More about Sands at Grace Bay
Our travel agent told us about this new hotel on Provo and after reading all the nice things about the Turks & Caicos Club, we decided to go for seven days. The hotel is 21 suites and our oceanfront suite overlooked the gorgeous Grace Bay Beach on a quiet stretch close to the reef and away from the all-inclusives. The service was excellent, food at Simba, the hotel's restaurant was superb, and accommodations were overall wonderful. Gorgeous views of the beach!
Right next to the reef!
Fabulous food at Simba!
Big fresh water pool!
Gym on the property!
Massages on our balcony!!
Big gourmet kitchens in each suite!
Great people working there!
Just an overall wonderful island feel!
We just returned from The Sands (June 2- 8) and loved every second of the trip. We had a gardenview studio (#3204) which was perfect for my husband and I. The hotel was probably 50% full at least. We were amazed by how quiet the complex and island were. We had no problem getting a tiki hut on the beach or a hidden away spot at one of the pools. The grounds were beautiful and the staff was always attentive and friendly. The food is more expensive than home, but we expected it. Since almost all the food is imported - the expense is understandable.
Especially wonderful was the staff of Hemingway's as they made regular rounds to the beach and pool to get drinks or food orders.
We had perfect weather with calm waters. We took the Sail Provo trip for afternoon snorkling and sunset on the return which was fun.
Anacaona was WONDERFUL and beautiful, a must visit!
If you are looking for a place to get away from life, Turks and Caicos is it. It was peaceful, beautiful, good food and very litle touristy stuff. No crowds during our visit.
We took a taxi down to Coral Gardens to snorkle ($8)and ate at their outdoor cafe, then walked back. It's a pretty good walk after snorkling. After walking by all the resorts on Grace bay, we both felt we made the right choice with the Sands. We'll return again!
Beautiful water and beaches, but unfortunately we will never return.
We stayed at The Sands from 5/22/04-5/29/04. The grounds were well maintained and manicured. The pools were okay, but oftentimes had debris in them from all the shrubs and trees on the property, and sand from the beach. The beaches and waters are the most beautiful we have seen. The Sands is a condominium community, and the owners rent their condos to guests. We stayed in a one bedroom studio suite, which was big enough for 2 people. When we walked out to our screended in porch, we were a little taken back to see white plastic deck furniture instead of the white wicker furniture (with the comfortable cushions) as advertised in the brochure. Also, we had no CD player, the toilet ran consistently and the timer on the dryer did not shut the dryer off. We reported these things to the desk (hopefully they were fixed by now). We were glad that we didn't go out somewhere and leave the dryer on (thinking it would shut off when it was done). There could have been a fire.
We noticed the good reviews of the Sands and the Island of Provo, and made our decision to go here for vacation. We do not own a condo on Provo, so we have no vested interest to get you to stay at The Sands, visit Providencialis, or tell you how wonderful this place is (when, in fact. it's not). Everyone has their own opinion and experience, and now I will share with you our experience. In fact, I wonder how many "owners" post positive reviews in order to encourage people to visit?
Staff at The Sands (and Hemingway's) were nice, but not friendly. Hemingway's is the ONLY restaurant at The Sands. The menu is limited. We were never offered a second cup of coffee, and oftentimes, we had to ask more than once for something, i.e., a condiment, salt & pepper, etc. Usually the bill arrived before the "third time requested but never poured cup of coffee."
IGA Shopping Extravaganza was an experience. It cost $20.00 by cab. We realize that everything has to be imported, but wait until you see the price of pasta! Ha! The employee, who checked out our grocery order was not very pleasant. We purchased enough to cook two breakfasts and one dinner.
We experienced resentment on the island towards Americans. On three separate occasions, unpleasant remarks were passed. The remarks focused on us being "rich" Americans. We can understand the feeling of resentment. If I saw all these condominiums being built (normally starting at $700,000), I guess I would feel a little resentful myself. But, don't take your resentment out on me.
Cabs were expensive, and the drivers could be (at times) nasty. The hotel offers shuttle service twice/day: within Grace Bay, it's $5.00 per person round trip; all other destinations are $8.00 per person round trip. So, if you have a family of 4, and you want to go the the Conch Farm (not within the hotel shuttle service), plan on spending at least $60.00 round trip just for a taxi (if you're lucky to find one). If you go to Danny Buoy's, Jasmin's or the Salt Mills in Grace Bay area, you can walk. Just be careful walking. Walk on the right so you can see the cars coming. Don't go to Danny Buoy's on a Tuesday or Wednesday when the Manager isn't there. We were not impressed with the Seaside Cafe at Ocean Club West (instant coffee with 2% milk), and the food was less than appetizing. We ate shrimp scampi over angel hair, and mahi mahi with rice; 1 Corona and 1 Coors Light; 1 Key Lime Pie and 2 coffees for dessert. Guess how much dinner was .... $83.00 plus tip. We wanted to go to Bella Luna, but they were closed for a private function.
