- October 31st, 2011
- in Yachting
Surfer's Paradise on Spyglass Hill
Surfers want to wake up and surf. They want to look outside and see the waves, knowing that in minutes they'll be leaping to the sand with a board under their arm then paddling out to the breaks to get in an invigorating session before their work day begins. The aptly named Waveland is an ideal abode for surfers with its view over Apple Bay–Tortola's most consistent surf spot and home of the famous Bomba's Surfside Shack.
On my visit to Waveland, I encountered all the luxuries and amenities of a hillside BVI property but still felt the charm of a Hawaiian beach house–likely based on all the gorgeously maintained natural hardwood surfaces throughout the house. The house is located on the private Spyglass Hill estate with a commanding view overlooking the wave activity of Apple Bay as well as the islands of St Thomas, St John, Jost Van Dyke, Little Jost, Sandy Cay, Green Cay and Sandy Spit. The wooden deck extends the length of the house and is equipped with covered and uncovered areas for dining and lounging–including a low-slung hammock that's a perfect spot to rock in time with the sound of the sea. Large fruit-bearing trees–banana, papaya, almond, coconut–rustle their branches near the deck railing while frangipani and yellow flamboyant brighten the garden. The deck is accessible from the kitchen, living room, dining room and master bedroom, with the latter two rooms completely opening up to the view of the sea. From the deck, we could see a handful of surfers taking advantage of the swell that Tropical Storm Ophelia stirred up.
The tiled kitchen provides ample storage and counter space as well as all the appliances a chef could need for a five-course meal or a casual barbecue. Adjacent to the kitchen is the indoor dining room with four sets of doors that open to the deck, so even if guests decide to dine indoors, they can still experience the breeze, the sound of the sea and the panorama before them.
Beyond the dining room, the living room was built for relaxation. Below the tongue-and-groove ceiling, a longboard hangs over an even longer couch that appeared to be the ideal place to plop down after a long day of surfing or at least daydreaming about surfing. Built-in bookshelves and a wine rack encouraged additional levels of chilling. The only thing missing was Endless Summer on the television, but I'm sure that could be arranged. Between the living room and the master bedroom is the covered deck area–complete with a window to a wet bar inside. The designers of this house knew what they were doing.
The inviting master suite features a centrally located four-poster bed hung with the romantic tulle curtains that represent the Caribbean. The room has views on three sides with the most magnificent vista being the one over Apple Bay for the view of the early morning swell. Closets abound for all the board shorts, t-shirts, wetsuits, bathing suits, rash vests and the occasional sundress and linen shirts that a wave-riding couple would need. The master bathroom has separate his and her toilets and sinks but a shared shower between them.
The second and third floors benefit from different vantage points of the same stunning view. If I were to move in to Waveland, I'd probably choose the tucked away third bedroom loft as my sanctuary. Atop the house on its own, the room felt like a tree house, a widow's watch or a wheelhouse. Windows wrap around the room–giving a 180-degree view of the sea and hillside. I'd probably install a higher bed that was level with the windows so I could watch the cresting and receding surf from my pillow.
Beneath the lookout room, the second floor encompasses a private study, a bathroom and another large bedroom. Photos on the study wall show local surfers frozen in time at their best, and the window shows the live action in the rolling waves below. The built in desk, cupboards and shelves offer an ideal workspace that still feels connected to the sea. The second-floor bedroom has a private porch as well as an indoor lounging area in addition to the bed, dresser and closets.
Back downstairs, stone steps lead to outside garden areas on both sides of the house with plenty of room for an in-ground pool to be installed. A bench in a shady patch of springy lawn offers a quiet spot for reflection or reading or simply listening to the ebb and flow. Pineapples grow along the edge of the yard. Below the house is ample space for expansion–anything from an additional apartment or a guest suite to a playroom for the kids. Currently, a large storage area serves as a work room, and a huge walk-in closet houses more surfboards than I could count. From top to bottom, Waveland is the ideal surfer's retreat.
Neighbourhood – Spyglass Hill
Bedrooms – Three
Bathrooms – Two
Size – 0.3 acres
Price – US$695,000