Ed Mani, president of Burkhalter Travel, has returned from the Caribbean with this report on the Turks & Caicos.
The bright blue waters of Turks & Caicos were a delight to see as we touched down in Providenciales for our recent Travel Leaders Owners Retreat to visit our luxury villa partners and savor the delights of these wonderful islands. Our journey started with Fast Track Arrival Service from our local partners, Val and Susan Kalliecharan of Luxury Experiences Turks & Caicos, which I encourage you to consider for your clients, especially in high season.
Just 15 minutes from the airport, The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach was an astonishing discovery for many of us. Scented cold towels and a soothing lobby fountain were a welcome first impression before being escorted through the manicured grounds to our oceanfront suite. Hand-painted tiles in the foyer, modern kitchen with marble-topped island, built-in Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, including a wine fridge, all grabbed my attention. Spacious balconies with sofas, a chaise and table offer wonderful panoramic views of Long Bay Beach. His-and-her closets, separate shower and tub, dual sinks and a separate study — our suite had everything.
Families or couples looking for a more secluded luxury experience away from the bustle of Grace Bay Beach will love The Shore Club. During the day, enjoy one of four pools, including a lap pool and adults-only pool, although the beachside pool with swim-up bar and restaurant is certainly the most popular. Service pagers on the beach and poolside are a welcome treat and a kid’s camp, tennis court, Dune Spa, fitness center, complimentary bicycles and non-motorized water sports keep all parties entertained. Evening cocktails in the open-air Cloister Garden followed by dinner in the Asian-Peruvian Sui-Ren restaurant is a must.
Penthouse suites are available in one-, two- or three-bedroom configurations and easily combinable into a six-bedroom option complete with a dry sauna and sunset-facing outdoor hot tub. The five freestanding ocean front luxury estate villas boast up to six bedrooms, private pool and courtyard for outdoor family dining.
Ed Mani savors a drink in one of the four pools at The Shore Club.
The Estate at Grace Bay Club on Grace Bay Beach offers private villas equally as luxurious as The Shore Club. The villas have large living rooms, well-appointed kitchens, upgraded Sub-Zero and Wolf kitchen appliances, a dining room table for 10 and wrap-around balcony with casual seating or dining overlooking the sea. Clients might also consider the 1,300-square-foot, one-bedroom units in the hotel (adults only), recently redesigned by Thom Filicia of Queer Eye fame, or the three-bedroom Villa Suites. There really is something for every client type at Grace Bay Club.
Sister property West Bay Club offers 46, keys from studios to stunning four-bedroom suites with direct views of Grace Bay Beach. However, Grace Bay Club’s Private Villa Collection — five private beachfront villa residences from five- to nine-bedroom configurations — are the resort’s crown jewels. The elegance and detail of these Thom Filicia-designed homes jump out at you.
The five-bedroom Seascape Villa has over 5,500 square feet of living space, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a great room opening to an outdoor dining area complete with a fire pit, grill, hot tub and infinity pool. Each has an array of high-end inclusions, such as private SUV airport transfers, personal concierge and daily delivered American breakfast.
The 12,000-square-foot, eight-bedroom Seaclusion Villa, which spreads over three levels, blew my mind. Four oceanfront master bedrooms and a lower level featuring a pool table, wet bar, washer / dryer, media room and a complete fitness center will keep everybody happy. Larger multigenerational families might consider adjacent Seascape and Seaclusion residences as a 13-bedroom conclave.
With so many hotel and villa options on the islands, I would recommend utilizing the “one-stop-shop” of destination services company Luxury Experiences Turks & Caicos who exclusively work with advisors. Owners and locals Val and Susan Kalliecharan ([email protected]) know everybody on the islands and arrange everything from private SUV transfers to private sunset cruises. They will even arrange personal gifts and in-room welcome notes from advisors. They specialize in personalized experiences, including snorkeling with giant eagle rays, beach horseback riding, eco-friendly turtle tagging (and release) and whale migrations in season. They can arrange personal yoga instructors, wellness experts, interactions with local ambassadors, nannies, private chefs and dinner reservations at sold-out restaurants.