclusive resorts—and the other being The Baths, a geographical marvel for visitors, LaVida residents will not be short of additional outdoor activities.  

Villa LaVida Nail Bay Estate, Virgin Gorda, BVI

• 0.87 acres • 5 Bed, 7 Bath  • Beachfront property • Horizon edge pool • Fully air conditioned • Fully furnished • Privacy of Nail Bay Estate  • Incredible beach and ocean views  • Tennis courts • Spa and fitness center • Sugarcane Restaurant

• Extra one bedroom Studio apartment (yet to be completed) • Generous parking

US $ 4,700,000.00 For more info contact: Maritha Keil t (284)494.5700 m (284)340.5555 e:

December 2014 / January 2015


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

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

This forum will periodically address various issues associated with the acquisition and development of real estate assets in the BVI from a purchase perspective. Additionally, concerns and questions vendors or property owners in the BVI might have will be answered. Direction will also be given to people that wish to rent or let properties in the BVI both for long term (yearly accommodation) to more short term (monthly or weekly rentals). Please contact if you have questions that arise out of this forum and we will respond. Current State of the Real Estate Market in the BVI The BVI market has for many decades been a very stable real estate market. Over 70% of the land is owned by Belongers/Residents in the BVI and is in many cases simply not offered for sale as these people wish to develop the properties themselves, or deed to family members as they do not wish to become disenfranchised in their own lands. This coupled with various restrictions on property purchase with a view

With the world downturn since 2008 until just recently, the interest by off islanders in acquiring resale properties or developing BVI land has been very minimal due to recessionary pressures. The market remained quite active however with local Belongers and Residents acquiring land in particular and building their own homes. In general, resale homes were sold over this period at a much discounted price (30%-40% off the listing price in many instances ) or were not sold at all, resulting in a substantial build-up of inventories in the current market for homes that have already been built. Nevertheless, the market for land has remained strong and has had firm demand particularly in Virgin Gorda and to a lesser extent in Tortola. This is also coupled with the fact that the 12% stamp duty that off islanders must pay to acquire a BVI property only needs to be paid on land that is bought versus on the full value of a resale home, resulting in substantial savings. Also, a custom built home will be exactly what a buyer wants in terms of space, newness and finishings, hence making this a particularly desirable option.

to minimising speculation, particularly by off islanders, has resulted in a

Over the last two years, many buyers have come from the US, Britain,

slowly appreciating market over decades with no huge appreciations or

and Europe in particular looking to acquire a winter vacation home or year

depreciations in value.

round off shore residence. However, since a multitude of these buyers have



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

only just started looking in the last year or two, many are indecisive about

Seller questions

what island they wish to locate. This includes questions about whether they

Should I renovate a property or just sell as is?

wish to locate to the BVI or another Caribbean island, what area in the BVI

In my experience of some 30 years in real estate, most buyers want a

they wish to acquire a home in or if they wish to buy a resale home and

property in good repair, structurally sound, and clean. To spend a lot of

remodel, or buy land and build.

money refurbishing a property to your own taste before selling pre-empts

All realtors have been very busy showing a lot of property but resultant

the buyer from doing the same but they will do it with their own taste in

sales, although much busier than the previous 5-6 years, is still quite small.

fittings and furnishings anyway. The fact is, properties need to be in good

Regardless, this realtor believes that many of these buyers will end up

shape, clean, painted, and presentable for show. Good realtors can also help

purchasing over the next few years so that is welcome news for sellers and

‘stage’ a house to its best advantage.

the comeback of a reasonable sales market. Here are the answers to some How do I determine a realistic value for my home or

very important questions involved in BVI property transactions:

land for sale? Is there a multiple listing of all properties for sale in

What is the difference between a realtor valuation or

the BVI? And how do I as a buyer ensure I am aware of

bank appraisal of a property?

all properties for sale in the BVI?

Realtors can be asked to submit their valuation of what they believe they

The short answer is no, there is no multiple listing of all sale properties

can achieve in value for a home. It is wise to get a number of different

in the BVI. It is wise to use the internet via Google or by viewing websites

realtors to submit their views, but supported by clear evidence of recent

associated with a variety of realtors in the BVI. Many of who are advertised

sales, etc. It is unfortunately a common practice with some realtors to

in various media including the Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine.

overstate the value of a home in order to acquire an exclusive sales listing

Each realtor will share some of the same properties for sale but usually each

on the property. Getting a number of different quotes tends to mitigate

will have their own sales listings exclusive to themselves.

this effect.

