Grace Bay Resorts | Four Hundred SocietyAugust 28, 2020 / Uncategorized
GRACE BAY RESORTS
We had the absolute privilege of catching up with Nikheel Advani, COO & Principal of Grace Bay Resorts, and Audrey Gonzalez, Director of Marketing and Communications. With Turks & Caicos re-opening at the end of July, they have taken safety and security seriously while still allowing guests to explore and enjoy the activities, dining, and Caribbean vibes offered on the island. Nikheel let us know that his team has continued to have hope throughout these current circumstances and look forward to welcoming all guests in need of some island relaxation.
“LUXURY IS GIVING GUESTS OPTIONS” – NIKHEEL ADVANI
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT NIKHEEL
In his role as Chief Operating Officer and Co-founding partner, Nikheel has transformed how Grace Bay Resorts delivers its elite level of handmade experiences.
He has played an integral role in Grace Bay Resorts’ overall growth. He served as the top operational executive in the successful expansion and renovation of Grace Bay Club from a USD 15 million 21-room boutique hotel to a USD 250 million full-service luxury resort with 82 suites and The Estate residences; as well as expanded the brand with the acquisition of Point Grace, West Bay Club, The Private Villa Collection and future development projects, Rock House and South Bank.
Today, in addition to the strategic oversight and growth Nikheel provides leadership to the dynamic and influential sales and marketing powerhouse team of Grace Bay Resorts branded properties. Nikheel holds expertise and insight gained from decades at the helm of some of the most celebrated brands in the industry. He came to Grace Bay Club after serving as Hotel Manager of the renowned Raffles Hotel Singapore, where he also served as the Food and Beverage Champion for the entire Asia Pacific region. Prior to his time at Raffles, he held senior leadership roles in the opening of seven Ritz-Carlton properties, including New York, Singapore, and Osaka. His vision and commitment to excellence has been extensively recognized.
In 2012, he was honored with the ‘Ultimate Hotelier of the Year’ award by Island Destinations. Under his leadership, Grace Bay Club was most recently awarded ‘Member of the Year’ for the team’s outstanding collaboration and partnership amongst the prestigious hotels within Leading Hotels of the World. When he’s not managing growth and development, he’s teaching at Cornell University, speaking at Les Roches, and sits on various boards including: Chair to the SEUS Regional YPO Chapter, Leading Hotels of the World, and Grace Bay Resorts Foundation. He is also an active member in the local community serving on the British Governors Business Advisory Group and is the Chairman of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association.
Passionate about training, mentoring, and maximizing human potential, Nikheel also serves as the Chairman of the board for the Turks and Caicos International University. Nikheel graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with an honors degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, and successfully completed the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.
Scroll through the below pictures of Grace Bay Resorts to experience just a bit of the magic.
Q&A SESSION WITH NIKHEEL AND AUDREY
Q: WHAT MAKES GRACE BAY RESORTS SO SPECIAL?
A: It truly starts with the amazing team who have grown with Grace Bay resorts and quickly become family with the passion and drive to provide our guests with unique Handmade experiences.
At Grace Bay Resorts, we provide uniquely personalized service in an environment dedicated to space, style, and sophistication. The result is our defining luxury, handmade experiences. In every property we manage, these experiences are created by our people, a team who delivers incomparable levels of anticipatory service each day. Our guests, in turn, share delighted stories of time spent at our properties, and in doing so, become our greatest brand ambassadors.
These handmade experiences are driven by our commitment to REST. Our destinations are designed to provide a setting that is conducive to the Rejuvenation of body and soul. By developing an Emotional attachment with our guests, we are able to deliver the activities and the environment that are meaningful to them. Our expansive properties offer our guests luxurious Space for inspiration and enjoyment. And by understanding our guests’ needs and interests, we make the most of the precious Time they spend with us.
Q: WHAT SEPARATES EACH HOTEL FROM ALL OTHER HOTELS IN TURKS & CAICOS? WHAT SEPARATES EACH HOTEL FROM THE OTHER?
A: Each property is uniquely different based on its architecture and the experiences it delivers. For Example, Grace Bay Club has the largest beachfront of any resort. Each accommodation is at entry-level a suite and all offering oceanfront views. Grace Bay Club has only ocean-facing rooms and suites.
Grace Bay Resorts also has a Director of Culture, ensuring that all guests really feel connected to the island and its heritage.
Q: HOW IS THE HOTEL AS A WHOLE SUPPORTING THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY DURING THIS TIME?
A: They have created a Staples Mission initiative which helps provide staple items to over 10,000 individuals throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands. It is the largest humanitarian initiative that the resort has spear-headed alongside TCHTA. Thanks to the private sector, in partnership with TCIG and several of the country’s non-profit organizations, the TCHTA Community Staples Mission was created to assist with the pandemic relief effort. Nikheel Advani, COO & Principal of Grace Bay Resorts and Chairman of the TCHTA, is the visionary behind this initiative and hopes this much needed assistance provides “peace of mind” to those in need during this unprecedented time of great hardship.
Over the past few months, volunteer members of the Staples Mission committee have worked tirelessly to launch this lofty initiative. We plan to distribute almost three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) in food and essential items to so many in great need. The initiative has been well received, with several resorts and small businesses purchasing packages for their employees and persons within the local community.
Q: HOW HAS RE-TRAINING THE STAFF BEEN IN REGARDS TO THE NEW GUIDELINES AND RULES SET?
A: Staff has been very responsive to our enhanced protocols and are completely supportive, they understand we are in this together and too come up with great ideas on making guest experience memorable and safe. They have also invested into many different sanitation technologies – from electro-static foggers to UV boxes that sanitize your phones or keys – the hotels have really put safety first.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE EACH HOTEL IN A FEW SENTENCES?
A: Grace Bay Club – The elegance of white sand greeting crystal waters inspires the timeless luxury of the iconic and original Grace Bay Club, situated on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Here, grace extends beyond the resort’s name to infuse breathtaking sunrise strolls and romantic sunset dinners with sophistication. Guests enjoy access to myriad activities, a selection of pools and innovative dining offerings.
West Bay Club – Envelop yourself in the beachside serenity of West Bay Club. Our luxurious oceanfront resort provides a relaxed and intimate boutique setting for a family vacation getaway, as well as a serene pool that beckons couples seeking some R&R. From sunning to sailing to snorkeling, you’ll enjoy the quintessential Turks and Caicos beach experience.
Point Grace – An intimate boutique hotel inspired by West Indian architecture; this idyllic retreat is situated on the pristine twelve-mile Grace Bay beach. This is a picturesque cottage village filled with romance and luxurious Caribbean charm. From languid moments by the pool to delicious outdoor dining, Point Grace is a calming oasis for the privileged few.
Private Villa Collection – At the luxurious Private Villa Collection, you’ll bask in exclusive residential living, bespoke service, privacy, and every convenience including a discreet complement of staff. Overlooking the ocean, all are steps from the beach and far from the ordinary. With full access to resort amenities, these exquisite residences are the perfect setting for your special occasions and multi-generational celebrations. Here, the island is truly yours.
Q: HOW ARE YOUR F&B OUTLETS HANDLING THE NEW GUIDELINES?
A: Guests have the privilege of enjoying expansive outdoor dining spaces for the right amount of physical distancing overlooking the water. – Luxury is about options, we are offering QR Code Menus which are working so great or if preferred a disposable menu is available.
They can also offer beachfront dining options that can be private per family, couple, etc.
Q: REGARDING GRACE BAY CLUB, HOW HAS THE HOTEL BEEN AFTER THE OPENING OF TURKS & CAICOS TO THE AMERICANS?
A: We are now being known as one of the destinations with the best standards and protocols that have been implemented by Government and certainly have welcomed guests from all parts of the world including the Americans from our first day of opening. Many anticipating their return with much excitement and emotions.
Nikheel along with the executive team at Grace Bay Resorts and the Turks & Caicos Hotel Association have been in constant communication with the government of Turks & Caicos. They have been working together to ensure the safety of the island and its inhabitants along with the safety of the guests coming for a getaway.
Q: WE ARE SEEING VILLAS INCREASING IN POPULARITY, HAVE YOU SEEN AN UPTAKE IN REQUESTS FOR YOUR VILLA COLLECTION?
A: Yes, we are and are delighted to have the ability to provide an experience to those seeking a luxury escape to paradise that’s very exclusive and unique. We have launched our At Home In paradise offer that includes $1,000 resort credit to use at any of our resorts as well as the first order of staple grocery items and more for guests looking to stay between now and October 2021. For those who prefer to fly private, we have launched Jet-Set-Go which offers Jetside customs and immigration with immediate car service to the villa from the Jet.