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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.

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October 2013


OCT V i r g i n Isla n d s 2013




Skipper’s Tips: Here Come the Sun Kings

F e at u r e S

By David Blacklock

A fresh welcome and welcome back to avid sailors of the BVI

10 Showcase Property: Villa Soleil By Stephen L France

A luxury beachfront villa and the perfect secret retreat nestled above the secluded and serene Trunk Bay beach


Keeping a Taste of the BVI By Stephen L France

A tourist’s vacation can be made by the quality of cuisine and service


Things We Love By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell

16 The Readers’ Choice Awards – RESULTS! With more votes than ever before, The Readers’ Choice presents your vote - who serves the best cuisine, provides the top charters, most attractive vacation rentals and everything in between?


Yacht Spotlight: A2 By Stephen L France

The ultimate in modern appliances, A2 offers a smooth luxurious cruise

Hot new trends for the season from House


Getting the Green Light By David A Gill

Eco-friendly lighting, both attractive and cost effective

32 High Season Guidance for Boat Sellers By Brian Duff

35 A Winter’s Tale By Edward Childs

44 Get That Chip Off Your Shoulder By Susie Younkle


46 Property and Yacht Listings

Kite Bite By Charlie Smith

An introduction to kiteboarding in the BVI

Scan and bookmark us



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October 2013


Edi t o r ' s L e t t e r , O c t o b e r 2 0 1 3

It’s arrived! The Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine presents the event of the year – results of the Readers’ Choice Awards. This has been our most interesting survey to date with more voters than ever before and quite a few new entries in the survey categories. We also had some intriguing answers to the questions like voters stating that their favourite neighbourhood was Soggy Dollar on Jost – can’t really dispute this answer and we’re sure you would not be short of entertainment. Several brave souls made the mighty, bold claim that the best pool lay in their own back yard – when you’re competing against Scrub Island, this is an ostentatious boast to say the least of which I would advise caution – we Editor Stephen L France

are known for putting island hotspots to the test and we have your contact details…

Publisher aLookingGlass

three consecutive years are: Blue Water Divers as Best BVI Dive Shop. The Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar, who

Contributors David Blacklock Edward Childs Brian Duff Kate Henderson David A Gill Fran Morrell Charlie Smith Susie Younkle

grooved to Best BVI Full Moon beats. BVI Spring Regatta, who sailed in for Best BVI Regatta. Old Government House,

Several winners of the survey categories, who deserve special recognition for impressively ‘taking the gold’ for collected Best BVI Restaurant. Alec Anderson, who raced in for Best BVI Sailor. Trellis Fireball Full Moon Party, who standing as Best BVI Museum. Rob Swain Sailing School for acquiring Best BVI Sailing School and last but not least, Nanny Cay for Best BVI Marina. As we enter a fresh high season, this issue is tailored to greet new visitors and residents of the British Virgin Islands. We also welcome back snowbirds, who will undoubtedly be pleased to touchdown in the gentle winter climate of the BVI, which is certainly no winter by the traditional definition. We consider October’s VIPY perfect timing for readers, as it offers guidance toward the great BVI services and establishments in their respective industries. In accordance with a new season, Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell

Creative Director Nick Cunha Design & Layout Scott Taylor

of House share some attractive, new essentials for making your time in the BVI as comfortable as the throw cushions they sell. Architectural designer David Gill of DGLifestyles reviews eco-friendly lighting in the magazine’s continuous exploration of sustainable development. In this edition, we also feature the last in a series of articles about the BVI cookbook Taste, reviewing the

Web Developer Maros Pristas

importance of cuisine to vacations.

Sales & Marketing Stephen L France

Readers’ Choice Awards and we are looking forward to seeing you at the event in the first week of October.

Distribution Coordinator Francoise Frank

We are very grateful for the huge contribution from the community in furthering the diversity of options in this

Happy reading.

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. Copyright 2013 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. 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.

Direct all inquiries to: Email: Phone: 284-494-7788 Fax: 284-494-8777 Mail: aLookingGlass PO Box 3895 Sea Cows Bay Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110

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

Cover photos provided by: Todd VanSickle, Dan O’Connor, The Dove, Peter Island Resort, Amelia Earhart Daniels and Alec Anderson

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October 2013 QR code generated on


Skipper’s Tips: By David Blacklock, Charter Captain and Sailing Instructor BVI & USVI

Here Come the

Sun Kings

If the days are getting noticeably shorter, it must be about the time of year that Canada starts draining its citizens south. The snowbirds—or Sun Kings as I prefer—shake their feathers out, make one last (free) medical appointment and cast off lines, bound for the mighty Caribbean. This migration route has been followed for decades if not centuries and, while the destinations remain much the same, the details change quite a bit. It is in this that I ask the question: which of the myriad pursuits known to man yields as many life lessons, both sweet and bitter, as the nautical life? For those who are new to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) or who haven’t been here for a few years, in the spirit of a new season, I wish to impart a few friendly pointers about our paradisiacal locale. First, you might notice that many of the boats plying these waters have an extra hull. This is so the passengers—or crew we sometimes call them—who enjoy their solitude, can have their own space during the course of the day. The separation of cabins has an added benefit: no sound of snoring – unless you’re sleeping next to a prodigy of the nose flute. These boats with the snap-on extra hull are reputedly designed for sailing, but no one has actually seen them do so for any protracted amount of time; however, on certain narrowly defined points of sail, sometimes there might be a scrap of jib allowed to flog discreetly above the foredeck. Another renowned observation of our ‘sailing capital of the world’ as we are often know, is that at certain times of the year, incredible, immense motor yachts and their sail-bedecked sisters can be found at specific anchorages. This is a grand spectacle for avid sailors, amateurs or veterans. Many of the



