Destination: Turks & Caicos
As with most beach destinations, it’s crucial to decide which resort is right for you, as you’ll spend the majority of your vacation on the property. Yes, there are plenty of water activities to partake in, particularly outstanding scuba diving (see On the Water), but even the most motivated will be lulled by the limpid turquoise water and powdery beaches. The Grace Bay area has the most hotels and resorts (it’s been nicknamed Grace Miami Beach), including the Regent Palms, Grace Bay Club and Point Grace. There isn’t much in the way of nightlife (though Nikki Beach has added a party venue), but there are lots of places for a great meal in a romantic setting. Most restaurants and bars can be found on the stretch between the airport and Leeward Marina; Grace Bay is right in the center.
Those craving seclusion and privacy should head to one of the surrounding islands; Parrot Cay, which opened in 1998, is still the ultimate Robinson Crusoe fantasy (and has some of the most beautiful private villas in the Caribbean). Many say that the remote Amanyara, which opened in 2006 on the western tip of Provo, may as well be on its own island (some cab drivers reportedly refuse to go there). Most hotels in Turks and Caicos are condo hotels, so part or all of the rooms are individually owned. The Regent Palms even has a real estate sales office on the premises, and during a recent visit, a handful of two- and three-bedroom units were up for sale.
TIPS: Hotel rates in TCI fluctuate significantly throughout the year. The week between Christmas and New Year, when most resorts have at least a five-night minimum, is the most expensive time to go. The high season runs from January through April, and the rates listed in the hotel entries in this report reflect this period. Shoulder season is May–July and October–November. Summer is the most affordable time to go: a junior suite at Grace Bay Club, for instance, goes for $1,051 during the high season and $501 in the summer; an ocean pavilion at the Amanyara costs $1,100 instead of $1,500; and an oceanview room at the Regent Palms, normally $875, is priced at $550. Many resorts close in September for annual maintenance.
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