2006 Private Preview: Amanyara
When Amanyara opens on Providenciales this December, it will become Singapore-based Amanresorts’ only property in the Caribbean region. But the contemporary Asian–style resort—consisting of 40 spacious guest pavilions crowning a rocky headland at the tip of the Northwest Point nature reserve—hardly will be alone in the once-quiet Turks and Caicos.
Thanks to its unspoiled beaches, convenient air connections, and use of the U.S. dollar as its monetary unit, this British colony recently has attracted a host of high-end hospitality ventures. The boom has been confined primarily to Provo (the name by which Turks and Caicos residents refer to the main island of Providenciales), where a cluster of new resorts and condos occupies the 12-mile-long Grace Bay Beach. Earlier this year, the Grace Bay Club boutique hotel, which opened a decade ago as the area’s first upscale resort, added two residential condo properties, Villas at Grace Bay Club and the Estate at Grace Bay Club.
Northwest Point’s superb beaches had remained undisturbed by development until Amanresorts broke ground on Amanyara, which means “peaceful place” in a combination of Sanskrit and the language of the islands’ indigenous Arawak people. Visitors to the resort will be welcomed in a reception pavilion in front of an expansive reflecting pond. Directly opposite, under a peaked roof, will be a circular lounge that overlooks the resort’s 50-meter pool. The 40 guest pavilions will feature timber shingles, 16-foot ceilings, shaded terraces, and 10-foot-high glass doors, and the resort’s two three-bedroom pond villas will have their own private pools and dining pavilions. Amanresorts also is offering 33 villas at Amanyara for sale as private residences. The first two villas will be completed by Christmas, by which time another upscale chain may have confirmed rumors that it plans to build a resort nearby at Northwest Point.
As available beachfront land dwindles on Provo, development in the Turks and Caicos is rippling outward to some of the other eight islands and 40 cays in the archipelago. The previously uninhabited island of West Caicos, for example, will become home to Molasses Reef, a 125-suite Ritz-Carlton resort accompanied by a private residential development with estate homes and lots. The developers claim that 90 percent of the island, including the Lake Catherine wildlife sanctuary, will remain untouched.
On Ambergris Cay, southwest of Grand Turk island, the Turks & Caicos Sporting Club is selling home lots and memberships that will include access to an oceanfront lodge, a 5,500-foot-long airstrip, and a marina that will accommodate 200-foot yachts. The cay, which has been private since the early 1800s, features 8 miles of shore and 100-foot bluffs—the better to see what is on the horizon for these fast-changing isles.
Amanyara, 800.477.9180, www.amanyara.net
Grace Bay Club, 649.946.5050, www.villasatgracebayclub.com, www.estateatgracebayclub.com
Molasses Reef, www.ritzcarlton.com
Turks & Caicos Sporting Club at Ambergris Cay, 877.815.1300, www.tc-sportingclub.com