One last thing....a condominium owner arrived Thursday, and decided to have a pool party around 10:30 p.m. making a lot of noice, splashing in the pool, screaming and yelling, etc. This went on for a good 45 minutes. We were sitting out on the porch, and found it unusual that security didn't ask them to quiet down. I guess that type of incident may be the rule and not the exception!
We would DEFINITELY not go back. We do not like to generalize, but our first impressions of Provo were not good. Police Officers are no where to be seen or found, so PLEASE be careful if you decide to visit, and PLEASE be careful walking along the roadside. Make sure you can see the cars coming towards you. Now, this was our experience. Everyone has to form their own opinion. As we said the beaches and water are beautiful, but unfortunately we will never return.
I went Parasailing ($70.00 for 15 minutes), and the Sail Provo excursion seems to be a fun thing to do. An all day private sail is $129.00 per person (just to give you an idea of price), and they do serve lunch.
Thank you, and have a great day!
left wanting more...
We stayed at The Sands at Grace Bay and had a lovely experience. This was our first foray into the Caribbean area and we were really looking for a nice beach and beautiful water which is exactly what we found here. The water is gorgeous, if a tad cool at first, and opportunities for novice snorkelers were right off the beach. The area is protected as a national park, so don't expect to grab shells and sea life from the ocean. We found the staff to be helpful and polite, but the check-in and check-out processes are in need of some fine tuning. We were delayed 45 minutes at checkout which could have cost us if our flight connection were close. On the other hand, the restaurant staff was great and we came to look forward to seeing Carla on the beach each day as she took orders for the grill and the bar. We stayed on site most of the time, but high winds one day kept us off the beach and sent us shopping. The Salt Mill is NOT the place to go- spend your time at Ports of Call where all the shops are open. Two more shopping centers are in walking distance from there. We tried the Tiki Hut for the infamous bar-b-cue special on Wednesday and will not return. Service was slow- which can be overlooked when a special deal is offered- but the help was unreasonably rude and curt with us...the food was ok, but it is not worth returning for. The Sands is located within walking distance of several resorts and it was great to get to see the other offerings first hand. We felt that we had the best location for what we wanted- it's quiet and subdued at the Sands. If you want more action or have an active family, then Beaches is probably for you. If you are into very upscale accomodations and privacy, then try Point Grace. Public nudity is not supposed to be allowed, but we encountered topless sunbathers at Beaches and at Club Med as well as at Point Grace. The rumor about The Allegro being torn down is true- they close at the end of April. You will find that prices run higher than at home, but not outrageously so if you are getting grill fare- around 8.50 for a burger with all the trimmings and fries, for 5 of us lunches ran in the neighborhood of 40.00 and dinner was closer to 100.00. We didn't feel that we were served small portions anywhere we went, but they aren't gargantuan, either. It's a nice place to go and get away.
What a great birthday!!!!
Okay, so I got a tax refund and got selfish....and boy am I glad I did!! I treated myself and my boyfriend to a 4 night stay at the Sands to celebrate my....well...thirty something...birthday. We left the kids at "camp grandmom" and headed for the the airport. We've been all over the Carribean from 3-5 star resorts, and Turks is a return again garuntee!! We found the Sands to be a WONDERFUL, relaxing, beautiful, immaculate, comfortable, economical choice in Provo. Gorgeous beach, nice pool and friendly staff. Best of all was our 1 BR efficiency on the 3rd floor which boasted the best patio furniture on the property.
We spent HOURS on our fully screend (= no bugs) balcony. In fact we opened both sets of sliding doors which extended our living space to include the balcony. We even slept on the sofa bed 2 nights to listen to the breeze blowing through the palms. It was pleasantly cool, and we didnt need the air conditioner once! The only downside was the unseasonable winds for the entire 5 days. This made for rough seas while scuba diving, but a bad day of diving is better than a great day at work!!! We heard some complaints of the housekeeping at the Sands.
Not so for us! Our housekeeper Marie Gay was wonderful. Our room was cleaned and restocked every day, and she even did our dishes!!!! Most Condo rentals don't come with a housekeeper, so we were pleasantly surprised. The Sands is packed with convenience. Washer/dryer, so you dont have to pack tons of clothes, full kitchen (so you dont have to pay outrageous meal prices if you dont want to. Saved us LOTS of money eating in.), plenty of fresh linens, and all the conveniences of home.
We're pretty easy to please, but were delighted with our stay here at the Sands. It was full of families and couples, but always relatively quiet and romantic. The beach was wonderful and the pools were pretty.
We highly suggest NOT paying the taxi or shuttle fair for dining. There are plenty of places within walking distance either on the beach or by road. The Caicos Cafe was fun, and the food was good. Hemingways was nice too and right on property in a romantic setting. If youre looking for world class diving, beautiful beaches, relaxation, romance, and comfort....the Sands is perfect! If youre looking for a party atmosphere with night life and noise, this is not the place for you.
Caicos Adventures and Turtle divers were both great for a dive excursion. Friendly knowlegeable folks on both boats, and not crowded.
I hope you'll chose the Sands and love it as much as we did. I just got home today, and am booking for November with my kids!!!!
