InStyle Vacations's Blog

Two New Luxury Brands for the Secluded Turks & Caicos Islands
They are among the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. The forty islands and cays that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are favored by travelers in the know for their pristine waters, picture-perfect white sand beaches and conch and lobster fisheries that make local dining such a joy.

TCI’s archipelago is strung out along the sea at the tail-end of The Bahamas and before you get to the Dominican Republic.

Bookended by two popular and busy beach destinations, this British Overseas Territory stands out for its quiet seclusion. Only about 30,000 people live on TCI - mainly on Providenciales in the Caicos islands. In fact, fewer than a dozen of the islands are inhabited at all. But possibly because of its primary business as an international banking center, TCI has great air service from Miami, New York, Toronto and London.

So anyone looking for an idyllic island escape can add TCI to their list. Even more now, since two luxury hospitality brands have arrived on the archipelago, boosting its credentials as a luxe beach destination away from the bustle of its bigger neighbors.

Ritz-Carlton Turks & Caicos

This iconic luxury company has opened its first resort on TCI on renowned Grace Bay in Providenciales. Ritz-Carlton Turks & Caicos joins a small family of Ritz-Carlton ultra-luxury resorts in the Islands, one that includes Aruba, St. Thomas USVI, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands.


The latest Ritz-Carlton resort’s design was inspired by the natural wonders of the Turks & Caicos, incorporating the heritage of its earliest Lucayan inhabitants in the use of rich wood, calming ocean themes as well as desert magic, incorporating local cactus and sponges into the property, including the native turk-head cactus that thrives in TCI’s dry climate and gave the islands its name.

Guests are welcomed to nearly 150 ocean view rooms including 23 suites, or a number of three-story penthouse suites with private, rooftop plunge pools and endless views.

The resort is designed for private and romantic or fun family vacations; the company’s ‘Ritz Kids’ program offers programs for children to explore the island and learn about marine life through arts and crafts.

For grown-ups, there’s an adults-only pool with private cabanas, a private catamaran for marine exploration, a casino; a seaside spa and yoga on the beach; and multiple dining venues that offer both local and global flavors.

Celebrating the island’s natural abundance of conch, the resort marks the end of every day with the sound of this iconic shell and offers guests the chance to sample conch ceviche and other island delicacies.
 
A Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge offers an exclusive sanctuary that offers private check-in, a dedicated Club Concierge, and multiple culinary presentations throughout the day, in addition to dedicated service at the beach.
 
Indoor and outdoor venues are also designed for meeting and events including a 5000 square-foot ballroom and an ‘event lawn and grand promenade’ with the white sands and sparkling waters of Grace Bay in the background that will fulfil any bride’s dreams.
 

The Meridian Club on Pine Cay

The Meridian Club (pictured top) has occupied a spectacular private, 800 acre island off of Providenciales since the 1970’s, when the exclusive, intimate beachside property became the first tourist development in TCI.

What’s new is its recent adoption into the fold of Relais & Chateaux, the elite collection of boutique hotels, resorts, villas and restaurants all committed to the highest standards of hospitality and gourmet cuisine. That designation just formalizes the recognition of The Meridian Club at Pine Cay as one of the region’s leading private island resorts.

Pine Cay is less than a mile wide and only two miles long. Despite its small size, the island has over 9 miles of trails and a breathtaking 2-mile stretch of white sand beach. The ideal place for beach walking, the island is connected to its neighbors, Water Cay and Little Water Cay – you can even walk the beach for 5 miles to the end of Little Water Cay.

Just 13 rooms host 26 guests with nearly the entire 800 acres of island nature and beauty to explore.


Guests choose between private cottages or spacious beachfront rooms – all inclusive of the fine dining that helped secure its inclusion into the collection of Relais & Chateaux properties world wide. Every room opens directly onto the 2-mile beach.

You can imagine why people with milestones to celebrate often book out the island for their party – it may be the private island party of your dreams!

In addition to miles of arid island hiking, guest while away their days swimming in crystal clear waters, joining daily snorkeling trips, kayaking, paddleboarding, days at the spa, yoga classes, boating on a charter or on complimentary Hobie Cat boats, fishing, or just relaxing seaside.
 
It’s the beach getaway you’ve always really wanted.
 

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Images courtesy of their respective resorts. Top image: two of the cottages at the Meridian Club



Silversea's 'Celebrity' Culinary PartnershipBy: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/ Host BestTrip.TV
These days, celebrity chefs and cruise lines sail hand in hand. Silversea's interpretation of luxury cruising is an understated elegance where service and attention to detail are primary.
The Silver Muse at anchor in Paraty, Brazil (Photo: BestTrip.TV)
So it's no surprise that Silversea's culinary partnership is not with a famous chef with a flamboyant TV show. Instead, Silversea partnered with Relais & Chateaux, a world-wide association long dedicated to the highest culinary and hospitality arts for travelers in the know.
Table settings in La Dame on board the Silver Muse (Photo: BestTrip.TV)
If you're a dedicated foodie and traveler, Relais & Chateaux should be on your radar. The association began in France decades ago, launched by a boutique hotelier/restaurateur to unite other independent boutique hotels with peak standards in local cuisine and fine living. Today, it's the most prestigious hotel/culinary association in the world. 500 member landmark hotels and restaurants are united by a shared commitment to outstanding fine dining and their unique interpretation of the Art of Living.
Relais & Chateaux hotels/restaurants can be found in 64 countries around the world… and at sea, only on Silversea cruises. So the seven seas can be added to the dozens of countries where Relais & Chateaux' kitchens and dining rooms pay exquisite attention to ingredients, technique and flavors for the delectation of travelers.
Imagine: Silversea's expedition cruises to the world's polar regions mean the cruise line brings the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant to Antarctica!
Where art meets marzipan. (Photo: BestTrip.TV)
Silversea works with the 'Grands Chefs' honored by Relais & Chateaux to offer their signature dishes on board Silversea ships. In addition, one restaurant on Silversea, La Dame, is the only Wine Restaurant by the association at sea. What a perfect combination: sailing to some of the world's great wine regions and dining in a restaurant that celebrates those wines with six-course menus of inspired French cuisine.
Lobster and Caviar and Leeks, oh my! (Photo: BestTrip.TV)
Our recent cruise on the Silver Muse from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro gave us the perfect opportunity to experience Silversea's unique version of Relais & Chateaux.  Argentine wines were the toast of the hour during a wine tasting in La Dame. And we chose to celebrate our final evening on board the ship at La Dame with an array of exquisite wines and dishes that brought our Silversea experience to a crescendo.
Watch the video to join our experience in Silversea's La Dame Relais & Chateaux restaurant as well as 7 other unique restaurants on the Silver Muse.
BestTrip.TV hard at work... even at dinner in La Dame. (Photo: BestTrip.TV)
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