Located on an isle split by the Tropic Of Cancer, just north of a bridge that connects Great Exuma to its smaller counterpart, stands Turquoise Cay; a new to the island boutique hotel which commands a peninsula and calls a former bonefish lodge home. Having just opened December of last year it quickly became one of 14 most anticipated experiences of 2014.
OCEAN DAY BEDS – As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, and the Empire State Building is to New York, the Ocean Day Bed is to Turquoise Cay. This design element distinguishes the boutique hotel from the rest, for such a luxury can be enjoyed nowhere else in The Bahamas – at least to my knowledge. Situated on the tip of the peen, three over-water-suspended-day-beds entice guests to amble from HighTide Pool & Bar straight in to a tropical siesta.
DINING – The restaurant ONE80, appropriately named as such for its 180 degrees view of Little Exuma to the south, inlets to the East, and a coastline leading to George Town to the north, serves dishes inspired by Peruvian, French, Asian and Bahamian cuisine. At a cost in-line with other upscale eateries dotted throughout the Bahama islands, the ingredients are rich in flavour – think caviar, foie gras, duck, and mussels. Never will I claim to be a foodie, for I far from yield an expert hand in the kitchen, but I will say the unsuspecting combination of flavours enjoyed in the Eggs Benedict-Two Ways has me wanting to recreate this dish in my own home.
ACTIVITIES – For those guests looking to counterbalance over-indulgence, especially where concerned with the tastes of the tropics, Turquoise Cay offers an array of complimentary fitness activities. Paddle-boards and kayaks are readily available to guests of the hotel, and the surrounding inlets and coves offer ease of navigation. For the youngsters still finding their sea legs, the hotel’s natural ocean pool serves as a great spot to teach children to snorkel. It has also been lovingly filled with starfish so as to further encourage them to dive-down and break the surface.
WELLNESS TOURISM – Which leads me to one of the key differentiating aspects of the boutique hotel. Unlike many hotels in The Bahamas, Turquoise Cay caters to the health-conscious traveler, embracing the wellness tourism trend by hosting two Ultimate Exuma retreats a year, the first slated for April. Adiris Salas, food and beverage manager, and a devoted yogi, was inspired to include Natural Solar Nutrition Based Juices on ONE80’s breakfast menu, the goal: encourage guests to consume foods at their optimum time of day so as to enhance their health mentally, emotionally and physically. Needless to say we drank said juice only moments before Andrea did this. We implore if you are to do the same do so at your own risk.
EVENT LOCATION – Naturally, given the nature of the Island “I Do” Guide I always assess a space with the eye of an event planner. Turquoise Cay offers an event-space which welcomes a bride and groom to introduce a pop of colour to an otherwise neutral palette. That’s of course after taking in to account the turquoise bay in to which the infinity pool cascades. The restaurant ONE80 can comfortably seat up to 60 after pre-dinner cocktails in the HighTide lounge upstairs and before guests spill out on to HighTide’s lower decker where the stars and moon light the night.
DESIGN – Although I would have to say the location doesn’t want for any great lengths of embellishment it does offer the perfect blank canvas to style a luxe seaside wedding. The boutique hotel has an overall modern feel, the outdoor-low profile seating areas mirrors the linear lines of the resort’s pool which meets a rather flat horizon. The same can be said for much of the surrounding landscape of The Bahamas. The cold feeling usually associated with such a design style however is not present as the imposing upper and lower verandah – which can be considered the focal point of Turquoise Cay – introduces the warmth of Caribbean architecture and welcomes guests to spend a moment or even a day on one of the verandahs. Not to mention upon your arrival you are greeted to a reception area dressed in style, complete with a cold towel and a Bahama Mama waiting for you. The eight rooms are home to varying interiors, all calm in colour so as to not compete with the turquoise waters which surround the resort.
FAMILY FRIENDLY – Of the eight rooms only two offer king beds, while the remainder are double rooms. A unique design decision, and one I had to question. In response I was told the boutique hotel recognizes the need to cater to families with children, younger and older, who can sleep in the same or separate beds. The same was also said for the adults. Of course as an almost newlywed I found this hard to grasp, then again give me a couple of years. Notably, Turquoise Cay has seen a trend in one large family – or two families – wishing to vacation together and therefore renting out the resort in its entirety. A trend the hotel embraces.
P.S. My stay was complimentary but as always thoughts and opinions are my own. To book a stay at Turquoise Cay visit their website here.
P.P.S. Photos by AndMarie