noel house
As the head of a feeder fund that helped sustain Bernard Madoff‘s alleged Ponzi scheme, Walter Noel got very, very rich — so rich, he was able to build Yemanja (above), a hilltop house the size of a boutique hotel for himself and his family (with eight bedrooms, two bunkhoues for children and staff housing, too) on the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique. I visited that house, which rents for about $50,000 a week, not long ago, reporting this story on Mustique, just published in Travel + Leisure‘s February 2009 issue. The Noel manse didn’t make the cut, which is probably just as well given the tone of the times, but maybe some clever judge will one day decree that all of Madoff’s victims should be given the right to stay there on a time-share basis as part of their recovery, psychological if not financial. You can gawk at it here. What you won’t see is that every room comes with Yemanja stationery and post cards, hats and robes, that the bedrooms all have their own private terraces and that the sprawling, multi-level hilltop house comes equipped with several laptop computers, multiple flat-screen TVs, an indoor kitchen as big as most New York apartments as well as a second outdoor one, three dining areas and separate childrens’ dining and breakfast rooms, and that even the cottages have their own lap pools. To swim off all that excess, no doubt.