A private island is the ultimate canvas upon which to express oneself, as a visit to Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands will attest.
Consider the joy of a new room or a new house. As a designer, you get to start from scratch, create your idealized vision—it’s pure projection. Children, you might argue, are an even better example, but who’s kidding who—they’ll never listen to you. Now a private island—what could be better than that? Your own little utopia, to make of it what you will. I think I know what I want for Christmas this year.
Parrot Cay has all the right ingredients to start: a long powdery shoreline backed by delicate dunes; shallow, gin-clear waters in all the right shades of blue; and a lush jungly interior with magnificent elevation and foliage. When COMO Hotels took ownership many moons ago, there was just one building on the island, built inland from the beach in the classic caribbean plantation style with red-tiled roofs and wrap-around balconies. This is now home to the reception area, terrace restaurant and library. Spilling down toward the beach like buttresses are the ocean view rooms, garden view rooms and COMO suites—all spacious and well designed with lovely balconies and open air views. But all the best bits of the property are closer to the beach.
Nestled in behind the dunes are the beach houses and beach villas, the pool area, a second restaurant and the gym. Here the signature COMO style and sensibility is truly on display. Weathered wood exteriors contrast beautifully with clean white interiors, accented by clean lines and simple Balinese teak furnishings. The result, in my humble opinion, is total perfection—an idealized vision of beach shack chic. The beach houses and villas have their own plunge pools, private gardens and direct beach access, not to mention butler service so you never have to leave your room. And that is exactly what happens here—despite the hotel being full during our stay it never felt “busy”.
My only real beefs were the boats that pass close to shore, and the lack of bicycles to get around the island (most people walk or use golf carts). It is also worth noting that the beach is better suited to families and couples who love walking and wading—snorkellers and divers need to boat out to the reef. All in all Parrot Cay is a slam dunk for travellers who prize service, soul and private island perfection. I am one of those travellers, and cannot think of a better place to relax, restore and get away from it all.
We’re not quite sure how Greg scored all the trips down south this winter, but we highly suggest you follow in his footsteps.