The choice, trick or treat for a festive Halloween themed ride at Pier 40 on the Hudson at the crack of dawn. Or visit the beautiful island of Turks and Caicos for a once in a lifetime trip with the Grace Bay Club. Although options were heavily weighted, the latter won by a milestone.
“Not to sound snobbish my husband and I researched every resort and choose Grace Bay Club every time” says a loyal guest Wagner. Twelve miles of white sand separates turquoise waters and various resorts on the island of Turks and Caicos. Grace Bay Resort, part of the Leading Hotels of the World stands out. Comprising of the adults only, family friendly and luxe estate; Grace Bay Club, The Palms, The Residences, West Bay Club.
I had the pleasure to experience the Grace Bay Club on behalf of the resorts’ accommodating team. Grace Bay Club is best described as the family friendly option. It has four, five story buildings with several pools, restaurants, vast beach access, spa, gym and more. Just over 3 hours after departure from JFK I landed in Providenciales. Suited in a boiling leather jacket I was anxious ( to say the least) to arrive to my final destination, The Grace Bay Club.
Awarded nominations for best luxury from Travel and Leisure, New York Times and other name-worthy magazines, my excitement levels spiked every time I thought of this paradisaical escape. From the beach access, private cabanas, expansive pools, top rated restaurants and ocean view rooms. I was beyond ready to dive into paradise in Turks and Caicos.
First Impressions | The Rooms at the Grace Bay Club.
Picked up by a complimentary shuttle from Provencales airport, my anxious nerves ended just short from the 30 minute drive. I finally arrived at the famous Grace Bay Club and was greeted by the lovely team. Who includes Tiffani Minnis and Scott Khile among the other staff members who have the opportunity to call the 11- acre resort with 1,000 feet of beach access their office. I had a choice of rum punch or sparkling water to quench my thirst.
As I sat on Trina Turk’s special collaboration with the resort waiting to check into my room. Inspired by the resort’s tropical surroundings, Thom Filicia celebrity interior designer enchants guests and staff. He uses varied textures, pastel Bahamian colors, soft lighting, bold patterns in the lobby and throughout the resort. The design lends to a fun, refreshing approach to the 5 star resort. Rum punch in hand I had no issue waiting to head to my home for the next three nights.
Based in the villas I instantly felt the serene and relaxed island vibes when I entered my estate sized room located at B404. Villa B404, far from close ( stressing on far) to my tiny apartment in New York. Decked with a full kitchen, washer and dryer units, living room, one and a half bathrooms, a king sized bedroom.
To peak it off a bathtub and balcony adjoining the living and bedroom overlooking the Infiniti bar, adults only pool and Turks and Caicos Grace Bay renowned beach. If the resort wasn’t as appealing, staying in the room would not affect me the slightest bit. Not to mention the welcome gift of wine and snacks, room service access. Paradise at its best.
Beyond the Villas | The Amenities at the Grace Bay Club.
While the villa was fantastic, the sounds of the waves and pool splashes were calling my name. Once my bag arrived to my room, I changed into beach appropriate clothing and sprinted to the first floor to explore the property. I bi passed the complete gym, tennis court, Affani spa before arriving to the Adult Only Pool. Unfortunately on my first day it was closed for a private event. One of the many events (mostly wedding ceremonies) hosted by the Grace Bay resort. At this particular time, the Annual Caribbean Food and Wine Festival ( which I had the pleasure of attending) interrupted my initial plan.
Other oceanfront pool options included the Hotel, Villa, Estate, Estate Children and 2 outdoor Jacuzzis.
But it was faith, the Grace Bay beach wanted me as much as I wanted to embrace its refreshing waters. Down the bricked pathway lined by lush greenery, I kicked off the complementary Grace Bay Resort flip flops. Which helped me fully embrace the warm pristine white sands leading me to the turquoise waters. I could’ve spent the whole evening in the splashing in the sun drenched shores. Relaxing on the property’s lounge chairs with my specially made Rum Punch prepared by the resort’s famed bartender Garth Brooks. Ironic enough Garth Brooks is a fan of country music and musician Garth Brooks.
