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A Private Paradise

Sandcastles at little bay – Broad, pale gold, secluded sand beaches fringed with luscious green tropical foliage; azure blue, crystal clear, gentle seas stretching to vast, cloudless skies; and blood red sunsets melting into the far horizons must epitomise most people’s dreams of an island paradise. There is a place on Tortola’s North Shore, just ten minutes’ drive from the airport, where such delicious reveries are a reality.  The luxuriously verdant hillsides that roll down to the wide, blonde sands of Little Bay are sparsely populated by the opulent few – their dwellings, where visible, displaying a wealth of stunning architectural forms.

     

The warm waters, sheltered by the long, rocky headlands on either side of the secluded bay, are always crystal clear, always inviting and always dazzling hues of tropical-scene blue.  In the third dimension of this idyllic impression, only bird song and the sweet perfumes of myriad tropical plants fill the pure air – there are no industrial or traffic intrusions to disturb the tranquillity.  

Until now, such seclusion and privacy has only been available to a selected few; the rest of us left to dream and hope that one day there will be an opportunity to join this unique and privileged community.  The new luxury development at Little Bay, Sandcastles, is set to offer just such an opportunity, and invites just a few more to share in this exclusive and exquisite setting.    

Sandcastles defies conventional modes of community living, taking the concept several ingenious stages beyond any other luxury community developments in the BVI.  The 13 lots, ranging from just over a third of an acre to just under one acre, that occupy the lower slopes and the flat lands of the bay are set to become Tortola’s first luxury gated community with a resort ambience.  The focus, however, is on recreational rather than commercial amenities.   Each of the 13 private villas, comprising a minimum of 4000 square feet and designed to take advantage of the natural amenities of the site, will be afforded access to a fully-equipped communal centre where privacy, barbecue facilities and sumptuous respite from a hard day at the beach can be found. Golf cart access trails lead from each private villa to a meandering boardwalk through the freshwater ghut lined with mangroves, sea grapes and palm trees to the beach pavilion.    

Every concept within this unique development exudes stylish convenience, unequalled quality and exceptional comfort, from the proposed landscaping along the paved, street lit roadways leading to each property, to the managed construction phase, to the villas themselves.  Owners buying into the development opt for a hillside or a beachfront plot and buy the title to the raw land, partially constructed villa or completed dwelling depending on the stage.  To preserve the integrity of Sandcastles, new owners have a choice of three iconic architectural styles in which to build their new home.  Each choice allows for a considerable agree of customisation and includes an abundance of contemporary and traditional features and a plethora of platforms for outdoor living whilst minimising ecological or environmental impact.  

 

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For those who dream of sun drenched villages in the Tuscan hills or the French Riviera, the Mediterranean style option offers round arches and tiled courtyards, frivolous cupolas, vine-draped loggias, louvred shutters and a multitude of shaded balconies from which to take a protected soak in the sun’s searing rays and admire the scintillating view.    

Should your preference be for the more open, Latinate architecture of southern Europe and America, then the Hacienda style includes references to the iconic features of the Spanish Colonial adobe architecture.  Protruding beam ends, pan tiles and gable ends all evoke the facades of Spanish Colonial churches, whilst water features add panache and flair at the ground level.    

Of course, you may feel that in the Caribbean one should stick to the vernacular when building one’s dream home.  If this is the case, then the third option, the Caribbean style, with its gingerbreaded pavilions, hipped roofs and multiple, traditional wooden verandahs should fulfill all your qualifying criteria and evoke the elegant and grand impression of the late plantation era.   

For those requiring a little assistance with their decision making, the developers are building a model, 5,800 square foot home on one of the lots.  This sumptuous example of a Sandcastles luxury villa will demonstrate the aesthetics and versatility of all three designs.  Inside, this home will also incorporate the available choices of finishing materials, including the top grade appliances, the marble or granite work surface ranges, the array of South American hardwoods proposed for exposed internal structures such as beams and sills, and possible furniture options.  With construction imminent and an estimated completion date (including all landscaping) of June 2008, the model home will also demonstrate the two styles of infinite/vanishing edge swimming pool available to complete the tropical paradise experience.  Should such an eclectic yet magnificent display of form take your fancy, you could always purchase the model home which is available for $4.2 million (pre-construction price.)  

Once the purchasing process is in place, owners are invited to work closely with renowned architect Aristedes Ramirez, amongst whose portfolio you will find the critically acclaimed Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, to design their ultimate luxury home.  When a final style has been agreed, owners can sit back and relax as the internationally experienced development team take over and carefully manage the construction of your Caribbean retreat through to its completion.  Landscaping to suit is also included in the build budget.  For anyone who has attempted to build in foreign lands and has encountered firsthand the frustrations of doing so, this very concept comes as a breath of fresh air.  Imagine simply being kept abreast of progress, either with site visits or via emailed video updates, and then picking up the keys when everything has been set beautifully in its place.  Here at Sandcastles, this is all you will be required to do once contracts and construction have been completed.  

Even after completion the team will be on hand to ensure that your living experience is one without any inconvenience.  They will ensure that there is minimal hassle during the Non-Belonger Landholding Licence application process; and for those that seek a little return on investment, there is a rental management capability offered through one of the BVI’s most successful management agents, Caribbean Realty.  Owners will have the opportunity to rent their homes out provided the BVI government has granted them such on their NBLH License.  Ownership comes with membership to the home owners association which specifies a mutually accepted set of covenants with restrictions to protect those buying into the Sandcastles Development.  

Burton Challwell is the mastermind behind the team of carefully selected contractors and financiers brought together to manage and build Sandcastles at Little Bay.  He has partnered with Lyle Swansen who has built to critical acclaim on a global basis.   The team he has put together is keen to point out that their p riorities are to ensure the preservation of the beautiful BVI through the use of environmentally friendly materials and energy efficient system whilst delivering a community development unrivalled in privacy, luxury and prestige.    

For those seeking something a little more exclusive than the average luxury community development, Sandcastles offers one of the last opportunities the BVI has to offer for seclusion and an elite existence.  These homes will be beautiful to look at, beautiful to live in and beautifully convenient.  Rarely does the BVI have such a high standard of product to offer on such a grand scale.

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