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Trip Report Amazing week AT Seven Stars ON Grace Bay IN Turks & Caicos!

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Trip: August 9-16, 2010

Resort:

Blamona, wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for your fantastic advice! We LOVED T&C and after snorkeling at Coral Gardens and dining at RWI, I was even more appreciative of your gentle guidance re: accommodations. Seven Stars is amazing as is their reservations (Ingrit particularly) and wait staff (Lila). The shuttle was a huge convenience that I didn’t see offered anywhere else. Due to low occupancy while we were there, we were upgraded to Oceanfront from Oceanview and our view was simply addictive. 6th floor which offers a better vantage point than most other resorts we saw.

I loved the complimentary kayaks at the Seven Stars. Clear bottom and able to watch sting-rays, starfish, etc. below. They also take great care of their guests who take out the more challenging water-faring vessels.

Monday nights offer a Manager’s Happy Hour with free drinks, appetizers, and visiting with the different administrative folks at the resort. Really fun atmosphere!

Food:

The grocery store was directly across the street, walking distance… the shuttle took awhile to pick us up when we’d stocked up on lunch items, water, beer, wine…. and the manager of the store insisted on driving us back! Talk about unlikely service. ☺ I did follow the advice of many and packed some crackers, etc., but not necessary. The most shocking prices are on alcohol, cheese and meat items.

We dined at Hemmingway's at The Sands Resort twice. Inside for a FANTASTIC late dinner of bbq shrimp/tuna/mahi-mahi kebab's and then a late lunch outside for fish taco's in the sun... felt like two different restaurants except that we had the same waiter... :) I can’t stop thinking about those kebabs!

I was disappointed in Coco Bistro after ordering lobster and having it brought to the table burnt to a black crisp… I waited more than 25-30 minutes for the replacement and my friends meal was long gone before it arrived. However, there is great atmosphere and most people rave about it.

We ate at Mango Reef at RWI and I ordered an appetizer of coconut shrimp (best ever) as I wasn’t starving. My friend ordered grouper I believe and it was fantastic too.
We did get pizza one night from Pizza, Pizza… not great, but if you want delivery, options are very few.

We ate at Bay Bistro our final evening and had the most stellar sunset in front of us! We ordered the conch and mushroom crepes (worth writing home about)… the mahi mahi I ordered was blah, but my friend’s Grouper was very good. We followed it up with drinks at the Infinity Bar at Grace Bay Club… straight alcohol in my lychee martini. lol
We didn’t make it to the Conch Shack (next time)…

Shopping:

Don’t plan to buy souvenirs at Salt Mills on a Sunday as most shops are closed. We managed to find a scuba shop open and bought a couple of shirts, but slim picking. We hadn’t taken the Sabbath into consideration.

Snorkeling/Iguana Island:

Snorkeling at Coral Gardens is nice and I had a number of sting rays glide underneath me… it never did stop unnerving me, but they’re Everywhere! I had no idea. I saw a sea turtle popping it’s head up but couldn’t find him underneath. That’s the day we decided to walk to Hemingway’s from Coral Gardens for lunch and didn’t bargain for how far it was. But it gave us an opportunity to check out other resorts. Beaches is out of control (sold out when Seven Stars was at 19% capacity)… crammed beaches, constant activity, and from the people we met, 30+ minute waits for dinner. Unappealing to me, but apparently appealing to many.

We used Silver Deep for a snorkel trip on the Glass Bottom Boat. Certainly would NOT recommend. If you reserve before you arrive, you save around $10 per person, but still over $80 per person… the glass bottom is trickery… there’s a 4’ x 8’ish covered window on the side. There were so many people crammed onto our boat and children crawling down to sit on the “glass” that my friend who doesn’t swim didn’t get to enjoy it like I’d hoped. Snorkeling was VERY rushed and unorganized. 2nd snorkel stop was only 5 minutes?! They didn’t make all of the stops they’d advertised and there were different benefits for people from different resorts which was very confusing for everyone. The Conch (pronounced “conk”) ceviche fixed by Pringles our captain was tasty though! And I had a huge Barracuda glide by me which was interesting. ☺

Iguana Island isn’t impressive as you stay on a short rickety wooden pathway and there’s no safe entrance/exit from the boat onto the path… Considering there’s nothing else on the island but a worn old shanty, I’d say the $5.00 per person fee isn’t being used as it should be. It’s more of a “say you did it” kind of activity.

Security:

We couldn’t have felt safer at Seven Stars. Their security staff is very visible on the outskirts at all times.

Many of the locals strongly encourage you not to explore too much on your own… especially their downtown. When I mentioned that we were thinking of driving out to Malcolm Beach, one of the very few Police officers on the island told us that people sometimes wait in the bushes to rob visitors. He said that he’ll only go if he has his dogs with him. I’d like to think he was being overly cautious since we were two females.
An employee came over to us at Coral Gardens and recommended that one of us stay with our stuff at all times because people will run in from a walkway there and grab things and run away.

I never saw more than 2 or 3 potcakes total in the 7 days we were there so the problem isn’t particular pronounced on Grace Bay Beach at this time.

Summary:

Grace Bay is entirely romantic and I’d love to get engaged soon to go on a honeymoon there myself. ☺

I’ve never eaten so many delicious meals.

It’s incredibly relaxing and you will never grow tired of the view.

Seven Stars is an amazing resort where they take great pride in their service. You’ll rarely lift a finger. Housecleaning service twice a day, drinks, surprise snacks like fruit kebabs on the beach, manager’s happy hour, upgrades, etc. I also loved their L’Occitane toiletries!

Off-season can be humid off the beach, but the point is being ON the beach, so enjoy the savings! Even if it gets cloudy one day, it's usually just an hour or so and the sun is right back there... it's actually usually a welcome reprieve from the sun.

T&C – Can’t wait to go back! Thanks to everyone who reported on their trips and experience! I guarantee this trip wouldn’t have been as amazing without you!

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