Courtesy of Seven Stars Resort
Courtesy of Seven Stars Resort
Courtesy of Pimalai
Courtesy of Pimalai
Fronting gorgeous Grace Bay Beach, the tallest property on the island also sets a high mark for luxury within its three buildings, a magnificent heated pool, and huge in-room bathrooms. The four-poster beds and elegant furnishings, both inside and on the terraces, add plenty of comfort in the studio through four-bedroom suites that make up this property. Interiors include the warmth of wood on white with a touch of Caribbean flair. Recreational amenities include tennis courts and a water-sports center that provides complimentary kayaks, Hobie Cats, surfboards, and snorkeling equipment. The Deck bar and dining by the beach—with its couches, fire pits, and tiki torches—is the place to be on starlit nights, with its live music and social atmosphere. There's also superb dining at Seven restaurant, and a full-service spa.
Hotel Award Winner | 2013
May 10, 2015
Overview: My spouse and I stayed at the Seven Stars Resort for three nights in late April 2015. We reserved our room through American Express Travel (but not the Fine Hotels & Resorts program), but you can also book online directly with the hotel. The resort, which opened in March 2008, is named after the seven stars of the Pleiades, a constellation in Greek mythology that represents the seven daughters of the god Atlas and goddess Pleione. Grounds,
Public Areas: The grounds of the Seven Stars Resort are beautiful and well-maintained. Beautiful, colorful flowering bougainvillea decorate the property, along with other lush foliage. Brick pathways lead around the resort and connect the common areas to the suites. A lovely expansive pond/fountain area directs guest down to the gorgeous swimming pool and beyond to the stunning beach and ocean. (The only thing missing was some Japanese koi swimming in the ponds.) The resort features tennis courts (you can borrow racquets and balls at the front desk), a fitness center (with approximately two treadmills, two elliptical machines, two bikes, and two universal gyms/weights along with a separate room for stretching and exercises, and two restrooms [however, the restrooms have no showers or lockers]), an on-site spa with several treatment rooms (and which also sells resortwear and spa products), a market (which sells some clothing, reading material, souvenirs, food, and beverages; the cashier counter also doubles as a small coffee bar), and a kids club. The resort seems very secure, with guards manning the main gate as well as a side employee gate. Rooms: The resort features 100 units housed in three buildings (named Alya, Althena, Maia) and arranged among seven floors. (We thought it strange that with the exception of the building named Maia, the other two buildings were NOT named after one of the seven daughters of the gods). Rooms are numbered with four digits: the first digit represents the building number of 1, 2, or 3 (we were in the middle Maia building “2”). The second number indicates the floor (we were on the sixth “6” of seven floors), and the last two digits are the position of the room (we were “05” which was located at the end of the floor). We could not have hoped for a better located room than 2605 (except perhaps 2705, one floor higher); we enjoyed dazzling views of both the pool and the beach. Two elevators in each building lead to the guest rooms; the elevators run so efficiently that we never waited for one, nor did we even share one with other guests during our stay. Units include the following room types: • Gardenview Junior Suite: 620 square feet, including a kitchenette • Oceanfront Junior Suite: 700 square feet, including a kitchenette, SOME units also include a washer/dryer • 1-Bedroom Gardenview Suite: 740 square feet, including a kitchenette, NO washer/dryer, two FULL bathrooms, two TVs • 1-Bedroom OceanVIEW Suite: 1430 square feet, including a full kitchen, living area, separate half-bathroom / powder room, two TVs, full-size washer/dryer, queen-size sleeper sofa • 1-Bedroom OceanFRONT Suite: 1930 square feet, including a full kitchen, living area, separate half-bathroom / powder room, two TVs • 2-Bedroom OceanVIEW Suite: 2050 square feet, including a full kitchen, two full bathrooms plus one half-bathroom / powder room, three TVs, laundry room, two terraces • 2-Bedroom OceanFRONT Premier Suite: 2150 square feet, including a full kitchen, two full bathrooms plus one half-bathroom / powder room, three TVs, laundry area, two terraces • 3-Bedroom OceanVIEW Suite: 2610 square feet, including a full kitchen, 3 full bathrooms plus one half-bathroom / powder room, three TVs, laundry room, two terraces • 3-Bedroom OceanFRONT Premier Suite: 3250 square feet, including a full kitchen, 3 full bathrooms plus one half-bathroom / powder room, three TVs, laundry area, three terraces All kitchenettes / kitchens include a multi-burner ceramic stove, microwave, refrigerator (a mini-fridge in the junior suites, and a full-size appliance in the regular suites), coffee maker and Nespresso machine (with consumable pods that are replenished daily), glassware, crockery, cutlery, and cooking equipment, small appliances (such as toasters and blenders), granite countertops, GE Monogram appliances, and wine refrigerators (in the full kitchens). We did not notice any missing kitchen items – everything was well designed with careful thought, even including a water pitcher, ice bucket, and plastic Tupperware for leftovers! In addition, the cabinets and drawers were scrupulously clean, and the flatware, stainless pots and pans, and glassware were gleamingly spotless (everything looked so well-polished, it made us think that housekeeping works round-the-clock in order to service all the units on a twice-daily basis). The resort offers a grocery pre-stocking service, so that you can arrive to a kitchen and refrigerator full of food and beverages. If your unit includes a washer/dryer, the resort provides detergent. (Our full-size unit contained a full-size side-by-side washer and dryer, but smaller units may contain stackable appliances.) We prefer a really bright environment, and we consider our unit to be well-lit. The finishes (tile floors, tile backsplash, granite countertops, deep farmhouse sink), high ceiling, and wood moldings made the unit feel luxurious. The air-conditioning system worked well to keep our room at a chilly 69 degrees. Remote-control blinds in living room provide great protection from the light and sun. In the master bedroom of the larger units, additional pleated shades protect all of the windows. (The shades in the master bedroom are manual, but the housekeeping service will lower them for you in the evening, then raise them again in the morning.) Our enormous living area contained a sofa and two chairs, coffee table and two end tables, dining table for six, and breakfast bar for three. A large entertainment unit/bookshelf held the TV, DVD player, and various decorative items. The bedroom was a bit cramped as compared to the living/dining/kitchen area; it contained a king-size canopy bed draped with romantic tied-back curtains, two chairs and a small table, a bench at the end of the bed, two nightstands, and a piece of furniture that held the TV. In the hallway leading to the master bathroom was a small writing desk and chair positioned across from the closet. The closet was quite large, with hanging bars as well as storage cubbies, but one of the closet doors opened oddly and blocked entrance to the hallway. The closet contained an electronic safe, umbrella, two bathrobes, two sets of slippers, dry-cleaning bags, extra towels, pillows, and a blanket. Most master bathrooms include a stand-up shower and separate soaking bathtub, toilet and bidet in a separate room, double sink vanity, and hairdryer (tourmaline ionic ceramic 1875 watts with a concentrator nozzle but not a diffuser). The extra-large, glass-doored shower could easily fit two people, and it was crafted from three different types of tile. The shower included a bench and a wall cubby to hold toiletries, as well as a small, high window with a blind that you can close. (Our unit, the 1-bedroom oceanview suite, was positioned adjacent to a small connecting unit with a bedroom, bathroom, and small balcony; the high window in our master bathroom shower overlooked the small balcony of the lockout room.) Toiletries by L’Occitane include shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion, as well as dry goods like a shoe shine mitt, sewing kit, razor, toothbrush, and shower cap. The showerhead was rainforest-like, although not a true rainforest showerhead because it attached to the wall at an angle instead of descending from the ceiling. A “window” with louvered shutters separated the main part of the master bathroom from the bedroom; when open, guests can enjoy ocean views and bright daylight from the bathroom. Vents and good lighting are available in all bathrooms. Most larger units include a second separate half bathroom / powder room with only sink and toilet. Every unit features a balcony, outfitted differently depending on the size of the unit (which corresponds to the size of the balcony). For example, the 1-bedroom oceanview suite includes two reclining lounge chairs, two side tables, and a dining table with four chairs. We could access the balcony from both the living area and the bedroom. Check-in time is 3:00 pm, and check-out time is 12:00 noon. Electronics: Each suite features at least two (or more, depending on the number of bedrooms in the unit) 26-inch flat-screen TVs. The TV in the living area also has a DVD player. In the bedroom, a clock radio with iPod dock was positioned on the nightstand. Guests can borrow DVDs (complimentary) from the library in the business center in the lobby; books are also available for loan. Internet access is complimentary, and the range extends to the pool and beach. For US guests, no adapters are necessary to use electronics; the resort loans European adapters. Beach: The resort offers complimentary beach toys (like buckets and shovels) for children to use. Flotation devices sort of like a mesh chair with water wings are available to use in the ocean, (spongy rafts are available in the pool). A shoe rack to hold your flip-flops is located on the deck area before you descend to the beach. Behind the towel counter and on the deck to the beach, there is a cooler of water (and ice and plastic cups) to which you can help yourself. The beach is wide enough for at least three rows of chairs (with some space in between each row), and the sand is white and soft. One day, a sort of concrete boardwalk was laid between the back two rows of chairs, which made walking on the sand much easier. (This boardwalk was laid on Sunday morning to aid guests in reaching the beach barbecue later that night.) If you are looking for privacy on the beach, use the gate at the end of the property past the West Deck and the massage “hut”, where you can claim one of the two end palapas (nearest the snorkeling pier) for a quiet beach location. Many chairs, umbrellas, and palapas are available – space was always available on the beach, regardless of the time of day. The beach lounge chairs are not as luxurious as those around the pool; the beach chairs are metal with plastic straps, which are then topped with thin foam cushions. There are also a small number of regular “sitting” chairs (not reclining lounge chairs) available if you prefer to sit rather than lie down. The first two rows of chairs included some traditional umbrellas. The back row of chairs were positioned beneath wooden palapas with thatched roofs that included a small attached wooden table where you could place drinks or other necessary items. In addition, small plastic side tables were available to use on the beach; thoughtfully, these were designed with a cupholder indentation at each corner so that your drinks do not blow away. Employees at the towel “hut” will help you find a seat both on the beach and at the pool, and food and beverage service is available in both places. A swimming area is clearly delineated in the ocean. No lifeguard service is provide on the beach or at the pool. Pool: The heated saltwater pool is attractive in shape, size, and tiled sides and bottom. It is a traditional pool (not an infinity pool) yet with an interesting shape. The pool does not have a swim-up bar (which we personally do not find appealing anyway). Public bathrooms for the beach and pool are located below ground and are reached by a set of stairs. (We are not sure how someone with mobility issues would use these public restrooms; however, the rest of the resort is handicap-accessible.) The depth of the pool ranges from 3 feet (near the two sets of wide stairs) to 6 feet. The shallower end of the pool is not as expansive as the deeper end, and children congregate there because it is the only place where they can stand. The resort provides floats / rafts for guests to use in the pool. Some previous guest reviews commented on cool cucumbers for your eyes and offers to clean your sunglasses, but we did not experience either of those niceties during our stay. Many chairs, umbrellas, and sunshades are available – space was always available at the pool, regardless of the time of day. The lounge chairs around the pool are great quality, made of wood and topped with thick foam cushions that the resort then covers with terrycloth covers bearing the hotel insignia. The Jacuzzi / spa / hot tub is located close to the beach under its own cabana (which is easy to miss); the unit is small, and the temperature was too lukewarm for us. West Deck: The West Deck is reserved for adults only and features a raised platform with great ocean views. The lounge chairs around the pool and on the West Deck are luxurious, made of wood and topped with thick foam cushions that the resort then covers with terrycloth covers bearing the hotel insignia. (Some lounge chairs are even double-wide.) Cabanas: The resort offers five cabanas on the West Deck that rent for $150 per day. The cost includes two complimentary cocktails and a 1-liter bottle of Fiji water. We had thought that we would rent a cabana for two of our full days there, but one day the West Deck was closed to guests in preparation for a wedding reception that evening, and the following day, resort staff was still cleaning up from the party the evening before. The deck closure ended up being of no concern – plenty of chairs, umbrellas, and palapas were available on both the beach and at the pool, so we did not suffer from the ability to reserve a more private space. (The resort, however, lost out on $150 x 5 cabanas = $750 x 2 days = $1500, although they probably made much more money than that for the wedding reception.) Towels/Chairs/Umbrellas: The property at Seven Stars offers many chairs, umbrellas, sunshades, cabanas, and palapas, so you will not struggle to find seating even when the resort is full. We arrived at the pool (or beach) between 10:00 and 11:00 am each day, and most of the seats were still available. If you were to find space limited, the staff at the pool and beach are quick to remove towels if it appears that chairs have been abandoned, so if you plan to return within 60 minutes (as posted signs indicate), allow a personal item to remain on your chair or you will forfeit your spot. The first row of chairs at the pool (closest to the pool) include an umbrella for every group of two or four chairs. The second row of chairs at the pool (farther from the pool, and separated from the first row of chairs by landscaping) feature pop-up sunshades for every two chairs. The pop-up sunshades are the type of canopy that people use for picknicking, tailgating, or at sporting events, perhaps 10 feet by 10 feet in size. Because these pop-up sunshades are NOT considered cabanas, they are complimentary and are available first-come, first-served. (When we visited, the chairs nearest the pool [with the umbrellas] were more popular than the second-row of chairs with the sunshades, even though the second row offered more privacy than the first.) At the pool, wooden side tables are positioned between every two or so lounge chairs to hold your drinks and other necessities. Store / Market / Boutique: The on-site market sells clothing, reading material, jewelry, postcards, souvenirs, toiletry items, wine, beer, and snacks. A more extensive selection of sportswear (swimsuits, shorts, shirts) is available in the lobby of the spa. In addition, a large off-site grocery store (the Graceway Gourmet IGA) is located about a 5-minute walk from the resort. The off-site store sells an extensive selection of liquor (beer, wine, and hard alcohol), nonalcoholic beverages (soft drinks, juices, cases of water), fresh / frozen / packaged / prepared foods, baked goods, deli counter, salad bar, cleaning supplies, and toiletries, and also features an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy a sandwich or salad. This grocery store is invaluable for families and for guests staying for several nights; you can easily stock up on snacks and drinks for convenience and to save a bit of money. (Many resort guests brought coolers of cold drinks to the pool and beach, and the resort did NOT seem to discourage this practice.) Children: The resort is child-friendly and offers a complimentary Kids Camp daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, including playground activities, arts and crafts, pizza-making, treasure hunt, sandcastle building, and dancing. (Children must be toilet-trained to participate in the Kids Camp.) Children under 12 stay for free in their parent’s room. The resort offers private babysitting services after 4:00 pm for $25 per hour for one or two children. Rollaway bed for a child older than 12 is $50 per night (if a sleeper sofa is not available). The resort also offers two different sized cribs and pack-and-plays. Restaurants: The resort features two restaurants: Seven and The Deck. Seven offers breakfast and dinner, and The Deck offers lunch and dinner. Reportedly, the Deck features live music every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday evening, although we did not experience it. Nightly room rates include a complimentary buffet breakfast at Seven, which includes fresh fruit, breads and pastries (the breads and toasters are set up in the bar area, not adjacent to the other buffet items), juices, yogurts, hot and cold cereals, cold meats and cheeses, and hot items (scrambled eggs, hard-cooked eggs, potatoes, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, grits, bread pudding). A la carte breakfast items (such as pancakes and French toast) are available for an additional charge. You will be presented with a bill to sign each morning (the buffet is valued at $30 per person, which is then credited back to your folio) on which you can include a tip. (Servers provide hot and cold beverages and clear plates; otherwise, the buffet is serve-yourself.) Seven provides an abbreviated photocopied version of the New York Times to read with your breakfast. Seven features completely indoor (air-conditioned) dining, covered outdoor dining (beneath the rooftop Seven Lounge), and patio dining (some beneath umbrellas). The Deck offers completely outdoor dining at both high-top and regular tables; The Deck also offers comfortable lounge seating around a gas fireplace. On Sunday evenings from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the resort hosts a BBQ buffet and bonfire with live music for $59 for adults and $25 for children. (You can enjoy the bonfire for free, of course!) The resort adds a 12% tax and a 10% gratuity to all food and beverage bills. These amounts are fairly standard island-wide; you can choose to add an additional gratuity above 10% if you desire. You can also dine privately in the gardens or on the beach. Service: When we arrived (approximately an hour before the standard check-in time of 3:00 pm), a staff member offered us a welcome drink (with or without local Bambarra rum) and a refreshing cold coconut-scented cloth. A staff member directed us to sit down, relax, and enjoy our drink while we completed our hotel registration. Then the staff member led us to our suite. We did not receive a tour of the grounds; however, it seemed that guests checking in before the standard check-in time were given a tour of the entire property. A bellman brought our bags later. (Unfortunately, the airport greeter transposed two of the digits of our room number, so the bellman initially sent our luggage to the wrong room. A quick call to the front desk remedied the situation.) The resort provides twice-daily housekeeping service. The day service occurs approximately between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, and the nightly turndown service (which includes two bottles of water, but does not provide a towel refresh or trash pickup unless you request them) occurs between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Non-Motorized Water Sports: The resort provide complimentary non-motorized watersports activities include snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, sailing, and windsurfing. Sailing lessons are available for $60 per session. The beach