Originally published on May 31, 2018, 4:00 pm – Tucked away between Seattle and Vancouver are the San Juan Islands. Made up of four main islands accessible by Washington State Ferries – San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island – the San Juans are a beloved destination during summer for many nearby city folks and even more so by the passionate residents who call the islands home.
For years we’ve had the privilege of visiting Orcas Island thanks to a close friend who has a gorgeous Orcas Island vacation rental at the highly sought after Rosario Resort. Multiple times a year we make the trek up with our pup Fitz who LOVES chasing the many deer on the island.
There are miles of hiking trails, lakes with watersport rentals and campsites, secluded outlooks with breathtaking views of Canada and nearby peaks, and unbelievably fresh, local food prepared at a slew of incredible restaurants. It’s the most relaxing and beautiful place we’ve ever been. Maybe we’re biased, but after our last visit in May, there is no doubt Orcas Island is where it’s at, y’all.
During our last visit, the rumor mill was working overtime thanks to news that Oprah and her “Live Your Best Life” partner in crime Bob Greene had purchased property on the island. We were surprised but it was believable given that every time we visit the island there’s news of another big celebrity sighting and/or real estate deal. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Condoleeza Rice, Josh Groban, Kat Dennings, the list goes on. Seriously, this place is the best-kept secret on the planet.
During our stay, we scoped out the area that we believed Oprah’s house was based on all the rumors…and we were damn close!
Thanks to our local island connections and diligent pals keeping an eye out, Velvet Ropes can now exclusively confirm that in a multi-million dollar deal closing on May 31, 2018, Oprah bought a massive compound on Orcas Island!
Oprah House Orcas Island, Washington
Located on the Eastern coast of Orcas Island’s East Sound sits the 41-acre estate known as Madroneagle – now known as the Oprah house! Of course, a house wasn’t enough. The sprawling property is home to the Madromeagle Estate, a tea house, a custom sauna, a barn/workshop, an underground hut, a craft shed, among others.
It appears that Oprah purchased the property in two separate transactions.
According to public records, the larger parcel went for $7,150,00 and was purchased by West Hollywood-based Madrona Tree LLC, whose administrator manages Oprah’s personal finances. The second parcel was purchased by Seed Money LLC of Telluride, CO for $1,125,000. After a bit of digging, we noticed that the administrator of Madrona Tree LLC is the same as that on file for Seed Money.
The location of the property doesn’t get any better. Completely private and secluded, Oprah now has over 3,000 feet of West-facing private shoreline. On the other side is a thick forest full of private paths and hiking trails. Not far from Rosario Resort, Orcas Island’s premier hotel, spa, and marina, Oprah’s oasis is in the heart of the luxurious action.
The homes were owned and built by a prominent designer who lived on the island…and boy is it a beauty!
THE MADRONEAGLE ESTATE
The main house is a whopping 7,303 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms spread across 3 levels. Natural woods are used throughout the home solidifying its all-American, cabin feel. The floors were even brought in from the old Sears’ building in Chicago and refinished for the home. As you enter the home you’re greeted by a massive, hanging art piece that frames the foyer and sets the stage for what’s to come.
The main level houses the kitchen, the living room, dining area, and bedrooms. The master bedroom features a stone wall with natural wood accents and an en-suite master bathroom full of marble and spa-like amenities.
A custom-built staircase leads to the upper level, where you’ll find a huge bonus room/additional living room, as well as a decked out game room. And of course, a bathroom for easy access during Oprah’s all-nighters playing pool. Ok, maybe not.
The lower level has a huge home office, but more important than that, there’s a wine cellar and tasting room!
The exterior of the home is lush with native trees and plants manicured to a tee. Slate stone pavers weave through the gardens, which sets the tone of the Zen-like feel of an already peaceful, earthy landscape.
AROUND THE PROPERTY
Like we said, there are multiple structures around the property that, as the listing suggests, inspire creativity and wellness. Live your best life Lady O!
The tea house is a gazebo of sorts, located just outside the main house and overlooking the East Sound. All 4 walls are made up of windows and it’s surrounded by a patio, with a firepit of course.
The barn is a woodworkers dream. I think it’s safe to say Oprah will repurpose it. But in the lower level of the barn is a workout studio and yoga room with a wall of doors that open to a magnificent view.
The sauna is completely secluded and built into the land. No wonder Oprah bought this place. I guess this is what it takes to recharge after blessing us with those ‘Aha Moments’ day after day!
The Hut. Let’s see. I don’t know how to explain it. It looks like a Hobbit house and is built into the ground. Seems cool but I have no idea what it’s for. Maybe it’s where she’ll go to count all her money.
More photos and location details at Oprah’s Ocras Island Home profile on Velvet Ropes.
Is Oprah Buying the Whole Island?
We’ve also been told by multiple locals that either Oprah and/or her fitness guru Bob Greene has purchased prominent commercial real estate in Eastsound, the quaint downtown area on the island. One of them is a multi-unit shopping plaza on North Beach Road. The other is the building where the islands beloved Brown Bear Baking is located. Speaking of “The Bears” as the locals call it – it’s amazing! We don’t visit Orcas without daily visits for pastries, sandwiches, and their amazing coffee. Owners Lee and David are fabulous, too!
We haven’t confirmed it ourselves just yet but our local sources, one of which is a well-placed real estate agent, has confirmed those rumors and says other big purchases by Oprah are on the way.
It’s unclear when or why she became so interested in the island but she is bound to leave an impression. As for what the locals think…those that we know are stoked for a surge in tourism which is already a booming business from June to September. Though, I’m sure there are a few who wish their sleepy little island would remain a quiet, sacred place. Ain’t nobody got time for that – Oprah has come to town!
Itching for more Oprah? Head over here to see The Promised Land, Oprah’s primary residence in Montecito, CA.
And if you want EVEN MORE Oprah, check out this promotional video of the brand new Oprah House!
**A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that The Gallery House was included in Oprah’s transaction. Thanks to a local tip we now know that although The Gallery House was owned by the same person, it was sold to a Boeing executive, not Oprah. We hear he recently demolished the home to make way for a mansion of his own. Below are the details of that home:
THE GALLERY HOUSE
Perched on a cliffside overlooking the private beach is the guest house, which the previous owners named The Gallery House. To me, a guest house is a one-room shack and a futon…for Oprah, it’s a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2,948 square foot palace.
Although still gorgeous, The Galley House is much more simple than the main. Natural woods line the ceiling creating a beautiful contrast with the crisp white walls. Perhaps the best feature of the home is a series of decks overlooking the water and property.
After some digging, we discovered that The Gallery House was actually built in 1980 and is the original residence on the property. The Main House wasn’t built until 2007.