Sheltered on the southern tip of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands is an estate so secluded it can only be seen from above. So secure, thanks to a beach and boulder border, it cannot be reached from its northern edge. And so private that not even locals know of its existence. Welcome to Valley Trunk Estate.
Hidden above Big Trunk Bay, named after Virgin Gorda’s trunkback turtles, this 14-bedroom residence was built as a three-generation retreat in the 1980s and has been owned by the same family ever since. Set among hills punctuated by natural granite formations and close to Spring Bay National Park to the south, the 18.36-acre (7.43 ha) plot running the entire length of the beach was designed to allow the natural landscape to shine.
“The beauty here is you control your environment with one of the best beaches on the island,” says Edward Childs, director of Smiths Gore B.V.I. Limited. “The other point is security. For almost 30 years, little was known about the estate. It was a mystery even for people well acquainted with the British Virgin Islands. It’s very private.”
Secluded and Secure
Five stylish standalone villas make up the main residence, each sited to capitalize on the panoramic vistas, offering a dream of communal living with abundant space for those seeking solitary downtime. The focal point is the primary house, with its surrounding coral-stone patios opening on to an infinity-edge pool enveloped by tropical gardens and views down to the bay.
A bar and billiards area is a highlight of the first floor, which also houses a large home theater with oversized sofas running its length—ideal for lazy days. The upper level hosts the owners’ suite, with its own balcony overlooking the pool and an opulent azure-colored, glass-tiled bathroom at the rear.
Neutral tones with travertine flooring are complemented by roof tiles from Japan, wood finishes and furnishings sourced from Kenya, and angular windows imported from Germany. Indoor arches and pops of turquoise throughout the estate add softness and color, reflecting the surrounding scenery of the British Virgin Islands.
The formal indoor dining room—which opens on to covered terraces for relaxed al fresco dining—is in a building adjacent to the owner’s suite, with a professional-standard kitchen at the back, and a pathway leading to staff quarters and back-of-house facilities.
Perfect for families, with room for guests, Valley Trunk Estate is as close as you’ll get to having your own private island—Edward Childs
The Poolside Suite and Coral Suite have curved porticos, replicating that of the main residence’s balcony. Ocean Villa and Garden Villa follow, with a common living area between—the former boasts two ocean-facing bedrooms plus one more that is perfect for a nanny; the second has three bedrooms and a guest room that opens out on to gardens. A little further on, full of potential and yet to be completely renovated, is a four-bedroom guesthouse with a tennis court and space for a gym.
“Recently extensively renovated, Valley Trunk Estate has a wonderful aesthetic,” Childs says. “Perfect for families, with room for guests, it is as close as you’ll get to having your own private island. You would never be able to create this property again with the sizeable grounds fronting on to the entire beach.”
Senior Vice President of Christie’s International Real Estate, Danielle Austin, continues: “All the furnishings, except for personal items, are included in the sale of the estate, and they were just recently updated. The result is a lovely retro aesthetic with modern and sophisticated appointments, all while allowing natural beauty to take center stage.”
The estate is sheltered and is such a beauty spot with bird’s-eye views… Here, ‘crowded’ means 10 people—Edward Childs
Pathways dotted with statues and palms splinter off from the property’s rotunda entrance, accessed via a private road. Water features and tropical gardens with mango, starfruit, and cashew trees dovetail with wilder natural vegetation and exotic blooms.
Electric carts transport you to the beach, which is a five-minute meander through hidden paths. Just above the shore is a timber day dwelling, the Bali House, which is nearing completion as part of the overall renovation. Looking out over Trunk Bay, it makes the perfect place for casual drinks as the sun goes down.
“It’s a case of understanding the size of this property and how the buildings don’t intrude on the landscape,” Childs explains. “It’s on the leeward side of the island—it’s so sheltered and such a beauty spot with bird’s-eye views. Big Trunk Bay is one of several bays along this stretch of the coast, and lots of people come to enjoy The Baths National Park, but as you move north towards Valley Trunk Estate there are fewer boats and the beach is stunning. Here, ‘crowded’ means 10 people.”
An idyll for lovers of the outdoors, with hiking and nature trails throughout The Baths, snorkeling among the coral reefs, paddleboarding, and kayaking, Valley Trunk is a 20-minute boat ride from Beef Island’s airport and a 10-minute car drive from the airport on Virgin Gorda. Make sure you have a pilot who knows the way… it can be hard to find.
Banner image: The villa enjoys unobstructed views across Virgin Gorda’s Big Trunk Bay