My husband and I traveled to Turks and Caicos and stayed at the Ocean Club eight years ago, when the island of Turks and Caicos was still very much in development. After spending last year’s Spring Break at the Four Seasons Costa Rica (for the second time) –read my review here – we decided to venture back to Turks to check out the Grace Bay Club. After our January trip to the Curtain Bluff resort in Antigua that left three of us returning home with salmonella poisoning (unlucky for us), we were hesitant about Caribbean travel again so soon. I am blogging you this from poolside at Grace Bay and am happy to report that we’ve had a great time and knock on wood, everyone has fared well! We’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many of the Caribbean’s top resorts (Albany Bahamas, Atlantis Bahamas, One and Only Club Bahamas, Caneel Bay U.S. Virgin Islands, Cap Jaluca Anguilla, Ocean Club Turks & Caicos, Casa de Campo Dominican Republic, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Four Seasons Costa Rica, Four Seasons Maui, Princeville Maui, Curtain Bluff Antigua and other resorts along the French Riviera and Mediterranean Sea — and we are owners at the Golf Villas at Tuckers Point in Bermuda) so I do feel qualified to blog about experiences at these different resorts and rate them accordingly.
The lobby of Grace Bay Club was designed by Thom Filicia, which is cozy and welcoming:
My son had a lot of fun posing for me as we were waiting for a taxi to take us on our Underwater Adventure in a Semi Submarine, which is something to fun to do with kids.
Since there were six of us traveling, we booked one of the penthouses (privately owned but you can reserve one if the owners aren’t using it and it’s available). Here is a panoramic photo I took of our view from the terrace. Not bad! Turks and Caicos is a beautiful, happy place. The beach at Grace Bay is just gorgeous. The sand is pristine and clean and the beach provides long walks any time of day. We were surprised at how one day the ocean can be as calm as a lake, the next day have small waves and the following day have a crashing surf with huge waves perfect for boogie boarding! Our terrace had a private hot tub perfect for late afternoon relaxation. Grace Bay Club has 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedrooms available – so traveling with large groups is no problem.
Here are some photos I snapped around the resort with my camera phone:
There are three pools. One, pictured above, is for adults and children. Another is adults only and a third is for people staying in the Estate building.
We found the resort to be clean, the staff to be very friendly and accommodating and the food to be very good. With the exception of the beach barbecue (which was pretty and very enjoyable -though the food wasn’t typical beach BBQ cuisine and it wasn’t great for kids in tow) we loved all of our meals. I have to admit that I am a bit of a foodie after years of living in New York City. My expectations are high and we had no complaints. I polled a number of parents here (since we didn’t do the kids camp this trip) and many complained that the kids programs were lacking – and one thing to know if you are planning a trip here with children is that you have to pay for most of the “good” activities at the kids camp, it’s not free as it is at other resorts such as the Four Seasons and many of the Ritz Carltons. Kids camp is free from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then the afternoon activities range in price from $65 to $145 per child. Nannies can be hired from the resort if you need childcare.
While the food at the resort is good, we left for dinners at the Gansevoort (Stelle Restaurant and Beach Bar), Parallel 23 at the Regent Palms (request to sit outside), and Coyaba (walking distance to Grace Bay Club and very casual, minimal ambience, not on the water – food was ok, I would not strongly recommend. Though for casual, relaxed fare with kids for an early meal, check it out). We’ve heard that Coco Bistro is fabulous as well and reservations can be difficult, so book ahead.
The best part of any vacation is time spent with family:
Overall, I would recommend the Grace Bay Club! Post a comment if you have been there before! Check it out here!