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largest yachts manage to moor close by one another for the annual, testosterone-driven contest—often held in North Sound, Virgin Gorda, around Christmas. Certain millionaires and billionaires strut and pose with wives and children aboard their vessels, before dropping off the family and scuttling off to St Barths or Jost Van Dyke in time for the grand New Year’s celebrations. Beef Island airport is often busy at this time as legions of the affluent community exit private jets and are whisked away to the waiting mega yachts, intending to work their entertaining excursions around the bountiful islands available. Speaking of the abundance of islands, this is what makes the BVI special amongst its Caribbean siblings; sailors have 60 islands and cays to navigate and enjoy the intriguing libations and fresh fare afforded. Another thing a visitor might note, is the increasing concentration of ownership of islands. Richard Branson has two now, as does Henry Jarecki. Larry Page only has one, Eustatia, but when he bought it he ‘Googled’ the details and found he is actually the landlord of a second, Saba Rock. So the end result is that newcomers might end up restricting their island hopping to Marina Cay, Seal Dog and Cockroach Island, the others being staunchly defended by security squads seconded from Dr. No. Alternatively, there’s always Anegada— but we’d rather dissuade you from that gem. It’s too nice. As you can see, this is a morsel of the fascinating attributes the British Virgin Islands presents and a snippet of the sailing adventures offered. It’s for reasons like this that people often fail to make that return journey north.

October 2013


Showcase Property:

Villa Soleil Words by Stephen L France. Photography by Rainbow Visions, provided by Villa Soleil

For a villa rental to be classified as ‘luxury’ in the BVI, it has to include attractive amenities and grandiose advantages that impress, defining it from normal daily life.

October 2013


Visitors to the region seek a property that possesses the facilities to make indoor relaxation easy, a Caribbean seascape that catalyses escapism, and a location that fits a range of preferences, from blissful seclusion to easy accessibility – this may be the desire for a property positioned on a beach, or a place situated close to town for fluid provisioning and alternative forms of recreation. BVI beachfront property Villa Soleil presents these lavish benefits, wrapped in an architecturally designed abode as fresh as the gentle breeze that glides throughout the property. Set on the north shore of Tortola in Trunk Bay—a beautiful sand beach illuminated by its pristine splendour and privacy—the villa has a panoramic view spanning glistening, turquoise waters of Trunk Bay, Rogue Point, Guana Island and its stunning White Bay. A 15-minute drive from Tortola’s Road Town, where all supplies are within effortless acquisition, visitors will be completely contented during their vacation experience. The villa’s spacious, open-plan kitchen, dining and lounging area with high ceilings, multiple verandas and air conditioning throughout the property, cater perfectly to a variety of scenarios. Whether enjoying a quiet family meal, a serene romantic dinner, or entertaining a large social gathering, the property has all necessary conveniences for pleasurable indoor occasions. The kitchen is well-equipped with all features necessary for the perfect culinary arts. An outdoor barbecue grill and dining table add options to the ambiance of the dining experience.



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With three bedrooms, the master bedroom harbouring one king size bed, the second holding one queen size bed, and the final room accommodating two sets of double sized bunk-beds, both the great room and master bedroom feature fully opening La Cantina glass wall doors, that retract fully to allow the breeze to flow through the villa. Two bathrooms and two outdoor showers provide choice with many appreciating the novelty of relishing the BVI climate while bathing. With comprehensive indoor entertainment features in two flat screen TVs equipped with Satellite, DVD players and game consoles in the bunk room, visitors are never short of amusement. In addition, a luxury property in the BVI is only complete with a pool. Villa Soleil has a two-sided Infinity Edge cool-off pool with contemporary technology embodied in comfortable seating, suave blue lighting and powerful Jacuzzi jets. The pool deck features a custom metal artwork relief sculpture by local BVI artist Aragorn Dick-Read. A commanding feature of the property is a stone wall that runs the entire length of the villa and deck, created of hand-laid local stone, made in the traditional Tortola style. From the Deck, a three minute walk leads directly to the beach - the path is an immaculate construction, a combination of stone and wood steps, blending into the surrounding landscape. With attractive architecture and modern functionality, Villa Soleil makes for the ultimate in a blissful vacation experience.

October 2013


Keeping a Taste of the BVI By Stephen L France

With the high season on the cusp of commencing,snowbirds and tourists will be flying in to enjoy the wondrous holidaymaking of the BritishVirgin Islands (BVI). V

illa rental properties and resorts will be taking reservations for exciting vacations and long-stay visits with guests seeking the great rejuvenating effects of the islands – from the exhilarating watersports to great sailing adventures, to the simple pleasure of soothing relaxation on white sand beaches. There is another aspect that the BVI is renowned for among its residents and tourists – the exquisite gourmet cuisine on offer. There is a host of restaurants and yacht clubs, providing dishes that receive such an incredible response, individuals and families will return to those specific establishments for that exclusive fact.



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Many of the stunning BVI villa rentals will bestow the same brilliant service of phenomenal cuisine and in light of the high season and a warm welcome, or in many cases return greeting to many tourists, Taste the BVI cookbook, grants all the opportunity to take a little piece of the BVI with them. Standing as a compilation of great chefs from fantastic locales all over the BVI, the hardcover book is a testament to the gratifying standard of fare, that residents and visitors are privy to in our tropical abode. Golden Pavilion Villa (GPV) is an example of an exquisite property that amid its many fantastic features, provides a wealthy and healthy dining

