Resort Report

A Breath of Fresh Air

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windsong-verticalClassy, casual and family-friendly Windsong Resort opens its doors.
By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos By Steve Passmore, Provo Pictures

I’m a firm believer that the personality of a resort’s upper management is reflected in the property itself — its appearance, level of service, overall atmosphere. Attitude seems to trickle down from the top, infusing every interaction between staff and guests.

When Windsong Turks & Caicos Resort opens its doors for the first time this winter season, owners and visitors are sure to soak in plenty of positive vibrations and more than a holiday helping of good cheer along with the warm sun and seabreeze. Jim Molter, the resort’s on-site developer/manager, has always impressed me as a fellow who is classy but not pretentious, detail-oriented but casual, and as friendly and respectful to his employees as he is to his guests. These qualities are reflected in the Windsong experience.

Windsong Resort is built along 450 feet of sugar-sand beach on the western edge of Grace Bay, tucked at the end of a cul-de-sac in a comfortably mixed neighborhood of residential and commercial properties. Each oceanfront suite has as its focal point that unforgettable tapestry of white sand, turquoise sea and azure sky that is the trademark of the Turks & Caicos. With only 50 condominiums on four stories, this boutique resort never feels crowded within its lovely landscaped grounds, oceanfront patio/pool or along the beach. And from the moment guests arrive at the reception pavilion, they’ll find smiling staff to meet, greet and look after them with a sincere and warm friendliness.

I visited the resort shortly before its grand opening in late 2008. Jim Molter, although he had dozens of items on his “to do” list, took time out to give me the grand tour. He was happy to report, “About 1/3 of the owners have already visited and they love the color combination and overall atmosphere of the resort.” It was easy to see why. Building exteriors are a pleasing sand tone, with swirled-stucco texture. Within the rooms, decor is simple, clean and elegant without being fussy, a soothing combination of ivory walls accented with dark woods and wicker. Living areas and master bedrooms offer a view to the sea, and spacious balconies line the oceanfront. The suites are appointed with all the important amenities, including huge, flat-screen TVs with built-in DVD players, wireless Internet, custom mattresses with ultra-soft linens, spacious closets with “storage systems”, double vanities and huge walk-in showers (some with terrace access), granite countertops and high-end Kitchenaid appliances and built-in wall safes.

I was most impressed, however, with the myriad small details Molter pointed out, items easy to overlook when planning, but which can make all the difference to a comfortable stay. (I suspect this is the result of his 25+ years of experience in South Florida development and construction combined with a decade in hospitality management.) For instance, a high-tech security system records when anyone uses their key card to enter a unit. Kitchen drawers pull themselves shut with a satisfying thump due to a hydraulic closure system. Bedroom bureaus transform into roll-top desks. Showers include rain showerheads and hand-sprays. Lock-out suites (allowing owners to rent out their units even while they are living there) feel totally private, with separate entrances, kitchen facilities and even ocean views. The entire grounds are wheelchair and senior-friendly, with below-ground parking for owners and elevator access to all the units; wide, stairless paths extend around the grounds all the way to the beach.

windsong-terraceAs we strolled to the elevated beachfront deck, I finally got to see the “really cool” pool that I had been envisioning from a mere description. Part of the patio is recessed below the level of the glass-sided pool. This allows sunbathers to watch the swimmers inside the pool, while relaxing with a drink and snack from JoJo’s Cafe. (Jim hopes to add an aquarium here, too.) The overall effect was quite unique, and destined to be a lot of fun for families. There is also a transparent bridge over the top of the pool from which a waterfall cascades.

Bordering the beach is a protective bunker of natural landscaping. Jim says, “We worked with the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources to plant dune-friendly plants such as sea oats to provide optimal stabilization of the dunes.” Other eco-friendly measures include energy-efficient lighting throughout the resort and a state-of-the-art cooling system that monitors when and where people move into rooms and adjusts temperatures accordingly.

Jim has always wanted the resort to have a casual, family-friendly appeal. He explains, “No matter how work-focused they are back home, most of our guests want to come here to kick off their shoes, relax and enjoy the beach, ocean and wonderful weather. To help them do so, we have a dedicated watersports manager with all the toys they need right here, including snorkeling gear, kayaks and paddleboats. The famous White House reef and snorkeling trail is right out front and 20 yards offshore.”

And while the well-equipped, high-end kitchens might beg to be used, in the spirit of relaxation, guests can enjoy breakfast and lunch items — including pizza, salads, subs, soups and pasta dishes — from JoJo’s Cafe on the patio.
Within the reception facility, there is the management office, a business center with meeting rooms, wellness/fitness room and a concierge to help plan dinners, excursions, golf and other diversions. But Jim wants folks to meet and mingle here, too. There is a huge TV screen for sports and movie nights, and plans for competition Monopoly, bridge and bingo games, poker tournaments and even blackjack instruction nights (with help from Casablanca Casino). Outdoors, the breezy, covered patio is perfect for family reunions, social activities or small corporate functions. A separate building houses the on-site spa, with a full array of treatments offered by the professionals from Spa Tropique.

windsong-living-diningJim was pleased to report no structural damage, flooding or “water issues” following this September’s hurricane barrage, nor did he need to use the property’s generator backup. In fact, he says, “The insulation, windows and soundproofing were so good that you did not even know there was storm taking place!”
I’ve experienced first-hand a taste of the “service with a smile” with which Windsong staff will grace guests. It’s sometimes rare to sense a sincere attitude of goodwill, but that’s what I found here, and I fully believe Molter’s motto, “Our staff is a team . . . and we never use the word ‘No.’”

Construction on Windsong’s Phase 2 is expected to start in May and be completed by October 2010. There are also six units still available for sale in the existing building. The global economic slowdown doesn’t ruffle Jim Molter. He explains, “I’ve been through the highs and lows of the Florida real estate market and because we are internally funded and not dependent on bank loans (nor are any of our buyers), we’re on very stable ground. I think our owners love their purchase — the chance to live in paradise — and for vacationers, we offer solid value and over-the-top service for their money.” In fact, room rates for Windsong are significantly less than many resorts on Grace Bay, while the beaches are less crowded and the atmosphere more peaceful in its Bight location.

As I left, Jim and his staff were preparing for a Christmas-tree decorating party for children of the Enquiring Minds primary school, to be followed by pizza and gift-giving. It was hard to tell who would have more fun!

For more information or to make reservations, call (649) 941-7700 or visit www.windsongresort.com.



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Photographer Marta Morton was enjoying another spectacular sunset when she spotted this lovely scene—a picture-perfect clump of Old Man Cacti and the pastel colours of what she later learned were crepuscular rays (see page 18). For more of Marta’s images, turn the pages of this issue and visit www.harbourclubvillas.com.

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