BY LORI CAPULLO
They’re also abundant, at the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos.
Over the course of years of traveling, during which numerous breezy, relaxed island sojourns have always been among my favorite trips to take, I’d somehow always managed to miss out on Turks & Caicos. Despite it being a top destination of so many of my fellow travel addicts and the fact that it invariably draws gasps of pleasure whenever I mention it to anyone who has experienced it, Turks & Caicos remained on my “yet to visit” list for far too long. Now, having finally made the trip, I finally understand what all the fuss is about.
A collective of 40 coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean just southeast of the Bahamas—only eight of which are actually inhabited—T&C is but a tiny dot on the map; in fact, you’ll likely find yourself zooming in to locate it. Broken down into the larger Caicos Islands and the more diminutive Turks Islands—with almost 80 percent of the total population living on Providenciales in the Caicos—the island economy depends mostly on hotels and restaurants (read: tourism), mainly from the United States, but also in large part from Canadians in addition to other countries around the globe.
Why? Well, for one, the pristine beaches. Turks & Caicos boasts some of the cleanest, most alluring beaches of any islands, and in 2017 Grace Bay Beach was named #2 of the Top 25 beaches in the world by the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. In 2015, Providenciales was the site’s pick for world’s top island. It is also the best-known in the chain, with a wide range of hotels, restaurants and events taking place throughout the year. A vacation to Turks & Caicos is, as one might imagine given its size and geography, ideal for unwinding, with sunning, swimming, cocktail sampling and eating at the top of the to-do list. But where you choose to settle in for your stay while you engage in such taxing activities has everything to do with the degree to which you’ll enjoy them—and the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos, which is more of a home away from home than a hotel, is just what the vacation doctor ordered.
A boutique property unlike many of the sprawling resorts that line the shore here, the Gansevoort manages to merge city-chic with island cool. The 91 rooms (including 32 suites and four penthouses, the latter of which feature private wraparound terraces and outdoor Jacuzzis) are actually individually owned condos that are rented out to guests through the Gansevoort, so imagine your pleasure when you enter to find a beautiful, modern kitchen fully equipped with Gaggenau and Bosch appliances, a cozy living room that overlooks the ocean, complete with flat-screen TV, and a master bedroom with loads of closet space and Frette linens on the beds, connected to a spacious bathroom with rain shower heads and stocked with L’Occitane toiletries. But unlike most condos, the Gansevoort’s amenities are 5-star-resort worthy: an exhale spa on premises for topnotch treatments, from massages to facials; a 7,000-square-foot infinity pool where drinks and lunch is delivered right to your chaise lounge; and two excellent restaurants to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Zest, the resort’s Beach Bar + Grille, serves up super-fresh specialties—I couldn’t stop ordering the Corn Jicama Salad with Asian pear, cucumber, sweet corn and grilled shrimp, which may be the freshest concoction I’ve ever had—by day and by night, from seafood dishes like Yellowfin Tuna Ceviche and Fish Tacos to Pizzas and Burgers. Mornings, the lovely Stelle Restaurant offers an al fresco breakfast buffet with something for everyone, whether you prefer to start the day on a lighter note with fruit and yogurt or fuel up on a repast of eggs, sausages, potatoes and pastries; by night, it’s a lovely dinner spot where you can kick off the evening with a cocktail at the bar, followed by a romantic dinner for two in the dining room (Banana Wrapped Grouper is a standout) and after-dinner drinks or dessert outside on the terrace under the stars, chilling while taking in the music—or dancing wildly and happily, as many of our fellow guests were doing on a Friday night during our stay.
Days, get horizontal pool- or beachside, or, if you feel the need to work off your indulgences—or just enjoy a little bit of adventure—visit Guest Services and let them guide you through your options. Full- or half-day private boating charters are available, which include snorkeling as well as a visit to a secluded beach, snacks and drinks; fishing—from bone fishing to bottom fishing—fly boarding, jet skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and whale watching, ATV riding, Eco Tours via bike, kayak or snorkel, golfing and horseback riding are all at your disposal.
You may just fall so hard for the property that you find yourself dreaming about purchasing your own little piece of paradise, although at press time, there were only a few units left to be purchased. Still, if you’re interested in the possibility, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire. In the meantime, whether a permanent island outpost is in your future or not, it’s comforting to know there’s always a place waiting at Gansevoort Turks & Caicos, to be yours for a weekend, a week, or for however long you can manage to escape from everyday life to enjoy it.