More about The Somerset on Grace Bay
Great property, service needs improvement.
We just got back from a 6 night stay in a 1 bedroom English Cottage at The Somerset. I found that some of the extras that comparable properties in Provo that we stayed at are lacking here. Such as, no welcome drink.....every other resort we've stayed at in Provo gives welcome drinks, usually rum punch, and we were looking forward to it at check in. Not a huge deal, but something to note. Service here is spotty. Some of the staff were fantastic and others were surly. The property and units were gorgeous. One thing I thought was funny, the loft in the cottages is all but useless in my opinion. There is no bed in the loft (or sofa), and no way to get a bed up there. It's basically a sitting area with tv. Might be benficial to a family squeezing in with older kids who might want to be by themselves for awhile, but I can't imagine why you would use it for anything else. It's a 1 bedroom as it is, so not that many people can stay in the unit. When we wanted to watch tv or a movie we did so in the cool and comfortable living room. Don't know why you would want to trek up the super narrow spiral staircase to do that. Everything is new and clean, and the appliances and kitchen utensils are top notch (Viking, KitchenAid, etc.). We had every possible utensil you could think of (even a garlic press!), but no can opener! And it took us over 24 hours and repeated calls to get one delivered to us. We would ask housekeeping to come after or before our dd's nap time and they would invariably come at exactly the time we told them not to come, repeatedly! Another oddity: the guest bathroom, which is the only one with a tub, had no mirror. Didn't notice this at first, but odd.
Pools: There are two pools at this property, a wade-in lower infinity pool and an upper heated lap pool with current. The upper pool was dirty the entire time we were there.
Overall our experience was on par with other luxury resorts we've stayed at in Provo (Point Grace, Coral Gardens, etc.). If they could improve their service I would have been happier. For the deal we got though (6th night free), it was a good value.
needs some new vision
Let me start by saying that this resort is one of the best I have ever stayed. If your are looking for a place to recharge your batteries, this is the only place that should be on your list. Whoever built this place certainly went the extra mile to construct a model that many will try to recreate around the world. I would have to say that our suite was one of the best I have ever stayed and I have travel around the world. But, the management has seemed to taken its beauty for granted and has not separated its hospitality from its competition. Upon your arrival it would be a very simple hit to supply a welcome cocktail or island treat. When we arrived to the resort we were offered a warm bottle water (with smile) and a very brief tour. A simple rum punch or island flower would have set the tone of the trip. I also would have thought at some point someone from the management team would have stopped by our room or sent a note inquiring about our stay. We did not hear from anyone until it was time to pay the bill (maybe that’s a good thing, but for the price of admission they might want to do some leg work to make sure all is well. I was also puzzled about the very limited complementary morning continental breakfast. I have stayed at nearby hotels that offered a full course hot breakfast at no added cost. I just got the feeling of getting picked on by asking for the
“ $8 scrambled egg.” The food and service is great, but I don’t think they would go broke at the price of most rooms to offer one hot meal on the house. Lastly, both the hotel and pool bar restaurants close very early. The restaurant is also very tucked away behind some over grown bushes and if someone didn’t tell you its location you might think it was storage venue with chairs. They really need to open this up and make it apart of the resort. Bottom line, this is a great place- but it just needs a little TLC to place it above its competition. Someone needs to shake thing up!
we found paradise!
