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Surfside Gardens - spectacular ocean views, steps away from the surf

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,750 sq. ft.
Property type villa


About the property

This 2-bed, 2-bath villa, a secret hideaway offers a tranquil, serene vacation

With all hurricane repairs completed, we opened for the season on January 1, 2018. Overlooking the spectacular ocean at the front of the villa and surrounded by tropical forest, the breathtaking 360 degree panorama and the lush vegetation around the property will immerse you in tropical mood. Totally obscured from the world, your privacy is ensured as you soak up the Caribbean sun and you enjoy the intimate luxuries of a villa designed to put you at peace with the world. Surfside is an indoor/outdoor type of house with the living area being upstairs to take advantage of the high ceilings, views and breezes. The doors and windows on the sea side fold back to the extent that the indoor area merges with the deep verandah. The bedroom doors also fold back on the sea side, where there is also a deep verandah, and most of our guests sleep with just the screen doors which enables them enjoy the open aspect of the house and wake up to the sounds of the ocean and birdsong.

Surfside Gardens is only a two minute walk to the Cooten Bay ruin, the pebble beach and the fabulous North Shore surf. A short surfboard paddle around the headland each side of Cooten Bay, a five minute drive or decent hike will take you to the delightful sandy beaches of Lava Flow to the West and Josiah's Bay to the East.

There are just eight owner-occupied bespoke and individually designed homes on the entire Cooten Bay hillside, each on approximately one acre of land, which guarantees a secluded secret retreat even though you are only a ten minute drive away from the capital Road Town. Surfside Gardens is the lowest property on the hill and the closest to Cooten Bay ruins and ocean.

To get the best out of your visit we strongly recommend that you hire a car, preferably a 4 wheel drive vehicle. The car hire company that we recommend will leave the car where you arrive, either at the ferry-dock or the airport and you can leave the car there when you depart, all at no extra charge. On your arrival, we will meet you at a convenient meeting point, like the supermarket and escort you to the property. Guests normally let us know in advance if there is any provisioning they will require us to provide for their first 24 hours. The following day we can swing by the villa to see that everything is OK and if there is anything we can help with. Our guests choose how much interaction they want with us during their stay and we can be at the villa in 15 minutes if needed.

For further information and photos please see our website

More Details

Mark Chapman
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 17, 2018

About Mark Chapman

I am a business consultant, principally serving cross border financial services clients. In 2014 my family and I took a year out to build our vacation villa at Cooten Bay in the British Virgin Islands.

Outside of work, family comes first and my boys, Tom, Ben and Joe respectively work in Property, Film and Professional Squash. Heather, who I have been married to for 30 years, does charity work and helps all of our lives run smoothly.

Additionally I spend time at Tortola Sports Club, where I play squash and I work on BVI Olympic Committee and Old Government House Museum matters as the Treasurer of both organisations.

Mark Chapman purchased this villa in 2009

Why Mark Chapman chose Tortola

The family saw the hillside where the villa is located when we first came to live in the British Virgin Islands in 1995. We decided that if development lots ever came on the market, we would build our dream villa here in Cooten Bay. That finally happened 19 years later in 2014.

What makes this villa unique

The Chapman family, which is Mark (husband), Heather (wife), Tom, Ben and Joe (3 sons) have been involved with the Surfside Gardens dream from inception to the day our first guests arrived in late 2014. Every facet of the villa has been hand-picked, uniquely designed or tailor-made by one of the family members, from the chimneybreast, to the chandeliers, to the indoor/outdoor stone spa bathroom, to the stone and tiled patios, to the panoramic windows, to the french doors, to the gourmet kitchen and even down to the spectacular surrounding lush vegetation and fruit trees. We collected stones, rocks and boulders from the property as we built it and fashioned them into pillars, walls, pathways, and both bathrooms are entirely constructed of stone, making for the most natural environment imaginable. For the four years preceding the build we nurtured a vast array of fruit trees, palms and shrubs, ready for the day in 2014 when we would landscape the property. We designed the villa for Caribbean living - no air conditioning, just the sea breeze and fans in every room to circulate the air - no pool, just the ocean a few meters from the front door and panoramic windows and french door to brighten and lighten the indoor features.


