This enchanting 19-acre seafront property is new to the local lodging scene, but already feels deeply rooted. The past is present here, where the 260-year-old ruins of Estate Butler's Bay, a Danish sugar plantation, have been repurposed as a gracious eco-inn, a 5-year labor of love by husband-and-wife owners Ryan Flegal and Corina Marks. Vintage hardwood floors had buckled and little was functional, but the good bones were here. Original 2-foot-thick stone walls, wide-open windows, and interiors with open airflow make for built-in natural temperature controls. At the Feather Leaf, guests are immersed in Caribbean history, ecology and the pleasures of slow living. With an emphasis on healthy, plant-based, sustainable practices (the inn is 100% solar powered, and the grounds have been planted with a budding "food forest" of more than 100 fruit and nut trees), its become popular as a yoga and meditation retreat.
Rooms in the main house have gleaming hardwood floors and mahagony louvered windows open to stunning sea vistas; many of the rooms here are furnished with Crucian antiques.
The Dragonfly House has a shared kitchen and three bedrooms, making it a good choice for group stays; the beds' mahagony headboards were custom-built from trees uprooted by storms.
The original, 1000-foot carriage house is now the Ocean House (sleeping five), with rubble stone walls, high ceilings and a sea facing patio. All rooms are open to balmy trade winds, but two Deluxe Queen rooms are air conditioned. The saltwater pool is edged in red brick, echoing the house's red brick veranda and the scarlet shutters of the Main House Gallery Porch.
The inn hosts pop-up dinners and planned events on its 40-seat terrace, which faces west for idyllic sunset views. Take the path beneath flamboyant trees to the small, rocky beach, which is good for snorkeling in the shallows of Butler's Bay. Notable wreck dive sites are a short swim further out.
The Leaf's sister hotel in Christiansted, Sugar Apple Bed & Breakfast, is a historic 12-room property formerly known as the Pink Fancy Hotel.