The Most Relaxing Spa Experience in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Secluded Island Resort Perfects the Art of Relaxation

Soothing music, the scent of lemongrass and lavender, and the firm hands of Yani gently coaxing away all the stresses buried in your shoulders and back. The Sand Dollar Spa at The Meridian Club on Pine Cay is a perfectly calming oasis within which to unburden your cares and succumb to the treatments administered by their full time Balinese-trained massage therapist and aesthetician.

Since opening in 2009, Ni Nyoman Suwitiyan or “Yani” has been treating guests with an assortment of massage, exfoliation, and aesthetic regimens that are guaranteed to accelerate the time it takes to completely relax during your stay on this secluded island resort in the Turks and Caicos archipelago.

After spending five years at a luxury day-spa on Providenciales, Yani was ready to operate her own spa facility on a full-time basis. While living on “Provo” she had already made many trips to The Meridian Club to fulfill guest requests for various treatments; she knew that she would love to offer her services full time on this beautiful island retreat. As demand for her services grew, there was no looking back….and the Sand Dollar Spa was born.

Spa Resorts in the Turks and Caicos Islands

“Pine Cay is the best place to work,” she stated in a recent interview. “I can’t imagine offering my spa services anywhere else!”

So what makes the Sand Dollar Spa one of the most relaxing spa experiences in the Caribbean islands? Guests will generally debate that the remote location nestled along one of the top beaches in the Caribbean may have something to do with it. But once they take in the compact and assured presence of Yani and experience her ’7-foot personality’ on the massage table they quickly concede that she is what makes this spa experience a magical one.

“Where else can you get the complete package?” asks a guest after completing a full-body scrub with Yani. “Amazing beach, secluded island resort, and a perfectly zen spa experience.”

Yani’s Recommendations

After so many years of seeing visitors head straight to the beach without much thought to the health of their skin and protecting in from the affects of wind and sun, Yani has come up with a suggested treatment protocol to help with the tanning process as well as keep the skin well protected.

Body Scrub

Get ready to welcome a freshly buffed you! A body scrub treatment at the Sand Dollar Spa will help you slough off the more than just dead skin cells while you are on holiday on Pine Cay. Using a Balinese-inspired blend of yogurt and rice to gently remove the upper layer of dead skin cells, the body scrub provides deep moisture to newly exposed skin, and accelerates skin renewal.

Body scrubs vary from spa to spa, as does the post-treatment time you will need before you can expose your skin to direct sunlight. Yani will work with you to decide when to schedule your body scrub treatment to maximize your benefits.

Relaxing Massage

As you ease into your new-found routine of lazy days lounging at your private beachside Tiki, snorkeling or swimming in the calm, crystalline waters of Pine Cay, or simply walking the soft white sand beaches, the Full Body Relaxing Massage helps you find and cherish your most relaxed state.

Starting with the back and shoulders and working to the legs, feet, arms and neck, Yani’s practiced body techniques help your body find its purest state of calm. Her treatments offer long movements, gentle or firm pressure, careful manipulation and a deliberate focus on helping you detach from anything that is tethering you to life off this uniquely peaceful island.

Yani suggests you schedule your Full-body Relaxation Massage for anywhere between 2 to 4 days after arrival.

Full or Mini Facial

When exposed to sun, wind and salt water, skin will generally lose moisture. To help restore moisture levels, aid skin rejuvenation and flexibility, Yani recommends a Full or Mini Facial.

Treat your face and neck to a deep cleansing, exfoliation, purifying masque, and deep moisturizing treatment, all delivered with gentle massage movements to stimulate skin health.

Yani suggests you schedule your Full or Mini Facial Treatment a day or so after your Full Body Relaxation Massage.

Treatments for Youth

Yani will modify her treatment protocols for youth 12 years and older to introduce them gently into any of the treatments they wish to explore. She invites young people to learn about skin health and how to get the most benefit out of their spa treatments. Please feel free to discuss any concerns with Yani so she may customize your treatment.

About Yani

Balinese born and raised, Yani has worked in the Turks and Caicos Islands since 2005 as a Certified Balinese Massage Therapist. Her services have grown to include a range of aesthetic treatments and specialty body treatments.

Yani is mother to a beautiful little girl, Angelina, who has the honor of being the first baby of the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2012.

