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Fantasy Island: The Enchanting Caribbean Escape of David and Michael King-Hew

The Bahamas, often a synonym for boisterous casinos and cruise ship crowds, can obscure the archipelago's hidden gems. But for those who crave a different kind of luxury – one steeped in tranquility, understated elegance, and a deep respect for nature – there's Kamalame Cay.

The Hews, a couple raised in Jamaica's' golden age, craved a return to that idyllic island life. Brian, an entrepreneur and builder, and Jennifer, an architect and designer, transformed a deserted island into Kamalame Cay. Lush gardens replaced scrub, and classic West Indies cottages bloomed. This wasn't a corporate luxury resort; it was an extension of their cherished island heritage.

Villa Bluefields

David and Michael, the next generation, brought international flair. Their backgrounds in art, advertising, and luxury publishing elevated the experience. New villas, refreshed décor, and a revamped culinary program attracted a stylish clientele. Gone were the pressures of designer swimwear and "right" restaurants. Kamalame Cay offered relaxed chic, genuine connection, and a chilled rosé by the spectacular setting. Here, a sarong sufficed for dinner attire, and family vibes permeated the atmosphere.

Michael (Left) and David (Right) King-Hew enjoying their home an Kamalame

Nestled on a private island in the Andros archipelago, this haven, meticulously overseen by David and Michael, offers an escape for the truly discerning traveler.

Reaching the award-winning Kamalame Cay is an experience in itself. From the moment you arrive at the airport in Nassau, every detail is planned to perfection. Here, COCO Bahama whisks you away from Nassau in a sleek seaplane. The turquoise water stretches out beneath you, a welcome contrast to the city's clamor. As the plane dips low, it touches down gently on the water right in front of your private bungalow – a touch of effortless glamour that sets the tone for your stay.

Arrival By COCO AIR

IRK: What initially drew your family to develop Kamalame Cay as a private island resort?

David: "The Bahamas has always held a special place in our family's heart. My parents, (Brian and Jennifer Hew) fell in love with the untouched beauty of the islands while sailing the Bahamas in the 1980s. When they stumbled upon this deserted Cay, they envisioned a place where tranquility reigned supreme and where luxury was synonymous with connection to nature. They craved a space to create memories with family and friends, a sanctuary beyond the modern world's relentless pace. The idea of sharing this paradise with others, while adhering to sustainable practices, solidified their vision for Kamalame Cay."

Arriving on the island is like stepping into a glamorous daydream. Reminiscent of Ricardo Montalban's Fantasy Island, yet refined for the modern era, our COCO seaplane, sleek and graceful as a crane landing on a glassy pond, touched down gently on the turquoise canvas of the Bahamas, bringing you to the doorstep of Kamalame Cay. Here, seaplane arrivals whisper of a bygone era, when turquoise waters served as runways for the elite, and the journey becomes the beginning of an unforgettable Bahamian escape.

Journey to the Great House

The bungalows themselves are a study in understated elegance. Think Ralph Lauren on vacation – crisp white linens, natural fibers, and expansive decks that blur the lines between indoors and out. The gentle Bahamian breeze and the melodic symphony of birdsong become part of your living space. There's a refreshing absence of garish displays; instead, picture floor-to-ceiling windows framing the impossibly blue water, a constant reminder of the natural beauty that surrounds you.

The Great House

Kamalame Cay offers a luxurious escape in the Bahamas. With 45 oceanfront rooms and suites in charming cottages, bungalows, or villas, each boasts stunning views and barefoot-chic Caribbean style. Stay includes daily continental breakfast, snacks, drinks, in-room Nespresso, and cookies, plus a personal golf cart for exploring the island.

Unwind with complimentary Wi-Fi, laundry service, and access to kayaks, paddle-boards, bikes, snorkel gear, professional tennis and pickle-ball ball courts, and more. For ultimate luxury, consider one of the 14 private villas. These modern havens feature stunning beach decor, natural light, and cool breezes. Each villa comes with a fully stocked kitchen, premium drinks, snacks, and a Nespresso machine for coffee mornings.

