The Palms, Turks & Caicos

November 25, 2015
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The Palms hotel offers the Turks and Caicos you’ve been dreaming of—tranquil yet sophisticated.

Laid back island living and bespoke experiences fuse effortlessly with modern luxuries at the Palms, an elegant British estate-inspired resort where iPod minis and tropical sorbets await poolside; where each of the one-, two or three-bedroom suites offers at least 1500 square feet of living space; and where a newly updated spa menu features inspiring East-meets-West treatments.

Stepping into an open-air salon that overlooks a gorgeous courtyard complete with gurgling fountains and flowering plans, I am immediately presented with a chilled, hibiscus spritzed towelette. Moments later, as I sip a rum punch, the friendly staff leads me not to a lobby but directly to my suite, where the check in process takes place. This is the Palms, where the philosophy “Everything is Possible” is the modus operandi.

The resort’s five buildings, designed in hand-cut coral stone, are set on 12 acres of perfectly manicured gardens at the edge of the tranquil Caribbean waters and powder soft sands of Grace Bay beach. A four-poster bed with hand-tufted mattress, marble floors, vaulted ceilings and milled crown moldings lend my suite an air of period elegance. There’s also an open-concept dinning room, living room and gourmet kitchen fitted with everything I might need should I be in the mood to cook. If not, the resort can arrange to have a chef come in and whip up a little something—say, a trio of Quebec foie gras or fresh crab rolls paired with some wine for an intimate little gathering on my private terrace.

On an evening walk to dinner, I witness the staff light by hand the flickering gas lamps throughout the resort. There’s probably no better place to eat on the island than Parallel23, where the culinary team prepares casual Caribbean specialties like corn and conch chowder. The a melt-in-your-mouth oven roasted New Zealand rack of lamb drizzled with rosemary jus and served on creamy polenta is a must have.

The heart of the resort, however, is the million-dollar infinity pool that serpentines around wooden decks, palm trees, sun pods and sexy lounger beds covered in soft terry fabric and tangerine colored cushions placed just so. In the heat of the afternoon, a pool attendant distributes complimentary fresh fruit kabobs and chilled towels.

Difficult as it is, I manage to tear myself away from the pool and head to the spa, which recently redesigned its menu to integrate indigenous ingredients of the Caribbean with Asian healing rituals—instead of hot stones, for example, there are heated sea shell massages while exfoliating scrubs are administered using locally-sourced sea salt and crushed queen conch shells. After a soothing facial, I sit in the relaxation area with a cup of herbal tea and let my thoughts dribble across the reflecting pool. Not a bad way to end the day.

 

While You’re There

Snorkel. During a half-day cruise ($89/adult) with Caicos Dream Tours, you get to snorkel and free dive for conchs, which the captain prepares into a delicious salad right before your eyes. Wash it all down with free-flowing rum punch. SUP. The beach attendants at the resort are well versed in all water sports, including stand-up paddleboarding. They’ll gladly teach you the basics for free. Drink. Take a seat in a water banquette or at the aptly named bar, Plunge, where you can have a cocktail or pizza without exiting the pool. Say Omm. Sign up for one of the morning yoga or pilates classes ($25 per person) offered in the resort’s yoga studio. Dance. A 30-minute walk down the beach (or $12 cab ride away) is the Gansevoort Hotel, where a local DJ spins house, soul and top 40 hits to a well-heeled crowd.

 

Need to Know

  1. Complimentary WiFi throughout the property.
  2. Massive suites with private terraces, laundry machines and gourmet kitchens.
  3. Snorkel gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards available free of charge at the beach.
  4. Providenciales Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
  5. An 18-hole golf course is five minutes away.
  6. Expect to share the resort with families, particularly during school holiday months.
  7. The hotel courtyard, Palm Place, features a handful of boutiques, an art gallery and market that stocks everything from the local rum to sunblock and snacks.

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