His is one of the most widely recognised – and funniest – faces on the Hollywood circuit. So it’s no wonder that comedian Steve Martin would want to enjoy a private moment away from the admiring crowds. Five years ago, he found the perfect hideaway in Villa Au Soleil, a magnificent property perched hill on the hills above the Caribbean Sea in Lurin, St Barts. He has since become “a familiar face” on the exclusive Caribbean island, where he “has often been spotted bodysurfing the waves at Saline Beach or walking around the bistros and boutiques of Gustavia,” according to estate agent Tom Smyth from Sothebys International Realty in St Barts. But the actor is now ready to move on and has put his splendid villa on the market.
With 28,191 square feet of living space, the house is nothing short of palatial, but it still preserves the atmosphere of a family home. The interiors are warm and cosy, thanks to a bold lime and yellow scheme, and make ample use of dark wood for flooring and for the (Colonial-style) furniture – the four-poster beds, in particular, are drop-dead gorgeous. The house, explains Tom, “was fully renovated in 2003 by the previous owner with a mix of local and American furnishings.” Steve Martin, who bought it fully furnished in 2008, “has retained much of the villa’s island charm and has given it cheerful lime and yellow interiors.”
What makes Villa Au Soleil really extraordinary, though, is the panorama. The main rooms overlook the crystalline sea of St Jean Baie, and enjoy spectacular sunsets. “The house is in a beautiful spot in the hills of Lurin,” Tom explains. “It has sea views from almost every room.”
Glazed doors allows a seamless flow between indoors and outdoors, which is perfect for entertaining but works just as well in the sleeping quarters. The master bedroom even has a private terrace with panoramic hot tub and all the bathrooms have outdoor showers.
The stunning tropical grounds make the most of the views, with a two-tier infinity pool overlooking the bay at the front of the house, and a Balinese-style summerhouse in the palm-fringed gardens at the back.
St Barts is one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive islands and the privacy it offers makes it a favourite with celebrities. Steve Martin’s house, which has in the past played host to many of the actor’s famous friends, is more private than most and this will undoubtedly boost its appeal with A-list stars.
Initially marketed in June at $11.24 million, Villa Au Soleil was relaunched earlier this autumn at $10.5 million, through Sotheby’s International Realty.
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