experience. In Taste, Chef Kate Purdy of GPV presents her recipe for Mahi Napoleon with Rasta Rice and Tomato Basil Vinaigrette. Talking to Kate, who worked as both a chef and manager at GPV and recognises the unique quality of offering good cuisine in a vacation rental, she said “I came up with the recipe after amalgamating several ideas—Rastafarian rice, seared Mahi stacked with tortillas or wontons—all taken from other dishes I had cooked about five years ago and it’s very popular with guests.” Like many of the courses featured in the book, the dish is aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly, it’s followed with a taste that surpasses its appearance. “The recipe uses easily available local ingredients and is fairly simple to make with a lot of wow factor for serving,” said Kate. ”I always say people eat with their eyes first, so if it looks good, people are already impressed before they have taken their first bite.” As Kate understands, food service is an extremely important ingredient in the recipe for a satisfying vacation. “Great food is a priority at a rental villa that has a chef,” she said. “People will return for the food and the service year after year. They know that they are going to be spoiled, eat excellent food and return as friends. Our guests rarely ate out despite being encouraged to.” In acknowledgement of the importance of cuisine and the dining experience for tourists, Kate went on to explain, “Full chef services have always been part of the experience at GPV. It’s what sets us apart from the other rental villas on Tortola.” Taste is a great gift for the visitors that stay in the BVI, but also for those who have not experienced the islands and perhaps require an incentive to visit the region. For the tourists that have enjoyed this Caribbean experience, Kate relayed her own recent story of what it was like to have a vacation of this nature. “One thing I will say about…staying at an establishment with personal chef services, is I always knew in my head that it was a wonderful, stress-free and luxurious way to vacation, but I was lucky enough to experience it myself this summer for the first time,” she said with respect to the significance of fare and service to a holiday. “After having cooked for other people for 14 years, it was all that I expected and more,” the chef continued. “The sense of relaxation and lack of cares or responsibility, and the feeling of being pampered by having a chef were just wonderful. I knew it was going to be great, but I didn’t realise how good it was going to be until I did it myself. Now I want to do it again.” What Taste offers avid cooks who have enjoyed their vacation in the BVI, is a chance for their senses to reconnect with their incredible time here and as Kate concluded “…Taste is a beautiful book and a wonderful souvenir of a stay here.”

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October 2013


This is the third annual VIPY Readers’ Choice Awards and as always, the results have been exciting with more voters, different winners and the interesting addition of newcomers. Due to the fact that some categories had such close competition, we felt obliged to provide a percentage ratio between the 1st and 2nd place positions by using the total number of votes among the two or in some cases, three top candidates. A huge applause to all winners. The lucky raffle winners of our two prizes—a night in Anegada Beach Club & Resort and a dinner for two at the Dove—will be announced during our event. Individuals must be present to claim the prizes. Contact: for details of the event.

For the third time running, the best neighbourhood fell to popular beachside location Cane Garden Bay with its unconventional combination of providing tranquillity and an active social scene.

BEST BVI NEIGHBOURHOOD TO LIVE: Cane Garden Bay Taking the winning scenic point again was Bananakeet Café – it appears like this location has a monopoly on sunset views as despite the fact that there are many epic land and seascapes in the BVI, this was a landslide victory.




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BEST BRITISH VIRGIN ISLAND: Jost Van Dyke & Virgin Gorda One eager beaver opted for St John as his preferential British Virgin Island. Apologies friend – if it serves our knowledge, St John is still under the US bracket. As a slight change from last year, two islands won this category: Virgin Gorda joint with Jost Van Dyke. Of course it’s not hard to see why – Virgin Gorda is often the showcase island of the BVI and Jost provides a social scene of increasing exhilaration with every visit. VG: 36% Jost: 36% Tortola: 28%

BEST BVI ARCHITECTURAL FIRM: Roger Downing & Partner Co. Ltd

BEST BVI MUSEUM: Old Government House

Another tight vote leaning toward two respected companies responsible for much of the fine architecture seen around the islands, Roger Downing & Partner BVI Architects were the overall winners - RDP: 51% OBMI: 49%

BEST BVI RESORT/HOTEL: Rosewood Little Dix Bay

From the response in this category, it would appear that many BVI residents and visitors are unaware of the museums that exist here. This question gained quite a few queries along the lines of “Does the BVI have museums?” The renowned Old Government This was a close call between three resorts that House took this category continually win awards on Trip Advisor, however, for the third year Rosewood Little Dix took the biscuit. Rosewood Little Dix: 35% running. Peter Island Resort & Spa: 34% Frenchmans Hotel: 31%

BEST BVI HISTORICAL HOTSPOT: Copper Mine Someone made a point of saying the BVI doesn’t promote much historically. We were certainly educated by the survey replies here as there are quite a few historical hotspots across the BVI – the two favourites? Copper Mine: 59% The RMS Rhone: 41%

This was a challenge to count up on account of the fact that there is a wide selection. It seemed like every other voter opted for a different vacation rental. In the end, White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages won out and with the incredible view of turquoise waters, it is no surprise.

BEST BVI VACATION RENTAL: White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages

October 2013


BEST BVI MARINA: Nanny Cay Nanny Cay is truly anchored in this spot with its third consecutive win in this category.

Smiths Gore’s popularity was revealed in this year’s survey as they took the lead from Property BVI who were last year’s winners. Smiths Gore: 58% Property BVI: 42%


BEST BVI SPA: Peter Island Resort & Spa Peter Island’s luxurious Resort & Spa, the consistent winner of Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Caribbean Spa’s list takes the win here. This was followed closely by Road Town’s Sole Day Spa – Peter Island: 53% Sole: 47%

BEST BVI POOL: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina

BEST BVI LANDSCAPE ESTABLISHMENT: Minine’s Plants & Landscaping Minine’s roots nearly saw upheaval to rival Groundworks BVI this year with a ratio - Minines: 57% Groundworks: 43%



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Several comedians out there voted for their own pool, which gives the public justification to have a great party at your property. Prepare the BBQ, get the drinks in, but first, the winner – Scrub Island Resort. Another close call Scrub: 52% Tamarind: 48%

BEST BVI SAILOR: Alec Anderson Someone did point out the ‘fact’ that Popeye is the best sailor, but this survey is restricted to non-fiction persons of the BVI. Best BVI Sailor went to Alec Anderson pictured here with his extreme watersports buddy Chris Brockbank. Alec recently wrapped up his college sailing career to begin his 2016 Olympics campaign.