Villa Bluewing Teal

An Island Rich with History

One of the unexpected delights of Kamalame Cay is the fascinating company you'll encounter. Over languid lunches on the open-air terrace, you might find yourself in conversation with those deeply woven into the fabric of Bahamian and Jamaican history. The family, having called these islands home for generations, become storytellers, regaling you with tales of Kamalame Cay's glamorous past; stories, passed down through generations, make you feel privy to a secret society – a world where understated luxury reigned supreme.

Villa Driftwood Interior

IRK: Kamalame has an effortless elegance that has been meticulously planned, can you elaborate on the design choices that reflect the natural beauty of the Bahamas?

David: "Our design philosophy centers on creating a seamless connection between the natural environment and our residents and guest's living space. We incorporated expansive decks and beach access into all of the villas and bungalows, blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors. Natural fibers and a calming color palette are employed throughout, ensuring the focus remains on the breathtaking Bahamian scenery. The use of local materials like coral stone and native pines further reinforces this connection to the island's soul. We believe luxury can be understated, and true elegance lies in harmony with nature."

You could say that Kamalame Cay is the ultimate in quiet luxury accommodations. It's a place where time slows down, replaced by the rhythm of the tides and the gentle swaying of palm trees. Days can be spent exploring the island's secluded coves, their powdery white sand the perfect canvas for an impromptu chef prepared picnic lunch Or, for the more adventurous, take a COCO seaplane to a nearby beach for a pristine snorkeling experience though the crystal-clear waters, marveling at the vibrant coral reefs teeming with life. When the afternoon sun dips towards the horizon, casting the sky in a fiery palette, a hammock strung between swaying palm trees becomes the perfect spot to unwind, lulled by the gentle lapping of the waves before getting dressed for dinner and drinks at the island's renowned Tiki Bar.

Preservation and Conservation

Sustainability is more than a marketing ploy at Kamalame Cay; it's a core philosophy. The resort takes great care to minimize its environmental impact. luxury isn't about excess, but about respecting the natural beauty that surrounds you. It's about knowing that your presence doesn't come at the cost of the island's delicate ecosystem.

Ariel View of Kamalame

Michael: "Running a private island resort presents a particular set of challenges. Logistics can be complex – everything from staffing to supplies requires creative solutions. However, the biggest challenge lies in striking a perfect balance: upholding the highest standards of luxury and service while safeguarding the island's pristine environment. Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. We minimize waste, and actively participate in coral reef conservation programs. It's a constant and demanding commitment, but one we are deeply passionate about."

Kamalame Cay goes beyond relaxation. Their commitment to conservation is evident in everything from locally sourced ingredients to educational snorkeling tours promoting coral reef preservation. They are also working towards no single-use plastic on the island. This resort fosters a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Enjoying the an excursion and enjoying the private beach and pool

Of course, no island escape is complete without indulging in the finer things in life. And here, that translates to exceptional food. The resort's chefs weave magic with the freshest local ingredients, creating dishes that are both innovative and delicious. Succulent grilled fish caught just offshore and tropical fruit salads bursting with flavor are a celebration of Bahamian cuisine.

Chef crafted meals in room or at Sugar Cane, Monkey Bar and Tiki Bar & Beach Club

It’s a paradise for the palate with fresh, regional ingredients at several restaurants. The Great House boasts ever-changing menus featuring local seafood, imported meats, and tropical produce. The open-air Sugar Cane serves Asian-inspired dishes family-style, while the Monkey Bar provides an intimate setting for enjoying and liquid gold with delicious libations. Finally, the beachside Tiki Bar & Beach Club offers casual fare with stunning ocean views. This commitment to fresh, local ingredients extends to their sustainability practices, with on-site baked goods, filtered water, and only mature, in-season seafood served. Kamalame embraces sustainability, sourcing most ingredients from their 200-acre Andros farm (including free-range eggs from "Cluckingham Palace") and offering farm-to-table events alongside organic coconut water in the delicious drinks.

IRK: The cuisine at Kamalame Cay seems to be a celebration of fresh, local ingredients. Can you tell us more about your approach to food and dining?

Michael: "Freshness and local sourcing are paramount in our culinary philosophy. We believe in showcasing the very best of the Bahamas through innovative dishes that celebrate our local fishermen, farmers, foragers, bakers, and artisans."

