by Lynn Burshtein
Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean. It has turquoise-colored waters, powder white sand, piercing blue skies and sunshine about 350 days of the year. In other words, the type of dreamy setting one certainly craves during a long, cold winter, but also appealing any time of the year.
I recently visited the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos, a luxury resort located in the capital city of Providenciales to try the fitness and spa offerings at the resort’s Exhale Spa. With its friendly and encouraging instructors, Exhale is a fantastic component of the resort, particularly on an island which is otherwise pretty quiet. Under the direction of Kim and Ally, the twice-daily barre and yoga classes held at the poolside pavilion were challenging but not intimidating (as Kim advised us: “Push yourself, but not too much – you don’t want to injure yourself while on vacation). The resort also offers fun water-based activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking, which are highly accessible given the location of the property right on Grace Bay Beach, one of the island’s most popular beaches. There is also an indoor gym with modern equipment if you wanted to get your sweat on in the traditional way.
The Exhale Spa itself is small but lovely, with an outdoor waiting area and shower located in a Zen garden under gently swaying palm trees. I really enjoyed the Tranquility Facial which uses the acclaimed Eminence Organics skin care line. There are also some locally-inspired body treatments such as the Provo Deep Flow deep tissue massage, and the Caicos Coco Calmer, which incorporates a coconut body polish and coconut oil in a massage.
As for meals, while there are healthy choices available, there is no restricted menu per se, so wellness travelers need to be disciplined at meal-time. This means forgoing the Fruit Loops, French toast and pancakes available at the breakfast buffet, and opting for oatmeal, fruit or an egg-white omelet instead. Or choosing a fresh fish taco or tomato gazpacho at lunch.
All in all, the Turks and Caicos getaway was just what the wellness doctor ordered. And, for those looking for a more all-inclusive “prescription,” the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos also offers an all-inclusive wellness retreat once a year.
The Gansevoort resort is perfect for a couples’ or small group vacation. And truth be told, even though there is a good assortment of activities, my favourite part of this particular trip was just being able to soak up the sunshine by the pool and sip a Berrymosa – a “mocktail” made with fresh fruit. I figured I had a major Vitamin D deficit to make up for after a long Canadian winter.
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Lynn Burshtein is an Ontario-based writer and regular contributor to Travel to Wellness.