Nestled in a nature preserve, Amanyara sits on the west end of the island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, and is worlds away from the popular tourist strip of Grace Bay. Hardscrabble, overgrown landscape opens up to a clearing of dramatically crashing waves, offering you the opportunity to stare at the ocean, speed around in electric golf carts, drink mojitos topped up with Champagne, eat freshly seared fish, spend the afternoon in eco kayaks and — blissfully — that’s about it.
Amanyara (brought to you by luxury hoteliers Aman Resorts) means "peaceful place" in Sanskrit, and it’s not just a cute moniker. For those who don’t want to exchange the sounds of the city for the sounds of someone else’s kids, Amanyara offers the ultimate in quiet and luxury — if you can afford the steep price tag. (Individual guest rooms start at $1,350 per night.) The resort offers all of the privacy and communing with nature of a trip to the deepest reaches of Muskoka, but on a Caribbean island where the rocky cliffs, soft-sand beach and salt spray are just over yonder.
The resort is divided into privately owned three-, four- and five-bedroom villas (most of which have been placed in a rental pool for visiting guests) and free-standing one-bedroom, glass-walled villas that function as uberprivate hotel rooms. With the exception of a select few beachfront villas, most of the guestrooms are set back into the brush and sit on reflecting ponds; swimming pools are currently being added to several individual guestrooms.
The architectural design is simple and Asian-inspired — Aman is a Singapore-based company — with tall, unadorned pavilions with vaulted ceilings that accentuate the natural beauty of the property. The main resort structures, an elegant mix of white walls and polished wooden frames, stand on the edge of a rocky shore and small, groomed beach. Like curtains drawn on a stage, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows are always open, offering a view of the rough but inviting sea from wherever you stand or sit.
For all of the options on the table — kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving (T&C has the third largest coral reef in the world), yoga, tennis, spa-ing, showering outdoors, tracking the small lizards that skip across the stone paths, the clear front-runner activity appears to be lounging. It’s one of those places that so successfully seduces you into relaxation that sitting up starts to seem like a chore.
At night, the impressively clear sky full of stars encourages lingering long after dinner is over. And while the privacy of each villa promises a soundless sleep, I found it most difficult to tear myself away from the meditative roar of the ocean — preferably accompanied by a supporting symphony of lightly clinking ice.
Sarah Treleaven was a guest of Amanyara.
If you go
Getting there WestJet flies direct to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, several times a week; the flight takes approximately four hours from Toronto.
Staying there The Amanyara resort’s website is amanresorts.com/amanyara/home.aspx.