Tortola Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1750 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • smoking allowed ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Ocean View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , double shower in lovely stone surround.
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub , shower , outdoor shower , beautiful stone soaking tub and separate double shower.
  • The master bathroom contains a stone clad double shower and a window that reveals the ocean beyond, whilst allowing the morning sunlight to illuminate the room naturally. The en-suite bathroom to the second bedroom also contains a stone-clad double shower and stone bathtub, with an amazing vista of the forest beyond.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
  • The master bedroom downstairs is spacious with a king size bed, walk in closet, en-suite bathroom and French doors onto a tiled balcony presenting a spectacular scene of the islands around. The second bedroom, with its own stone indoor/outdoor spa bathroom and optional queen bed or two twin beds is equally comfortable and again offers panoramic views of ocean and forest through French doors onto a tiled balcony and large picture window to one side. Both bedrooms feature ceiling fans and subtle lighting.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Tennis ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • duty free shops
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain climbing
  • parasailing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
Attractions on the island include horseback riding on trails, swimming with the dolphins, ziplining, kayaking, stand-up paddle, boat hire, day sails and of course just relaxing at the beach or at the house - perhaps the most important thing to do.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(29 traveler reviews)

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Surfside Gardens - spectacular ocean views, steps away from the surf
average rating of 4.965517 based on 29 reviews

Fabulously crafted home with majestic views!

  • 5 of 5

Wow! I could not have envisioned a more awe inspiring setting for some very much needed rest and relaxation along with spurts of adventure. We,along with our 20 year old and 16 year old sons, felt very comfortable and at home. After flying to St. Thomas and spending one night at the Windward Passage Hotel, we took the Roadtown Fast Ferry to Tortola. If you get sea sick, take your motion sickness medicine in advance of your departure. Our hostess, Heather, met us at the grocery store following our provisioning, and graciously led the way to her house upon our arrival. She gave us some key tips to making our stay pleasant. We loved the open air floor plan which permitted us to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the waves, frogs, and cicadas. We were awoken each morning by singing birds and a glorious sunrise. The absence of A/C added to the experience. We rented a Jeep through Dee Dee's Rentals which allowed us to drive without reservation. Watch out for goats, sheep, and cattle that walk along the winding roads.Greet all the folks you meet along the way with a smile and salutation. The evening breezes and picturesque views brought much serenity as we cooked evening meals in the kitchen or grilled in the garden. We had lunch out on most days. The Fish and Lime, Captain Mulligans, Scrub Island (which include a free ferry trip over), Pusser's Club at Frenchman's Cay, The Tamarind Club, and Sebastian's. We found the best service at Scrub Island and Pusser's. The most delicious food at the Fish and Lime and the Tamarind Club. We snorkeled a few times at Cooten Bay, the beach just below the house. We also enjoyed snorkeling Smugglers Cove and swimming at Lava Flow. Our sons dove on two occasions with Blue Water Divers out of Nanny Cay and had an exceptionally memorable experience. They dove the RMS Rhone and off Norman Island. One of my most memorable days was exploring the "jungle" around the house; climbing the path along the lingering waterfall and enjoying the ruins. Many snails, hermit crabs, lizards, and birds inhabit the forest. We love nature and the outdoors along with the finer things in life. Surfside Gardens at Cooten Bay and the island of Tortola fulfilled our expectations. Get ready for an experience of a lifetime! Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Chapman.

  • Submitted: Jul 29, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed at Surfside on the front end of our boat trip and with our adult children on the tail end. First and foremost, Heather is the best! She was helpful and accommodating on so many levels, including medical assistance after I returned from our boat trip. Important information that only a true local can provide. The accommodations were gorgeous, the view is literally breath taking. I did Pilates on the deck and had a hard time staying focused. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need for a gourmet dinner, our family had our last meal together before everyone headed home on the deck ... so so special. The outdoor shower was perfection when coming back from the beach and feeling so connected with nature. The house is definitely private and that's exactly what we were looking for. Last but certainly not least, the gardens ... stunning and unfortunately my camera did not do them justice! Note: If you choose Surfside, get a 4 wheel or all wheel drive. You can get to the house without it but definitely should make the trip to Lava Beach (a 3 minute drive), it was one of our many highlights of the vacation and must have a 4 wheel drive to go there, you can also walk to the beach.

