Those flying into the French-speaking island of St. Barts will never forget the landing. The particularly steep descent to a short runway that ends just shy of the Caribbean Sea is as exciting as the destination is idyllic. A favorite of yachting billionaires and fashion icons, the glamorous locale fared better during the economic downturn than the neighboring islands did, and its real-estate prices continue to rise. Perched on the hillside of Petite Saline, Villa RRK overlooks several uninhabited islands in the turquoise Bay of Lorient.
Three of the four buildings on the 3.02-acre estate have ocean views. In the main house—accented by wooden-beamed ceilings and terra-cotta floors—an open-plan living area, dining room, and lounge look out to the infinity-edge pool and sea beyond. The residence also has a kitchen and a guest bedroom. The jewel of the property, the stand-alone master bedroom’s French doors open onto a private plunge pool. Paths between buildings wind through tropical gardens, a central lawn, and off to a private tennis court. Remarkable for its size, acreage, and location, this $25 million paradise is private, but not isolated, with fine dining, shopping, and the airport within close proximity. (Inquiries: Sibarth Real Estate, Christian Wattiau, +590.590.298891, christiesrealestate.com)