Soak In The Turks-Quoise Bliss At Amanyara

The luxury resort on a remote stretch of Turks and Caicos beachfront delivers on the promise of a peaceful stay in technicolor blue.

Everything about Amanyara encourages escaping. The 10-minute drive from the main road down a bumpy, unpaved path hints at its remote location on the island's northwest coast, far from the resorts strung along Grace Bay. Freestanding villas flanked by foliage with paths leading to private beaches and jagged outcrops speak to the level of privacy; stringing a rope barrier across the path leading to your front door lets staff know you want to be left to your own devices.

Some accommodations are self-contained, with private pools, the option of a private chef and butler, and bedrooms designed for your nanny—or your bodyguard. But if I had to select the one feature that makes this upscale tropical escape a paragon of perfection, it's not the fact that you can hole up and be left completely alone—it's the water.

An aerial view of the beach at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.
There's no such thing as a bad beach in this destination, but some are certainly more amazing than others. | Amanyara

In my Instagram story, I referred to the water as looking like "Turks-quoise", and there's no other fitting way to describe its uniqueness. The color on this island—and on the pristine stretch of beach occupied by the Amanyara—is like none other I've seen, except maybe Bora Bora. It's a hue that mesmerizingly morphs into various shades of cerulean, teal, aquamarine, and cobalt depending on the water depths, time of day, and the sun's angle. I couldn't get enough of it. And it's definitely capable of stirring any guest to emerge from their cocoon of luxury.

Depending on the time of day or time of year, you might have that half-mile of white sand beach practically to yourself. (When I was there in June, there were rarely more than a few other guests strewn out on lounge chairs.)  The property is located within an 18,000-acre nature reserve, with literally nothing next door except a public beach a decent walk away that's really only "busy" on weekends. The water is gloriously calm and unbelievably clear, and so salty that it's literally impossible not to float. Kayaks and SUPs are at your disposal; just as fun is watching schools of fish meander by. The name Amanyara, a mash-up of Sanskrit and the language of the indigenous Arawaks, doesn't translate to "peaceful place" for nothing.

An aerial view of the property at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.
Beyond the beach, the island's natural beauty is on full display here. | Amanyara

Even more restorative than hugging the coastline on the water is getting out there on a boat. Included as an amenity are snorkeling expeditions within Northwest Point Marine National Park —just a five- or 10-minute boat ride right from the beach. The morning I went, I was the only taker, and my captain graciously offered to accompany me underwater to spot the marine life.  He dove down to coax out spiny lobsters from their hiding spots and we peered at aqua parrotfish and graceful blue and yellow queen angelfish hanging out by the coral reef, as purple lace-like sea fans lazily waved with the current. It was among the best snorkeling I've ever done, especially since it was so effortless: no taxi to the harbor or shuttling on and off a boat with dozens of other people.

Eventually, though, I had to retreat to my villa to escape the intense summer sun and wash off all that salt. Not that it was a hardship by any stretch. Amanyara's pavilions, as they are called, overlook ponds or beaches. Eaves overhang on three sides to provide shade on the terrace, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors let you soak in your natural surroundings. In addition to the watersports and snorkeling, other niceties include daily wellness classes, in-room refreshments like fresh fruit, chocolate, nuts, and candy, a well-stocked coffee and tea station with a Nespresso machine and electric kettle, and a mini-fridge with non-alcoholic beverages. (There is a charge for in-room wine and liquor in the minibar.)

I was given a welcome cocktail upon arrival that I could spike at the bar, and when I checked into my room, there was a bottle of Charles Heidsieck Champagne chilling, which I immediately uncorked, taking a fluteful down my path to check out my semi-private rocky beach at dusk. (Daily insect treatments keep the mosquitos relatively at bay, but there is bug spray in the room if you need it.) A tote bag and flip flops are for your use and a sweet souvenir when you return home.

The interior view of the Ocean Pavilion at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.
The Ocean Pavilion offers subtle décor that pairs nicely with the surrounding natural beauty. | Amanyara

Layouts and other amenities depend on the room category. My 700-sq. ft. Ocean Pavilion was outfitted with a four-poster king-size bed with sheer curtains, a living area, and en suite bathroom with a freestanding tub, spacious rain shower, twin vanities, and a Japanese toilet with an automatic heated seat and bidet and dryer features. Thoughtful pampering-focused treats were left on my bed nightly including Aman-branded gold algae eye masks, handmade soap, and bath bombs. My wooden sun deck had two lounge chairs and an umbrella, and there were two bikes parked outside for my use. (It was a tad hot during my visit, so I opted to call the front desk to request a buggy ride to get to and from the restaurants, beach, and spa.)

