Charlie Bufton tours this incredible estate and learns that the experience is so special to loyal guests, they return year after year.
Photography by Samuel Childs, Island Films.

Footsteps away from secluded Little Trunk Bay, is Sol y Sombra, a beautiful beachfront vacation rental property unlike any other on Virgin Gorda. The villa is located just minutes from The Baths, with easy access to Little Trunk Bay and Valley Trunk Bay, both tranquil and unspoiled. 

As I approach Little Trunk Bay Estate from the road, I cannot help but notice the towering fan palms that greet me. I pull through the wooden gates with its rising-sun’s rays and descend the native-stone steps. Intricately carved doors depicting a pair of Indonesian women gracefully part to welcome me. They ensure privacy and mystery to this secluded property and create an enchanting entryway, setting the scene for much of the theme and decor on the estate. 

As I enter this exquisite estate, a staircase of golden Turkish travertine leads me through the lush landscaping and as the name Sol y Sombra suggests, sun and shade dance through the bamboo leaves. I glimpse the oceanfront views for the first time and the drama of this superb property unfolds.

Sol y Sombra comprises of four beautiful pavilions, which house six spacious bedroom suites, a Great Room, an office/library/den, the dining room, a fully-outfitted kitchen and a gym. The four pavilions are laid out over an acre of fully fenced and gated grounds with a sweeping cross-cut stone terrace set with a 45-foot-long vanishing-edge pool. An expanse of soft green lawn leads through the gates and along the delightful seagrape lined pathways onto the beach. This is the peaceful island getaway that I’d been dreaming of. 

The Main House Pavilion is the heart of the property and home to the bright and airy Great Room featuring sumptuous area rugs, dark wood carvings and bookshelves lined with exciting reads. The Great Room is the ideal hosting space for big groups, the communal area for the whole family to gather with plush daybeds and an oversized coffee table. Glass and wood-panelled concertina doors run along the front of the Great Room and open onto the terrace. They are set in rich, dark mahogany and fitted with warm-toned brass door hardware. Ceiling fans spin overhead in the vaulted wooden ceiling and the open front of the room capitalises on the cooling sea breezes.

There is a state-of-the-art Bose entertainment system and a projector and screen for family movie night. The shaded terrace with a wet bar is just outside. The warm natural tones of the wood, the tile and the lighting provide a golden glow that deepens as the sun sets and the sky turns from gold to blush to pink. This lavish indoor/outdoor entertainment space is flanked by a formal dining room which comfortably seats 12 guests with additional alfresco seating for eight on the covered terrace and features an ornate copper light fixture by local metal artist Aragorn and hand-carved Indonesian teak relief art pieces on the walls. Adjacent to the dining room the incredible gourmet kitchen is a joy in which to prepare meals or to have them prepared for you. The kitchen has a generous wine fridge, stainless steel Viking gas range, icemaker, Jura coffee machine, SubZero fridge/freezer and a fleet of Cuisinart appliances. The dark wood kitchen cabinetry is laden with a full dinner service of delicately branded crockery and glassware – all decorated with the Sol y Sombra logo artwork in its distinctive yellow. 

Just off the dining room is the air-conditioned office/library, amply provisioned with high-speed internet, a printer/scanner, satellite TV and a powder room. Everything you need in case you can’t entirely switch off while on vacation. 

While Sol y Sombra has no live-in staff onsite – allowing for total guest privacy – there is daily housekeeping, full concierge service and a houseman. The rental management team can also arrange a private chef. Other optional extras include babysitters, spa therapists, yoga instructors, water sports instructors and more. 

Behind the main pavilion is an air-conditioned fitness room with a smooth bamboo floor, rubber floor mats and free weights, a Peloton bike, treadmills, yoga mats and blocks, exercise equipment and satellite TV. Consider moving to the observation deck if you fancy somewhere more tranquil for your yoga session. It is ideal for a bit of vinyasa flow while enjoying the sea views and the salt-tinged breeze. 

