Luxury resorts, a serene setting and just a quick escape from the States; here’s a selection of Caribbean getaways where you can enjoy over-the-top pampering with your significant other.
COMO Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos was undergoing a transformation during last year’s storms and did not suffer any significant damage and reopened as scheduled last December, ready for prime time. What’s new? The new wooden flooring in the rooms and suites give it a super fresh vibe; we also like that the marble bathrooms with walk-in showers were also revamped. We say the best part of the new add-ons was the opening of the COMO Beach Club, aka, “the new heart of the resort.” Nice Touch: At night, mixologists are on hand to create unique cocktails. Sign us up!
After a swell evening, you can detox at the COMO Shambhala wellness center, which has all new Life Fitness equipment, as well as a steam room, sauna, lap pool and changing facilities, overlooking the water.
Feeling active? Try a private snorkeling trip, followed by a private dinner on the beach. The agenda includes a visit to Fort George Cay, which has channels and caverns, and lots and lots of colorful marine life that the guide will help you identify. At the second snorkel site, the Leeward Reef, rays, barracuda and lobsters might be visible. Feeling hungry? A private dinner can be prepared by the chef and served by your personal butler. In addition to tiki torch-lit beach dinners, guests can also opt for a dinner on the deck of their villa.
Fun Stuff: Another activity takes guests through a private Ayurveda session and a kayaking tour through the Bonny Creek waterway at night under the stars. The waterway stretches two and a half miles through the island’s wetlands, giving you a close-up look at the islands’ ecosystem (think leatherback sea turtles and brown pelicans).
Insider Tip: Luxury travel advisors can contact Hotel Manager Jordi Valles ([email protected]) with special requests for VIPs.
The spa has nine treatment rooms, but we suggest requesting the private cottage. Treatment-wise, couples should sign up for the Time for Two in the Turks and Caicos package. It includes a 90-minute couple’s COMO Shambhala massage, a 60-minute couple’s fitness session or private yoga class, a 60-minute private meditation class and a 60-minute hand, foot and head massage workshop teaching the pair how to massage each other. Yes, please!
It’s best to secure your treatments at the time of booking. Advisors should reach out to COMO Shambala Manager Phail Kin Teoh ([email protected]).
For a more wellness-intensive stay, all COMO properties have numerous resident wellness experts.
COMO Shambhala therapist Dr. Parth hosts consultations, where guests can learn about heart problems, diabetes, joint pains, weight management, skin conditions and techniques to reduce stress. After the consultations Dr. Parth will develop a personalized program, which includes therapy recommendations, as well as suggested diet and lifestyle changes.
There are three dining venues: Lotus, Terrace and COMO Beach Club. Lotus offers a selection of light dishes, such as Caribbean-inspired specialties for lunch and Southeast Asian-inspired menus for dinner. Terrace specializes in modern Mediterranean fare with a focus on Italian cuisine. COMO Beach Club has a laid-back deck space overlooking the white sand on the main beach.
Guests can book reservations for the first two the day of (earlier in the day is best); the latter does not require reservations.
The hotel also serves the brand’s COMO Shambhala Cuisine, a healthy and all-natural cuisine. COMO Shambhala Cuisine is developed by fashion and hospitality entrepreneur Christina Ong and COMO’s executive chef and is based on the theory that a proper healthy diet includes enjoyable food, intelligent portions, variety and balance. Menu options are available at Lotus and Terrace, as well as with in-room dining.
COMO Parrot Cay has 74 rooms and villas across a variety of categories. We suggest the One-Bedroom Beach Villa. We’re told these are ideal for couples, offering privacy and direct access to the mile-long white sand beach, fringed by lush vegetation. In these accommodations (there are three such rooms), a conservatory links to the bedroom; there is also a large living area, private sundeck, plunge pool, private bar and more.
Note: Holiday season is the most difficult time to book hotel rooms — guests should book a year in advance. For other times of the year, try to book at least three months in advance.
For any additional enquiries, contact Catarina Dinis ([email protected]), guest service manager.
Le Sereno St. Barth’s Grand Suite Plage Sud has a living area inside and a sundeck overlooking the ocean.
