A few hours into my stay at Beach House and itâ€™s already starting to feel like that—my beach house. The expansive oceanfront terrace where I sit with a novel and sip morning coffee brewed in a French Press, my sandals kicked off inside the front door, and the bedroom beyond French doors. All of these homey comforts tie into the hotel's vibe with no room numbers and no shoes—a sentiment embroidered onto throw pillows in each suite (Where the Rooms Have No Numbers). Rooms are named after feelings and images inspired by the beach setting, like "escape," "aqua," "breezy," "coral," "elated," and "deserved."
Recently opened in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos—the most traveled of the country's 40 islands (of which only eight are inhabited)—the 21-suite property hugs the Atlantic Ocean. Light-blue roofs on creamy-yellow buildings drive home the "beach house" feel. Free bicycle rentals—and the complimentary WiFi, did we mention that?—allow you to easily explore on your own. It's on a stretch of beach on Grace Bay off Lower Bight Road and next to Princess Alexandria National Park lined with a mix of hotels, restaurants, wine bars, and homes, from the glam Gansevoort Turks & Caicos to family-friendly Beaches Turks & Caicos. Beach House is in a category all its own with top-notch cuisine and plans to, very soon, roll out a fashion line by a local designer who has appeared at New York Fashion Week, along with exclusive bath amenities made just for the hotel by British company Arcania that capture the sights, smells, and sounds of Turks and Caicos. Oh, yes, and a private-label cigar from the Dominican Republic too.
Assigned "pampering pods" allow guests to have their own bed on the beach, complete with food and beverage service, and massage service too. Equipment for kayaking, snorkeling, or stand-up paddle boarding is available at no cost. Or, there is a curvy pool with chaises surrounding it. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at the restaurant. Dinner options include a "conch extravaganza" (conch three ways: chowder, spring roll, and fritters) or "Eric's Perspective Menu" of five courses (chef Eric Vernice's prix-fixe menu that changes nightly). Its wine list is among the island's best with 20 wines by the glass and dozens by the bottle. But for picky palates thereâ€™s a deal that can't be beat: simply inform Vernice of your favorite ingredient (truffles, lobster, caviar, all three) or wine varietal and he will orchestrate a feast of between five and 10 courses that highlights that specialty.
Cooking classes can also be arranged with the French chef, who has cooked in Whistler, New York City, and London. He also owned a restaurant in France for five years. His specialty is savory sabayon with lobster. For further proof that the food is a departure from typical coastal cuisine, check this out: staff can package it up in a picnic basket and deliver to you on the beach.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in the Heartland (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.Photos courtesy of Beach House Turks and Caicos