Prior to getting her massage certification, Yani trained as a pastry chef and worked in a large hotel in Bali. If you are one of the lucky ones, you may just happen to be on property when Yani bakes up a batch of her special Chocolate Coconut Cookies!

View Full Spa Menu for the Sand Dollar Spa

Pine Cay’s Natural Freshwater Lens

pine cay water lensTropical Imaging Ltd 2007

 

Pine Cay’s Natural Freshwater Lens provides fresh drinking water for The Meridian Club

One of the greatest challenges of private island vacationing is the availability of clean potable drinking water, water that is affordable and can sustain living on “paradise” island.  Ask any general manager of a property off-and-away from modern civilization, and they will tell you leaving the island for anything they need is both a blessing and a curse.  The greatest challenge is providing services most people take for granted – electricity, water, communication, transport.  Pine Cay is fortunate to have an abundance of easily acquirable drinking water, making at least one of these very easy to accommodate guests.

Pine Cay’s hidden water lens: a delicate balance

The islands most distinctive natural feature, aside from its very private and very beautiful white sand beach, is an underground fresh water “lens.”  The structure and porosity of the limestone that makes up this small private cay just to the east of Providenciales means rainfall is absorbed and held as if by a sponge.

The freshwater lens itself is formed when lighter rainwater floats on top of the heavier, denser salty seawater, creating an underground lens-shaped layer of pure fresh water, varying in depth from a few inches to over 40 feet.

The Pine Cay Homeowners Association has invested heavily to preserve the freshwater supply on the island. Read about how the reef ball project protected our freshwater lens.

An oasis floating on the azure Caribbean Sea

Another reason for the relative abundance of fresh water on Pine Cay is its downwind location from North and Middle Caicos.

Clouds build up over these larger islands and produce showers over Pine Cay.  Records show that Pine Cay enjoys about 50% more rainfall than Grand Turk, South Caicos and Providenciales.  Although there is no rainy season, the “locals” all agree that showers are more frequent in the spring and fall.

Thanks to these rain showers, there are seven freshwater ponds on Pine Cay, and they can be visited via the nature trails that criss-cross the island.  To protect the fresh water supply, almost all occupied buildings on the island have rain water catchment and storage systems.

Between the rainfall and careful stewardship of the water lens means, The Meridian Club (unlike many isolated island resorts), does not need to ship in fresh water from elsewhere.

Saying “no” to bottled water on Pine Cay

Many people are concerned about the safety of drinking water in the Caribbean islands, and most depend on purchasing bottled water throughout their vacation.  Pine Cay’s process to protect natural water means residents and visitors do not need to rely on bottled water at all.

Fresh water is often highly sought after at other luxury destinations around the world, and can often be expensive. Visitors to Pine Cay can drink clear, naturally filtered water – often tasting better than the tap water back home – as part of their stay, thanks to the water lens.

And there is a very practical reason for making use of the sustainable water lens: purchasing bottled water can cost quite a bit when on vacation. A regular bottle of water typically cost from $1.50 to $2.00.  If a couple aims to have 8 bottles a day they will spend $170 to $224 for water while on a week-long vacation. For some this cost is not factor, but for many the inconvenience of constantly seeking out drinkable water, taking time out to pay for it, and more time to recycle the plastic impedes on enjoying that day in paradise.  On Pine Cay guests have access to clean drinkable water any time.

The Meridian Club, helping steward Pine Cay’s sustaining resource – water

A hydrological survey determined there is ample fresh water to support both the natural habitat and the amount of residential development on the island.  However, water is a precious resource and the residents of Pine Cay all work together to practice conservation in order to ensure its continued volume and purity.

Press Release: October 2013

Private Island Perfect for Fishing – The Meridian Club on Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos announces Fishing Package for 2013

Turks & Caicos Islands (October 23, 2013), – With the propensity for reality TV fishing programs, which seem to attract everyone and are now considered “must-see TV”, now comes the option to enjoy fishing while you are on vacation … and not the other way around.  At The Meridian Club on Pine Cay avid fishermen have been coming for decades in secret.  Now the secret is out on a supreme fishing location set off a private island hideaway.  The property will be reopening on November 1st and with that they will offer a special add-on for those booking a fishing excursion.  The offer, which is based on a five-night minimum, includes a free golf cart rental on days of booked trips (to enable fisherman to meet their boat at the dock independently), a bottle of wine (to celebrate the catch at the end of the day), and a discount of 20% for a massage at Sand Dollar Spa (either for the spouse to use or the fisherman to redeem the day after).  Guests have referred to The Meridian Club as “Castaway meets Wolfgang Puck”, but whatever your pleasure, if you enjoy fishing while on vacation with others, you will enjoy another reason to enjoy Pine Cay.  For more information click here.

Shane Coffey, Executive Chef at The Meridian Club, Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos

Shane Coffey

Experienced fisherman say there are a lot of reasons why they like fishing in this part of the Turks & Caicos Islands.  For one, they say there is a wide variety of fish one can game for, from going out on the flats for bonefish to taking a boat off-shore to deep sea fish for marlin.  So over the course of a weeks’ vacation a fisherman can go out and have completely different experiences based on location, type of fish, and catch every day (whether it be catch and release or keepers for the table.)  Second, most fishing spots can be reached within 20 minutes of the island itself, eliminating the need to be out on the sea for up to 2 hours (in some cases more), just to get to a location.  Finally, fish to table is ideal.

Many tell us that the catch-to-table can be 1-2 hours in general, including cleaning the boat.  If you are not renting a home with a plan to prepare the fish yourself, The Meridian Club’s renowned chef, Shane Coffey, is willing to cook it for you.  “We frequently have guests come back to the marina and call in a request for Shane to prepare their fish.  While the guests wash up and return for cocktails, Shane is working his wonders in the kitchen,” comments General Manager Bev Plachta.

Pine Cay is a private island, so all reservations at the property, which has 12 beach suites and one private beach cottage, include breakfast, lunch, dinner and basic activities such as kayaking, using the snorkel gear, playing tennis, taking the bikes around the island, etc.  Private taxi and boat transfers are also included in the nightly rates, which start at $840.  For more information, contact Melanie@maacg.com or visit www.meridianclub.com.

Q&A About Turks and Caicos Fishing Near The Meridian Club

The Turks and Caicos are a beautiful string of islands, islets and cays.  Our favorite – Pine Cay – floats right on the border between the Caribbean Sea and the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean (and has its own private island resort.)  Because of this unique location, Pine Cay is perfectly situated to offer a wide variety of fishing. 

We’ve asked two local island residents, “SLW”, an avid angler and 25-year resident of the island, and “FMG”, a sports fisherman for 30+ years, for their thoughts about the fishing around Pine Cay.

fishing in the turks and caicos

Where do you live when not on Pine Cay?

SLW: I tend to spend 6 months a year in California, 3 months in London, and 3 months on Pine Cay.

FMG: I’m based on the eastern seaboard and fish in Wyoming as well, but my heart resides on Pine Cay where we’ve owned a house for almost ten years.

What do you do for a living?

SLW: I am a retired from two overlapping professions: business executive and chair of several not-for profit boards.

FMG: I work in finance.

And you both like to fish…

SLW: Absolutely. Fishing is one of my passions in life.

FMG: I spend, in total, about one month out of each year out on the water, fishing.

How long have you been fishing?

SLW: I guess since I was 3 or 4 years old with every summer in my youth spent on the New Jersey Shore, where I learned to fish!

FMG: For me it’s been over 30 years now. It’s a sport that gets better with experience, so the longer you do it the more passionate you become.

How often do you fish now?

SLW: Whenever I can! I’ve enjoyed fly fishing all over the world – in Brazil, Argentina, Alaska, Newfoundland, Costa Rica and California.

FMG: The same for me – fishing is an important part of my life, and one of the reasons why we decided to buy a residence on Pine Cay.

What is your favorite game fish?

SLW: I like all fishing but two types stand out: I love to target trout for “catch and release” on the fly. I also fish “for the table,” and trolling in the deep blue water close off Pine Cay is perfect for this.

FMG: Wahoo, of course! The wahoo fishing in the Turks is world-class and the larger fish can be as large as 6 feet.  It’s all good though … there is never a boring day outside on the reef.

What makes Pine Cay so perfect for “fishing for the table?”

SLW: The time from out on the water to prep in our house on Pine Cay takes under an hour, including cleaning up the boat!

FMG: Amen.

The Meridian Club provides a great experience for anyone planning a vacation who wants the opportunity to fish.  There is deep water and game fishing just 20 minutes from our Caribbean island resort, as well as reef fishing for grouper, tarpon, snapper and more. The “wadeable” flats around our island and around the Caicos Bank make for great bonefishing, one of the most satisfying pastimes in the Caribbean.

Contact us to learn more about fishing on Pine Cay.

Brother Mac Retires After 20 Years

His Devotion To Service An Inspiration To All

A Parting Interview with Brother Mac

Borther Mac

Brother Mac is a humble man and “brother” to many, and we are sad to see him retire.  He came to Pine Cay to work at The Meridian Club at 64 years old, and at the end of this month will retire after serving us on our secluded island for 20 years.  Bev, our general manager says, “He is my sunshine, and he will be missed so much because I get my inspiration from him.”

 

 

 

Tell us a little about your life before you came to The Meridian Club?

Before I came to The Meridian Club, I spent some time in the Bahamas working for a salt company, then I came back home to North Caicos and worked with the government and finally a construction company.

What was life like in the Bahamas?

When I first went to Inagua, a small island in the southernmost part of the country (very close to the Turks & Caicos), I found work at Morton’s the salt company.  The island was less developed than North (Caicos) and it has a lot of salt, which is made from the wind and the sun, so the more breeze and sun we got the more salt we had.  While there I worked in a lab, as a motorboat operator, and a service mechanic.  In the lab I helped at the Magnesium plant.  I used to take samples and test them for different components – either too much LIME or Magnesium.  The production was used to build airplanes.  I’ve been back to visit twice, where they still produce salt, and they have asked me to come back to work!  If it weren’t for my love of North and my age, I might consider it, since my only son lives in Nassau.

I hear you made great contributions to your community on North Caicos.

There I served in the church as a deacon from 1973 up until recently, though I am retired I still assist.  Serving as a deacon I’ve helped people with a range of problems – those who are sick, out of work, recently lost a loved one, etc.  Also, I established a youth group in North Caicos in 1974 which still thrives today.  Some of our earlier past members are now in Bahamas, on Provo, and in other places and I am proud they made good use of their life – both on and off North.

How did you end up at The Meridian Club?

The construction company on North Caicos closed down, so from I went to work for Pine Cay on a part-time basis.  My first job was a carpenter helper and then I went on to interior painting.  I also did sheet rock installation at one point too.

Do you prefer to be indoors or outdoors?

I serve in any way, though I do like working inside.

What are you most proud of – either before or after you came to our Pine Cay community?

Painting.  I LOVE it.  After working with the interior decorator, which was a rough beginning as my first job, I really came to love that work and the projects I completed.

Brother Mac on Pine CayWhat will you miss the most?

On Pine Cay I came to know and find people that served as mother, father, very good friends, in so many capacities.  People such as Bev, so very compassionate kind, loving, and caring.  There are a lot of people that I will miss.  Some who were there for me, for example, when my wife was sick (she has passed on), and they still are there for me when I need them.  I will really miss them.  The people on Pine Cay — Griffiths, Smiths, Deeds, Weis etc., — were very helpful and I want to say thanks to these people.

Is there something you would want our guests to know about you?

As a behind-the-scenes person, I don’t meet many guests, but if you wanted something fixed in your unit and came back to find things as you wanted, that was me.  The owners know me, and they know I am an open book.  I think they know I tried to be a good father, husband, deacon, employee, etc.

What is going to keep you busy after July 31?

People have been asking me to do small projects and I will be busy.

Is there any advice Brother Mac has for the younger generation?

Yes, I would say to the younger people to try to seek the lord, which is the strength in all of us, and to look to him for guidance and protection in every area of their life.  The world would be a happier place if we all did this.

Indeed it would.

Treasure Hunting off Pine Cay

A Bounty of Dollars Await the Keen Eye

Guests share their Meridian Club story

Every time Meridian Club guest, Saundra, reaches out to turn on her glass table lamp at home, she thinks of the secluded island paradise in the Turks and Caicos.  Not because of the lamp, but rather because of what she has collected within its glass body.  Preferring a simple, uncluttered feel to her home, Saundra has done away with trinkets and knickknacks that used to occupy her shelves – save for the prized collection encased within her lamp.

