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Once upon a time, there was angry chatter about the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos becoming part of Canada. I never knew if it was serious, and it never was.
But Canadian businessman Bruce McLaren did his bit. In the early 2000s, he was involved in the development of what is now the magnificent Wymara Resort & Villas in Turks and Caicos, sealing off a connection between the two regions.
Wymara is a dreamy, romantic destination with fresh air, exquisite Caribbean cuisine, earnest service, sophisticated contemporary décor, and pampering spa life, along beautiful Grace Bay Beach. It’s mellow, with just enough mingling to make the atmosphere social, including nightly happy hour, seafood events on Wednesdays and barbecues on Saturdays with beach bonfires and dancing.
The Turks and Caicos have gone upscale, so the Wymara is pricey but generous, including a full breakfast buffet, long-distance calls, twice-daily housekeeping, in-room coffee and tea, plus kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, and a free Hobie cat for sailing. Welcome details include rum punch, poolside sherbet, and orchid petals strewn along the paths.
“My vision is for people to have a great time in this perfect climate,” said McLaren, who hails from Ottawa. “Our architecture reflects the optimal timing of sun and shade, as well as capturing sea breezes and great views of the water and horizon.”
The resort’s interiors are draped in shades of white with the coolness of stone, marble, and heated glass with linen sofas and honey-coloured wood trim. Outdoors, stark white concrete is softened with puffy white muslin shades and trellises of colorful vines.
Wymara has two captivating sides: the elegant main hotel overlooking the sea and the gorgeous villas on top of the hill, 2.5 kilometers up the road. The entire resort is luxurious, yet relaxed and friendly, and the contemporary lines are strikingly pure and refined.
“Our design is distinctive,” said Jorge Collazo, general manager of the resort, who brings know-how from Setai Miami Beach and the Four Seasons. “Wymara has eschewed Caribbean frills in favor of a subtle, modern minimalist look.”
On the environmental front, Wymara runs green energy and recycling systems, and has installed water stations for refillable bottles and plastic disposal, right down to room key cards.
Wymara has been named a best-in-class beach by Forbes Travel Guide, Condé Nast, and Travel + Leisure, but Grace Bay Beach was named #1 beach in the world by Tripadvisor this year. Its soft, pale sand is completely free of rocks and always stays cool.
Two scenes: The main hotel is a compact complex with places to eat and drink, spa, boutique, beachfront, and pool so serene that private cabanas are perched around the edge. Expect top drawer everything: kitchens or kitchenettes with European appliances, electric blinds, Frette linens, Sterling mattresses and Kohler tubs or showers.
The domain of Wymara’s Villa is a private cliff-top lounge with incredible sea views, a movie-star opulence, divine modern decor and all the perks imaginable, including a concierge, new Sunset Bar and gym (with tennis, pickleball, hot tub swimming pool, fitness room, steam and sauna). The villas are a huge feat of engineering in the sky, with notable features like slides into the water and decks to sunbathe. A new pool in the sea will open soon. Car service connects guests to the main hotel.
eat the food: Executive Chef Andrew Mirosek keeps life entertaining and delicious. Zest is a beachfront café for lobster pizza, tuna tacos, a range of burgers and a kids’ menu. Christmas and New Year sparkle with holidays. And a new beach bar is launching soon with delights like a watermelon mojito and a Vodka Lemo-melonade.
But Mirosch’s real baby is Indigo, a stylish indoor-outdoor dinner spot named for his daughter. Here, he cooks with love, Caribbean flavors of lime, jalapeño and cilantro, and fresh produce—none is frozen.
Here’s a sampling of a delicious dinner: oyster soup, Asian dumplings, octopus, California white sturgeon caviar and sirloin tataki, followed by main courses of fresh Caribbean fish, shrimp, lobster spaghetti, rack of lamb, eye-eye ribs, and Mirosch’s signature brisket. . The wellness menu beckons with butternut squash curry, banana rolls, Thai salad, cauliflower slices or vegetarian linguine “Bolognese”. Indigo has a full list of international wines and champagnes.
health: The Wymara Spa offers massages and after-sun facials with revitalizing products from Éminence and Fitglow Beauty. You can expand your wellness experience with a meditation in the relaxation garden, or (for a fee) join a Pilates, yoga or high-intensity training class.
if you go
Wymara Resort & Villas: 888-844-5986, wymararesortandvillas.com; Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. Member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
Price: Hotel, 91 studios/suites from about $1,130; Pool cabanas $230 including wine. Villas: One-bedroom from $2,460 (adults only, due to cliffside location). Four and five bedrooms from $6,300. May-October. Rates may be lower or include airport transfers, champagne, fitness classes, spa and dining packages, or a complimentary fifth night at the villas.
Tourism in Turks and Caicos: visittci.com.
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