The luxurious Parrot Cay resort is situated on the beautiful island of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. Last month paradise was disrupted by two hurricanes ripping across the region. Mary Aziz asks Nolie Omar, resident manager of Parrott Cay, about the effects of the hurricane and how the resort is getting back up and running.BTN: How much damage did Hurricane Ike cause here?
NO: Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat were only minimally impacted by hurricanes Hanna and Ike. The resort sustained cosmetic damage primarily in the form of trees and landscaping.
BTN: And how about the other islands?
NO: On 1 September 2008, Hurricane Hanna affected the islands, especially South Caicos. On 6 September 2008, a number of buildings across the archipelago where destroyed as Hurricane Ike, a Category 4 storm with wind speeds of 225 km/h (140 mph), passed through.
BTN: What advice would you give to tourists planning to visit the islands soon?
NO: The property was closed for a brief period until September 21 to allow staff time to get the resort back to its highly-regarded standards of operation. The resort is now fully functional.
BTN: You’ve been nominated at the forthcoming World Travel Awards? How do you think you will do?
NO: We hope to win the award.
BTN: Do you have any new developments or programmes taking place at your resort?
NO: COMO recently launched a new skincare range called PURIFY. Last year they also introduced one of the region’s only Ayurvedic doctors to the COMO Shambhala Retreat at Parrot Cay. Dr Swati is on staff on-island ready to design personalized programmes for guests based on Ayurvedic medicine.
Parrot Cay has also announced a new private villas project. Five new villas for sale are planned and three are already under construction. Designed by Cheong Yew Kwan (responsible for the Rocky Point villas and Parrot Cay Estate), the villas feature whitewashed walls and sun-bleached oak and pale Caicos stone with hand-made furniture and art from Bali. Step from the spacious bedrooms right onto 1.5 acres of powder soft beach, or walk down the striking wooden corridor to the central gathering area to relax in the villa’s tented pavilion. Each villa also features a private, infinity-edged pool and individual butler service. Prices begin at $9.5 million for the 3-bedroom villas and $11 million for the 4-bedroom homes. Parrot Cay is also offering select pieces of beach front land for sale starting at $2.25 million, ideal for those who want to design and build their own home.
BTN: What kind of experience can guests staying at your resort expect?
NO: A truly relaxing experience, where they feel free from the constraints of a hectic everyday life.
BTN: How long has your spa been open?
NO: December 1998
BTN: What was involved in designing it - and what were you hoping to create?
NO: COMO Shambhala is a health concept that has been developed in line with Shambhala’s meaning (Sanskrit for ‘peace’) manifested as centres of wellbeing at all COMO Hotels and Resorts. Treatments range from Yoga to shiatsu to Ayurvedic detox programmes. They distil the best of ancient Asian traditions and, where appropriate, older techniques are combined with Western advances.
COMO Shambhala also produces a range of skin and bodycare products, COMO Shambhala At Home, made from all-natural ingredients. COMO Shambhala Active Living is the company’s resort and activewear line, launched in 2007.
BTN: How many different treatment rooms are available in your facility?
NO: 9 treatment rooms.
BTN: Describe the typical experience at your spa. How long do people stay and what are there motives for coming here?
NO: Many people come to resort and have at least one or two treatments. Some people come specifically for the spa, in which case they might have more than just a couple of treatments, perhaps they will have an Ayurvedic consultation or do a detox or Dr. Perricone programme.
BTN: What types of treatments do you offer that put you above the competition?
NO: The yoga retreat weeks with world renowned yoga teachers, an on-staff Ayurvedic doctor, the extensive facilities including a separate yoga studio, a pilates studio, and a spa cottage for extra private treatments.
BTN: What are the most popular treatments?
NO: COMO Shambhala massage.
BTN: What are the long-term benefits of coming to your spa over all others?
NO: COMO Shambhala as a concept seeks to instill a general appreciation for the sound balance of body and mind. People who indulge in the spa will leave with an appreciation for the benefits of relaxation.
BTN: What is your client capacity for a full day?
NO: The max capacity at the resort is 200.
To find out more news about the hurricane, view pictures and videos and make donations, visit www.tcihurricaneinfo.com