For the private island experience, it has traditionally been necessary to travel halfway around the world to archipelagos like the Maldives or Fiji on planes, yachts and automobiles. Accessibility—or rather a lack of—has been part of the charm of honeymooning away from the masses.
Yet one of the world’s most refined private islands is close to home: Parrot Cay, a 1,000-acre isle in the Turks & Caicos, is so easily accessible (a short flight from Florida, plus a 20-minute boat ride) and yet so exclusive, it seems almost too good to be true—at least until you stand on its impossibly white sands in front of your two-bedroom Beach House, while your personal butler mixes up a pitcher of rum punch.
Paradise No question. The private beach surrounded by native vegetation on one side and calm, turquoise waters on the other imparts a delicious feeling of isolation. It is tempting to never leave the confines of the Asian-style retreat, designed in modern Balinese rhythms and decorated with honey-toned woods and white fabrics.
And why not It’s all here: a private plunge pool with a wooden deck for lounging and private dining; airy interiors; two bedroom suites with dressing rooms, glass-enclosed bathrooms and outdoor showers; and the aforementioned butler, who will see to your every whim, including organizing an über-romantic dinner under the stars.
One good reason to venture out of your Beach House is an encounter with the COMO Shambhala Retreat. Nestled within the wetlands, the holistic spa offers unique opportunities for Asian-inspired modalities, such as Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations, Abhyanga massage, shiatsu, Javanese royal baths, Shirodhara, Indian head massage, Pizichili oil treatment and a full yoga and meditation schedule.
For honeymooners, the COMO Shambhala Cottage is a private spa sanctuary for two that can be rented for four or eight hours.
The Shambhala notion also extends to food. An extensive menu with raw, vegan, vegetarian and clean-dining options is available alongside the resort’s island cuisine—and is really rather divine, both in variety and taste.
Not surprisingly, Parrot Cay has been discovered by a few celebrities (Donna Karan, Keith Richards, Bruce Willis, Christie Brinkley) and A-Listers who have purchased property on the island. So you never know who you might run into—if only you could tear yourself away from your private slice of paradise. (866-388-0036, parrotcay.com)