Feature / North America / Turks and Caicos Islands / Parrot Cay
Postcard from Parrot Cay, by Elena Bowes
Situated in the northern Caribbean 575 miles southeast of Miami, the Parrot Cay resort in Turks and Caicos can be reached via a weekly direct flight on British Airways from London to Providenciales as well as direct flights from NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and Atlanta. Arriving in 'Provo' you then take the Parrot Cay’s private boat direct to the 1,000-acre resort; a 35 minute journey through aquamarine waters.
What sets Parrot Cay apart from other holiday resorts I’ve been to is the down-to-earth, cool, chilled vibe, as well as the natural beauty of the island and water. The pale, calm sea reminds me of the Maldives. Each day I’d step onto the cool white sand, look out at the vast shimmering azure water dotted with inviting sand bars, and sigh. It was just too beautiful. There’s a reef out at sea which protects the shallow bay making it the perfect play area for little kids, as well as big kids who like to walk, talk and wade along the mile-long beach.
Parrot Cay itself is extremely pretty and stylish with its under-stated, whitewashed and teak Hamptons-style decor, generous terraces facing the sea and lush gardens leading down to the water. The resort has 72 keys to accommodations ranging in size from one to five bedroom. A butler comes with any of the two-bedroom plus options. Some friends of ours were staying in a two-bedroom villa, complete with Dewa, a Balinese butler who always appeared as if by magic when needed, and was invisible otherwise. He’s worth requesting. Although we three were butler-less in our over-sized Como suite (number 105), we were very content. Our suite had French doors leading onto a wide veranda with distant sea views, two bathrooms (one with a bath and shower), an attractive living room with two Balinese day beds and a four-poster in the main bedroom. Lounging indoors and out filled our days. I would make sure to ask for the higher rooms on the first floor versus ground. They’re more private and have better views.
Parrot Cay attracts a bohemian, glamorous crowd from LA and Manhattan. My fashionista daughter spotted Pierre Hardy, shoe designer for Balenciaga and Hermes, there with his boyfriend. Donna Karan, Bruce Willis, Keith Richards and Christie Brinkley all have houses to rent on the estate. We spent a lot of time after lunch at the delicious Asian-inspired Lotus restaurant by the gorgeous infinity pool checking out the mix of sunbathing, beautiful strangers.
The only slight flaws I found are that the resort could use more eating options. It’s the kind of resort one doesn’t want to leave so it should have more than just two restaurants. While the seaside Lotus Restaurant is lovely and serves delicious, healthy food, the Terrace restaurant in the poorly designed main building is only average. Another small gripe is that while the Southeast Asian staff are uniformly very good, the local staff are a bit more hit and miss. Our housekeeper kept hanging around for a tip when we were packing up to leave. Despite these slight flaws, we hope to return next Easter and stay a few days longer.
Cultural & Travel Writer