Turks and Caicos Islands SPAS

Where When How - Turks & Caicos Islands - May / June 2017 magazine cover.Where When How Turks & Caicos Islands May / June 2017

The Art of

Story By Sophie Newstead

Water, like breathing, can serve a purpose far beyond just survival. It’s not only a necessary means to exist, but a luxurious means to restore, once basic survival needs are fulfilled and pursuit of higher needs, to feel good, come into play. And when it comes to that, there’s no other place that maximises it with such panache than that heavenly three-lettered acronym… S.P.A.

Latin for ‘Sanitas per Aquas’, or ‘health through water’, connotations are almost godlike: restore, heal, rejuvenate, replenish, heal, cure, bathe, detox. The bathing culture the spa originated in harks back to the Greek times, but remains a permanent fixture on today’s pampering hotlist: saunas, mud baths, steam rooms, Jacuzzis, thermal and mineral hot springs, the list goes on. The difference in today’s relaxation market is the diversity of treatments on offer, with modern day spas presenting more ways than one to reach that much needed R&R.

A photograph of Spa Tropique massage, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Spa Tropique comes to you with mobile spa services. Photo by Steve Passmore at Provo Pictures.

Globally-inspired massage techniques combined with breathing therapies, beauty treatments, mobile spas and organic products, mark the new wave of treatments to hit the island. So in light of the new age of relaxation, here’s some spas worth taking a look at, broken down into three distinct areas: appeal, architecture and atmosphere, and signature treatments.

Widely regarded as the quintessential luxury spa, The Palms is a good choice if you’re looking for the classic or exotic spa experience. The treatment range combines the staples of massage, scrubs and facials with holistic therapies from around the globe, along with high-tech methods and locally sourced ingredients. The dressing rooms alone warrant a visit, equipped with a sauna, steam room, indoor and outdoor showers, and an outdoor courtyard for some tranquil pre and post treatment drinks. The spa stands alone from the resort, comprising a collection of quaint buildings that enclose Zen-inducing gardens, local Frangipani trees, stand alone cottage treatment rooms, sun loungers and a yoga area.

A photograph of the bride with Beauty and the Beach, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Beauty and spa services to pamper your wedding party. Photo by Brilliant Studios.

The newly re-launched spa menu features two-hour massages using natural cocoa oil and Frangipani flowers, mother of pearl foot scrubs, and dreamy treatments in their tranquil ‘Zareeba’ Garden, inspired by North African and Jamaican bush medicines. Product lines feature 100% organic and ECO certified ‘Tata Harper’, and marine-based ‘Voya’, which uses minerals like mud, salt, seaweed and algae to balance the skin via osmosis.

Holistic therapy is available, and extends the focus to wellbeing as well as relaxation. The common combination of ailments and concerns such as back pain, stress and wanting to get fit, are treated with a multi-disciplinary package combining Mindfulness (the focus on one’s internal breathing as a tool to relax), beauty, fitness and spa treatments. A typical package would include the likes of a massage, manicure, mindful breathing and a sunrise or sunset yoga class.

A photograph of Thalasso Spa, Point Grace, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Thalasso Spa by the sea, at Point Grace. Photo by Steve Passmore at Provo Pictures.

Fusing cosmopolitan sophistication with open plan luxury, The Gansevoort draws on a wealth of experience from their parallel branches in New York and Dominican Republic, particularly in regards to their spa, Exhale. The team of highly-trained therapists are experts in attending to the dermatological needs of a global client-base, all with different lifestyles, skin types, allergies and preferences, which in turn, yields repeat clientele from all over the world.

The open layout of The Gansevoort, means Exhale has been integrated into the resort’s elegant grounds without sacrificing its privacy. Relax in peace while residing just a few minutes walk from Grace Bay Beach, their delicious beachside café ‘Zest’, and Exhale’s yoga pavilion and fitness room.

A photograph of The Palms Resort and Spa, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Beautiful setting at The Palms Spa. Photo by www.MyParadisePhoto.com

A shaded relaxation garden, spacious (and super relaxing) treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor showers and a nail salon, comprise the spa’s grounds. If you’re not adverse to a deeper massage… (keep in mind you can also adjust pressure to preference), I recommend Exhale’s signature ‘Provo Deep Flow’ treatment. Combining lymphatic drainage with techniques used in deep tissue, it opens up locked muscles, stretches limbs, frees energy blockage and relieves tension. The techniques are built to prolong the effects long after you’ve left the spa, and wow…is it effective.

Customise massages with your choice of Exhale’s signature oils: uplifting, detoxifying, or a herbal blend, and if you’d like to combine with a facial, Exhale’s signature ‘Z Peel’ is a dreamy Japanese mushroom enzyme mask, used to remove excess dead skin and stimulate blood flow. Want a bit of everything? The ‘Caicos Coco Calmer’ goes the whole nine yards: enjoy a foot massage, exfoliating coconut body polish, a coconut oil Swedish style massage, and an express facial. The newly launched Eminence Organic Skin Care line contains fruit and plant extracts rich in nutrients, from pulps to plants and spices.

