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The whimsical and wonderful Windmills Plantation did not survive the hurricanes of 2008. The resort had been in operation since 1980, its construction the stuff of a fascinating book, The Carnival Never Got Started, by the man who built it, Guy Lovelace. What remains is a 2 1/2-mile span of beachfront along North Beach, one of the best beaches on the island and a top snorkeling spot.

At press time the planned construction of a luxury resort and 18-hole championship golf course was on hold. The locals, who've seen this kind of thing come and go before, are circumspect. As one local put it, "In the Caribbean talk is cheap and construction materials aren't."

A Villa Stay in Salt Cay

The island has a number of villas and cottages to rent. New to the scene is the waterfront Villas of Salt Cay (Historic Victoria St.; tel. 772/713-9502; www.villasofsaltcay.com; $300-$475/night high season; $150-$240/night low season). There are three lodging options: the Villa Frangipani, a two-story island home that accommodates six people; the Villa Olivewood, an efficiency apartment that accommodates four; and the Cabanas of the Villas, three connected one-room efficiencies. All three villas are set in a private walled compound ringing a freshwater pool, and all three open onto a deck that overlooks the ocean.

Sink into historic Salt Cay in the handsomely restored and beautifully furnished British-Colonial Half Way House (tel. 561/835-9237; www.halfwayhousesaltcay.com; $4,800/week high season; $3,900/week low season). It has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and breathtaking views of the sea.

Watch the whales from your deck at Charming House Villa (tel. 772/713-9502; www.charminghousevilla.com; $425/night high season; $212-$315/night off-season). This traditional two-story Bermudan Cape was once the home of beloved Salt Cay Belonger Felix Lightbourne. It accommodates six people and has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen.

For an updated directory of Salt Cay villas, go to www.saltcay.org.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.