PARROT CAY, Turks and Caicos -- It took just one stay at a
secluded, exclusive property like Parrot Cay here for me to realize
just how unrelaxing, busy and stressful a holiday at many of
today's large resort "vacation factories" in tropical locales
teeming with tourists, can be.
During a brief (three-night, four-day) stay at this Como Hotels
and Resorts property on nearly empty Parrot Cay -- just a stone's
throw from busier North Caicos Island -- my traveling companion and
I did little but sunbathe, dine, nap and swim, apart from one hour
of exercise each morning in the fully equipped gym and a single
massage session apiece at the on-site Shambhala spa.
No running between snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving,
banana-riding or water-skiing appointments for us, although resort
staff could arrange those and other activities for motivated
guests. No, we simply were, and enjoyed every minute of it.
Just as the couple who shared the boat ride with us from
Providenciales -- repeat visitors returning for a second visit,
without the kids -- had promised.
"You're going to love it," they said. "There's nothing to
More accurately, most guests seem to choose to do nothing; there
are free yoga and Pilates classes at the spa each morning, and
management can arrange activities such as spelunking on Middle
Caicos or beach picnics on secluded island strands.
Our big decisions each day were whether to sun on the 3.2-mile
white-sand beach or by the 5,500-square-foot infinity pool; it
mattered little, as the clear, turquoise waters of each were
Next on the agenda was what to have for lunch and dinner: Asian
fusion at the poolside Lotus eatery first, then Mediterranean at
the Terrace Restaurant in the hotel? Or vice versa?
The excellent meals at both ranked near the top of my Caribbean
dining experiences, and reservations weren't a problem, as access
to Parrot Cay is limited to paying guests.
They also ranked high on the cost scale: Each three-course meal,
without alcohol, for two people cost more than $100 for lunch and
$200 for dinner.
Agents should advise clients that room service is the only other
dining option at Parrot Cay, and it isn't any cheaper. Items and
notions in the gift shop are expensive, as well, so tell them to
Spa services, also pricey, are well worth the expense; a shiatsu
session -- a $200 value, in a treatment room overlooking marshy
North Caicos -- transported me to another plane.
Staff at Parrot Cay -- largely of Asian origin -- are
accommodating and helpful to a fault.
When we did rise from our lounges, we wandered along Parrot
Cay's beaches or through its dunes alone.
And though there was dining and dancing at the poolside Lotus
restaurant one Friday night, we opted to linger on our suite's
private veranda, gazing at the tropical skies before turning in for
an early night.
To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].
For more details on this article, see Parrot Cay resort
relies on agents to fill rooms.