At one end of the pool is the Master Bedroom Pavilion offering an air-conditioned king bed primary suite with a private covered veranda, walk-in closet, elegantly carved four-poster bed, a beautiful bathroom with double sinks, L’Occitane toiletries and an exotic outdoor shower. The shower features a decorative copper leaf sculpture with delicate blue-green verdigris from Aragorn Studio.

At the other end of the pool is the third pavilion, named Sugar Mill, sympathetically built around the vast boulders for which Virgin Gorda is known. All the pavilions at Sol y Sombra have been designed to complement and accentuate the environment around them and include exposed stone walls and charming natural features with the boulders coming into some of the rooms. Sugar Mill pavilion offers a ground floor air-conditioned twin bedroom, ensuite bathroom and a terrace. Above it, an air-conditioned queen-bed suite is accessed via a staircase curving around the mammoth boulder. This upstairs suite opens out to a deck and pergola, outfitted with hammocks and loungers, offering privacy and a breathtaking vantage point with 180-degree sea views across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the neighbouring islands and cays dotted along the horizon. Both suites also have outdoor showers.

Outside, between the Main House Pavilion and the beach, the pool terrace has warm golden travertine tiles surrounding the 45-foot oceanfront infinity pool. The signature Sol y Sombra sunshine-yellow cushioned loungers, large matching umbrellas and carved stone elephant umbrella holders adorn the patio and the verdant green lawn, soft underfoot, drops down from the pool towards the beach. The immaculate tropical gardens benefit from an irrigation system ensuring lush foliage and beautifully scented flowering plants year-round. The water sports equipment is conveniently situated next to the beach gate – stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, snorkels, masks and fins, life jackets, sand toys and more are available for guests to take advantage of the enticing watery playground right in front of the villa. Sol y Sombra overlooks one of the most pristine beaches in the British Virgin Islands, a hidden gem. Sheltered by the boulders, Little Trunk Bay’s powdery white sand and cerulean blue waters are also steps away from The Baths, one of the most popular attractions on Virgin Gorda.

Finally, the fourth pavilion, aptly named the Tennis Pavilion, is an air-conditioned two-storey guest house behind the Main House Pavilion and across the estate’s private floodlit tennis court. It boasts an air-conditioned sitting room with twin daybeds and a kitchenette downstairs. Upstairs is an air-conditioned king bedroom and full bathroom. A partially shaded balcony borders this suite and a spiral wrought iron staircase climbs up to a private rooftop terrace.

The flawlessly maintained tennis court is made of artificial turf with a natural red sand surface. It makes for a perfect morning or afternoon activity, whether it’s a family tennis tournament that gets everyone involved or a quick volley before coffee. The lights on the court also make this an activity for any time of the day, so tennis is still an option if you feel energetic after your sundowners. The tennis court also includes a basketball hoop – for those who fancy layups instead of serves. With the tennis court, the pool, the water sports equipment and the fitness room – this vacation can be as active or as relaxing as you want. 

The expansive size of the property and separate pavilions make it perfect for multi-generational family groups and celebrations. Every guest – no matter the age is considerately taken care of, with cribs and highchairs also available for the tiniest ones. This thoughtfully designed estate layout affords guests both a comfortable gathering space and private areas to enjoy peace and solitude. Luxurious Sol y Sombra is set apart from other rental properties by rich teak furnishings adorned with exotic fabrics, handsome natural stonework, warm honey-hued travertine flooring, luxurious bed linens and the exquisite collection of elephant artwork and sculpture gracing the house and garden. The villa delivers an unforgettable experience with all the details covered.

Sol y Sombra has a busy rental calendar and attracts loyal repeat guests. To its repeat guests, Sol y Sombra is more than a vacation villa; it is part of their family tradition, for as children grow up and move away, one week, or a few weeks every year, they congregate at Sol y Sombra to make more fabulous memories.

To learn more about purchasing this one-of a kind property, please contact Bernadette George
284 494 2446
[email protected]