A Private Island Vacation in the Bahamas: Not just Magic at Musha Cay

It does not take a miracle to book a private island vacation in the Bahamas. But it might take some magic. David Copperfield, a legend on this planet for disappearing acts, makes it possible to wave a hand and teleport, if only by plane, to a private island in the Bahamas where magic is the motif that can be found amid five cottages, fantastical designs and eleven islands that comprise the Islands of Copperfield Bay. Otherwise known as Musha Cay, find this private island in the Exuma archipelago in the Bahamas.

KrqeYbqCfKgIFKohvZ43xWiQAqZc1VA7qEMJVhfpTqIAt David Copperfield’s Musha Cay, celebrities come to stay rather than to buy. Past guest rosters have included Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and John Travolta. And many of those guests bring their friends. Copperfield rents the run of his island chain, including a doting staff of 30 — all meals and spirits, as well as surprises and entertainment — for $57,00 per night for 24 guests.

Musha (3)But visitors who come alone, come in couples, or come in small parties will not be disappointed. The bucket list destination experience welcomes any guest who seeks to be amazed and wowed with a dizzying array of moments to be had. Those include picnics on a chosen out island, movies watched under the stars at the shoreside “Dave’s Drive-in,” treasure hunts,  mini Olympic trials, take-no-prisoners laser tag games, paddleboarding, jet skiing, or just napping in a hammock.

MushaCayChaisePrior to arrival, guests are asked what their food preferences are, and special air charters are arranged to bring the necessary provisions. All food preparation is done according guests’ wishes. A private island paradise for groups of friends or multi-generational gatherings.  Elaborate and enchanting amenities abound including a celebratory firework display or beach bonfires with a steel drum band.

Musha (2)Five luxurious villas provide a canvas for handpicked opulence in artful collections curated from the magician’s extensive travels. Guests can stay in the 10,000-square-foot manor house perched on a hill with a soaring living pavilion that looks over the island, or take it down to the beach in a thatched cottage with two bedrooms and private outdoor bathtubs. Each cottage comes with, what else? … its own private beach to accent the private island experience.

WjID-8cddGPBUQG2fNqqlX1dFCpjpqb0XT-IuzXAHNY,hdM1HS9HDWaE_sQOHmtTXpRKst50Lx80wuyMh8q_IRc,Z1GiSY0r27bBFCPdd9DSdD0ypalofObIG1mPKKaRO_o,odylYfM-zAdR1-QSrmhF_wfN2fr6QRHBS4HZ1FdBRE0The 150-acre main island at Musha Cay in Copperfield Bay includes 700 other acres of out islands all with sugary sand beaches. A fleet of boats is always on call for transport and water activities. But the three-mile-long sandbar Copperfield christened Heaven on Earth is all one needs, should disappearing for a time be in line.

Musha (1)Getting to Musha Cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay

This private island sanctuary is a 40-minute flight from Miami or a three-hour flight from New York or Chicago by commercial or private jet to Georgetown, Great Exuma. From there it is a 15-minute charter flight to Musha’s 2,200-foot private runway.

Click here to view a video of the complete island experience.

Musha (1)

Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay
Exumas, Bahamas
(208) 309-1106


Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

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KAA News Roundup

For those readers living in the east, winter is still raging so let’s start this roundup with some photos that inspire warmth.  Travel + Leisure’s list of the World’s Coolest Plunge Pools features The Lodhi in New Delhi and Six Senses Ninh Van Bay.  View the slideshow here.  Six Senses is set to open a new resort, Six Senses Douro Valley, coming to Portugal mid-2015.

Planning a wedding or special gathering?  Musha Cay was featured in Harper’s Bazaar “World’s Best Private Islands” get inspired here.

Dreaming of snorkeling of diving in Fiji?  The Wakaya Club & Spa is known as one of the few remaining ecological sanctuaries in the world’s oceans today, and Wakaya Club & Spa has been a pioneer in preserving and protecting the barrier reef surrounding its shores. As part of the preservation program, Wakaya created a marine park which recently received recognition as an official Marine Reserve by the government of Fiji. This marks the first Marine Reserve of its kind in the country!

