Inside the BVI’s Hottest New Property, a $35,000-Per-Night Villa Carved Into a Cliff

It’s been 60 years since Laurance Rockefeller established a new style of island retreat with Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda in the BVI. The 650 acres of land—of which only about 30 percent is developed—is a paradisal playground for prosperous sun-seekers that’s endured changes in ownership, destruction by hurricane Irma in 2017, and a majority rebuild.

Since Rosewood Hotels and Resorts acquired the property in 1993, it’s collected five private villas that provide tailored seclusion with resort amenities such as two and a half miles of beachfront, tennis, and pickleball courts, the Sense Spa, an infinity pool, and three restaurants (where 30 percent of the menu is sourced from the resort’s on-site garden).

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Villa Katsura at Rosewood Little Dix Bay
The villa is an exact replica of a home in Okinawa.

This year, as part of its 60th celebration, it debuted a sixth extravagant new villa in the portfolio. “It’s a really sexy property with a special story,” shares Andreas Pade, managing director of Rosewood Little Dix Bay.

The three-tiered, 23,500-square-foot Villa Katsura was carved into three acres of cliffside 20 years ago, as an exact replica of a home in Okinawa. “The patriarch of the original family that owned it was posted there post-WWII, met his Japanese wife there, and he built the home that they lived in in Okinawa out here,” Pade says.

Villa Katsura at Rosewood Little Dix Bay
A massive spread, it’s carved into three acres of cliffside.

This year, it received a revamp from Rosewood, as the brand acquired it and upgraded the four bedrooms to feature its signature king mattresses—still in low futon fashion to respect Japanese authenticity—Rivolta Carmignani Italian linens, and Diptyque amenities. The modern additions frame the authentic wooden architecture, rice paper doors, antique furnishings, and various water installments from the waterfall-flanked pagoda entrance to the plenty-stocked Koi pond, the cascades outside the glass-walled showers, and the bamboo-surrounded, blackrock infinity pool.

“It’s not a cookie cutter design—every home is an eclectic design experience of its own,” says Pade, likening their villas to the style of Mustique Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “You can keep coming back and every year you can stay in a different experience, or the same, whatever your heart desires.”

Villa Katsura at Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Ocean views are a given.

At $35,000 per night, the stay is completely customizable. The two full-time butlers can arrange anything from in-house spa treatments to on-demand chefs, where if guests seek the full Japanese experience trained sushi chefs and hibachis stand at the ready. They can serve up freshly gathered coconuts poolside, transform the villa nightly with poolside fire pits and candle-lanterns, arrange loungers, umbrellas and towels for a beach day on the Villa’s private stretch, and prepare the vintage sports cars that accompany the property (one being a 1950s Aston Martin) for a cruise around the island.

Villa Katsura at Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Soak it all in for $35,000 per night.

When it comes to bookings, Rosewood Little Dix Bay sells from the top down, which is why Andreas says adding more villas is a necessity. Not to mention, there’s a steady demand for ultra-luxury private villas throughout the BVI with the Branson-owned Moskito and Necker Island on Little Dix Bay’s neighboring islands. As Rosewood Little Dix Bay expands its villa offerings—it have three more in the works—it’s offering an all-inclusive option that builds in additional food and beverage at the resort, in addition to the villa.

“For us, it makes sense from a business model standpoint instead of adding more hotel rooms,” Pade explains. “The magic of the resort is that you have all this beach, all this space, so it never feels crowded nor busy—you don’t want to change that.”

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