The beautiful buildings and grounds of Capisterre occupy 19.5 verdant acres of St Kitts’ northern coastal headlands of that name, with spectacular views of St Eustatia and the neighbouring St Barts and St Maarten French and Dutch Islands of the Caribbean-Atlantic convergence.
Wander through extensive gardens of remarkable flowering trees, shrubs, Bismark palms, Traveler’s palms, Christmas palms, Royal palms, Coconut palms and the many colourful bordering plants. You reach Four Mills Villa with its 33’ swimming pool bordered by Himalayan slate matching the colouring of the old Kittitian stone and slate of the separate gazebo on the far side of the pool. The views from this pool and pool-house north to St Barts and St Maarten are an open invitation to swim with the sunrise or to sit and linger over sundowner cocktails.
The villa has a living room, with French windows opening on two sides to patio areas. There’s an outdoor kitchen – the setting for many barbecues – and a bedroom with en suite that has a bathtub inside with twin ceiling mounted showers and a discrete outdoor shower.
Across the lawn from Four Mills sits Guava Ghaut Cottage. Sunshine yellow shingles, white woodwork and touches of blue beneath the eaves, the signature palette of designer Arthur Lehman, proprietor of the famous Golden Lemon Hotel, make the space warm and welcoming. Here too there’s a large living room that leads into a large twin bedroom: the en suite has a bathtub but outside, set discretely behind a trellis, is a shower. The kitchen wing makes the whole cottage into an L shape, and in the crook sits a covered patio and outside dining.
A amazing vantage point for understanding the estate of Capisterre would be to climb the spiral staircase inside Henville Mill, up to the observation deck. Uninterrupted views reach across the entire estate towards the shadows of St Eustatia and Saba hovering in the Caribbean Sea. This is the only restored mill of French origin on the island, set apart from the others by the unique practice of placing large pebbles in the mortar.
Closest to the mill sits Tamarind, a simple retreat that encapsulates the features of the rest of the estate. Here the woodwork of Philip Walwyn, seafarer and boat builder, is in evidence – as too are the yellow and blue hues, the colours of the Caribbean, that are the focus throughout Capisterre. A generous living room and bedroom with en suite, all leading out to wide verandahs, make up Tamarind’s first floor while at ground level there are both a double and a single garage with the solar array’s inverters and controls. Uphill is the iconic Tamarind tree after which this building is named.
Set apart from the other buildings and watched over by a row of Royal palms, is Saints with its cupola, chiming clock, and its own dramatic views out to the sea and uphill to Mount Liamuiga. This building has its own distinctive beauty and charm, fully showcasing Walwyn’s skills. At present, it provides a home office retreat, full of light and the soft tones of natural wood.
As you wander through its nearly twenty sprawling acres and its surrounding 9 acre verge, the loveliness and scale of Capisterre is stunning.
All these cottages have rooms of extremely generous proportions, yet the landscape is not defined by the estate’s buildings. This is a space for families with individuals who enjoy their independence as much as their shared time – and indeed it is a place that could present a wonderful business opportunity for anyone looking to play with their imagination. It is effortlessly romantic here with everything about space and light and privacy as much as it is about companionship and moments spent together.
On the neighbouring island of Nevis there is a former plantation estate that has been developed to include the world’s only dining experience for two in a sugar mill. Here at Capisterre lies the possibility of recreating that but on the rooftop of Henville Mill, beneath the stars and with the Caribbean as a backdrop. It could be a wedding venue, a boutique hotel, a series of redeveloped cottages, each an enticing gem of an idea waiting to be nurtured.
Or Capisterre could be left as it is, a perfect, peaceful home and a reflection of everything there is to love about this special corner of the world.
9 Acres of leased verge
4 main buildings
In ground swimming pool
Stone swing from restored ruin
Perpetual Water Rights from the Government Mount Liamuiga Source
Restored French Sugar Mill with internal stairs to viewing platform
Ample garage and garden store space with further development potential
Pinkum tree and Palm lined driveway
Serene and calm estate