Securely snuggled into the verdant green hillside of Bordeaux Mountain, Estate Chateau Margot is situated on Bordeaux's eastern slope, approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. Overlooking the quiet community of Coral Bay, the impressive 4 1/2 acre estate affords majestic views of St. John's East End as well as the British Virgin Islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Norman and several smaller cays along the Sir Francis Drake Channel. This property is only 1½ miles from the turn off Centerline Road that leads straight down to the amazing Maho and Francis Beaches and only 3 miles from the center of Coral Bay. To reach the estate, travel 5 miles from downtown Cruz Bay, halfway through the Virgin Islands National Park, on cool tree-canopied Centerline Road. Only 3/10 of a mile after passing the historic Reef Bay Trail entrance, the road to the estate forks off just to the right of the famous Château Bordeaux restaurant complex. From there, a 1/2 mile paved drive curves around and down to the grand white gates of Chateau Margot.
Chateau Margot, like its nearby neighbor Château Bordeaux, shares a name with one of the world's best wines. Margot, a red claret wine of "truly incomparable distinction and class", always "well-balanced and unsurpassed by any other wine on earth" makes an appropriate namesake for this estate. Being distinctive and classy, Chateau Margot stands out and above most other St. John properties. This villa's classic quality and exceptional superiority are impossible to deny when noticing the warmth of carved teak and mahogany woods; the lasting beauty and strength of polished granite, coral and marble tiles; and the innovative appliances, fixtures and electronics found all throughout its structure. The artistic blending of a rich regal decor, set within coolly casual curves and angles, adapted to the middle of a secluded tropical forest, gives this estate the well-balanced "premier grand -cru" classification that it truly deserves.
Completely renovated under the conception and direction of St. John’s talented interior designer Adette Irish, this villa showcases original art from local artists such as: Amy Tracer, Les Anderson, Elaine Estern and Janet Cook-Rutnik among others. Well known names for linens, rugs and furnishings are artfully arranged against St. John handcrafted doors, cabinetry and native stone walls.
Enter through 8 ft. high wrought-iron gates, set between a towering 20 ft. White Bird of Paradise plant and a chiseled rock mountainside, into a parking area large enough for four vehicles. Vivid orange and deep pink bougainvillea spill over a high stone wall on the left, while massive blooming cactus, agaves and Crown of Thorn plants create a natural barrier on the right. A side path leads down to terraced sets of trees. Grapefruit, orange, pomegranate, mango, avocado, papaya, banana, guava and star fruit grow on the grounds of this Shangri-la-style hideaway. When it’s in season, you may pick the fruit if you wish. From the parking area, a confluence of terraced stone pathways leads to the main Great House, Cottage, Guest House and the Master bedroom Suite. Areca palms, Dracaena Marginatas, Monsterra Philodendrons and fluffy mounds of Philippine Violets fill planters along the way. Their varying shades of green contrast brightly with the warm honey gold exterior of Chateau Margot, a color that seems to glow all day in anticipation of reflecting the perfect sunset light. The Great House atrium entrance is straight ahead.
Winding terraces, railed wooden decks, native stone paths, gardens and koi ponds connect Chateau Margot’s three large masonry buildings. The interior living space is 6,165 square ft. and the exterior decking is 2,300 square ft. for a total of 8,465 square ft. of pure Caribbean paradise. The main level of the three-story Great House holds the living, dining and kitchen areas, as well as the infinity-edged pool and sundeck. The Margot Master bed/bath Suite and the Pineapple and Parrot bedrooms are on the upper level of the Great House. Situated beside the Great House, is the 2 level Guest House, containing both the Orchid and Bamboo bed/bath Suites. Overlooking the Great House, is the free standing Coral Cottage, a very private bedroom/bath that also has a kitchenette. All bedrooms contain ceiling fans, and each has its own A/C. This countryside villa is ideal for one, two or three families. The arrangement of the three upper bedrooms in the Great House is perfect for parents with younger children.
A center planter of Philodendron Selloum separates the living room doors on the right from the individual doors for office, laundry and powder room on the left. The office has abundant built-in desk space with two chairs, a computer with wireless satellite hookup, phone, fax/copier, scanner and set of encyclopedias for those guests who just can't leave their work behind. The laundry room contains a washer and two dryers, iron, built-in ironing board and a working table. A small powder room is located between the other two rooms for quick and convenient access from the most used living areas of the house.
Enter into the Great Room and let your senses be caressed by the soft breezes flowing around and down the hillsides into this magnificent airy space. Radiant tropical light glows through six sets of 8'x 8' screened sliding glass doors that wrap around three of the walls. Look out to see the glistening infinity-edged pool and lounge deck beckoning. Raise your eyes further and gaze at a most spectacular view of emerald crowned hills tumbling down to serene Coral Bay. See the translucent turquoise seas curve and tuck around the coastlines of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Inside this room are two oversize sofas made from golden sea grass. The sofas are covered with plump cushions, with fabrics woven in tones of ruby red, gold and teal. Two large chairs add additional seating. A mahogany armoire holds a 36-inch big-screen cable-TV with CD/DVD player and a remote-controlled Bose CD/cassette stereo. Videos and CDs are included for your enjoyment. A crimson colored bookcase contains novels, board games and binoculars to enhance your leisure time activities.
