(Providenciales, Turks & Caicos) — It happens suddenly. In the course of everyone’s winter, a weekend escape changes from something that sounds tempting to something you desperately need. If you live in the northeast, you’re no doubt yearning for somewhere that’s reliably warm yet somewhere you can be immediately (or at least by lunchtime). A resort with that just-right blend of intimacy and sophistication. After a few months swaddled in fleece, a beach would be a definite bonus and great food. Yup, it would have to have a decent restaurant (or possibly two?). And while we’re dreaming, would a plush, spacious suite be too much to ask? As it happens, no it wouldn’t. That fantasy of yours sounds a lot like The Somerset, the boutique resort on Grace Bay, arguably the finest beach in the Caribbean.

The Somerset offers a variety of 53 luxurious, spacious villas and estates ranging from 1,400 square-foot, one-bedroom Garden Villas to 5,300 square-foot five-bedroom Ocean Front Estates. The property has two restaurants and bars and private dining options along with in-room spa choices and full concierge services.

“This year The Somerset has turned up the dial on customer service,” says Ulrich Krauer, the new managing director who joined the resort from Kona Village in Hawaii. “We are still a fairly new property, having originally opened in November 2006. Our owners are committed to giving guests at The Somerset a five-star resort experience, and we are well on the way to becoming one of the best full-service properties on Grace Bay Beach.” Krauer has revamped the family and weddings programs, upgraded amenities and services, and implemented a new restaurant team for a new and improved guest experience in 2012.

Destination Weddings at The Somerset; New Resort Wedding Planner

The Somerset is extremely popular with destination weddings, hosting more than 20 weddings and bridal events each year.  New for 2012, the resort now has its own Wedding Planner — Rosalind McKensie, formerly with NILA Destinations in Turks & Caicos. Special group rates are available.

For couples getting married at The Somerset, the bridal party can opt for a two-bedroom villa with additional “bridal party suite” for hair/makeup/spa treatments. This third accommodation is attached with separate entrance and can be transformed into a relaxing spa room for exclusive use during the stay.

Wider Range of Activities This Year:

By land or by sea, The Somerset has all new activity equipment for water and beach fun. This winter season the resort offers paddleboards, windsurfers, Hobie Cat sailboats, kayaks, snorkel gear and more. All equipment is for guest use on a complimentary basis, lessons are required for use of Hobie Cats, wind surfer and paddleboard for a one-time charge and complimentary use thereafter. Those who prefer to stay dry can have fun playing beach volleyball, corn hole, ladder golf, lawn croquet, beach yoga and more.

Food & Beverage Upgrades:

O’Soleil, the island’s renowned Caribbean-Mediterranean restaurant, has re-opened under the helm of new Executive Chef Joel Rheaume, formerly of The Grace Bay Club. O’Soleil is an upscale dining experience with both indoor and outdoor seating, open for breakfast and dinner.  For a more casual lunch, the Somerset features LunAsea Bar & Grill by the pool and beach area; waiter service is available on the beach.

Somerset for Families: Free Kids Club; Extended Family Suites:

The new “Caicos Kids Club” program for children ages 5 – 12 is complimentary this year.  The Club is operated by certified teachers from a local school who are qualified to ensure a fun and educational experience. The daytime program changes daily to give a variety of activities and on select evenings a group kids dinner and entertainment is offered (sundown-8pm) to give parents the opportunity for a “date night” dinner together if they wish.

Every accommodation at The Somerset is equipped with a full kitchen, outfitted in Viking® appliances. A new grocery order program is available for those who would like their kitchen fully pre-stocked with their family’s favorite items upon arrival (billed at cost by The Somerset, plus nominal delivery fee). Inquire about this program with reservations, and check back on the website soon as the order form will also be available online this winter.

For families traveling with extended family members, the two-and three-bedroom Ocean View Villa suites include as one of the bedrooms a ‘Queen Guest Room’ with a separate entrance. This accommodation is luxuriously appointed with a queen bed, four-piece bath with therapeutic spa bathtub and separate shower, as well as a kitchenette. It is an excellent option for families with adult children or in-laws (also a great option for families traveling with a babysitter or nanny).

Rates at The Somerset on Grace Bay in winter start at $900/night, based on double occupancy, for a 1,400 sq. ft. one-bedroom Garden View Villa. As of April 8, rates start at $650/night for the same category.  All rates include continental breakfast. For more information or to make a reservation please visit www.thesomerset.com or call 877-887-5722.



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