Private Island Resorts:Little Whale Cay is a delightful isle that sits among a cluster of a hundred cays (pronounced "keys") in the Berry Islands of the Bahamas. Beautifully unpretentious with its unspoiled beaches and sustained natural beauty, the island is surrounded by liquid blue, a "jewel" that used to be a wild and remote island over-grown with dense vegetation. A rich Englishman, Mr. Wallace Grove, developed Little Whale Cay in the 1930s, developing a bird sanctuary on the island. Today, ducks, peacocks, a pink flamingo (who thinks he's a duck) and a wide variety of birds dwell in the tropical gardens, coconut palms and banyan trees.
The island resort's "key" attraction is privacy, paying forward an experience of absolute isolation and seclusion. For the paparazzi-hounded seeking solitude, the weary business professional in search of relief from work tension, a family seeking an hideaway retreat, or a couple wanting romantic seclusion, a visit to this luxury island home provides pure relaxation and peace of mind.
For the restless, there is plenty to do at Little Whale Cay : sailing; snorkeling; boating; scuba diving; kayaking; bird watching; and swimming. Situated in the bone fishing
capital of the world, big-game fishermen come to these waters in search of a record catches of bonefish, mackerel, and white and blue marlins. A guided bone-fishing trip is highly recommended and must be booked in advance. For those who simply want to relax, acclimating to "island time" is effortless with a choice of strategically placed hammocks, beach chairs, and a library of good reads.
A glistening infinity pool sits adjacent to an outdoor patio, with view of surrounding islands; the perfect spot for lounging, having lunch, soaking up the island breezes, and joining other guests for sundowners. An all-weather tennis court and air-conditioned gym is available to accommodate the physically fit, or those who just want to work off a few calories from lunch. The private yoga deck (or topless bathing deck, should the rest of the private island not suffice) offers fantastic views of the sea, and indulgent body treatments can be arranged haphazardly through out the day.
The island Chef takes special requests and diets into consideration well in advance, preparing a fare that is light and healthy, and with a twist on classic dishes. Fresh food is flown in from Florida once a week to create dishes as simple and delicious as an egg and veggie frittata, Caesar salad, mouthwatering crab cakes and a special treat - candied bacon in maple glaze. With cuisine that is equal to that of a five star restaurant, the setting and the service is refreshingly unpretentious.
With only three villas on the 93-acre property, a maximum of twelve adults and two children can be accommodated at one time. The colonial-style main house, known as Little Whale House overlooks a white-sand beach on the eastern side of the island with views of the historic lighthouse and is equipped with WIFI and a Bose iPod docking system. With two en-suite bedrooms, an open living salon and formal dining room, a bar, cathedral ceilings, and 30s style Cuban décor make this house an upscale a comfortable home.
The Flamingo House is quaint, set on a slope with views of the private harbor, four double bedrooms, and a terrace overlooking the tropical gardens. The Peacock House, cozy and undoubtedly romantic, offers a double bedroom and terrace with views of neighboring Big Whale Cay. Each villa has a fully equipped kitchen, en-suite bathrooms, and a living area with a diverse selection of books and DVD's.
If privacy and discretion tops the list of luxury amenities you require, and if warm Caribbean waves and the peacefulness of the tropical breezes beckon, then come soak up some Bahamian sunshine on this charming, unspoiled island, reveling in the fact that you've found a little slice of paradise at Little Whale Cay.
Price Little Whale Cay rents to a maximum of 12 people (plus 2 children) for a minimum stay of one week for $55,000. Over Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving, the rate goes up to $65,000. Accommodation and use of all island facilities and boat fuel are included. Meals and drinks, a tennis pro, bone fishing guide, spa services, wave runners, scuba diving and use of telephone are all added charges. Staff gratuity is not included, nor is Bahamian room tax, which works out to be a 15% additional charge. Visit the Luxury Retreats website for more information.
Flying from Fort Lauderdale, customs can be cleared at Chub Cay, only a five minute flight to Little Whale Cay. Flight transfers from Nassau can be arranged on Golden Wings through Executive Flight Support.
Please note: Passports are now required for US Citizens.
Nassau and Paradise Island
Day trips can easily be arranged for some gambling and duty-free shopping.
Take the island boat and explore a number of uninhibited islands for a day. Stop and let your toes sift through sugar sand beaches, snorkel with southern stingrays, and watch pelicans perch dangerously in trees. We explored a deserted beach at Bonds Cay, an island recently purchased by Shakira (the Latin pop singer-songwriter) for a price of 4 million dollars. It won't be uninhabited for long, so enjoy it while you may.
Hoffman's Cay, The Blue Hole
Drifting up to Hoffman's Cay we
noticed lemon sharks skirting the perimeter of the island. Famous for a 600-foot wide blue hole in the middle of the ground, this cay offers the perfect opportunity to do a little cliff diving - a 20-foot plunge. A natural, tidal fed hole called The Blue Hole is in the center of this uninhabited island and makes for fantastic scenery and a great place to kick back and enjoy a refreshing dip.
Little Harbour Cay - Flo's Conch Bar & Restaurant
For a taste of the islands, make sure you call in your order early to Chester, who will make you the best conch fritters and conch ceviche in the islands. Flo's Conch Bar is a bar and restaurant high up on a hill overlooking one of the prettiest and most picturesque harbors in the Bahamas. Here, we found the blueprints for the future development of Bonds Cay. Phone: 242-457-3969 / Radio VHF 68
Luxury lodging in Nassau
Should you fly into Nassau before and need a luxury Bed & Breakfast to stay at for the night, A Stone's Throw Away will accommodate your needs in true Bahamian hospitality. Perched on a cliff not far from the airport, the B&B offers spectacular sea views and is another hidden gem of the Bahamas.
For LxM Sherry Martin
Photography by Sherry Martin