We got back one month ago today from our first trip to Somerset at Grace Bay - it is the first of hopefully many, many more. We are still on a high from it. All I can say is that there truly is a paradise and this is the place. We have been married for 28 years, have had many wonderful vacations in the US as well as Europe, but my husband and I both agreed that this was everything we dreamed it would be. I read all the reviews before we went and was concerned, but kept an open mind. The flight arrived early, our shuttle was waiting for us - the driver was very friendly. The one negative was something I had read about but did not fully understand until it happened to us. When we arrived, I asked them to show me the Stirling House which I thought we had booked. It clearly states on their website "24 ocean view suites" and a picture of the pool and ocean. However, I was told I have a luxury room. What it is is a room in the corner of the building, facing the street and parking lot, no balcony, double bed that just fit in the room and a bathroom - kind of like a hole in this huge building. It is actually a "lock down room" that adjorns with another "lock down room" and it is merely one of the bedrooms in the suite I thought I had! Obviously I was very upset as I felt I was very much mislead by their website - I specifically asked my travel agent to be sure that I had the room with a balcony and view of pool and ocean and she was sure I did -also mislead. I asked for this to be corrected, remembering what I had read about a room on the parking lot whose walls were so paper thin you could hear the people in the next room as if they were in the room with you. They agreed with me that you could hear people in the next room. I was told I could have the suite for an additional $1000 for the four nights. They had to be kidding. I had them bring up the website so I could show them how misleading it is. After showing them how to navagate through their own website, they agreed it was misleading. I told them if they do not make good on this my vacation was ruined, I would write a review stating so. Also, my travel agent was solicited by the Somerset and she had couples wating to book a reservation based on my review since I was the first she sent there. Being a new hotel, I would expect them to accomodate me - by the way, they were only 50% booked. Finally, Natalie got involved, and we were offered an English cottage suite for an additional $400 total - all I can say it was well worth it even without the view. However, I do think it is a way for them to rope you into spending more money. Once this situation was settled, all was well in paradise. The suite, which felt more like a home, was absolutely beautiful, clean, quiet - just perfection. Most of the staff was friendly and anything we asked for came quickly when needed. The food was good - especially poolside. I agree closing at 6 is way too early. We ate at O'Soleil,, food was good, service poor. Parallel 23 at the Palms next door was the best - can' t wait to go back and Anacoana at Grace Bay Club was good. If you are looking for a place to relax, peace and quiet, beautiful surroundings, the most beautiful beach in the world, this is the place to go. I never believed there could be a paradise, until I found one. And beware of these reviews which I think are very misleading also - what makes some people happy and some people angry is quite personal (like underwater music not being on - who cares!) Yes, there are a few things this new hotel needs to bring up to par (like knowing when a room is occupied and not walking in on you to show the room to other guests!). I still give it an excellent rating and highly recommend it!
Best resort on the island
Stayed at the Somerset for 6 nights. Started in a "luxury room," which is a teeny-tiny little studio, and midway thru our stay upgraded to an utterly fantastic suite with a full kitchen.
We criss-crossed Provo a bunch, and didn't see any resort anywhere near as nice as the Somerset. The Palms (next door) is a close 2nd, but most others pale in comparison. Everything at the Somerset is first-rate from the 18x18 travertine tile floor in the rooms to the infinity pool to the furniture & fixtures.
The poolside restaurant (where they serve lunch and the complimentary continental breakfast) is good, if a tad expensive. The dinner restaurant (O'Soleil) is nice, but not worth the money. Most food on the island is very expensive, but you can do better price-wise and get the same quality.
We were there during low season, so I'm not sure if this applies year-round: but one of the BEST things is the lack of little kids running around, like we observed at other resorts, especially "Beaches." We came for peace & quiet and spent the extra bucks for a NICE place without little kids or loud 20-somethings, and mission accomplished!
If you're looking for the best, and are willing to spend a little extra -- the Somerset is for you.
My husband and I were at the Somerset from May 28th through June 2nd for our honeymoon. We took an early flight so that we could be there in the afternoon and still have time to enjoy the day and it was well worth the early wake up time. The transfer from the airport to the hotel was very smooth, there was no waiting at the airport for the resort’s van and we were the only ones on it. When we arrived at the resort, our room was not ready so one of the staff gave us a tour of the grounds, which was really not a great tour, he mostly just pointed at a few things but didn’t explain some of the key points (i.e. where the continental breakfast would be served). We stayed in one of the 1-bedroom suites with the garden view. I have absolutely no complaints about the accommodations. The suite was beautiful, clean, and luxurious. All of the furniture was very comfortable. The couch in the living room folds out to a queen size bed and there are two chairs upstairs in the loft that fold out into two twin beds. There were large flat screen TVs in the living room, the bedroom, and the loft. The cable service was briefly out (1/2 a day) but it worked fine the rest of the trip. The bed was really soft. There was a large walk-in closet in the bedroom. The two bathrooms were nice, one had a jacuzzi tub, which was spacious, and the other had a large shower. The kitchen had every appliance we needed; our kitchen was not lacking any utensils (i.e. can opener) as has been described in other reviews. There was a microwave, toaster oven, blender, mixmaster, and food processor. There was also a small washer and dryer with complimentary detergent for 1 load, so if you would like to do all your laundry before you leave, bring more detergent. There was also a really nice grill right outside the door to our suite which we used one night to grill hamburgers. The first day we were there we went to the supermarket in town to buy groceries. We got a cab to take us and he gave us his phone number to call him from the grocery store when we were ready. There aren’t cabs