“Welcome aboard, everyone,” pilot Antonio Clarke cheerfully greets his passengers. Guests aboard the Turks & Caicos Collection’s private flight enthusiastically display their full attention to the captain at the helm. After a quick safety briefing, he invites those eagerly awaiting the journey to “sit back, relax and enjoy our 18-minute flight to Ambergris Cay.”

The short trip takes guests on a path across the picturesque Caicos Bank. Scenic ocean vistas fill the window and before you know it, the descent has already begun to the three-mile long cay.

After landing on the longest private landing strip in the Caribbean, several individuals can be spotted waiting in the distance.

The door swiftly opens unveiling smiling faces. “Welcome, welcome to our little island,” Hotel Manager Marcia Rodrigues affectionately receives the guests.

Accommodation options include beautifully appointed oceanfront 3-4 bedroom villas, as well as one-room beach suites (shown above).

Stepping onto the tarmac, a fragrant cold towel is immediately extended. Just steps inside the welcome center Marcia places a chilled glass into each visitor’s hand. “Please, let us offer you a cocktail.” A refreshing first impression reflective of the delightful hospitality delivered at every turn.

The resort, operated by the Turks & Caicos Collection, welcomed its first guests in December 2018. But the Collection is not new to the market. It operates three all-inclusive resorts on Providenciales: Blue Haven, Beach House and the Alexandra Resort. However, the addition of Ambergris Cay is taking the all-inclusive concept to a new level within the portfolio.

The luxury all-inclusive offering at Ambergris Cay begins with round-trip private air-transfer from Providenciales. A stay includes everything from gourmet à la carte dining to a daily 30-minute spa treatment for adults, as well as on-the-water experiences and visits to neighboring deserted islands.

In addition to pilots who provide air service from Providenciales, the island boasts a fire station with a full complement of staff.

Guests have two options for accommodations on the cay, both delightfully designed to highlight a carefully curated aesthetic that immediately conveys the message, welcome home. Ten oceanside 3 – 4 bedroom villas complete with butler service are ideal for friends and family holidays. Ten beachfront suites offer luxury accommodations perfect for romantic getaways.

Naming them suites could leave you with a stunted impression. With a king-size bed, expansive bathroom, handcrafted cabinetry which hides a fridge and freezer, plus its own plunge pool, all guests at Ambergris Cay are set-up for a perfectly pampered holiday.

But the rugged landscape calls to those who also appreciate an authentic island experience. With a dedicated electric golf cart for each suite and villa, guests are free to roam the island’s 1,192 acres. The only warning is to drive with caution and yield to the island’s endemic residents.

The Turks and Caicos rock iguana population is protected on the cay. Staff are fastidious about safeguarding the creatures, who are regularly seen sunning in the brush and welcomed as local celebrities when they make appearances at the resort’s restaurant, Calico.

A sea of Turk’s Head cacti dots the landscape along the northern shores. Small birds, egrets, even the occasional flamingo can often be seen feeding in the nearby shallow ponds. For those seeking a chance to get up close with the creatures under the water, the resort’s Club House awaits. Shallow waters surrounding the western shore are ideal for sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. For a break from the sun, guests can cool off in the breeze that washes across the terrace, and enjoy lunch served on-site.

It takes a lot of care and passion to operate an entirely self-sustained island. That is a role that General Manager Paul Mahoney takes to heart. He is assisted by a dedicated operational staff who keep the wheels turning on everything from creating fresh water to power production.

Staff are always excited to share their enthusiasm for the beauty and wonder on offer on the cay.

Just one year into operation, the resort is winning over visitors. For those interested in deepening their connection with the island, limited real estate opportunities are also available. Turn-key villas can be used privately, as well as rented through the resort. Both owners and guests are treated to the full complement of all-inclusive services.

From morning nature hikes, to afternoon bone-fishing excursions, to evening cocktails under a blanket of stars, there are plenty of activities to fill days spent on Ambergris Cay. But no matter how people choose to spend their time, they can be sure there is always someone at the ready to welcome them to a wonderfully fulfilling vacation experience.