This was a category that suffered from lack of representation, but we totally understand. Voters want to keep those hidden locations a secret. Many of you even filled in the answer simply with “not telling”. The overall winner—to the satisfaction of many residents—was Anegada – a not-so secluded spot in comparison to the many other possibilities out there, that will remain true hideaways for another year.

The ultimate in sailing and a festival of international repute, it cannot be beaten. Spring Regatta sees victory again in this category.

BEST BVI REGATTA: Spring Regatta

This award goes to an establishment that celebrates love of the water in every sporting activity possible. Bitter End Yacht Club of Virgin Gorda grabs the gold.


BEST BVI BEACH ESTABLISHMENT: Soggy Dollar This was slightly amusing as the two top competitors in this category are practically opposite each other, though located on different islands. Soggy Dollar: 60% Myett’s: 40%

October 2013


BEST BVI DIVE SHOP: Blue Water Divers

Another landslide victory for a company that has also won its category three times in a row, Blue Water Divers owns the sea. With locations in Soper’s Hole and Nanny Cay, this well-known dive shop provides courses from amateur to veteran level and visits diving hotspots all over the BVI.

Being one of the most important industries in the BVI, three companies sailed in to battle it out with one overall winner. Moorings: 36% Horizon: 32% Voyage: 32%

There was a new entry with Cocomaya here, but the dominating forces of Bomba and Trellis are epic parties to be reckoned with. The burning fireballs of Trellis still mesmerise the community, hypnotising all away from the extravagant frolicking at Bomba’s. Trellis: 54% Bomba: 46%

BEST BVI SAILING SCHOOL: Rob Swain Top sailing school for the third time running, the Nanny Cay establishment Rob Swain Sailing School won the category hands down.


BEST BVI DAY SAIL: Mystique This was extremely close, but the entertainment on Voyage Mystique stole the show from White Squall, now owning this category twice in a row. Mystique: 51% White Squall II: 49%

BEST FULL MOON PARTY: Trellis Fireball Full Moon Party



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BEST BVI PROVISIONING STORE: RiteWay Food Markets A category where the vote was strongly in the favour of a sole company, RiteWay Food Stores consumed the competition with its great wealth of provisioning and accessibility across the BVI.

BEST BVI RESTAURANT: The Dove Restaurant & Wine Bar The reigning champion—The Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar—met with close competition. BVI residents and visitors know exactly what services they like so this category received a huge amount of votes, but two restaurants shone above all – this was tight. The Dove: 51% Brandywine: 49%

House dominated this category soaring to first place. Their array of home ware and BVI essentials continue to garnish popularity as was evident with the vast vote count they owned here. Check out page 27 for a sample of their hot new products.

BEST BVI LIVE MUSIC VENUE: Quitos Gazebo At separate ends of the island, the vote came down to Quito’s Gazebo in Cane Garden Bay, home to Quito and the Edge and Last Resort in Trellis that has witnessed some international acts pass through. The winner? Quito’s: 55% Last Resort: 45%

BEST BVI HOME ACCESSORIES RETAILER: House Longest standing yacht sales company and upholding a high reputation, BVI Yacht Sales clearly secured our readers’ vote in this segment.


October 2013




We melded photography, music and painting together in this category as they are all art forms in their own right. It would appear that only one was seen as the strongest candidate to hold the torch – the legendary Quito Rymer.

This award was taken for the second time in a row by the famous or infamous Le Grand Café Deux. Now offering delicious kebabs alongside copious cocktails, this location is heralded as the central hotspot for BVI late-night congregation.


BEST BVI CAR RENTAL: Dede’s Car Rental

Reviewing the voting, this category was not received with the most enthusiastic of responses owing to one particular airline that could use…let’s diplomatically say improvement. Nonetheless, it did have a very clear winner in Cape Air – a service constantly celebrated by knowledgeable residents as the best service to fly with in the BVI.

A category with a lot of options, Dede’s Car Rental and International Motors were the two services whose cars gleamed, but in the end, Dede’s cars were the preferred choice. Dede’s: 55% International Motors: 45%

BEST BVI BARTENDER: Sean Anderson In the two years Origin sushi bar has been open, Manager and Bartender Christian has created a whirlwind of a storm in the BVI and probably formed a cocktail with that very name; however, Sean Anderson’s renowned skill at the Dove kept him afloat, winning this category for a second time in a row…it was close. Sean: 55% Christian: 45% All photos from aLG archive or provided by respective winners. Special thanks to Todd VanSickle, Amelia Earhart Daniels, Kamla Luiken, Rick Moore and Rainbow Visions.



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October 2013


Yacht Yacht Spotlight:

Words by Stephen L France Photography by Rainbow Visions, provided by Yacht A2

Currently docked in BVI Waters of Nanny Cay marina, Yacht A2—a vessel of luxury and performance— establishes a great standard among the boats chartered by crews in the BVI. Managed by Leon and Michelle Heyns,a veteran crew who provide a service of relaxation, gourmet cuisine and a variety of apparatus for multiple water-sports activities, the 56-foot Lagoon catamaran is one of the most modern arrivals in the Caribbean charter market.



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An enormous

Built by naval architect Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost (VPLP), with interior designer Nauta Yachts and exterior designer Lagoon L&D Department, the vessel holds eight guests and two crew members in its expansive setting. Even at maximum capacity, ample room is afforded, operating as both a social playground and a haven for solitude. A deck seating area, a vast cockpit, a salon, and fly bridge are all optional areas to happily loiter with the affluence of full air conditioning throughout the boat. Four roomy guest cabins—three with queen-sized beds and one with a single-sized bunk bed—are fitted with en-suite heads and showers, private air conditioning units and fans. The spacious nature of each room is amplified by an abundant supply of light and air, accomplished by strategically placed hatches, portholes and windows that bestow this

fly bridge is one of its grand boasts,

allowing guests to

have a 360 degree

view while sailing

through the pure

ocean of the BVI

distinguishing feature.

