After a long winter here in Connecticut, my husband and I were only too happy to board the nonstop flight out of JFK to the Turks and Caicos for a last-minute getaway during Easter week. I’d been hearing about this cluster of islands for years; it seems to be the current hot spot among the Fairfield county set and friends have raved about the beaches, the water, the resorts, and the restaurants. Because it was our first visit we decided to split up our stay with three nights at the Regent Palms on Grace Bay and three nights at Parrot Cay. I’m happy we did. Next year when we go back—and we will go back—we will know to skip Grace Bay entirely and head straight to the Como property, which is located an easy 30-minute boat ride from the marina in Provo.
The Regent was lovely with its spacious suites, beachfront infinity pool and gorgeous spa. But Grace Bay was too developed for our taste, with one resort after another stretched along the two-mile long strand. Yes, many of them are attractively done—Mediterranean-style architecture with red tiled roofs and bougainvillea-draped paths. But the scene was crowded and noisy—I imagined being plopped down into a sugar-hyped kindergarten class—and far from the relaxing respite we’d envisioned.
By contrast, Parrot Cay was precisely the relaxing respite we’d envisioned. It has a breezy, barefoot castaway feel—albeit a stylish one. There were lots of young kids here, too, but the resort does an excellent job of providing activities for them during the day, and there were plenty of couples, as well. It was easy to be as social or as private as we wanted. The service and food were excellent and even our room—a small garden-view room—was perfectly adequate. We booked at the last minute and other than one of the houses it was the only option available. I loved the breezy simplicity—the tile floors and bleached wood walls, the neutral fabrics and linen-draped four-poster bed.
We spent our days reading books on our iPads, moving from the shade of a Balinese-style huts nestled in the dunes to lounge chairs on the beach to the water for a leisurely paddle and back again, interspersed with those longed-for meditative walks on the beach. At the end of the day, I’d wander over to the spa for a yoga or pilates class while my husband worked out in the fitness center.
Of the two restaurants, we preferred the more casual Lotus, which served sensational Indonesian and spa cuisine, though one day at lunch I gave in to the urge for the resort’s signature hamburger—one of the best I’ve ever had. I had a deep-tissue massage on my last day and it was great. Afterward I relaxed on the terrace with a cup of hot ginger tea. The view was enchanting—the tip of North Caicos, some palm trees and that mesmerizing turquoise water—not a structure or a person in sight.