Caribbean

Turks & Caicos Keeps Expanding

written by | Posted on March 1st, 2011

Even through the economic downturn, this chain of picturesque islands underwent rapid development – and today, that pace shows no signs of slowing.

The Turks and Caicos islands are known for their serene, relaxing beaches and overall ambiance, a place travelers go to get away from it all. But from a travel agent perspective, these rank among some of the most exciting islands in the Caribbean. That’s because of all the new product that’s debuted here in the past several years. The Beaches Turks & Caicos provides families an all-inclusive, upscale escape; the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos offers a chic, modern take on the traditional Caribbean vacation; andThe Veranda brought a touch of colonial classiness—and that’s just to name a few.

And the excitement continues, with a handful of new developments in the works. Whether they’re additions to existing resorts or new projects altogether, the product set to debut in the coming years ensures that you’ll want to keep watching these islands.

west bay club One of the Turks and Caicos most enticing attractions—scenic, spectacular Grace Bay Beach—also happens to be one of its most vibrant centers of new development. This is where you’ll find the West Bay Club, a 46-suite boutique hotel ranking among the newer properties on this stretch of sand.

The beach itself is the resort’s most popular draw, peppered with sunny lounges and served by beach attendants offering cocktails, food and complimentary fresh fruit. More active guests can take advantage of a wide range of watersports including windsurfing and kiteboarding. Couples, meanwhile, can plan a romantic excursion or picnic on a remote beach. But that’s just the beginning of the attractions here, says Dane Underwood, managing director. “We want our guests to enjoy our great warm weather, our boutique resort, world-renowned beach and our beautiful outdoor dining area overlooking a lovely garden blessed with the smallest birds in the world, the bee hummingbird. Every day we see our guests ready with their cameras simply in awe of these beautiful little creatures.”

Like most of the resorts along Grace Bay Beach, the accommodations here are built in condo style, ranging from studios with kitchenettes to a 2,822-sq.-ft., 4-bedroom luxury suite with spacious living areas, a media room with two wall-mounted TVs and kitchenette, and vast terrace with views of the beach and ocean. Decor here is simple and modern, with bursts of bright, tropical colors.

Rates at West Bay Club start at $495 for a 1-bedroom suite.

the shore club Grace Bay Beach has most definitely traditionally been the place to be in Providenciales. But as that shoreline fills up, developers have had to look elsewhere—and they’ve discovered that Provo’s treasures aren’t restricted to just one beach.

Just ask Pierre Beswick, v.p. of resort assets for The Hartling Group, the real estate sales and development firm behind resorts like The Sands at Grace Bay and The Regent Palms. The company’s new venture is The Shore Club, he explains, and there’s one very big difference between its existing resorts and the one in the works.

“What distinguishes this project from the other resorts in the group is its location,” he says. “We are about two and a quarter miles from Seven Stars, on the other side of the island.” That might not sound like a lengthy distance, he says, but it makes a world of difference. “The Sands is six acres on 320 ft. of ocean. The Palms is 166 rooms located on 450 ft. of ocean. But the ultimate project for The Shore Club is five buildings, just over 200 units, on 820 ft. of ocean frontage. It’s a tremendous amount of ocean frontage. And the beauty is that there is nobody there but us.”

Clearly, The Shore Club’s location on Long Bay Beach guarantees guests plenty of room on the beach. But there’s more to it than that, Beswick continues. “We chose the other side of the island to offer something new and different, not the exact same thing that everybody else is trying to replicate…. It’s complete peace and quiet on a lovely beach, instead of having 10 other hotels with guests walking through the property 24-7. In five minutes, if you want to be on Grace Bay, you’re there. But there’s not anybody leaving Grace Bay to come walk on your little piece of paradise.”