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The Veranda, Turks and Caicos

Situated on a 10 acre site fronting 800 feet of the world renowned Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales Island – one of the most popular of the Turks and Caicos Islands – The Veranda Resort and Residences is due to open its doors to the public later this year, and has already built up a considerable buzz.

And deservedly so. Full of charm – owing to its mix of modern and traditional, clichéd and surreal, ancient and brand new – this chic getaway looks set to offer a magnificent retreat for anyone wanting to recharge their batteries in a tropical paradise.

Presiding over the development is The Hemisphere Group who are known for the restructuring and rebranding of properties like Jumby Bay Resort (Antigua), Jalousie Resort & Spa (St Lucia) and Long Bay Beach Resort (Tortola). The Caribbean residential resort community is being built by Fountainhead Construction – the TCI company charged with building fashion mogul Donna Karen’s Parrot Cay nest. The glitzy property features 115 condominiums from studios to four bedrooms, spread over 16 buildings that are no taller than a palm tree, in addition to eight free standing beachfront houses – each with their own private plunge pool.

From the moment you arrive, you know you are in the hands of thoughtful types who have not overlooked a single detail. All rooms – be they in the residences, which will serve as hotel rooms through a revenue sharing rental programme, or the resort – have ocean views and come equipped with flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, luxury linens and every upscale amenity an owner could desire meaning they are sure to suit anyone up for luxury.

Certainly no expense has been spared in turning the interiors into something very special. Interior designer, Leslie Williams of Lee & Astwood Architects (the company credited with the project’s architecture, master planning, interior design and the procurement of furniture, fixtures and equipment), has kept Caribbean components while adding other classical and modern architectural elements to both enhance and enliven. “One of the challenges for us as interior designers was to meld the interior furnishing schemes with the New England architectural style of the project and still express the distinctive style of the Caribbean,” says Williams.

The design team’s vision for the beach cottages (which have been decked out in palettes of “mango yellow, straw, greens and blues” to create a light, breezy island mood) includes bespoke furniture and fabrics, as well as art work by local artists in a bid “to showcase the wide range of styles and wonderful talent we have in the Turks and Caicos Islands”.

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Specialist pieces such as “handmade cushions with a beaded coral motif” ensure that no two rooms are the same – which Williams points out – is “unique for a hotel environment.” The guest suites feature “a series of shadow boxes [with] each shadow box reminiscent of a collage depicting a special holiday.” Meanwhile the ‘romantic bedroom’ contains “a traditional metal bed combined with a very current antique mirrored cabinet and offset by historical drawings of jellyfish”.

“It sounds a bit strange,” Williams concurs, “but the truth is that it works.” And if anyone knows what works, it is Lee & Astwood Architects who have some of the finest resort and residential properties in the Caribbean basin on their CV.

For the resort hotel – Veranda House – Lee & Astwood have “taken a slightly different turn”. Here, furnishings are fresh and simple and “the finishes lighter”. Williams elaborates: “Cabinets are limed oak finish or white with honed granite and walls are an airy, sea foam aqua colour.” And the bathrooms? “They have contemporary styling with large showers.” Nonetheless the architecture and décor still manages to incorporate local arts and crafts (“details of an antique Haitian table were the inspiration for the styling of the vanities, while the wall finish of the Veranda House concierge area was inspired by a photograph of the side of a ship docked in Grand Turk”) in a celebration of the history and heritage of the Caribbean.

It goes without saying that living in the Caribbean is also about revelling in your surroundings. To this end, celebrated landscape designer, Steve Kvamberg (of KVLA Design), has been commissioned to transform the terrain. The result is nothing short of spectacular; even the most talented of set designers would be hard pressed to create more stunning scenery. Miles of meandering waterways (water is a key component) and inviting walkways wind their way to romantic lookouts and peaceful spots. Indeed, this would be a great place to write a book or read one – The Veranda has an extensive library.

Yet the pièce de résistance of this pampering palace is perhaps the spa. A few illicit hours hidden away in a seriously good spa should be top of everyone’s holiday list, and Sabai – with its Asian accents – promises to be a temple of tranquility offering an encyclopedia-sized menu. All treatments will be dispensed by well-trained and intuitive therapists so guests and residents can expect to be pummelled, pounded and buffed to perfection.

But the spa is not the only show in town. With a first-rate fitness centre, tennis court and a water sports pavilion offering some of the world’s best sailing, snorkelling, water ski-ing, windsurfing, parasailing, kite boarding, jet ski-ing and scuba diving on your doorstep, you will find a zillion excuses for not leaving the community.

However should you choose to venture further afield, you will be presented with a myriad of activities and excursions to keep you occupied and entertained; the only problem would be how to cram them all in. Golf (the 18-hole Karl Litton designed championship Provo Golf Course is a mere five minute drive away), deep-sea and world famous bone fishing all feature, while those keen to get back to nature can sign up for whale watching, wildlife viewing of ospreys, iguanas and other native species or take a tour of the Turks and Caicos Conch Farm. Cannot shake the western urge to acquire? The Veranda is a credit card’s throw from shops and art.

Of course should you wish to do nothing, know that The Veranda boasts no fewer than four swimming pools (including one for children) and sun splashed shores – empty but for the husks of coconuts – to lounge on, while listening to the waves crash on to sand the colour of icing sugar.

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Throw into the mix a dedicated children’s club and some seriously good restaurants including Marin – a 200 seat beachfront eatery that is perfect for diners looking to take advantage of the wide, wonderful beach and the island’s pleasant year round temperatures – and there is not much to moan about.

Both relaxing and rejuvenating, this high-end playground is the ideal island retreat for anyone in search of a home or a holiday in the beautiful, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Prices range from US$350,000 for a 600 square foot studio to US$ 375,000 for a 4,000 square foot beach house with a plunge pool.

For more information call 1-877-289 4487 or email Alternatively log onto www.verandatci.com


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