Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, (May 9, 2022) – Grace Bay Resorts, the boutique owner, developer and operator of the finest luxury resorts and branded residences in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, announces the opening of Rock House, the first residential resort tucked into the rugged, untouched limestone cliffs of Providenciales’ north shore. Envisioned by Grace Bay Resorts’ chief executive officer and principal Mark Durliat after being inspired by his travels to Italy and the South of France, the resort features 46 oceanfront villa-style accommodations including studios and one- and two-bedroom freestanding homes built into the limestone cliffside similar to resorts, homes and villas in destinations like the Amalfi Coast.
“Rock House is the Caribbean Capri, rivaling a trip to the Mediterranean without the transcontinental trip,” says Durliat. “As one of only a few Leading Hotels of the World properties in Turks & Caicos, Rock House brings an entirely new experience to those seeking an alternative to the beachfront resorts typically found in the islands.”
Contemporary, Stone-Clad Accommodations
The standout design team behind Rock House includes AD100 interior designer Shawn Henderson, responsible for the interior design of the accommodations; Turks & Caicos’ leading architecture firm Coast Architects; and master planner Epikos Design. The resort’s one and two-bedroom standalone homes cascade down the sloping coastal limestone rock of Providenciales’ north shore, boasting outdoor terraces, bathrooms with lush outdoor shower gardens, 13-foot vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the drop-dead views of the island’s renowned turquoise water. Rock House’s oceanfront pool studios overlook the 100-foot infinity pool, a focal point of the property and the largest of its kind in Turks & Caicos. Interiors feature an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional design with custom furnishings, porcelain and terrazzo flooring, oversized soaking tubs and Waterworks fixtures. Rock House is Shawn Henderson’s first hospitality project in the Caribbean.
Promoting an eco-conscious ethos and preserving the site’s unique, natural landscape is central to the design of Rock House. Built by hand by local artisans out of the cliffs below, limestone feature walls wrap around the homes, from exterior to interior. All foliage in Rock House’s landscaping is indigenous to the site, including its centuries old, slow-growing Joewood trees, native orchids and ancient lignum vitae, also called the “trees of life” for their medicinal use.
Guests at Rock House have access to the exclusive Beach Club at Rock House, reminiscent of European beach clubs whose crown jewel is a serviced jetty that stretches 130 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The glamorous club also includes oceanfront dining with soaring views, a private white sand beach sandwiched between the limestone rock and calm ocean, and daily programming including water activities and excursions like kayaking, snorkeling and private island picnics.
Wellness is paramount to the resort, with an elevated 100-foot infinity pool, the largest in Turks & Caicos, which is surrounded by sophisticated day beds and parasols, and offers guests a chance to unwind while overlooking the islands’ famed crystal blue waters. Additional wellness amenities include in-room massage treatments, yoga classes, and winding walking and jogging trails.
“Rock House exudes high-touch service, world-class culinary offerings and unique wellness experiences—all things luxury travelers look for in a vacation today,” says Crawford Sherman, managing director of Rock House. “When guests experience Rock House for the first time, they will get the same indescribable feeling as one gets when experiencing the likes of Capri and Nice.”
Standout amenities slated to open later this year include a relaxing spa, tennis courts and a yoga pavilion.
Dazzling Oceanfront Dining
Led by executive chef Dennis Boon, Rock House’s signature Beach Club restaurant blends into the site’s natural beauty and remoteness while offering seductive 180-degree views of the archipelago’s barrier reef and Atlantic Ocean. The Beach Club serves Adriatic cuisine like fresh seafood, pasta, aged steaks and a curated wine list with endlessly-flowing rosé. Guests can also enjoy drinks at the see-and-be-seen Sunset Bar or the alluring Cave Bar, featuring an appropriate rock & roll themed cocktail menu, or have dinner on the Beach Club jetty for a one-of-a-kind private dining experience.
“Six years in the making, Rock House brings Caribbean hospitality and a sophisticated Mediterranean-inspired experience to Turks & Caicos that guests will remember forever,” says Nikheel Advani, chief operating officer and principal of Grace Bay Resorts. “Rock House guests in the coming months will be the first to experience our Beach Club, elevated cuisine, revitalizing wellness amenities and Providenciales’ under-the-radar North Shore.”
