Not far from the busy streets of Nassau, and a quick jaunt from the pink sand beaches of Eleuthera, you’ll find Royal Island. This private oasis is home to arguably the most unique vacation destination the Bahamas has to offer, as Cuvee’s Royal Island‘s near-legendary curated experiences introduce visitors to personalized luxury that elevates a Caribbean island getaway to otherworldly nirvana.
With only five bungalows on this 430-acre paradise, this Cuvée property is ideal for extended families and small groups seeking an intimate getaway that lacks typical vacation details like reservations, long lines and, well, other guests. And for many travelers, peace, quiet and luxurious comfort are the primary ingredients for a memorable vacation.
But that’s simply not enough for Cuvée, an ultra-luxury brand that prides itself on improving travel experiences by immersing guests in local culture and ensuring that every need is met, and then some. When we think “private island,” there’s already an expectation for something extraordinary; however, at Cuvee’s Royal Island, it’s almost as if the goal is to reach into our dreams and retrieve results that are beyond our wildest expectations.
A family reunion, destination wedding or honeymoon with guests, retirement party, graduation celebration, 50th birthday party—the possibilities are endless, and the results will be quite satisfying for your clan.
Each villa is intended for two people, and the design is as clever as it is simple. Upon entering, you’re greeted by a quaint seating area offering two comfortable chairs, a couch that looks directly out at the ocean, and a desk in case your idea of paradise involves catching up on emails. There’s also a TV, but you should just unplug it unless you need something besides ocean sounds for falling asleep.
And that might be our favorite part of these villas, how the couch backs right up to the king-size bed, so if you’re not sitting and looking out at Melanie Beach, you’re waking up to one of the most beautiful tropical sights you’ve ever imagined.
Behind the bed, the wood-lined walls lead you to a large bathroom highlighted by twin vanities, a clawfoot tub, shower and closed-off toilet. There’s also a small bar and coffee station in case you need to fuel up before you head out to the sand and continue relaxing.
Worried about where the children will sleep? A bunk house is available with beds for up to four kids, as well as a nanny suite with two queen beds and one more king suite. In all, Cuvee’s Royal Island sleeps 17-18 guests.
Endless Adventure Awaits
From the moment Cuvée staff greets you in North Eleuthera, welcoming you aboard the Royal Treatment for a 15-minute voyage to your private island, the depth of the personalized experience is on full display. But whatever your group size — 10 adults, or maybe four children and your college students tagged along — it’s fair to wonder of the hosts: Can they truly provide something for everyone to do for the entirety of this vacation?
And the staff will tell you: “Yes.”
If your preference is to relax by the pool, or maybe alternate between the beach and pool depending on your mood or desire to limit your steps, you’ll be pampered there by the staff, and likely encouraged to try daily massages from the Beach Club and Spa. Pick up the tempo with yoga and pilates sessions (again, totally private, so you won’t worry about bumping into the person next to you) or visits to the fitness center. If keeping healthy is your top priority, the island even offers a detox menu.
If your vacation never leaves the pool, though, you’ll never know just how far the customization goes. With so many acres to explore, guides await the opportunity to take you on hikes through the mangroves or bike rides over casual trails. Take the exploration to the gorgeous turquoise waters with expeditions for snorkeling, diving and even spear fishing. Or, keep a good view from above the water from kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, or a private boat excursion.
Just remember to make time for a pre-dinner nap.
You Choose the Menus
Before you even arrive on Royal Island, the Beachfront Restaurant and Driftwood Bar know exactly what you want. Your personally curated menu assures that the private chef will cater every meal to your personal or group preferences.
Fancy a tropical smoothie or frozen cocktail and you’ll have it within minutes – something that is truly magical for everyone who has ever waited an hour for a frozen margarita poured from a machine. Gourmet snacks are also delivered for poolside munchies, but don’t spoil the bigger meals.
If you’re worried that sitting at the same table for each meal might become repetitive, don’t be foolish. In addition to customized menus, the staff also creates one-of-a-kind dining experiences that become part of the adventure. For example, a make-your-own sushi dinner will allow your friends and family to roll up their sleeves and get creative with their food.
A remote sandbar picnic is also available for a lunch that you’ll never stop talking about. The basket is packed with food that you’ve picked, and all you need to do is paddle your way to the perfect dining location that basically feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. And be sure to bring a camera, because your social media friends will lose their minds over this view.
The Little Things Make Big Memories
One of the most important (and perhaps difficult) aspects of creating a customizable experience for multiple people is keeping the action going so the trip never feels like it’s slowing down. What’s impressive about Cuvee’s Royal Island is how even the seemingly simplest ideas and most effortless touches – end-of-the-night fireworks shows, a fire pit, movie night on the beach, etc. – make everything flow so well, enough so that guests might never stop and wonder, “What’s next?”
They’ll be too busy asking, “When are we coming back?”