October 2013


Powered by two 110 HP Yanmar Turbo diesel engines, the vessel is pushed to a comfortable speed of 10 knots with a wealth of unique features that pitch it as conspicuous among the multitude of incredible boats in the BVI. An enormous fly bridge is one of its grand boasts, allowing guests to have a 360 degree view while sailing through the pure ocean of the BVI. The interior of the yacht has a similar amenity with vertical windows that permit a 360 degree view from the inside. Contributing to this exquisite sailing excursion, the yacht possesses a large lounge area that has both the possibility of shade or sun, adding to the flexibility of the boat’s leisurely provisions. The contemporary standing of A2 means it is furnished with all the latest gadgets for a smooth sail across the waters to the crew and guests’ elation It holds an integrated hybrid touch Raymarine Chartplotter and radar with remote steering, touch screen master control for all systems, a hydraulic tender lift, two heated transom showers, a bow thruster, electric winches, fresh water electric restroom facilities and a 70 gal per hour water maker. Guests will be contented with the incredible additions: • • • • • • • • • • • •

a filtered drinking water system icemaker dishwasher two refrigerators two freezers a retractable digital HD TV with satellite free broadband WiFi Internet Access Barbecue Fusion and Bose audio systems with an Ipod docking station a Nespresso machine 17.5 Kilowatt generator 13.5 foot Nautica rib

With this complete assortment of resources and modern gadgets to conceive this yacht as the pinnacle of opulence, it is no wonder A2 is revered as a boat of unadulterated refinement.



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Fresh Wave products eliminate unwanted odors with ingredients you can pronounce and results you can’t smell

Stonewall Kitchen sauces, mustards and jams are the perfect compliment to any meal. Our personal favourite: Double Chocolate Mint Cookie Mix!

By Kate Henderson and Fran Morrell, House

We’ve got you covered with Dash and Albert’s beach house inspired throw rugs, for both indoor and outdoor. We love their new range of outdoor poufs Throw cushions in bright coastal colours and bold patterns - a perfect, inexpensive way to update your look for the new season

New season, new bag! Scout waterproof, beach bags are roomy enough for even the biggest family beach outing

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

October 2013


Getting the Green Light Eco-friendly lighting in interior design By David A Gill, Marketing and Design Director – Photography by Leucos Italy, selected by

Who would have thought that‘lighting’could become even more eco-friendly? In the early part of 2012, strides were made in the design world to promote LED fixtures as a healthier energy solution; however, the components used to make the framework of these very same LED fixtures were still being made from materials that were not viewed as eco-friendly. This would evidently be a contradiction for a product that is deemed as ‘green’. My curiosity regarding this paradox, gave birth to extensive research, reviewing the materials that were used by manufactures and more importantly, examining which manufactures were making steps toward more eco-friendly lighting fixtures; this was not only in terms of simply seeking out those creating an LED version of an existing fixture, but organisations who focused their efforts into the right materials used to create their lighting fittings. My search ended with European lighting-manufactures, who seemed to have taken somewhat of a quantum leap in the entire lighting industry. On initial appearances, it seemed like a rebirth in design and creativity,



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It is an evolutionary breakthrough in the area of modern and contemporary lighting design.

October 2013


Go Play. Leave the work to us. From conception to completion, we have the depth and experience to advise on a broad range of legal issues – from title verification, planning and design approval, through to corporate structuring and financing. This is why hundreds of buyers and sellers, including every five star resort in the BVI, have turned to us for representation in real estate.




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not only with the fixture itself, but also the application and practicality of usage of lighting. The results of this research had such an impact, that we re-configured 80% of our entire product-line to promote more European lighting design. European lighting-manufactures are switching to bio-plastics and bio-resins, which I thought was impossible as plastic and resin suggest a petroleum-based bi-product, therefore not eco-friendly. However, the selection of the correct raw material and process conditions for the crosslinking reaction has developed a range of bio-plastics, from hard form materials to flexible thin sheet materials. The non-toxic and biodegradable nature of this new-breed of lighting fixtures might suggest that it will become one of those high-priced expensive selections. The reality is quite the opposite, as the raw material that is required is readily available at competitive prices. This has led to the cost of this new-breed of lighting fixtures to be on par with the cost of the standard fixtures that are made of metal. Nevertheless as human beings, we are creatures of habit, despite the benefits new technology can grant the environment; our culture has grown to equate solid metal with quality. To this end, manufacturers have cleverly morphed bio-plastics to take the distinct shape and look of solid metal. Such high-end producers like Louis Poulsen can now add the term ‘impactresistant’ to the unique features of their solid glass looking ‘Kipp’ light fixture, simply because of the durability and luxurious look derived from bio-plastics. It is an evolutionary breakthrough in the area of modern and contemporary lighting design. For the Caribbean, bio-plastic fixtures are ideal as we now have a lighting solution that is not susceptible to the harsh conditions of the salt-air and its corrosive nature. At the date that this article was written, current reports have shown that bio-plastics have not only made a change in the lighting industry, but major changes have been made in alternative bio-plastic materials being used in both the construction and packing industries.

