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As North Freezes, These Five Caribbean Paradises Bask in Sun


After some unseasonably warm temperatures last week, icy Canadian air has brought seasonably frigid temperatures back to the American north. Counter that cold snap with some Caribbean fantasizing. Five minutes from Spanish Town, on Virgin Gorda, this angular five-bedroom, five-bath spread boasts stunning views of Sir Francis Drake Channel and the neighboring island of Tortola. The modern interiors combine a clean-lined modern look with traditional elements like polished wood shutters and stone tile floors, while outside, a triangular swimming pool shares the view. An up-to-date chef's kitchen with island and a great room with broad folding doors round out the property, which is currently listed for $6.7M.


? The celeb-friendly island of Mustique, a favorite of wintering British high society, is home to many elaborate villas, but few are so gracefully integrated into the island environment. Set on five treed acres on the south side of the island, a four-bedroom main house crowns the top of a ridge, with three guest houses below. There are two swimming pools, one infinity and one lap, plus a lit Astroturf tennis court. The A-list estate is listed as price upon request.


? Set on just a fifth of an acre, this newly built St. Barts villa was designed by architect Johannes Zingerle, and makes the most of the small lot. Three bedrooms and three baths are squeezed in, along with an infinity pool and spacious great room with glass walls on either side, one of which opens to the pool and views of the Caribbean. The price, while not astronomical by the island's standards, is still a healthy $5.19M.


? Just north of St. Barts, St. Martin is larger and more developed, but the next owner of the Le Château des Palmiers will hardly notice. Set on a private, walled beachfront property, the compound includes two choice villas—with a combined nine bedrooms—perfectly groomed grounds, a spacious swimming pool, direct beach access, and some jaw-dropping views of the surf. The only trouble is the price, which comes in at a whopping $19.7M.


? For something with a bit more history and a bit less ridiculously overdone interior design, head to St. Thomas, where this casual villa was carved out of the remains of a 17th-century sugar mill. Listed for $2.25M, the seven-bedroom, seven-bath estate sprawls over 7,700 square feet, with "numerous patios and courtyards, a large pool, and an enormous covered gallery, with space to seat over 100 guests." There used to be plenty of guests too, when the former owner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright John Patrick, was in residence.

· Virgin Gorda [Knight Frank]
· Mustique [Knight Frank]
· Villa VGL [Sibarth Real Estate]
· Le Château des Palmiers [Christie's International Real Estate]
· Fortuna Mill Estate [Christie's International Real Estate]