Reopening on December 1 will be Le Sereno St. Barth. Following damage from the passing of Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the Contreras family decided to take the opportunity to completely rebuild the property, including more than half the rooms and all of the public spaces.
Good to know: The original team that created Le Sereno was reassembled to undertake the rebuild.
Upon reopening, guests will be able to enjoy the new Bungalow Piscine rooms, which were built from the ground up and have larger rooms and a new interior design; the waterfront Grand Suite Plage Sud rooms, now offering a larger bedroom and private garden with outdoor bathtubs; a completely redesigned restaurant with a new bar and lounge, as well an all-new beach restaurant extension, where guests can dine with their feet in the sand; a brand-new spa and fitness facility with new treatment rooms and equipment; new garden spaces; and an on-site retail boutique.
The design team also made sure to make sure the property didn’t lose any of the charm that it was known for. To note, the iconic and much-Instagrammed pool at Le Sereno overlooking the Grand Cul de Sac retains the same look, as does the lobby building with its picturesque red doors.
Regarding the updated accommodations, the designers “flipped” the previous parquet floors and white ceiling in the Bungalow Piscine rooms; now, the 11-foot ceiling is made of oak while the floors are made of white stone. Corner couches have been added and the open-concept bathrooms received air-conditioning. The Grand Suite Plage Sud rooms were rebuilt with new finishings, a private garden with outdoor bathtubs and reworked floorplans to allow for more living space.
Amongst the amenities that won’t change: Guestrooms will again include robes and towels made by D. Porthault exclusively for Le Sereno and bath toiletries by Ex Voto Paris; they will also have a private bar, 24-hour room service, flat-screen TVs and Blue-tooth music systems. Guests will continue to be welcomed with complimentary beach bags and custom Le Sereno Havaiana flip flops; also returning will be Anya Hindmarch’s custom-designed Le Sereno bags and accessories.
The One Bedroom villas are particularly well-suited for couples. There are five options; among them is the Suite Piscine, which is located on the hillside for privacy. It has its own private pool, a large deck furnished by Parisian designer Christian Liaigre, shade provided by coconut trees and views of the Grand Cul de Sac.
Contact Marta Camps ([email protected]), sales and marketing manager.
The Spa at Le Sereno has been expanded and now includes three full treatment rooms, inclusive of the waterfront pavilion (we suggest opting for this room). In-room spa services are also available.
Bookings should be made one month prior to arrival.
Additionally, the new fitness room will have the latest fitness technology and equipment. In between the spa and fitness facilities is a new garden that provides a serene space for guests to practice yoga or meditation.
The heartbeat of the hotel is Restaurant Le Sereno, which will unveil a new look, while maintaining views of Grand Cul de Sac. A new bar, centrally located in the restaurant, will serve craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients, as well as an extensive list of wines and spirits. The bar will also have a new juice station, where guests can order freshly squeezed wellness and detox elixirs.
Executive Chef Alex Simone returns to Le Sereno and will debut a new menu for the restaurant, with a focus on Mediterranean dishes fit for the restaurant’s beachfront setting.
An all-new beach restaurant experience will also debut this December. Located adjacent to the main restaurant, the new space offers casual dining under coconut trees, where guests can have their feet in the sand and views of the reef. The restaurant will be a great spot to sip on cocktails and enjoy a laid-back meal.
Note: Reservations are recommended during festive time but, we’re told, the hotel will always do its best to make it work for guests.
The construction provided Le Sereno the opportunity to take environmental impact into account. New solar panels, air conditioners, insulation, windows and LED lighting significantly lower energy consumption, while the new construction sourced sustainable woods and stone. Le Sereno also has on-site water desalinization capability and used water is treated and reused for irrigation.
The hotel is open year-round, except for a short closure in October for maintenance. Samy Ghachem ([email protected]) is the managing director.
Kamalame Cay’s Dorado is a 1,400-square-foot private cottage that sits just a few steps away from the water’s edge.
In the Bahamas, Kamalame Cay was founded by newlyweds in the 1970s and remains a chic resort for couples.
Here, Leah Mather ([email protected]), head of guest services, can book a variety of VIP experiences. Her capabilities include everything from a private dinner on the beach with a private chef, bonfires and fireworks to a Seaplane adventure to go bone fishing or for a romantic private island picnic for two. “If you can imagine it, we can do it,” co-owner Michael King-Hew tells Luxury Travel Advisor.
