When it comes to celebrating the New Year, St. Barts is ground-zero, with the world’s A-listers flocking to this little piece of La Belle France in the Caribbean during the festive season. So it’s appropriate that, just in time to ring in 2022, the spectacular Villa La Plage overlooking the gin-clear waters of the island’s Lorient Beach has hit the market for $39.5 million.
And if seven spacious bedrooms aren’t enough for your gang of party-loving friends and family, the four-bedroom beach house right next door, called Villa Sand Castle, has also just been listed. Yours for $13 million, or $52.5 million for the two.
“This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For not one, but two, beachfront properties that are side-by-side to come on the market is unheard of in St. Barts,” Tom Smyth, co-owner of St. Barth Sotheby’s International Realty, tells Robb Report. Smyth adds that the homes were owned for years by the same family, but a recent change of plans has prompted both to be put up for sale.
The 7,700-square-foot Villa La Plage is the jewel here. Originally an island beach cottage, it was completely rebuilt, expanded and reconfigured back in 2010, from a design by acclaimed local architect Patrick Benaben. Still very much a beachy, breezy one-story villa, it now features a main house with five, pretty-much identical air conditioned ensuite bedrooms, plus a separate, self-contained two-bedroom cottage close by.
As with so many homes on St. Barts, the villa has been a hugely successful rental property, with weekly rates running as much as $180,000 over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. (And yes, it’s booked for this New Year’s Eve and for the whole of January, February and most of March, too.)
“What makes the villa so special is its position right on Lorient Beach, with its powdery white sand, big surf and clear-blue water,” says Smyth. “And unlike many other beaches on the island, there are no loud bars or hotels on it. It is very peaceful.”
Don’t want to get sand in your toes? Another one of the highlights of the villa is its 60-foot-long arched swimming pool overlooking the beach. It’s edged by endless wooden decks that are perfect for stretching out on a lounge chair and soaking up rays.
The main house is set around a central wood-decked courtyard that leads to the living room and four of the bedrooms. There’s also a 10-seat Jacuzzi here, along with a wet bar and dining area. “In true St. Barts style, all the rooms have big sliding glass doors to make the most of the cooling Caribbean breezes. And there’s no shortage of overhangs and awnings for shade,” explains Smyth.
The separate guest cottage in the grounds comes with two ensuite bedrooms, a kitchen, living area and a private deck for relaxing. Need even more space? According to Smyth, an area on the opposite side of the main house could be used to construct a second, two-bed guest cottage just steps from the beach.
While technically no beach area on St. Barts is private, the home’s owners have used part of the sandy area set back into the compound to create a private beach, with lounge chairs, sofas and kayak and surf board storage.
Talking of surfing, Lorient Beach boasts one of the most consistent surf breaks on the island and is a favorite among locals. The beach even has its own surf school.
A small gate leads from the main villa to the adjoining Villa Sand Castle, with its four bedrooms and rustic beach house vibe. Angled towards the west, the front of the home looks down along Lorient Beach and boasts stunning sunsets.
One of its highlights is its breezy kitchen with a glass pass-through on to an oversized terrace overlooking the water. That, and its peace and quiet, which you’d expect with the Cimetière Lorient Haut, one of the local graveyards, right behind the home. (If you’re a fan of the late, great French crooner Johnny Hallyday, who died in 2017, his tomb is a short walk away at the Cimetière.)
Like Villa La Plage, Sand Castle is also on the rental market, though without its own pool and with only three bedroom—the fourth is tiny—the rates are significantly less. They range from $10,000 to $17,500 as week, with the December festive week going for $35,000.
“Any property in St. Barts right now is being snapped-up almost immediately. But either of these homes, with their truly remarkable beachfront location, represent a tremendous opportunity and great long-term investment,” says Sotheby’s Smyth.
Check out more images of the villa below: