Close your eyes and imagine what you think heaven will look like. What do you see?
When I close my eyes and imagine paradise, I am taken back to the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Amanyara is a luxury resort in the Turks and Caicos. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that touched my soul.
We visited the Turks and Caicos in December 2016. I wanted to surprise my other half while on vacation. I saw all types of luxury resorts offering romantic sunset dinners on the beach. I thought that sounded pretty cool. I had seen advertisements for Amanyara intermittently. On a whim, I sent an email inquiring about doing a sunset dinner on the beach at their resort. We were staying about 30 minutes away in Grace Bay. The customer service was on point and I was able to arrange a private, sunset dinner on our last night on the island.
The limo driver who drove us from the airport to the hotel was very helpful. I asked him about the easiest way to get to Amanyara. He said he could drive us but it would be $100 each way. I thought to myself, there’s no way I am paying $200 for an hour drive. I said it was ok, we could rent a car for a day and drive ourselves. The limo driver looked at me and said “you will never make it unless you have a 4×4.” When I asked him why, he said it was an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere. I was undaunted. He had to be exaggerating.
The night of our dinner, we set off to Amanyara. The road to Amanyara isn’t on any maps. It’s all unmarked. We found a local who pointed us in the right direction. Once on the road, we could see what the limo driver had been talking about. It is a narrow, unpaved road that seems to go no where. As we got further into the drive, it began to get dicey. Our small rental car was heaved back and forth from the force of the deep dips in the rocky road. I began to wonder if we would make it. And our cell phones were useless which made the situation even more grim. I envisioned us being stranded on this road in the dark with no way to call for help. I’m not sure how long we drove but it seemed like forever. Finally, we could see what had to be the resort. We both breathed a sigh of relief. I was feeling terrible about having my other half drive this perilous and stressful road. I couldn’t imagine the white knuckle ride could be worth it. I was very wrong.
There is an intercom at the entrance of Amanyara. We pulled up, I gave them our names and the gate slowly lifted. As we drove through the gate, we quickly realized that this was no ordinary resort. It is nirvana, truly heaven on earth. Tall tropical trees swayed as the trade winds gently blew. We were greeted personally from someone at the hotel and escorted into the resort. I had arranged the dinner for sunset. We were a bit early (I’m always early) so she suggested we take a seat by the pool while we waited for our table to be ready. There were a few people milling about, swimming, lounging by the pool. We got a drink from the bar and had a seat. Amanyara seems to sit on the edge of the earth. This majestic compound is beyond words. All we could see was the vast Atlantic ocean, shimmering blue, gold and azure as it danced in the sunlight.
My other half has been to the finest, most extravagant places on the planet. He is not easily impressed. As he sipped his MacAllan, he looked at me, smiled and said thank you. This is amazing. I was happy. No, I wasn’t just happy, it was a moment of pure, unadulterated contentedness that few people will ever experience. Time stopped that evening at Amanyara.
As the sun slowly began to set, we were escorted to our private table overlooking the ocean. The path was lit with tiki torches. They seated us at our table, a lone dinner spot in paradise. We could hear the waves lapping at the base of the rocky cove we were perched above. Our table was lit by candlelight. Thinking back on it right now, has literally brought tears to my eyes. The emotion it evokes in me is powerful. I’m not sure why, but it is like Hawaii is to me. There is magic in Hawaii and there is most certainly magic at Amanyara. Our dinner was amazing. Being on the edge of an island, we could see every single star in the sky. The food was outstanding but the experience was something that will live in my heart forever.
Of course, after dinner we had to make the perilous trip back to our hotel. But our evening at Amanyara was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. As we drifted off to sleep that night, Michael held me tight and whispered “I love you, thank you.” Totally worth every penny.