December 2014 / January 2015


Open Sales Listing (somewhat like a Multiple Listing in North America) Gives the right to whichever realtor the seller wishes to market, sell, show and put the property on their real estate website. In this case, the only realtor the seller pays is the realtor that finds the buyer. Hence providing a bit of competition to find the buyer first but also giving the realtors a chance to make a full versus split sales commission. In today’s world of internet shopping, the widest exposure for a property would be to open list with a number of different realtors, allowing the buyer to find your property. Without this in my experience, many buyers simply are not aware your property is for sale if they are not working with or viewing your exclusive agent’s website or ads. In addition with an open listing, you are ‘hiring’ more realtors to promote your property, which, I believe improves your odds in getting a sale. Finally, every realtor has a chance to make full sales versus a split sales commission providing good incentive for each to find buyers for your home. The flip side of this is that no realtor is likely to put extra marketing monies to promote an open listing, only to have some other agency sell it. So if one realtor is prepared to substantially spend monies to promote your home, it is Also, I feel it is wise to get a bank appraisal of the property to assess along with the realtor valuations. You do not need to use the sale value suggested by the bank appraisal nor disclose the appraisal to outsiders, but in the purchasing process the buyers are required by law to get a bank appraisal of the property to either submit with their Non-Belonger License application and/or as part of the process of actually transferring the property into the buyer’s name. If the appraisal is substantially lower than what the buyer has agreed to pay for the property, the buyer will no doubt question such a discrepancy and the seller and their realtors must be prepared to address this issue. Forewarned is forearmed. In addition, the bank appraisal will cite recent property sales that have closed to help support their valuation with an assessment based on rental income as well as construction approach – effectively what it would cost to build the property with today’s materials and labour. The appraisal is an excellent source of data for both the buyer and seller. What is the difference between an open or closed (exclusive) sales listing agreement for a seller? What are the advantages/disadvantages of both? Closed or Exclusive Sales Listing Gives the exclusive right to market, promote, show and sell the property listed to one realtor. The realtor representing the property is the only one allowed to list the property on their real estate website or promote with ads, articles, signage, etc. If another realtor wishes to show their buyer the property, they must make arrangements with the exclusive agent and split the sales commission, usually 50%/50%.



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only fair to give that agency an exclusive listing for a period of time. Please contact if you have questions that arise out of this article.

Your Local BVI Real Estate Experts...

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

Bonnie Dougall

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

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

Tingalayo -West End Mountain Top Home

Hawksnest-3 Acre Hideway Luck Hill, Tortola

Hotel California...Lovely Private Home with Two Separate Guest Suites

Fabulous 6 Bedroom Upscale Villa

Very private 3 Bedroom home with Separate 1 Bedroom Guest House

Fabulous Views. Ideal for Vacation Home with good Rental Income

Asking price US $3,200,000

Asking Price US $2,250,000

Asking Price US $1,500,000




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Showcase Property

Words by Stephen L France. Photography by Don Hebert

December 2014 / January 2015


SEA ituated on 1.07 acres of land in Estate Elizabeth, St Thomas with a

and Lennox split AC units, the property exhibits a harmonious balance.

phenomenal view of the Charlotte Amalie harbour, Outrigger House

One bedroom is located on the main walk-in level while the other three

is a villa designed to serve as a luxurious Virgin Islands retreat.

bedrooms are on the upper floor, along with a media room presenting a wall

Meticulously constructed by Custom Builders, utilising poured

mounted flat screen television.

concrete and poured block, the property was completed in September of 2013.

The interior space is the epitome of custom built fixtures and fittings suited

At a peak level of architectural accomplishment, the property’s interior

to Caribbean style with an emphasis on custom mahogany cabinetry, and

spans 5,290 sq ft accompanied with an exterior living space of 5,200 sq ft.

refined furniture fashioned from local mahogany by the talented craftsman

Renowned interior designer Twila Wilson and architect Michael Helm,

George Munzar. The kitchen unveils polished slate counters and glass

whose adept works have been featured in Architectural Digest, collaborated

tile backsplash and includes a cosy breakfast area. Kitchen cabinets, bath

on the design of this magnificent haven.

vanities, the staircase to the second level, much of the mahogany furniture,

Both epic yet comforting, the home features a 55ft covered veranda

the four poster beds, and nightstands were tailor-made to specifications

on the harbour side of the house and a 25ft vaulted great room. With four

that create the property’s natural, unique alignment with Caribbean lifestyle

equal size master bedrooms inclusive of 10x10 decks, en suite bathrooms,

and climate.



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December 2014 / January 2015




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Clarity in the physical beauty of the property demonstrates the designer’s ability to balance the refined pieces of custom mahogany furniture, with more rustic, colourful Indonesian furnishings; this fusion with added splashes of colour throughout via pillows, rugs, art, and beautiful glass tiles, form profound, perceptive aesthetics. The exterior complements the villa’s tranquil theme with a 17ft x 20ft infinity-edge, solar-heated pool controlled by hand held remote for the pumps and infinity edge itself. On the upper deck adjacent to the pool level is a barbecue and a table for outdoor dining. Falling at the western end of the great room, proximate to the kitchen, pool deck, and outdoor eating area is a wet bar possessing a sliding shutter. This feature transforms the bar area into charming indoor/ outdoor space and includes a U‐line ice maker and Marvel wine cooler.

Outrigger House • Lot: 1.07 acres

• Exterior space: 5,200 sq ft

• Built in Sept 2013

• Cistern is 47,000 gallons and has two chambers

• Interior floor: 5,290 sq ft • 4 Bed + 4 ½ Bath • Barbecue

with a half bathroom. On the lower level on the east end of the house is a

• Gated entry with fully fenced yard

studio to be used as desired; perhaps as a residence for a nanny, caretaker

• Garden, deck, and patio

or housekeeper.

• Parking: 6 cars

Beneath the house, still on the west side of the villa is a gym/yoga studio

Gifted with all these functional and attractive amenities, the property’s

• Solar heated pool

tranquillity and seclusion is completed by gated entry to the villa, using

• Incredible view of the sea

an electronic key pad and remote gate control tied into the phone system.

