Villa to Rent

Minimalist Mustique

By the usual Princess Margaret–high standards of Mustique—that gated community of storied fabulousness floating in the British West Indies—the newly built villa Indigo constitutes something like simple living. This three-bedroom house set above Pasture Bay is a whitewashed square with sparely furnished rooms and wide, breezy limestone-tiled hallways. Such minimalism is a rarity on an island whose dominating architectural style is one of exuberance and whimsy. Among the 63 houses for rent is Les Jolies Eaux, the princess's gingerbread confection by Oliver Messel; Shogun, Arne Hasselqvist's pagoda'd Japanese fantasia; and the eight-bedroom Yemanjá with a stream in the living room. In contrast, Indigo's organizing principle is an inner courtyard with a 30-foot-square infinity reflecting pool that is framed by the house's four central hallways. "The immovability of the courtyard and the ripple of the water when the wind blows—people don't know why that space is so satisfying," says architect A. J. Diamond, who has designed three other Mustique houses, including his own, Simplicity. You might say Indigo represents a new direction for a changing island: HRH is long gone, and though Mick still has a house here, the new rock stars have dropped anchor in Anguilla. Families and other folks looking for seclusion and blinglessness come to Mustique now. As Diamond says, "Architecture has to be the receptacle for that sophisticated informality." $12,000 a week, including staff; 800-747-9214;

Island Update

NEW The Cotton house hotel, designed by Oliver Messel in the fifties, has opened its own residence for rent. The classic set piece, redone by Grace Léo-Andrieu, has two bedrooms around a central pool. $2,300

RENOVATED Carissa, a five-bedroom colonial manse by Arne Hasselqvist, has been completely redone by London decorator Fiona Wigan, with mirrored Deco furniture and toile. $30,000 per week

FOR SALE Blue Moon, the five-bedroom Balinese caprice on Brittania Bay, is on the market (a rare occurrence here). The timber and stucco house has a huge pool and a kitchen many restaurants would envy. 800-747-9214