The Bahamian island Faith Hill and Tim McGraw spent years and many millions to develop is on the market for $35 million.
The country music power couple bought the island known as Goat Cay in 2003. It’s located in the Exumas, a district of the Bahamas comprised of a chain of over 365 islands, about 280 miles east of Miami.
Hill and McGraw renamed the paradise they dreamed up together, L’ile d’Anges, which is French for isle of angels. The couple transformed what was an undeveloped 19.77 acre island into a resort-like compound that includes a 6,517-square-foot main residence, two beaches and hundreds of imported palm trees.
“This was a 10 year-plus exercise,” said Edward de Mallet Morgan, the London-based luxury real estate broker and partner at Knight Frank who represents the listing.
De Mallet Morgan declined to comment on his clients or even confirm their identity. However, the property and its famous owners were featured in a cover story for Architectural Digest in 2017. The island also periodically pops up in McGraw’s Instagram feed.
In the 2017 interview, Hill told the magazine, “We’ve been all over the world, and we really wanted to create a special place we couldn’t find anywhere else.”
She went on to explain the challenge of developing a remote island.
“We set out to build a house,” she said. “We had no idea we had to build everything else. We basically had to build a little town.”
McGraw added, “Every time we land the plane and walk onto the beach and head up to the house, we turn to each other and say, ‘This is the best place in the world.’ “
Here’s a look around the bespoke paradise:
The main residence is made up of eight structures de Mallet Morgan describes as “pods.” The pods are interconnected by 5,000 square feet of thatch-covered verandas and breeze ways.
Each of the home’s four bedroom suites stand alone in a pod. There is also an owner’s suite with intricate beamed ceilings, glass accordion doors and lush green views.
Steps away from the room’s king-sized bed is a massive terrace with a large outdoor bathtub on one side.
On the other side is a large white sun bed.
The living room features a wall of windows that disappear into the ceiling at the touch of a button.
The room opens to a sundeck featuring an in-ground swimming pool, surrounded by a set of ivory-colored reclining chaises, matching outdoor sofas and a veranda with an open-air dining area.
The open concept chef’s kitchen features a wall of windows and another one of the home’s dining areas.
On display in the showroom-worthy kitchen is an industrial-sized double oven and stove top by Wolf, a wood paneled ceiling and sleek cabinetry.
The island includes two beaches covered in powder-grade white sand.
At the end of one strip of beach are two large white yurts with ensuite baths.
The sturdy tent-like structures are air-conditioned and include wood decks.
One is furnished as a bedroom, while the other is a beachfront gym.
The 568 palm trees perfectly sprinkled across the shoreline were shipped in from south Florida.
In fact, most of the manicured landscaping had to be imported.
The island’s tallest structure is an observation tower connected to the main residence.
At the top there’s a large bell and spectacular panoramic view of the turquoise waters that surround L’ile d’Anges.
The island includes a dock and adjacent loading ramp with a drive that sweeps up to the main residence.
L’ile d’Anges can also be accessed by seaplane.
There are 6,000 square feet of additional structures on the island, including three waterfront villas each with two-bedroom suites for housing staff or guests.
Some of L’ile d’Anges’ features that are not visible in any marketing pics are worth noting.
“Every modern convenience and service that you might need is provided for, from waste treatment and disposal to a reverse osmosis system to provide fresh water,” said de Mallet Morgan.
Among those modern conveniences: eight giant tanks that can store 64,000 gallons of filtered drinking water, two mobile-home sized generators that power the entire island, two satellite dishes for TV service, two more dishes that provide high-speed internet access. De Mallet Morgan said the redundant systems are necessary to provide a seamless back-up if one system fails.
There’s a smokeless incinerator for household trash, and a small medical area stocked with medications, bandages and a defibrillator. The room is equipped to provide remote-access to concierge doctors via video-conferencing in an emergency. And several large storage facilities are used for housing a small fleet of Waverunners, industrial-grade laundry facilities, back-up equipment, food pantries and refrigerated storage rooms.
When you add up the costs of workers, infrastructure, landscaping and general upkeep, maintaining a private island doesn’t come cheap.
“For islands of this kind of size, you are likely talking $1.5 million to $2 million a year to run, depending on your maintenance, staffing and usage levels,” said de Mallet Morgan.
Typically, brokers look at the comparable home sales in the region to help calculate value and determine an asking price for a listing, but pricing a private island like this one is a bit more complicated, according to de Mallet Morgan.
“It is not an exact science, to calculate value, but a combination of factors,” he said. “Usually you start with understanding the initial acquisition cost of the island itself and then add all of the development costs and consider the equivalent replacement cost today to create the same thing. You then consider the time and opportunity cost to add onto that.”
De Mallet Morgan said there has been a lot of interest in private islands in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
“The pandemic and everything around it has really helped increase interest and appetite for private islands and for high value real estate globally,” he said.
“Today, there is probably some of the highest demand for ‘turnkey’ private islands that we have ever experienced for the Caribbean and Bahamas,” he said.