A 23,500-square-foot home perched on a hillside on Virgin Gorda, third-largest of the British Virgin Islands, is on sale for $40 million.
The house, which took seven years to build and was completed in 2014, overlooks the Little Dix Bay peninsula and beyond it, the Caribbean Sea. Named "Villa Katsura" after the imperial villa bearing the name in the suburbs of Kyoto, the compound has pavilions built in a style that could be deemed Japanese, though there's a light sprinkling of Caribbean influence as well. In the main house, which has a living room, kitchen, and guest bedroom, there's an open floor plan that looks out onto a terrace, fire pits, and a pool. Alongside the pool is a heated rock pool (aka a very high-end hot tub), a steam shower room, and to provide a little additional drama, a waterfall.
The master suite, which is reached over a bridge, has its own sun terrace and fire pit, along with a double shower, koi pond, and yet another waterfall.
A third pavilion contains three additional bedrooms and bathrooms. All told, the house has five bedrooms and five baths. (Each bath offers a unique flourish; one contains an ofuro bath, a deep, steep-sided traditional wooden tub.) This pavilion's layout is flexible enough to accommodate several more guests without issue—a boon for would-be hoteliers. The property's sandy, semi-private beach is shared with only one other property and is reached by stone steps.
Villa Katsura is surrounded by three acres of gardens designed by Hoichi Kurisu, founder of Kurisu International, the Portland- and Delray Beach, Fla.-based landscape firm. Kurisu created winding stone pathways, koi ponds, bridges, waterfalls, and private courtyard gardens, including a rock garden for moments of contemplation while everyone is snorkeling.
Virgin Gorda is about an hour's flight from San Juan, P.R., which means that a trip from New York to the house (with layover) will take about four and a half hours, barring delays.
The villa stands out not only architecturally, but also for its price; property on the island can easily surpass $2 million. The current next-highest listing is a beachfront cluster of three separate villas with a total of 15 bedrooms; it's on sale for $23 million, or $17 million less than Villa Katsura.
Whoever buys this property will clearly be someone entranced by its architecture, location, and many, many waterfalls.