Other popular activities among guests include deep-sea fishing, spear fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, yoga, cycling and cooking lessons.
We hear the Cottage Suite and Beach Bungalows are best for couples. Wrapped in French doors and verandas, the Cottage Suites offer ocean views and plenty of privacy, and are just a few steps from the seashore. At 700 square feet with 17-foot ceilings, each Cottage has a large bedroom with a king bed, spacious en-suite baths with sea-view soaking tubs, and a small wet bar, fully stocked with a selection of premium spirits and international wines, snacks, tea and a French press.
Set along a secluded expanse of north island coast, the Beachfront Bungalows are the latest addition to Kamalame Cay’s array of accommodation. The stand-alone suites are elevated for sunrise and sunset views and have outdoor showers and baths. Interiors include a wet bar, seating area and a king bedroom.
Advisors should contact Donna Anderson ([email protected]), agent and group booking sales manager.
In total, there are 30 rooms and 10 villas; the latter should be booked at least three months in advance and as far as two years ahead for Christmas and major holidays. Tip: All rooms and villas can have private butlers upon request.
The Overwater Spa at Kamalame Cay has been refreshed with a relaxing white and driftwood color scheme, sleek interiors, copper light fixtures and rain showers, in addition to new outdoor teak and driftwood lounge furnishings. The wellness center, located at the end of a 250-foot pier, offers full body treatments with views through expansive windows and terraces, as well as through the glass floor where guests can view ocean life below.
Good to know: The spa now offers organic OSEA Malibu products used in treatments. OSEA is a favorite with celebrities, including Kylie Jenner, Emma Roberts and Jessica Biel.
Treatment highlights include the Earth and Sea Scrub, which combines wild Gigartina Seaweed with an exotic blend of mineral-rich salts that exfoliate and soften the skin and a Sun Salutation that treats sun exposed skin to a mineral rich, hydrating body mask crafted from organic seaweed, soothing aloe vera gel and antioxidant green tea to reduce redness and irritation.
For couples looking for an immersive wellness trip, the resort has a partnership with Silver Linings, and hosts “wellness your way” retreats. Guests can learn more about de-stressing, detox, weight loss, fitness routines and more. Daily mindful movement experiences include Pilates, yoga, barre, high-intensity interval training, cardio, stretching and meditation.
It’s best to secure treatments at the time of booking. Advisors can contact Anna Elizabeth ([email protected]), spa director.
Kamalame Cay has three restaurants and bars: The Great House, the Great House Bar and the Tiki Bar and Beach Club, located right on the beach and open for lunch with a Tapas menu and live musicians and performances in season.
A ‘must’ is the resort’s popular monthly luncheons. The hotel says it “celebrates gracious island living with a singular afternoon of dining, dancing and drinking for a lively crowd of friends, family, international hotel guests, island home owners and Nassau swells who boat over for the day.”
The Luncheon begins with an hour of signature cocktails and canapés created just for the occasion. This is followed by a wine-paired meal, served around ornately decorated tables around the Great House or beachfront Tiki Bar. The Luncheon is capped with desserts, coffee and aged rum. Guests can expect dishes such as Andros stone crab claws with wasabi mayo; traditional lobster bisque with poached lobster and sticky rice balls’ Vietnamese glass noddle salaf with crispy tenderloin beef tips, field bok choi and fresh mint; roast pork belly with hoisin sauce and pickled cucumber salad; and coconut ice cream sundaes.
As the Luncheon is hosted monthly, you can find the dates on Kamalame’s website (www.kamalame.com); they usually have the dates for the events five months out.
Tickets cost $190.50 including taxes and gratuities. Payment accepted with a Visa or MasterCard, seats are non-refundable. Note: Guests who reserve a room with the Guest of House meal plan enjoy a discounted access to The Luncheon at $95.25 including taxes and gratuities.
Kamalame also hosts a dinner series for villa guests; you will receive an invite and directions to the first course, then, upon completion, you will be told where the second course will be, and so on. It’s a good option for couples looking to meet the other guests. “The whole idea is to celebrate the local cuisine, but then, to connect people with some of these villas,” King-Hew says.