08 August 2014
Amanyara Villas - A Peaceful Place
Amanyara Villas – an island paradise resort so secretly tucked away in the Caribbean that those who have had the pleasure to visit prefer to keep it to themselves.
The resort is situated on the beach in Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 Caribbean islands renowned for their incredible underwater life and some of the best dive spots in the world. We are here to experience our own ocean adventure on an exclusive yacht charter but the shore was calling us. Amanyara is a secluded island hideaway, surrounded by rolling hills and offering the utmost in privacy and service – the reason it attracts some of the world’s wealthiest. However, with each villa divided cleverly using the pristine nature preserve, it is easy to believe you are the only person on the island. The heavenly resort is located on a breathtaking 99-acre site, located on the edge of 18,000 acres of lush maritime National Park. Bold and contemporary in design and masterminded by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, Amanyara consists of 40 private guest pavilions and 20 large estate villas available to buy or rent and managed by the acclaimed Amanresorts group. Ingo Reckhorn, director of marketing and PR for Amanyara Villas, says guests fall in love with the island, purchasing the villas after forming an “emotional” connection. Expect one of the resort’s managers to greet you at the airport and take you to your private villa; a peaceful and tranquil retreat with everything you desire at your fingertips. There, a personal butler and a chef provide five-star service – so there is no need to carry a set of keys or a security card around. Just leave the door open, take a dip in your ‘reflection pond’ or take a stroll along the white powder beaches. “Business people may go on holiday and it takes them days to relax. But here at Amanyara, the effect is immediate,” says Reckhorn, adding that the resort’s name translates to ‘Peaceful Place’. It may have something to do with the smooth sounds of reggae that follow you through the various nooks of the resort, the illusion that you are surrounded by water, or the care and thought that has gone into every aspect of the design so that you need not lift a finger. “The owners of these villas know that when they are coming back to Amanyara, they are coming home. Many of the owners know each other here, so at the end of the day they become neighbours – they look at this as their second home, not just a resort,” adds Reckhorn. There is an air of seamlessness about the resort; the design utilising natural timbers and floor-to-ceiling glass. Most of your time is spent outdoors with guests making use of the huge day beds, bathtubs and polished black infinity pools. Stepping inside, no expense has been spared. Everything is top-of-the-range and contemporary with all the trimmings; flat-screen TVs, Bose sound systems, mechanical blinds, duo basins (complete with incredible grapefruit soap), walk-in wardrobes and golf buggies – one for you and the hubby. The Caribbean Islands are renowned by the sailing elite for their turquoise waters, spectacular scenery and colourful marine life. Many stop by on their Caribbean Islands superyacht charter or anchor their very own yacht in the bay. If you prefer your head out of water, there is also fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, and whale watching. Try your hand at deep-sea diving or fly fishing and see if you can catch a mahi-mahi, wahoo, blue marlin or even the famed Caribbean clawless lobster. For the more adventurous, there are a number of activities that best utilise the island’s natural surroundings, such as eco kayaking through deserted mangroves to the south of the island. Or if you fancy a spot of tennis, included are lessons – or a hitting partner if you are holidaying solo. After all that action, it is time to feast. And feast you will. Amanyara is dedicated to all things fresh and delicious. Still suited in your bikini and pair of thongs that are all part and parcel of your kitted-up villa, saunter up to the oceanfront restaurant for a fruit cocktail and the resort’s scrumptious seafood treats. Before you leave the island, take a short drive to the Conch Shack – loved by the locals so you are guaranteed island authenticity. I have it on good authority the potent punch and 23-year-old Guatamalan rum – known as Zacapa – is a must to wash down the fresh cuisine. Watch the fishermen at the careful art of conch removal and learn certain parts of the shell that are rumoured to be an aphrodisiac. From the unique Amanyara champagne mojito recipe, one-on-one yoga classes on your front porch and the sweet smell of the grapefruit soap as you wash your hands each day – it’s the simple touches that make Amanyara such a personal experience that you feel right at home. Life moves slowly here, but you will get used to it. Should you want to buy your own ‘home away from home’, three villas are for sale ranging from €5.5million to €7millon. However, if a holiday is more in your price bracket, or you simply want to step off your superyacht for a little land ‘down time’, you can rent the pavilions from 2,000€ and villas start from 7,400€ per night. For more information visit www.amanyaravillas.com This article and images originally appeared in Fraser yachting magazine