Happiness consumed my heart, the sun kissed my salted skin as I watched parasailers, jet skiers, boats and many jubilant bodies on Grace Bay’s shores. “Can anything get better than this?” a British vacationer asked. My surprised response to the orange body who broke my trance, “I don’t think so. He smiled and trotted and I resumed sipping my Garth Brooks Rum Punch until the rumble of my stomach broke my trance again.
Beyond the Villas Part Two | Eateries at the Grace Bay Club.
Led by Chef Christopher Meredith, group director of food & beverage at Grace Bay Club. Meredith brings more than 20 years of extensive knowledge to all eateries at Grace Bay Resorts’ properties. Including Grace Bay Club, West Bay Club and The Private Villa Collection on the Turks and Caicos island. Specifically at Grace Bay Club; my choices included Infiniti Restaurant and Raw Bar, Krave, The Grill and Just Tacos. In addition to room service and a private chef.
Starting with Infiniti Restaurant and Raw Bar, at 90 feet long it is the longest bar in the Caribbean. One of a kind, the name perfectly suits it as the bar gives the endless illusion leading eyes to the deep blue waters. Serving island cocktails like a Bermuda classic Dark and Stormy or Jamaican Planter’s Punch. In addition to tapas like blue crab cakes, spiced jerk chicken and other Caribbean inspired seafood bites. Diners can choose to dine at the instagrammable bar or find a seat under the lanterns at the Lounge. When the sun sets the lanterns illuminate the lounging area. The ambiance becomes romantic setting a warm tone for the night.
Opposed to the edgy atmosphere at Infiniti, Krave offers a more relaxed feel and menu. Its somewhere the kids can also sit and nosh at their Krave Chicken Club Sandwich. While mom munches at her Grilled Local Grouper and dad licks at the bones of the buffalo wings.
Similarly at The Grill, American influences are featured on the menu. The only restaurant opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Grill delights all guests to a full breakfast until 11am. Lunch, Dinner and a special Caribbean BBQ prepped buffet style. Plates can overflow with a Turks Green Papaya Salad from the cold section. Stewed Conch and Johnny Cake from the Mains, Provencals Jerk Chicken off the grill. Then finish the hearty meal with a Pina Colada Cake.
Although all of the above sounded divine my go to was Just Tacos. Simple, fresh and tasty. Located on the beachfront the popular pop up dishes a limited menu of taco variations and beachy libations. My absolute favorite being the Lobster Taco paired beautifully with Garth’s special The Fish Hook. A secret concoction of muddled strawberry, lime and vodka. The hook was just what I needed to cleanse my palette post savoring chunks of fresh lobster in my lobster taco.
Equally important to note, venturing outside the resort will lead to more fantastic local eateries. Noteworthy to mention is Da Conch Shack. The destination for Caribbean dining in Turks and Caicos. Pastel blue and pink colors accent the oasis on the white sands of the popular beach-side spot. Near the main stretch of Grace Bay Beach, the great food selection includes the fresh citrusy conch salad, cracked conch, jerk chicken and flavorful lobster curry. Wash it all down with a rum punch or sea breeze. After the scrumptious meal head back to the waters or try your hand of cracking the conch!
Beyond the Villas Part Three | People of the Grace Bay Club.
Friendly is an understatement to describe the incredible team behind the resort. Starting with Chief Operating Officer Nikheel Advani. Personable, relatable and kind to his team Nikheel wears his appreciation and love for his work and people on his sleeves. He never forgets to thank even the smallest act of service, and greets the staff like his friends. Whom in fact mean more to him, they are his family. “Hey brother, how are you” as he smiles and high fives the DJ playing at a dinner. He pats the waiter on his back before he cleans the table or giving a high five to a guest.
Nikheel definitely sets the affable tone for Grace Bay and converts first time guests into recurring vacationers. Whom some have plans to stay for six months, if only! The welcoming service trickles down to all staff who goes above and beyond to accommodate all guests needs. For instance handing fresh lemon towels in the lobby to guests like myself when it’s time to depart for the airport and return to the dreaded reality.
Final Impression | Visit the Grace Bay Resort.
No question Turks and Caicos is a beautiful sanctuary surrounded by the bluest waters and the brightest skies. Experiencing the island via Grace Bay Resort simply sets the caliber higher. Undoubtedly making the return to the island quicker than anticipated.