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Already planning to go back..we LOVED TCI!!

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Jul 20th, 2010, 01:03 PM
  #1
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Already planning to go back..we LOVED TCI!!

This is kind of long...

Here is the info on our (me and my husban's) stay in TCI from July 14-19th. We flew out of Nashville with a connection through Charlotte (US AIR). Flight was good and once you see the Islands from the sky...WOW!!!! We snapped at least 15 pictures from our seats! The airport was a bit busy. Got a cab and headed to our hotel. We stayed in the Villa del Mar right behind Grace Bay Club. VERY nice, and lots of room! The bed was the most comfortable I had slept on in years!!! The bathroom and kitchen were spotless. Full kitchen with w/d in unit. Our internet was spotty and the best reception happened to be in the bathroom. Not a problem, since we were on our honeymoon.
Our first stop was food- Jimmy's Dive Bar. We walked from the hotel (nice late afternoon stroll)- I got nachos and my husband got the conch chowder and something (sorry, can't remember). I thought eating in the Islands and being vegetarian would be tough; not at all! My husband loved his soup, and my nachos were good. We both got rum punches- YUM! After dinner we walked to the IGA to pick up a few things. We planned on buying boxed dinners before we left and completely forgot Do pick up a few boxes of mac n' cheese and snacky things as it was pricey in the islands. We took a 7pm swim in the ocean..OMG! BREATHTAKING is all I can say!! I can see now why Grace Bay is voted as one of the world's best beaches! After our swim we cleaned up and went to bed. I don't think either one of us moved at all during the night- the bed just hugged you!
The next day we went for a morning swim and a stroll. We came in, got ready and went to the Saltmills area for lunch. We ate at the diner (Saltmills cafe I think). he again had the conch chowder and shrimp fettuchini, I had the veggie lasagna. It was pasta day so our meals were about $10.00/person. I had a bite of his noodles- YUM! garlicy and cheesy, but not drowning in sauce in US establishments. My veggie lasagna was wonderful! The garlic bread was almost like a square toasted bisquit, but it was very light- not drowned in butter. The next day we rented a car from AVIS, right down the road from the IGA. We got the small economy car and headed off! My husband got the hang of driving on the left very easily (we noticed there are no traffic lights on the island, just give-ways), and we headed to Chalk Sound. I have never seen water that color before! It was the most turquoise blue I had ever seen!!! We ate at Las Brisas. he had the grilled fish burger which he LOVED and I had a pizza. It was yummy. The only bummer was the wind- things kept flying off our table. Apparently the week we went there the wind was pretty gusty (except for the 17th). After cruising around Chalk Sound, we headed back to our hotel and stopped at Island Scoop for some ice cream. When they say homeade, they mean it!! I had a scooop of chocolate and choc mint, my husband had butter pecan and choc mint. I don't care for butter pecan, but I could have eaten a gallon of it! The mint wasn't like any other I had tasted. It didn't leave a sticky ice cream feel in your mouth, it actually left you with a nice clean, minty mouth feel!
That evening, we got dressed up and headed to the Infinity Bar. I got the Infinity Martini and he got the Pomagranate Martini. Both were wonderful and the atmosphere was excellent- live music, not over crowded, soft breeze and the sound of the ocean!
Because we were unable to SNUBA (the previous night's storm and recent years off-shore drilling made the visibility sub-par, but Jodi was very friendly each time I called to check), we decided to head to Malcolm's Beach....we didn't make it in our little car. In fact we got to a certian point and turned around. If you go to Malcolm's Beach, get an SUV. We traded our economy car for a small SUV and made it just fine. It was AMAZING!!! No one was on the beach! We set up the tripod and had a few shots taken. After that we left our bags and got in the water. We brought our snorkel masks to use and I am so glad we did! If I could do that 5 days a week I would! We were there for 3 hours. At one point we came out of the water and sat on the rocks just soaking in the sounds, the navy/turquoise and clear blue water. If you go, take waters and snacks. Luckily we had a big breakfast at Hemingway's. I had almond pandcakes with fruit and fresh whipped cream, and he had the eggs benedict. Both dishes were fantastic! Honestly we didn't eat anything on the Island that we didn't love! We decided to order pizza that night for supper. We got it from Pizza Pizza and it was a really good, thin crust brick oven pizza. Other places we ate were Sharkbite (FABULOUS gorganzola and cream sauce alfredo, hubby had the conch chowder and a salad)- service was slower than other places, but still good. We had reservations on Sunday night for Coco Bistro, but 30 min before our reservation, a storm came out of nowhere, so we cancelled. We went to Opus instead. I had the grilled portabella and veggies, he had the grilled salmon, grilled veggies and jasmine rice-OMG!! SO GOOD! We got dessert; it wasn't bad, but I guess I was expecting more. The last place we ate was The Tiki Hut on our way to the airport. I had the black bean burger and he had a salad with conch fritters. He loved his and my burger was so tasty! It was spicy and delicious! I also ordered onion rings instead of fries and they were really good- crispy, and not greasy. All in all we had a WONDERFUL time!! Thank you to all that gave us pointers and tips. A special thanks to blomona (sorry if I have it wrong), who wrote the TCI guide book- so many good tips and suggestions! It really came in handy!
Just to recap: GREAT place to get away if you want privacy. Not crazy like bigger islands. our room was spacious, and cozy as well as quiet! The beaches are GORGEOUS!!! Food is great and the people are so friendly- not a pan-handler in sight! Pornography is illegal, so the island is very friendly to families. Also the people are very religious. It's not the hustle and bustle as other islands would be. What did we dislike? NOTHING!! What did we like? EVERYTHING!!! Are we going back? DEFINATELY!!!!!

