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Coral Gardens, Providenciales,Turks & Cacos

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Jun 27th, 2013, 08:47 AM
  #1
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Coral Gardens, Providenciales,Turks & Cacos

We enjoy snorkeling directly from the beach, lovely beaches, and good accommodations. Have been going to Secret Harbor on St Thomas, but looking for something new. Have heard that Grace Bay on Provo is beautiful. Looking through an old Fodor's we spotted Coral Gardens "fronting one of Provo's most popular snorkeling reefs in a tranquil area well west of bustling Grace Bay". Can anyone give us information on this resort or perhaps suggest another? One concern is that it is not on Grace Bay itself. Is that an advantage or disadvantage? We will probably not rent a car. Is Coral Gardens within walking distance of restaurants? Is the beach quiet, seas calm, and free of rocks? Is it easy to get into and out of the water? We like to take long beach walks. Is that possible at Coral Gardens? How are the accommodations?
Any advice will be appreciated.
Nancylee
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Jun 27th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Coral Gardens is on the same beach as Grace Bay-- just called something else. You can walk East & withinn seconds you are on what is called Grace Bay--so walking for HOURS is no problem. There are 4 restaurants near by and others a bit longer East to walk to. Yes, Coral Gardens is right infront of teh reef..however it gets very busy there for that reason. The resort is showing it's age inside & out...there are nicer options very nearby and walkable to the same reef. Look at Beach House & West Bay Club or Gansevoort . ( each has a restaurant) Very easy to walk into water--no rocks etc...
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Jun 28th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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Caribzack -Thank you for the prompt reply. Unless you tell me that Coral Gardens is in really bad shape and/or the rooms are uncomfortable, I am tempted to stay there, as snorkeling conveniently is very important to me. We plan to go in January so I imagine the beach at CG will indeed be very crowded, but if we are staying at CG we can retreat to the pool, keep our towels there instead of on the crowded beach, and shower there.
We are glad to hear that we can walk to the other hotels you mention for dinner. Do you walk on the beach, or is there a road with a sidewalk? In any case it seems we will not need to get a taxi. (The reason we will not rent a car is a very bad experience with driving on the left.)
Is there a grocery store nearby to buy supplies for breakfast and lunch, or do you need a taxi for that?
Thank you again for your advice.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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Coral Gardens is not horrible--just dated and older than the new nicer places. You would walk the beach to dinners nearby...there are great restaurants that would require a taxi. Those are Bay Bistro, Coco Bistro, Magnolia, Caicos Cafe to name a few. The grocery store is not walkable..taxi for sure. Grocery stores are excellent and would have anything you would need.
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Jun 28th, 2013, 05:52 PM
  #5
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I wouldn't book at CORAL GARDENS. I think it's in very bad shape, and also it's next to a construction site that has been delayed for about two or three years. The pool is small and doesn't look clean. The grounds are not nice at all.

If you really want to be next to snorkeling and don't mind a beach that comes and goes with the tide, check out WINDSONG RESORT. Same area, but much better hotel.
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Jun 29th, 2013, 03:13 AM
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I agree with WWK about the empty shells of buildings on the west side--real eyesore, I always forget about Windsong which is right next door on the East side--good idea. Personally I would also look at The Somerset--it is our favorite resort, fyi www.thesomerset.com
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Jun 29th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Coral Gardens is alright, good for the price

But you can stay at better places and still snorkel off the beach just fine.

Right next to CG is Windsong, which is really nice and luxurious (and includes breakfast)
The other side of CG (past construction)

Beach House (gorgeous, less than 5 minute walk)

The West Bay Club (my favorite for the money, totally luxury at great prices, less than 5 minute walk, and in front can snorkel looking for turtles)

Gansevoort

The above really require cars thou to get to the best restaurants and supermarket, although they all have restaurants too.

