There’s no three-hour boat tour required to get to the Turks & Caicos luxury resort Ambergris Cay, only a 20-minute flight aboard an eight-seat Piper Navajo airplane from Turks & Caicos International Airport.
The 1,000 square-acre private reserve ironically recalls the quickly vanishing tradition of the exclusive, small-island Caribbean escape, because those attributes make the property well-suited for today’s COVID-19 travel landscape.
That’s because Ambergris Cay offers a sybaritic “castaway” experience that Gilligan and the Professor never imagined (Google those two if you were born after 1990). Aside from fewer than 30 owners’ mansions spread far from one another across Ambergris Cay, guests have a pristine Caribbean island virtually all to themselves for the extent of their stay.
Ambergris Cay features only 10 1,600 square-foot beachfront villas for guests, plus an all-inclusive policy that incorporates personalized services and amenities, from chef-prepared gourmet meals to private massage and spa services, in one package.
Guests arrive at Ambergis Cay via the island’s private airstrip, whose 5,700-foot long runway enables guests arriving by private jet to clear Turks & Caicos customs without the previously required stop at Providenciales International Airport.
Once on the island, guests proceed to their villa via a deluxe golf cart assigned to their suite (incidentally, it’s a thrill to motor around the island on your own this way). The package also features unlimited power-boat excursions to nearby islands for swimming, snorkeling, lunch and relaxation under beach umbrellas, plus daily half-hour massages.
Visitors can also spend the day relaxing on their villa’s private wraparound deck, dipping occasionally into their private plunge pools. A boardwalk leads from the villas to a stone terrace and the Calico Jack Restaurant.
We spoke with Kevin Mattier, Director of Sales and Marketing for Ambergris Cay, to learn why the resort is well-suited to accommodate visitors as Caribbean travel seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
TravelPulse (TP): Why does Ambergris Cay offer a product suitable to these times and circumstances?
Kevin Mattier (KM): “Ambergris Cay offers a unique private island escape with minimal interaction with the general public. With over six miles of coastline and fewer than 30 villas, social distancing is assured. A private international airport with 5,700 feet of runway affords a unique opportunity for private jet travelers to arrive at an island paradise while avoiding the crowds found at major airports.”
TP: How has the company adjusted its marketing of Ambergris Cay in response to COVID-19?
KM: “Our strong suit has been exclusivity and the ‘accessible remoteness’ of a private island paradise located within 3 hours of all East Coast cities. The market is demanding these types of getaways so we really are well-positioned already.”
TP: What are your expectations for visitor activity now that T&C has reopened?
KM: “We are thrilled that the government has reopened the destination. Since the majority of our guests come from the US and Canada, we have to rely on the ability of the North American traveler to move about freely and safely in order to increase business to Turks and Caicos. Everyone must do their part to keep travel open.”
TP: Has the pandemic altered the Ambergris Cay experience? If so, how?
KM: “Not very much. We have enhanced our cleaning protocols and for the few times that our team interacts with guests within a 6 ft./2m range during the day, industry-standard protocols are followed.”
TP: How does the Ambergris Cay market align with the people who are seeking to travel right now?
KM: “We are attracting upscale travelers and private jet clients who want exclusivity and social distancing.”
TP: What are your expectations in terms of tourism activity in the Turks & Caicos for the rest of 2020 and into 2021?
KM: “This will be a time of re-building the business. It all hinges on the global efforts to squash the spread of COVID-19 so airports and borders can remain open. We all need to protect each other and keep our world safe.”
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