  • Submitted: Jul 12, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your lovely review Dawn. I'm really happy you enjoyed Surfside, not just the house but the gardens. We look forward to welcoming you again if you visit BVI again.
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A Special Place

  • 5 of 5

Very private, relaxing and beautiful. Clean. Comfortable. Safe. Fantastic views from expansive porch areas. Mesmerizing. We live in the open at our beach house in Florida but this takes that to a new level. We never shut the doors or windows. No A/C but really not needed in the evening and we were exploring during the day. Water system utilizes cistern as do many houses on the island, so don't come expecting long showers. 10 minutes to good grocery store and well equipped kitchen. Really great hosts. Highly recommend.

  • Submitted: Jul 1, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your review Keith. We are really happy that you enjoyed the house and had a great time on the island. Nice tip about the water, it's like liquid gold here! Hope to see you again in the future.
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A piece of heaven

  • 5 of 5

We couldn't have been happier with our choice for a vacation rental. Mark met us in town and lead us to the house, which was much appreciated, as it is rather secluded. The view can not be understated. Just gorgeous from every angle, inside the house and outside, even the shower! The property and house are perfection. We enjoyed the island, even eventually getting accustomed to the incredibly steep roads. I highly recommend doing some shopping before heading up the hill, as it isn't a quick trip to the store, and one we didn't want to navigate in the dark. The kitchen is so well stocked that cooking in it was a pleasure and the view couldn't be beat. We opted to have lunch out and dinner in, giving us the opportunity to experience it all. Thank you for your sharing your lovely home with us.

  • Submitted: Apr 30, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks Paul for your lovely, objective, review, we are very happy that you enjoyed your stay. If you decide to stay again you might be interested to know that the local grocery store, Riteway do free deliveries on your day of arrival or any other day with 72 hours notice.
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Harbor Springs

Beautiful views and property!

  • 5 of 5

We recently returned from our stay at Surfside Gardens and we really enjoyed our time at the villa. The villa is beautiful and very well stocked with anything you would need. The kitchen was well set up and made cooking a pleasure while enjoying the views. We enjoyed the surrounding area and nearby beaches, Trunk Bay and Lava Flow were our favorites. Josiah's Bay was close by to enjoy some surfing as well. The ruins were amazing and surreal at the beach right in front of the villa, a real treat! The treehouse was fun and the surrounding gardens were beautiful and so well kept. It was a pleasure to meet Tom, who showed us into the villa and was quick to reply to any questions we had during our stay. Thank you much!

  • Submitted: Apr 10, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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best vacation ever!

  • 5 of 5

Here I am, a few days after our island hopping vacation visiting Puerto Rico, Tortola and St. Thomas and I realize that it was probably our best vacation ever with our stay at 'Surfside Gardens' the highlight. To say it was transformative is an understatement. I particularly was awestruck by the views of both ocean and jungle which totally surround you with privacy and tranquility. Being an avid gardner myself, I appreciated the amount of work that went into creating this lush, colorful gorgeous tropical paradise complete with hummingbirds and butterflies. I particularly loved the open air aspect of the villa. We never closed the door or bar window once during our stay, and were never bothered by bugs either. The offshore breezes kept it most pleasant. There are screens on the bedroom doors which is nice. We never slept better on our whole vacation. A short walk down the hillside toward the shore, youcan find old ruins complete with cannon. It is a magical place - one needn't be a child to be enthralled by it all. Heather and Mark have done a remarkable job creating a comfortable, rustic, yet sophisticated vacation villa,beautifully decorated with many unique features including a well-equipped kitchen. As a hostess,Heather is gracious, helpful, accessible and interesting, loaded with lots of useful information to make your stay memorable. All in all, Surfside Gardens was an amazing place to stay as is the whole island of Tortola. We will never forget it!

  • Submitted: Feb 22, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your lovely review Catherine, we are really happy you enjoy the house and gardens and hope you will visit again one day.
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Nearest Airport
10 Kilometres
Beef Island
Nearest Barpub
1 Kilometres
Josiah's Bay
Nearest Ferry
6 Kilometres
Road Town
Nearest Restaurant
6 Kilometres
Tamarind Club
Nearest Beach
75 Metres
Cooten Bay Beach - pebble
Car: necessary

Three sandy beaches are within minutes from Surfside Garden. The Cooten Bay ruins are extraordinary, perched beside the Cooten Bay surf break, just a one minute walk from the villa.

The is a zipwire experience within a five minute drive and Dolphin Discovery, where you can swim with the dolphins, is about 20 minutes from the villa. Horseriding lessons or trail rides are available within a ten minute drive from the house.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 10.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.