Our vacation expert, Dianna Reis, recently returned from her Turks & Caicos vacation. She, along with her husband and son, loved every minute of it and can’t wait to go back! She visited the island of Providenciales’ Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort, The Veranda Resort (which was just acquired by Sandals) and its Grace Bay Club. Here’s what she had to say:
The Island – Providenciales
I LOVE this island! It’s up in the north west part of Turks & Caicos, and the people are so friendly. It has a quiet Canadian influence, in fact — the banks are Canadian, much of the construction has been built by Canadians, and the schools follow the British curriculum.
Grace Bay is the longest beach (8km) on the island of Providenciales, and is only 15 minutes from the airport. It’s where you’ll find the majority of resorts. There are three all-inclusive resorts: Beaches, Club Med and Veranda. The rest of the accommodations range from resorts that offer fully equipped kitchens, one- to four-bedrooms suites, and beach home rentals.
There was more to do on the island than I realized. The new downtown is very pretty with lots of shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants and bars. It’s such an awesome atmosphere, and very safe, too.
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort
This is truly the best family resort I’ve been to — from the grounds to the rooms and everything in between. I stayed in the Italian Village, which has won 6 star awards — it’s the best on the property, boasting the largest pool with a wading pool for the little ones, a fantastic (and super clean) swim up bar, and tons of lounges everywhere. Beach towels are located nearby rather than in the rooms, which is nice, too.
All rooms in the Italian village have at least two bedrooms, which is perfect for families. The lead in here is a two bedroom concierge – “Venetian Family Suite w Separate Kids Room.” The kids room has a gorgeous bunk and trundle (sleeps three kids) with Xbox and a large TV, plus plenty of storage for all their clothes, diapers etc. A pocket door leads to a King bedroom with a small pull-out sofa o accommodate another child if necessary.
The Caribbean Village is adjacent to the Italian Village. The rooms were quite nice! They have been re-done, featuring large flat-screen TV, Xbox, microwaves and mini-fridges, which are restocked daily. There is no alcohol in the mini fridge unless you are booked in Concierge. But having a microwave sure is handy, especially when travelling with babies.
Toward the back of the property, the French Village is very charming. Many of the rooms have a French balcony, which gives you a breeze but nothing you can sit out on. Rooms are beautiful, though, and this section has the most connecting rooms on the property, which is great for larger groups.
Even though it is a large property and this section is located further back, it was still just a 5-7 minute walk to the beach. For those with mobility issues, golf cart drivers are there to assist. This area also has an adult only restaurant called “Le Petite Chateau.” It is right beside it is the Cafe de Paris, which serves Cappuccinos, espressos and nice little pastries.
The water park is right between the French Village and the Italian Village and it’s so much fun — for all ages! My husband and I took turns going down the water slide while the other played with our son. There is also a beautiful meandering lazy river, a surf simulator, mini water slides and splash pads for the little ones, and medium sized slides as well. The game garage and the nightclub is also nearby.
The beach was spectacular! It has soft white fluffy sand and light blue water. The ocean is generally very calm, but it was a bit wavy for us after Tropical Storm Sandy passed. The water was warm and calm enough, though, to enjoy with baby.
Kids Clubs: The Camp Sesame was fantastic! Workers were very organized and were 100% by the rules. Baby Club are for 1 – 2.5 year olds. The activities are lots of fun, and they have a packed itinerary. Toys and play area’s were cleaned several times per day. On our last day we put our son in the club for a few hours and he had a great time.
Character breakfast – I recommend booking this in advance as it sells out fast. In busy season, if you don’t book in advance it may sell out by the time you arrive. It was only $12.00 per adult, $16.00 per child age 2 and up. it was totally worth it for the look on my babe’s face when each character came out to personally greet him and pose for photos.
All in all, an amazing resort, fabulous location and great service. The food is typical of Sandals and Beaches resorts. Weddings are really popular here, too — and for good reason. Everyone seemed to having a blast! Even though it’s a family resort, I’d still recommend it to some couples who like to have lots of fun.
Stay tuned for my review of The Veranda and its Grace Bay Club! In the meantime, if you have any questions about Beaches Turks & Caicos on Providenciales, feel free to call me at 1-800-665-4981 ext. 7246.