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BVI STYLE

Luxury Community Living: Bvi Style – The concept, even to the BVI, of a luxury community development is not a new one.  Until recently, though, the focus has been rather more on community resorts than community developments, with the distinction being the provision of access to resort amenities along with your holiday villa.

Long Bay Beach Resort and Lambert Beach Resort on Tortola and the Nail Bay Luxury Resort Community on Virgin Gorda have been long established providers of community resort living.  But in the last five years the BVI has seen a proliferation of developments, some of which are now established, some of which are under way, others of which are still undergoing public and Government scrutiny in accordance with stringent Town and Country Planning Laws.  Just what is the appeal of community living?

“Luxury communities are growing mostly because people can afford these properties,” says Joe Brown of Mainsail, the new luxury resort hotel, community and marina currently under construction on Scrub Island.  “Couples in their 40s are purchasing second or third homes in holiday destinations, and they want a home that’s surrounded by activities and facilities.  In a luxury community resort, everything is right there.  In addition, many believe that if they purchase “now”, when it comes to retirement they will have an asset that has grown in value. Most exclusive luxury communities see a minimum 25-50% appreciation.”

Charles Garner, CIO of Island Global Yachts, a major investor in the proposed Beef Island luxury resort community which will include a mega yacht marina and a 27 hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, also proffers an angle on the investment benefits.  “Planned resort communities, where architectural control and estate covenants are enforced, provide some protection to investors against adverse investment.  Add to this a brand name such as Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Rosewood, etc. and the investors will know that they will be getting a level of service and the quality associated with a world class resort.”

“Indeed,” adds Harold Barel of Olde Yard Village, a condominium resort development on Virgin Gorda. “Turning your villa, condo or suite over to the resort rental management pool is a great, and hassle free way to get a more or less immediate return on your investment.”

The luxury community doesn’t have to be resort based, though.  Some developments will simply be collections of houses providing a sociable, serviced and secure environment.  “Sometimes, people seek comparative seclusion,” says Atilla Tekeli of Caribbean Realty BVI, agents for the Little Bay community development. “But they still want a village feel.  They’re attracted by the security of living in a development, and like the thought of village-type amenities such as a library and meeting hall, but don’t need the resort facilities to achieve their desired quality of life.  Because they are communities, accommodation upkeep is relatively hassle free, with gardeners, maintenance and sometimes even the maid service included in the price.”

With so many developments in the BVI to choose from, each offering the buyer different options in terms of price, amenities, style and levels of luxury, how does one go about narrowing things down?  The BVI Property Guide asked the key representatives of each development responding to our requests for such information what they thought the unique selling points were.

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For those seeking a quieter life, Virgin Gorda communities may provide the answer.  Nail Bay and Olde Yard Village are two of the most popular resort communities, and each offers a different perspective on community living.  Nail Bay Luxury Community Resort Managing Director Ajit George considers special architectural covenants to be key points of attraction for those purchasing land on the 100 acre site that extends from the slopes of Gorda Peak to the golden sands of Trunk and Nail Bay.  Whilst an architect has relatively free rein when it comes to design, the new building cannot obscure the magnificent views or be decorated in objectionable hues.  Prices range from $120,000 for a small, hillside lot to $1.5 million for a five bedroom villa.  For more information, go to
www.nailbayrealestate.com or contact (284) 494 8000.

Harold Barel, spokesperson for Olde Yard Village, offers a carefree, condo-based lifestyle with access to resort facilities.  “A condominium lifestyle is an appealing one,” he says. “Owners can travel frequently without maintenance worries.  Our condos start at about $336,000 for a first floor, two bed, two bath unit, and are offered with a variety of owner-chosen luxury finishes.  All do well in terms of return on investment.”  For more information, go to www.oldeyardvillage.com or contact (284) 495 5544.

Closer to Tortola, the focus is on five star developments.  “Mainsail offers a 60 slip, full service marina right on your doorstep,” says Joe Brown.  “But even if yachting isn’t your thing, our resort will offer five star services and amenities, from an observatory to four restaurants, three bars and three beautiful beaches.  We’re only a mile away from the airport and all the wonderful sites and attractions Tortola has to offer.  Mainsail is completely focused on providing luxurious convenience.”  For more information, go to www.mainsailBVI.com or contact 813-254-3110.

Charles Garner commenting on the Beef Island project, states “We’ll be offering residents and guests access to the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, a branded five star resort and spa, a 200 slip marina with mega yacht facilities, high levels of security and 650 acres of beautiful landscaping with an extensive coastline.”  For more information, contact Smiths Gore on (284) 494 2446.

Drake’s Village at Nanny Cay will be Tortola’s first marina community, providing 40 turnkey town houses (32 with docks) and five beachfront villa sites focusing around the 180 slip marina.  “Drake’s Village will be a classic marina resort community, offering its residents access to all the resort facilities, including the freshwater swimming pool, beach and shade cabanas, laundry services and tennis courts.  The marina itself offers an array of up-market shopping, waterfront dining, water sports outlets, yacht charter Virgin Motor Yachts services and yacht servicing,” say Nanny Cay’s owners.  For more information, contact Coldwell Banker BVI on (284) 495 3000.

Lastly, but by no means least, the 13 villa luxury development at Little Bay on Tortola’s East End breaks away from the resort concept but nevertheless provides all the benefits of a community.  “It’s an eco-friendly, luxury villa development sitting on 10 acres of land fronting one of the best, unspoilt white sand beaches in the Caribbean,” says Atilla Tekeli.  “Although it’s within easy access of Tortola’s conveniences including the airport and Road Town, it still offers the level of seclusion many crave in a Caribbean home.”  For more information, contact Caribbean Realty BVI on (284) 494 3566.

If luxury community living is your idea modern perfection, the BVI Property Guide recommends you start making your enquiries now.  There may be one or two more of these high-end developments in the pipeline but after those are complete it is unlikely there will be others.  To build more would simply ruin the beauty of the BVI, thus defeating the object of a luxury e scape.

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