The Caribbean, as a whole, boasts a wide range accommodations, from beach shacks to palatial seaside mansions. Well, needless to say, we're enthralled mostly by the latter, the high-dollar follies aimed at the richest of vacationers. Perhaps no estate in the region better deserves the "folly" title than Emerald Cay, the Turks and Caicos island estate of bankrupt former billionaire Tim Blixseth. After his Yellowstone Club company folded, Blixseth put this two-acre island up for sale for $75M. The 30,000-square-foot mansion—distinguished by 45-foot ceilings, a three-story library, 6,000-bottle wine cellar, and "an award-winning 10-seat home theater"—has since been reduced to $48.5M. A huge reduction to be sure, but that hardly makes this Caribbean palace a surefire bargain. The ten-bedroom behemoth is complemented by a boat house, a caretaker's cottage, two swimming pools, tennis and volleyball courts, two boat slips, and two private beaches.
? One Sandy Lane is a Barbados beachfront development that looks like an enormous villa, but is, in fact, a condo community located a stone's throw from The Sandy Lane Resort, the venue made famous for hosting Tiger Woods' wedding. Inspired although not owned by or connected to that hotel, the eight residential units, the smallest of which measures 8,150 square feet, are listed for $21.8M to $24.6M apiece.
? The island of St. Barts might be the best-known luxury getaway in the region, so it's no surprise the island is rife with expensive estates. This one, set on the beach at Lorient, is brand spankin' new, and boasts five beds, five baths, and a three-quarter-acre lot. This sort of unique waterfront plot doesn't come up very often, but even in that light the price is rather exorbitant: $40M.
? Also on St. Barts, also on the Lorient beach, this five-bedroom villa runs $20.3M. That's quite a savings off the last place, and it's not like this one suffers in any category. It has a similarly-sized lot and while the architecture is a little dated, there's no arguing with the gorgeous, beachfront infinity pool.
? On the opposite side of St. Martin from St. Barts, Anguilla is remarkably flat by comparison, but that hasn't had a depressing effect on real estate prices. Buyers unconcerned by global warming can snap up this villa, dubbed The African Sapphire, for $22M. The 14,000-square-foot, eight-bedroom white elephant is one of three similar adjacent villas designed by architect Myron Goldfinger. Sure, it looks a little "Weekend at Bernie's" but what's wrong with a little '80s revival.
· Emerald Cay [Luxury Retreats]
· One Sandy Lane [official site]
· La Plage [Luxury Retreats]
· Villa ABV [Sibarth]
· The African Sapphire [Shoal Bay West]