These four secluded islands deliver luxury in the heart of paradise
Imagine an escape from stress and distractions, a place accessible by boat, where you can relax or recreate far from the crowds, enjoying unrivaled personal attention or a blissful solitude. This is the private island experience, and we have found four Caribbean islands that provide the ideal combination of luxury, seclusion and personal relaxation.
Scrub Island Resort, BVI
The location is ideal for anyone who loves the water. Scrub Island sits one mile from the east end of Tortola, and is ideally situated for a wide range of waters sports and nautical adventures. Fisherman are close to the rich waters of the North Drop, known as some of the best waters in the world for tuna and blue marlin fishing. The British Virgins are also known as the hub of sailing in the Caribbean, and bareboat and captained charters typically begin in nearby Tortola. The resort’s marina provides provisioning for boats as well as 55 slips for overnight dockage. And, the surrounding shallows and reefs are a must for snorkelers and divers. Guests can experience new adventures at on-site sailing and diving schools, sign up for island hopping boat tours or take a relaxing cruise to the spectacular rock formations at the Baths.
A stay on the island at one of the 52 water view rooms at Marina Village make for easy access to shops, bars, restaurants and pools. Larger parties will want to book one of the villas. Offering two or three bedrooms these private homes are equipped with full chef’s kitchens, private pools and views of Great Camanoe Island. Soothing views of blue waters complements a trio of upscale restaurants, private candlelit beachside dining and a top rated spa. The island’s natural ecosystem remains intact, with hiking trails leading to private coves and hilltop views. Three sandy beaches can be reached by walking or a ride in the resort’s shuttle—the only vehicles on the island.
Perched on a three-mile stretch of white sand beach overlooking the world’s third longest barrier reef, this five-star boutique resort includes just 27 suites, cottages and villas on a 96-acre private island. Residences are positioned for privacy; yet within easy strolling distance of neighbors and central amenities for recreation, fine dining and social activities. Villa interiors feature soaring beamed ceilings, Indonesian furniture and sun decks overlooking the sea. Kamalame Cay operates on eco-friendly principles, and is moving toward 100 percent solar power. An onsite garden supplies many of the greens and herbs used in locavore-themed meals, and free-range chickens supply fresh eggs for morning omelets.
In addition to beach time, guests can enjoy a full range of water sports, including kayaking, snorkeling, diving and fishing on the reefs that plunge into the vivid blue waters of the Tongue of the Ocean. Ashore, beach bikes are a favorite for cruising the shaded sand road that runs the length of the island, while an the overwater spa with ceiling to floor windows face the turquoise lagoon. Cottages and villas include full-equipped kitchens, with private chef services available, while the Great House is home to one of the top-rated restaurants in the Bahamas. In addition to monthly wine pairings the newest social mixer on the island is a progressive dinner where guests dine at a different villa for every course, ending up on the beach for desert.
Peter Island Resort, BVI
The largest private island in the British Virgins, Peter Island is separated from the bustle of Tortola by the blue waters of the Sir Francis Drake channel. A private yacht ferries guests to this 1,300 acre oasis of tropical solitude, where guests can settle into seaside suites and villas and enjoy all the perks of a world-class resort. As one might expect, water sports such as sailing, diving and snorkeling feature prominently, but many guests come for relaxation, and find it at the world-class spa, and on nature walks along paths that lead to quiet coves and hidden beaches.
Peter Island offers a beach for every mood and every day. For an active day, Deadman’s Beach has all of the water toys including windsurfers, snorkel gear and paddle boards. Instruction is available and after an energetic day on the water, Deadman’s Bar & Grill is right there to replenish and nourish. Away from the activity yet great for a swim is nearby Little Deadman’s Beach. For the quintessential palm tree-studded sandy beach where waves gently roll onshore, there is Big Reef Bay. The spa overlooks this area, which is a perfect tropical escape in the early mornings and evenings. Aptly named Honeymoon Beach provides the romance of a grass-roofed shelter where private catered picnics are served, and on the opposite side of the island sits the pristine shores of White Bay where you can spend the day snorkeling with sea turtles.
When guests depart from Providenciales for a half-hour boat ride to Parrot Cay, a 1,000-acre island, it is as if they are stepping into another world, where everyday cares and responsibilities are put on hold. Surrounded by the shimmering turquoise waters for which the Turks & Caicos Islands are famous, this East Indian inspired resort and expansive natural surroundings become a canvas to create your formula for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Walk the 3.2 miles of sugary sands that surround the island, snorkel in the shallows or commune with nature in the tranquility of the nature preserve. The island’s mangrove forests and wetlands are home to 175 species of birds.
It’s hard to return to reality after spending time at Parrot Cay, but easy to depart in better shape than when you arrived. On the tranquil eastern side of the island you will find the COMO Shambhala Retreat, an Asian-influenced spa with gardens, pools, terraces and pavilions for yoga and mediation overlooking the wetlands towards the North Caicos channel. Mind body connections are endemic to Parrot Cay and part of the experience of staying there. Asian-based therapies range from shiatsu to Ayurvedic detox programs. An Ayurvedic doctor is a permanent resident, for those who wish to undergo a consultation and program. You can be as active as you wish and most guests take in a yoga class in the early morning, a Pilates session midday and an afternoon swim. Guests also relish the Asian and Mediterranean influenced cuisines as well as the healthy Shambhala cuisine, which is designed to energize and nourish; yet delivering a delicious distinctive gourmet experience. Homemade organic carrot cake is on the dessert menu.