Quick Takeaway: Luxury Caribbean private island experience just three hours from NYC
First Interaction: Greeted at private marina with prosecco for check in before heading on a quick 30 minute scenic boat ride to Parrot Cay
Hotel Amenities: 63 Hotel Rooms, 12 Private Residences, 2 Restaurants, 2 Bars (Beachfront and Hilltop), Pool, Wellness & Fitness Center, Tennis courts, Hiking Trail, Banana and Coconut Plantations
Rooms: Regular garden-view rooms starting at around $500 with a wide selection of beachfront houses, beachfront villas, and private residences ranging from $1,500 - $20,000+/night
Room Amenities: (1 Bedroom Beach House) - Wifi, Speakers, Wet-bar, 2 Bathrooms, Large Closets, Beachfront Access, Private Plunge Pool, Comfortable Bed, Large TVs, Spacious Living Room, Screened In Porch, Daybeds, Outdoor Shower, and Lounge Chairs.
In January 2018, we were fortunate to visit the Maldives and stay at COMO’s Cocoa Island property for Lucas’s 30th birthday. Our experience there with the brand was absolutely incredible and it set a very high bar for any future stays at their other properties. When COMO invited us to stay at their Parrot Cay resort in Turks & Caicos for Ben’s birthday, we couldn’t have been more excited.
Their beautiful 1000-acre private island is just a three-hour flight and 30-minute boat ride from NYC; however, it felt like half a world away. Originally called Pirate Cay, the island was discovered by a bad-ass female pirate in the 1700’s, who came across its pristine beaches and resided there for the years to come. Eventually, the island was purchased and owned by a Kuwaiti family until financial troubles hit during the Gulf War. It was at this point in 1988, that they sold the largely untouched private island to COMO Hotels. As impressive as its rich history is the fact that COMO has kept the island largely undeveloped to this day, making it the perfect place to disconnect, relax, and take in its unspoiled natural Caribbean beauty. This long birthday weekend escape was perfectly spent sunning and reading on the beach, swimming in the clearest blue waters we’ve ever seen (yes, it rivals that of the Maldives), playing tennis, eating delicious meals, drinking fresh-fruit cocktails, and enjoying each other’s company in the tropical paradise setting that we love more than anything else!
HOW DID YOU GET THERE?
Three hour direct JetBlue flight from JFK, 15-minute taxi to private marina, followed by a 30-minute boat ride to Parrot Cay. Quick and easy enough for a weekend escape.
HOW WERE THE ROOMS?
We were surprised on arrival with an upgrade to a one-bedroom beach house, complete with a large living room, two bathrooms, bar and kitchen area, a screened in porch, large back-yard terrace with daybeds, a private plunge pool, direct beachfront access, and our own private butler (Shout out to Anil). COMO Parrot Cay has a huge variety of room types and sizes, perfect for the couple looking to splurge or for families. Here are the main categories:
Rooms & Suites: Located in the main building up on the hill – these large rooms and suites have all the modern luxury amenities that you can think of which are complemented by a beachy-minimalist décor to enhance the serene island vibe. These rooms also offer west-facing garden and beach views with large balconies fitted with day beds and lounge chairs.
Beach Houses & Villas: 15 Freestanding beachfront homes and villas ranging from 1-3 bedrooms in size. All options in this category come with private pools, multiple bathrooms, and direct access to the beach’s white sand and turquoise waters.
Private Residences: There are 12 spectacular private residences on Parrot Cay – mostly owned by well-known celebrities like Donna Karen, Christy Brinkley, Bruce Willis, Keith Richards, and others. We got a tour of some of the homes, which were all unique and truly breathtaking in their own way. If you’re able to throw down (some can fetch as much as $60,000 per night), these homes are often available for rental when their celebrity owners are not on the island!
WHO WAS STAYING AT THE HOTEL?
Couples & Honeymooners
Groups of Adult Friends
Some Family with Children
WHAT DID YOU DO THERE?
Similar to most of our beach vacations, this section is pretty light – as “doing things” is not really the point. We like to use these times to escape hectic life in NYC and not be tied down to any sort of schedule, other than meal time of course. COMO Parrot Cay offers plenty of activities – from tennis, yoga and wellness, water sports, and a selection of unique excursion experiences. During our long weekend, our days consisted of relaxing beach and pool side, riding bikes to explore the islands banana and coconut plantations, playing tennis for an afternoon sweat, and lots of laughs.
In between meals, and glasses of prosecco, we spent one afternoon using the free kayaks and paddle boards and exploring the perfectly clear turquoise waters which extended out endlessly around the island. We also indulged in their signature Shambhala Spa's couples aromatherapy massage. COMO Parrot Cay provides an experience where you can partake in as much or as little as you’d like to, and truly customize your stay to fit your style – in our case that was a lot of relaxing.
HOW WERE THE FOOD AND DRINKS?
COMO Parrot Cay has two restaurants – both with an incredible (and expensive) varying menu with a lot of seafood, Asian-inspired dishes, and healthy alternatives. The main Terrace restaurant up on the hill serves breakfast and dinner, with a beautiful view of the island and ocean below, especially during sunset. The poolside restaurant, Lotus, was our favorite spot to dine for lunch and dinner during our stay. The best part of Lotus was its beachfront bar extension with large daybeds, lounge chairs, and fire pit area – the perfect place to watch the sunset with a pre-dinner martini (which was always on-point).
Breakfast: Free buffet with delicious daily juices (like watermelon, cucumber, and ginger), pastries, salmon, meats, cheeses, toast, and the best homemade peanut butter - which actually tasted identical to the peanut butter they served in their Cocoa Island property which was pretty impressive. From the a-la-carte menu, the eggs Benedict and coconut waffles were our favorite stand-out dishes.
Lunch: Prawn dumplings, crab rolls, rock shrimp pad thai, and conch fritters were the highlights
Dinner: The large ravioli stuffed with fresh crab and the slow-cooked braised short rib were the most memorable dishes
Wine: Glasses started at $20 and bottles at $80
Cocktail: Cocktails were an investment at $24 each. We loved the Pina Colada/Mai Tai hybrid – appropriately named the PinaTai.