Chrissy Sundt: secluded luxury in the Bahamas

Chrissy Sundt is founder of Silver Linings Wellbeing, a holistic wellness company offering exclusive retreats and bespoke events in sumptuous locations around the world, including the family-owned island of Kamalame Cay in the Bahamas

Sundt is also a former professional ballerina-turned-fitness instructor who specialises in yoga, classical Pilates and barre.

I first visited the Bahamas 20 years ago on a trip that I would describe as ‘Big Brother by the sea’, in the sense that it was a large group, many of whom didn’t know each other beforehand. We were young, we drank a lot of rum and it was incredible fun. It featured a toga party (which I arranged) in a tropical storm that forced us all into a tiny Tiki hut for the craziest dance-off I have ever had – and I loved it! Some of that group became friends for life so it was a very bonding experience.

My friend’s family owns Kamalame Cay in the Bahamas, which is why I went there in the first place. They bought the island 30 years ago and designed and built everything there, turning it into an award-winning boutique hotel. Seven years ago, I decided that this beautiful island would be the perfect setting for my first wellness retreat. Over the years, we’ve set up Pilates and yoga classes on the spa deck and this magical corner of the Bahamas has become my home from home. More than that, the island is totally unspoilt which makes it the ideal backdrop for the transformational wellness experiences we curate at Silver Linings.

I’ve been to other places in the Bahamas, but Kamalame Cay is truly special, mainly because of the familial ties I have here. David and his family and the staff are like my extended family. When I bring my husband and daughter here, we immediately feel so relaxed and at home. It was here that I had my first diving experience – Kamalame Cay has the world’s third largest reef just off the island – and I named my company after the way the sun sets over the creek, which creates a silver line on the horizon. Arriving by sea plane, the first thing you see is the beautiful crystal blue waters and then the island off the mainland with its distinctive over-water spa jetty. It’s a long strip of land that feels like it’s right at the edge of the world. Even when there are other guests on the island, you don’t see them much unless you seek them out, so there’s a real “castaway” element and it’s very freeing to be so far away from your normal everyday life.  

The boutique hotel on Kamalame Cay is spread over a three-kilometre strip of white sand and is the epitome of barefoot chic. Over time, the island has become a well-kept secret for fishermen, divers and, now, wellness seekers. It is my privilege to be able to bring my expert team to the island year after year and draw on the incredible power of nature to nourish mind, body and soul.

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