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October 2013


High Season Guidance for Boat Sellers By Brian Duff, Yacht Broker – BVI Yacht Sales

October is the traditional start of the sailing season in the BVI – Boats are put back into commission, ready for the new season or for their new owners, who may have purchased them while they were stored during hurricane season. As such, this is the perfect month to begin offering your boat for sale if you want it sold this year. Some of the most famous sailboat shows held in major yachting cities internationally—including Southampton, Cannes, Newport and Annapolis— get the community humming with the desire to sail and everyone wants to cruise the Caribbean waters when it gets cold up north. Therefore, this is the ideal time to advertise your yacht where buyers from the UK, EU and USA will see her as a good value buy in ready-to-go condition and set in the idyllic location of the BVI. There are a handful of ‘fear factors’ to overcome when selling a boat that’s already located in the Caribbean. Buyers from abroad will have heard any number of stories ranging from ‘pirates of the Caribbean’, backwards boatyards and the idea of boat ownership being near impossible. Nonetheless, as you the seller who owns a boat, you already know this isn’t the case. Subsequently, you must convey this to build confidence with boat buyers the world around in order to affect a sale for your boat here in the Caribbean. There are a few key points that I have come to focus on when selling boats here. First and foremost, a boat has to be seen as an absolute steal of a deal in this market, depressed as it is today, in order for that boat to sell. What makes a boat a steal is a combination of things for any given age and type – some are obvious such as its condition, equipment, and price. Others might not be so clear such as location and maintenance standards. For a vessel to be seen as a great deal by a buyer, the seller needs to remove the concerns over care, maintenance and potential repairs with excellent presentation of the yacht.



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October 2013


When it comes to commodities, people are simple. Show us something

the galley to cook diverse international cuisine will seem like it has no

clean, de-cluttered and shiny – we will probably buy it. The underlying

storage space, convey an impression of ‘pack-rat,’ which translates as poor

signal we receive is that the boat has been cared for and that the services to

maintenance and doesn’t help sell a boat. Essentially, aesthetics of a boat

maintain the vessel are available in this region – which of course they are.

are probably the biggest factor next to location in getting a fast sale for a

Another factor is location – most boat sales occur in the BVI with nearly a 1/3 of all vessels sold in the Caribbean each year trading hands right here.

good price. As you get your boat in order with a mind for selling this season, this is

Therefore, for any boat owner who is serious about selling their vessel, it

also a perfect time to address any of the outstanding issues that hinder the

needs to be in the BVI.

boat’s operation. Part of creating a listing for selling your boat is forming a

This connects to the previous point – the BVI is a regional hub for services

detailed inventory of the specification and equipment aboard. A buyer is

on yachts including sail-makers, certified mechanics and refinishing and

going to expect that everything listed is working. In particular, a focus on

repair specialists of every sort.

systems that affect the general safety of the boat and its insurability will be

All of these amenities are based here and as a result boats can be well cared for – as a seller you need to show this by having your boat clean, polished and presentable.

well rewarded in a better selling price or in this market, a sale faster than a competing boat. Tackling small jobs like servicing the thru hulls so they function correctly,

You can help convey this by making efforts to de-clutter your boat. At

checking the standing rigging and engine for safe conditions, and making

any boat show, yachts are shown nearly vacant of any item – open lockers

sure running lights and basic navigation gear are working, will assist that

and empty shelves, all help to improve the perception of space and comfort

the price you get offered stays close to the real selling price. When a buyer

in a boat. As such, when the time approaches to sell your boat, carefully

inspects a boat and finds basic issues needing attention, it can destroy his

consider whether the items you have on-board are related to the operating

confidence and result in a reduced sale price or worse, no sale at all.

of the boat and also if they contribute value. If not, remove it from the boat. I have found that a boat equipped with relevant items to operating it has a greater chance of selling than a boat with every conceivable spare and redundant backup on-board.

For the best bet in confirming a good sale price, get a survey done before hand so you know exactly what the boat needs and can tackle some of these more common issues. Like any project undertaken, good preparation is key and will hopefully

A boat with every chart for the entire world and enough utensils in

lead to the best sale price for your boat.

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Winter’s Tale

By Edward Childs, Director - Smiths Gore Photography provided by Smiths Gore

Are we doing enough to attract ‘snowbirds’ and villa renters to the BVI? We are fast approaching that time of year when an influx of visitors from the north return or enter the BVI for the first time in search of warmer climes. Some of these visitors are ‘snowbirds’ – regular visitors to the Territory whose vacation homes will be dusted off for another winter season. Others are new tourists, reaching our shores for the first time, looking for a villa to rent or a property to buy. Snowbirds differ from regular tourists in as much as their stay in the BVI can be measured in terms of months, rather than the usual weekly tourist. Perhaps the single most important factor in improving this market, is the accessibility to the BVI – this subject has merited scrutiny over the year with the demise of the American Eagle flights, the continuing unreliability of LIAT and the dubious ferry service to St Thomas.

October 2013


Currently, overnight visitors in the BVI can arrive either via one of the airport gateways—Beef Island Airport or Virgin Gorda Airport—or by ferry from St Thomas. As a tourist destination location, we are reliant on other island hubs— Antigua, St Martin, St Thomas and Puerto Rico—to transit visitors whose destination is ultimately the BVI. As time becomes more precious and average holiday lengths shorter, the significance of convenient travel is playing a greater part in vacation decision-making for tourists. In early 2012, the Government announced a proposal to extend the runway at Beef Island Airport to accept direct flights from North America. While this is being deliberated, it may well be the costs which will ultimately decide whether or not an extension is feasible. Regardless, this solution remains a minimum two to three year process. Much of the recent press discussion has concerned the reliability of the ferry operators between Tortola and St Thomas. Many passengers have exhibited great concern, expressing their disapproval over the ancient ferries and disorganised timetabling. The conclusion many have drawn is that it does not provide a welcome arrival to the increasing number of visitors utilising this mode of transport. Government is reviewing the port facilities with the intention of creating a more modern and efficient port of entry. Whether the ferry services and port of entries by sea are upgraded, or the airport runway at Beef Island eventually extended, we will have a period of time when access to the BVI incurs disadvantages that may reflect in the 2014 high season tourist statistics. With Government strategizing over the various solutions, the short term options remain an issue.


