Andros, The Bahamas
Just a sliver of sand in The Bahamas, Kamalame Cay is a haven for the rich and famous who want to experience true barefoot luxury, forget about the world and fully embrace island time. The tiny cay is accessible via seaplane or a short, private ferry ride from nearby Andros Island. With just 10 villas and a handful of bungalows, cottages and suites, it’s an exclusive island paradise where time passes at a languid pace. Palm trees, lush tropical plants and shimmering blue water set the scene on both sides of the cay’s single sand-packed road, where the only vehicles you’ll encounter are the island’s ubiquitous golf carts (each villa comes with its own). The staff are friendly and relaxed, whether they’re greeting you each morning with a breakfast picnic basket delivered straight to your door or treating you to an impromptu foot massage on the beach. Since the resort is so intimate, you will see the same faces at the restaurant or by the pool, and after a few days, there’s a friendly atmosphere, especially during the famous monthly luncheon.
Camille Rennicks, leisure sales manager, email@example.com, +44 208 819 3911, kamalame.com
Size: 2,600 sq ft
Nightly rate from $3,335
For a look inside Kamalame Cay’s owners’ vision for the ultimate in island living, check into Magnolia Villa. They designed and constructed the villa, carefully considering every element to create the perfect luxury escape that blends modern amenities and contemporary decor with design elements from the West Indies and from the owners’ global travels in Bali and India. The three-bedroom villa offers a truly indoor-outdoor living experience. The open-concept Great Room sets the tone with 20-ft peaked ceilings and doors that open onto a large, furnished terrace with endless ocean views. It’s easy to spend each evening dining al fresco with freshly grilled seafood, or to while away the day on a sun lounger. While the entire resort feels intimate and private, the villa feels even more removed, perhaps why Serena Williams chose it for her honeymoon. If traveling with staff, there’s a small fourth bedroom below the villa.
It can be difficult to tear yourself from the beautiful beach, but a trip to The Bahamas’ only overwater spa is a must. And it takes full advantage of its location perched above the ocean: There are windows in the floor, so you can be mesmerized by the crashing waves below while you enjoy a skillful massage or body treatment. There are also facials available that use organic OSEA products.
The Great House is the beating heart of the island; guests gather here for most meals. The chef serves inspired Bahamian cuisine with an Asian twist, highlighting local ingredients and flavors. Should you prefer to cook at home, villas come with fully equipped kitchens, and staff can arrange for groceries to be delivered, or for a private chef to come whip up a feast. For a casual beachside lunch, head to the Tiki Bar & Beach Grill, which offers views of the pristine water alongside dishes like tropical conch salad and blackened mahi-mahi wrap.
Despite its small size, there is plenty to do on the island. On land, practice yoga at sunrise, hit up the tennis court, head to a deserted beach for a private picnic or take a leisurely stroll down the beach — a daily ritual for many. And with its proximity to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, there’s no end to the number of on-water activities. Anglers and spear fishers will love the fishing expeditions — the area is called the bonefish capital of the world, and the resort’s chef will cook anything you catch (though the bonefish is catch and release). Rent a boat and your captain will take you to see blue holes and nearby cays where you can snorkel and relax, or head out water skiing or tubing for an adrenaline rush. The region is world-renowned for its scuba diving, thanks to its 100-ft visibility and teeming marine life. The resort has its own PADI-certified dive shop.