Piece of Paradise
- April 30th, 2012
- in Yachting
Owning a Piece of Paradise
Over the past few years, Scrub Island has undergone a profound transformation and has developed a distinguishable charm and character among its niche within the plush northeasterly Virgin Islands. Most recognizably, the otherwise rugged island hosts the first new marina resort to grace the BVI’s shorelines in almost 30 years. But further to the island’s development, luxury villas—both custom and pre-designed—are now beginning to flourish along the dramatic hillsides with beachfront access. While amenities at the resort and marina act as a luxurious convenience, Scrub Island’s vast terrain acts as a lucky landowner’s private island getaway.
On my most recent trip to the newly developed island, I got to see firsthand how the flourishing resort had blossomed along with the dramatic lanscape that defines the rest of the enchanting island. My guided tour began with Sotheby’s Maritha Keil, with whom I enjoyed the brisk ten-minute ferry from Trellis Bay to Scrub Island. She explained the success that homeowners had experienced since Scrub Island recently became Marriott’s first Autograph Collection hotel in the Caribbean. Launched last year, the Autograph Collection is a group of exceptional independent hotels and properties, each hand-selected for their originality, character and uncommon details. While each unique development retains it originality, under the Marriott name, it gains a gateway to one of the most internationally recognized brands in the business. Since joining forces with Marriott in February, the combined resort and villa occupancy rate has tripled.
As we reached the resort’s marina, the discussed success became abundantly clear as I noticed the majority of the 62 slips filled with luxury yachts and powerboats. From the dock, we detoured to the newly established, on-site Sotheby’s office, where agents were on hand to facilitate showings and speak to prospective homeowners. From there, we began our tour in the back of a four-wheel buggy, which would take us to the existing villas and undeveloped hillsides, ready for innovative holiday-seekers to construct their dream vacation homes.
For our first stop, we viewed the freshly outfitted two- to five-bedroom villas on Scrub’s western side. Each bears similarly contemporary desing but offers different options for potential owners. Villas featuring three and more bedrooms allow owners to section off rooms from the main house to offer multiple renters or occupants complete privacy while enjoying their views of Great Camanoe or relaxing after a long day under the sun at the resort. This strategy has afforded current homeowners an attractive kickback, allowing them to enjoy their property while renting out additional rooms—especially since bookings have risen under the Marriott name.
On my last visit, I had only seen the shell of the luxury hillside villas which had not yet been finished and furnished. The furnishings provide all of the well appointed comforts of Scrub Island Resort but within the exclusivity of a private villa. Each villa affords pristine panoramas from personal verandahs; the main house adorned with a refreshing poolside seat. The spacious villas find even more breathing room with tall, cathedral ceilings and large sliding windows and doors. When fully opened, the soothing winds invite the hypnotizing tropical breezes and warm sunlight. The master bathroom is grand in size and splendor, with Egyptian stone flooring, a granite-top twin-vanity, a rainforest showerhead, a water closet and a large Roman tub. While all the hillside villas we visited matched the Scrub style, Maritha explained that a prospective owner could have his or her villa catered to a desired design and layout. From there, management takes care of the rest as far as bookings and upkeep are concerned.
Our tour of the island soon took us to less traveled terrain. First, we stopped at Governor’s Point off the northwest side of the island. Romantic views at every head turn make this vantage point a sought-after spot for fairytale weddings, Maritha explained. Hikers who enjoy trekking across the length of the island enjoy marvelous sunrises over Big Scrub from the east and burning sunsets falling behind Camanoe to the west. The sound of breaking surf over the reef below supplies an earthly soundtrack that never gets old. “Can you imagine a home here taking in these 360-degree-views?” Maritha asked as we stood there, communing with the natural beauty around us.
From Governor’s Point, we made our way to North Beach, first admiring its unspoiled beauty from the ridge before following the paved road to the shore. From there, we were greeted by a family who had the entire beach to themselves. Careful not to spoil their fun, we approached them at the pool outside the quaint One Shoe Bar, which sits at a safe distance from the beach. “And here we thought we had this private enclave,” the father of the family playfully said as he sipped his cold beer poolside. I asked him how he and his family were enjoying the beach, to which he responded with elation. “It’s just so nice but so understated. I love the fact that we can be the only ones here—it’s completely unspoiled and feels like it’s all ours.”
Our tour took us deeper into the undeveloped landscape. We passed through unscathed hillsides and looked down through majestic coves, all seeming to lack a human footprint, but all ripe and ready for development. Our tour completed at the back point of Big Scrub, which looks out beyond the Dogs and Necker, over Virgin Gorda and clear to Anegada. I felt entitled just to be standing at such an immaculate and rarelytraveled point. While I reminded myself that I was just a visitor on the island, Maritha reminded me that all of these immaculate points were up for sale. To think—as I digested the otherworldly view—these undeveloped plots could one day act as the means to make one lucky family’s dream come true.
Bedrooms – 2
Bathrooms – 2.5
Price – US$999,000 – $1,500,000
Ocean View Villas
Bedrooms – 2/3
Bathrooms – 2.5/3.5
Price – US$1,975,000 – $2,500,000
Long View Residences
Bedrooms – 3/5
Bathrooms – 3/5
Price – US$3,500,000 – $4,700,000
Buildable Estate Lots
Size – 1.4 acres – 5.51 acres
Price – US$999,000 – $2,700,000
For more info contact:
Maritha Keil t (284)494.5700 | m (284)340.5555 | e [email protected] www.bvisir.com