A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending in Turks and Caicos on an Education Trip with a handful of travel advisor colleagues. We toured several 5* Virtuoso resorts, including Amanyara, Wymara, Grace Bay Club, and our hosts, The Palms and The Shore Club.
One thing that was obvious by the occupancy at these resorts – Turks and Caicos is a very popular destination right now! If you have any desire to travel here, you’ll want to make plans ASAP (especially if you are wanting to go over a holiday. Festive season is already more than 50% full)!
Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory that is easily accessible by non-stop flights from several U.S. Gateway Cities. This stunning Caribbean island has grown into one of the world’s premier beach destinations! The country uses U.S. Dollars as its official currency and everyone speaks English, which makes it very popular for U.S. travelers. The airport is very small, but don’t let it fool you – lines can be very long both coming and going, so make sure you allow for plenty of time to get through customs and immigration on arrival and check-in upon departure.
Turks and Caicos is the perfect destination for ocean lovers. Home a spectacular 14-mile barrier reef on Provo’s north shore and a dramatic 2,134m underwater wall off Grand Turk island, The Turks and Caicos are considered among the world’s top 10 diving destinations. Grace Bay is consistently ranked among the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world.
With few exceptions, almost all of the resorts in this country consist of individually-owned condos and villas, and if they are located within a resort, they are managed (but not owned by) the resort. Owners can decide to be in the resort’s rental pool or not.
Deciding where to stay depends on many factors. Are you looking for total seclusion or lots of activity? What time of year will your visit be? It is important to note that from August to mid-October, the island goes from 80 restaurants to 20 (Palms/Shore Club resorts own 7 of them). Taxis are VERY expensive, so if you want to do a lot of exploring, you may want to rent a car. That said, make sure you are comfortable driving on the “wrong” side of the road! Also important to know is Turks and Caicos is one of the largest Airbnb locations in the world, and there is great inconsistency between properties. A reputable resort will ensure consistency of your experience.
You need a TCI Assured Travel Authorization to board your flight. This is a free authorization and you apply online. You’ll need:
Updated information on COVID protocols can be found on the Turks & Caicos tourism board website HERE.
First, I’ll start with the two resorts I personally experienced during my stay.
The Palms offers the true definition of laidback luxury. What I loved most about the Palms was the spacious feel of the accommodations, and the tropical vegetation was beautiful! The views of Grace Bay (and the sunset) were spectacular, and I felt very relaxed and refreshed. The bed was soooooo comfortable!
a 25,000 square foot spa and state-of-the-art infinity pool
The spa was an amazing experience – best facial I ever had! And the food and service was top notch. I love how attentive the staff was to us during our stay.
Fine dining and boutique shopping and a kids club called the Conch Critters Club that offers daily organized activities for kids under 12.
The Shore Club is the only resort situated on Long Bay Beach, offering seclusion and relaxation. The bay is very shallow and breezy, perfect for kite surfing (the Turks & Caicos Kite Surfing School is located here, and kite surfers can often be seen practicing nearby). What I loved most is that the resort felt very luxurious, and the decor is beautiful and very comfortable. The quality and quantity of food choices were incredible. I’m a culinary travel specialist, and highly recommend the foodie experiences there!
Guests of the villas can have their pantries stocked ahead of their arrival. I can arrange a private chef to prepare meals for your family and friends in your villa, and you can also enjoy culinary delights in one of three restaurants.
The resort offers four pools (including an adults-only pool and lap pool), with several of the most instagrammable spots (including hanging wicker chairs) you won’t want to miss!
To get the best experience of the island, I highly recommend a split stay between Grace Bay resorts and Long Bay. There is a complimentary shuttle that goes between the Shore Club and The Palms, so you can easily enjoy a nice dinner at either property if you are staying at the other.
Wymara Resort is located on Grace Bay, and there are 7 Villas (built less than 3 years ago) located on the south end of the island. A shuttle runs between the villas and the resort, so villa guests can enjoy resort amenities. I’m told that a typical Wymara guest is in their mid-40s-50s and/or couples who love younger lifestyle. Ages 2-10 don’t do well here as it’s more geared toward older children and adults.
A newly-built recreation area with lap pool and tennis court for villa guests is located on villa property, so you really don’t have to leave to enjoy your vacation. Villas also have two pools, ample space, and a sunken outdoor living area to take in the beautiful scenery!
If you’re looking for the ultimate in seclusion and exclusivity, this is it! Amanyara is located on the Western end of the island, on the secluded shores of an 18,000-acre nature reserve, and it’s far from everything. If your budget is healthy, you want to get away from everyone and everything, this resort is perfect!
Amanyara has 38 rooms and 20 villas (on 2 acres each) built on 122 acres 15 years ago.
An Entry Level room can sleep 3 adults and 2adults/2 kids. Rooms are not visible from the main road – you must walk down a path surrounded by vegetation to get there. Villas are serviced by a staff of personal chefs and housekeepers. They are perfect for multi-generational families and couples traveling together.
For kids, Amanyara’s Nature Discovery Centre curates exciting experiences for children, teens and adults, from exploring rock pools to kayaking and snorkelling expeditions.
An array of activities are available, including tennis, soccer (there’s a full-length field on property!), kayaking (and other ocean activities), and if a private yacht charter is on your list, this can be arranged!
Grace Bay Club was one of the first high end resorts on the island with one of the biggest stretches of beachfront at 1100 ft.
It is perfect for both families and adults as the Villas and Estates are family-friendly and Hotel section is adults only. There are 82 units varying in size from 600sf junior suites to luxe 7000 sf penthouses featuring four bedrooms, a media room and study. It has a great supervised kids club called Kids Town.
PARTICULARLY for my foodies and my scuba/snorkelers out there – Turks and Caicos is a DESTINATION you should consider! BONUS: it’s so convenient to the U.S.!!! If a relaxing beach getaway is in your future, please click here to contact Premiere Luxury Travel today!!
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