Pine Cay

Private Island, Beachside, Secluded

888 286 7993

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At a Glance

Now part of Relais & Chateaux, this intimate private island retreat off Turks & Caicos, has a low-key, old school Caribbean club vibe, and all rooms offer direct access to the spectacular two-mile-long beach.

Indagare Loves

  • The resort’s fine white-sand beach that guests have practically to themselves
  • The two freestanding beachfront cottages that allow guests to feel more secluded. (There are also nine small houses on the island for rent and managed through the property.)
  • The chill vibes of the island, which feels like the Caribbean 30 years ago
  • Review

    Amid a string of small cays between Providenciales and North Caicos, along the world's third-largest barrier reef, Pine Cay is an intimate private island retreat located just a 20-minute private boat ride from Blue Haven Marina, which is 15 minutes by car from Providenciales International Airport, making for a seamless transfer. Formerly known as Meridian Club, Pine Cay has become part of Relais & Chateaux, and General Manager and Assistant General Manager Christian and Sandrine Langlade, the husband-wife team who have worked at The Christopher and Le Sereno on St. Barth’s and Sandy Lane in Barbados, are raising the level in all ways—style, food and service—at this secluded resort. The property has 11 comfortable 800-square-foot rooms and two 900-square-foot freestanding cottages as well as nine island homes for rent (among Pine Cay’s 38 privately owned  houses). The reason to come is the private two-mile white-sand beach and the unassuming, getaway-from-it-all vibe of the 800-acre isle that is less than a mile wide and two miles long.

    Pine Cay (named for the small forest of endemic and endangered Caicos Pines, a subspecies of the Caribbean Pine) is privately owned (read: mostly undeveloped) and understated luxury is the emphasis here. It is occasionally occupied by a mix of American and European homeowners who come during the holidays and peak season and have access to the pool, meals, bar and small spa when they are on the island. Pine Cay is the Caribbean as it was 30 years ago, and you have the sense from those who have been coming here for decades that they would just as soon keep it that way. Besides a settlement of Taino Indians dating back to the 11th century or so, the island  was mostly uninhabited until the 1970s, which means if you’re taking a golf cart tour or walking the nine miles worth of trails, you may not encounter more than a person or two—but plenty of local flora and fauna. Because of its intimate size, it is also possible to walk for five miles to the end of Little Water Cay, if guests are looking to explore.

    Rooms throughout the property have been given an upgrade with a nautical, navy and white/sea and sand color scheme, along with Dash & Albert rugs and light wood paneling and plenty of closet space, and each comes with its own casual screened-in outdoor terrace, outdoor shower, and direct access to the beach, your own palapa and loungers and an ocean (and sunset) view. While you can definitely still detect the Meridian Club’s origins as a tiny 1970s island “country club,” the vestiges of its past iteration are part of the charm. It’s the kind of place where you can be in your flip flops or go barefoot all day and choose your level of engagement in activities on the water or elsewhere on the island. Though most guests do dress up for cocktails and dinner and casually socialize by the tiki bar by the beach, you don't actually have to do anything but settle in—and that seems to be the point. The food is being elevated to match Relais & Chateaux standards, and the small but appealing menu changes daily (often depending on the local catch), thanks to another dynamic husband and wife duo who make up the chef and baker/dessert team. When we visited, the GM was in the process of bringing in more international staff and training the existing team. Much of the rest of the staff is local, kind and very friendly, if sometimes a little rigid about house rules around meals and activity sign ups. (Guests are asked to select their entrée earlier in the day to avoid food waste, which makes good sense once you are aware of the practice.) Other eco-minded efforts include rainwater harvesting, no single-use plastic, solar power, and a partnership with the Caicos Pine Recovery Project, which works to protect its native tree.

    Guests are likely to spend most days lounging on the beach and cooling off in the turquoise sea, with nothing to disturb the view, save for a few other guests from the resort on a stroll. But they can sign up for daily kayaking (with sea turtle sightings) and snorkeling trips with a local guide, treatments at the Balinese-style spa, take a golf cart tour (with a local or self-guided), play tennis on the grass court or borrow a bicycle, use a paddleboard, hobie cat or the small fitness center. Low-key is the operative word, but the vibe is on the clubby side, with cocktail hour every night with other guests and the GM at the beach bar and meals served by the freshwater pool under thatched pavilions. On the menu: local fish caught fresh daily along with tasty puddings, cakes and freshly baked treats that highlight local flavors. It is quite different from other Turks and Caicos resorts and feels a bit farther from civilization compared to the large five-star resorts. It is definitely on our list of properties to watch evolve. 

    Note: Those looking to rent one of the houses on this sleepy island also have access to three meals, afternoon snacks and tea, use of the pool and tennis court, as well as kayaks, Hobie sail boats and other water sports equipment, and the morning snorkeling trip, space permitting. Special excursions can be arranged upon request with advance notice.

    Who it’s best for: Couples looking for an intimate, low-key, remote getaway right on the beach. 

    Who it’s not right for: Those looking for a full-scale, full-service—butlers and all—resort scene) found on the mainland or on Parrot Cay and who would rather hide out than engage with a small number of other guests.


    Written by Jen Barr

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