Resort Report

Getting Better All The Time: The Alexandra Resort & Spa

alexbch1Story and Photos by Kathy Borsuk

On December 15, 2001, The Alexandra Resort & Spa opened the first of its beachfront buildings, The Chelsea, as scheduled, to the delight of its first eager visitors. This princess of a property includes 32 one and two bedroom oceanfront suites, all holding court on world-renowned Grace Bay Beach and fronting the sparkling turquoise seas of namesake Princess Alexandra Marine Park.

As promised, on December 1, 2002, the pool and beachfront restaurant, The Orchid Bar & Grill, made their debut, adding to the list of amenities the property has to offer. The one-of-a-kind, “figure eight” shaped pool includes a bridge-accessed center island complete with a children’s pool and play area. Underwater air jets make it easy for swimmers to “go with the flow.” The pool also features partially submerged “body benches” as a refreshing way to sun, a water volleyball court and a swim-up bar. This entire recreation area is lushly landscaped with dozens of mature palms and colorful foliage, the hard work of local landscaping firm, Environmental Arts.The Alexandra Pool

Future plans for The Alexandra have branched from its original timeshare-only resort concept. For several reasons, the 10-acre site will now include three buildings devoted to 40 full ownership condominiums, four buildings for 68 vacation ownership suites and one building set aside as a 60 to 70 room boutique hotel. Developer and project CEO C. Washington Misick explains the change in plans, “After we opened, we had a number of guests who were overjoyed by the property and wanted to spend more than the one or two weeks here that are typical of timeshare ownership. Other folks were eager to make a full investment in a condominium unit. So we decided to set apart one area of the development for private residences. Condo owners will share in all the resort’s amenities, yet enjoy an added degree of privacy as ‘The Residences of Alexandra’ will be strictly for access by condominium owners and their guests (or renters).”

The proposed hotel came about in similar fashion, adds Misick. “Due to its prime location on the beach, several upscale hoteliers have expressed interest in the property. I feel this is in our best interest, for it not only enhances our recognition, but also signals our commitment to maintaining The Alexandra at a high level.”

The mixed usage development offers the added benefit of keeping condominium owners’ annual maintenance fees among the lowest on the island for properties of this caliber. Misick explains, “Because the maintenance expenses of the buildings and grounds are shared, we can keep fees at a reasonable level.” A timeshare property’s typically high occupancy, compared to the more seasonal fluctuations of a hotel can help support amenities such as the restaurant and spa year-around.

alexpoolThe Residences of The Alexandra

Cunningly named after orchid varieties (The Alexandra’s logo), the three, four-story condominium buildings will house studio, one and two bedroom units ranging in size from 800 to nearly 4,000 square feet (penthouses). The Lady Rose building will be oceanfront, with suites in the Prima Donna and Josephine buildings offering ocean and pool views. All mirror the well-designed floor plans of the existing building, with spacious tiled terraces and living/dining areas and master bedrooms set to the front, to take full advantage of the breathtaking views. Some units offer a studio lockout option for easy rental. All are elevator accessible.

In-room comforts include quality furnishings, central air conditioning and ceiling fans, generous closet space, granite kitchen countertops and high-grade appliances in the fully equipped kitchens, luxury ensuite bathrooms and large color televisions with DVD player and an additional TV in each bedroom.

Vacation Ownership Suites

Besides the existing beachfront building, three additional oceanview, poolside buildings will house vacation ownership suites. Timesharing is a concept that allows vacationers to buy “time,” in weekly increments, at a resort such as The Alexandra. The one-time purchase price (for a 75 year membership) is a fraction of the cost of purchasing a condominium, but the quality and size of accommodations and the resort’s amenities are the same as you’d expect at any upscale condominium development.

As the first and only “timeshare” resort in the Turks & Caicos, The Alexandra set high standards from the start. Affiliated with Resort Condominiums International (RCI), a premier vacation exchange network, The Alexandra is ranked as a Gold Crown property–a select RCI resort (in the top 10%) with the highest level of excellence in accommodation and hospitality. Besides the restaurant and pool, amenities planned for The Alexandra include an on-site spa/fitness center/beauty salon, lighted tennis courts, scuba diving and watersports, gift shop and gourmet coffee shop.

Although The Alexandra timeshare owners are guaranteed that their suite will be available at their selected time every year, they have great flexibility in using that time. It can be “lent” to family or friends, rented to other vacationers, “banked” (saved for two years), borrowed upon from the year ahead, or even resold. But among the most exciting options are the travel opportunities available via “exchange” with other properties in the RCI network. As a Gold Crown property, with a seaside location in an unspoiled, upscale Caribbean destination, time purchased at The Alexandra is worth the ultimate in trade value year-around.

Because their vacation is, in essence, already paid for, Washington Misick believes that timeshare owners are good for the local economy. He says, “Our guests tend to want to get out and experience all that the Islands have to offer. They enjoy dining out, taking island excursions, shopping and sampling our night life.” To spark visitors’ adventurous spirits, The Alexandra offers a weekly island orientation and a Rum Punch party, Conch Salad tasting and live local entertainment.

Now that the pool and restaurant are complete, construction on the first condominium building is set to begin. Shortly following will be the next timeshare building, with contractors Johnston International anticipating completion for the winter season 2003/04.

Meanwhile, of his first development of this magnitude, Washington Misick says, “It was a lot of work, but I have never been one to shy away from that . . . and I had help from a lot of good people along the way. I am pleased to have this opportunity to set an example for other Belongers to follow.”

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