There are times when I feel like a modern day female Robinson Crusoe, discovering one glorious island after another. And just when I think I’ve seen and been to the best, I find another.
Sure there are the wonderful resorts in Maldives, Comoros, islands in the French Polynesian seas, another off the coast of Fiji, of course many in Caribbean… but and this but should be capitalized, since my visit COMO Group of hotels and resorts, ParrotCay in the Turks & Caicos was right up there with the best of the world, even noted in Conde Nast’s best 100 spas. This Shambhala had nicely placed at 46.
Whatever were the Canadian politicians thinking when they twice rejected the offer of this lovely area that wanted to become part of Canada? Of course, there were probably reasons like not having a great industry or serious economic sources or few commercial industries. But wouldn’t it have been great for all the ‘snow birds’ dollars to come back to Ottawa’s coffers?
Now, one acre of the 1,000 acred small island of Parrot Cay off the main island, sells for $1million- with the caveat that the minimum is 2 acres. At the small IslandVilla at which I had my only site inspection since even at this unusual time of year the resort was fully booked (start of September) and this was the only one, other than my splendid suite, #703, I could see.
Perhaps it could be that since the recent hurricane, a small portion of land near the infinity pool had to be re-landscaped. It was also being spruced up for purchase which is another arm at PC. You can buy, build, or just stay at villas like this with three bedrooms, an infinity pool, facing the ocean, far enough from the hotel for total privacy but still reachable within minutes with the villa’s own golf buggy. And the asking price is $13 million.
It takes stars like Bruce Willis and designer Donna Karan to have had the vision buy land few years ago and build their own hideaway, hidden by trees and a long driveway. But homeowners as like guests, have access to The Shambhala Retreat Spa, and other amenities at the same price as guests pay.
What you see is what you get at the Shambhala spa- perfection in service, technique, knowledgeable, well trained technicians, oils, potions and lotions made in England for all the COMO properties worldwide. The products are truly wonderful, the treatment rooms reasonably large, bright, spotless and overlooking a small canal leading to the Caribbean Danti, a wee Balinese woman was my masseuse. I was handed a form with space specifying the plethora of aches and pains. Filled out, Danti went over the areas to specify. I, as a writer, pointed my finger at the computer as the culprit for my aching shoulders, neck and lower back.
With my face poking through a hole looking at a frangipani in a copper pot filled with water, while on my stomach for the first 1/2 of my 60-minute treatment, Danti didn’t take long to locate the source of my misery. Her small structure was deceiving as she pressed with great strength, but did suggest, if the pressure was too strong to let her know. She certainly tried her hardest to dissolve those nagging lumps and bumps. Ouch– I squealed, as she pressed a little more. However, it seemed to have worked with the application of the perfect combination of oils rubbed, not like feather but firmly into the area. Dant, also spent time doing reflexology on my feet, also deep muscle massaging on calf muscles, thighs hands and arms. Danti really knew what she was doing and I could attest to that having had spa treatments around the world. The scalp and face wasn’t forgotten as she massaged the temples and top of the head.
Did I really feel better, a cynical guest and my new Toronto-based pal, Frances, asked before she decided to book a massage. “So good, if I were staying longer, I would certainly come back for seconds,” I answered without hesitation.
One morning Indian born Dr. N, Pradeep, with years experience in Naturopathy and yogi science discussed Ayurvedics. His lecture on all these disciplines on fitness, wellbeing, healthy living with yoga was most interesting. He spoke about the five important elements, earth, air, water, space, fire, each with their own means to a better lifestyle.
Another morning, this time with Andrea, an internationally certified Vinyasa Yoga instructor. She’s known to inspire you “to push new boundaries”. I’ve been practising her breathing methods which I have found most helpful. And now continue to do a few minutes of these breathing techniques daily.
For years I have been dedicated to weekly Pilates workouts. But here, Isabel, the American Pilates Polestar expert, made me feel as though I had never had a session since this is a very different and difficult form. The daily activity sheet mentioned, Pilates Mat with Props, for which I felt a comfort lever…or so I thought. We used the Magic Circle that certainly reminded me that I had unused inner thigh muscles. The two men in the group of 12 were struggling and amazed to discover this was not for sissies.
ParrotCay, although it may sound corny, is a true paradise with the whitest sand, the multi blue seas, the stunning accommodations and the freshest food if not available here, flown in daily from Florida and among the mega activities is this magical spa. And just like the well thought out meals, the Shambhala Retreat has a menu of treatments for everyone’s needs and desires