Turks & Caicos, perfected: say hello to Pine Cay

One of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets, Pine Cay is Turks & Caicos’ original private island, home to an elegant 12-room hotel, a small collection of private homes and two miles of pristine white-sand beach.

Pine Cay’s storied history began in the late Fifties, when Austrian explorer Count Ferdinand Czernin stumbled across the island on his travels. Enamoured by its untapped wilderness and complete seclusion, Czernin began a mission to share this remote treasure with like-minded friends. Sadly he passed away in 1966 before his dream was realised, however his legacy lives on through a handful of families who sensitively built charming family homes on the island thorugh the 70s. Now there are 38 homes dotted across the 800 acres of land, and what began life as the Clubhouse for homeowners and their guests has naturally evolved into a boutique hotel for Pine Cay’s growing community.

A recent renovation saw the hotel elegantly re-design its ten existing Beachfront Rooms, and add a new spa, fully-equipped gym and two freestanding Beachfront Suites, all designed to champion Pine Cay’s original rustic charm and barefoot ethos. Pared-back interiors celebrate the cool Caribbean location, with calming sandy tones and natural pine and driftwood accents complemented by bold pops of turquoise and deep ocean blues.

A 20-minute boat ride from mainland Turks & Caicos, Pine Cay is home to one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, alongside the world’s third largest barrier reef, salt flats, shimmering freshwater lagoons and undulating sand dunes. Days at Pine Cay are spent snorkelling and diving through the kaleidoscopic coral reef and reef balls, which double up as a nursery for turtles, schools of young fish and all manner of juvenile marine life.

On-loan paddle boards and entirely transparent kayaks are ready and waiting to be borrowed, and the cerulean waters are ripe for fishing adventures, including deep-sea fishing, reef fishing and unrivalled world-class bone-fishing. A near-constant breeze from the trade winds promises prime sailing conditions, and a small fleet of Hobie Cats and larger boats are available. Back on dry land, there’s birdwatching, biking, and tennis. Unforgettable wildlife encounters range from the gargantuan (whale watching) to the tiny: dazzling glow-worm cruises take place each lunar month.

Channelling the blissful serenity of its setting, Pine Cay guests are invited to unwind at the Sand Dollar Spa, where two tranquil treatment rooms await. Guests can pick from a wide range of massages and body scrubs, alongside reflexology, lymphatic massage, Ayurvedic rituals, cream baths and bespoke treatments at the hands of Pine Cay’s expert Balinese masseuse. Other health highlights include a fully-equipped gym, tennis court and beachfront yoga classes.

Sustainability and biodiversity preservation are at the core of Pine Cay: cars are not permitted on the island, but rather transportation exists in the form of electric golf carts and bicycles; single-use plastics are nowhere to be seen; and boats are equipped with fuel-efficient four-stroke engines. Pine Cay is a key partner in the Caicos Pine Recovery Project, working to protect the country’s native tree, the Caicos pine (Pinus caribaea) and its habitat for the future, currently under threat from the invasive pine tortoise scale.