Rock House is located at 1 International Drive, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. Nightly rates start at $655 for guests who take advantage of the resort’s opening offer of 30% off the best available rate, which is available for arrivals between May 1, 2022 and January 30, 2023.
For more information, visit https://rockhouse.gracebayresorts.com
Photo Caption: ROCK HOUSE RIBBON CUTTING WELCOMES TCI PREMIER – On Sunday May 1, 2022, the Rock House officially became the newly opened Rock House and the honour of the ribbon cutting was performed by Premier Washington Misick, his wife, Delthia Misick; Tourism Minister, Josephine Connolly and Executives of Grace Bay Resorts including Nikheel Advani, Chief Operations Officer and Sherman Crawford, who is the new General Manager at the property located on Provo’s northern shore. PHOTO PROVIDED BY GRACE BAY RESORTS
Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring
By Sherrica Thompson
#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.
“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.
Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”
Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.
“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,” Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.
The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.
Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
The Incredible Story of David Avido of Kenya, 24 Year old designing for the Grass Roots to the Stars
By Dana Malcolm
#Africa, February 2, 2023 – One Kenyan designer began a sewing business out of the slums where he was born; now he dresses some of the Caribbean and Africa’s most famous faces.
Born the oldest son of a single mother and from Kibera Nairobi, David Avido Ochieng did not have an easy start. In Kibera, the largest urban slum in East Africa opportunities for international success are hard to come by and yet Avido can now say he has dressed the likes of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Beyoncé, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Ty Dolla Sign, Koffee and many more.
As explained on his website, David dropped out of school to work and support his family quite young. In just first form he was working on a construction site but he knew he wanted more from life. After quitting his job he danced and saved what he could and tried his best to complete his education.
He told Vogue magazine: “When I started dancing I used to save money in order to go back to high school, with the little that I could get from dancing and my mom’s money from doing work as a house help, we were able to raise 15,000 shillings and with that, I joined an adult school and skipped forms two, three and four.”
David picked up a sewing machine to make costumes and realized his talent. By 2015, his brand LookslikeAvido was born. He completed a fashion & design diploma at Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and began to sew incredible pieces right at home in Kibera. Even as his brand is globally recognized, Kibera is where his workshop remains; David says, his homeland is his great inspiration.
“There is no barrier if you believe in your talent and take the next step. I want to encourage and create beauty, where people don’t expect.”
Talented and thoughtful Avido is well aware of the stereotypes surrounding him, his home and the black community globally.
“We know about injustice and violence, prejudice, racial and social discrimination – we experience it within Kenya and we experience it globally, as people look at us as the poor, the uneducated, the needy,” he said.
Featured in Vogue, CNN and other international publications, Avido remains connected to his origins in a tangible way and as his success grows his roots just go deeper. Twenty per cent of all sales of his jackets and other clothing items go directly back to Kibera; his website explains that all the tailoring, product photoshoots and collaborations ‘is all done here in Kibra.’
There is no fabric waste from his garments, instead, scraps are repurposed into masks and shopping bags for residents, all his tailors are local residents, a portion of profits are used to pay school fees and Avido and his team put in extra time to make school uniforms as well.
On his website, is a photo of him sitting around a sewing machine, his worktable resting on hard-packed earth with presumably a group of family and friends surrounding him, a source of pride. The introspective photograph could have been taken in Nairobi, Trinidad or Barbados, so nostalgic is the picture, the bench and the story of community success that it represents.
In a video posted to his YouTube, David sits at his new work desk, and beside him hangs a rack of clothes in the cramped space that serves as his kitchen as well.
“I’m the firstborn of Kibera,” He explains, “Every kid in Kibera is looking up to me— my main dream is to open up a place where I can inspire people to work.”
David has a dozen employees and is listed in Beyonce’s directory of black businesses; with an uncommon wisdom, the designer knows that his successes so far are not parking spaces but rather stepping stones as he faces his future announcing that the journey, for him, continues.
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