• Construction: Concrete, insulated roof, highest rated windstorm doors and windows precluding need for shutters, stainless/cable railings for aesthetics and low maintenance

Currently operated as a highly rated vacation villa, Outrigger House is a conspicuous example of the grand Virgin Islands’ properties that this region boasts.

• 20KW generator with an automatic transfer switch • Solar hot water • 2 security cameras cover the parking area and the pool deck area

US $3,200,000 Contact: Suzanne Mabe, CRS, GRI Real Estate Broker/Owner Email: Website: Direct Line: 340/777-5564 eFax: 440/756-7052 Mobile: 340/998-7701

SEA Words and photography courtesy of Geoffrey Brooks, Curator – Virgin Islands Maritime Museum

have known Watson White for over 10 years now. He is both a friend and a teacher for me. Watson is a traditional wooden shipwright who grew up in Anegada and has spent most of his adult life in St Thomas. Over the years, he has told me many stories of the old days and the maritime history wrapped in the BVI’s rich culture. I would like to share this interesting one of both shock and good fortune: This fable took place in the early 1920’s before Watson was born and was handed down through his family. His grandfather James Smith along with his uncle Ira and some others had sailed their sloop Carmen from Anegada to St Croix to sell fish. They were preparing to sail back to the BVI with cargo and some passengers. It was in the evening and the plan was to sail at night and clear BVI customs in the morning. The Carmen was a fairly large sloop – close to 40ft over-all with a cabin. As the passengers and crew were settling down to sleep, Captain James Smith was at the helm. Among the passengers was a Caucasian man who had booked passage to Tortola. He was a stranger and no one gave him much thought – that is, until night set in... Captain Smith heard the stranger below, rummaging through his bag for



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something and suddenly, he heard the distinctive click of the hammer of a gun being cocked. In an instant, Smith dove head first down into the cabin and landed right on top of the stranger. His nephew joined him and they took the pistol—a revolver which he had just loaded—and tied him up. He was brought up on deck where Ira wanted to shoot him and throw him overboard. His father, Captain Smith would have none of this and it was decided that they would sail to St Thomas and turn him over to the US authorities. When they reached Charlotte Amalie in the morning, they handed him over to the police and court was assembled quickly since they had to finish their voyage to Tortola and Anegada. It turned out that the Caucasian male was wanted for murder in the States and had been a fugitive for many years. It was figured that he had intended to kill everyone on board and then take the sloop to St Martin where there was no extradition in those days. With the fugitive behind bars, the crew and passengers of Carmen breathed a sigh of relief and left St Thomas to sail back home thanking God for his deliverance and Captain James Smith for his knowledge of firearms.

Yacht Spotlight:

Crewed charter yacht Enigma —

Words by Stephen L France Photography by Evan Kezsbom and Andrew Woodruff

named because the owners felt the word ‘enigma’ is indescribable, mysterious, and a fun thought for adventurers on the ocean—will have visitors perplexed over the phenomenal potential of yacht architecture; she’s a beautiful vessel that is a distinct demonstration of perceptive design. Crewed by Captain Evan Kezsbom, Chef Lisa Mead, and First Mate and Stewardess Jalene Szuba, their great expertise in collaboration with this boat’s enigmatic, awe-inspiring aesthetics, grant justification for her title. As a Lagoon 620 with yacht builder CNB – Lagoon (Group Beneteau), naval architect Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prévost, and interior and exterior designer Nauta Design, she can hold three crew members and a maximum of eight guests. Currently in her second season, when docked she will be found at Nanny Cay Marina, but due to great demand, it is more probable that she will be cruising the Caribbean with her high tech Volvo Penta D3-150 Turbo engines. Travelling at 15kts on a surf and cruising at around 10kts, her log has seen her splashing in France, then cruising the western Mediterranean. She won a

leg in the ARC Transatlantic for her section in 2013 and since arriving in the Caribbean, she has glided the entire chain from Grenada to the USVIs. Luxury accommodations in each cabin bear witness to queen island berths, flat panel TVs, bedside cup holders, night lamps, en suite bathrooms with Tecma electric flush toilets, and separate showers with automatic electric drains. With such attractive amenities in the cabins, Enigma’s salon is compelled to match, which she does successfully with a flat panel satellite TV, 3-zone Bose lifestyle entertainment system, speakers spread throughout the salon, cockpit, fly-bridge, and bow’s pulpits with completion of in-home theatre through her vast movie library. Enigma also features an enormous owner’s suite that occupies half of the starboard hull, comprised of a work desk area, lounging space, twin basin vanity sink, huge walk-in frosted glass shower with a teak bench, a rain shower head, and a separate toilet room. Arguably, the yacht’s most attractive space is the galley – a true gourmet chef’s dream. It includes a commercial grade gelato machine, Miele dishwasher, Splendide washer-dryer unit, seven refrigeration/freezer compartments, a wet bar in the cockpit with a fridge, icemaker and sink. Most L620s are galley-down whereas Enigma has a galley-up layout. This provides a great stage for the chef, allowing him/her to be a part of the overall charter experience. With a 5-burner stove top, double rack oven, and



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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.

on the water


Call (284) 393.2417 visit or email

December 2014 / January 2015


vast work space with high tech appliances, the culinary arts will be an extra special treat. A full bimini on the fly bridge and stainless steel refrigerator are comfortable additions to the yacht’s flexible feel, that wellness can be found in any part of the boat. Enigma is a state-of-the-art yacht in her series, possessing many unique upgrades when compared to standard L620s. Such enhancements encompass carbon fibre helms, a FLIR infrared, night vision mast mounted camera, forward-looking underwater sonar, and touch screen Raymarine suites in two locations. A Bauer Junior II diver compressor with 8 tanks and kit for divers, complete snorkel kits for all, a high tech dinghy, and a comprehensive range of water toys for every single activity possible, will bombard guests with an overwhelming selection of things to do. Just a few examples include two SUPs, two 2-person sea-thru bottom kayaks, one ZUP, two sets of water-skis , a wake skate, and two wake boards. The choices for indoor or outdoor entertainment are literally infinite. The only enigma is how a yacht architect would surpass the impressive specifications of this vessel, because she is truly conspicuous among her series.



