Once a wild, uninhabited island, now a shimmering whitewashed wellness retreat, Como Parrot Cay is a colourful Caribbean feather in the Como hotel group’s cap. Destination du jour for the honeymooning A-list, this private Caicos island boutique hotel has the effortless minimalist cool you’d expect from a Como property, plus an award-winning spa and a mile of unspoilt, uninhabited and unforgettable beach…
Get this when you book through us:
$100 resort credit for guests staying in Rooms, Suites and One Bedroom Beach Houses, or for guests staying in Two Bedroom Beach Houses or a Villa, $200 resort credit
Noon; earliest check-in is 4pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability (and an additional fee for late check-out).
Double rooms from £1086.14 ($1,373), including tax at 22 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of 5% per booking on check-out.
Rates include breakfast, scheduled yoga or pilates classes, and non-motorised watersports.
For the whole of September.
At the hotel
Spa, his ’n’ hers Jacuzzis, yoga pavilion, Pilates hut, gym, two tennis courts, pool, table tennis, running trail, waterway, WiFi-equipped library, CD/DVD selection. In rooms: TV, DVD/CD player, minibar, custom-made Vidivi bed linen, Como Shambhala toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
The prospect of waking up with her head on Bruce Willis’ pillow has always appealed to Mrs Smith; Mr Smith would settle for Christie Brinkley’s – at Como Parrot Cay, you can do both, by renting one of the celebrity-owned, butler-equipped Parrot Cay Estates. The hotel’s less stalkerish lodgings in the main resort are no less glamour-drenched: white-draped four-posters, Balinese-style furniture, private sun-decks, and a peace-inducing palette of cream, terracotta, powder blue and beech wood. The six one-bedroom Beach Houses have cooling plunge pools on their hardwood verandas.
Surrounded by white-cushioned loungers, lush vegetation and shady day-bed pavilions, and a beach bar, Parrot Cay’s breath-nabbing infinity pool is a vast shimmering square overlooking the boats perched on the beachfront.
As well as indulging in the spa’s blend of Thai, Indonesian, Ayurvedic, and hot-stone massages and treatments, you can also book an ‘intuitive counsellor’ to give you semi-psychic guidance. The spa also serves a mean ginger tea.
Loose clothing for yoga and Pilates (but leave your mat at home – the hotel have several to loan); tennis shoes for bashing about on the courts; super-sized sunglasses for surreptitious celeb-spotting.
Non-smoking rooms available on request.
Under-12s can stay free, and babysitting is available from $15 an hour. Pre-booking essential.
The poolside Lotus Restaurant serves light dishes and Caribbean-inspired lunches during the day, turning into a Southeast Asian fusion eaterie by night. The octagonal Terrace Restaurant is more formal, with an Italian-leaning Mediterranean menu. Book a candlelit dinner for two in the Tiki Hut, which is perched away from the crowd near the waves, for local specialties such as tender lionfish, conch ceviche drizzled with zingy dressing, and garlicky lobster tail.
There are bars beside each of the restaurants: one next to poolside Lotus Restaurant and one beside Terrace Restaurant. The signature Parrot Cay Lemon cocktail is a moreish mish-mash of lemon, lime, vodka and triple sec.
Both restaurants stop serving at 9.30pm, but food can be served in your room until 10pm. The bars keep the cocktails shaking until the last guest leaves.
Snacks and meals can be served in rooms from 7am to 10.30pm.
Set on a private island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, Como Parrot Cay is a secluded tropical escape easily accessed from both Providenciales and Grand Turk.
Providenciales Airport is the main gateway to the Turks and Caicos. It has services from London Heathrow via the Bahamas with British Airways and via Miami or New York with American Airlines. Hotel staff will meet you at the airport and drive you the 15 minutes to Leewood Marina, where you’ll catch a boat for the 35-minute trip to Parrot Cay.
The hotel sits on a private island, so you won’t need a car for most of your stay. If you want some wheels for a day trip, the concierge is happy to arrange some for you.
Note that the 50-minute car-and-boat transfer costs US$198 a person for the round trip. Should you want a private speedboat transfer between Providenciales and Parrot Cay (available for up to 16 people), the hotel can happily arrange that for a fee.
Worth getting out of bed for
Private-island pursuits include beach lazing and world-class scuba-diving – one of the world's top 10 scuba sites is close by. Como's spas are highly renowned for their body- and mind-soothing, ayurvedic and aromatherapy treatments; book in a few while you’re there. Take part in free alfresco yoga sessions, or book a class in the Pilates cottage. There’s also a mile-long private beach to spend time on, and a glittering infinity pool to float in.
