We’ve got a surprise up our shell, down in the British Virgin Islands. The most experiential isle of the ‘BVIs’, Virgin Gorda has long served as a jumping-off point for Richard Branson’s Necker Island, though with the opening of Valley Trunk Estate, its most luxurious, private property to the public, you might just want to linger. Set across a whopping 19 acres of this Caribbean paradise, the hilltop complex boasts with 360% views of its tropical surroundings and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to observe a giant leatherback nest on your private beach (who wouldn’t want to share?).
It’s no secret the BVIs have been growing on us and some blissful isolation at Valley Trunk Estate sounds like just what we’ll need coming out of the first half of 2020. Though isolation means everything but boredom at this 40-year-old family residence: having been recently restored and redecorated with furnishings collected by its owners on their journeys across the globe, Valley Trunk is home to ten suites spread across five unique and themed luxury lodges (we’re calling shotgun on the garden villa!), a tennis court, a cinema room, an infinity pool with ocean views and, oh well, a private chef. We’d say it’s the perfect place to escape to with your family and friends; not least because we hear the complex’ owners have done the utmost to ensure their previously sealed-off residence feels like a home away from home.
The property’s arguably rarest feature by far – and a highlight on the experiential bucket list – are the majestic leatherback turtles (once known as ‘trunk turtles’, hence the name) which tend to nest on the private Trunk Bay Beach between May and September. Wildlife fans can see them approach through the crystal-clear waters from their beachside hammock or spot the occasional giant swim past whilst taking the Xanadu for a spin (what, did you think this place didn’t come with a private motor yacht?). Though the conservation-fond travellers we are, we’ll gladly watch from the veranda of the Bali House, a Painkiller cocktail at hand, instead. After all, the estate offers unparalleled privacy and seclusion – not just for ourselves.