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Turks and Caicos Looking Strong for '08December 10, 2007 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
TURKS AND CAICOS HAS BUILT A SOLID REPUTATION FOR LUXURY in the Caribbean, and has no plans to slow down growth of its tourism infrastructure. About half a dozen developments are slated for completion or groundbreaking in 2008, and all should draw big-spending clientele.
According to the Turks and Caicos government's 2004 visitor study, average daily expenditure per person was about $260. Findings for 2006 are expected to be tallied by next month. But judging from the destination's continuing investments in luxury products, it's safe to presume tourism spending will increase for years to come.
In the past two years, such upscale properties as the Somerset on Grace Bay, the Villas at Grace Bay Club and Amanyara have opened in Turks and Caicos, while the former Palms was refurbished and reflagged the Regent Palms (see the October 29 Travel Agent). Development is spreading from the main island, Providenciales (or "Provo"), to some of the other seven inhabited isles in this archipelago of 40-odd islands and cays.
What's Coming Up
Due to open on Grand Turk, the capital island, in March 2008, Leeward Resort and Marina (www.leeward.com) will be a destination for hotel guests as well as yachters (it will have private docking facilities) and people who want to own a waterfront residence in the islands.
Leeward will comprise a 100-room Nikki Beach resort—a brand name popular with the young and trendy, especially in south Florida, only an hour's flight away—along with about 40 single-family homes and 35 condo-hotel units in the Marina Club. The property includes a secluded beach, swimming pools, hydro-spas and a penthouse-level yacht club. Call Blair MacPherson, sales manager, at 649-941-3824.
Another mixed-use resort is slated to open in time for the 2008-09 winter season. On the island of West Caicos, Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (www.ritzcarlton.com) will feature a 125-suite boutique hotel and 60 Ritz-Carlton-branded villas, single-family homes, cottages and marina townhouses. Call Ritz-Carlton's Caribbean regional sales office at 212-888-6800.
The Royal Reef Resort (www.royalreefresort.com), located on 17 beachfront acres on North Caicos, is expected to be operational by the middle of next year and completed by mid-2009. Reservations are supposed to be taken beginning this month. Call Fred Paatz, reservations manager, at 649-232-7333 or e-mail [email protected].
Grace Bay Club on Provo, one of Turks and Caicos' first luxury resorts, opened its family-friendly Villas last year and now is creating the Estate at Grace Bay Club (www.estateatgracebayclub.com), which should open in 2008 although no specific date has been announced. The property entails 1,100 feet of beach, with five acres designated for construction of oceanfront residences.
The new Estate building will contain 22 custom condominium apartments (five floor plans are available), including two penthouse units. Residents will have access to the Anani Spa and Fitness Center and Anacaona restaurant at the hotel. For Grace Bay Club, contact Shaune Burgess ([email protected]), director of sales and marketing, or Kathryn Kilburg ([email protected]), reservations manager, or call 800-946-5757.
Opening in July, Seven Stars Resort on Grace Bay (www.sevenstarsresort.com) will sit on a 12-mile-long stretch of Grace Bay beach and feature an oceanfront swimming pool, tropical-island-style restaurant, clubhouse with business center, game room and lounge. Call Ingrid Reynoso, reservations manager, at 649-941-7777.
No time frame has been announced for Angsana Resort & Spa (www.angsana.com), which will begin development during 2008. Planned as the first Asian-style resort on Grand Turk, the five-star Angsana will offer 45 luxury beachfront villas and more than 120 one-, two- and three-bedroom accommodations with large patios. The hotel will have conference space and entertainment venues. E-mail [email protected]. —JOE PIKE