The Sands was Practically Perfect, but BEWARE of upcoming CONSTRUCTION
I recently returned from a 5-day stay at the Sands with my 7-year-old and wanted to let people know that it was wonderful and highly recommended. We both had a great time. Future vacationers should bveware, however, that the Sands (and a lot of other properties in Provo) is pre-selling an even-more upscale condominium complex right next door and construction is slated to begin sometime in the near future. Our studio suite was spacious and immaculately clean (loved the washer/dryer), the grounds were perfectly landscaped, restaurant on premises was excellent (we ate 3 meals/day there and never got bored or had a bad meal), staff was attentive and very cordial and prices were fair. The clientele was a mix of families and couples and was upscale, but not obnoxious or showy. The children were uniformly well-behaved and were with parents who actually wanted to spend time with their kids (otherwise, go to Beaches where they will entertain your kids for you). The beach and water are flawless. I suspect that some of the perfection we happily encountered might have been due to management's desire to make everything shine in an effort to boost the sales next door (which right now is a vacant lot). We opted for the garden-view studio (not courtyard) and actually got a 2nd floor studio that I considered to be "oceanview" rather than "gardenview." Contrary to other reports I read on TripAdvisor, we encountered NO bugs, NO paint chipping in the pools, NO potential mugging, etc. We felt perfectly safe. Beaches were beautiful, but despite the offer of free snorkel gear (we brought our own), there is NO snorkeling to be had from the hotel beach. Since I am an avid snorkeler and wanted to expose my son to it, I had e-mailed this question to the hotel prior to booking, but got no response (but to be fair, the other 2 hotels I asked did not answer either). We had to walk literally 30 minutes along the beach to the very wonderful Coral Gardens just past Beaches (where my son and I both agreed that we would NOT want to stay). The second time we tried snorkeling, I opted for a cab-ride there (cost $8 for both of us), so that we could snorkel fresh and then have only a single 30-minute walk back to the Sands. We were at the Sands during Spring holidays and the hotel was booked to capacity. There was a definite shortage of beach umbrellas, which made for a bit of hustling in order to get some shade. There was a day when all umbrellas were taken by 7 am. That's not exactly my idea of a vacation and this shortage made the Sands less than perfect. Since I was travelling as a single parent (and a woman), I made an effort to tip well and often. Let me be clear that NO ONE ever had their hand out or expected a tip. But, I did find that the extra dollars went a long way to insuring our comfort. For example, I left $5 each day for the housekeeping staff and let them know on the first day. Our room was cleaned immediately after we went to breakfast every day. Similarly, a daily tip to the beach staff helped to insure that we got one of the coveted umbrellas. Dinner reservations were another issue. Despite making reservations each day, there was typically a 20-30 minute wait for our table. Again, a minor difficulty and waiting beside the pool with a drink was not exactly a problem, but it was slightly inconvenienct in the company of a child. We took 2 of the excursions from the Tour Desk by the pool--the bottom firshing trip (very expensive at $300 for 2 of us), but it was priceless to see my son catch his first dinner. Hemingway's (the hotel restaurant) cooked up the catch that night at a modest charge. The other trip we took was the Conch dive trip--2 snorkel stops and a visit to a secluded beach for some shelling and conch salad. This at $100 for the 2 of us was more reasonable. Both were excellent 1/2 day excursions. For younger children, I'd recommend the Iguana Island trip (which we did not take). They substitute reptiles for 1 of the off-boat snorkeling stops. In general, Turks and Caicos was wonderful and the Sands was terrific. This was one of the very nicest and easiest beach experiences and I would look to go back again (and I've been to Cayman, St. Lucia, Nevis, BVI, USVI, Jamaica, Hawaii, Bermuda, South Pacific and Bermuda--so I'm fairly well-traveled as far as beaches go). But, an important word to the wise...There is a tremendous amount of CONSTRUCTION going on in Turks and Caicos right now. Before booking ANY hotel, I would check whether there is construction to the left of you, construction to the right of you.. If not now, when is it scheduled to start. If not, you could easily end up with a bulldozeer in your head at 6 am and dust everytwhere. This was NOT our experience on this trip, but I would be very CAREFUL when booking the next one.
Beautiful Grace Bay Beach
These are samples of some of the beautiful scenery.
Link here to more of my Grace Bay beach photos
Grace Bay beach,Providenciales Is.-the TRUE beach
"Techno colour water in front of The Palms hotel"
"No time is the time to be bored there"
"The Palms hotels"
Grace Bay Beach
Clear waters of Grace Bay
Grace Bay Beach
Looking for a reasonable condo on Grace bay
Going to Turks and Caicos in the last week of April. Does anyone know of a reasonable condo for rent on Grace Bay? 5 days -April 29 to May 4th.
Re: Looking for a reasonable condo on Grace bay
Have you tried VRBO.com and homeaway.com There are several properties listed on both sides on Grace Bay. I am actually going on April 10 for a week and staying in a house that is part of the Windsong resort. Prices drop after April 10.