Home of the Week: A $25 Million Estate in the Florida Keys Has Two Private Beaches

A 14.5-acre waterfront compound on Key Largo in the Florida Keys, known as Orchid Cove, can now be yours for $25 million. Located in the community of Tavernier, the sprawling estate is located in an area known for its dedication to preserving wildlife and, specifically, the local bird population. In addition to a wild bird sanctuary and bird rehabilitation center, Tavernier is also known for its recreational aquatic pursuits like snorkeling, fishing, and boating.

Those seeking a private, seaside retreat teeming with lush biodiversity and a plethora of leisure and recreation options can look no further than Orchid Cove. While the secluded property is technically accessible by car, some of the less prosaic ways to arrive are by seaplane, helicopter, or boat.

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“It’s like being on a private island, but without the inconveniences of being on an island,” says Jason Zarco of The Percal|Zarco Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty, who is co-listing the property with Esther Percal. “It feels like being in the Bahamas with the clear water and white, sandy beaches.”

The Percal|Zarco Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty
The main residence overlooks a private beach dotted with palm trees.

“The original owner bought the property around 1999, and it’s certainly a diamond in the rough,” Zarco says. “They went for vacation and ended up falling in love with the area and stayed there for nearly 25 years.”

Built in 2005, Orchid Cove features nearly 9,000 square feet of living space with a total of eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, plus four more half-bathrooms spread throughout the main residence, guest house, and boathouse. The picturesque plot is accessed via a quarter-mile-long driveway lined with towering exotic trees, Spanish moss, and hundreds of orchids. This verdant entry sets the stage for what to expect.

The main residence, fitted with high-impact windows and hurricane-proof siding, is fronted by a 20-foot by 20-foot porte cochère. From here, a bridged walkway hovers over a koi pond and leads to the main living spaces, which are hoisted 10 feet above the ground. There’s a spacious living room with an alcove ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean. The open floor plan also includes an impressive wet bar. Off the living room is a modern kitchen, breakfast nook, formal dining room, library, and a movie theater.

Below the house, there’s parking for more than 10 cars, along with a gym space. An elevator makes getting groceries from the garage to the home’s upper level effortless.

The Percal|Zarco Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty
The covered terrace has a tropical, postcard-ready view.

Nearly every room has a view of the ocean or connects to the outdoors, whether you’re looking out to the ocean from the covered terrace or listening to the sounds of local birds chirping from one of the other patios. The primary suite takes up nearly an entire wing of the house and offers dual bathrooms, a private sun room, and an office. There are three additional bedrooms in the home. A vast covered terrace outside the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen has front-row views of the dazzling blue ocean.

When the owner purchased the property 25 years ago, there were two existing structures: a three-bedroom residence, which now serves as a guest cottage, and a two-story boathouse that includes a self-contained one-bedroom apartment. Both structures have been updated in a similar modern style as the main residence. Next to the boat house is a thatched-roof pavilion for al fresco dining.

Orchid Cove’s main draw, however, is the natural land, which includes award-winning botanical gardens, a meditation garden, and a total of 1,000 feet of water frontage. There are two private, swimmable beaches and a picturesque, two-acre cove.

The Percal|Zarco Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty
The boat house sits alongside a jetty and private dock.

“A lot of people think that in the Keys you have beaches everywhere, but there are actually very few beaches, and it’s even more rare to find a white, sandy beach that is clean and beautiful,” he says, adding that there’s a natural trail that winds through the foliage to the private beach.

A helicopter can be landed at the end of a private jetty, and there’s a ladder from the boat dock that leads into the clear waters. Over the decades, working with an art director, the owner planted numerous mahogany and buttonwood trees, as well as the hundreds and hundreds of orchids that give Orchid Cove its name.

Click here for more photos of Orchid Cove.

The Percal|Zarco Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty
The Percal|Zarco Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty

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