Can’t escape winter?  Then embrace it at Fogo Island Inn, the ideal place to revel in all its glory, where Ice Season and magical icebergs beckon. Fogo Island Inn was awarded The Hideaway of the Year by Andrew Harper Travel, find out why here. With the Canadian Dollar at historic lows, there is no better time to book your trip. Read more about this new lodge in Azure Magazine’s interview with the founder,  here in International Traveller Magazine, and here in Lexus Magazine.

Another great escape in winter is to the ever romantic Twin Farms in Vermont. Think gourmet cuisine, cross country skiing, wood fireplaces in the rooms, and an excess of charm. They are a 20 time recipient of five stars from Forbes Travel Guide for the 20th year and their Chef, Nathan Rich, is highlighted in The Braiser’s article, “The Best Chefs in America You’ve Never Heard Of.” Twin Farms Resort is also on TopSnobs, where the author “..found real pleasure in totally surrendering to their expertise.”  Conde Nast Traveler agrees Twin Farms is one of the “16 Most Romantic Places to Stay in the World.” The list also includes the remarkable Maldivian overwater resort of Gili Lankanfushi.

If warmer weather is a must, head to “the new Costa Rica” in Nicaragua’s Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa. The Robb Report calls Mukul a “Hidden Romantic Getaway,” and Fodor’s thinks it is one of the World’s Best Honeymoon Destinations for 2015.  The Huffington Post offers “13 Reasons to Get To Nicaragua Before Everyone Discovers it”, and Conde Nast compiled this roundup of everything to do and see Nicaragua. There is a new Delta flight from LAX to Nicaragua. Take your sweetheart to Mukul & the Emerald Coast before it gets discovered.

Both Mukul and Puerto Rico’s new Condado Vanderbilt are featured on this list of “Five Hot Beach Hotels for 2015.”

Travel + Leisure’s 2015 It List of new hotels is out. Congrats to Pikaia Lodge, The Norman Tel Aviv, Bahia Vik and Vina Vik.

Vik Retreats have been in the press this month.  Fathom and the Huff Post calls Jose Ignacio, Uruguay, “Old Montauk meets Malibu” in this great article here. Fathom also included the retreats in their coveted list of The World’s Most Romantic Hotels 2015. Get to know all four retreats in this review by Absolute Travel, “The Intrigue of Vik.” Look for Vina Vik, Chile in Vanity Fair this month.

Destination Specialist WildChina’s has launched a new website and founder Mei Zhang has been named one of the 1000 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company Magazine. She is also on Wendy Perrin’s list as a Trusted Travel Expert China Insider’s Guide.

Read about another Destination Specialist, Micato Safaris, in Forbes. Writer and brand analyst Allen Adamson traveled incognito with Micato in East Africa and detailed his experience here.

Down to Song Saa, a private island in the turquoise waters surrounding Cambodia.  They run a foundation to benefit the local people and environment, read more in “Song Saa: Private Island with Philanthropic Core” by Green Hotelier. Robbie Vincent details his luxury experience on his blog here, writing, “Think Robinson Crusoe smothered in the very best of luxury.”

In Bangkok, congratulations to The Siam and their Opium Spa, awarded Most Outstanding City Spa 2015 by Conde Nast Traveller.

The New York Times features a Q & A with Julian Robertson, founder of Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers, and Matakauri Lodge in New Zealand. Read more in “Discovering Lodge Hospitality in New Zealand.”

If you have already given up on your resolutions, that’s okay.  Know there are some great wellness properties in our portfolio that can offer a jump start if inspiration.  Celeb favorite, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu recently welcomed Mandy Moore and Minka Kelly for their 4 day program, read about it in Self Magazine.

Another southern California wellness gem – VeraVia – was featured in Pursuitist.  Click here for a Q&A with co-founder Wyatt Chapman on turning wellness goals into reality. And congratulattions to VeraVia, named a finalist in Sunset Magazines 2015 travel awards for Best Wellness Destination.

From new spas, to the original, a 75th birthday is coming this June for Rancho La PuertaSpecial rates for the month of June are available.

Chiva-Som in Thailand has unveiled a new cookbook, “Cooking with Light” highlighting their award winning spa cuisine.  The book is available online here.

