I got a chance to hang out and take photos with Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs this month. I learned Trey can drive like a madman when he is about to miss a sunset! I took this shot right after he pretended to be a rally driver in his rental car.
Virgin Gorda is the kind of place so full of magic that, that you can see it everywhere you look. My brother and I spent the night sleeping on this wooden platform overlooking the ocean. Around midnight I snapped a 30 second exposure. The stars are my proof that this isn’t a sunset.
I decided to kick start the EW by talking about my favorite tropical islands. I first fell in love with Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands more than a decade ago. Princess Diana after visiting said that “The Baths” were the most beautiful thing she saw in her lifetime. I would have to agree with her because my experience was so epic it left me awestruck. “The Baths” consist of 5 square miles of granite slabs and boulders overlooking the ocean. The locals call them “God’s Marbles” because it looks as though God must have accidentally dropped a handful of massive rocks. During my travels here, I met someone I consider just about the luckiest man alive, Steve Green. Forty years ago, before there was a national park, Steve showed up and bought six acres of ocean front land he used to create Toad Hall. His property looks like something out of a Walt Disney movie. Half of his land is covered in boulders and caves and slopes down all the way to the ocean. At the bottom lies an incredible white sand beach.
To fully capture Toad Hall I made a short video (above) and also shot some HDR photos. I put a few of my favorite shots into this post (below).
Steve spent a lot of time living on his land first and eventually built a small Eco Resort with 4 villas. By the time, he built Toad Hall he had studied the land and how to harmonize with it. For example, he created a swimming pool nestled inside 6 massive boulders. He decided to live close to nature and created overhanging roofs in the villas (so the windows can stay open). Everything about Toad Hall was designed to help you relax. Floors made out of smooth river rocks massage your feet while you walk. In the dining room, a breeze blows through keeping you cool (A custom roof eliminated the need for walls).
The most amazing part of all though is the walk to the beach. With a Swiss Family Robinson style, Steve built catwalks over 3 acres of boulders down to the water. As you walk over the catwalks, you can peer into crevices and caverns hidden in the massive boulders (some of them 40 feet deep). That is if you are not already busy staring at the panoramic ocean views. Halfway down the catwalk is a sun deck overlooking the ocean, so you can enjoy the sunsets. After reaching the beach, you can stroll a hundred feet to the first cavern that leads to Devils Bay.The Trail winds through seemingly endless grottos and caverns until ending at a white-sand lagoon with clear blue water.
Staying with Steve really is one of the best values in the Caribbean. Even though his property is valued at over $7,000,000 Steve still makes it affordable for average people. A single suite normally starts at $1500 for a week.
You can reach Steve to inquire about reservations directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Bay Beach
This beach is one of my favorites and is a short walk from Toad Hall.
The Blue Room
The angled roof keeps the rain off and a nice warm breeze goes right through.
The Honeymoon Suit
I think you can come up with your own title for this one:)