Where When How — Summer 2017
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Where To Stay
Sophie Newstead

The Search for Your Perfect View and Comfort Level inParadise

The Turks and Caicos Islands, particularly Providenciales, has two things rarely on offer in today’s holiday saturated market: a world-class beach (and collection of dive sites) and seclusion. What more of a fitting pre-requisite is that - quietness and a first-rate shoreline - for ultimate relaxation? A multitude of well-designed accommodations are built around the island with this shoreline in mind, utilising stellar vantage points and luxury amenities. Want your periodic fix of ivory sands and turquoise water? Here’s a general guide to where to start.

The Six Golden Criteria

There are six immediate considerations that pop into the minds of any budding holidaymaker seeking a lush abode away. Where and when to start looking, how far the abode-in-question is from the beach, proximity to the central area including local restaurants, and price. And then the all-important question… Villa, guesthouse, resort or boutique hotel? Everyone needs a comforting base to venture out from and return to. What constitutes this comfort, varies from person to person, and falls on the priority placed on doorstep amenities, independence and privacy, or casual family living space.

Why Vacation Here

In the past 30 years the TCI has undergone a rapid rate of development of both tourist accommodation and real estate. The growth has yielded more jobs internally, and more visitors externally, reaffirming TCI’s foothold in the luxury destination market. Despite development, TCI compared to its Caribbean counterparts is still relatively young, and very much off the beaten track when placed alongside the neighbouring Bahamas or Bajan hotspot Barbados. The result is, TCI is blessed with one of the best beaches in the world, and a deserted stretch of sand to recline on (or a deserted patch of land to build on, should you want to uproot). Striking this balance between world-class quality and quietness, is what renders TCI a prominent fixture within the holiday market.

Where & When To Start Looking

Finding the right place for you is wildly subjective, so take time in curating when you’d like to come, where you’d like to stay, and what type of accommodation provides the setting most conducive to your R&R. Our list of accommodation websites on page 57 is a good place to start looking, as are websites like AirBnB and VRBO, and property management companies on the island (see page 46). We’d advise, as a general rule of thumb, to start looking a year in advance due to tendencies for accommodations to book up fast, and early booking discounts sometimes becoming available. For specials and prices, visit the individual accommodation’s website (list on page 57). Note that a 12% government tax is charged on all accommodations, and an additional 10% service charge is added to resort and hotel stays.

Providenciales By Area

Providenciales is split into five main areas, each with a different appeal. The most centralised area is Grace Bay, housing a collection of resorts, colonial houses and villas, and boutique hotels. Proximity to a vast range of amenities is the main appeal of Grace Bay with a great range of shops, spas and quality restaurants.

Situated in the north east of Providenciales, Leeward is a picturesque residential community surrounded by the beach, home to Blue Haven Marina and numerous watersport operators. It’s also close to the ferry dock should you want to travel to other islands in the TCI… Grace Bay is a five-minute drive away.

Turtle Cove is home to a boutique hotel, a few resorts and a host of beachfront rental villas. The marina here is well known to yachters in the Caribbean who have been stopping here since the seventies, and makes a nice spot for strolling around the dock. Many restaurants and bars overlook the marina and make excellent spots to watch the sunset. Smith’s Reef is a great snorkelling spot nearby, and Grace Bay stretches for miles to the east.

Long Bay is a tranquil area occupied by ridge top and beachfront villas, as well as the luxury Shore Club resort that houses a spa, restaurant and bar open to the public. Long Bay is a quieter area than Grace Bay, ideal for watching the moon rise in the evening and sun rise every morning. The three-mile Long Bay Beach is a good spot to watch kiteboarders on a windy day. A five minute drive from Grace Bay

Chalk Sound, Sapodilla Bay and Turtle Tail are suburbs located on the south side of the island. The peaceful Chalk Sound National Park is a stunning lagoon of shallow turquoise water lined with luxury vacation villas and picturesque places to relax by the water’s edge. The lagoon is ideal for stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing and pontoon boat excursions. Sapodilla Bay Beach benefits from warm, shallow water perfect for little ones. All three areas are approximately 20 minutes drive from Grace Bay.

See our map after page 104 for accommodation locations.

Villas & Guesthouses

Accommodation is abundant in the Turks and Caicos Islands, with short-term rental development harnessing not only an impressive roster of R&R amenities, but rapid development of an entirely different rental sector; private villas and guesthouses. Such exclusive accommodation is attracting a much wider demographic in recent years, with families, friends and couples alike realising the appeal of going private in greater numbers.

The benefits are clear, and enhanced by one unassuming fact: they’re not as costly as you may think. Vacation villas can work out a cost-effective option for groups of friends or family booking together. Even then, the rise in the number of villas and guesthouses -whether it’s via AirBnB or other means- leaves price ranges competitive and malleable to an array of requirements and budgets.

Indulging in bespoke requests is not a luxury just confined to bigger resorts either: a chef, concierge, maid, butler, masseuse, personal trainer, even arriving to a fully stocked fridge, are all well within remit. Choose to use the service providers recommended by the villa’s owner or property manager, or contact one of the private concierges on the island.

Many, if not most, of the villas avail of around 10-100 rooms and generally comprise a small collection of buildings centred by a swimming pool, poolside bar and picturesque dining area, often overlooking the beach. They’re quaint and a plenty on Providenciales, and suit those looking for the convenience of a concierge, room cleaning and doorstep amenities, while residing in a smaller, more intimate complex.

Investing In A Holiday Home

Investing in real estate has two main benefits: being able to make your money back over a period of time through rentals, and enjoying extended stays in your own condo or home. If you’re new to investing in the Turks and Caicos, we recommend spending time researching with an attorney and real estate agent about how to become an investor. A good place to start looking is www.tcrea.com for home and condo sales.

Where To Stay?

The six golden criteria of finding your perfect holiday abode: where to start, when to book, proximity to the beach, proximity to local restaurants, type of accommodation, and price. In sum, resorts take the prep and planning out of your holiday experience with ready-made experiences and 24-hour concierge, boutique hotels offer the same but within a quaint smaller setting, and villas and guesthouses suit those prioritising independence or casual communal space for families or large groups. Where to stay is varied and dependent on your priorities, so take plenty of time to scout out the right holiday abode for you.