AFAR Magazine inspires with their list of “11 Holistic Off-the-Grid Retreats” featuring Fivelements in Bali and Ananda in India.  Dates have been announced for the 5th TED talk in Ubud, TEDxUbud.  Fivelements is proud to play host once again.  Dates are May 28, 2016, click here for information.

It is time to start planning summer vacations.  The #1 Hotel in the US from Conde Nast now encompasses 30,000 acres and launched an Outfitters Program.  Read more here about the great changes at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming. For more information, click here for a candid review from The Venue Report, or watch this video from Discover Ranches.

May spring be headed your way soon!

Wellness Retreats Provide a Variety of Answers

Wellness is the latest wealth indicator in the U.S., whether that means looking at results-driven wellness retreats, new health products, or eating well. The Wellness Uprising Report released last fall by WSL, a retail tracking consultancy, notes that people of all ages (47 percent, according to the survey) name their top concern as health and wellness and are adopting strategies for healthier living.

CS070H“What began as a fringe movement of people interested in organic food, yoga and shopping at Whole Foods has turned into a national trend driven by a broad constituency of consumers of all ages, incomes, ethnicities and genders. They’re knowledgeable and passionate about taking care of their own and their family’s health,” says WSL’s CEO Wendy Liebmann.

And focused wellness resort companies, such as VeraVia in Carlsbad, CA and Fiveelements in Bali are listening.

The reports findings included these numbers:

  • Nearly half of Americas feel their health (42%) is excellent or very good (32%); 38% good.
  • On average, 85% of Americans are confident they know how to live a healthy life.
  • Stress is the leading obstacle to good health (47%), followed by ‘lack of sleep’ (37%); ‘not enough time to exercise’ (25%) and ‘working too many hours’ (17%).
  • The leading sign of good health today is ‘mental balance’ to 76% of Americans, replacing losing weight, the leader in 2011; feeling energized (74%) and feeling positive (71%).

Results in View at VeraVia

At VeraVia, programs have been developed around today’s busy executive who may have three days or four to find balance in a hurry. The retreat is on the grounds of the former Four Seasons Aviara, now the AAA Five Diamond Park Hyatt Aviara Resort just north of San Diego. Easy access from both San Diego and Los Angeles means that programs are geared for a variety of needs and wants but center around four prime pillars: Fitness, Medical, Nutrition and Wellness. Because programs here are geared for seeing results and seeing those results last, there is much more than massages and heavy fitness classes for the average guest.

veraviaIntegration of the four pillars means guests not only immerse in building lasting fitness and nutritious eating habits, but they also dig deep into the blocks, physical and psychological, that prevent them from reaching their goals.

Designed for long-term, sustained results, a wellness retreat at VeraVia can help guests get where they want to go in four-night to month-long intensive packages that can be revisited for a tuned up any time.


The Natural Touch at Fivelements

For a more relaxing retreat that approaches wellness from the theme of five elements rather than four pillars, a wellness escape to Fivelements in Bali may be in order. Located along the Ayung River in a swell of emerald rice paddies, Fivelements is where you go to here silence in nature and sink into a slow appreciation in the wonders of earth, fire, metal, wood and water.

Fivelements-Nov-2013-001Traditional Balinese healers bring nature’s magic to life for these voyagers. Philosophies here hold that we all live equally in two worlds: the seen or conscious world of Sekala, and the unseen or psychic world of Niskala. To help guests on their travels back to the self and wellness, a Healing Village embraces guests with ambient surroundings where holistic massages are administered with Prana breaths; cleansing and detox are offered with water healing and magical sanctuary; reflexology, acupressure and invigorating bodywork add to an extending menu of possibilities.

Fivelements-0234Emphasis here is on quiet, healing, turning in to one’s spirit and bringing it into balance with the body. But guests can also be tourists here and explore the island at leisure. Only nine guestrooms are in this spread of high grass-roofed ceilings, recycled timber floors, air-conditioning, and flowing white curtains. At Fivelements, focused attention can be given to each guest. Each suite opens onto a terrace over the sacred Ayung River. Each bathroom is a healing alfresco bathhouse with chromotherapy lighting, air-conditioning, sound system with iPod dock, Wi-Fi Internet access and a generous array of amenities.


