New Development

A Grace Bay Renaissance

renaisBy Kathy Borsuk
Site Graphics by Reelization

The 14th century Italian Renaissance marked a transition from medieval to modern times through a revival of intellectual and artistic achievement. A stroll along Providenciales’ breathtaking north shore reveals a Renaissance of its own in terms of condominium resorts, with no fewer than eight projects recently completed or currently underway.

The Renaissance on Grace Bay is the latest among the luxury beachfront developments: set apart by a rebirth of romantic elegance mingled with the spacious openness associated with a comfortable Caribbean lifestyle.

Inspired by the classic grand villas of Italy, The Renaissance includes 28 two and three-bedroom beachfront suites housed within a magnificent four-story main villa. An additional eight one-bedroom suites in two-story cottages encircle a large courtyard featuring a private pool and Jacuzzi, patio and gardens. Beach and courtyard are connected via the signature, open atrium built through the center of the main villa; the beachfront suites themselves link unobstructed views of sea and shore with romantic outlooks on the courtyard and entrance pavilion.

The overall effect of Mediterranean grandeur coupled with airy Caribbean indulgence in light and breezes came about through the combined efforts of Barrie Cooke, project development officer and Simon Wood, project architect. Cooke’s main requirement was that the project be “Mediterranean” in flavor, and Simon had always admired the style of Gianni Versace’s villa on Lake Como. Project sales and marketing director Joe Zahm, who was involved with Simon on concept and design, happened to be honeymooning in Tuscany and Lake Como and was able to photograph (with his wife’s blessing!) a number of Italian villas, whose distinctive features were used by Wood to further develop the concept.

Although a change from the more traditional Caribbean architecture he designs, Simon Wood says the classical proportions and elegant design elements of the Italian Renaissance theme blended well into the scale of the buildings planned for the site. The use of balconies and large windows, especially prominent on the less formal, beachfront facade, emphasized the masterpiece of a view each suite enjoys.

The three acre Renaissance property commands 265 feet of beach frontage on Grace Bay and is positioned just east of the elite Mansions on Grace Bay condominiums. Joe Zahm explains that The Renaissance will attract a similar group of discriminating, cosmopolitan owners who appreciate a superior level of quality and intimacy. “All of our larger suites are beachfront, which is where owners and guests want to be when they come to the Caribbean. Not only will the property significantly appreciate in value as land on Grace Bay becomes scarce, but it makes the suites easy to rent for owners who choose to do so. With only 36 suites (70 bedrooms) available, we can balance guest privacy with efficient resort management.”

Suites in the main villa range from 1,400 square feet, and are arrayed eight across on each of three levels, with four penthouses crowning the top. Living/dining areas are set to the front, featuring huge expanses of window, lined with curving “Juliet” balconies to capture sweeping panoramic vistas whether indoors or out.

Each level offers unique advantages: first-floor suites are elevated from the dune to offer dual-level terraces with a bonus sunning deck; second-floor suites provide a blend of view and intimacy with the beach and third-floor and penthouse suites offer an epic outlook on the bay. Prized corner suites include wrap-around balconies and vaulted ceilings on third floor and penthouse levels.

Interior detailing combines Neoclassic charm with island-style comfort.

Disappearing sliding pocket patio doors offer maximum outlook and ventilation; open kitchens feature granite countertops and high end appliances; Travertine marble tiled floors and conveniences such as central air conditioning, ceiling fans and built-in washer/dryers ensure maximum comfort for owners and guests. The main building also boasts four elevators and a gated access, underground car parking area.

The Italian grand villa’s entrance court has been reinvented at The Renaissance to offer a Caribbean-style outdoor retreat. Palm-shaded arches, covered walkways and luxuriant landscaping surround the rectangular pool and surrounding stone terrace. To two sides are the cottages, each holding four, one-bedroom suites sized from 800 square feet. Opposite the main villa is The Pavilion–official welcoming point for guest reception and concierge services. A step through its arched entranceway to the poolside bar reveals the property’s grandeur in all its glory, leading to a vision of the turquoise sea through the atrium.

An advantage of the ongoing condominium Renaissance on Grace Bay is enhanced investor confidence. As Zahm puts it, “With every successful development, there is one obstacle removed in selling the Turks & Caicos as a growing vacation investment destination.”

However, for prospective owners of The Renaissance, developer confidence is far from an issue and the management team is gold-plated. Developer H.A.B. Ltd. is backed by the most significant investor and private landowner in the Turks & Caicos. Holdings include the Turks & Caicos Water Company and Provo Golf and Country Club, and its track record and financial backing are unsurpassed. Development Officer Barrie Cooke is a former partner in the law firm of Misick & Cooke and has resided in Turks & Caicos for 20 years. Development Manager Paul Slattery is formerly of BCQS, the country’s leading project management firm, where he was in charge of development for the five-star Point Grace property, among other successful projects. Simon Wood Associates is the head designer and supervising architectural firm for The Renaissance. Wood’s vision, creativity and passion are well documented in such varied works as Point Grace, The Mansions on Grace Bay, the Clubhouse at the Provo Golf & Country Club, the Misick & Stanbrook law offices, Ports of Call Shopping Center and other projects throughout the Caribbean. Connolly Zahm Properties is directing sales, marketing and management efforts. Managing Director Joe Zahm and new General Manager Gary Greenwood have had a hand, and sometimes many, in the success of nearly every beachfront condominium project on Grace Bay for over 11 years.

Of the team, Slattery says “We’re doers and shakers, and our combined experience has led us to plan and work through all aspects of the project well ahead of time.” Slattery anticipates ground breaking to commence in early December, with a project completion date of late Summer, 2002.

With a mix of one, two and three bedroom suites at a variety of price points, and a “one phase only–built and done forever” plan ensuring swift project completion, Zahm is extremely confident that investors won’t wait long to become Renaissance owners. In fact, as of early November, several condominiums had already been purchased, with others on reserve before the property was actually launched to the general public.

Besides all the services and amenities you would expect from a prestigious resort property, (including such bonuses as beach boardwalk and viewing deck, tennis court, fitness center and in-suite Internet service), owners will benefit from comprehensive international marketing efforts. Of note are cutting-edge promotional tools created by Miami-based firm Reelization Inc., in conjunction with Simon Wood Associates. Virtual 3-D video images will visually “walk” prospective clients through the resort property, with 360 degree views of both exteriors and interiors. These are on view at the Connolly Zahm office and will be sent to interested parties on CD or videotape; 3-D images will also appear on The Renaissance web site,

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South Caicos was once a major exporter of salt harvested from its extensive salinas. Award-winning Master and Craftsman Photographer James Roy of Paradise Photography ( created this vertical composition by assembling a series of six images captured by a high-definition drone which was a half a mile away from his position.

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