in front of the resort has a gently sloping white sandy bottom with some colorful fish located around the pier a few yards down the beach. A 30-minute walk (or 10-minute drive) brings you to Coral Gardens Reef, which features more marine life. On the Lady Tamara, Seven Star’s 29-foot catamaran, the resort offers a 1-hour snorkeling trip to the reef for 1 to 4 people (which includes 40 minutes of actual snorkeling, plus a 10-minute cruise each way to the reef) as well as half-day and full-day snorkeling safaris for 1 to 10 people. The fee for the snorkeling trips is approximately $125 for adults and $75 for children for the half-day trip; some trips may include food and beverages. You can borrow bikes from the front desk (complimentary) on a first come-first served basis. Yoga classes on the West Deck are complimentary. Motorized water sports (like wave runners) are not permitted at the resort, because of its location adjacent to Princess Alexandra National Park. Money: The Turks & Caicos accepts US Dollars. Credit cards (particularly Visa and MasterCard) are widely accepted. Seven Stars does not have an ATM cash machine on site, but we saw at least one bank with a cash machine nearby (Scotia Bank at the Graceway Gourmet IGA). When we checked in to the hotel, even though our stay was prepaid, the resort took a deposit of $300 for incidentals for our 3-night stay. Accessibility: The resort is wheelchair friendly; ramps and sloping sidewalks (although most are brick) provide access to public areas. The resort also lends wheelchairs for mobility-impaired guests. Guest suites are accessible by elevator. Location: The resort is located on Providenciales Island in Grace Bay, within walking distance to a supermarket (Graceway Gourmet IGA), shops, bank, pharmacy, urgent-care clinic, art galleries, and restaurants. A 10-minute, 1-mile (or less) walk in either direction of the resort leads you to several restaurants. (See our separate restaurant reviews for Coyaba, Coco Bistro, Infiniti, The Vix, and Danny Buoys.) From Seven Stars, you can easily walk to Infiniti (previously called Anacoana / also called Fin), Bella Luna, Big Al’s Burgers, Blue Iguana, Caicos Café, Caraval, Chopsticks, Coco Bistro, Coyaba, Danny Buoy’s, The Deck, Garam Masala, Giggles, Grill Rouge, Jimmy’s Dive Bar, The Landing, Le Bouchon du Village, Lupo, Melt, Patty Place, Seaside Café, Thai Orchid, Via Veneto, The Vix, and Yoshi Sushi. A 10-minute, 1-mile (or less) walk in either direction of the resort leads you to several small shopping plazas/strip malls, including Ports of Call Shops, Salt Mills Plaza, and Regent Village. The closest hotels to Seven Stars include Grace Bay Club, Ports of Call, Regent Grand, and Ocean Club West. For us, the Seven Stars location was perfect because we did not rent a car, yet we were able to walk anywhere we wanted. Airport Transfers: The resort does not provide complimentary transportation from the airport to the resort. However, Seven Stars stations a greeter outside the airport arrivals area who meets guests, tags luggage with their room number, and arranges taxis. The cost for a taxi is $16.50 per person from the airport to the resort, and the trip takes approximately 15 minutes. (We did not notice any provisions to pay taxi fares with a credit card.) An alternative to a taxi is VIP transportation, which costs $120 for 1 to 4 guests and must be booked in advance through the Seven Stars concierge. Car rentals are also available at the airport, as well as from other locations on the islands. Parking at Seven Stars is complimentary; even the parking spaces are landscaped attractively, covered with white wooden pergolas draped with gorgeous bougainvillea! Airport: Seven Stars recommends that you arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to your international flight. Most major airlines have automated check-in kiosks available, but we did not see a counter dedicated for dropping bags only. The airport has one full-service restaurant, Gilley’s Café, which is located outside of security; however, Gilley’s prepares food and deliver it inside for departing international guests. One bar is located in the international departures lounge on the upper level, and another bar is located on the upper-level deck / outdoor observation area. Several small shops (duty-free jewelry and liquor, crafts, souvenirs) are located on the first floor of the international departure area, along with a snack bar that sells sandwiches and smoothies. Wi-Fi is available (complimentary) in the departure lounge. The airport does not host a bank, although it has an ATM machine in the international check-in area. The airport offers no foreign currency exchange. The international departure area features a small 40-person VIP lounge; the admission fee is approximately $50 per person (it offers no free admittance using Platinum bank credit cards). Summary: We loved our stay at Seven Stars Resort! The location was ideal for us, because without a rental car, it was easy to walk to nearby shops, quality restaurants, other hotels, and the grocery store. The property grounds, pool, beach, and ocean are gorgeous. We loved the spaciousness, amenities, and phenomenal view from our 1-bedroom oceanview suite. If we ever visit Provo again, we will stay at Seven Stars! Highly recommended!