We love an out of the way destination as much as the next jetsetter, but some trips leave us feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation (did we have to hike to Machu Picchu? Was it really necessary to cross Antarctica off our continent list? Darwin did not warn us how long it takes to actually get to the Galapagos!). What we are itching for now is a true getaway - we want it close, we want it easy and we want it before the next polar vortex! Enter Turks & Caicos. Beloved by billionaires (Bill Gates) and almost billionaires (Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Cruise, Madonna), Turks & Caicos maintains a relatively low key, relaxed persona compared to its yacht infested neighbors nearby, yet its Grace Bay Beach, where most hotels are situated, is consistently voted best in the world. This crescent shaped slice of heaven’s sands are so powder soft and blindingly white, they are oft described as ‘porcelain’ and ‘snow’. Its warm turquoise waters are clear enough to see your reflection, and their protection by a barrier reef makes for both calm currents and excellent snorkeling. In fact, this pleasantly underdeveloped Caribbean nation of 40 islands (or cays, as they are called) boasts 230 miles of pristine beaches, though only eight are inhabited, and only one, Providenciales (AKA ‘Provo’), is developed for tourism, housing the all the top tier resorts and the international airport. That is unless you choose to stay at Parrot Cay, a COMO property set on its own 1,000 square acre island. It’s uber exclusivity recently attracted genetically blessed newlyweds Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, and it is also a popular wedding destination (RIP Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, who tied the knot here). In addition to homeowners Bruce Willis, Keith Richards and Christie Brinkley, as well millennials Cara Delevingne and Justin Bieber who frequently visit, fashion legend Donna Karan owns a private villa on site (including a two story yoga pavilion) which has been rented by clan Brangelina - how stylish is that?
Your days will be spent between a sun lounger and the ocean, and while you may choose to simply work on your tan and catch up on your gossip rag reading, every water sport imaginable is on offer (SUPing for you, bonefishing for him), making T&C attractive not just to lovers, but to well-heeled families. It is a diver’s dream and an excellent spot for whale watching, yet should your energy take you inland, a spa treatment at the Regent Palms, horseback riding with Provo Ponies and an exploration of the 200 year old Cheshire Hall cotton plantation ruins await you. While it isn’t as simple as some other Caribbean islands to live a like a local, one place to truly feel the Turks vibe is the Da Conch Shack & Rum Bar, serving up - you guessed it - conch every which way (cracked, curried, salad, fritters, the list goes on). Wash down their toothsome sea snails with a pitcher of potent rum punch - just don’t say we didn’t warn you! With live music weekly and Sunday family day, this pastel piece of beachside paradise caters to all types - couples, kids and lushes. If lunch piqued your interest for the native gastropods, you can even make a subsequent visit to the world's only conch farm.
Now it is time for some glamour, perhaps a sunset cocktail at Grace Bay Club’s Infiniti bar, followed by a dinner of nouvelle Caribbean cuisine at Coyaba. If you can handle the long and bumpy road down to the Amanyara, a discrete dinner in its serene environs is well worth the time. Follow it with a nightcap amongst the beautiful people at the Gansevoort’s Stelle Beach Bar. Casual island elegance is your route for evening attire on these nights - try a Calvin Klein collection maxi with Oscar de la Renta tassel earrings and Sophia Webster wedges. You won’t need more than a colorful kaftan for the day - our favorites are coming from Dodo Bar Or and VMT right now - which you can elevate with a Melissa Odabash tote and a Isabel Marant cuff. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go back to daydreaming about our island love Turks & Caicos - like a good ex, it’s never too far away.