“Play the superstar at this picture-perfect island resort with its celebrity clientele and excellent service”
Scattered through the resort, and along the mile-long white-sand beach, are 60 or so rooms and suites, and a handful of beach houses and larger villas. A short buggy ride away there are also 4 estates - small clusters of villas set on a private beach.
Everything is styled in a contemporary, minimalist way: Balinese teak furniture, white cottons, and four-poster beds romantically draped with voile. French doors lead out to gardens, the beach or private balconies. The big bathrooms are lovely with double vanity units, robes, flip-flops, and COMO Shambhala toiletries (heavenly). The overall feel is pared-down rather than opulent, in keeping with the natural surroundings.
ROOMS AND SUITES
Set in the lush gardens, all are spacious and light. Garden Rooms on the ground floor have a private sundeck which leads directly onto the lawns. Ocean Facing Rooms on the floor above have balconies and sea views. The COMO Suites have 2 bathrooms, a living area and a large dining table. Their balconies have outdoor daybeds, and look out over the gardens.
If you’d prefer to be right on the beach, book a Beach House or Villa. The 1 Bedroom Beach Houses are semi-detached and set 30m from the water’s edge. Inside is a master bedroom, 2 bathrooms, a living/dining area, a kitchen and a conservatory with loungers. Outside is a private sundeck with a heated plunge pool. The 1 Bedroom Beach Villas are similar, but are standalone properties set in lush vegetation to ensure privacy. They also have an outdoor shower. If you need more sleeping space, there are also a couple of similar house with 2 bedrooms (both four posters) but no kitchen. COMO Villas and Island Villas (2/3 bedrooms) have the added allure of a private butler, a fully-equipped kitchen, an outside dining pavilion and a full swimming pool.
The estates can be rented individually or together for the ultimate in hedonistic hideaways - anything from a family to a clan of 20 - with a semi-private beach and butler service to boot. Set closer to the ocean, the villas are more spacious and have all the mod-cons you’d expect; some even have romantic ‘tiki’ huts. Bedrooms have ocean views and there are loads of private seating areas. Each villa also has a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, an outdoor dining area, a private swimming pool and direct access to the beach.
Rocky Point is a trio of 3-bed villas, spread over 2 acres. The Residence has a 5-bed villa and 2 3-bed villas, set in 6 acres. Tamarind consists of a 3 bed villa and a 2-bed villa in a secluded garden with swimming pool and private beach.
The Sanctuary - privately owned by Donna Karan - is the jewel in Parrot Cay’s crown: 2 luxurious 4-bed houses in totally private surroundings. Rooms have sea or garden views, and the master bedroom in each has near-360-degree water views. Interiors are a touch more homely than Parrot Cay’s other properties. With panelled walls, walnut floors, limestone bathrooms, an ever-evolving art collection and a sprinkling of ceramic bowls, bronze carvings and ivory statues. You get a personal chef and 2 personal butlers, plus an adjoining screened pavilion, where you can eat and watch movies, and an outdoor pavilion with a separate pool.
As in all COMO properties, healthy eating is all part of the rejuvenation process and guests are encouraged to eat raw food as much as possible to optimise nutritional value. Meals are organic and locally sourced; raw fruits and veggies and fresh fish are a must, but meat is also available. Exotic fresh juices abound; naturally dried seaweeds and sprouted seeds are used in the spa salads. Best of all, meals are often cooked with Balinese or South East Asian spices so everything has a wonderfully exotic flavour.
There are 2 restaurants on site: Lotus serves light meals and Caribbean-inspired dishes for lunch (jerk kurobuta pork, sauteed mussels with chilli and cinzano, Mahi Mahi burgers), while in the evening it becomes a contemporary Asian restaurant specialising in Thai and Japanese recipes (wok fried Cornish hen with coriander and ginger tea, soy chicken with shitake and orange). Terrace serves more modern, Mediterranean food. It’s worth knowing that some of the food is eclectic: think pheasant or raw fish, prepared with such delicacies as black fungus. However, the restaurants have a fabulous reputation so it’s worth trying new things, and there’s also an extensive room service menu with more traditional options (salads, burgers, sandwiches). If you’re staying in one of the villas with a private chef, your every wish really is their command.
Breakfasts are included in the room rate and are a veritable feast: think Bircher muesli or porridge with coconut milk and almonds, enormous croissants, pancakes with rambutan blossom honey, and piles of exotic fresh fruit. Dietary requirements can be accommodated.
Parrot Cay caters superlatively for families too. On arrival, kids are given crayons, colouring books, cuddly toys, buckets and spades, and this high level of treatment continues, with personalised service in the restaurant and activities during the day.
We'd recommend the 2 and 3 bed villas over all. Children under 12 stay free in their parents' room. If you're bringing more than 1 child note that only 1 child is accepted for bookings in Garden View or Ocean Facing Rooms.
Babysitting is available for a small fee. The Balinese and Bhutanese nannies can help out during the day, allowing you to make use of the spa, perhaps, as well as by night.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There are organised children's programmes during Easter, Christmas and New Year; outside these times bespoke activities can be arranged. They include family yoga, kite-making and flying, shell painting, cookie and cupcake classes, tie-dying and pirate-themed scavenger hunts.
There is a kids' menu, but the chef is also happy to whip up bespoke meals, or adjust adult meals to suit. The Lotus bar serves mocktails, and the kids menu includes the likes of chicken fingers and chips, spare ribs and coconut ice cream. There is food available all day and a daily free afternoon tea.
It's not the easiest place to get to - an hour from Miami by plane, then a car and boat ride - so if you're coming from Europe, your kids need to be prepared for a long journey. There are balconies and drops around the complex but nothing to lose sleep over; pools aren't fenced.