Travel Agent recently sat down with representatives of The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos and got the latest news from the property’s new management to its seasonal offerings and more.
Managing Director Ulrich Krauer, a veteran in luxury resort and hotel management, brings his experience to The Somerset from the Kona Village in Hawaii, having joined the hotel team in October. He has revamped the family and weddings programs, upgraded amenities and services, implemented a new restaurant team, and promises a new and improved guest experience in 2012.
The Somerset offers a variety of 53 luxurious, spacious villas and estates ranging from 1,400 square-foot, one-bedroom Garden Villas to 5,300 square-foot five-bedroom Ocean Front Estates. The property has two restaurants and bars and private dining options along with in-room spa choices and full concierge services.
Agents will be pleased to learn that in addition to bringing in Krauer, the resort has contracted with Karen Bull of IslandLuxe for trade representation. Bull and Krauer are launching a travel agent program to send special “arrival gifts” to clients’ rooms with an agent note, as a way to both personalize the guest experience and thank the agents for support. In addition, The Somerset pays commission from a U.S. bank to agents within one week of client’s departure.
Somerset for Families: Free Kids Club; Extended Family Suites
The new “Caicos Kids Club” program for children ages 5 – 12 is complimentary this year. The Club is operated by certified teachers from a local school who are qualified to ensure a fun and educational experience. The daytime program changes daily to give a variety of activities and on select evenings a group kids dinner and entertainment is offered (sundown-8 p.m.) to give parents the opportunity for a “date night” dinner together if they wish.
Every accommodation at The Somerset is equipped with a full kitchen, outfitted in Viking appliances. A new online grocery order form will be available shortly for this winter season for guests who would like the kitchen stocked with their family’s favorite items upon arrival (billed at cost by The Somerset, plus delivery fee).
For families traveling with extended family members, the two-and three-bedroom Ocean View Villa suites includes as one of the bedrooms a ‘Queen Guest Room’ with a separate entrance. This accommodation is luxuriously appointed with a queen bed, four-piece bath with therapeutic spa bathtub and separate shower, as well as a kitchenette. It is an excellent option for families with adult children or in-laws.
Destination Weddings at The Somerset; New Resort Wedding Planner
The Somerset is also popular with destination weddings, hosting more than 20 weddings and bridal events each year. New for 2012, the resort now has its own wedding planner, Rosalind McKensie, formerly with NILA Destinations in Turks & Caicos. Special group rates are available.
For couples getting married at The Somerset, the bridal party can opt for a two-bedroom villa with additional “bridal party suite” for hair/makeup/spa treatments. This third accommodation is attached with a separate entrance and can be transformed into a relaxing spa room for exclusive use during the stay.
Wider Range of Activities This Year
By land or by sea, The Somerset has all new activity equipment for water and beach fun. This winter season the resort offers paddleboards, windsurfers, Hobie Cat sailboats, kayaks, snorkel gear and more. All equipment is for guest use on a complimentary basis, lessons are required for use of Hobie Cats, wind surfer and paddleboard for a one-time charge and complimentary use thereafter. Those who prefer to stay dry can have fun playing beach volleyball, corn hole, ladder golf, lawn croquet, beach yoga and more.
Food & Beverage Upgrades
O’Soleil, the island’s renowned Caribbean-Mediterranean restaurant, has re-opened under the helm of new Executive Chef Joel Rheaume, formerly of The Grace Bay Club. O'Soleil is an upscale dining experience with both indoor and outdoor seating, open for breakfast and dinner.