Renowned as a haven for high-tier vacation seekers, adventure enthusiasts, and those yearning for a tranquil escape, Turks and Caicos is a captivating destination that promises an unparalleled experience.
Imagine stepping onto pristine powdery white sands that stretch for miles, framed by crystal-clear waters that seem to merge seamlessly with the sky. Turks and Caicos is a magnet for beach lovers, while boasting some of the most exquisite coastlines in the world. Grace Bay Beach, consistently ranked among the planet’s best, showcases the quintessential Caribbean beauty that lures visitors from every corner of the globe.
Beyond its mesmerizing beaches, Turks and Caicos is a playground for water enthusiasts. The coral reefs that surround the islands are a kaleidoscope of marine life, making it a snorkeler’s paradise. Grace Bay, Providenciales, is a gateway to an underwater wonderland, where vibrant coral formations and schools of tropical fish create a surreal aquatic ballet.
Providenciales – nicknamed Provo – is the third largest island at 38 square miles, a population of about 25,000, and the hub of tourism. Year after year, it picks up accolades as the best beach in the world.
WHERE TO STAY
Located at Long Bay Beach, H2O, that dubs itself accurately as a “Life. Style. Resort,” is a one-of-a-kind luxurious set of ultra-modern wellness suites that opened in 2020. Founded by Canadian entrepreneurs and hoteliers Rob Ayer and Nicolas Boucher, H2O is a place that blends home living with “Four Seasons” accommodation.
Suites are available in one to four-bedroom layouts, each designed with walkout outdoor patios and terraces, so guests can enjoy views of the jaw-droppingly amazing waters. Suites are replete with: full kitchen and appliances, a living room lounge with couches and a television, a bedroom television, and full dining room area. The entire complex abuts a beach that would make a Hollywood star blush.
What I especially enjoyed were the “small touches” – the thoughtfulness that went into the details. Now, obviously there’s Wifi and daily housekeeping. But also in-suite laundry machines (so I can wash my sandy beach swimwear for next day’s use), boutique bath soaps, and a bag of locally-sourced coffee grounds.
Dedicated to ecological responsibility, every design aspect is geared towards safeguarding the surrounding environment. Utilizing a solar-powered grid, advanced AC systems, energy-conserving lighting, and water preservation methods, the resort prioritizes reducing its environmental impact.
For your relaxing pleasure, dip into the two pools and hot tub. For some impact sports, there’s on-site courts for pickle ball, basket ball and tennis. And for solo workouts, there’s the 24 hour fitness center.
Water enthusiasts rejoice – no shortage of high-adrenaline toys can keep anyone busy for several days: kayaks and paddle boards, e-foils (powered surf boards), SUP boards, snorkelling gear, jet skis, and private boat charter. Touting itself as the Caribbean’s first and only luxury kiteboarding resort, H2O’s instructors are fully certified, utilizing the industry best practices. The surf shop has everything for your beach needs: swim wear, sun shirts, hats, sunglasses, sun screens and great kite gear.
Feet away from the gorgeous beach view is a full service bar Hangtime, where friendly staff can pour your favorite cocktail, or local libations. Sip a drink and bask in the luscious sights of the waves.
For those who enjoy the hunter-gathererness of making food, the local IGA supermarket is about a ten minute drive away, replete with American goods, in addition to local fare and prepared foods. Prices are about the same as you might find in Manhattan – in other words, what you might expect for a tourist destination. Fortunately, the resort provides the means to get to the market, as well as other parts of town, with rentals of Teslas, bikes, or scooters.
The culinary delights are another highlight of the Island, with freshly caught fish, conch, and lobster – the hallmark of many dining establishments.
The legendary Da Conch Shack in Blue Hills, is run by the affable John McDonald. He showed the team of visiting journalists the step-by-step process of how to remove the edible parts from the conch shell – a staple item in the area, and said to be not only packed with protein, but in especially high supply in the Turks & Caicos.
Their tequila varieties are second to none in the area, he boasts, and after some samplings, I can tell you he doesn’t skimp on quality either. Their night parties are famous, where hundreds of people often come to dance on the sand throughout the night. Their menu includes grilled jerk chicken wings (getting real authentic here), conch salad with lime juice and vegetables, jerk chicken tacos, jerk ribs and so much more. The artistic flair of the dishes is matches by the freshness and array of flavors.
For a romantic evening with your plus-one, enjoy an elegant meal at Sui-Ren at The Shore Club. Its Arabian style architecture sets the stage for a veritable sensory experience. The menu is chockablock of artisan sushi, but also caters to a variety of options like miso glazed salmon, pan fried chicken katsu, and the lamb shank rendang, that all elicited gasps of joy from fellow diners for its design and flavor.
Dinner at Grace Bay Club’s Infiniti, is just as exquisite, mere feet away from the waterfront. There’s appetizers and starters that will make your mouth water. One paradigm example is the roasted heritage beets salad that included roasted hazelnuts, strawberry, pickled onions, and poblano feta dressing.
For the carnivores, expect top-tier culinary specialties: charcoal roasted heritage chicken (beluga lentils, black garlic molasses, roasted hazelnuts, black tahibi), crispy lobster roll, and steaks galore. Desserts include Madagascar Dark Chocolate Mousee, Edible Gold Macallan Whiskey Ice Cream, and Provo Fresh Coconut Butterscotch Tart. This is just a small sampling.
Whether you seek relaxation in luxurious resorts, thrilling water adventures, or a cultural journey, Turks and Caicos stands as a testament to the notion that paradise isn’t just a place; it’s an experience. With its idyllic landscapes, this Caribbean gem is an invitation to indulge in the extraordinary, and create memories that linger long after the tan lines fade.