just waiting to pick up tourists, you have to call for the cab driver to come back. As described in other reviews, the prices were insane, especially any kind of fresh fruit or vegetables. Other things (meat, bread, Cokes) were still higher than we can buy them for here, but not as outrageously expensive as the produce. The continental breakfast left much to be desired so buy breakfast stuff at the store. We only went to the breakfast once and the milk that I put in my cereal was spoiled and so I never wanted to go back. We did eat a couple of times at the pool restaurant and we enjoyed the food and the service was fairly good. Don’t expect the waiters to come ask for drink orders as your sitting out by the pool, they’ll bring it to you once you walk up to the pool bar and order but there’s not someone walking around to take your order. The pool was really nice and never really very crowded, always very clean. We snorkeled out in front of the Somerset one day…there’s not much to see, there is no vegetation in the water directly in front of the Somerset so there are literally no fish out there. We swam around and snorkeled for about 45 minutes and we saw a ray swim past us, which was really neat, but that’s the only fish that we saw. We did walk down to Coral Gardens one day and snorkeled, which was incredible and I highly recommend it. It’s quite a long walk, took us about 15-20 minutes but it was worth it. There are buoys set up and you’re supposed to only stay outside of the buoys. The water is shallow so it’s really easy to snorkel there, it was husband’s first time snorkeling and he had no problems. The fish and the coral there are absolutely beautiful, really spectacular; it’s such an easy, rewarding excursion to take from the resort. Another day we went on the half-day snorkeling & conch cruise with Caicos Dream Tours. That was a lot of fun; they are based right next door to the Somerset, at the Palms I think, so it was just a quick walk to go there one morning. Don’t expect to schedule to go whenever you want, they will only go out if they have enough people signed up. So, our boat captain and first mate took us out to this one reef where we snorkeled for about 30-45 minutes, my husband and I both agreed that we saw better fish at Coral Gardens. Then we rode out to where some of the other islands are and went diving for conch, which was fun. After that we rode over to a small, uninhabited island and we were able to get out and explore for about an hour while our boat captain prepared our fresh conch salad, which was really good! We hung out on the island for a little while longer and then went back. Don’t expect a lot of snorkeling on this tour, because it really was very minimal, but I would still recommend it for the unique experience of diving for conch and exploring that island. Our tour guides were very entertaining as well. Another day we rented a car and drove over to Da Conch Shack, which we highly recommend, the food was great, the service wonderful (friendlier than any other restaurant on the island), and the view was incomparable. We then drove over to Smith’s Reef, which was a little difficult for us to find, which might explain why we were the only ones there. We really did not enjoy this reef, we had a hard time finding a good spot to swim because there was so much seaweed, plus we were a little uncomfortable being out there by ourselves because the water was so choppy and we were literally all alone on the beach. We finally found a nice spot to snorkel there, and then I saw a shark and that was the end of that. It probably was not that big, but it does not matter how big it is when it is swimming straight towards you. As far as restaurants, as I mentioned earlier, we highly recommend Da Conch Shack, sure, there’s a drive to get there, but we really enjoyed it and it was fun to get out and see the rest of the island. I do not recommend Shark Bite, the food was average, not worth the cab fare to get there. We went partly for the prospect of seeing sharks feeding, which we had read was a possibility. I don’t see how anyone could have ever seen sharks feeding there. We saw 1 small fish and that was it, the restaurant is on the marina with all the boat docks around, I don’t think there would ever be sharks venturing into that area. We also went to the restaurant at the Palms. I really did not like the dish that I ordered and ate only about two bites. When the waiter came by and took away our plates and asked how the dinner was, I told him that I did not like mine and I got absolutely no response. No offer to get me another dish, no apology for my displeasure. We did enjoy our dinner from the restaurant at the Somerset, my husband signed up for the package where we get dinner on the beach and the resort’s restaurant menu is what is served. FYI, the cost of the meal is not included in this package, it is in addition to the package. The package also included a couples’ massage in our rooms, which all in all was fine, but a little disorganized for what we paid. It took my husband several phone calls to the front desk to get it set up. They first had no idea what he was talking about and didn’t know what type of massage was included in the package. The massage is actually done by a company on the island that is basically a traveling spa that goes to the different resorts. The massage was nice, but the masseuses were not all that friendly. We had to give them our towels to use and move the furniture around in the living room ourselves to set up their massage tables. Then the woman who was doing my massage decided that our room was too stuffy for her and she turned the overhead fan on. Nevermind, that I was naked except for a towel with massage oil on me. She didn’t even ask if it was okay, she just stated that she was turning the fan on because she was hot. I endured it as long as I could and finally asked her to turn it off because I was cold. She sighed like she was very annoyed by my request. The actual massage was great, but the service and attitude was really not. I would not recommend them. Overall, the service on the island is a little lacking. Don’t expect the type of service that you get in Mexico, where the resort employees are very eager to serve. It’s not necessarily bad service at the Somerset, but you feel like you are bothering the employees when you have to ask for something. The women that cleaned the room were sort of hit-and-miss, some were so friendly and sweet. One even left a thank you note when we left a larger than typical tip one day. Others would roll their eyes when they came to clean our room and we asked if they could come back at another time. Of note, there is a computer in the lobby available for guest use. It had a surprisingly fast internet connection and was rarely occupied by another guest. We did have some minor complaints, but for the most part the resort was wonderful. Our room was better than we could have hoped for and we enjoyed all the excursions we went on. We would go back!