Saundra is a treasure hunter.  During each annual vacation to The Meridian Club she spends hours snorkeling along the sand bars in search of sand dollars.

Richard-and-Saundra-Kasper-3

Saundra and her husband, Richard, have been regular guests on Pine Cay for nine consecutive years.  Their first holiday to the tiny, private island resulted from a travel agent’s recommendation.  And after spending one week in the quiet solitude of Pine Cay beach with its clear turquoise waters and unspoiled beauty, they were hooked.

It was during that magical first visit that they learned of a sand bar off Pine Cay where they could snorkel in search of skeletons of this sea urchin relative.  Saundra remembers the experience like it was yesterday.  The crystal clear water, white sand underfoot, and the childlike glee she felt when she spotted the curved edge of a sand dollar buried beneath the soft sand. “It was better than finding buried treasure,” she gushes, “and then I couldn’t wait to do it again.”

Again and again, Saundra and Richard have come to The Meridian Club to snorkel the shallow waters of Pine Cay to add to their sand dollar collection.  Saundra admits that the search for sand dollars has become a bit more difficult over the years but she has a secret weapon.  She has an uncanny ability to sense where the bounty lies and has never come back empty-handed.  “I just feel them.  I know it sounds kinda crazy, but I know where they are,” she says.

This year, Saundra and Richard hauled in 46 sand dollars.  A few years back they found more than 150 of the unique skeletons.

Their approach is pretty straightforward, but very precise.  Upon arriving at The Meridian Club, Saundra studies the tide charts and schedules their sand dollar excursions for low-tide periods.  “Sometimes, we are out in the water very early in the morning,” she laughs.  Usually out in the water for an hour or slightly longer, Saundra directs the duo to where she knows they will find the sand dollars.  The thrill has not left her.  She visits sand bars, carefully scanning below her for the telltale ring.  A couple of times she has reached for a skeleton to find instead a live sand dollar. “They are furry and soft,” she says lovingly, “and I just leave them where I found them.”

The military-like precision of their efforts has rewarded them with an abundance of beautiful sand dollars over the years.  But Saundra, unaccustomed to clutter, concedes, “we can’t take them all back with us so we have started leaving them behind for other guests to enjoy and to take home as souvenirs of their time on the island.”

When asked to explain what the sand dollars mean to her, Saundra is overcome by her experience in the Turks and Caicos.  “Each one is so unique, but they are all from paradise. They are all from Pine Cay and it’s magical. It’s the first thing I think of when we arrive.”

Plans are already underway for next year’s visit. Preferring the slightly warmer water in June, Saundra and Richard have already booked their stay in – no surprise here – The Sand Dollar Cottage!

The Sand Dollar

The sand dollar begins its life as a larvae and then develops into the plankton stage before finally taking on the familiar circular shape as a juvenile. A burrowing type of sea urchin, adult sand dollars have a rigid skeleton with a beautiful, fivefold radial pattern.  When alive, they are covered in a soft skin of velvety spines. Tiny tube feet called podia let them move and burrow.  Their motion on sandy bottoms leaves an unmistakable circular “brushed wave” pattern.

When they are alive, sand dollars seek protection by burying themselves.  They are filter feeders and have an amazing set of five teeth located in the center hole on the underside of their bodies.  These teeth are called Aristotle’s Lantern and sea urchins use them like little beaks to filter fine organic particles from the sand.

When they die, the skin wears off to reveal a unique petal-like pattern that has become a perfect memento by which to remember relaxed days on the beach.

What do you collect?

Has your holiday at The Meridian Club inspired you to start your own collection?  Or perhaps you already have a special collection that you would like to share with us?  We welcome our guest and friend stories and look forward to hearing from you.

An Enchanted Place to Make New Friends

The story of JoJo and Toffee

A friendship that will inspire us always

The Meridian Club on Pine Cay offers a unique combination of unearthly solitude and unpressured opportunities to connect with other club guests. Cocktail hour in the upstairs lounge tends to be special time to share island-exploring stories, browse through stacks of photo albums and bring some animated closure to a day of quiet reflection, and unhurried exploration. Guests flock to each other striking up lively conversations while indulging in chilled cocktails and mouth watering appetizers. Brimming with stories to share, an unexpected and enduring camaraderie is forged amongst strangers who hail from all corners of the world and whose shared experiences have intertwined and forever connected one to the other as a result of their time on this tiny Caribbean island.

