A palatial estate in the Caribbean was listed for a whopping $200 million Sunday evening, making it the most expensive home to ever hit the market in the region and one of the priciest homes for sale in the entire world.
The Terraces, as the estate is called, spans 17 acres and nine structures. It’s located on the small private island of Mustique, which lies in the southern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is north of Trinidad and Tobago and about 45 minutes west of Barbados, if you’re taking a private plane.
“The Terraces in Mustique is the most expensive single residential home to publicly come to the open market in the Caribbean region,” said Edward de Mallet Morgan, head of international super-prime sales at Knight Frank, who represents the mega-listing.
The majestic residence commands one of Mustique’s highest elevations, overlooking landscaped gardens and wild tropical grounds with panoramic views over the Atlantic and Caribbean coastlines. The estate’s 41-page marketing brochure boasts nine ensuite bedrooms in the main house, an 80-foot-long swimming pool and “the largest entertaining space on the entire island.”
“Mustique is an island where incredibly high profile people go for incredibly low profile holidays,” said de Mallet Morgan, who declined to disclose the identity of the seller.
Mustique has a storied past. In 1958, Lord Glenconner, Colin Tennant, bought the entire island, which at the time had no roads and no running water, for £45,000. That’s about $1.2 million in today’s money, when adjusted for inflation. Tennant gifted a plot to his friend Princess Margaret, who built a villa there and helped spark a rush of rich and famous buyers who followed the royal and built their own homes, according to the island’s website.
Decades later, it’s still an exclusive playground for titans of industry and rock stars. Tommy Hilfiger and Mick Jagger have homes on the isle. From its health clinic to security, the island is wholly managed by the Mustique Company, a private operation owned by the island’s homeowners. The website states: “The company oversees every aspect of island life as well as the management of the villas on behalf of the shareholders and the safeguarding of the island.”
Natural beauty and unrivaled privacy make the island a perfect destination for the ultra wealthy to kick back and relax.
“Paparazzi are banned on Mustique, and the easy, relaxed interaction of royal families, rock stars, celebrities, business moguls and entrepreneurs is really unique to Mustique,” said de Mallet Morgan.
“It is a place where doors are not locked and no one bats an eye when you arrive at dinner barefoot.”
De Mallet Morgan shared data with CNBC from Knight Frank’s upcoming Wealth Report, which shows that out of 100 key city, sun and ski destinations around the world, Mustique was the 12th best performing market. The ranking puts the remote island on par with Sardinia, St. Bart’s and Provence.
According to the report, luxury residential prices on Mustique rose by 12% in 2022, making the island the fifth best performing market in the Americas after Aspen, Miami, Bahamas and the Hamptons.
Record sales during the pandemic led to tighter inventory. Last year, Mustique’s largest transaction was recorded at about $35 million, according to de Mallet Morgan.
Here’s a closer look at the most expensive home to ever hit the market in the Caribbean.
Built in 1986, the mega villa is clad in a pale peach-colored stone facade with loggias that wrap around each side of the more than 16,000-square-foot residence. According to marketing materials, the Terraces was designed by architect Tom Wilson, who pays homage to the architecture of 16th century Italian palaces.
Inside there are hand-painted ceilings and mural-covered walls painted by French artist Jean-Claude Adenin in a project that spanned three years.
The mega-villa’s palatial rooms, gilded furniture and painted domed ceilings are decidedly more Versailles than beach chic.
“The Terraces, being the largest and most visually prominent property on the island is not just one of the Caribbean’s foremost houses, but arguably one of the world’s foremost homes,” de Mallet Morgan told CNBC.
A floor plans shows a 60-foot tunnel connecting the main villa to a structure just below called the Annex. The two buildings are also connected by exterior pathways. The Annex spans over 12,000 square feet and is dedicated to games and entertainment. It houses a grand event hall and a game room with ping-pong, billiards and chess. Just outside, there’s a wraparound terrace that features the estates second swimming pool with an infinity edge that appears to send water cascading down the hillside.
Other structures on the property include guest cottages that span 2,600 square feet and include four more bedrooms, as well as the estate’s third swimming pool.
There’s also a chapel, laundry facilities and two more buildings to accommodate staff. De Mallet Morgan said the estate is currently operated by 18 staff. The estate’s webpage breaks it down further to a property manager, two butlers, three chefs, six housekeepers and six gardeners.
Across a rolling lawn is a pavilion that overlooks a sun-drenched tennis court.
The interior square footage of the entire estate tops 38,000. It climbs to almost 53,000 square feet when you add all of its covered outdoor areas.
De Mallet Morgan told CNBC if a foreign buyer wants to purchase the trophy property he or she can expect to pay taxes and fees of about 12% on the purchase price, adding around $24 million to the $200 million price tag.