Be ready for a sense of expansive tranquility to wash over you as you step onto the dock of COMO Hotels and Resorts’ Turks & Caicos wellness outpost. Everything about the COMO Parrot Cay Resort & Retreat, from the endless turquoise sea to miles of empty powder-white beaches to the resort’s airy, teak-framed aesthetic conspires to create a sensation of space and peaceful seclusion. The private island retreat, which was voted Turks & Caicos’ Best Resort Spa 2016 by World Spa Awards, is an ideal sanctuary to declutter your mind, relax and recenter.
The jewel in the resort’s crown is its world-renowned COMO Shambhala spa, which serves up holistic, Asian-inspired treatments emphasizing mind-body wellness. Resident wellness staff include an Ayurvedic doctor available for individual consultation, reiki healing and meditation guidance, and several highly trained therapists specialized in various massage modalities, including Niyaphun Ditsayashairoj (Nina) who focuses on traditional Thai massage and manual lymphatic drainage (read our full interview with Nina here). In addition to massage, a range of Ayurvedic body treatments are on offer, as well as extensive facial treatments using Sundari Ayurvedic or Dr. Hauschka skincare and incorporating techniques such as lymphatic drainage, aromatherapy and muscle-stimulating electrical currents. One of the resort’s most popular treatments is the COMO Shambhala Bath, an indulgent relaxation ritual combining dry brushing and an aromatic body scrub followed by a hot bath and finished with the signature long-stroke COMO Shambhala massage.
While the resort’s gym is open 24 hours and personal training sessions are available, like all COMO Shambhala retreats COMO Parrot Cay takes a gentle, Eastern-inspired approach to wellness rather than a bootcamp mentality. The stunning natural surroundings, luxurious accommodation and fine dining attract not just health-focused travelers but also guests simply looking to recharge and vacation in a beautiful setting. As a result, while you can easily fill your days with complimentary yoga or pilates overlooking the North Caicos Channel, 5k runs or bike rides though coconut and banana groves, swimming in crystal clear water off a deserted beach, or taking in surrounding islands and wetlands from the spa’s outdoor Jacuzzi garden, the resort’s wellness aspects are not necessarily emphasized but rather subtly incorporated throughout the COMO Parrot Cay experience.
COMO Parrot Cay’s relaxed vibe combines a feeling of spaciousness with a sense of privacy, likely part of its appeal to the numerous celebrities who own homes on the island. Donna Karan’s 16-room complex is available for large groups, as is Christie Brinkley’s three-bedroom estate on the island’s sunset facing shoreline. (Keith Richards and Bruce Willis also maintain properties on Parrot Cay.) Guests not in the market for multi-villa rentals can choose from single rooms and suites, each with verandahs, located near the resort’s main facilities a three-minute walk from the beach, or beachfront houses of varying sizes with daybed terraces and plunge or infinity pools.
It’s worth highlighting the resort’s food, which is ultra-fresh and truly gourmet. Breakfast is served in the Terrace restaurant looking out over electric blue waters, and features unlimited hot and cold orders, an array of incredible fresh juices, and to-die-for coconut milk cold brew using coconuts from the onsite plantation. Most produce is grown organically on the island before making its way into Caribbean-influenced dishes for lunch or a choice of Southeast-Asian or Mediterranean-inspired fare for dinner (coconut panna cotta with guava sorbet, anyone?). Both the Terrace restaurant slightly inland and the beachside Lotus restaurant next to the stunning main infinity pool have al fresco and indoor dining options. A special organic, low fat, vegetable-oriented COMO Shambhala Retreat Cuisine menu is available for those looking to round out their wellness experience.
English tea is offered in the resort’s library each afternoon in a nod to Turks’ British colonial heritage, but unless you run into Bruce Willis at the beach bar, that’s about it for entertainment. COMO Parrot Cay has a true castaway feel that may be a drawback for some vacationers, but will appeal to travelers seeking to restore themselves in a serene environment. If you’ve ever wished you had a perfect beach all to yourself and are a fan of Eastern-style rejuvenation, this is the retreat for you.