Since Amanyara is so isolated, you'll most likely enjoy all your meals on property. Most guests take advantage of the Season of Discovery package, which is all-inclusive of all meals including a two-course lunch and three-course dinner. The Restaurant, as it's simply called, serves breakfast and dinner, with a view of either the ocean or shallow water features adjacent to the lobby and bar. The latter look especially dramatic after dark, when the lights reflect on the water, and on some evenings there's live music.

You can start your day with a variety of pastries and egg dishes, options from the wellness menu like coconut chia pudding or an açai bowl, or savory fare like shakshuka or cheese and charcuterie. I was delighted to learn that the current dinner menu skews Asian, with curries, sushi, and noodle dishes, and throughout the course of my stay I sampled a lot of it. Memorable dishes include gyoza stuffed with pork, ginger, and cabbage, silky black cod sliders, green Thai curry with eggplant, and A4 Japanese Wagyu sirloin served with bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, which literally melted in my mouth like butter. Desserts also have an Eastern slant, like a coconut cream-topped spongy, green chiffon cake with the herbaceous, vanilla-coconut flavor of pandan leaf.

The pizza making class at the Beach Club at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.
From private, romantic dining for two to a pizza making class, the culinary options are divinely creative. | Amanyara

The Beach Club is Amanyara's other dining concept, with a Mediterranean menu for lunch, snacks, and casual dinners, taken at tables on tiered decks with ocean views. I found this to be quite a delightful spot to escape the sun for lunch, but if you prefer, staff will bring food to your lounge chair or daybed at the beach or infinity pool. Start with an Aperol, Hugo, Amalfi, or Campari spritz and a trio of spreads, served with freshly baked oregano bread. Crispy fritto misto arrives with fried zucchini and lemon aioli, clams are steamed with white wine, tomatoes and garlic, and tender, fresh conch ceviche is topped with gremolata and tomato salsa.

There's also a wood-fired oven for pizzas and freshly made pasta, and a catch of the day that can be grilled, pan-seared or fried. (A seriously overcooked piece of grouper one day was the kitchen's only misstep, and staff immediately swooped in to rectify the situation.) If you're feeling peckish in the afternoon, complimentary afternoon tea is served at the bar, with an iced tea infusion and savory and sweet bites like mochi and tofu.

The interior of the Beach Club bar at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.
Guests can mingle and enjoy refreshing cocktails at the Beach Club's bar. | Amanyara

Sundowners are a big deal here. Guests flock to a table al fresco next to the infinity pool, or one of the open-air built-in nooks with lounge pillows, to sip a craft cocktail from a menu that balances booze-forward libations with refreshing ones as the sun sets. The herbal, savory Gin Ticker combines fennel-infused gin, Chartreuse, lemon, celery bitters, and saline; and Aztec Summer shakes jalapeno Tequila and mezcal with Lillet Blanc, cucumber, lime, and agave. The resort also regularly welcomes guest bartenders; during my stay, Valentino Longo, beverage consultant and winner of the 2020 North America Most Imaginative Bartender Competition, was serving original sips including a mango and rum riff on a New York Sour.

At the spa, all-in-one freestanding treatment pavilions include a full bathroom and changing area. Treatments are inspired by the Aman brand's three product lines—Grounding, Purifying and Nourishing—with four treatments for each formulation, Massage, Body Scrub and Wrap, Face Ritual, and the Journey. My 90-minute massage from in-house therapist Jick was exactly what my stiff neck and shoulders needed. A spa pool and relaxation area extend the bliss.

A pair of loungers on the beach at Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.
The wellness options range from spectacular spa experiences to simply spending hours watching the stunning waves roll in. | Amanyara

In addition to treatments, Amanyara's wellness programming includes mindfulness and stress management, one-day wellness immersions, and longer retreats. One afternoon, I met with visiting specialist and current wellness manager Toby Maguire, who used a device on me called an AcuGraph, basically a simplified version of Chinese medicine that can chart deficiencies in various organs and systems. The results can be used to curate a customized holistic plan with nutritional and fitness guidance during and after your visit. Afterwards, he guided me on one of the mindfulness walks offered weekly, which wound through the vegetation and ended with a seated guided meditation on the sand.

Staff told me that four nights here is the sweet spot for a stay, the perfect amount of time to generate restorative vibes and take advantage of the property's amenities without running out of things to do. As my car service turned onto that dirt road to begin the half-hour journey back to the airport in Providenciales, I thought about how even a three-night sojourn in this blue-filtered escape definitely instilled a sense of lingering peace.