Over to the side of the Great Room, a stately mahogany and maple dining table sits in front of a floor-to-ceiling native stone wall. Mahogany chairs provide seating for 12. A beautiful plantation-style sideboard buffet, set against the wall, echoes the dark graceful lines of the dining table. Tasteful table linens that display a tropical motif are found inside the buffet’s drawers. The walls of this room, as all the interior walls of the main house, are painted with a pale amber shade, reminiscent of sweet ripened pineapple or well-aged rum. The floors throughout both levels of the main house are laid with creamy white tiles.
The kitchen can be accessed from three different entryways: a hall from the living/dining room, a door near the grill on the pool deck and from a utility door near the parking area. A state-of-the-art Kitchen-Aid flat surface cook-top sits on a large dark-wood center island. The cooking surface is surrounded by a gold and brown granite countertop. Large storage areas are built-in below. All new Kitchen-Aid appliances, including a convection oven, microwave, dishwasher and side-by-side refrigerator are handsomely enclosed in pale creamy cabinetry. The beautiful speckled granite also tops off a lengthy curving counter, surrounded by more cabinets, all built into a graceful J-shape. Extraordinary storage space is available in the multitude of these drawers and cabinets. An array of small appliances and complete dinnerware for 20 are provided with the kitchen. Five windows above the counter survey the hillside and Coral Bay town view.
In a small alcove, off the service hall, there is more pantry space and a second refrigerator for overstock. A louvered glass door at the end of the kitchen opens into an enclosed semi-circular dining nook. Tiled floors and a short stone wall base give rise to one dozen six ft. tall screened window frames set side by side in a circular pattern. Great breezes and majestic views, of two forested mountains reaching down to the sea, make dining at the four-seat wicker table an exhilarating treat.
The tiled pool deck wraps around a 14 x 28 foot infinity-edged pool that has corner steps for entry. The depths of the pool go from 4 foot to 13 foot. For toddler safety, a nylon mesh barrier may be installed around the pool, by advance request. Six lounge chairs and six sitting chairs, placed around faux stone-top tables, can be arranged in many directions to capture the sun. Whip up a frosty blender drink and relax as you cook some fresh local-caught fish or other delicacies on the Weber gas barbecue grill.
Three bedrooms and two baths occupy the second story of the Great House. The Margot Master Suite is accessed two ways, by private entrance from the upper terrace garden by the koi pool, or through a door and staircase found out on the pool deck.
The garden entrance opens into the luxurious master bath. Open, airy and light, the vast size of this room is overwhelming. A 13-foot handmade granite-topped vanity, with double sinks, bronzed lighting, bronzed fixtures and a 10-foot mirror are perfectly built into a sidewall. Across, an alcove, with picture window views to the lily pond and Guest House, contains a platform Jacuzzi tub and a separate granite-topped vanity with mirror, drawers and a round padded stool. Off to the side, behind a privacy enclosure, there is a toilet and bidet. Besides both vanity's storage areas, there are beautiful built-in floor to wall cabinets, which add to the master bath's tremendous storage space. Sleek tasteful accessories, silk plants and two ceiling fans, plus A/C, add the final upscale touches to this magnificent room.
Beyond, enter an archway into the two-person semi- circular shower. Made of cut polished coral and cream-colored tumbled marble tiles, it includes two sets of water fixtures, three arched windows and a built-in seat. This shower makes bathing an otherworldly experience.
From the bath, pass through two large arched dark-wood slatted doors into a hall that opens into the Master bedroom. Each side of the hall is composed of a large walk-in closet, thereby creating the perfect his and hers storage situation. Entering the bedroom itself, your focus is drawn to the carved mahogany four-poster king-sized Tommy Bahama bed. A Bauer International hooked wool rug lies in front of the great mahogany armoire, which holds a 27-inch cable TV/VCR. Shades of burgundy and gold are utilized throughout the decor. Open the woven sea grass patterned drapes and light floods in from two perpendicular walls that each contains 8' by 8' sliding glass doors. The sliders open out to an L-shaped deck that overlooks the spectacular down island view. As with all bedrooms on the estate, there is a ceiling fan and A/C with remote control. Several silk plants and two cushioned armchairs complete the regal ambiance of this room.
From the Master bedroom, a door enters into a high ceiling hall. A numbered Paulson print of a Bird of Paradise hangs on the wall across from an intricate woven wood railing. The stairs here lead down to the pool deck, and there is a door to another slim observation deck. Both the Pineapple and Parrot bedroom entrance doors are located in this hall. Each room is decorated with luxurious neutral colored linens and coordinating floral draperies.
The Pineapple and Parrot rooms both share one connecting bathroom. The bathroom’s full tub/shower is set under a picture window overlooking the wonderful eastward view. Each bedroom contains a queen-sized bed, ceiling fan, A/C and telephone. The 8' sliding glass doors in the Pineapple room open to the adjoining L-shaped deck of the Master bedroom. The Parrot room’s sliding glass doors open out to a large 9 x 13 foot semi-circular tiled deck. Westward facing, this deck has tables and chairs for afternoon sun tanning and evening stargazing.
