The Luxury Travel Bible - David Bowie’s Mandalay Estate, Mustique

PRIVATE LUXURY: David bowie's mandalay Estate, Mustique

THE Man Who Fell to Earth has left a piece of heaven behind him. And you can share it.  For the first time David Bowie’s beautiful hill top villa on the Caribbean island of Mustique. An island beloved by celebrities this is one of the most iconic homes – and it is now available for rent. Which is good news because there are only about 80 homes on the island and, unless you book the hillside Firefly hotel, you have to own or rent one to fly in.

Built in 1989 for the British rock legend the $20million Mandalay Estate still contains all of the original furniture and styling from Bowie’s ownership.  For example a card room decorated with mussel shells.  Mandalay Estate is built around a split level koi pond, waterfalls, and an infinity sits in 6.2 acres  lush garden with a riot of tropical flowers surrounds the house which blends ornate Balinese style with Caribbean colour and charm.

When it was first built Bowie explained this Bali look thus: I wanted something as unlike the Caribbean as possible. It’s a whim personified. I love a good cliché, and this house, for me, is just the most delightful cliché. What you have to realise is that Mustique is a fantasy island.” He said.

“Why Mustique?  “I went down to spend a couple of days with Mick [Jagger] and Jerry [Hall] in their house,” Bowie told Architectural Digest in 1992. “ I was going to take a boat trip up and down the Caribbean and it never happened because the propeller fell out or something—I was stranded. And I just went scouting one day, having nothing better to do and I came across this area of land, and I thought, Why not?”

The property has five bedroom suites each with their own private veranda which lead straight to the pool, several impressive reception rooms, a dining pavilion, games room, a stage for performances,  a study, as well as a number of private garden decks perfect for chilling out or enjoying the mesmerizing Mustique sunsets. “The thing about Mandalay,” said Bowie, “is that it is broken up into little areas that you can get lost in.”

In addition to the main property, budding musos will be thrilled to discover that hidden deep in the property’s tropical gardens is ‘The Studio’, a private pavilion with a bamboo roof which was originally David Bowie’s recording studio, which offers further secluded guest accommodation.  There is also ‘The Writer’s Cottage’, so budding songwriters who stay here can hope that David Bowie’s prestigious talent rubs off on them.  The cottage has self-contained, open plan accommodation away from the main villa.

Interestingly this amazing villa had not one but two celebrity owners because in 1995 Bowie sold it to Millionaire publisher Felix Dennis who had a life most as colourful as Bowie himself (think the Oz obscenity trials in the 1970s). The writer’s cottage was used regularly by Felix Dennis to write books and poetry. The inspiring cottage has self-contained, open plan accommodation away from the main villa. The White Duke’s favourite white sand beaches or swim in the blue sea - because Mandalay Estate has fourteen on site staff to do all the hard work and cater to your every whim. 

Hilary Doling 1/4/16, Updated 20/02/2019
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