Resort Report

Not Just Kiteboard Heaven

H2O Life. Style Resort combines wellness and sustainability.

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Photos Courtesy H2O Life. Style Resort

H2O Life Style. Resort offers a luxury lodging experience for kiteboarders and active travelers alike.

The wind was blasting out of the southeast with mild chop in the blue-green sea and the dune grass bending towards the sand. Mmm . . . not a quiet beach day today, I thought. But as I looked towards the horizon, I saw what appeared to be the fluttering of huge butterflies, swooping and diving in the breeze. Below the “wings” were intrepid thrill-seekers on boards, swiftly skimming across the waves. A young Islander ran over with a huge grin, “The wind’s at 18 knots! We’re having fantastic rides this morning!” He was the beach concierge at H2O Life. Style Resort on Long Bay—the only luxury kiteboarding resort located in one of the world’s best places to enjoy the sport.

But I soon learned that you don’t have to be a kiteboarder to enjoy this world class resort.

For many years Long Bay in Providenciales has been known to offer nearly perfect conditions for kiteboarding and related watersports. Here, the water is warm, shallow, and buffered with soft white sand. The beach is wide, with plenty of room to launch and land safely. And best of all, the Turks & Caicos benefits from one of the longest ideal “wind seasons” in the world:  steady 14 to 22 knot onshore breezes from November to August.

Rob Ayer is an avid kiteboarder and seasoned developer in the Islands. The first project for this transplanted Canadian was in 2009 with the 59 room Wymara Resort on the western end of Grace Bay Beach. It morphed into the chic Gansevoort Turks + Caicos before rebranding as the Wymara Resort and Villas in 2019.

A savvy prognosticator, Rob purchased the three-acre Long Bay beachfront property in 2016, just before prices in the area started to skyrocket. He says, “I always loved the color of the water on this side of the island. After Stan Hartling invested several years in removing all the old conch shells from the beach for The Shore Club, I knew the time was right to start planning the perfect ‘lifestyle’ resort.”

The resort is positioned on Long Bay Beach, known as one of the best kiteboarding places in the world.

Rob teamed up with fellow Canadian Nicolas Boucher. From experience, the pair knew the beach was perfect for kiteboarding and that there was a market for kiteboarders who wanted a luxury experience. He explains, “They are active travelers, who like nice things and who want to experience ‘kiteboard heaven.’ This side of Providenciales is less touristy and has a more natural feel. It is mostly upscale, residential villas along the beach. So we positioned H2O as a wellness resort for folks with an active lifestyle who value sustainable travel.”

The resort is modern and sleek in the “building block” style that is prevalent in new construction. Besides being able to bear hurricanes with minimal damage, the flat roof design allows for solar panels and a stunning rooftop terrace with a bird’s eye view of the island. H2O includes 16 condominium units that can be divided into 25 rental units. The condos sold out quickly, as investors and island residents realized their unique appeal. 

Interiors feature cool, muted tones, much welcome after a day in the sun and sea. The design is understated, ultra-modern elegance, with every detail well considered. Spacious living areas feature picture windows and outdoor terraces facing the ocean. Suites are available with one to four comfortable bedrooms, full kitchens, elegant bathrooms, and many include dedicated office spaces with desks.

The central pool is for fun, sun, and frolic, with the HangTime bar front and center. Heated Jacuzzis are poolside.

The peaceful, private site includes two pools and a selection of outdoor spaces for enjoying the Caribbean vibe. The central pool is for fun and frolic, flanked by the HangTime outdoor bar, where guests can enjoy made-to-order cocktails and nutritious smoothies. The oceanfront infinity pool is a dedicated quiet area where sunbathers can enjoy the breeze and natural dunes. Nearby, a shaded “hammock garden” and hot tubs offer additional peaceful places to relax. As a result, the resort is perfect for couples, yet equally family friendly.

And for kiteboarders and watersports enthusiasts? The boutique service is supreme, with no detail forgotten. There is a certified “kite valet” whose sole purpose is to teach, assist, launch, land, and encourage guests to enjoy their favorite sport, be it kiteboarding, kite surfing, wing surfing, E-foils, or sailing Hobie sailboats. There is a rescue boat on call for those who might go astray. A wind meter keeps track of the hourly breezes. And there are plenty of like-minded aficionados on the beach to share tips and tricks.

H2O guests can choose from a full quiver of top quality rental gear, “the latest and greatest” Rob says. There is a well stocked retail store of beachwear and accessories. Guests can rinse and store their own gear in dedicated locker areas below the beachfront buildings. Lessons by top island pros are readily available. There are also boats to be chartered for fishing trips or jaunts to the Tiki Bar floating in the middle of Long Bay.

However, Rob explains, a stay at H2O is meant to be restorative to all, with a variety of health and wellness options. Especially popular is rooftop yoga, with its cool breeze and stunning sea views, especially sunrises and sunsets. Others partake of the fitness center and spa, with massage therapists on call. There is a pickleball court on site, with tennis available nearby. Many folks enjoy strolling the beach and allowing the simple beauty of sea, sand, and sun to work its soothing spell.

The penthouse outdoor terrace overlooks the magnificent expanse of Long Bay Beach and the Caicos Banks beyond.

As a luxury property, H2O’s “lifestyle concierge” is prepared to attend to any and every need. This includes pre- arrival grocery stocking and the services of a private chef. There are multiple restaurants within a short beach walk from the resort, while the glitter and glamour of Grace Bay is an easy drive across the island.

Sustainability is key as the Islands become more developed. From H2O’s inception, Rob and Nicolas chose a “consciously designed setting that honors the planet.” In conjunction with local power company FortisTCI, rooftop solar panels are currently contributing about half of the energy used by the resort. The property is cooled with high efficiency air conditioning units and uses energy-efficient lighting. Biomass treatment tanks turn wastewater into irrigation for landscaping. A reverse osmosis device in each unit allows for filtered drinking water directly from the taps, eliminating thousands of throw-away plastic water bottles. A Tesla electric “house car” is available for guests’ use. And thanks to a government protected “green space” to the east of the property, the views of native vegetation will remain untainted.

I realized that the sports favored here are also helping keep the Turks & Caicos “Greener by Nature.” Kiteboarding, kite sailing, wind surfing, wing surfing, and sailing use no fuel, contribute no emissions (except exclamations of joy), and are naturally quiet. It’s a far cry from the bustle of engine-driven boats that pass along Grace Bay all day.

Watersports that rely only on wind power help keep the Turks & Caicos “Greener by Nature,” and have a quiet beauty and grace all their own.

So what’s the buzz? Guests are raving about this small, niche resort. Since opening in December 2020, the repeat rate is rising like the kites in the wind. Many guests travel from Europe and South America, lured by the beach’s reputation and overjoyed to have lodging that makes their vacation so perfect. 

BOLD Traveller magazine is Canada’s leading luxury travel and leisure publication, catering to an audience of discerning travellers who want a richer and more meaningful connection ​with the places and culture they experience. H2O Life. Style Resort recently made the magazines’s first #BoldHotels List: 10 newcomers that are leading the charge and pushing the boundaries of what makes a great hotel—not just gateways to a place, but destinations in their own right.

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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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