Washed up on a private island
Updated: May 19
Suddenly I am spoiled. I didn’t ask to be, but now I am a devotee of seclusion. Being treated to a beachfront villa changed all the rules and raised the bar. Parrot Cay scored all the points for me becoming the ultimate and intimate Caribbean hideaway. And I need to say, even I’ve traveled and lived in the Caribbean.
This is a seductive beauty; the 1000-acre private island is a model of understated elegance, not because of the high priced décor, but for the natural treasures. I hope that I can capture the essence and feel of this soul-soothing sanctuary. The expression “less is more” is totally fitting. I would never have described it as thus prior to visiting. Though I had knowledge of the property by viewing the website and brochure….they do not do it justice.
The resort is a world unto itself and alive with hidden pleasures. Paths wind through lush gardens to ideally placed Bali beds, red-roof main buildings, the resort’s villas and the beach houses all fringed by calm, crystal-clear water and three miles of unspoiled porcelain white beaches. The whole package and atmosphere surprised me.
From the first offered traditional Japanese Oshibori – a cold hand towel with the intoxicating aroma of eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint- it became an obsession for me, even to this day. I loved burying my face in the Oshibori at every offering.
Now that I have been to the property and have learned about how it was transformed by Mrs. Ong – I have a much better understanding. Her additions are designed to merge with the landscape, a low lying resort. The interiors reflect simplistic elegance: sun-bleached woods, floating white muslin curtain surrounding the four-poster beds, Zen-inspired black and white photos, white duck covered lounge furnishings inviting you to sprawl, and nothing says “island” more than an a sexy outdoor shower.
One of my favorite amenities was the Bose CD player, on which I played Thai music, adding to the atmosphere. There is a flat screen TV – but the real entertainment is nature, powder sand beaches and the most brilliant turquoise water. I refused to miss one sunrise –there is something about watching the sky turn pink in blissful quiet, broken only by the gentle lap of waves.
Lotus restaurant served outstanding Asian-touched cuisine, with healthy, natural and organic dishes where you can taste the freshness. The staff was exceptional – polite, friendly and proactive hosts. The Terrace restaurant was equally enjoyable. The chef does an incredible job. I have to make a confession, I have to admit to having the best mini palmier I have ever eaten in my life – including Paris! It was perfection.
The COMO Shambhala Spa takes destination spas to a whole new level with their Indonesian and Balinese therapists. Susan Allison, the spa manager, is the epitome of a caring people person – her infusion of Aussie spunk adds to the charm. They have raised the bar again with the addition of the Indian-born Dr. Sataswati, an expert in holistic health, including Ayurveda and stress management. She consults with to help you put together a comprehensive program to detox, rejuvenate or simply to relax and feel well again.
The spa also offers two of Dr. Perricone’s “age defying facials” with olive oil and vitamin C. And to tackle from within, what can be only achieve on the surface, Parrot Cay’s chefs will feed you Dr. Perricone’s 3-Day Nutritional face lift, a diet of salmon three time a day for three days, plus salad steamed vegetables and seasonal berries washed down with mineral water and green tea.
It is no wonder with the combinations of all the offerings at Parrot Cay, that it was named the best spa in the Americas. With nothing to furrow the brow due to the serene atmosphere, I was amazed at how tensions just slipped away. I felt renewed in 24 hours, the body clock just unwinds here. Not only could you be quite comfortable here for a week, it just might prove to be healthy, nourishing and lifesaving…..and yes you are bound to go home feeling younger.
Atmosphere: spirit, ambience, mood….just lapping at the shoreline.