Best Private Islands: Turks & Caicos' Pine Cay

Other places say they're "Old Caribbean"; the Meridian Club on Pine Cay means it. Of course, there's a lot that's new about the resort: new room upgrades, a new fleet of boats, new chefs and new environmentally conscious initiatives. The vibe, though, hasn't changed since the resort's inception some 35 years ago. That means a longtime staff, an unspoiled natural environment and a classic island lifestyle (no crowds, no TV and please, no cell phones). Enjoy any of the 13 suites right on the beach of this 1 ¼-square-mile island, or truly make yourself at home in a secluded rental house. Then kick back on a 2-mile-long, often deserted white-sand beach -- because that is timeless Caribbean. See photos. Here is further insight from the Pine Cay managers: What do you think U.S. travelers enjoy most about your island? We are old-style Caribbean -- no high rises, no jet skies and we discourage the use of cell phones. We encourage relaxation. We have a 2 miles sugar white beach with no one on it. We are also a very friendly and comfortable place where friendships are forged because, with no TV or air conditioning to keep people in their rooms, people are encouraged to chat and meet others. View Larger Map
Which of your offerings best celebrates the authentic island culture? All of our rooms are ON THE BEACH. We have been virtually unchanged, in concept, since our inception in 1973. Our staff is loyal and more than 50% of the staff have been with us for over 15 years. What makes the Meridian Club unique among all the world's private-island resorts? The island is owned by a group of environnmentally and socially conscious members. They have made a decision not to over develop the island. The island is safe and very natural. There are no cars or paved roads. Members travel around in electric golf cards and guests travel around on bicycles and feet. We allow people to step back in time. Most people who search us out are well traveled and enjoy privacy during the day and mingling at meal times. We are a place that needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Our success speaks for itself as we have a 55% repeat clientele with an 85% repeat factor in February. Some guests come twice/year. Do you have any new amenities, accommodations, travel specials or other features planned for 2009? We have been upgrading our guest rooms and Club facility over the last few years. Our latest upgrade has been to replace all vanities and sinks. The sinks are made locally from crushed conch shell. We have also stepped up our GREEN initiative. We are stamping out the use of plastic bags and styrofoam as well as one-use bottles. We now provide guests with water bottles that can be refilled and tote bags that can be used in our Commissary for purchases and such. To find out more information and book your stay, visit meridianclub.com. For more private islands, click here.