Wellness Sanctuaries Near and Far


AnandaPalaceAnanda, in the Himalayas: Just four hours’ train or drive from New Delhi, this mountain retreat was once the quarry of rajas but now it is the epicenter of yoga, ayurveda and ancient principles in healing for those who want an exotic health vacation in India. Programs range from three-day introductions to three-week intensives geared to get you balanced, fit, limber and meditative. Ananda provides a great way to get exposure to complicated and mysterious Oriental philosophies and find new pathways to happiness.


CS019HChiva-Som, in Hua Hin, Thailand: The location is a three-hour drive from Bangkok and a world away in wonder and ease. At Chiva-Som, guests stay in private Lanna-style pavilions and create their goals according to trained medical consults at the start of their stay. Days are filled with stretching, fitness, unusual and effective body treatments, massage, seminars and guided meditations while nights are given to lectures from wise healers and visiting authors. The spot on the calm and comforting Gulf of Thailand means long, private beachwalks on soft sands. The bustling tourist town of Hua Hin (former summer palace spot for the royal family) is also worth the exploration.


Mountian HikeRancho La Puerta, Tecate, Baja California: This mountain retreat is within reach for anyone who can get to San Diego. Just an hour’s drive from the border (resort transport is available to guests from the airport each Saturday for their seven-day stay), stays at Rancho La Puerta are serious business with lots of fun mixed in. Rates include all meals, guided hikes and walks, fitness classes, evening programs, lectures, and transfers but do not include massages and cooking classes. Fitness classes range from cardio and strength training to Pilates, yoga and gyrokenesis. And mindfulness and meditation workshops fill in the down time. Single rates start at $3,750 for the week.


RanchMalibuPicnicThe Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, California: The Ranch is just outside Los Angeles and, as can be expected, often has a celebrity or two on the guest list, which never exceeds 16. That’s because the ranch is a take-no-prisoners, commit-now wellness retreat where guests will find their sweet spot when it comes to peak performance. Coming to The Ranch at Live Oak means, at base, committing to a six night, seven-day regimen of challenging daily hikes as well as fitness, cooking and nutrition classes; of course there is daily massage, downtime by the pool and great, fresh dining at a maximum of 1,500 calories a day. Week long program is $6,800 and a R4.0 4-day program is also available.



7100 Aviara Resort Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(800) 527-1936

Puri Ahimsa, BanjarBaturning, Mambal
(011 62) 361 469 206

Ananda – In the Himalayas
Palace Estate, Tehri Garwal
Narendra Nagar, UT 249175
(011-91) 1378 227500

Chiva-Som International Health Resort
73/4 Petchkasem Road
Hua Hin, 77110
(011-66) 32 536 536

Rancho La Puerta

P.O. Box 69
Tecate, CA 91980
(800) 443-7565

The Ranch at Live Oak
Malibu, California
(310) 457-8700


Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.


Added Savings at Ananda this Spring

From March 1 – April 15, 2015 Ananda’s current Getaway Packages and Wellness Packages offer even more value. All Getaway Packages (3 nights and above) receive a $100 credit for spa or local excursion per person per stay, plus a complimentary upgrade on availability for Palace View and Valley View rooms. Or, book a wellness package of 7 nights or more and get one additional night complimentary, and an excursion to Rishikesh to experience the Ganga Aarti.

Contact Rachna for more information, rachna@anandaspa.com


Twin Farms Mid-Week Ski & Spa Package

Escape to Vermont this winter for a mid-week break to ski Killington’s six peaks and relax at Twin Farms. Ski all day and when you return, warm up by the fire with a massage for two in your private cottage. Package includes a Day of Skiing for two with Premium Demo Ski & Boot Packages at Killington; Tandem 60 Minute Massage; Private Guided Snowshoe throughout our 300 acres; Complimentary Airport (LEB or BTV) & Killington Resort Transfers.