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Chef Lisa Mead

Lisa Mead is an Australian chef who uses local organic ingredients where possible. Specialising in Asian, Modern Caribbean, and Mediterranean cuisine, her goal as chef on board Enigma is to tailor-make a menu suited to the tastes of their guests. She is also the host of a cooking show Galley Gourmet With Chef Lisa, which is shot on location in the BVI and features her cooking with chefs from all walks of life. The show has been produced locally, has been syndicated for TV, and is now airing in Canada, South America, parts of the US, the UK, and throughout the Caribbean. Chef Lisa Mead Host and Producer Galley Gourmet With Chef Lisa

LI F E Words by Megan Schlobohm, Chef – SV Lolalita

All my life—from childhood to adulthood—I have looked forward to one particular month of the year. This time of year is magical. Delicious. Full of memories and tradition. You know what I’m talking about – we’re in it right now. Christmas and New Year’s are anxiously anticipated by many, all over the world. No matter how one celebrates their holiday season, it’s a time that is met with great expectation and cheer. It’s no strange action to spend “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as the famous song goes in the most wonderful place in the world: the Virgin Islands. Crewed charter yacht vacations are always amazing, but during the holiday season, there can’t be a better place to celebrate. Here are a few reasons to spend your next one in the Virgin Islands.

1. The finest weather of the year

The tradewinds are the best during the Christmas season. December’s weather includes warm, lightly breezy days, gorgeous sunshine just strong enough to

lovingly kiss your face, and cool, comfortable nights with the occasional drizzly rain. It’s the perfect tropical weather much welcomed after months of blistering heat and nervous hurricane-mindedness. In addition to this, those living in the northern hemisphere, especially those truly up north in the midst of the cold, find the tropical tradewinds a much-needed reprieve. There’s nothing like letting yourself thaw from the freezing temperatures on a floating apartment with a rummy-fruity cocktail in hand. It makes faring the rest of the winter bearable.

2. It’s a no-brainer gift – no matter the celebration

More than half of our charter guests recount that their week on board was presented to them in the form of a gift, mostly set for the Christmas season. While there is only one special Christmas Week to charter throughout the year, giving the ultimately luxurious gift of a crewed charter yacht vacation will remain unforgettable in the heart of the receiver. Not only will they experience the excitement and anticipation of receiving the gift, but also the actual vacation itself. It’s the gift that keeps on giving in the form of timeless memories.  

3. Enjoy a Christmas morning dive

When the BVI’s weather is good, the waters are great. December water temperatures are still comfortable from a long summer of warming and with lighter breezes comes clearer waters for diving. A typical Christmas morning on board our crewed charter yacht, Lolalita, includes Christmas morning stockings and gifts, a gorgeous scuba dive to wish the fish a happy holiday, guided by your personally-attentive dive instructor; and celebratory mimosas with a hearty and delicious brunch, made by your personal gourmet chef (me!). Don’t observe Christmas? No worries! December diving is fine no matter what you do or don’t celebrate and it’s always a good idea to have a mimosa.

December 2014 / January 2015


4. The ultimate New Year’s Eve, any way you like it The busiest, most exciting day of the year in the Virgins is the very last. Parties are hopping in every corner, beckoning visitors to come with a celebration for every desire: big and loud; quiet and calm; gourmet cuisine; family-friendly. Fireworks can be seen over the water no matter your angle, giving everyone the opportunity to greet the New Year with their preferred location. Safety is always a consideration, no matter the time of year, and what better way to protect yourself and those you love with the knowledge and experience of a charter yacht crew. Your crew will arrange all activities and transportation, all the while protecting your belongings on board, allowing for a smooth night of frivolity. For those who enjoy ‘window shopping’ admiring all the mega yachts is a real treat over in their main congregation spot North Sound, Virgin Gorda. They display their shiny hulls, bouncing toys, and mesmerising lights for a show of grandeur. If you’re not interested in all the hubbub of the Virgin Islands, there are still thousands of places to ‘hide’ and celebrate the New Year in your own way. If this is favoured by our guests, we will plan a private, magical celebration, tailored for guests’ preferences to the pinnacle of details.

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

No matter how guests choose to spend their week, the joy and excitement of celebrating the holiday season on a crewed charter yacht starts with the freedom to experience it any way you like, anywhere you please with the help of an experienced, safety-minded crew to maximise the longevity of the fond memories created. It’s the ultimate in vacation wonder and we hope to see you here next year.