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Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

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Overall, visitor numbers in both rented accommodation and owned property have remained relatively flat over the past ten years with the expected dip in arrivals between 2008 and 2009, and a slow recovery since. While there is no separate ‘snowbird’ category in the Government’s visitor data, we can expect the number of snowbirds visiting the BVI each

When you need us most, we’re there

year to mirror these general statistics. Snowbirds are an integral part of the seasonal structure in the BVI and bring many benefits to islands. During their stay, there will be increased expenditure in local establishments— shops, car rentals, restaurants, day excursions—which means a need for more staff and subsequently, an increase in payroll tax to Government. This will also call for the need to maintain and upgrade properties. When not here, these home owners holding trade licences will frequently rent their villas, providing hotel tax to the Inland Revenue. It is important that the BVI remains attractive in an increasingly competitive villa rental market. While economies are still recovering, the number of overnight visitors staying in rented accommodation needs to increase as the availability of villa accommodation also increases. The BVI Tourist Board has increased efforts to market the small inns and villas in the BVI, giving them a greater impact in the market. At the same time, the growth of websites directly accessing the market, have helped individual villa owners to reach a wider audience. The web medium has become the single most important marketing tool for villa owners, surpassing the wholesalers that dominated the market up to ten years ago. Nevertheless, these firms can still play an important part in the villa rental market. The BVI is recognized as a small, pristine market, catering to independent tourists who are seeking a unique vacation experience. The region offers the opportunity for multi-island excursions, excellent beaches and is one of the leading yachting and water sports destinations in the Caribbean. Maintaining this environment is key to attracting this niche. As we move towards the high season, solutions for easier travel, whether by air or by ferry, will play an intricate part in the success of the forthcoming season.

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Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

5/14/13 12:32 PM

Words by Charlie Smith, Photography by Charlie Smith, Marco Bava and Jason Wolcott

October 2013


The BVI, candidly known as ‘Natures Little Secrets.’ Undoubtedly one of the planet’s genuine kiteboarding utopias, yet despite two world class kiteboarding events held in the territory, the region remains far from being overrun with kiters While there are certainly countless other kiteboarding spots in the Caribbean, very few can match the beauty of the BVI or offer such varied riding conditions. My name is Charlie Smith, and I know these things because I’m fortunate enough to have travelled all over the world in search of the ‘perfect kiteboarding destination’ as the BVI’s only resident pro kiteboarder. As an International Team Rider for Cabrinha Kiteboarding and NP Surf, my sponsors have allowed me to pursue these on-going adventures, which have taken me from the waves of Hawai’i to World Record crossings with Sir Richard Branson in the slightly less tropical English Channel. I’ve discovered that there are some really special places around the globe, but I’ve yet to find anywhere that beats the BVI. So what is it that makes our beautiful little archipelago so unique and more to the point, untouched by an influx of mainstream kiters? Well, there’s no doubt that direct flights to places like the Dominican



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

Republic (DR), Brazil and Venezuela have contributed to the vast numbers of travellers choosing those destinations over the BVI, but there’s a lot more to it than that. After all, kiteboarders are generally very well accustomed to going the extra mile, or flight, to find their own slice of paradise, so perhaps it comes down to space on the beaches? Kiteboarders use very large kites with 80ft lines to propel themselves across the water, which means they need room to manoeuvre. An example of a popular locale would be Cabarete in the D.R where 200 kiters take to the water most days on a strip of beach less than two miles long. But, Anegada has over 12 miles of kiteboarding beaches and it’s no longer a ‘big secret,’ so space is clearly not the issue for the small number of kiters. Let’s check off aspects that make the BVI the best spot for kiteboarding: • Water temperature - perfect year round, with no need for any kind of insulation • Wind - extremely consistent trade winds almost all year round • Waves - not for beginners but again, great for 6 months of the year

• Flat water - yes. The North Sound and Anegada both offer flat water which most kiteboarders love • Dangerous wildlife – no. I’ve been riding here almost every day that it’s windy for almost nine years and the only thing I ever worry about stinging or attacking me is the brutal UV rays that bounce off the powdery white sand So maybe it’s just that the BVI is that little bit more challenging to get to and only those looking for a real treat make the effort. Or perhaps people are following the crowd and are unwilling to risk a new location. Either way, those lucky few who make it to the BVI very rarely leave without having the time of their life. I suggest trekking that extra mile to visit these amazing islands and the activities they have to offer. So the next question and answer I propose to interested parties is: why should you try Kiteboarding and how can you get lessons? Well firstly, the BVI is a chain of 60 islands surrounded by beautiful waters. The primary reason people visit these islands is for the sea, so being on the water makes a great deal of sense if you’re looking to cool off and have fun – especially in the summer months when temperatures on land can get a bit overwhelming. I also believe it’s one of the safest watersports to learn. I know, probably not what you’ve heard, but the early days of the sport are over and technology has come a long way.


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October 2013


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I have coached thousands of students during my time on Necker Island and although I love and teach diving, sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and surfing, they all sustain more injuries than kiting. If you can swim, you can probably kite – it’s that simple. My students have ranged from 5 – 78 years of age, so it’s definitely not about strength or fitness. You don’t need any previous watersports experience, though sometimes it does help if you have some basic wind awareness or board skills. Currently there is just the one BVI kiteboarding school called Carib Kiteboarding, which is based at the Bitter End Yacht Club. You can also stay at the BEYC while attending a course or directly next door at Saba Rock Resort – a great place to grab a drink and spectate from their very own dedicated ‘kite viewing’ deck. Try the happy hour Painkillers. I really wish to inspire people to try the sport as it crosses over with every other board sport going. If you’re a surfer - no more paddling. If you’re a windsurfer - you can now jump a lot higher. If you’re a snowboarder—yes you can kite on snow—no more expensive lift passes. If you’re a wakeboarder - no more costly boats and fuel bills, but all the same tricks. This finally brings me to the biggest benefit of kiteboarding - no fuel, no oil, just wind. It’s one of the greenest sports in the world. The BVI’s biggest asset is its beauty, so kiteboarding helps conserve ‘Nature’s Little Secrets’ by leaving nothing but footprints and allowing for some great photography to show to your friends.


