Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Turks & Caicos Travel Guide: Hotels & Resorts

A Caribbean vacation is all about rest, relaxation and fun in the sun but luxury and comfort are crucial factors that can heighten your satisfaction and enhance your experience. I’ve never been the “backpacker” type, capable of slumming-it in mediocre hotels, eating bland food and sleeping in rooms that don’t cater to coziness. I like my accommodations like I do my fashion - high quality and trendy with a touch of glam. After all the planning, preparation and exhausting airport lines, most travelers expect to get the best service money can buy which is why I decided to jet-off to beautiful Providenciales Turks & Cacios to explore a few fabulous resorts.

If you’re looking for a breathtaking destination that offers sparking beaches, a laid back island vibe and great international cuisine then look no further! Providenciales is the perfect place to kick back, unwind and let the stress just melt away. I’ve visited many Caribbean islands but this trip was one of the most rejuvenating experiences I’ve had during my world travels and the memories will last a lifetime.

My first stop was the impressive Alexandra, a deluxe 4 star resort located on Grace Bay - home to some of the best beaches in the world! At the airport I was greeted with a waiting shuttle that promptly whisked me off to paradise and upon arrival the hospitality team welcomed me with a sweet rum punch - definitely a favorite among the guests.

The well manicured grounds are lush with fragrant tropical flowers, swaying palm trees and great lounge areas where you can soak up the incredible atmosphere. As I made my way to the suite, I took in the large pool with swim-up bar, pristine beachfront, tennis court, exercise room and fabulous restaurant - all the amenities you need for a great vacation.

We stayed in a spacious one bedroom deluxe ocean view suite featuring a full kitchen and open concept living-dining area that flowed right out onto the large balcony - also equipped with a dining table and comfortable lounge chairs. There was a half bathroom/powder room, books, games and lots of storage space.

The bedroom was expansive, airy and modern with an incredible view of the striking blue water and a large en suite bathroom with two sinks, shower and separate tub. I liked the stainless steel appliances, plush Egyptian cotton sheets, rich wood furnishing, and playful touches of Caribbean art tastefully placed throughout the suite. This magnificent seaside escape was designed to feel like your home away from home which is ideal for a long, restful stay accommodating both couples and families.

Admittedly I spent most of my time on the balcony enjoying the warm, salty breeze wafting off the ocean and watching the activity on the beach as guests indulged in exciting water sports like parasailing. The suite was styled for function and comfort but it still retains elements of lavishness and elegance that went above and beyond my expectations.

*The Alexandra is not an all-inclusive resort. The deluxe one bedroom ocean view suite featured starts at $675.00+tax per night (rates vary by room type and season) click HERE to visit the website.

For honeymooners and couples looking for romance, the Alexandra is the place to be and dinner at Asu is not to be missed! This trendy restaurant features an inviting lantern lit walkway leading to intimate tables near the beach and you can dine as the sun sets over the ocean, casting the sky in vivid color. 

As my husband and I reveled in the peace and tranquility of the crashing waves, our taste buds were delighted by the culinary creations of Chef Alexander Powell. I ordered the fresh kale salad and spicy jerk chicken with pineapple coleslaw. The meal was delectable and full of exotic flavor, so unlike the uninspired buffets offered at other resorts and hotel chains I’ve visited.

The next day was hot and humid with clear blue skies - perfect weather for a cruise! Caicos Dream Tours offers excursions that leave right from the beach and if you can drag yourself away from the comfort of your suite, I highly recommend this trip!

We started with an exhilarating snorkeling expedition (equipment included) to explore a fascinating underwater world teeming with coral reefs and colorful creatures. I’ve always wanted to see dolphins in their natural habitat and on this tour it finally happened! Jojo (as the locals call him) swam right up to our boat and I managed to snap a photo.

Our upbeat tour guides also gave us a firsthand look at how divers collect conch (a popular shellfish) from the ocean floor and extract it from its beautiful pink shell to make fresh seafood salad. We spent the rest of the day on a magnificent white sandy beach that emanated 50 shades of Caribbean blue.

The boat had an open bar stocked with local beer, water, soft drinks, the island’s famous rum punch, sandwiches and snacks (all included in the price). If you’re looking for a party cruise with dancing on deck and great music then you’ll love this tour! Tickets for the half day excursion are $89.00+ tax for adults and $44.50 for children under 10. You can visit the website by clicking HERE.

After reluctantly checking out of the Alexandra, I took the free shuttle that runs between the sister properties to Beach House, a boutique style hotel that consists of just 21 luxury suites overlooking the white dunes, swaying sea grass and azure water. 

The atmosphere at Beach House is completely different than that of the Alexandra. This property is secluded by a rich, vibrant garden and because there aren’t many guests, the aura is more intimate and very romantic! Although the hotel can accommodate families and groups, it is also ideal for couples seeking a quiet, blissful retreat where you can leave the hustle and bustle behind and indulge in complete serenity.