Simply Fabulous Time at The Somerset!
Stayed in the English Cottage unit at the Somerset in July of 2007. We booked a "luxury room" but were very unhappy with this so we upgraded. The luxury room is very small with a full size bed. Once we got into the fabulous English Cottage unit everything went flawlessly.... breakfast was great, chairs on the beach were comfy, and the concierge set up some great trips for us. Deep Blue was so fantastic with the scuba diving...we went back to them and went kayaking through the mangroves. Overall, very happy with everything after we moved...however this was our first trip to the carribean and don't really have anything to compare it to. ...One more thing: we decided we were very lucky to have booked a place that was VERY quiet as there is a lot of construction going on and the somerset seems to be far from most of it!
Indulge in Paradise!
My husband and I, and another couple, just returned from a marvelous 3-day stay at the elegant resort called The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos. We stayed at a lovely 3-story townhouse they call an "English cottage". We stayed in cottage #5 which was brand new and furnished in a clean, elegant, contemporary style. It is perfect for 2 couples or a family with children (there were two rooms - one with a king bed and one with 2 twins that convert to a king bed). There was also a pull out sofa in the living room. The unit was very large, 2700 square feet, and had a balcony and an outdoor patio. The entrance level had the patio, the living room - complete with a flat panel TV, video and DVD capabilities, and a card table seating area. The next level had the dining room, powder room and kitchen (complete with Viking appliances and was fully equipped - with even a wine refrigerator and trash compactor). The top level had the 2 bedrooms, spacious bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs and a balcony. The basement has a garage, washer and dryer. The property also has a state of the art gym, pool bar and grill, and a gorgeous on-site restaurant. They also have reciprocal privileges with the Palms Spa directly next door - which was heavenly!
A one minute walk through the very well maintained garden and croquet lawn will take you to the most breathtaking sight, an endless pool who's horizon meets the bright turquoise water of the Caribbean Ocean. The floury white sand and the spectacular color of the silky water will wile your senses instantaneously. We sailed along the coast line on Hobe cats which were offered to the guests at The Somerset. They also had kayaks, wind surfers and snorkeling equipment available. The breeze was perfect (there is always trade winds - which also keeps the temperature nice in the summer months), and allowed us to take a look at the shore by boat.
I would highly recommend this wonderful place, which is just a 3 hour direct flight from JFK. It is the perfect get-away for people who want to indulge in paradise for a while.
I feel I needed to post this review since I relied on so many trip advisors reviews when I booked this trip. First of all I must say I am not sure how anyone could say a negative thing about the Somerset. From the second we walked off the plane the Somerset rose about the crowd. They had a nice wood engraved welcome sign while other stood there with pieces of paper. I really do not understand how someone could find a bad thing to say about this place, its all around incredible.
The hotel staff was amazing. Extremely friendly and helpful. They will help you book restaurants, taxis, excursions, etc. They guided us in picking some great excursions. Parasailing with Capt. Marvin was a blast, they will pick you up on the beach in their boat. Very convenient. We did a snorkel BBQ trip with Silver Deep and Capt. Pringle was hilarious. They will also come pick you up at the hotel in this funny little blue bus. If it’s during lobster season than this is a must. They dive down and catch your "lunch" bring you to a remote island and whip up a delicious meal. You also get to hit up about 3 or 4 snorkel places, unlimited Rum Punch, and lobster on a beautiful island, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Now onto the Somerset....
