Kamalame Cay: the closest faraway island oasis for luxury travellers
I almost witnessed the destruction of a marriage this weekend when I visited the island oasis Kamalame Cay in Staniard Creek, Andros, but not for any reason I am sure you may be thinking.
A young professional couple from Atlanta enjoyed a weekend stay at the private island, but someone made the wrong flight arrangements. This forced a disgruntled wife to leave the island begrudgingly a day early. During a refined Saturday night wine pairing dinner, the error was not mentioned once or twice or three times, but so many times I lost count.
I guarantee you, in addition to the memory of coconut spiced soup served in a fresh jelly-filled coconut husk or sauteed lobster plated with traditional Bahamian grits, which they delightfully sampled on their last night of island romance, I am certain, one memory that will always be a source of marital discontent is how they had to dismount from the lap of luxury 24-hours too soon.
Kamalame Cay is one of the most accessible luxury escapes within 20 minutes of the capital Nassau. A 15 minute helicopter ride will land you on a private beach, minutes away from your very own beach-front bungalow. This is the preferred choice if bumpy roads sour your taste. The alternative, a 15-minute charter or commercial flight that will carry you into Fresh Creek, where you’ll need a 25-minute taxi ride and a three-minute ferry ride to arrive at Kamalame Cay.
From the Western shore of Kamalame Cay, the glow on the horizon at night is Nassau, an island so far but just close enough: a perfect metaphor for the type of experience you will find on the island, service at your convenience and autonomy at your leisure. You can make your own private fun on the island, or join the organised action available at the main social hubs. The Great House and the Tikki Bar feature a Manhattan-esque social scene: interesting people with a passion for life and a love of their own eccentricities.
The energy of the island comes directly from the owners and managers, a Jamaican family naturalized in the Bahamas with Asian roots. They are at the same time sophisticated, smart, flamboyant and saucy with a touch of spice. For sure, they have a knack for making you have a good time, even if you and they are the only ones on the island. The owners live on the island and treat guests as if family returning home.
And although the social scene is a major part of the experience, the island is large enough to offer a completely different encounter. Four words to let you know if you identify with this side of Kamalame Cay: privacy, comfort, service and romance. Children are welcome on the island, but it definitely suits an adult taste more completely.
The 96 acres is lined by three miles of white-sand beach; the swaying palms and coconut groves hide the beach and cottage suits nestled amongst the lush vegetation. Their sweeping verandas and panoramic views are paired with the essential amenities and the finest service. And there are lots for sale, where you can buy or build a private home. You can stay as a guest, or visit for a short stay to simply dine on the island or seek refuge and relaxation at the over-water spa.
From the Western end of Nassau you can reach Kamalame Cay by boat faster than Rose Island. I certainly only had a small taste of Kamalame Cay on my first visit to the island, but I saw enough to know, the island is the type of retreat that luxury travelers could certainly dream of owning or experiencing. The resort has been around for 15 years, and as long as it delivers on the service side, every time, it should have an easy go at another 15 years.