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



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Studio One - The Spa that’s putting the BVI first Words by Stephen L France Photography by David Thomas and aLookingGlass

The British Virgin Islands are a veritable paradise, pampered by a vast choice of spas and salons. Arguably, the reason for the abundance of luxurious stop-ins is to preempt the anticipation of lavish lifestyle that visitors and residents expect of a tropical destination. Studio One Salon & Spa has been a leading example in this industry ever since its grand opening on the January 17th 2014. One of the allures for their clientele, is the uniqueness in a joint salon/spa experience, that incorporates a distinguished level of professionalism. Interviewing owners Eileen Bourke, Nicoleta Bongarth, and Che Pemberton, it is clear that to thrive in this competitive industry, proficiency in a number of skills is necessary. All three owners possess an impressive wealth of information about their expertise in the salon/spa field, educating anyone that enters Studio One about the significance of bodily care. Nicoleta, who is the face of the company, relayed a successful aspect of her vision for the salon/spa, saying, “We have a very clean look. Very neat. Everything is top quality,” with regard to Studio’s physical appearance, products, and services offered. Eileen further explained their principal concept: “We’re trying to create a European flavoured service in the British Virgin Islands, whilst incorporating the product and service that people here are looking for.”

December 2014 / January 2015


Promoted as an operation for both men and women, co-owner Che is the exemplary male convert to this lifestyle, who recognises that men need to take care of themselves too. Another aim of the owners is to evoke a spa-like feeling in a salon with their awareness that it can be challenging to find a place where you are able to have your hair treated in tranquillity – this element presents an innovative service here in the BVI. Following suit of attentive customer care, immense investment is placed in staff training so that each stylist breeds client appreciation and loyalty. Nicoleta came from Romania where she taught as an instructor at a 5* training centre. She has European spa qualification in manicure and pedicure from globally renowned OPI –Hand Spa. Iulia Rusu, also from Romania has a background in television makeup, cosmetology and hair – truly unique attributes of a stylist here in the BVI. Suelyn Parkinson, who has trained in deep tissue and hot stone treatments, completes their accumulation of expertise, or as better described by Eileen: “The BVI is a fusion of cultures and we feel we need to trend with our services likewise,” elaborating on the diversity of talent that Studio One possesses. “You must be on the cusp of change,” she continued in defining the constant evolution of Cosmetology, facials, manicure, pedicure, haircuts, and treating hair colour. “It is necessary to understand the chemicals being used on the hair.” Eileen and Nicoleta relayed that there is a vigilant training discipline Nicoleta has travelled across the world, encompassing Europe and the States, learning skills from a variety of different professional schools including famed Paul Mitchell; she continues to do so. Utilising high end products and keeping current with the consistent development of hair and skin cosmetics, Eileen emphasised the importance of having an exclusive product line to grant her business distinction. “Paul Mitchell is a well-known professional brand that has been popular in Tortola,” she said. Schwarzkopf is a brand you don’t find in the Caribbean apart from Trinidad and we have the exclusive rights for the Schwarzkopf line,” she continued. “We have a line from Sothys – it’s number one in France,” added Nicoleta who described that it’s a French line with natural aromatherapy oils for the skin; one must be a qualified aesthetician to understand how to utilise these products correctly.



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With such an endearing reception from the BVI community at inception and throughout, Studio One owners have graciously reciprocated in charitable acts. “We tend to forget our old people who set the tone of where we live today,” said Eileen with respect to the Adina Donovan Home where she donates contributions from their company – currently, they are seeking to raise $2500 to repair upstairs that requires retiling. Nicoleta commits to free haircuts and treatments for people at Adina Donovan and Bougainvillaea, also giving the nurses at Adina, Studio One gift certificates for their challenging work. Concluding, Eileen said, “At Studio One, we stress a healthy, educated approach to skin care.” Offering this vast range of salon/spa services and products to suit all preferences—male or female—to accompany their profound ethos, it is clear that the revolutionary salon/spa combo of Studio One will open up a new routine to anyone interested in in maintaining good health.

More about Studio One • Studio One offers flexible late hours and appointments – walk-ins are welcome if there is a specialist available • December raffle – $5.00 to enter with funds going to the Adina Donovan – chance to win a spa package • December and January – special with the Sothys launch. Reflexotherapy – a head to toe treatment with two therapists treating you • Special Offer - Buy a pedicure – free hot stone massage on your feet during the spa pedicure • January 17 2015 is Studio One’s anniversary where a champagne celebration can be anticipated alongside special offers and packages

Contact: Studio One Spa and Salon 130 Main Street Road Town , Tortola +1 284 494-9988 +1 284 346-5622 Facebook: Studio One Salon Spa Tortola – Special offers emerge all throughout the year

PRICES Back-UPS 350VA Back-UPS 550VA Back-UPS 750VA Back-UPS Pro 1000VA AVR Back-UPS Pro 1500VA AVR Smart UPS 1000VA Smart UPS 1500VA Smart UPS 2200VA

UPS & Surge suppression products for residences.

$69.00 $89.00 $139.00 $199.00 $299.00 $523.00 $664.00 $1069.00

Limited 3 year warranty included


December 2014 / January 2015


On the go hydration is a must. Be the envy of your friends with these Kate Spade insulated cups

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

Leather bound and stylishly coloured protective covers for an Ipad

Oversized cups with names for that special someone

Back by popular demand, these beautiful coloured leather pouches containing battery packs for stylish on the go re-charges! For someone who has everything – add a little Christmas sparkle with these fun rhinestone studded puppies!

