Pine Cay

Even the wisest travelers in the Caribbean can bend their heads when referring to the Pine Cay in the Turks and Caicos, and this aura of hidden mysticism is no coincidence.

Situated on the third largest reef in the world and made up of a dusty two-mile white sand beach, the 800-acre private island feels very far from the world, but it’s only a short (and beautiful) 20-minute boat ride. The main tourist site in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. The Turks and Caicos itself is a three-and-a-half-hour flight from New York City, and is known for its clear, bright blue waters and smooth limestone sand.

What amazes travelers unfamiliar with the existence of Pine Cay is that it has been a prized travel destination for a few since its development in the 1970s. Formerly known as The Meridian Club, the hotel was developed as a luxury resort and club for homeowners on the island (there are 38 residential areas), but it was not until July 2021 that it reopened its doors as a white Relais. & Châteaux property, with a brand new look, awesome programming and a unbranded brand name Pine Cay.

One of the bungalows at the Pine Cay Hotel.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kira Turnbull

Unlike the brighter residents of South Beach, Pine Cay is distinguished by its very intimate atmosphere and quiet view of island life; it feels like an estate that spans more than one hotel. If you are looking for a lively destination full of restaurants and beach bars, this is not for you, but seclusion, island adventures and tranquility (children under 12 cannot enter the hotel) if you are looking for a beach bungalow. is waiting.

Pine Cay

A guest bedroom.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kira Turnbull

“What sets us apart is the feeling that Pine Cay is your private island, regardless of other guests,” said CEO Kirk Aulin. Robb report. “The island’s heritage and history, dating back to the 1970s, are lived here by a few families who built homes here, along with the hotel. They work in perfect harmony with the natural environment of the island. When you stay in Pine Cay, you are immersed in their world, where their children and grandchildren have grown up from generation to generation. There is a special energy that comes with that. ”

Pine Cay

Explore the Pine Cay “aquarium” above or below the water.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kira Turnbull

The main club in Pine Cay has a check-in, dining room and shop and opens onto a freshwater pool. There are 12 rooms and suites on the side of the dune, each with an elegant and high Caribbean design, whitewashed walls, light wooden panels and sea-inspired decor. The rooms have three showers (including the outside two) and a private protected cover that opens directly to the sand.

Walking from each room is a private tiki-style palapa with chairs, ideal for coffee or fresh juice every morning. The island is so safe and secure that guests don’t get a key (unless asked) to close their doors. But modern luxuries are not forgotten: there will soon be iPads in the rooms to request room service, to book appointments and to request concierge services.

Pine Cay

Each bungalow comes with a private beach palapa.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kirs Turnbull

Aulin, who has decades of experience in luxury hotels in the Caribbean, has also upgraded the hotel to Relais & Châteaux standards, achieving a world-class list of chefs, mixologists and spa therapists for a true five-star experience while maintaining the Turks and Caicos. charm.

Among all these highlights, the restaurant is the protagonist. In recent years, the team of chefs has improved the menu to stringent standards. Guest days begin with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices to boost immunity (which changes daily). Enthusiastic breakfast, lunch and dinner menus always have local ingredients, and change daily depending on the local catch; since this is the capital of the Caribbean shellfish, it’s not uncommon to have a fried conch or shellfish ceviche on the menu, and seafood always takes center stage. The chef also makes his own hot sauce — make sure to order a bowl before you go — and, in order to avoid wasting food, dinner is required for lunch.

Pine Cay

Dessert in a great restaurant.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kira Turnbull

Although no major infrastructure has been added since its inception in the 1970s, there is a new beach bar in front of the ocean with elegant seating for a cocktail before dinner. The mixology menu has delicious and hearty drinks like a twist on a classic rum punch and a gin and tonic infused with truffle oil.

It’s impossible to come to Turks and Caicos and not enjoy water sports, and Pine Cay offers scuba diving, bone fishing, snorkeling, Hobie Cat catamarans, kayaking, paddleboarding, boat rides and more. When the tide is low, you can look for sand dollars for a short walk from the main club and walk when you feel miles across the water. Make sure you see a resident dolphin in Pine Cay, with a staff named JoJo, who appears from time to time.

Pine Cay

Just a few that you can find underwater.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kira Turnbull

The active set can enjoy a grassy tennis court, a small basketball court, a gym and thick tires, and a regular bike ride to walk around the island. Electric golf carts (motor vehicles are not allowed here) are also available if your speed is higher. Pine Cay also has a private marina, where homeowners dock their boats and hotel guests spend a day in the water. Then book your treatment at the two-room Sand Dollar Spa, where favorite menus include Signature and Thai massages.

Aulin wants to preserve the island’s history and natural splendor, which is roughly the size of Central Park, so he has created a number of initiatives to make the island more sustainable. These include rainwater harvesting, solar panels, electric transportation, no single-use plastic, Dark Sky lighting and the use of eco-friendly beach lighting and fuel-efficient boats. Pine Cay is a key partner in the Caicos Pine Recovery Project, a native tree in the country that helps protect the Caicos pine (Pinus caribaea), which is now under threat from invasive pine turtles.

Pine Cay

Private marina.

Courtesy Pine Cay / Kira Turnbull

Another distinguishing feature of Pine Cay is the residential aspect. Homeowners come mainly from the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, as well as the Turks and Caicos Territory of Great Britain. Unlike other islands here, however, don’t expect bright mansions or bright accommodations. The small houses blend within the natural landscape (there are building restrictions that limit height and square feet) and are far from the beach.

Many homeowners are between wanting to keep a piece of paradise a secret and taking on a new generation of travelers looking for a quiet getaway. “It’s essential to maintain a feeling that is underdeveloped,” says Tim Simond, home owner and hotel designer. “Pine Cay is the same as it was four years ago, except for a few new homes and refurbishments. “We are very sensitive to what we have and we work to maintain its unique atmosphere.”

Following the recent renovation of the bedroom and spa, the hotel’s renovation phase will begin in August 2022, with the bar being relocated and a new barbecue and serving area added. Prices per room start at $ 1,525 and include all meals, refreshments, selected alcohol, mainland transfers, water sports, sailing and all island activities.