On Holiday in St. John
Only a handful of properties in the world of global luxury equal this month’s cover, a 1.63-acre retreat within the Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John that sets a new paradigm for Caribbean estates.
Located in the gated community of Peter Bay and surrounded by a stone wall, this property assures a high degree of privacy. The name, Presidio del Mar or “fortress by the sea,” is well deserved but doesn’t give any clue as to how graciously this is accomplished. Embraced by the surrounding vegetation, the home doesn’t dominate its position on a point overlooking the water. Offshore reefs add an additional measure of protection to the 645 feet of shoreline and private beach.
The entry through forged iron gates with bronze accents previews the experience of the entire property. In the octagonal stone foyer, amazing vistas of turquoise Caribbean waters and lush green hills unfold through eight huge arched stone windows. Throughout, archways, corridors and perfectly aligned views echo this balance.
Six king-sized bedroom suites scattered between the main house and several guesthouses blend with an array of indoor and outdoor entertainment areas. Native stone mixes with handcrafted details, works of art in themselves. Every facet has been considered and expressed exquisitely, reflecting the attention to detail only found in properties that have been labors of love and passion.
“I particularly appreciate the understated sophistication. It’s elegant but accommodates the casual island style of living,” says Christie O’Neil, co-owner of Holiday Homes of St. John, Inc. “Everyone who has seen the estate thinks it is worth every penny of the $32 million price. It is the Caribbean estate to which all others will aspire.”