Honeymoon in T&C -- RWI Sept 1-9

Old Jul 16th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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Honeymoon in T&C -- RWI Sept 1-9

Hi all -

New husband and I are booked to T&C RWI - so I'm committed to the island and resort. What I'm interested in learning about it advice on car rentals, excursions, night life and restaurants.

Restaurants: We are moderately budget conscious, but are on our honeymoon and used to island prices... So advice on dining with the caveats of how expensive would be appreciated. (We do plan to go to the IGA for breakfast / lunch options so can spend some extra $$ on dinner) Additionally, we live in Chicago - and have a lot of exceptional dining options - we do somewhat consider ourselves "foodies" so if it is very expensive and just OK then we need not go there...

Scuba: We are also scuba divers - so we need to arrange a couple of days of diving to balance out the beaching. Any info / guidance here would be appreciated.

Afternoon / Night Life: We do like to enjoy our adult beverages in low key funky beach bars -- and also enjoy eating yummy fresh fish etc. as these type of places -- so any favorites in this category? (Think soggy dollar JVD, Love Shack STT, Sunshines Nevis etc.)

Excursions: We are all for hopping a ferry (?), or a sea plane and going to see the nearby islands. Which places shouldn't we miss visiting? How best to get there? What would we expect to see / do while there?

Car Rental: We expect to rent, but given the likelihood of scuba, beaching and excursions any advice for how many days we should rent for? Where shouldn't we miss going? Any exceptional restaurants / beaches that require a car? Any local car rentals that we should rent from -- instead of the big corporations?

As always -- appreciate all of the experience and feedback from this group. I'm eagerly looking forward to your advice.
Thanks!
Gidget



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Old Jul 25th, 2007, 07:46 PM
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Gidget,

It's been a couple of years since I've been to Turks, but my family goes every year and I hear it's been built up quite a bit. But, when I was there, Magnolia was my favorite restaurant for a nice dinner. It was the best lobster I think I've ever had. Here's Fodor's brief review of it: http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=turks_caicos@160&cur_section=din&property_id=390515

My brother has dived with Dive Provo many times and really likes it. My husband and I are getting certified to scuba and plan to go with Dive Provo in December 2007.

Turks is a fairly quiet island at night, but we spent a couple of fun nights at Tiki Hut.

I loved Turks and can't wait to go back in December!
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Old Jul 26th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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hi gidget, first of all congratulations.
rests: tiki hut and sharkbite are less expensive and both fun. tiki hut has a couple special deal nights. one for ribs/chicken - crowded and fun. also hemingway's is great for lunch.
for fancier dinners there are many to choose from. magnolia, anacona, coyaba, grace's cottage. we enjoyed the italian at bella luna.
scuba - i definetly recommend art pickering's provo turtle divers located in turtle cove marina. excellent smaller boats and great staff.
aft/night life: tiki hut and hemingways come to mind again. there is no place quite like the soggy dollar. you might drive out the blue hills road - you will find da conch shack. don't know if it's still byob or not. they walk into the sea to get your conch and then cook it for you. or just past that are some long blue buildings with a little bar amoung the shops. also gilley's at the leeward marina - but no beach there.
excursions: do drive out to malcolm road beach to snorkel. you may need a jeep for clearance on this road. sapadilla bay beach is really gorgeous. small and uncrowded and just down the road from it is taylor bay beach - shallow so not for swimming but the softest sand i've ever felt. in same area is chalk sound. an indescrible tourquoise color of water. also lots of houses that make you say wow. and from turtle cove marina area take the dirt road towards the yacht club hotel. go to dead end, turn left, go to dead end and park in sandy lot. walk on to beach and down about 4 mcmansions is a rock carin. this is smiths reef. enter carefully as there is stuff on both sides of the small sandy entrance spot. swim out and to your left to a wonderful reef you can swim around. mind that it is VERY shallow in some spots and be extra careful not to touch stuff here. also further out and to the right is another reef to circle.
you can take a plane to any of the other islands but no ferries. there are boat excursions to snorkel, shell on tiny cays, or maybe go to middle caicos to go the caves.
rental car: i've rented a couple times from scooter bob at turtle cove. very satisfied. we rent by the week as it's cheaper and we like the convenience of just deciding to go right now.
if you really want to party i think you can buy a pass into club med - not positive about this.
here's a link to a map: http://www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com/map.htm
hope this helps.
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Old Jul 26th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Hi - in planning our 10 year anniv. trip for this fall I found this site to be very helpful:

http://www.wherewhenhow.com/

There is a dining guide on the front page that gives the menus, location, etc and most show prices as well. Big help.

Congrats and have a great trip.

Jenn
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Old Jul 27th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Recently returned from T&C - very low season right now - but here are a few additions to the other posts.

Restaurants: The Mango Reef restaurant right in the RWI was good. We had a really great fish dinner there one night. Other restaurants we enjoyed included the Tiki Hut (great blacked swordfish wraps), and Bay Bistro, which is adjacent to the Sibonne hotel and is right on the beach. We also had a fun evening at Hey Jose's, a Mexican/pizza restaurant which was doing a big take-out business and had numerous local people and construction workers at the bar. The people were very nice and the food was good. We had a great time at Da Conch Shack in Blue Hills, which we visited in the late afternoon for cold beer and snacks. There is supposedly dancing on the sand in the evenings, and a sound system was set up on the beach. Our favorite meal was at Coyaba - which was wonderful in all respects - fabulous service, divine food, beautiful atomosphere. They say that Anacoana is the most romantic restaurant, (we didn't go there) but I thought that the atmosphere at Coyaba was also romantic and intimate. I would definitely go there for a great meal.

