Ambergris Cay, A Luxury Island Retreat

It’s not a three-hour boat tour, but a 20-minute flight aboard an eight-seat Piper Navajo airplane from Turks & Caicos International Airport that brings visitors to Ambergris Cay.

Nevertheless in the quickly vanishing tradition of small-island Caribbean escapes, stays at this 1,000 square-acre private reserve in the Turks & Caicos define the “castaway” luxury experience.

Ambergris Cay is clearly a boutique luxury offering. There are only 10 beachfront villas, with rates starting at $1,000 per night for a four-night minimum stay. Still, the resort delivers value via an all-inclusive policy featuring deluxe accommodations, premium all-inclusive services and amenities and personalized activities.

Best of all the resort makes guests feel as if they have the sandy gold and green island virtually to themselves. Highlighting the experience is Turks & Caicos’ outstanding natural environment.

Ambergris Cay (not to be confused with the Belizean island, Ambergris Caye) lies among the vast Caicos Banks, whose shallow waters offer astounding shades of blue from aquamarine and turquoise to steely cobalt.

The flight to Ambergris Cay’s private airstrip offers guests a fitting introduction to the boutique property’s all-inclusive luxury experience. Here are four additional reasons to recommend Ambergris Cay as an outstanding boutique travel option:

An Above Average Escape

Stays here are meant for travelers seeking an escape from the fast pace of everyday civilization, and they’re quite well-served. After checking in at a smartly designed Welcome Center steps from the private runway, guests are driven to their 1,600 square-foot beachfront suite in a deluxe golf cart assigned to their suite.

Unlimited power boat excursions to beautiful nearby islands for swimming, snorkeling, lunch and relaxing under beach umbrellas are included, as are daily half-hour massages. Guests can also spend the balance of the day on their villa’s wraparound deck, dipping occasionally into their private plunge pool.

Villa beds face out to a view of white-sand beachfront, rimmed by brilliant blue waters and across the island’s sandy terrain of desert-like foliage. A boardwalk path leads from the beachfront villas to a small stone terrace where guests find the Calico Jack Restaurant and Bar, a natural gathering spot for the few guests in residence.

Amazing Accommodations

While each villa is identical, save for the furnishings colors, all similarities are uniformly positive. Each suite faces an intimate and peaceful white-sand beachfront, and the westward view makes for amazing sunsets (and Instagram moments) over the resort’s private dock. Suites are spaced at intervals of approximately 25 feet and separated by (growing) foliage.

Suites also feature floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, with remote controlled privacy and blackout shades. The sleek, contemporary styled rooms also include high ceilings, king beds facing the ocean and recessed flat-screen TVs. A wrap-around veranda equipped with lounge chairs fronts a private plunge pool attached to each suite.

Villas feature Nespresso coffee machines, stocked mini-fridges, wet bars, bathrooms with double sinks and double rain shower heads and outdoor showers.

Convenient Cuisine

Ambergris Cay guests have a diverse menu of upscale cuisine options. Calico Jack’s Restaurant on Monck Beach is a short walk from the beachfront suites along the resort’s waterfront boardwalk.

The indoor-outdoor garden restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring Caribbean and international gourmet, à la carte fine dining. Snacks and treats are available 24 hours between meals at the snack station.

Sharing the terrace is the Calico Jack Bar, a natural gathering spot for before- and after-dinner drinks. The stone terrace is surrounded by lush gardens and also features a lounging section with a fire pit.

The Club House offers a daily menu of grilled light fare between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., including burgers, paninis and salads, and the Club House Bar serves fruity tropical libations. Complimentary room service is available 24 hours a day, delivered via golf cart.

Unusual Activities

Growing restless? Take a golf cart drive, hike or bike ride across the sandy island’s small green hills and pathways, dotted with indigenous foliage including the signature Turk’s head cactus.

The stunning natural landscape also features hidden cenotes, native plants and wildlife including iguanas. Attentive resort staff will organize and lead a fitness course for guests seeking a more active agenda.

Monck’s Beach, a peninsula of land on the other side of the island’s airstrip, features the Club House, a two-story house with a wrap-around deck that houses an activity center with pool and ping-pong tables, video games and board games.

A beach club occupies the ground floor and features beach chairs and umbrellas, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

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