Jojo and Toffee off the shores of Pine Cay Jojo and Toffee off the shores of Pine Cay

Much like the human connections which have formed on Pine Cay, this perfectly-isolated haven in the Turks and Caicos was the setting for one of the best documented and truly incredible friendships.

It all started when a former Meridian Club manager, Francois de Vouvay, adopted a young Labrador/Potcake pup named Toughie in the early 80’s. This gregarious dog, renamed Toffee due to his dark golden color or perhaps Francois’ French accent, took easily to life on Pine Cay, taking long swims and frolicking on the shore. His antics soon caught the attention of a marine passerby.

JoJo, a young, Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) took interest in the canine and began swimming fairly close to the shore at Pine Cay to attract Toffee’s attention. Dolphins, by nature, are very social and choose to travel in pods; however, JoJo was a rare solitary dolphin who still craved interaction. When JoJo made an appearance, Toffee would excitedly swim out to meet the dolphin and the two would spend hours playing in the shallow water. The animated and friendly interaction stirred many guests at The Meridian Club to venture into the turquoise waters to join the pair for a once-in-a-lifetime swim.

When Francois left the island, Kevin, the new manager adopted Toffee, and shortly after Kevin left the island Toffee was adopted by Tim Ainley and Cookie Kellar who moved him to Turtle Cove on Providenciales .

JoJo, missing his playmate, was quick to scout Toffee out, and took to following Tim’s boat when Toffee was on board. Toffee, delighted to be discovered, would jump overboard and the two would re-enact the exuberant play of their days on Pine Cay.

Over the years JoJo’s celebrity rose as local naturalist Dean Bernal’s long time friendship with the dolphin became the stuff of documentaries. In 1989, JoJo was declared a National Treasure of the Turks & Caicos Islands. That same year Dean was appointed as JoJo’s official warden having intercepted several near fatalities involving naturally-curious JoJo swimming too close to motorized equipment.

In 1995, Robin Williams talked about JoJo in the movie Dolphins: In The Wild and in 2000, Pierce Brosnan narrated an IMAX movie titled Dolphins – footage of JoJo’s playfulness captivated the world. Canine and cetacean remained friends throughout JoJo’s meteoric rise to stardom!

The story of friendship between JoJo and Toffee will live for years through those who were fortunate enough to witness the spectacle of dog and dolphin. In 1996 at 15 years of age, Toffee was laid to rest. He was taken back to his beautiful beach on Pine Cay to be buried in view of the Caribbean waters that were his first playground. A year following Toffee’s demise, a feature film titled Zeus and Roxanne starring Steve Guttenberg was released. It told an eerily similar story of a dolphin, Roxanne, befriending a dog, Zeus. Whether Toffee’s story inspired the screenplay, we will never know.

In recent years, JoJo has been spotted with his mate and son, JoJo Jr. or affectionately known as MoJo. JoJo continues to visit Pine Cay and was back – alone – playing off shore just a couple of weeks ago.

If you should be enjoying a quiet walk along the breathtaking beach on Pine Cay and happen to catch a view of JoJo, please be sure to share your story at cocktail hour when you get together with your new friends…and, if you think of it, raise your glass and drink to old friends.

Note:
A facebook page called Dean Bernal & JoJo the Dolphin has been established for those who are interested in following JoJo’s story.

A Whale of a Time on Pine Cay

Unusual “Guests” Make a Splash

Guests share their Meridian Club video footage

What a fabulous surprise to see migrating humpbacks so close to Pine Cay. Captured on video by a guest who was enjoying a fishing excursion, these beautiful mammals got up close and personal to provide a very memorable holiday experience.

Enjoy a brief escape to Pine Cay with this great footage…

Press Release: May 2013

Private Island Perfect for Passion The Meridian Club on Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos Announces New Romance & Wedding Packages for 2013

Turks & Caicos, May 22 2013 – The Meridian Club on Pine Cay, a private 800-acre island with two miles of pristine beach, has hosted several unusual guests over the years. From a frequent visitor who once played on Jeopardy (which catapulted her into family life), to the pigeon who recently island-hopped to the Turks and Caicos from Puerto Rico (466 miles) and stayed many days longer than normal for his species, it seems no one can resist the peaceful lifestyle of a private island retreat in the Caribbean, least of all couples seeking a secluded intimate vacation. There are plenty of other visitor stories, such as our very first guests who discovered this private Caribbean island in 1958 and the large guests who recently breached off the shores of Pine Cay and put on a show for guests enjoying a fishing excursion. So, The Meridian Club has created a special package for both romantic visits and small wedding ceremonies to celebrate that someone special with that someone special.

