- March 31st, 2010
- in Yachting
Villa Zenaida is named after the Zenaida Doves that are found in the BVI. The villa and its many vistas evoke the sensation of soaring in the clouds above our islands.
The panoramic view from Villa Zenaida starts in the east at Guana Island, sweeps over the northeast beaches of Tortola then stretches out to Jost Van Dyke in one unbroken arc, making the islands appear contiguous. The view is too vast to take in at once, and the villa provides multiple viewpoints from the ascending levels of the main house, guest house, outdoor living spaces and the blooming garden.
All photos by YachtShotsBVI.com
Offering an interlude from the jades and aquas of hillsides, sea and sky, the garden pathway in the front yard meanders through magenta and scarlet bougainvillea, violet-skinned cacti and yellow ixora. Orange, ivory and periwinkle butterflies enliven the outdoor palette. It would be impossible to tire of this view. In part, because it changes constantly—passing sailboats change the scenery as do the breeze-blown blossoms. Also, because there is an infinite amount of things to see, I can imagine being delighted by a new discovery every day—something as simple as a ripening fruit tree on a neighbouring hill to an overlooked cove on one of the rocky shores.
Little Bay is an exclusive community of high-end homes in secluded lots that range from the mountainside to the beach. Most BVI residents have to choose if they want to live on the beach or on the hill. Villa Zenaida has the best of both worlds in Little Bay—it’s elevated enough to have breathtaking views but is still just a few minutes’ walk to the beach. Little Bay beach remains one of the most private and pristine beaches in the BVI. Unlike some of the other rocky eastern beaches, Little Bay beach’s sea bed is nothing but smooth, beige sand. A short walk up from the beach sits Villa Zenaida.
Villa Zenaida takes advantage of its broad perch on the hill by presenting numerous spaces for enjoying the outdoor beauty. Each space seems to cascade into the next the same way that the islands, from up here, seem to flow into each other. Coralline limestone tile bedecks the poolside patio, open-air salon and al fresco dining room, providing a sprawling, connected area that is ideal for open-air entertaining. The saltwater pool, with Diamond Brite and glass tiling, requires little maintenance but offers a sparkling place to relax. The outdoor furniture—lounge chairs, sofas, side tables and dining room suite—is sturdy and attractive, crafted from solid teak in modern lines with subtle, all-weather upholstery.
Elegant fittings, furnishings and appliances extend into the interior spaces of the house. The kitchen exhibits sparkling, polished granite countertops in shades of brown and grey. Travertine floors add to the clean, cool vibe of the house. A set of wide, wooden foldaway shutters above the stainless double sink open to an outdoor breakfast bar. I can imagine chopping fresh fruit while enjoying the scene through the shutters. The Atlantic below is spotted with tiny white triangles—the sails of dozens of yachts in the water. The same wind that expands their sails ripples across the Atlantic, over the sands of Little Bay, through the branches of the trees that line the hillside, across the fragrant garden, through the patio and into the kitchen, mingling the salty sea air with the ripe hillside vegetation.
The breeze flows into the spacious living room that has four sets of double doors—one on each of the four walls. Each set opens to a different outdoor area. From the back doors, a brick patio offers a shady spot to barbecue or relax. One set of side doors open to the garden path. Another opens to the outdoor dining table. An extension of the main deck is accessible from the front set of double doors. The deck railings are wire rigging, a construction technique inherited from the boat community in the BVI because it’s strong and durable but thin enough not to obstruct the view. Beyond the cool and bright living room, a small office leads to the master suite.
A few steps up from the main level, the master bedroom lords over the property. Cathedral ceilings and a four-poster bed add to the sense of majesty. The furniture in the master bedroom continues the theme of stylish simplicity previously established in the other rooms of the house. Accessible from the master suite are three more locations to enjoy outdoor living—a private deck with rocking chairs, a tiled patio that connects to the garden path and an enormous sandstone-tiled and stone-walled outdoor shower with a rainfall showerhead. The master suite boasts the highest eastern point of the property, and from its perch, the very private Guana Island appears to be Zenaida’s front yard.
The guest house, on the western side of the .831-acre lot, presents an even higher perspective that incorporates the main house into the scene. The front deck spans the width of the guest house, allowing access from each bedroom and an indoor shower. The furnishings in the guest house continue the theme of tasteful elegance with bedrooms showcasing four-poster beds, dressers and bedside tables in solid teak. The same high-end materials from the main house are used throughout the air-conditioned guest house—coralline limestone, granite countertops, sandstone, travertine marble, natural stone and hardwoods.
The walk from the guest house back to the main house of Villa Zenaida leads past boulders, vines, the pool and the cacti-topped stone wall. The lot is more wide than deep, taking full advantage of the hillside vista.
On the practical side of things, Villa Zenaida has a separate garage off the private driveway, a large storage room below the guest house and three cisterns. The roof is constructed of a reflective material to deflect heat and keep the house naturally cool.
Listing price is $1.95 million including furnishings. Viewing by appointment only through Maritha Keil at British Virgin Islands Sotheby’s International Realty (284) 494-5700 or 340-5555.