Searching for an island getaway to a safe country where the beaches are clean and white and the water is warm and clear? Turks and Caicos, a country in the West Indies, is a collection of dozens of islands with Providenciales (Provo, to the locals) providing just such a getaway.
Visiting Provo, I discovered a flat island that entices its visitors to spend time in and on the water, and when on land, to do nothing more than relax. Spend time snorkeling and island hopping by boat; you may just catch a conch for a tasty ceviche on the beach. But when it comes to spending your time at a resort, these were my favorites:
Beaches Turks & Caicos
A monster of a property in that it has multiple villages with their own pools and restaurants and hundreds of accommodations, Beaches is also a big driver of tourism to T&C. The best of the all-inclusive resort chain, and the only one in T&C, Beaches’ villages range from French, Italian, Caribbean and more, with varying price points to suit all budgets. You’ll also find studio rooms all the way to villas, so large, multigenerational families can elect to share space, or better yet, get their own rooms in various villages to have some space. Kids’ programing ranges from toddlers to teens, water sports and water parks rule for fun, and you can eat in a different restaurant every night of your vacation.
Pro: All-inclusive to the max
Con: So large you’ll spend much of your visit walking
Grace Bay Club
While Beaches provides over-stimulation, for those looking for more intimacy and grace will find it at the Grace Bay Club. Consistently ranked one of the top luxury resorts in the world by the likes of Travel + Leisure, this property was the first to offer nothing but suites. Choose from villas with fully equipped kitchens to Penthouses with media room, private outdoor Jacuzzi and beachfront locations. Or, simply stay in the hotel, which is for adults’ only and quiet.
Pro: Upscale accommodations.
Con: I struggle to find even one.
Ocean Club West and West Bay Club
These sister properties provide visitors with a two-in-one offering, for you can stay at either resort and enjoy the amenities of the other. Both resorts have condo-style accommodations, which means you’ll have multiple bedrooms, full-sized kitchens and living space. Both resorts are located right on the beach with pools, bicycles and tennis, while Ocean Club is located across the street from a golf course that gives guests discounted rates. Casual dining is also available at both resorts.
Pro: Two separate resorts sharing amenities.
Con: Things to do on property category weaker than others.
The Sands at Grace Bay
What I love about the Sands at Grace Bay is its simplicity. More like a private condo resort, the Sands at Grace Bay is a resort wrapped around multiple pools on the beachfront, with all accommodations offering living and dining space, full kitchens and numerous bedroom options. You’ll even have washers and dryers, making this a great property for families. There is only one restaurant here, which serves meals all day, and the fun you have is entirely up to you rather than programs and activities. Honestly, it reminded me of staying at my grandparents’ beach condo for school breaks, so maybe that’s why I loved the Sands so much.
Pro: Home-like accommodations
Con: Missing the pizzaz of other Grace Bay resorts.
Somerset on Grace Bay
Compared to Beaches and some of the other properties along Grace Bay’s popular tourist district, Somerset seems downright tiny. This boutique, all-suite resort is full of luxury, however, with extra-large suites and villas with gourmet kitchens. They’ll take great care of you at this property, even stocking your kitchen with groceries prior to your arrival and providing babysitting services if you travel with children and seek some alone time. The resort does have kids’ programs, but mainly its simple pleasure like a game of croquet or a dip in the freshwater swimming pool that guests enjoy before fine dining and some time getting even more pampered at the spa.
Pro: Staff knows and caters to you.
Con: Lacks options compared to larger resorts.
I have another fabulous resort on the island that I recommend; it’s on its own, far removed from Grace Bay. Find it in my story on Luxurious Caribbean Resorts.