Inside the most expensive home on Antigua’s Jumby Bay Island

The US$40 million, 641 square metres tropical getaway has four bedroom suites, a private beach, and picture-perfect views over the Caribbean Sea

It’s no surprise that A-listers like Paul McCartney, Will Smith, and Lionel Messi consider Jumby Bay Island one of their favourite vacation destinations. The privately owned 121-hectares archipelago, located two miles off the coast of the Caribbean island of Antigua, is home to the 40-room Jumby Bay Island, an Oetker Collection hotel, along with 56 super-deluxe private residences.

The island has a low-key friends-and-family vibe with many guests and homeowners who have been coming to the island for over 30 years. Homes within Jumby Bay are typically traded in off-market deals to long-time visitors or owners of other homes. However, one of the island’s private estates was recently listed for US$40 million, the highest listing price in Antigua’s history.

The breezy living room is comfortably furnished with deep-cushioned sofas and chairs. Photo by Alexis Andrews

Situated on 0.46 hectares of beachfront land, the spectacular 641 square metres home has four bedrooms, three of which are housed in detached pavilions facing the water. The current owners purchased the property in 2016—the home was originally built in 2008—and embarked on a down-to-studs renovation to modernise the property and create more seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces.

One of the only west-facing homes on the island, meaning it faces the Caribbean Sea, the home has a front-row seat to spectacular tropical sunsets. “On a private island where it is very difficult to acquire property, buyers want the crown jewel,” says listing agent Eric Lavey of Sotheby’s International Realty. “This is that. You’re near the resort and directly facing west with a private beach, and the landscaping adds another level of privacy.”

The home offers laid-back island living with high-end furniture, art, and decor; it is being sold fully furnished for the ultimate turnkey island living experience. The sumptuous living room has high ceilings and sliding doors that open to reveal a covered veranda with an alfresco dining area and perfectly framed views of the infinity-edge pool that appears to melt into the ocean’s horizon. The house also has louvred windows in nearly every room that, when open, create a nice flowing breeze.

The open-plan kitchen adds to the home’s casual conviviality. Photo by Alexis Andrews

A well-stocked bar situated between arched columns separates the living room from the open-concept kitchen, which is outfitted with Viking appliances and programmed for staff and service.

While the home has spacious communal areas both inside and out, above all, the estate prioritises privacy. A trio of guest bedrooms are found in detached pavilions, each with a large bathroom and an outdoor shower, while the light-filled primary bedroom has French doors that open directly onto a covered ocean-facing terrace. The primary bath sports an indoor/outdoor shower, and there’s plenty of room for a boutique’s worth of Bermuda shorts and bathing suits in the walk-in closet.

The substantial infinity-edge pool, which the sellers added as part of the renovation, appears to hover over the ocean and is one of the few pools on the island’s western side that directly faces the ocean. There’s a vast pool deck and, better yet, a private white-sand beach that is accessed via a teak staircase. The sellers also spent millions of dollars on the landscaping, which features 60,000 plants that provide ample seclusion from neighbouring properties.

The covered veranda is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Photo by Alexis Andrews

Unlike some private islands, Jumby Bay is relatively easy to access. After landing in Antigua, guests board Jumby Bay’s private boat that ferries them to the island.

The island is privately owned by the Jumby Bay Island Co., and homeowners own a share of the island. And, beyond the luxuries and idyllic settings offered within their private estates, island homeowners also have unique access to the Jumby Bay Resort, part of the esteemed Oetker Collection, whose properties include Le Bristol Paris, the Eden Rock in St. Barths, and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France.

“It’s a private residential island with a resort component, not the other way around,” he explains. “The resort is almost there as a complement to the owners, similar to a country club, where homeowners and island regulars mingle.”

The pool. Photo by PJ Dougherty

Some of the more glitzy Caribbean islands favoured by the fashionable have a see-and-be-seen vibe, but Jumby Bay is known for its quiet, barefoot luxury and relaxed atmosphere in an upscale destination. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to casually drive their golf carts to dinner at the resort or to explore the island on foot.

“This is a place where these residents and guests feel really secure and come to let their hair down,” he says. “Here, they don’t have to worry about locking their doors and can dress however they’d like.”

Many of Jumby Bay’s owners use their homes as secondary or tertiary vacation homes, and the homes are often available for rent. This residence in particular is beloved by A-listers and has one of the most notable staff on the island who are employed full-time throughout the year. Lavey also says it’s one of the most requested rental homes that generates more than seven figures of rental income per year.

The living room and the kitchen are separated by a bar. Photo by Alexis Andrews
The pool at sunset. Photo by PJ Dougherty
The primary bedroom. Photo by Alexis Andrews
There are four bedroom suites. Photo by Alexis Andrews
Each of the suites overlooks the ocean. Photo by Alexis Andrews
An aerial view of the swimming pool. Photo by PJ Dougherty
A seating area perched just above the beach. Photo by Nico Schaerer
An aerial view at night shows the lighted steps down to a private stretch of beach. Photo by PJ Dougherty

This story was first published on Robb Report USA