A little bit farther if you don't mind walking 20 minutes to the reef (so doable) but closer to the hub of shops and restaurants)

Alexandra

Sands Resort

Sibonne

More upscale, Somerset and Regent Palms
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Jun 29th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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WWK
 
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West Bay is a wonderful resort. We've stayed there many times. It's only a short walk from the snorkeling area and has one of the most uncrowded sections of beach on Grace Bay. If you don't mind a 5-10 minute walk from the snorkeling site, choose West Bay over Windsong. Much better value for the $$, much better beach!
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Jun 29th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Thank you all!
I guess we will not stay at CG.
We are a little confused. WWK - What do you mean about "beach that comes and goes"?
Caribzack - How far a walk is the Somerset from the snorkel reef?
It seems that we should go for either West Bay or Somerset.
I wish there was a map that would show the location order of these resorts from west to east. Being reasonably close to the reef is important to us.
Thank you all again for your useful information.
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Jun 29th, 2013, 01:04 PM
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Wherewhenhow.com

click on maps, can print

To get an idea, Somerset to snorkel reef is about 25 minute walk 1 way

Villa Renaissance too far for me if you're going to snorkel and come back, but about 15 more minutes from Somerset.

Ocean Club about 15-20 minutes from VR

So OC to reef about an hour 1 way
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Jun 29th, 2013, 04:51 PM
  #11
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The beach at WINDSONG is very narrow. It sometimes nearly disappears at high tide. The resort itself is lovely, though the lowest category of rooms ( standard double) have no views.

WEST BAY is very luxurious, and only a short walk from snorkeling. As I said above, it has one of the best sections of beach on Grace Bay. The rooms are gorgeous, staff is great. We hope to go again next year. Only downside? You will need a car if you stay there. The resort is at the far end of the beach ( next to Gansevoort), so it's far from most restaurants.
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Jun 29th, 2013, 04:53 PM
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Just wanted to add that WEST BAY is about a 5-10 min walk from the reef/snorkeling. And the reef/snorkeling area is next to my fave Mexican restaurant, SOMEWHERE cafe. Great combination!
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Jun 29th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Somerset is maybe 25 minutes from the reef BUT so worth it--includes breakfast & you can walk to great restaurants from there...even the grocery if you want( bit of a walk--but do it early am)
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Jun 30th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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We are also trying to decide between West Bay and Somerset. My teenaged son and I are going and also love to snorkel. Do you know if Somerset has a nicer beach than West Bay? I read an earlier post about West Bay and the person said their beach had a lot of sea grass and you couldn't swim very far from shore due to all the sea grass. Does Somerset's beach also have a lot of sea grass? Another possibility is Seven Stars. Does anyone know if their beach is nicer for snorkeling?
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Jun 30th, 2013, 09:09 PM
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Somerset, no grasses

WBC, yes grasses, but far off (snorkel with turtles) but yes you still have plenty of clean deep beach to swim before you even get to the grasses

Seven Stars is a terrific resort, but way far to walk to snorkel all the time

All 3 are great resorts, tough choice!
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Jul 1st, 2013, 02:41 AM
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Somerset is hands down the nicer ...of the ones mentioned above. Somerset beach is a flat beautiful clear beach. Great location for walking to restaurants too.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 05:59 AM
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Caribzack, forgive me, but while Somerset had the most beautiful architecture, it's not hands down nicer than Seven Stars, I'd even say Seven Stars beats it in some respect.

And while price wise it's a notch up from WBC, for the money difference WBC is amazing.

I'd be happy at any of the 3.

All 3 are on the best beach in the world, and while the beach changes personalities smdrake is going to be blown away no matter what!
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Jul 1st, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Somerset HAS not had!
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Jul 1st, 2013, 06:09 AM
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I guess it is just a matter of opinion, we Honeymooned at Regent Palms..loved it , thought we'd never stay anywhere else but, then on a return trip tried Somerset & fell in love and have returned many times. My wife & I ate at "Seven" at 7 Stars - thought it was overrated . We also got a tour of 7 Stars and did not care for the huge buildings and the fact that some rooms had windows opening out into an interior courtyard--strange IMO. So, In my opinion Somerset is "Hands Down " my favorite! Plus the beach IMO is nicer...
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Jul 1st, 2013, 07:06 AM
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What about Turks and Caicos Club? It was next door to Coral Gardens, and quite nice when we stayed there quite a few years ago. Condo style rooms. We didn't rent a car, but did take cabs to a few of the restaurants.
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