Resort Report

Home Sweet Home: The Arches of Grand Turk

archsgnStory & Photos by Kathy Borsuk

The Arches of Grand TurkEven at the most lavish Caribbean resort, it’s rare to feel at home in your room or suite . . . in most places, a cool impersonality replaces the homey touch that allows complete relaxation. The Arches of Grand Turk are an exception. The four-unit, two-story vacation townhomes in the attractive, red-tiled building on Lighthouse Road offer accommodations unmatched in the nation’s capital, truly “a home away from home.”

To begin with, the residences are huge (1,400 sq. ft.), and each room is the size you’d expect in a “real life” family home. The decor, mostly handcrafted by owner Cecile Wennick, adds to the comfortable atmosphere and units are thoroughly furnished with everything you need to settle right in. (Just about the only homey touch lacking is wear and tear–each unit is meticulously clean and appears brand-new from top to bottom!)

There’s no doubt that you’re on a Caribbean holiday, though. All you need to do is look through the arches of one of the four private balconies in each unit. Built on North Ridge, The Arches stand on one of the highest points in Grand Turk and boast a 360 degree view of the island. From the back balconies, you’ll enjoy sunrises over the eastern Atlantic shore and from some units, you can spot the historic lighthouse on Northeast Point or Gibb’s Cay. Step to the front balconies for spectacular sunsets and views of North Creek, Cockburn Town and the western shore. On either side, refreshing sea breezes will keep you cool and comfortable.

Cecile and husband Wally are Canadians who discovered the Turks & Caicos back in 1983, when Wally installed Grand Turk’s first satellite dish for Turks & Caicos Banking Company. Prior to that, they lived in the Bahamas from 1968 to 1978 (their “island learning experience,” Cecile says). They bought land in Grand Turk 15 years ago and spent the intervening time running a hotel in Fort Lauderdale. They moved to Grand Turk in 1998 to supervise construction of The Arches, which they designed to fill a perceived need for upper-end lodging there; the property opened in December 1999.

archftThe Arches of Grand Turk

Cecile says, “We wanted The Arches to be a very special place where guests could unwind in a restful, home-like environment.” On each unit’s lower level, the elevated front porch opens into a “life-size” kitchen/dining room, complete with a dining table that seats six. The living room (just like home with cable TV, VCR, books and National Geographics) looks over the back patio and there is a bathroom with shower and plenty of storage space. Upstairs are two expansive bedrooms, each air-conditioned and opening onto a balcony. (Cecile describes with awe the full moon’s silvery ocean path that can be seen from the back bedroom on a clear night.) There is also a small sitting alcove complete with rocking chair, a full bathroom with tub and shower and more closet space.

Decorating and handicrafts are Cecile’s passions and her talents are exhibited against a backdrop of crisp white walls. She takes credit for sewing the curtains, bedspreads, pillows and bed ruffles and creating the unique wall borders and bed frames and her needlework personalizes towels and linens. Cecile says she delights in “using things that are around” and her creativity shines in such items as hand-painted bottles rescued from the sea, driftwood-based candles and straw hats adorned with shells and dried flowers used as wall hangings. Carefully planned to enhance rather than overwhelm, Cecile’s classy “touch of crafts” truly adds to The Arches’ distinctiveness.

The Wennicks say most of their guests are discerning vacationers who appreciate Grand Turk’s simple, unpretentious lifestyle. Each townhome can hold up to six people, so families are no problem, and one unit is set aside for potential long-term rentals for businesspeople. Scuba divers are attracted to the island’s world-renowned, near-shore walls and a number of guests are referrals from the island’s three dive operators.

The beach (visible from the back balconies) is a mere five minute stroll from The Arches. Cecile says this windward shore is virtually deserted and beachcombing is especially good at certain times of year. At press time, the Wennicks were building a 14 x 28-foot freshwater pool. It will be surrounded by a tiled pool deck and flanked by a raised covered pavilion complete with changing room. Besides enhancing guests’ enjoyment, the Wennicks expect the facility to provide a beautiful venue for romantic island weddings.

The colorful landscaping surrounding the property adds to the feeling of tropical enchantment. Using primarily native plants from North Caicos, the Wennicks painstakingly designed, planted, water and weed the gardens which are blossoming under their tender care.

“We don’t want our guests to feel like strangers,” states Cecile, “and we bend over backwards to make them feel welcome.” The Wennicks live on-site, so they are always available to help with transportation, excursions, dining and the like. In fact, they consider The Arches to be an extension of their personalities and as such, treat each unit with a loving touch and fastidious care, explaining “We appreciate nice things and like to keep them that way.”

1 Comment

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Bernice Kelly
Nov 5, 2015 19:14

I would like to rent a property for six adult for the month of December, 23rd 2015 to January, 2. 2016
I need to know the amount,
Thanking you in this matter,
Ms. Bernice Kelly

You also can call me at Home : 610-454-0292/ Cell 215-715-1095

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