Three night midweek package is valid for stays February and March in a Cottage. Contact Vanessa@twinfarms.com


Twin Farms offers 20 distinctive accommodations ranging from four large suites in the property’s Main House to 10 freestanding cottages varying in size and spirit. All accommodations feature king-size feather beds with luxurious linens and sitting areas with wood-burning fireplaces. There is also the sprawling four-suite Farmhouse at Copper Hill overlooking Copper Pond, and the Lodge with two suites and a luxurious living room between them. Amenities include a complimentary fully stocked refrigerator with Kona coffee, tea, seasonal snacks, complimentary laundry service, and twice daily housekeeping service.

Mukul’s Romantic Soulmate Package

Kindle your romance on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua with Mukul’s Soulmate Package. Four night package includes special rates plus a couples massage, healing reading, golf or surf lessons, bicycles, bottle of Flor de Caña rum, transfers, a three-course beach dinner and more.

Valid until December 20, 2015, contact Lorrianne Mesina, lmesina@mukulresort.com


Stay 10, Pay 9 at New Zealand’s Premier Lodges

Ten night special offer includes a suggested itinerary for lodges from North to South, including the award winning Kauri Cliffs, Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge. Offer includes a complimentary tenth night at a lodge of guest’s choice, and is valid for travel in March or April in 2015. Download their suggested itinerary showcasing the best New Zealand has to offer, from award winning golf courses to the very best of New Zealand cuisine.


20% Off at Fiji’s Island Paradise: Wakaya Club

The Wakaya Club & Spa is an intimate luxury resort on a picture perfect private island paradise in the South Pacific waters surrounding Fiji. Just 28 guests at any time are invited to partake in this all-inclusive atmosphere, where everything from the organic delicacies at dinner to water sports is included.

Book now for travel between February 23 through March 31, 2015 and receive 20% off any accommodations category at Wakaya Club & Spa. Spring package also includes 20% off roundtrip airfare from Nadi International Airport and one spa treatment per person.

Contact reservations@wakaya.com.fj


Pay 3, Stay 4 at The Norman, Tel Aviv

Guests staying at The Norman Tel Aviv this Spring can enjoy a complimentary night when booking a Suite. The Norman’s most lavish suites enjoy a special Suite Promotion – book three nights and the fourth night is complimentary.

Special applies to Penthouse, Penthouse Duplex, and Corner Suites, and includes breakfast, flowers in suite, welcome amenity and departure gift.



  • Corner Suite $1300
  • Penthouse Suite $2300
  • Penthouse Duplex Suite $3500

Suite Special is subject to availability, valid until April 31st with blackout dates of April 3-12. For reservations or more information, please contact reservations@thenorman.com


Wakaya Club & Spa’s “Spring Break Package”

 Book now for travel between February 23 through March 31, 2015 and receive
20% off any accommodations category


The Wakaya Club & Spa is an intimate luxury resort on a picture perfect private island paradise in the South Pacific waters surrounding Fiji. Just 28 guests at any time are invited to partake in this all-inclusive atmosphere, where everything from the organic delicacies at dinner to water sports is included. Private beach picnics, golf, couple’s spa treatments and more round out this heavenly hideaway highly lauded for its attention to detail and barefoot elegance.

Wakaya (2)

Spring Break Package Conditions:

  • 20% Off any accommodations category for travel February 23 – March 31, 2015
  • 20% Off roundtrip airfare from Nadi International Airport
  • Nightly rates are based on double occupancy
  • Adults only (16 or older)*
  • One FOC Spa treatment per person during your stay
  • Package is subject to availability


The Wakaya Club & Spa does not have a minimum stay requirement, but a stay longer than four nights is recommended so that you may fully experience the resort and everything the island has to offer.   For more information about Wakaya or to book a reservation please contact us at mail@kurtzahlers.com.


* Kindly note that The Wakaya Club & Spa is designed as an adult resort. All persons over 13 years of age are most welcome. Children under the age of 16 are welcome at Vale’O (our Royal Suite, which is a short drive from The Wakaya Club & Spa grounds) when staying with their parents or other family members. Please note that children under 16 years of age who are staying at Vale’O would not be permitted access to The Wakaya Club & Spa, and children under the age of 13 must have adult supervision at all times.