H2O Life.Style Resort is an oceanfront lifestyle resort in Turks & Caicos for active travellers who appreciate design and sustainable travel. All the suites are designed by Restoration Hardware. We stop in for a look at the resort’s Beach Bar, called Hang Time, and meet fellow Canadian Rob Ayer. We had the opportunity to sit down with the entrepreneur to talk design and travel in these times, and here’s what he said.
Q: It was very brave and bold to open a resort in the midst of the pandemic. How did you come to that decision and how has it turned out this far?
Well, it may have seemed bold (or foolish) but as a positive person, I didn’t expect the pandemic to last as long as it did, and our motivation was to complete construction on time and open the property as promised to our clients.
As a condo hotel, we have owners who wanted to come down upon opening, even though many couldn’t but we wanted the resort to be ready for them and for guests. That decision turned out great because yes, it was slow at the start (November/December), but we have some pioneering-type guests who didn’t care that everything wasn’t quite done or perfect service levels yet, they simply wanted to come on vacation and the new resort felt great. Our staff are so nice and so happy to see people coming, their excitement showed the guests how much we care, many of these early clients have already been back and are now repeat guests.
Q: How has travel to Turks changed during the pandemic? Are more people doing extended stays, buying vacation homes vs one off hotels stays.
It changed a lot in that the earlier tourists were staying longer, i.e., two or more weeks and some staying a month or two. Now that we are in August, bookings statistics are getting back to more normal, 4-7 day stays, but you can really see that people are enjoying their time and we do get a lot of people extending their stays once they are here. As far as people buying vacation homes, yes, definitely. Real estate in Turks is booming.
Q: How has Turks addressed the pandemic? What can travellers expect when they arrive?
The government of Turks & Caicos has done a great job of managing the protocols for tourists to the islands and now that the majority of islanders are vaccinated, tourists feel safe travelling here. Tourists must have a negative COVID test within five days of arrival and have evacuation insurance. They upload the documents for approval to travel here, so it’s pretty straight forward. H2O Life Style Resort