room — from Bali, as well as the laborers to build it. Daniel’s
grandchildren, Diane and Alec Wildenstein Jr., who rent Valley
Trunk out to the public 20–25 weeks a year, now own the estate.
ACTIVITIES Throughout the entire BVIs, it’s all about the
water. Guests can take out the yacht Xanadu for a day of snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding (all equipment provided)
or sign up for private tennis, scuba or poolside yoga lessons.
Though the estate has no formal spa, massage, acupuncture and
other treatments are available. Off the estate, there’s minimal
sightseeing or shopping, but there’s one trip-worthy tourist stop:
The Baths National Park, a stunning beach accessible only via
hiking through a series of boulders, ladders and grottoes. Be sure
to wear water shoes and bring a bathing suit. When the water is
calm, it’s a great place to snorkel and swim.
EATS Restaurant options are limited on Virgin Gorda, but
Valley Trunk has its own chef, Bernard Guilhaudin, who’s
worked in Japan and Morocco and earned two Michelin stars
at the Parisian restaurant Laurent. His international fare might
include, for dinner, a lettuce and avocado salad topped with a
spring roll, filet mignon with side of fennel, snap peas and tomatoes, and a basil sorbet for dessert. And for in-between meals,
minibars in the suites are stocked with trail mix, sodas, bottled water, wine, beer and — what else? — small bottles of Veuve
Clicquot. If you want to venture off the estate, check out Maya,
a beachfront restaurant and cocktail lounge serving a blend of
Asian and Latin cuisines, just a short drive from Valley Trunk.
ROOMS Valley Trunk sleeps 16 in eight very private individual
yet roomy suites. Each has its own bay-view terrace, large master
bath, walk-in closet and Frette linens and Hermès bath amenities.
One word of warning: the family decided to preserve
parts of the original 1980s decor, so it’s a little like
visiting the estate of your very rich Lily Pulitzer–
wearing grandmother (especially the bathrooms).
But its charms grow on you over time.
NOT TO MISS The view from Hog Heaven,
atop one of Virgin Gorda’s highest peaks, is spectacular. Owned by a guy named Blondie — he’s also
the captain of Xanadu — Hog Heaven is a barbecue
joint with jaw-dropping views of distant Anegada,
as well as the much closer islands Mosquito and
Necker (owned by Branson) and Eustatia (owned by
Page). If the views don’t take your breath away, Hog Heaven’s signature drink, the Painkiller, will: a concoction of rum, pineapple,
coconut and orange juices, topped with fresh grated nutmeg. The
name pretty much says it all.
RATES Full estate buyout rates start with a four-guest minimum at $6,000 a night ($1,500 per person per night), plus a
nightly $1,200 for each additional person. Rates are all-inclusive, including food and drink, in-house water sports, use of
Xanadu and crew, and a full staff and chef. Guests do have to
pay fuel costs for the yacht. The estate also offers “Escape
Weeks,” when rooms rent individually at $2,500 per night and
up. valleytrunk.com B Y LAURA HILGERS m
Virgin Gorda itself is also
laid-back, far from the hustle
of Caribbean tourist centers
or cruise line stops.