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Sophie Bay: Where Serenity Meets the Sea

Photos by Rainbow Visions BVI

In the Virgin Islands, we’re privileged—or rather spoiled—by the spectacular views that often greet us as we rise in the morning and before we slumber at night. The best eyefuls are most often consumed at sea level from the trampoline of a catamaran, or at a bird’s-eye from a fortunate hillside abode.

A clever yachtsman-homeowner assumes both options. On a misty morning in December, from the hills high above Sophie Bay, I was introduced to one such yachtie retreat that pulled views from the sunrises over Virgin Gorda, to the sunsets over St John.

From its unassuming entrance and its long, private drive, this sprawling estate opens in dramatic form to one of the most epic vantage points on Tortola. After entering through a cozy foyer and open living room, the main house of this four-bedroom main house currently pays respect to the nautical nature of our islands and seaways. It’s a nice transition into the expansive patio, which has views that spill out across the length of the Sir Francis Drake Channel.

As I step out onto the partially covered patio, I gaze upon the view and think about the privateers and pirates that once crossed the famed passageway cautiously. Now, families and friends share the friendly watery passageway on crewed catamarans and mono hauls. From the poolside view on the spacious verandah, I could imagine watching them start their morning from an illuminating sunrise over Virgin Gorda to a fiery sunset over St John.

I wouldn’t keep this view to myself. I’d show it off to my family and friends. Fortunately, the home is perfect for entertaining, with a fully equipped tiled bar and grill corner and mini-bar near the lap pool. The sectioned property affords the homeowner ample space and privacy for accommodating guests. Before touring the sprawling property, we double-back to the main house, which can either be fully opened to expose the magnificent views and cool breezes, or closed and shuttered to shelter the home from unpleasant weather.

Open to the kitchen, the warm dining room brings back memories of traditional Thanksgiving dinners and intimate family dinners as a child.

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From the dining and living area, our tour took us down the long hallway past two children’s bedrooms—which could be converted into offices—to the master bedroom. The ample space currently is bisected by a large, wood-framed bed, and flanked by a huge walk-in closet and luxury bathroom.

The romantic nook comes equipped with an open-design shower and whirlpool, with a window view over the Caribbean Sea. While the main house and it’s spacious deck and pool area beg for parties, Sophie Bay Estate also appeals to the everyday businessman—at a five minute drive from the commercial capital of Road Town—or the family man—with Cedar International School a minute or two drive down the hill from the driveway.

As we walk past the kitchen and dining area, I’m reminded that the estate also appeals to the culinary-inclined, with a small orchard on the property with fresh banana, plantain, mango and avocado trees. There’s also a sheltered area, perfect for growing tomatoes and herbs and spices.

From the main house, we continued through the study and laundry room. Two washing machines and two driers—both gas and electric powered—lead to the back entranceway. With its ample amenities, I’m reminded that even in the roughest of weather, this hillside retreat will undoubtedly stand up against anything nature throws at it.

Poured concrete walls line the tri-sectioned home, providing security and privacy to all of its occupants and guests. Its traditional, linear design gives a nod to the sturdy-minded architects who first designed the hurricane-proof home.

We walked the varied trails that took us past the first garage and independent, guest efficiency area to the second. I was surprised to learn that the sprawling estate encompassed such a large area—affording privacy or independence for possible renters. I paused to contemplate the opportunities for an extended family, which would benefit from the close vicinity, security and serenity that living here would allow them. Or for the business professional and yachtsman, who would prefer the space and endless options for luxury entertaining. From a safe distance from the water, where the views inspire a work of art, it seems the opportunities are as abundant as the sea itself.

GALLERY:

Sophie Bay Estate Info:

4 bed, 3.5 bath main house

1 bed, 1 bath guest apartment with kitchenette

1 bed, 1bath guesthouse

3 garages

0.987 acres

Swimming pool

Office

Laundry

Propane generator

Ample parking and covered parking

US$1,425,000

Contact Maritha Keil at Sotheby’s for more information. 

Email: maritha.keil@sothebysrealty.com

Phone: (284)494-5700; (284)340-5555

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