Blu Tortu: A Home Worth Sharing
- March 5th, 2013
- in Lifestyle
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
Photos by Dan O’Connor
Beyond the postcard views, the idyllic weather and general envy-inspiring environs, the British Virgin Islands encourages timeless bonds—bonds within nature and bonds among loved ones. And there’s nothing like bringing these experiences home. On a recent visit to Blu Tortu—a luxury villa perched high on Belmont Hill—I was welcomed into a refuge for friendship.
On a short, windy drive through Belmont’s hillside covenant from Long Bay’s sandy beachfront, I’m greeted by smiling and waving neighbours. My flora-canopied drive takes me almost to the end of the tall road, where Blu Tortu nests at a private vantage point high above Smugglers Cove and Long Bay.
As the doors swing open through the home’s arched entrance, I’m greeted with panoramic views that frame Jost Van Dyke and the surrounding cays. Puffy white clouds hang lazily overhead and are reflected off the mirror-like infinity pool within the main courtyard.
It’s here where the main house and the guesthouse meet—and it’s here where friends gather and snapshot memories are made.
On one end, a private gazebo acts as the perfect nook for intimate dining or a quiet read underneath a shaded view. As a center point, the spacious poolside area is flanked by lounge chairs that have undoubtedly cradled sun-drenched friends and family spoiled by their surroundings. As I admire the view that radiates off of the still pool, it’s clear that this is a home that celebrates its surroundings and facilitates friendships.
Outside, neatly manicured landscape invites scents of gardenias, frangipani and bougainvillea into the airy bedroom. Inside, clean whites and light and navy blues pay homage to the deep sailing history embedded in these islands.
It feels spacious, with an attached office space and ample light to brighten the pleasant room. A walk-in shower, terrace, air conditioning and plentiful storage space make this independent bedroom an idyllic extension from the rest of the home.
Adjacent to the separate bedroom lies the two-bedroom main house, which is surrounded by neat, symmetrical pillars and archways. A covered verandah wraps around its exterior, with ample space for outdoor dining and relaxing.
Inside, a tall, 19-foot cathedral ceiling shelters the tri-level living area. Impressive architecture and clean design aside, it’s the finite attention to detail that sets this property aside from others in the luxury league. Not a chip hear nor a crack there define the homebuyer’s turnkey dream.
Roman-style columns and arches rise along the interior and mirror the clean aesthetics from the home’s exterior. From the two bedrooms above, the home creates a functional flow down two sets of limestone staircases into the foyer and great room.
The large, open spaces are carried by a purposeful layout designed to create consistency throughout the home. Sotheby’s Maritha Keil reminded me that the villa was a product of BVI-based architect Jon Osman, whose Romanesque columns, segmental arches and natural stone designs are signatures throughout sought after homes around the territory.
A short stairway leads to the sizable living room equipped with teak frame furniture and ample room for guests to gather. It’s here where I can imagine enjoying intimate conversations with loved ones over fine wine and a varied cheese plate.
The home is currently market priced with the cost of furnishings and fixtures included, and no expense was spared in the outfitting of this hillside gem.
More than 70 custom clay light fixtures have been handcrafted to add character and warmth to the already inviting home. Fixtures from Bamboushay on Tortola and Schnell Pottery on St John add distinct cultural integrity to the home.
As we continue from the living room, I pause to admire photos of smiling friends dressed in festive garb for a themed party hosted at Blu Tortu. My host picks up the photograph, smiles, and tells me about the occasion at his home that brought all of his neighbours together. It’s these moments he says he will cherish most during his time in the territory.
The two guest bedrooms are bisected in perfect symmetry by the illuminated stairwell provide their own separate privacy. They virtually mirror each other in layout, but both are characteristically unique. Each bedroom has windows—one facing out to the blissful expanse, the other with enchanting garden views.
Separate ensuite full bathrooms and generous storage spaces make these guest bedrooms a comforting retreat for sun soaked friends or family.
We continue through the living area and into the gourmet kitchen, where I’m greeted by the scent of freshly baked cookies. A center island separates me from the cooking area, where I chat with my host and bag a few cookies for my colleagues at the office.
We retreat to the indoor dining area with room for a dinner party of eight. My host tells me that the dining room is mostly reserved for intimate meals with friends, and he instead prefers the second outdoor garden gazebo for fresh, flora-infused air with his morning coffee and emails.
As I wrap up my tour, Blu Tortu’s homeowner tells me that his paradisiacal retreat has been much more than a spot to rest his head and enjoy to himself—but it has acted as a gateway to lasting friendships with neighbours and the community at large.
More than anything, he says, he’ll look back on his time at Blu Tortu with the fond memories that it has created among friends and surrounded by unrivaled beauty.
CONTACT SOTHEBY’S MARITHA KEIL: (284) 340-5555