When you arrive in T&C you will get a free magazine that lists 45 restaurants on the island, along with menus and pricing so you can see what appeals to you. Restaurants on T&C were high quality in general, compared to other islands. We ate fabulous fish every night.

Other random bits of info: The IGA grocery store has everything you will need for your stay. We had breakfast at home and took our lunch to the beach in a cooler every day, and that worked out just great. The IGA does sell adult beverages, but we found their prices high in comparison to a little liquor store called the Wine Celler. Between those two, you will have everything you need.

We are snorkelers and not scuba divers, but I understand that the scuba is fabulous.

The best snorkeling was in Smith's Reef, described in the other post. There is also limited snorkeling at Malcolm Roads beach, a beautiful deserted beach, worth a visit. The road has some steep spots, but we made it with a higher clearance jeep which was not 4WD and din't have any issues. The other major snorkeling spot from the shore is at Coral Gardens. Part of the reef is roped off here, and you have to swim around it and view it from the sides. In the grassy areas to the right of the reef (as you face the water) are wonderful huge sea turtles. To the left of the reef there is a grassy area close to shore that was filled with huge starfish, conchs, and sea biscuits.

Another spot we really liked was Long Bay Beach. This is not a snorkeling beach, but a fabulous beach-combing area. Tons of conch shells all over the beach, absolutely no people in July, and very peaceful. The access to this beach is not paved, but not a problem, either. Just thinking about our long walk on this beach makes me feel totally at peace.

There is an airline which flies to the other islands in the T&C, or you can arrange for a day sail. I do not believe there is a ferry. A lot of people mentioned going to Middle Caicos to see caves. There are several operators who can take you to a deserted beach for the day, or to go shelling, or diving.

Just thinking about our recent trip makes me want to go right back.

Finally, the water is exceptionally clear, and you can great fabulous underwater photographs if that is of interest.

Have a great trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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We are just about to book as well for October travel and I have benefitted not only by this website but also by the reviews at tripadvisor.com - many candid photos from travelers and great tips on to what to do and see! Good luck!
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 04:48 AM
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I think you made a good choice with RWI; it has beautiful grounds, nice rooms, and Grace Bay beach is unbeatable.

In terms of restaurants, I really enjoyed Magnolia Restaurant and Wine Bar, for very good food and a great view of the marina; go for Sunset. I enjoyed Mango Reef at RWI and Hemningways at the Sands for more moderately priced dinners. I didn't make it to Coyaba but it is arguably the best (expensive) restaurant on Provo. It sounds like you might enjoy some of the "local" places too; I didn't try these on my first trip but plan to next time. I just read a really informative post on TripAdvior about this; some places to check out include: Da Conch Shack, Smokey's, Bonnie's, Hole in the Wall. You might enjoy a trip to Blue Hills (Da Conch Shack, Smokeys) for casual afternoon drinks.

Grace Bay Car Rentals gets great reviews too.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 08:32 PM
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Hi guys -

As always...thanks a million. I've read and done more research thanks for the links and the advice.

We are checking into booking scuba with caicos adventures -- we read some disturbing things about the two major / larger companies...

We are reserved with a car - for 1/2 the week with grace bay rentals - and will see about our luck with the gecko bus or bikes at RWI -- or our feet the balance of the week.

We are checking out big blue for their eco tours to the north and middle caicos. Mountain biking in north caicos sounds like fun! We did check into the flights to Grand Turk, but that messes with the scuba diving constraints (no fly/dive 24 hours)...

Read about an interesting "Gilligans Island" trip - but haven't settled on the tour operator. We may have to play this one by ear!

It sounds like anaconda and coyoba are must do's for this honeymoon couple!!!

As we leave in three days -- I'm very excited!

Thanks again to you all and promise a detailed trip report upon our return!

Bridget
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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I would go to Anacona for a before or after dinner drink to check it out They have music on Thurs, Fri and Sat as I recall. Food can be up and down. Would pick Magnolia wine Bar and restaurant and Coyaba over Anacona
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Old Oct 7th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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How was the trip?

We are planning a trip to the Turks & Caicos and would love to hear how everything went for you (we are also thinking of staying at the RWI and have similar interests as you).

Thanks
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Okay, not to knock Mango Reef, but my dinner this past summer was unforgettable. Cracked conch appetizer- out came a tough piece of breaded conch with batter that was falling off and chopped into unpresentable chunks. When my entree came out, it was the creamy seafood pasta which I did not order (I ordered the shrimp pasta with the tomato sauce as I try to avoid cream sauces.)My dinner companion's dinner was just alright. Four times during dinner, someone interrupted us asking it our car lights were on. One time fine. Second time fine. But to continue to bother us, enough to go out and check the first time to see if it was our rental car and it wasn't was enough. Mango Reef is good for drinks and definitely does "volume" as far as people eating there, but I'd take Simba or Caicos Cafe any time over it.
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