Family and personal relationships are at the core of what makes Coral Gardens so special. We are so fortunate to have families and friends return to stay with us year after year. As we head into the holidays, we’d like spend some time introducing (and re-introducing) you to some of the people behind the scenes at Coral Gardens. This month we’re kicking things off with the one and only, Matthew Williams, General Manager at Coral Gardens.
Matthew, tell us a bit about yourself – Where are you from originally? What was “past life” before moving to Turks?
I’m originally from the UK. Before moving to Turks, I worked in the hospitality industry there as an assistant manager in country house hotels, having graduated university in hotel management. I also had the experience of working with the Savoy Hotel Group in London at Claridge’s in Mayfair. In the late 80’s, I ventured to St. Martin to work at the prestigious La Samanna, before returning and settling in the North of England for next 7 years.
How long have you lived in Provo and what brought you here?
I moved to Provo in the early 90’s finding an opening in the Grace Bay Club, which at that time was a luxury small boutique resort.
How long have you been with Coral Gardens?
I have had a longtime relationship with Coral Gardens resort, appearing on the scene in late ’98 as manager. More importantly, with a great love of the outdoors and the fantastic waters, as a PADI Master Scuba Diver I was part of an adventure concierge offering onsite dive classes to guests & visitors, right off the beach in front of Coral Gardens
What do you enjoy most about working at Coral Gardens?
I love meeting people and getting to know them. I also enjoy welcoming repeat visitors back, with some I have know for over two decades.
When you’re not working, what’s your favorite thing to do in Provo?
Scuba diving – I am fortunate enough to be called up by local dive operators to guide & dive master on their excursions, though I really don’t teach as much these days. I bike extensively around Provo on a mountain or road bike and when time permits I will hop on the ferry with the bike to catch a long ride around North & Middle Caicos. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, whether a fresh ocean catch or firing up the wood smoker to create mouthwatering ribs and other delightful dishes.
What do you love most Turks/Provo?
For the most part the casual lifestyle and the weather. The beautiful surrounding turquoise waters and fresh air. Finally, spending time with my wife, family and our dogs.
What’s the one thing that you recommend that everyone do/experience while they’re here?
Get out and explore but don’t forget there is so much to the Turks and Caicos Islands than Provo.
Any last thoughts?
That answer could go on quite a while! Let’s chat more when you visit us!