Thank goodness for stylish Caribbean boutique resort Como Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos. It’s the second week of our honeymoon, and both Mr Smith and I feel that we need to start taking things up a notch or two on the indulgent-luxury scale. We’d spent the first week of our married life at the sort of earnest US wellness spa that had us exercising at dawn, abstaining at lunchtime and getting pummeled by masseuses’ meaty hands by sundown. Indeed, all this had made us so tired that we’d been crawling into bed by 9pm most nights – and not even in a good, newlywed sort of way.
We flew into main island Providenciales, just an hour’s flight from Miami, where we were met at the airport and transferred to a speedboat, along with two other couples, for the 40-minute trip across the water to the glamorous private island. It was late when we arrived and pitch-black; the water was restless, our stomachs churned and we all looked expectantly into the darkness, keen to be delivered onto dry land. Once safely disembarked, each couple was met by a member of staff on a buggy and whisked off to their room.
We were staying in a waterside villa, with direct access to the beach, our own plunge pool and a veranda. The beach house itself boasted a large, vaulted, whitewashed sitting room and kitchen with sliding double doors opening onto the bedroom. Inside, an airy four-poster teak bed with billowing white linen added to the romantic vibe. Leading off the bedroom, Mr Smith and I discovered the bathroom, complete with luxe power shower, a generous bath, double washbasins and plenty of high-end Como Shambhala toiletries.
A welcoming bottle of champagne sat invitingly on a tray in the sitting room, alongside some homemade canapés and a tempting bowl of fruit. Mr Smith and I looked at each other excitedly, then cracked open the fizz, wolfed down the salmon blinis and jumped on the bed. Week one was totally forgotten. This is how honeymoons are meant to be.
Still hungry, we ventured out to the poolside restaurant and bar, where we arrived to find the kitchen closed but the bar luckily still open. Small and cosy, the arched space offered both great sea views and comfy sofas for couples and friends to while away the night. The cocktail list was comprehensive and the service impeccable. High on the buzz of this ultra-cool yet super-relaxed hangout, Mr Smith and I enjoyed a spot of people-watching, listened to some live guitar music and looked out contentedly onto the wonderfully lit infinity pool and dark sea beyond. It was a real wow moment and the perfect introduction to the island.
I was awoken from my reverie by a nudge from Mr Smith. ‘Darling, have you seen who’s standing next to you?’ he whispered excitedly. It was film star Bruce Willis, barefooted and smaller than I had imagined. Mr Smith, however, was gazing at the diminutive action hero with awe. ‘He’s done more for bald men than any man alive,’ my shaven-headed husband muttered excitedly, as his eyes followed Bruce’s every move around the bar area.
The next morning we began our day with a revitalising yoga class before an even more satisfying breakfast served in the Terrace Room (yoga and Pilates classes, held in Parrot Cay’s exemplary Como Shambala spa, are free for guests). On the way back we spotted the gym, a detached wooden dwelling between the main hotel and the beach villas. We peeked inside, looked at the person running on the treadmill, then turned to each other and simultaneously hissed ‘Noel Gallagher!’ before quickly shutting the doors again. Ho hum. Another day, another celebrity sighting.
Lunch revealed yet another; actress Liv Tyler, her son Milo and musician Royston Langdon, who were all staying with Bruce. A-list celebs aside, though, we found our fellow guests to be interesting, intelligent, successful, easy-going people. We found ourselves meeting many of them over the next week and spent almost every evening at the bar, talking and drinking late into the night.
The food at Parrot Cay is as excellent as the company, but it doesn’t come cheap. You’re on a private island, so the hotel’s clientele are a totally captive audience food-wise – there’s not even a supermarket on the island, and there’s no possibility of eating outside the resort’s own restaurants unless you intend to chew sand. Luckily, the Asian- and Caribbean-inspired cuisine at the poolside Lotus restaurant, where Mr Smith and I ate all of our lunches and dinners, was absolutely superb.
On our last day, Mr Smith and I decided to treat ourselves to a massage – traditional Thai for him, satisfying deep-tissue for me – in the new purpose-built Como Shambhala spa. As honeymooners, I thought it’d be a good idea to have the massages in the same room. After all, I didn’t want him to get carried away and start asking his masseuse for ‘extras’. I’m so pleased we did – if we’d opted for separate studios, I’d have never witnessed the hilarious spectacle of my betrothed squealing like a girl as his new nemesis, a five-foot Thai lady, eased the last few stress knots from his shoulders.
We loved Como Parrot Cay. We found this private-island resort to be faultless and a welcome relief from the self-consciously stuffy ambience that you find in many of the world’s grand hotels. And half the world’s A-list, it seems, agrees with us. Bruce Willis even owns his own villa on the resort, and comes back time and time again. Old habits die hard, I guess.