Fun quirky messages for the wall. A great gift for everyone

Coffee table books are always a great gift idea and perfect for that Boxing Day browse

Beautifully scented bath gels and lotions for all by Crabtree and Evelyn

Give your tree a beachy theme with sea-inspired decorations For a nautical twist on decorating, try these ‘miniature ships in a bottle’ hanging decorations



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


Words by Stephen L France Photography by SkyVisions VI

The title ‘Mi Amor’ immediately evokes warmth; as a phrase often said and heard, it truly summarises what Tortola’s boutique Mi Amor Jewellers in Road Town stands for. Interviewing CEO Eileen Bourke, the innovator who has been motivated to create a unique jewellery store capable of providing new lines of accessories, she stated that, “Jewellery isn’t political…it’s about catering to each individual taste for every occasion and Mi Amor’s mantra is ‘your celebration is our inspiration.” Two years since Mi Amor first welcomed BVI residents and visitors through its doors, has seen the retailer’s consistent improvement in service. Simultaneously, the boutique has sought to differentiate its products from other jewellers; therefore, granting customers an attractive purpose for selecting the store to quench their thirst for the more extravagant accessories. Eileen has introduced a new concept in its administration labelled Trilogy: Mi Amor Luxury, Mi Amor Fashion Jewellery, and Mi Amor’s Shop ‘n Shop, with an idea that the boutique in its entirety will fulfil every possible jewellery/watch request. Further, are the exclusive products that the owner has solicited.

December 2014 / January 2015


“Prior to now, brands of watches have been Scuderia which is a Swiss line, the best of all worlds – it’s Italian designed, the leather is from Ferrari and Aston Martin cars…with a Swiss automatic movement,” said the boutique owner in reference to watches that are uniquely different in the BVI. “We don’t want to repeat what you can already access in St Thomas and St Martin. We want to give our local customers something different.” Examples of the new pieces that will be on display at Mi Amor this season are the aviation time piece Abingdon, Philip Stein’s lady’s and gentleman’s diamond watches, Ingersoll freshly designed time pieces, Bulova lady’s diamond watches, Frederick Sage’s ‘I Do’ series of 18kt gold diamond engagement rings, Fope’s unique gold jewellery, and the new Lauren G Adams boutique for girls and their mothers. Eileen’s incentive for acquiring these treasures, was to fulfil the goal of bringing individuality to the BVI when compared to surroundings islands in the region: “I’m introducing concepts and pieces from



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places abroad, not to be found in the Caribbean. I work very hard with my buyer Mia Chalik, who was originally the diamond buyer for Columbian emeralds for 15 years. Mia opened doors for Mi Amor into extraordinary diamond collections.” In the CEO’s due diligence, she has secured the Californian brand Mark Patterson, who fashions 18ct gold VS 1 clarity G coloured diamonds in contemporary pieces that retain a classic appearance, transcending both casual and formal functions. The aforementioned famed name Frederic Sage, has exclusively favoured Mi Amor because as couture, they seek familyowned boutiques to heighten the luxury and exclusive nature of their productions. Eileen elaborated on this trend, “the look and feel of fashion luxury today in watches and jewellery is the family owned boutique business… they have chosen Mi Amor because they like that… and want to be represented well,” detailing that these businesses appreciate that her boutique will attend jeweller functions and exhibit with smaller collections, breeding exclusivity.

“It takes experience, contacts, know-how, and hard work,” said the boutique owner, commenting on her reliable relationship with the manufacturers for the larger brand names like the Mémoire collection by De Beers Diamond jewellers. This has allowed the CEO to grant identical craftsmanship to the high end brands for custom orders desiring peak quality and a stunning finished look. “It’s about the four C’s,” said Eileen, which are diamond colour, diamond cut, diamond clarity, and diamond carat weight. Another exclusive line that Mi Amor provides is J B Star – Israel’s global leaders in magnificent jewellery, catering to royalty like the Aga Khans and the Sheikhs. Their product starts at $50,000 and reaches the millions. They have selected Mi Amor to carry their creations. The boutique will be hosting trunk shows at Peter Island and Oil Nut Bay to exhibit their opulent collections. Yewn Dickson will be the name they intend to showcase– the very same line worn by Michelle Obama and Princess Kate when they met each other for the first time; a symbol of how two individuals from opposite sides of the world can have the same jewellery taste, transcending social, cultural and national boundaries – a concept that gives Eileen further inspiration in her role at Mi Amor. Passionate in her position with a successful sales pitch, the CEO is grateful for the tastes that have emerged from BVI residents and visitors to steer Mi Amor in the direction the boutique has taken. “Other islands feed their customers the commercial brands that are safe,” she said, but she opted for an audacious approach that is seeing reward in repeat business. “I knew what my market was and what it was missing,” said Eileen. “If I don’t have it, and I can’t get it, I’ll make it,” she continued with reference to exceeding her customers’ expectations. “Bring me in your dream and I will make it a reality,” the CEO challenges in promotion of her custom jewellery creations. In the two years Mi Amor has been in service, they have been able to accomplish every single request that has arisen at their boutique. Contact Details: Mi Amor Jewellers T: 284-494-7477 T: 284-494-7478

