5 Reasons We Love Parrot Cay

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It’s easy to see why Turks and Caicos hideaway Parrot Cay retains a loyal following among European cognoscenti and fashion elite: the staff is helpful and attentive without being overbearing (most hail from Bali) and the overall feel of the place is easygoing elegance. With the exception of the colonial-style “main house,” the architecture is reminiscent of Bali, with teak wood floors, white canvas couches and pebble-strewn pathways. You can read more about this wonderful resort here, but we've also outlined five reasons why this private island destination should be on your radar.

1. You Can Jog Through a Banana Plantation

Located on the private island is a fully-functioning banana and coconut plantation. You can explore this shaded 3-mile-long Plantation Trail by foot or by bike (the resort has a few two-wheelers they lend to guests). There’s not a soul to be seen — at least, not a human one. You will spy lots of curly-tailed lizards skittering across the path and flocks of elegant white ibis nesting in the trees or poking around in the marshes. Added bonus: you can take a dip in this infinity pool post-ride.

2. Party at Donna Karan's House

It's called The Sanctuary and it goes for upwards of $30K a night for the sprawling Balinese-styled compound (her model for the architecture was Begawan Giri, a five-star Balinese health resort). But if you've got the funds you can bask in the designer's laid-back-yet-elegant 11-bedroom manse, complete with a screened-in guest pavilion flanked by a main pool and plenty of outside terraces. A further formal dining area inside seats up to 20. Cedar paneled walls, teak furniture, walnut floors and limestone bathrooms are part of the high interior finish. Eclectic pieces reflect Karan's world travels from Bali to Africa.

3. There's A Cozy Library

Consider this the comfortable living room stocked with great beach reading you always wanted. Everything from romance novels to thick coffee table are stacked neatly on the shelves, just begging to be perused. And though it's unsaid, the general policy here is take a book, leave a book, which makes for an interesting selection. There's also a great pool table and  every afternoon tea and cakes are served, a nod to the island's British leanings.

4. You Can Detox Deliciously

Everyone likes to indulge while on vacation but at Parrot Cay you can actually go healthy and not feel like you're missing out. That's because they offer something called COMO Shambhala cuisine. Put simply, it’s like having a parallel menu of raw, vegan or healthy alternatives available all the time. This special menu, developed for all nine COMO properties, is the perfect compromise for those who are dining with companions who have specific dietary needs or who are looking to detox while on vacation.

“This unique style of cuisine is designed to maximize energy and wellbeing with the use of raw foods rich in living enzymes, vitamins and sea minerals,” explains Parrot Cay COMO Executive Chef, Martin Davies. The menu features little salt (when necessary, Celtic sea salt is used), no dairy (as an alternative, tofu is blended with aioli to create a yogurt), and unprocessed honey in place of sweeteners. It avoids fats, using organic olive oil instead of butter. Fish is nearly always steamed, and the only meat that appears on the COMO Shambhala menu is organic chicken.  So a dinner at Lotus, which serves Thai and Japanese-focused contemporary Asian, might include a lamb curry for the meat lover and a raw vegan lasagna made with zucchini strips, cashew cheese and pesto off the COMO Shambhala menu for the one looking to cut back. And somehow it all works, even at breakfast where traditional morning staples like French toast with caramelized bananas are offered alongside fresh-pressed juices calibrated to aid digestion or detoxification like the Electrolite Lemonade made with lemon, pear, ginger, Flaxseed oil and Celtic sea salt. There is no calorie counting, although dishes are conspicuously light, from the soy bean, pumpkin and Swiss chard patties with tofu aioli and tabouleh salad, to the vegetable hot pot with silken tofu and udon noodles. Desserts include an organic cashew cheesecake with fresh berries. It’s a relaxed and unpretentious approach to healthy living that makes the place so seductive. And potentially indulgent…in the most nourishing of ways.

5. The Stargazing is Phenomenal

 Sure, we know stargazing in the Caribbean is nothing new but at Parrot Cay the sky just seems clearer, more serene and...well powerful. It helps that the private island is so quiet with barely any boat or air traffic to interfere with basking in nature's beauty. And at night special telescopes are set out by the pool to enjoy the views.
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