Long a playground for royals, rock gods and fashion icons, the teeny private island of Mustique, 45 minutes from Barbados by plane, is dotted with a kaleidoscope of home design styles: gingerbread, Chinese, Georgian, Roman, Balinese. The 75 rentals can fulfill any understated or exaggerated whim, though the island’s development cap and new razing restrictions have compelled owners to up the luxe ante through staff and cuisine. (This also goes for the Cotton House hotel [rooms, from $450; 784-456-4777; cottonhouse.net], which will debut a new chef and menu by the start of the new year.) Here, four houses recently built or renovated that embody the Mustique dream.
Coccoloba: On the northeast hilltop, the four-bedroom property, a series of open pavilions with a design nod to stage-designer-turned-architect Oliver Messel, is equal parts elegant and cozy. The flooring is from Bali; the octagonal dining room is candlelit only; the 45-foot pool has a bar. Service is thoughtful: Joel, one of Mustique’s few English-trained butlers, attends as if he were hosting in his own home, and chef Claudia has trained in Danny Meyer’s New York kitchens. The lack of beach access is made up for with panoramic bay views and cool extras like a stadium-seating screening room. Villa starts at $20,000 a week for eight people.
Sienna: The last of the new builds, the Roman villa overlooking Macaroni Beach is like Julius Caesar’s country home. The dining table seats 35 (in gold and red velvet chairs); the four-poster beds practically touch the 20-foot ceilings; one pool has a swim-in grotto. Villa starts at $30,000 a week for ten people.
Fisher House: One of the island’s first houses, the central villa was revamped in 2011. Its Caribbean charm remains, but now it has a 65-foot pool and three redesigned bedrooms. Spot Bequia and St. Vincent from the veranda. Villa starts at $12,000 a week for six people.
Taliesin: Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, the airy villa built into the eastern cliff could be the ultimate party house, with its sweeping terraces across three levels and 48-foot pool. Villa starts at $26,000 a week for ten people.
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