The two-level Guest House sits angled to the side of the Great House. Tucked into the sloped hillside, it is shady and quiet. The entire interior is painted a cool jungle green that reflects the wild ferns and fan palms that rustle right outside the walls. All the tiled floors and high ceilings are light-reflecting white. From the ground level of the Great House atrium, follow the railed wooden walkway four steps down as it curves to the lower level of the Guest House. A triangular shaped deck, bordered by Sego Palms and Monsterra Philodendron, overlooks the treed terrace below. Sliding glass doors open up into the Bamboo suite.
This bed/bath suite has a queen-sized split bamboo framed bed, bamboo wood furniture and shades. Palm print linens complete the island flavor decor. There is a ceiling fan, A/C, telephone, 14-inch cable TV/VCR, a stereo CD player and large walk-in closet. The bathroom has a six-foot white tiled vanity and a spacious U-shaped tiled shower. Arched windows inside look out upon a very private, lush forest.
The upper story of the Guest House, which sits beside a koi pond, is accessed from a terraced stone path leading from the main house's central entrance or from side steps near the lower Guest House bedroom. Here, the Orchid Suite contains a four-poster queen-sized bed, A/C, ceiling fan, cable TV/VCR/DVD and telephone. Blue and white cattleya orchid print drapes cover two walls of 8 x 8 ft. sliding glass doors, both of which opens out to an observation deck. There is ample closet space and a 4 x 8' wooden storage cabinet. A back-slanting plantation-style chair, bookcase and floor lamp decorate a cozy sitting area in the corner, perfect for reading that current best-selling novel. An attached bathroom has a four-foot tiled vanity and a large U-shaped tiled shower with windows similar to the one downstairs.
Comfortable Coral Cottage perches above both Guest and Great House. It offers an even more elevated, awe-inspiring view over Coral Bay and the down island chain from it's roofed, tiled front porch. Walk up the native stone paths that curve and meander their way through terraces of exotic plants. A tall Turpentine tree plays host to staghorn ferns and dozens of wildly spreading epiphytic orchids. Amongst the delicate native blooms, purple, fuchsia and cherry red Vanda orchids bloom intermittently.
Enter the cottage and find yourself in a romantic private retreat. A bedroom/bathroom/kitchenette suite all in one, it becomes the perfect getaway. A couple with a young baby, or an older couple, preferring a quiet space away from the action of the main house, will appreciate this spot. Inside, the interior color scheme matches the Guest House, cool jungle green walls with large cream-colored floor tiles. A wrought-iron four-poster king-sized bed, A/C, dark mahogany dressers, a 19 inch cable TV/VCR and two cushioned armchairs decorate the sleeping area. A round pedestal table, with four cushioned teak chairs on top of a black floral rug, defines the kitchenette space. There, cabinets and a counter hold a small refrigerator, sink, microwave, coffeemaker and dinnerware for four. The attached bathroom contains a shower with full tub. Gentle light streams in from the plentiful windows that wrap around the cottage. The side window by the kitchenette, shaded by a giant alocasia elephant ear plant, looks out to the second smaller goldfish pond containing orandas and guppies. Cyperus and water lettuce grow in the water, while frilly ferns and red hibiscus hang nearby. Outside, on the tiled porch, there are two wicker chairs and a small love seat.
Around the corner of the cottage is another slim railed observation deck that overlooks the beautiful island and ocean views. Sit on the porch alongside the 15' tall White Bird of Paradise plant and the forever-fruiting Key Lime tree and admire the calming picture postcard scene. Look around and be amazed at the shapes and colors of the red and pink gingers, yellow hellonconias, and spiky bromeliads. Areca, Fan and Christmas palms sway gracefully. Step down from the small front yard of Coral Cottage to the next terrace where a free-form pond with a cascading waterfall waits. Cyperus plants stretch upward from the depths while Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinths grace the surface. Pale blue lilies bloom occasionally, and their pads give constant shade to small guppies, koi and orandas. The upper bedroom of the Guest House, with yellow allamandas and purple violets trailing up the side, sits off to the right of the pond.
Listen to the stirring of the palms from the breezes that also brush gently across your skin. Hear the birds peep, trill and chirp up and down the bountiful hillside. Wake up early in the morning to see the mountains veiled in mist. Breathe in rich oxygenated air. At night, turn on the beautiful outdoor lanterns, found affixed over doors and on building corners. In their soft glow, primitive shaped shadows dance around as wispy winds play through the leaves. Know how captivating it can be to live completely surrounded by Caribbean nature. St. John has much to offer: pristine beaches and crystalline water, world class dining, exotic and upscale shopping, historic ruins and rugged trails for exploring. Yet, when your day is done, Estate Chateau Margot offers a quiet castle-like retreat away from the rest of the world. Being her own little universe of serenity, Margot may entice you to skip the day trip, and stay comfortably home, daydreaming in her warm embrace.