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October 2013


Get that Chip

off Your Shoulder

By Susie Younkle, Home-cook and Sailor

As part-time residents and charterers return to the Virgin Islands for a new season, they are finding empty refrigerators that need provisioning. Many of us are creatures of habit, purchasing the same foods every time we provision a boat or stock a pantry. Change up your routine this season and add extra nutrients to your meals. January 1 may be the traditional time for resolving to eat healthier; but I think having an empty fridge is the ideal time to improve your diet. One item that should be on your grocery list (but probably isn’t yet) is kale—healthy, versatile and boat-friendly leafy greens.



Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

For the past year, kale has been a mainstay in my kitchen. To my surprise, it’s become one of my preferred greens for salads. While I consider myself a reasonably healthy eater and adventurous in the kitchen, for years I was intimidated by kale and had no idea how to prepare these hearty greens. I did not grow up eating kale, and it was a rather mysterious ‘heath food’ to me. Once I started learning more about kale, it seemed crazy not to eat something so jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients. I strive to eat food that’s good for me and tastes even better. Fortunately, I’ve developed plenty of recipes that feature kale in delicious preparations. Kale is highly versatile in the kitchen—use it any manner you would use cabbage or spinach, plus many more ways. It can be used raw or cooked and is particularly well-suited to soups, omelets and frittatas, salads and pesto. It can even be made into crunchy chips; my favourite way to prepare it. Raw kale has a reputation for being tough. True, it is among the heartiest of greens, allowing it to hold its shape in soups and when sautéed. However, there’s a secret to tenderizing raw kale for a salad—‘massaging’ a little oil into the kale with your hands. The pressure will soften the leaves and improve their texture. Kale is readily available in Virgin Islands’ supermarkets, though it may be hard to find varieties other than the standard curly kale. Choose kale that is vibrant green with no wilted leaves. Look for bunches with smaller leaves, as they will be more tender than larger leaves. To prepare kale, wash it well, then remove the tough stem that runs lengthwise through each leaf. Another reason to choose kale: it stays fresh much longer than other greens such as romaine or arugula, making kale a yacht-friendly option for salads. For those hesitant to try this leafy green vegetable, start with kale chips, which I call ‘beginner kale.’ Even the most ardent kale sceptic will find it hard not to love kale when it’s transformed into a crunchy and salty snack. I recently introduced kale chips to BVI friends who were intrigued, but found it slightly incredulous, that leafy greens could be turned into an addictive snack. After setting out a huge bowl of kale chips, I left the room for a few minutes. When I returned, the chips had nearly vanished and

everyone had contented smiles. Two of the guests were chatting in French, but I understood the gist of their conversation: “Kale chips…très bien…Susie…très bien.” Some form of this exchange—usually in English—seems to happen each time I introduce someone to this snack. Regardless of the language spoken, expect a similar reaction when you introduce your friends to kale chips.

Kale Chips To ensure crispiness, dry the kale thoroughly using a Salad Spinner or layers of towels. 1 bunch of kale, about 8 oz 1 1/2 Tbl sesame oil (or olive oil) 1 1/2 Tbl cider vinegar Salt 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. Wash kale. Remove the center ribs and tear kale leaves into pieces. Dry completely. 3. Combine oil and cider vinegar in a large bowl. Stir well with a whisk. 4. Add kale to oil mixture and mix together with your hands. 5. Spread pieces of kale in a single layer on baking sheets coated with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt. 6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy, but not starting to brown. Watch closely so the chips don’t overcook.

Kale, Avocado and Pistachio Salad This substantial salad is my go-to kale salad for lunch. Choose local avocados, if available. 2 Tbl lemon juice 1 1/2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 dashes ground cayenne pepper Salt (to taste) 1 large bunch kale (about 8 oz), center stems removed and leaves torn into pieces 2 small avocadoes, sliced 1/3 c shelled pistachios

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the kale. Using your hands, gently work the vinaigrette into the kale leaves. Top with avocado and pistachios. Serves 4.

October 2013




Published by aLookingGlass Ltd.

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3-bed, 3-bath comfortable, beautiful, private and spacious with lovely furnishings and color schemes.! Delightfully located and is within walking distance (10 minutes) to the nearest beach.


Carol Olympitis & Wanda Manning (Vacation Villa Specialists) t: 284.494.5700 e:


Private and secluded and away from it all. Large open living/dining room and kitchen, with 2 en-suite bedrooms and laundry room. Situated on a large lot with spectacular views over Brewer’s Bay and the Caribbean Sea.



3-bed, 3-bath main house w/spacious deck & magnificent view. 1-bed guesthouse w/ensuite bathroom. Close to Long Bay Resort w/access to all amenities: restaurant, spa, pool and of course, the beautiful beach.


General Enquiries

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

For all of your real estate needs, Smiths Gore is one of the pre-eminent real estate advisors Smiths Gore provides in depth residential services covering all the islands.



Golden Pavillion US$7,750,000




Samsara US$2,975,000


Palm Ridge US$4,250,000




Asolare US$4,900,000

Turpentine House US$2,685,000






Pelican House US$1,645,000

Palm Grove Villa US$450,000

Aquamare US$4,500,000

For more information on these listings or







Bay House US$4,200,000







Little DIx Bay US$4,200,000




The Beach House US$795,000









Pond Bay US$6,700,000

British Virgin Islands Britannic Hall, P.O. Box 135, , Tortola Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, Virgin Gorda RT (284) 494 2446 VG (284) 495 5944 E

United Kingdom 17-18 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4PT T +44 (0) 207 290 1616 E

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


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 legacy 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.

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Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - October 2013  

Editor - Stephen L France

Virgin Islands Property & Yacht - October 2013  

Editor - Stephen L France