Understated elegance, spacious suites, a 25,000-square-foot spa and a loyal customer base that will pay for luxury but expects value add-ons and enhanced amenities is the profile of the Regent Palms Turks & Caicos on Providenciales.
The 72-suite resort on Grace Bay Beach, which opened in February 2005 as the Palms, debuted as a Regent Hotels & Resorts five-star property in April 2007.
The 12-acre resort is moving into its eighth winter season well positioned to meet or exceed winter season 2011-2012, "one of our best," according to Karen Whitt, general manager.
"Guests are looking for the best value," she said. "They will pay for luxury, but they also want value. We consistently refine our existing amenities and programs and offer new ones."
Case in point is the spa, described by Whitt as "a destination in itself."
The facility relaunched in March with an emphasis on both Asian-inspired and signature Caribbean treatments and products, including the "mother of pearl conch polish" (a scrub containing hand-crushed, local queen conch shells) and the bamboo massage to relieve muscle tension.
"Expectations increase when it comes to a destination spa experience. We've embellished what has made our spa a leading facility for years and added fresh elements," Whitt said.
Close to 85% of the Regent Palms' guests are from the U.S., with the East Coast comprising 75% of that market.
"The East Coast is king for us, especially since the launch of the JetBlue and Continental flights from New York in 2011," Whitt said.
South America also is emerging as an important customer base, and the resort is making inroads to increase its market share in that region.
Repeat guests comprise close to 20% of total business, many of whom come for the spa offerings.
Agents and wholesalers who specialize in the luxury market account for 60% of total bookings.
"We are dependent upon our travel partners. Top travel companies tend to attract a higher customer demographic," Whitt said.
The Regent Palms hosts an annual agent escape weekend each summer for its top-producing agents.
"They can bring a guest and are free to do what they want once they are here," she said. "Firsthand experience is the single best selling tool, not only for the resort but also for the destination."
A large and lucrative market segment is the wedding business.
"We are not a mass-market wedding resort," Whitt said. "We are structured and hold only one wedding per weekend. There's a wedding planner on site who can customize ceremonies from 16 guests up to 150."
The Regent Palms has one of the largest ballrooms in Providenciales, which is used for wedding receptions, although many couples opt instead for the grounds surrounding the reflecting pool at the spa.
Small, high-end incentive groups also make use of the ballroom facility.
Facilities at the resort include 72 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with travertine balconies or terraces, custom mahogany furniture, free WiFi and a full kitchen.
Eight penthouse suites offer vaulted ceilings, keyed elevator access, two terraces and a waterfall shower in the bathroom as well as an outdoor shower, garden and Jacuzzi.
The resort's signature Parallel23 restaurant serves three meals a day in high season, breakfast and dinner the rest of the year.
Continental breakfast is included at all times in the room rate at the restaurant or through room service.
Plunge, the pool bar and restaurant, features Caribbean specialties during the day and evening.
"The Regent Palms is not an all-inclusive resort. Provo has a variety of good restaurants, and we encourage our guests to get out and experience all cuisines in addition to what we offer on site," Whitt said.
The resort welcomes kids but does not actively target that market.
"Our suites are large and suited for families, and we do have a kids' club and activities at certain times of the year," she said.
Winter rates range from $625 to $3,800 per suite, per night, double.
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