Parrot Cay is a stylish addition to Turks and Caicos

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Associate editor Laura Dennis stayed at Parrot Cay, a new luxury resort in Turks and Caicos. Her report follows:

PARROT CAY, Turks and Caicos -- Parrot Cay is the epitome of Caribbean chic.

First of all, the resort is located on a private island and is accessible only by boat. Travelers are taken to the main house via golf carts. There are no formal check-in or checkout times.

A two-story holistic spa featuring Balinese and Thai massages (that are given by masseuses from Bali and Thailand) and a yoga facility are scheduled to open the first week of December.

The 56-unit property's clean and simple look is courtesy of United Designers, a London-based firm that worked on London's Metropolitan Hotel and Ireland's Clarence Hotel.

The infinity pool at Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos. The large guest rooms boast a cool white decor and sleek and stylish furnishings (skinny lamps, two high-back chairs with pull-out ottomans and an oversized desk). At the centerpiece is a four-poster bed with mosquito netting.

A Bose clock radio/CD player; "Sleep" (a book containing bedtime stories and poetry located on the nightstand); Philosophy bath products, and a teapot with a selection of Earl Grey teas further enhance the stylish surroundings.

If a guest has forgotten something, chances are Parrot Cay will have it. The resort supplies its guests with two sets of flip-flops, two straw tote bags, an umbrella big enough for two, a flashlight, a portable lantern, bottled water on the nightstand and even bug spray and repellent.

Rounding out the room amenities are a safe, two terry-cloth bathrobes, a hair dryer, a ceiling fan and air conditioning that automatically shuts off when the balcony doors open.

I arrived at Parrot Cay at night, and when I opened the white louvered balcony doors the following morning, it was breathtaking to look out on the resort's verdant landscape and turquoise waters from my deluxe oceanview room.

The balcony is quite inviting, with two chairs, a table, a candle and my favorite spot, a lounger that was bigger than a chair but smaller than a sofa and with comfortable pillows. The lounger is an ideal place to curl up with a good book or for a late-afternoon nap.

The only downside was not being able to use the balcony when the sun sets, because the mosquitoes were out in full force. The resort is looking to screen in the balconies to fix this problem.

For even more luxurious accommodations, Parrot Cay offers beach houses that have either one or two bedrooms, a kitchen/dining area, a living room, large bathrooms and screened-in porches. The two-bedroom beach houses also have private pools.

Relaxing and unwinding are the key elements to a Parrot Cay vacation. Rooms do not have TVs or VCRs, but guests can request them. The well-stocked, air-conditioned library contains a diverse selection of movies and books, including classics, current titles and ones for children. The library, which is located in the main house, also is equipped with Sony PlayStation. CDs can be borrowed, as well.

During the day, guests can be found lounging on the beach or at the resort's stunning infinity pool. A couple from Connecticut said they booked their stay after seeing the pool in Travel & Leisure magazine.

An open-air restaurant is located by the pool and serves lunch, which is not covered in the rate. (Breakfast and dinner are included).

If guests want to get a work- out, tennis courts, water-sports equipment and mountain bikes are available. There is also an air-conditioned fitness center.

At night, the main event is dinner, and many guests meet in the bar for predinner cocktails.

Service at the resort is top-notch, with the staff being a mix of locals and Asians. There is a strong Asian influence at Parrot Cay, which is reflected in the spa as well as the dining room menu. The menu is being revamped, and more a la carte items are being added.

According to hotel manager Nicholas Simmonds, 70% to 75% of guests are American, and the rest are a mix of Europeans and South Americans. He said most of the Americans are from the Eastern seaboard but added that business is picking up from Los Angeles and the Midwest.

Transfer info

PARROT CAY, Turks and Caicos -- To get to Parrot Cay from Providenciales Airport, guests take a 10-minute taxi ride to a marina.

They are then transported to Parrot Cay via a covered speedboat. The ride takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

If the speedboat is out of service, Parrot Cay has an alternate plan. Guests take a six-seater plane from Providenciales to North Caicos.

After landing, guests are met by a taxi, which takes them to a marina, where they are met by a boat for a short ride to the resort.

Rates for 2000

PARROT CAY, Turks and Caicos -- Parrot Cay set its rates for next year.

From Jan. 6 to April 24, rates range from $620 to $2,540. From April 25 to May 31 and from Oct. 15 to Dec. 17, prices will range from $520 to $2,140.

From June 1 to Aug. 31, rates range from $460 to $1,840. Rates are per room, per night.

The rates cover full American breakfast, dinner, roundtrip transfers and use of the tennis courts, mountain bikes and nonmotorized water sports.

The resort also offers a five-night Romantic Getaway that includes a stay in a deluxe, oceanview room.

Amenities include a bottle of champagne on arrival, lunch daily, a Parrot Cay gift, one excursion for two and tax and service charges.

Package prices range from $3,210 to $4,160.

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