Private Island Resort

Since the underlying theme of these guests seems to be couples – the whales arriving together, the pigeon seemingly looking for a mate, and the humans arriving and staying together – The Meridian Club has decided to celebrate “the couple” in its romance package for May, June and July. For honeymoons, anniversaries, and other celebratory trips, this package includes champagne for a special welcome, a castaway picnic on a deserted island and a private dinner under the stars. For 2013, The Meridian Club is adding one-day use of a golf cart to travel around the island so couples can discover private alcoves and bathing areas in their own island adventure. Often the property assists in wedding proposals, as recently as a week ago, and can also be booked for smaller-sized weddings. Wedding parties range from complete island takeovers, which include some of the private homes on the island available for rent, to reserving a few rooms for the bridegroom and their attendees. Most weddings are held in the morning, so service providers can return to the mainland before dark, and they run a gamut in size, style and sizzle to suit the couple.

Pine Cay is a private island, so all reservations at the property, which has 12 beach suites and one private beach cottage, include breakfast, lunch, dinner and basic activities such as kayaking, using the snorkel gear, playing tennis, taking the bikes around the island, etc. Private taxi and boat transfers are also included in the nightly rates, which start at $840. For more information, contact Melanie@maacg.com or visit www.meridianclub.com.

Pine Cay Project Announces Sciences Grant to H. J. Robinson High School, Grand Turk

Grant creates new opportunities in sciences

Over $600,000 provided in Turks and Caicos Islands education grants since 2002

Pine Cay Project today announced its grant for $11,171 to H. J. Robinson High School to permit the high school’s purchase of advanced equipment for the school’s science laboratory.  The new equipment will permit the delivery of science instruction that includes interactive learning experiences using state-of-the-art scientific technology.

H. J. Robinson High School, the only government high school on Grand Turk, serves 415 students in forms 1-5.  The high school’s application to Pine Cay Project stated that the new equipment would improve students’ knowledge and understanding of basic and advanced science through tactile, hands-on learning activities. Examples of the types of new equipment to be acquired include oxygen gas sensors, dissolved oxygen sensors, carbon dioxide sensors, photosynthesis tanks, barometers, radiation sensors, and measures for temperature, pH, gas pressure, and voltage.  To make maximum instructional use of the new equipment, the school expects to deliver specialized training to current science teachers.

Commenting on the new learning opportunities, Pine Cay Project Chair Elizabeth Pickman stated:  “With these new instructional tools, the students of H. J. Robinson High School will be able to convert their learning of scientific concepts and skills to deeper scientific understanding.  These opportunities will permit the emergence of capable, committed young scientists.”

Gracious Acknowledgement

In her letter to Pine Cay Project, Hon. Akierra D.M. Missick, Deputy Premier, Minister of Education Youth, Sports and Culture states, “Pine Cay Project continues to prove true our theme this year which surrounds success through partnerships. On behalf of the Government of TCI, I am pleased to extend our thanks to the Pine Cay Project for its continued efforts and we look forward to further similar initiatives which will strengthen the education of our children.”

About Pine Cay Project

Pine Cay Project has recently made a series of grants to TCI schools to create or improve their science labs.  Residents of Pine Cay, a private island getaway, formed Pine Cay Project in 1989 for the purpose of improving student learning across the Turks and Caicos Islands. Over the past 10 years, Pine Cay Project has awarded approximately $600,000 in grants to TCI schools, the TCI Community College, the Turks and Caicos National Museum, the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (for its summer environmental science program), and other organizations.  Members of the Pine Cay Project board include George Bunting (Baltimore), Marie Landel (Boston and Paris), Carlton Mills (Provo), Elizabeth Pickman (Washington, DC), Beverly Plachta (Pine Cay), David Rochat (Chelsea, Vermont), Jay Saunders (Provo), and Terry Smith (Buffalo, New York).

May 1, 2013

To read the newspaper article please visit TCI Journal.