Evenings at Kamalame Cay offer a delightful balance between relaxation and social connection. Gather with newfound friends for stargazing on the beach, the Milky Way splashed across a canvas of inky black sky. Or, if a touch of glamour is what you crave, the resort occasionally hosts themed dinners on the beach, complete with live music and dancing under the moonlight. These evenings are the perfect opportunity to mingle with other guests, a discerning mix of international socialites, artists, and those simply seeking a respite from the relentless pace of everyday life. Conversations flow as easily as the champagne, filled with witty anecdotes and insider knowledge. You might just find yourself brushing shoulders with a Hollywood director or a tech mogul, but fear not, there's a refreshing absence of pretense here.

Tiki Bar & Beach Club

With that said, what Kamalame Cay truly lacks is, quite refreshingly, the relentless pursuit of self-promotion that plagues so many luxury destinations. Here, there's no pressure to be seen at the "right" restaurant or to be photographed in the latest designer swimwear. As they say, "privacy and discretion are the ultimate luxury that our guests love." The emphasis is on genuine connection, on creating memories that go beyond the perfectly curated Instagram post. It's a place to shed your social media persona and simply be.

Drinks and dinner at the private home of Michael and David King-Hew

IRK: Looking ahead, how do you envision Kamalame Cay evolving to remain a premier Bahamian destination?

Michael: "We will continue to strive for new ways to make magic every day, introducing new services and activities that complement the island lifestyle, all while staying true to our core values. Guests can expect exciting new health and wellness experiences, culinary events featuring international chefs and exciting new dining locations, an artist-in-residence program, and a series of retreats with thought leaders, from around the World. Ultimately, we want Kamalame Cay to remain a place where understated luxury meets unparalleled natural beauty, a place where memories are crafted and passed down through generations, just like our family has done."

Villa Hummingbird and Villa Indigo Palm

However, if a touch of pampering is what your soul craves, the resort's spa is a haven of tranquility. The resort's overwater spa, exactly what you might imagine, overlooks the sparkling ocean. It offers a menu of treatments designed to melt away stress and rejuvenate the body and mind. All while listening to the gentle waves roll in with the tides. Skilled therapists utilize locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques to create a truly holistic experience.

Overground Spa

Overground Spa from above

Kamalame Cay isn't for everyone. It's for those who appreciate the finer things in life, but who also value privacy and a connection with nature. It's for those who crave a different kind of luxury, a luxury that whispers rather than shouts. Here, time slows down, replaced by the rhythm of the tides and the gentle swaying of palm trees. It's a place to reconnect with yourself, with nature, and with those who matter most. So, put down your phone, darling, and trade your stilettos for sandals. Kamalame Cay awaits, a discreet oasis in the Bahamas, promising an unforgettable escape.

Michael and David King-hew

A Final Word

Kamalame Cay is a place that stays with you long after you've departed. It's a reminder that true luxury lies not in excess, but in simplicity, in a connection with new friends, nature and a deep appreciation for the finer things in life. It's a place where memories are made, not manufactured, and where enchanting stories are woven under the Bahamian stars. So, darling, if you're seeking a discreet escape, a place to unwind and reconnect with yourself, Kamalame Cay awaits. Just remember to pack your white linen and your sense of adventure.


What We Love

Kamalame Cay champions environmental responsibility through various initiatives.

  • Marine Sanctuary: A designated 10-mile section of seabed is a "no-take" zone, protecting and promoting marine life.

  • Sustainable Planting: The resort replaces harmful Casuarina trees with eco-friendly coconut palms, harvesting its own coconuts from 500 new plantings annually.

  • Locavore Cuisine: Seasonal menus feature fresh, Bahamian seafood, with a commitment to serving only mature, in-season fish and shellfish.

  • Water Stewardship: Kamalame Cay offers filtered local well water instead of bottled water and utilizes a reverse osmosis (RO) system.

  • Renewable Energy: The island is transitioning to solar power, currently used for road lights and hot water systems.

  • Biofuel Generators: Generators run on biofuel (recycled vegetable oil) instead of diesel.

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