LI F E Words and photography by Stacie Leiphart

Natasha Rusheinski

(Tash), originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, grew up in a house full of animals. At one time, that house held as many as seven dogs, three cats, a parrot, a rat, and horses (outside). “My sister is ‘crazy horse person’ now,” Tash beamed as she recalled the wildness of her childhood. This life was not lost on Tash as she always had the goal of becoming a veterinarian when she was older. “I can’t stand seeing animals in pain,” she said. Her life’s path had different plans, however. As an adult, Tash took a job working for Deloitte as an accountant and eventually, she was hired at their



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BVI location. When Tash arrived on Tortola, she knew she belonged here. Her destiny to live on Tortola was not only for her benefit, but also for the British Virgin Islands as a whole.  Tash has single independently identified an issue that affects tourism, health, and economic issues in our population. Further, she created a nonprofit organisation that is now improving the state of the situation. Tash Rusheinski is the very definition of a person who is making the British Virgin Islands a better place to live. Recognising the stray cat overpopulation burden on Tortola, Tash knows of the dangers this poses for the animals and the country as a whole. “One cat can breed up to 8 times a year and give birth to five kittens at a time,” she explained.

With one stray cat able to breed up to 40 cats a year, that is a remarkable drain on the supply of food to the wild cat population which will lead to starvation. Over population of cats can also conceive feline diseases, causing illness and painful death for the animals. “Cats die a horrific death…” from some of these diseases so it is important to catch the illness early. Additionally, some less deadly health issues carried by cats can also be passed to humans. This is of concern if many stray cats roam the island and birth vast amounts of kittens. As a peril to the British Virgin Islands in its entirety and with tourism as one of the major industries in the country, a large over population of stray cats does not bode well for return guests. “We have had tourists take up feeding cats while they were visiting and then contact us directly before they left,” because they did not want to leave without knowing the cats were taken care of.  It is a point of reflection that visitors to our island will want to return to our beautiful space on the Earth, not only for the ocean, our kind people, and culture, but also for the kindness we show toward our wildlife. Jumping into action, Tash formed PAW (Promoting Animal Welfare), a non-profit animal welfare organisation whose full purpose is to “…decrease the number of stray animals through spay/neutering and improving the standard of living through vaccinating against disease.”  The pioneering animal rights supporter has compiled an impressive team of volunteers and donors that trap, transport, and treat felines before releasing them back into the wild.  Trapping and transporting volunteers welcome calls from the general public with information of the whereabouts of stray cats and dogs. Following, the volunteers travel to location with crates, to noninvasively trap the animals and transport them to the veterinarian. Working on the behalf of PAW, Dr Laura Palmara donates some of her time for the non-profit organisation. Dr Palmara, a well-respected Caribbean veterinarian, travels to at least four islands every week (St Croix, St John,  St Thomas, and Tortola), treating privately owned pets and working her mission to help the stray animal population. For PAW, Dr Laura tests then vaccinates each cat for Feline Leukaemia and Feline AIDS. After testing negative, the cats are spayed or neutered, left to recuperate, then released back to the place they were trapped.   Although Dr Laura has reduced her fee for the non-profit organisation, PAW still has costs associated with the treatment of the animals. The costs are paid for by means of private donations and corporate sponsors.  Other donations have come in by way of community service projects, private citizens, or small businesses. Any way the donations are obtained, Tash is grateful to the community, “…ensuring we have a healthier feline population.” As of print date, Tash and her team have exceeded their 2014 goal of treating 100 strays with a current count of 129. The team is looking for additional volunteers and financial sponsors with the goal for animals treated in 2015 at 250. This may look like a high mountain to climb, but Tash is determined to better the lives of the animals on Tortola and better the life on Tortola itself. Tash stands out as another of the BVI’s animal welfare icons. She is an exceptional example to our youth of how to take initiative in leadership and give those who have no voice a champion to fight their cause.   To contact the PAW team, for volunteer or sponsor information, please email  Website: Facebook: PAW Tortola   Do you know someone making a difference in The BVI? Contact

PAW (Promoting Animal Welfare) Executive Team: Natasha Rusheinski GuyP Dubois Sylvia Estevez Dan Boisvert

Trapper/Transporters: Craig Hicker Claire Chensee Scarlett Steer 20+ others

Highlighted and Corporate Sponsors: * All money raised goes directly to the animals Deloitte Maples Caribbean Insurance Limited (CIL) Cedar International School Grade 5 Exhibition Group, 2014

December 2014 / January 2015




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Timeless Serenity

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

approx. 8 1/2 acres

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

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

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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

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



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

THE LANDING $595,000 3 bed waterfront cottage with small dock close to Beef Island bridge

Spectacular 5 bed home overlooking Brewers Bay. Highest quality finishes throughout.




THE HANDSOME BEACH HOUSE $450,000 A delightful 2 bed cottage right on the beach at Handsome Bay. Calling out to be expanded!

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





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

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



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

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

Waterfront 1.5 acres 3 bed


Waterfront 0.79 acres 3 bed LESLIE HOUSE LIT TLE MOUNTAIN

tel. (284) 495 3000

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




Adjacent to The Baths National Park. 4 bedrooms, pool. great



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”

Luxury Villa Rentals

Local Expertise Global Exposure


STAY AMONGST THE STARS … Glorious views of the heavens from the observatory terrace. Five bedrooms, sleeps 10 in exquisite comfort. Largest private pool in the BVI - 80 ft infinity pool with hot tub and ‘Margarita seat’ - most perfect place on the planet to enjoy a sundowner. The ideal vacation escape.