A photograph of The Palms Resort and Spa, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Manicure or pedicure at The Palms Spa. Photo by www.MyParadisePhoto.com

So if you’d like to combine your pamper day with a touch of cosmopolitan sophistication with a spot of lunch (with a view) afterwards, or a ‘Core Fusion Barre’ class merging pilates, ballet and yoga, head to Exhale.

Hunting for a centrally located spa? Or a spa treatment that can be delivered to you, wherever you are, even if you’re on the beach? Spa Tropique is an accessible, flexible spa service brimming with friendly therapists and customised services. Independently owned and operated, the spa’s owner lives here on island and champions a lighthearted approach towards the industry.

Operating across three channels, you can find Spa Tropique either at their resident four spas (one of which is conveniently located in Grace Bay’s Ports of Call), Drift Spa at the Windsong Resort, or through their gloriously unique mobile service. This service takes the logistics out of R&R by capturing the entire spa experience and bringing it to you, whether on the beach, in a villa, yacht or resort.

A photograph of The Palms Resort and Spa, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Welcome to The Palms Resort and Spa. Photo by www.MyParadisePhoto.com

Spa Tropique’s unique services don’t stop at their mobile capabilities either, signature treatments include ‘Wrapture’, a water lily wrap using actual crushed water lilies to cool the skin, ‘The Royal Treatment’, a facial using collagen and caviar, and ‘Wild’, a wild berry body polish offered at the Drift Spa in the Windsong Resort. A treatment worth noting is the ‘Sea & C Oxygen Factory Facial’ as it left my complexion restored and glowing for days. Vitamin C and seaweed is used with a peel to balance pores and rejuvenate the skin, it’s like a steam room, scrub and sauna for your face (and a cold gin and tonic afterwards)... rolled into one. Spa Tropique’s skincare line features botanical and fruit-based products that champion local fruits of the Caribbean, from papaya, pineapple, to coconut, and mango.

A photograph of The Palms Resort and Spa, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Relax with a cup of tea at The Palms Spa. Photo by www.MyParadisePhoto.com

Walk down a web of small pathways under a canopy of lush local flora, and you reach three stand-alone elevated cottages, a.k.a… Dune Spa. Located in a secluded area of The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach, each cottage is an individual treatment room, decked out with a private balcony should you want to enjoy a glass of champagne and a breathtaking view before or after your treatment. The private outdoor shower overlooks the ocean and inside, you have the option to swap air conditioning for a calming ocean breeze, with the doors left open during treatment. Dune Spa represents the ever-changing dunes on Long Bay Beach, and their constant evolving form caused by the natural environment. Emphasis on local ingredients here are paramount, such as sand from Long Bay Beach, coconut oil from the island, sugar cane from Middle Caicos, and Frangipani flowers from the local island trees. The menu also draws on a multitude of wellbeing techniques from Jamaican bush medicine to ancient Chinese medicine and holistic therapy. Signature treatments include the ‘Sea Salt Caramel Body Glow’ that uses ingredients such as raw honey, vanilla and local coconut, along with customised massages, which adjust variables like frequency of brush strokes, pressure and time spent on each stage in response to the client’s needs.

A photograph of The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.The path to your private spa cabana at The Shore Club. Photo by www.MyParadisePhoto.com

The Dune Spa is relatively new, launching this year as part of the highly-acclaimed Shore Club Resort. The location is wild, natural and quite frankly, stunning, and when paired with natural ingredients and an ocean view, presents a great option if you’ve been coming here for years and on the prowl for something different.

If you’re in need of a specialist hair and nail salon, Maxime Le Salon in Grace Bay has an extensive selection of services on tap. The resident seasoned specialists have been chopping barnets and preening nails for years, so if you’re looking for some hair and nail pampering in a convenient location, look no further. Call to book or to find out their full range of services.

To whomever the need for relaxation is felt by: the bride, mother of the bride, maid of honour, groom, best man, the island has some excellent packages for weddings. The extravagance varies from simple mani-pedis for the girls and treatments for the men, to whole 12-hour packages for the bride-to-be, spread across multiple days. Wedding pampering services are available across many spas and limited by little, but are very popular so call well in advance to book.

A photograph of The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach, Providenciales (Provo), Turks and Caicos Islands.Relax with a couples massage at The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach. Photo by www.MyParadisePhoto.com

For those unfamiliar with the term ‘Thalasso Therapy’, it’s the idea of using seawater as a form of therapeutic treatment. And considering we are surrounded by toasty waters and ivory sand most of the year, if you want to go au naturale for your spa, head to the beach. Grace Bay Beach is revered as one of the best in the world, so if you find yourself yearning for some beachside pampering, D.I.Y it with things like exfoliating with sand, restoring the skin with seawater, and sunbathing in the heat to relax any tension. Hard life...

So what defines the modern day spa in 2017? The very concept of the SPA itself is expanding and evolving, it’s less ‘health through water’ more ‘health through water, breathing and beauty therapies’. The art of relaxation on the island, lies in customising treatments, drawing on worldly techniques, and integrating our world-class seascapes and natural resources into the spa experience. Spa treatments now are more accessible than ever, and with different techniques available for different physiques, and optional extras like breathing, beauty and fitness packages, there’s never been a better time to catch that bathrobe R&R.

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