Destination: Wellness

Ultra-luxurious Parrot Cay is every bit as zen-sitive as it is chic.

Aside from the fact that Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands is one of the world’s lushest resorts and remote private getaways (Bruce Willis, Christie Brinkley, Donna Karan and Keith Richards have sprawling retreats here), the island is almost entirely nature preserve. Its appeal is enchanting. People travel to Parrot Cay for the remote luxury, but also to wade in the crystal-clear sea and admire what is perhaps the world’s most pristine white sand beach. They relish the swaying palms and tropical air, maybe even the tug of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the marshes and mangroves on the other.

But the main draw is more holistic—concentrating on wholeness of the individual, balancing body, mind and spirit. “Parrot Cay is COMO Resort’s original ‘Shambhala’ Retreat,” says General Manager Pascal Mongeau. “We believe that good health is not a luxury but a necessity, achieved through balance.”

With yoga at its heart, COMO Shambhala is the healthy-living philosophy inspired by the mythological roots of “Shambhala”—the sacred place of bliss. Activities are based on this wellness concept, with world-class experts helping guests find their own zen as they explore synergies between the head, heart and physical being. COMO Shambhala’s spa therapies (including Ayurveda), yoga and Pilates combine with fitness-oriented activities such as biking, nature walks or water-based adventures, and a special ‘living foods’ tradition known as Shambhala Cuisine.

Shambhala menu choices are offered along with a traditional menu at all meals. The Shambhala dishes are nutritionally rich with calibrated ingredients designed to balance nutrients and enzymes. Many ingredients are used in their raw form so that vitamins, minerals and living enzymes are retained. Not only does the staff recognize guests’ desires for simple, authentic cooking, great emphasis is also put on refreshingly simple dishes featuring local fish and seafood.

Daytime activity options are never-ending, but those in search of rollicking nightlife should probably go elsewhere. Relaxation becomes addictive here so it is ideal for people who seek a fully immersive communion with nature (yet not at the expense of five-star pampering) and forego a wild-and-crazy party atmosphere.

Accommodations are tropically airy and elegant, most offering ocean views. Luxurious rooms and suites, beach villas and even beach houses rival anything you’ll ever see on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Villas and houses are surrounded by private dining pavilions and infinity pools, and are just a few steps from the beach. One of the beach houses, The Sanctuary, owned by fashion icon Donna Karan, uniquely features two beachside houses that can be rented as one. Each house has a second-floor master with 360 degree views of the ocean, two personal butlers and a chef.

Parrot Cay by COMO is situated on a private island in Turks and Caicos, 575 miles southeast of Miami, and is accessible only by boat from Providenciales, the main island. Direct flights from Atlanta to “Provo” are available daily.