Pictures will be posted in a few days.
Hope you all enjoyed the review!
NJRoberts is offline  
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Jul 20th, 2010, 01:10 PM
  #2
 
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Wow...sounds like someone else is "hooked" So glad that you had a greatrtrip and loved your Hotel...have heard great things about Villa DM. Thanks for the report!
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Jul 20th, 2010, 04:18 PM
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so glad you had a great time on my favorite island.
can't wait to see your photos
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Jul 21st, 2010, 06:01 AM
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8-)
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Jul 21st, 2010, 07:50 AM
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Loved your detailed report. Since Grace Bay is our "go to" place in March I'll be looking forward to your photos. For 3 years now we have thought about Las Brisas for lunch bur never made it. Next March for sure.
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Jul 21st, 2010, 05:24 PM
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Can anyone comment on the Royal West Indies Resort? It's an economical option and seems more condo-ish. Did you taxi to your hotel? If so, how much was it? You mentioned your resort was behind another, was it still on the beach?

I've got so many questions and am happy to have found this forum!! If we go, it will be around August 4th...

I'm open to other island recommendations as well.. The points you made about pan-handlers here was something Jamaica instilled an ever-lasting fear in me of.

Aruba also has a nice looking trip option but I'm leaning towards Turks. It would be just me and my mom. I'd be the driver (nervous about driving on other side). Is there a lot of traffic? Or do you have the roads to yourself to figure it out as you go?

Better to reserve through AAA or pop in at the AVIS once there?

Oh, and are there affordable boat excursions to the other islands or do you have take the ferry?

Thanks for any advice/feedback!
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Jul 21st, 2010, 05:27 PM
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For places like Coral Gardens, can you just go down and snorkel on their beach where there's supposed to be good reef or are they staunch about guests only? Snorkeling is something I'm really wanting to do a lot of.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 04:52 AM
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geanstar- Royal West Indies is a condo tel, most of the resorts on Grace Bay are owned by individuals and rented through the resort. Great lush property, excellent restaurant on site ( moving soon to another location) have you checked out The Sands ?
Taxi rates are per person, not sure of rate from airport, figure at least $10-12.00 pp & tip
The above poster stayed at Villa Delmar, no it is NOT on the beach, it is a 2 minute walk and they have beach access and chairs though. Very nice newer property.
Regarding Aruba-pick Turks , much better , no chains etc! More Island feel, Aruba feels like the states IMO
Driving is a breeze, not very busy as far as traffic, we use Grace Bay car rentals, older cars, great rates and excellent service. You really can not get lost.
To go to North Caicos...take the ferry, rent a car (Pelican car Rentals) about $80.00 for the day plus gas, drive to Middle caicos, check out the sites. Pack water and food .
As far as Coral gardens area--anyone can go there to use the beach area to snorkel BUT, do not use the chairs, they are for Resort guests only and they will tell you to move.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Is parking usually free?

Today, I'm wondering about Coral Gardens for the snorkeling convenience. Any further notes on that?

I appreciate everything you've shared.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Parking is free at all resorts, restaurants, etc (except at the airport) Coral gardens is in need of an update , IMO.
look at Windsong ( brand new'ish and next door to Coral Gardens)
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Windsong is more than I want to spend but Sands would be doable... do you think it's nicer? It's a little more expensive, but the royal west indies has great marks on tripadvisor.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 11:15 AM
  #12
 
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We are leaving for TCI tomorrow. Thanks for the udpate on Malcolm's road. Will plan for an SUV.

Cheers - got pictures to share?
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 11:40 AM
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I really like the Sands and the location
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:40 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Thank you so much for the detailed report. We leave for TCI next week and are counting down the days. We will definitely go to some of the restaurants you mentioned. Thanks for the tips.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:43 PM
  #15
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Our cab was $30 ($15/per person). The Villa del Mar was right behind Grace Bay Club. We just walked into Avis and got the car. If you get an SUV, you just need a small one. You'll be just fine driving on the left- my husband got the hang of it really quickly. Traffic wasn't bad at all.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 05:16 PM
  #16
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here are just a few of the 900+ pics we took. sorry they are out of order.

questions, just ask!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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Jul 24th, 2010, 08:23 AM
  #17
 
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I'm looking at T&C for a honeymoon in Sept. I'm looking for a pretty high end place to stay for 4-5 nights. The Grace Bay club is all full! Any other recommendations? we're 30/28 and looking for the beaches and the trip of a lifetime.
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Jul 24th, 2010, 08:31 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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The more I look, the more T&C looks great! I have been struggling with planning this trip for months! I want to go to two islands, for 4-5 days each, higher end private, honeymoon type places, with beaches and aoutdoor activites to do as well as good food, shops and nice people. Where would be recommended to go for a second island, from Provo? Perhaps even a baot ride away instead of a flight?

Thanks NJRoberts for the insights and pic, they are very helpful fo a guy who cannot seem to pick a place.

Thanks for any and all of your thoughts.
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Jul 24th, 2010, 12:29 PM
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It's hard to pick another island with Provo, unless you're willing to go back to Miami, and then some other islands require Miami then Puerto Rico. Truthfully, 4-5 days at each island isn't enough, you always loose day going and day coming back.

I highly recommend The Somerset for a honeymoon. It's stunning, walking distance to some small strip shops (don't expect much shopping in T&C though) mellow nightlife. Gansevoort has decent nightlife on weekends, and bbqs by day on the beach. Somerset has night bbqs on the beach. The restaurants are awesome, and have some of the best settings in the Caribbean.
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Jul 24th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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PS: your pictures are awesome!
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