We walked up and down Grace Bay and we have to say the Somerset was the Best around. Even the patch of beach it’s on its great. Not crowded, awesome water! The Palms Hotel is nice however they are very stuffy, and uptight over there. We found the Somerset had the same high end/ luxury feel however it was more laid back and relaxed. Just want you want on a perfect vacation. Everything was first class at the Somerset. The breakfast was great, perfect amount, quick and convenient. The Pool Bar is also another great spot to get something to eat. Yes I heard people complain how they close early however everything on the island closes early. Most restaurants shut down at 10. However that didn’t bother us since we were wiped out from lying in the sun all day! :) If you go to the pool bar try the conch fritters. They were the best ones we had on the island! Also the fish and chips were very yummy! The pool bar is a hidden gem at the Somerset. The Beach is the main draw. I wasn’t sure how people could sit at the pool when the beach was so beautiful; however, the pool area is extremely nice too! There are hobie cats, kayaks, wind surfing, snorkels, etc all free for your use. The staff is extremely helpful if you would like them to give you a lesson or even ride out with you on a hobie cat before you go solo. If you feel like walking 15 mins or so, head down past Beaches and stop and snorkel right before you get to Coral Gardens. Coral Gardens is a place where you can just swim out a few feet and snorkel however we found a place right before there that is even better. Look for the White Villa and you know you found it.
A few places that you can walk to on the beach for lunch or dinner are Bay Bistro (right next door), and Hemmingway’s (The Sands). This was a great spot for dinner or to just eat outside. Nice view of the beach and sunset.
The island itself is laid back (on island time) and as long as you can unwind, and go with the flow things will be find. Just enjoy the beach, water, and sunsets. On a side note we tried to catch the sunset every night (happened around7:15pm) bring some drinks out to the beach and just enjoy it. They are really amazing! That is what the island is all about.
If you want an action packed trip, then I would say this Island is not for you. Its very much a water based island with most of the activity happening on the water or beaches. Not much town life. You can walk to a few shops if you cut through The Sands Hotel, and go to the left. There is the SaltMills Center and more restaurants and shops if you continue down the road. Not a bad walk, just bring water b/c its hot!
I cannot say enough good things about the Somerset. We went there expecting a good time however when we left we had the best trip ever. We are actually depressed to be back home! Overall it was amazing and you will not be disappointed.
I will try and post pictures soon!
Beautiful additon to a beautiful island!!!!
We stayed at the Somerset for my friend's 40th birthday. This was my husband and my 7th time to Turks and we wanted to bring our friends (their first) to share this beautiful island with us. This was our first time with Somerset and I have to say that the room was absolutely beautiful. We stayed in the Dundee 2 room. It is a three bedroom ocean front room. We had reseved a 2 bedroom b ut they left the third bedroom open for us. The room was unbelievable. Furnishing and the terrace were great. We had a hot tub on the terrace and a spectacular view.
We ate breakfast at the resort each morning. I think they should offer hot food (as the Palms does) for the cost of the room! The food, otherwise, was good. We never ate at the O'Soleil. There were so many other restaurants that we knew we loved and we were only there for 3 nights I didn't want to take the chance and eat there and not like it.
The front desk was helpful. The women sent me 8 aspirins when I called her and told her I had run out of my supply. She was great. Housekeeping was another issue. The room was clean but we broke the corkscrew on the first day we were there and I called them 3 times for a new one. Never got one, We went to the bar and had them open out bottles for us.
I am not going into too much detail because I am tired of writing already but I wanted to give kudos to the great new addition to my favorite island. If you have any questions, let me know.
I had an amazing time at The Somerset!! I got engaged there. I don't know how anyone could write a bad review. Our ocean view suite was the best that I've ever stayed in. Room service was great and came by at least twice a day. If you're looking for ultimate relaxation in paradise, this place is it. The food there is a little pricy but really good. We went to the market to buy food so I cooked a lot. Yes, I cooked on vacation and loved it. The kitchen was top of the line, I had to. Room service just came to clean up and put every thing away!!! Everyone that worked there was really nice and helpful. I think that there was only 20% occupancy, if that. So it's really quite around there. I went during the week of 8/19/07 and the weather was decent considering there was a hurricane nearby.
Turks Head Lager
Liz taking a dip in the Trevi pool
Liz taking a dip