Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean, a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas. The gateway island of Providenciales, known as Provo, is home to expansive Grace Bay Beach, constantly rated one of the top beaches in the world. T&C has no short of luxury resorts and fantastic dining options from local beach bars to 5 star dining. Scuba-diving sites include a 14-mile barrier reef on Provo’s north shore and a dramatic 2,134m underwater wall off Grand Turk island. With non-stop flights from most of the US gateways, it is no wonder that the Turks & Caicos is one of the most highly requested Caribbean destination for my clients.
With so many new resort openings since my last stay, it was a high time I visited again. This time I stayed at the fabulous Shore Club on Long Bay Beach, just a 10 minute drive from bustling Grace Bay.
Kite surfing is definitely a “thing” on the calm waters of Long Bay and the wind on this side of the island helps. Guests can take a 3 day kite surfing school wit excellent instruction right from the beach next door to the Shore Club.
What Are Condo Hotels? — In the Turks and Caicos, the buzzword in resort development is condo hotels. Many, if not most, of the resorts are fully or partially condo hotels. Condo hotels are simply hotels whose units are sold to individual owners, usually even before the hotel is built. Most units then enter the resort rental pool. When the owner is not using the unit, it is managed and rented out to hotel guests by the resort in which the owner then receives a percentage of the rental income. This is a popular concept in the TCI for a number of reasons, one of which is the favorable financial conditions here for international investors, large and small, including no property taxes, capital gains taxes, or sales taxes. The Shore Club, Grace Bay, Wymara, The Ritz-Carlton, etc. are no exception. This means that you will likely not encounter a standard hotel room but more of a residential type unit with kitchen and sitting areas ranging from 1 to 5+ bedrooms. Below is the facade of one of the buildings where you can see the different unit locations.
I have sent many of my clients to the Shore Club and have been working closely with the team here since they opened several years ago. On this occasion however, I was the lucky guest of some of my clients who own a 3 bedroom penthouse at the Shore Club. Such a stunning view!
One of the highlights of the Shore Club is its location on Long Bay Beach.
Long Bay is an incredible three mile long beach on the southeast side of Providenciales. The water at this popular coast is a breath-taking turquoise, with shallow depths leading off for a great distance off the beach. Like nearly all beaches in the Turks and Caicos, the sand at Long Bay is white with perfect consistency.
Due to being located on the southern and shallow Caicos Banks side of Providenciales, Long Bay does not experience any open ocean swell waves that many of the northern and western beaches on the island may encounter and at times experiences small choppy waves caused by local winds.
Various water sports operations are run right off the beach at Shore Club, and the guys are very happy to set you or your kids up with jet skiing, kite boarding, etc!
The resort never feels hurried or too busy….the beach is long without a whole lot of traffic, there are multiple pools, to enjoy including one that is exclusively for adults.
One of the three pools – this one is oceanside, another sits protected from the beach winds near the main restaurant…
…and here is the more peaceful adults only pool….
While resort tennis courts don’t always get used as much as I would suspect, for those guest that do play tennis, this is a wonderful amenity and a great way to spend a few hours of family fun or just working on your skills with a pro.
The Villas – While T&C offers multiple sizes and types of condo-style units, private villas are also very easy to find on the islands. Many villas are stand-alone units not affiliated with a resort. The obvious benefit of securing a villa within a resort property is having access to all of the resort facilities such as dining and spa, and of course, having access to full professional staff and chefs and an additional layer of security. The villas at the shore club are stunning luxury homes. Here is one that I toured and loved….
Set on 850 feet of pristine beach front property, each villa offers outstanding views and access.
Many outdoor sitting areas that are shaded including this area below which makes for a great place to barbecue and have a lunch…..
Indoor dining, living, and media rooms provide a place for your family or group to spread out.
Full gourmet kitchen and easily be pre-stocked with your favorite groceries and beverages and the staff is happy to replenish as needed. Many clients prefer to set up a chef to prepare meals on multiple evenings so that everyone feels they are on vacation.
With six bedrooms, five in the main house and one detached, each villa can be rented in 4-, 5- or 6-bedroom configurations for up to 14 guests per villa.
The view from the master bedroom is stunning with its own private balcony.
Each villa has a heated pool and jacuzzi.
Starting at $6000 per night, the villas all come with the following services and amenities –
- Private Butler
- Dedicated housekeeper
- VIP airport transfer
- Fast-track arrival and departure at the airport.
- Champagne arrival in the villa
- Welcome bar
- Complimentary breakfast at the resort
- Private sauna in master bedroom
- Designer bath and special turn-down scents
- Special kids’ amenities, bubble bath, books, toys for the bathroom and baby monitors
- Private pool and heated whirlpool plus private courtyard
- Apple TV
- Direct access to Long Bay Beach and your personal beach lounge area
- Dedicated watersports equipment for villa guests
Dining in the Turks & Caicos is a big draw. The food is of excellent quality throughout with creative flavors and can range from toes in sand beach shacks to ultra-luxe fine dining. With that said, this is not a budget destination and even a beach shack meal can set you back $100s. Some island favorites are Coco Bistro, Seven, and Bella Luna for fine dining, Da Conch Shack, Omar’s, and Mr. Groupers for delicious casual fare.
No one goes to the Turks & Caicos without at least one day on a boat charter for diving, snorkeling, fishing, or just island hopping. The famous La Famille Express shipwreck is located 2 miles away from Long Bay Beach and is visible from the Shore Club; we could not reach it by swimming but did by boat and had a great time climbing it and jumping off!!
Check out our world-class jumps – easier after a rum punch for sure!
Turks and Caicos consists of 40 different islands and cays.
Many small islands and cays are found throughout the Turks and Caicos, most of them uninhabited, some of the most popular being Ambergis Caye, Parrot Cay, Little Iguana, Pine Cay, Water Cay, etc. Your captain is sure to show you some of his favorites!
Each more pristine than the next….checkout gorgeous Pine Cay below….
An absolutely fabulous day touring with Anderson and Eric – saying good bye was not easy –
While this trip was an actual vacation, as a travel advisor my trips always involve some work so I took the time to check out the stunning villas at Wymara. The main resort sits on Grace Bay and the villa are a short drive across the island.
The exquisitely decorated Wymara Villas offer spectacular views of the Shallow Bay and Turtle Tail. Ideal for romantic getaways, intimate groups, and families, each villa is equipped with its own infinity-edge oceanfront pool, a courtyard waterfall pool, and an over-the-water swim platform with direct access to the shallow bay.
The design at Wymara Villas is sleek, has clean lines, and is minimalistic.
The villas do not have a sandy beach but they do have uninterrupted views from throughout the home and the outdoor sitting areas….
…and direct access to the ocean from the sunning platform – somewhat “Maldivian or Bora Bora-style”.
If you are fun-loving, ask me to book the units with the water slide into the ocean – best way to get a swim on!
It would be easy to hunker down at the villa the entire stay, but guests do also have access to the main Wymara Resort for enjoying Grace Bay beach and easy access to dining and shops.
My last visit to T&C I explored the two luxury properties of Amanyara and Parrot Cay – check it out: https://lauramadridtravel.com/2013/04/16/turks-and-caicos/