Villa from $1800 per night


L o c a t e d i n L o n g B ay R e s o r t , comprises three self-contained levels which can be rented together or separately. Ideal for families and groups or couples. Overlooking the beach - an easy walk away.

Villa from $290 per night


CAptain’s House is deser vedly popular. Well laid out with two kingsize bedrooms in separate pavilions, it is beautifully designed to offer space, privacy and wondrous views over the ocean.

Villa from $308 per night


home invites cool breezes and ample air flow into every room. Large doors open wide to fresh, flora-infused breezes, circulating through the main bedroom and tunneling through the living room.

Villa from $450 per night


The charm and beauty of this villa, with pleasing decoration, antiquities and original Caribbean artwork ease the senses, making St. Bernard’s Hill a re l a x i n g a n d p e r f e c t v a c a t i o n destination.

Villa from $3928 per night

Maritha Keil (Broker) m: 284 340-5555

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Traditional pastel Caribbean colours enhance this very charming house. 3-bed, 4-bath with impeccable attention to detail, it has a light and airy feel, while maintaining its structural integrity. This unique home offers amazing views, sunrises and sunsets. Serene and calming, beautiful landscaping, cooling breezes that relax and refresh.

Villa from $270 per night


Located at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda above the Baths, famous for its dramatic boulders also incorporated into Toad Hall. 3-bed, 4-bath on 5.5 acres of mature landscaping with a footpath to the beach

Villa from $336 per night


Just 42-feet above the beach, with stunning 180-degree views over the Caribbean Sea and neighboring islands, Bayhouse was designed mixing classical Caribbean elements and modern, contemporary style.

Villa from $700 per night

Carol Olympitis & Kim Huish (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700



Locate high above The white sand beaches of Cane Garden Bay and the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Mango Manor is the ideal getaway providing the ultimate in luxury vacations.

Villa from $3750 per night


Splendid panoramas, sumptuous seclusion and close to white sand beaches. Offering a unique blend of luxury and natural beauty, a perfect place for a family vacation, or a romantic retreat.

Villa from $1600 per night

General Enquiries

Mill Mall. PO Box 188 Road Town, Tortola,VG1110 |

Exquisite Properties For Sale

Local Expertise

Global Exposure


Recently finished 4-bed, 5-bath house in Cooten Bay. Set on 0.866 acres with magnificent ocean view, high-end finishes, fixtures and appliances abound. Travertine tiles, both polished and honed with Purple!Heart hardwood flooring. All bedrooms are large and air-conditioned. The heated swimming pool has jacuzzi and swim jets.



Elegant estate on 1.935 acres with landscaped gardens. View of Jost Van Dyke and St. Thomas. 3-bed, each with en-suite bath. Professionally equipped kitchen and meals can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors.



Traditional Caribbean colours enhance this very charming 3-bed, 3bath house with an expansive ocean vista. Next to the pool is the selfcontained 2-bed, 2-bath guesthouse with stone trimmed covered gazebo.



On two levels: lower level has open plan kitchen/dining/living area, covered deck, bedroom, bathroom; upper level has large bedroom, sitting/ dressing area, en suite bathroom. Close to beach and magnificent view



2-bed, 2-bath apartment, overlooking Long Bay. Only 2 minutes easy walk to beach and resort. Shared pool. Set in b e a u t i f u l ly t e n d e d g a rd e n s o n attractive hillside with wonderful views.


Maritha Keil (Broker) m: 284.340.5500 e:

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

Belmont Land 1.017 acres, is located between two Long Bay and Smugglers Cove with a view over the palm trees National Park. Gentle slope for low costs in construction and the views are panoramic. This lot is one of the best home sites in Belmont Estate.



Shannon House is located in the hills above Tortola's northern shore. Indonesian inspired architecture of 5,700 sq.ft. on 5.25 acres. Magnificent 7-bed, 7-bath property with a two-tier pool and terrace.



Four-bedrooms, four-and-one-half b a t h ro o m s , p r i v a t e v i l l a w i t h swimming pool on 0.7 acres in luscious Shannon Estate. Wonderful sunset views and mature tropical gardens.


Carol Olympitis & Kim Huish (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700 e:



A spacious 3-bedroom 2-bath top floor residence with two additional apartments below. The 2nd floor consists of 2 bedrooms + office, the lower floor is a self contained 1bedroom, 1-bath apartment.!



Loblolly has exceptional views spanning from Virgin Gorda to St. John, USVI. On over six acres of land with 5-bed 3.5 bathrooms, library/ study, large lawn and unique swimming pool


General Enquiries

Mill Mall. PO Box 188 Road Town, Tortola,VG1110 |





Long Bay Apartment

The Stone House

US $925,000

US $180,000

US $1,850,000




Golden Pavilion

Pelican House

Villa Taino

US $6,500,000

US $1,545,000

US $2,800,000




Zuni Villa

Palm Grove Villa


US $1,099,999

US $450,000

US $4,500,000





Bay House

100 Pond Bay

US $4,500,000

US $4,200,000

US $6,700,000

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

SOL Y SOMBRA Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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

Smiths Gore Limited : : British Virgin Islands

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

Seashell Beach Villa

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

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



Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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1 284 393 1000


1 800 761 0377

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - December 2014/ January 2015  

Editor - Stephen L France

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - December 2014/ January 2015  

Editor - Stephen L France