My suite at the Alexandra was styled with extravagant mahogany wood and intricate details but the decor at Beach House reflects simplistic tranquility, reminiscent of upscale island living. The color palette is light and soothing, incorporating pastels, white cabinetry, light sea foam green, subtle blues and bright orange accents.

I enjoyed the large balcony overlooking the peaceful beach and there was even a sun bed with fluffy pillows which turned out to be the perfect spot for an afternoon nap!

Instead of room numbers, Beach House uses unique names. Our suite was called Dazzled and each room is assigned a set of umbrella shaded beach chairs so guests don’t have to wake up early to claim a prime spot!

The hotel may be small but it doesn’t lack any of the important amenities you’d expect. There is a nice pool, spa services, water sports, gym, great outdoor patio space and nearby diving/snorkeling. On my evening stroll I spotted schools of fish and even a few stingrays!

Like Asu restaurant at the Alexandra, Kitchen 218 at Beach House has outdoor seating and offers a great view of the pool. Because the space is open to the elements (rain, shine or humidity), an indoor, air conditioned option would be a nice addition. At night the site comes alive with great music and mood lighting to create a unique, fine dining experience. Executive Chef Cristian Rebolledo showcases his culinary skills with an eclectic, mouthwatering menu and he even customized my order to create a delectable dish that wasn’t listed!

The grilled chicken was tender and juicy with just the right amount of seasoning and the wine list is impressive! Guests are also given a $20 breakfast credit and I highly recommend the Mexican style fried egg on crispy tortilla topped with cheese, sour cream, fresh avocado and spicy salsa! At 3 pm we were treated to complimentary tea time also consisting of coffee and an assortment of pastries.

Whether you crave a gourmet picnic on the beach or dinner in the seclusion of your suite, this exquisite hotel does its best to cater to your every desire in a hospitable, friendly manner. They even offer a nightly turn down service and leave cute souvenirs and treats in your room!

After experiencing the luxuriousness of Beach House I can see why many couples choose to tie the knot here and indulge in the wedding services. Upon checkout I felt content, rejuvenated and totally refreshed.

*Beach House is not an all-inclusive resort. Suite price starts at aprox $562.00+tax per night, prices may vary by season and room category, click HERE to visit the website.

I ended my trip on a high note as my final destination was as remarkable as the first two. Blue Haven Resort, is one of the newest and most secluded properties on the island! From across the ocean the multicolored building resembles a shimmering seaside palace surrounded by a marina, private beach and an uninhabited bay.

I was promptly greeted in the beautiful lobby with a complimentary drink and cool towel service. My room was also stocked with local treats and Blue Haven’s signature bottled water.

Like the other two resorts, Blue Haven offers a selection of equipment including bicycles, kayaks and paddle boards plus it is located just minutes away from world class diving. There is even a market onsite with a cafe should you wish to grab a quick snack, drink or souvenirs.

Elevate Spa is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon after a day of fun. The small but cozy facility offers numerous services including manicures, body scrubs, wraps, facials and massages so you can return home looking even better than when you left.

Although the colorful facade reflects a sunny Caribbean vibe, the beautiful suites are modern, sophisticated and well styled with sleek gourmet appliances, dark cabinetry, granite counter tops, and nautical furnishing to match the marina motif.

The bedroom was truly decadent with a bed so plush and supportive I wanted to take it home with me! Fluffy robes hung in the large walk-in closet and the en suite bathroom was equipped with H2O+ toiletries, a popular skincare brand I’ve worked with in the past.

Fire and Ice was one of my favorite restaurants in terms of design. The open concept, subtle hues and billowing white drapery created a fabulous atmosphere for Caribbean dining. Executive Chef Laurent Ajas uses a plethora of fresh seafood and tantalizing flavors to create a great selection of indulgent dishes.

If you’re in the mood for something more casual, Salt Bar & Grill serves burgers, wings and a variety of delicious comfort food. If you pop in for lunch don’t forget to try the spicy jerk chicken burger with thick cut fries and an ice cold beer.

I spent most of my time enjoying the private beach, relaxing in a hammock or lounging by the fabulous infinity pool. If you want to get in some cardio, head to the gym or try the water trampoline (the only one on the island). The comfortable outdoor seating overlooking the marina promotes social interaction and great conversation around a cozy fire. 

No matter what you decide to do at Blue Haven, the friendly staff are helpful and courteous.

*Blue Haven is not an all-inclusive resort. The one bedroom Ocean View Suite featured starts at $590.00+tax per night. Prices vary by season and room category, click HERE to visit the website.

The most outstanding features of all three properties was their functionality, cleanliness, comfort and the staff’s tireless effort to ensure that our stay was enjoyable. Whether you seek extravagance, relaxation, romance or thrilling activities, these resorts provide it all with unique suite designs to satisfy and pamper every guest.

*Disclaimer: all three resorts featured in this review are owned by the same company. Accommodations and other services were complimentary. All opinions are my own and based on personal experience.


  1. Good job Erica. Looks like you guys had a great time.

  2. The views are breathtaking! I just love beach holidays ;-)


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