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TURKS & CAICOS Weekly News

13 November 2009 - TURKS & CAICOS Weekly News

THE TCI gave the global recession the cold shoulder at this year’s esteemed World Travel Awards as its prized resorts walked away with a legion of gongs.

The economic meltdown may have seen tourist numbers plummet but Grace Bay’s very own Somerset, Point Grace and Beaches emerged victorious seeing off stiff competition from around the region.

Point Grace held onto its title as the Caribbean’s leading boutique hotel for the fourth year running while the Somerset’s world famous presidential suite was announced the best in the region for the second time.

Beaches was again successful in its bid to be named world’s leading family resort.

Sadly, Grace Bay lost its grip on world’s best beach – an accolade it clung onto for three consecutive years. It lost out to Australia’s Bondi Beach in Sydney. Jamaica’s Montego Bay claimed the region’s best beach. Jamaican tourism chiefs also took home the Caribbean’s leading destination and cruise destination prizes.

For the last three years, the opulent, black-tie, grand final has been staged at Beaches Turks & Caicos.

This year, the action moved to the five-star Grosvenor House hotel in London’s swanky Mayfair district. The English capital was declared the world’s leading destination.

In the TCI category, the Somerset also claimed the country’s leading hotel while Point Grace seized the trophy for its leading boutique hotel.

Grace Bay Club and Parrot Cay won the TCI’s leading resort and leading spa resort respectively.

Karen Whitt, the Somerset’s general manager, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled by this year’s win.

“This is the second consecutive year that our stunning presidential suite has won the award for the Caribbean’s leading suite and winning the award for Turks and Caicos’ leading hotel has really given our team much to celebrate.”

Ms Whitt, who is also president of the country’s Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA), said WTA accolades were among the highest honours any resort could hope to achieve.

“We are delighted to receive the recognition. Voted for by travel agents worldwide, these awards provide guests with a true reflection of the views and opinions of the travel industry.

“Our team of highly dedicated staff at the Somerset are constantly striving to deliver exceptional service, making this year’s award wins a further testament of their hard work and commitment to developing the Somerset resort’s popularity in the global market place.”

She added: “It was very exciting to see so many deserving winners in the Caribbean and especially within our very own destination, an indication that the Turks & Caicos Islands is firmly positioned on the tourism map.

“We’d like to congratulate the other winners and applaud the fantastic work that they are doing to keep the region at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Antoine Di Paola, sales and marketing manager at Point Grace, said: “It is an absolute honour to win Caribbean's leading boutique hotel, especially when other nominees included such prestigious properties as Anguilla’s Cap Jaluca.

“We feel our intimate personalised approach to guest satisfaction and attention to detail is key.

“Our serene tranquil pool area coupled with a truly Caribbean feel is what sets us apart from our competitors.

“With many new properties being built on the island that have a modern ‘South Beach’ feel, we find that our guests truly appreciate our island touch.”

There were a total of 13 resort awards with more than 20 different countries nominated within the Caribbean category this year, making the Somerset’s and Point Grace’s achievements all the more remarkable.

The annual awards – dubbed the Oscars of the travel industry by the Wall Street Journal – are voted for by industry professionals in more than 160 countries across the globe.

They were first launched in 1993 to recognise and increase excellence in the world’s travel sector.

By Gemma Handy

Source: TURKS & CAICOS Weekly News

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