Passion Points: Escape
If guests need anything at Musha Cay, they simply hit the magic button—literally. The in-room, touch-tone phones all have one key labeled “Magic,” and it calls on the dedicated staff who quickly and quietly appear to assist with small and large requests, day and night. The telephones are just one of the many details at Musha that point to the private island’s famous owner, magician and illusionist David Copperfield, who invested a fortune and countless personal treasures to turn this blissful spot in the Bahamas into his own fantasy getaway.
“For me, Musha was like a palate, a canvas where I could create something really special, like the illusions I do on stage,” says Copperfield, who also has homes in New York City and Las Vegas, where he currently performs at the MGM Grand. The expansive Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay, which can only be rented in its entirety and comfortably accommodates 24 adults, includes eleven islands, or cays (pronounced “keys”). The main island is home to five stunning guest houses, as well as myriad facilities and a laundry list of amenities that will keep even the most hyper-active guest entertained. To start, there’s a flood-lit tennis court, state-of-the-art gym, sand Volleyball court, swimming pool and large white-sand beach, whose perimeter is dotted with several thatched-roof dining and lounge areas. Every imaginable water sport, from Hobie craft and floating trampoline to jet skis and scuba, is available in the technicolored lagoon. Those seeking privacy can be dropped off at “secret” beaches, which frame the smaller cays, for days of uninterrupted lounging.
Musha Cay is often billed as a place of “adventures,” and Copperfield’s hand-picked team can organize such activities as elaborate treasure hunts and James Bond–inspired spy games. But what sounds like it could easily be a rich man’s theme-park is actually an island of surprising depth and soul. 150-acre Musha is a beautifully landscaped tropical fantasy, with massive palm trees, clusters of crimson bougainvillea and colorful Bahamian guest houses that are tastefully hidden in the vegetation. Copperfield has been a Vegas showman for decades, but Musha is the place where he, too, comes to escape the glitz, so the guest accommodations are remarkably understated and comfortable. Most feature a mix of Indonesian- and Balinese-inspired interiors, with massive, pillow-topped day beds, palm-thatched ceiling fans, stone floors, and southeast Asian sculptures and objets adding decorative touches throughout. Each home has its own unique discoveries; for instance, Beach House boasts an al fresco bathroom and a large private sand beach; Pier House comes with a private dock that stretches across the turquoise water with cut-out windows for observing the sea life beneath; and High View’s wrap-around porch offers unparalleled island vistas. Some homes lend themselves more for romantic retreats (like Beach House), while others are ideal for families traveling with kids, nannies, and staff in tow.
The property’s dedicated, seemingly tireless staff is another way Musha creates the illusion of the perfect Caribbean island retreat. No request is too small or large, and there are many surprises in the course of a week, all designed to bring out the inner child in visitors. The so-called “drive-in” is an old-fashioned movie night, during which a giant movie screen is set up on the beach, so you can watch a film tucked beneath warm blankets on a chaise longue, surrounded by the sound of the waves, swoosh of the palms and plethora of stars above. The chef prepares gourmet burgers, hot dogs and grilled vegetables, while another staffer comes around with a stocked candy tray and fresh popcorn. Another excursion not to be missed is lunch on a two-mile sandbar, a ten-minute boat ride from the resort. Again, the staff goes all out, setting up a groovy tented camp in the sand, complete with Moroccan rugs and fabrics; low, carved wooden tables; massive throw pillows and white umbrellas. It’s theatrical, for sure, but also celebrates the moment’s simple pleasures: expansive ocean, delicious food, serenity and seclusion.
While the exclusive setting—and price point—may hint at a high-roller’s couple retreat, Musha is actually best for families and friends traveling together. It’s a place that you want to share with loved ones, and especially children will be thoroughly entertained here. Copperfield is an avid, passionate gatherer, and many pieces from his private collection are not only on display here but make up Musha’s entertainment. The so-called Houdini Room, features the master magician’s antique pool table, as well as several mechanical machines that resemble the fortune-teller one used in the movie Big. Another room, in Palm Terrace, holds several pieces of Gilligan’s Island paraphernalia, including the original steering wheel of the SS Minnow (featured in the opening credits). At main hub, The Landing, guests can gaze through a coin-operated telescope that used to stand at Brooklyn’s Coney Island, and en route to the beach, if you look carefully, you can see a copy of Copperfield’s Hollywood Boulevard star embedded in the sand.
Does Musha occasionally walk the line of camp? Yes, although everything is optional (for example, you can opt not to have music blaring from the speakers masked as rocks). At its core, Musha is simply an exquisitely beautiful backdrop for an experience that is completely customizable, and one that allows visitors to be as active or inactive as they like. For me, it’s the small details that I will take away from my time there—walking to breakfast through fragrant tropical landscapes; star-gazing at the same time as watching a movie al fresco; swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Musha’s main beach. Because sometimes it’s the unscripted moments that are the most…well, magical.
WHO SHOULD STAY: High-rollers and celebrities. The ultra-private set-up is also ideal for large groups and families celebrating a special occasion or looking to throw the ultimate house party.
WHO SHOULD NOT STAY: Those looking for a bargain. During the high season, Musha Cay rates start at $37,500 per night (for 12 guests), with a five-night minimum. Food, fine wines, amenities and activities are all included for up to 12 guests . At full capacity of 24 people, the rate comes to around $2,200 per person, per night.
THE DETAILS: The maximum capacity at Musha is 24 adults, although extra beds can be added for children.
- Blue Point: 2 master bedrooms, each with a large bathroom and walk-in closet, private outdoor patio with a hot tub and a wrap-around porch. Large living room space, with a kitchen, as well as a washer and drier and a well-stocked pantry.
- Pier House: 2 master bedrooms, each with a large bathroom and walk-in closet, private outdoor patio with a hot tub and a wrap-around porch. Private dock, two gorgeous al fresco bathtubs, massive Balinese day bed lounge. Living room space, with a kitchen, as well as a washer and drier and a well-stocked pantry.
- Beach House: 1 large bedroom and a large, open, al fresco bathroom, with an outdoor shower. Very private with an expansive white-sand beach.
- High View: Occupying the island’s highest perch with expansive views, 2 master bedrooms, large kitchen, Jacuzzi and steam room. Beautiful hand-craved Afghan and Indonesian furniture throughout. Huge skylight-lit living area.
- Palm Terrace: 5-bedroom home, with three smaller rooms with single beds. 2 master bedrooms on the top floor. Large exterior area for entertaining, cocktails and private dinners.
GETTING THERE: Most Musha Cay visitors fly private to Georgetown, in Great Exuma, then connect with a small prop or water plane, which can land right at Musha. If you fly commercial, you have to take a 25-minute taxi to get to the speed boat that will take you to Musha. The boat transfer takes 30 minutes.
To plan a trip to Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay, contact Indagare
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