Turks and Caicos' Parrot Cay - The Perfect “Gilt-Free” Getaway!

turksviewIt first hit us in the speedboat as Bill and I were crossing from Providenciales (Provo to locals) to Parrot Cay – the sweet pure air that smelled of sea salt mixed with a bit of banana and coconut! I closed my eyes and felt the freshest air I had ever experienced. The air will steal you away from anywhere! For us, it took us from Palm Beach to the Como Hotel and Resorts – the only hotel on the private three mile long Cay. I suppose the fact that the hotel staff picks you up at the airport, drives you to the private dock that takes you by boat to the Cay and your own villa where your luggage is awaiting you only adds to our gracious welcome.

The main hotel, situated on top of a hill, was decorated in British Colonial style and free of excessive ornament. White walls, natural woods and fabric in the choice of furnishings, the hotel – like the air outside – spoke of purity and freshness. Beside the hotel itself, there are beach villas and private homes that can be booked through the hotel. The further away from the refinements of the hotel the more private and rugged the landscape.


Instead of facing the check-in counter, we were offered a Rum Punch as we waited for our personal butler to take us via golf cart (no cars on the island) to our beach villa. Like the hotel, our villa was a modern version of British Colonial.

I can see why Rocker Keith Richard has a home on Parrot Cay. (By the way, one can book his home through the hotel.) It is a respite from all the amplified noise, A lists, rope lines, gas fumes, glitter and galas that mark our lives. Instead one finds fine white sand, Bougainvillea in shades of purple and Palm Beach Pink, birds – some rare and endemic - like the Kestrel, Banana Quit or Ringed Neck Booby, and noise? … The sound of surf.

For our first night at Parrot Cay, we chose to dine in their private Tiki Hut situated between the infinity pool and the sea. We dined on Kusshi Oysters, Steamed Rock Shrimp Dumplings, Steamed Halibut, and Crispy Pressed Duch with Asian Kale in and aromatic Orange Reduction. Oh yes, and a full moon illuminating the water.

After feasting the night before in the Tiki Hu,t I figured it was time to get serious – and what is more serious than Ayurvedic Therapy!

turksspaWith the fear and trepidation of an American ordering off a foreign language menu, I stumble through the various Eastern inspired massage therapies offered at the Shambhala Spa, including the exotic sounding Ayurvedic therapy, Abhyanga rhythmic therapy, and Pizichili.

Since I am a foodie at heart I considered the Pizichili Package as it sounds like it tastes the best, but the Javanese Royal Lulur Bath - a beauty ritual from the Royal Palaces of Central Java stole my heart.

This gentle exfoliating treatment begins with an Indonesian Massage, followed by a body scrub with aromatic mixed spices and warm yoghurt, a relaxing bath, ending with a soothing application of body lotion. It was the yoghurt that sold it for me, and for nearly two hours I contemplated the nature of bliss.

I think what makes the atmosphere of Parrot Cay so gentle and serene is the loving attendance of COMO’s staff that respects both the visitor and the essence of the Cay itself. Paradise.

Did I mention we had a full moon…

Parrot Cay by COMO
PO Box 164 Providenciales
Turks and Caicos Islands
British West Indies


Nancy Ellison, award winning photojournalist and celebrity portraitist, has authored fourteen books of photographs, including "Romeo and Juliet: The Love Story in Dance" and "Starlet". Her latest book, "Wagner's Eternal Ring" was published in September 2010 by Rizzoli.