OCW or Alexandrea in Provo for my 30th b-day?

Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 07:35 AM
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OCW or Alexandrea in Provo for my 30th b-day?

Please help! I am so sick of reading reviews and sitting at this computer for sooo long day after day trying to find the best deal and location. I turn 30 this june and wanted to spend my bday in Turks and Caicos. I am on a tight budget b/c this will be an "extra" trip. I have narrowed it down to Ocean Club West and The Alexandrea. Here is what I have so far.
OCW- screened in patios, walk to the grocery store, free shuttle to OC, larger rooms, bigger beach
Alexandrea- newer property, nicer rooms, great restaurant on-site, swim-up bar, might be better for snorkeling.

I would be up for using a rental at either place if it is affordable. How close are these two locations from each other? If they are with-in walking distance that would be good to know.
Does OCW have a swim up bar? Does either place serve drinks on the beach?
We are pretty low key vacation people. I want a beach that isn't too crowded, a great pool, yummy drinks and to be able to walk most places.
My husband is all about the snorkeling and I am all about the fine dining.
I only want to rent a car for a day or two.
Thanks you soooo much for any help.
I also am up for other hotel recommendations but keep in mind it has to be budget friendly.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
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Since noone has answered you, I'll try to help you out.

We've never been to the Alexandra. I did see it on House Hunters International and it looked a bit too big for our tastes.

We've stayed at OCW 3 yrs. in a row and loved it. Here's what I can tell you we liked:

The low rise buildings, so no stroll through a large lobby to the beach. The buildings are all around the pool so very convenient.

The pool is a lagoon style, very pretty with lots of private corners to sit in. There is an island in the middle of the pool with grills if you choose to grill out(didn't use as we go out to dinner every night). There are some bar stools in the water that really weren't used much.

The beach is absolutely gorgeous. There are enough chairs and umbrellas for the guests, so no 7am run to the beach to save one(one of my pet peeves).

There is a full service restaurant and restrooms right on the beach, so again no going back through a lobby to get lunch or drinks. The food is casual but very good and the Mango Margaritas are fantastic, amoung other drinks.

There is a huge grocery store just a 5 min. walk and it has everything you could want plus wine, etc.

We loved the large screened verandas to have breakfast(I think we went to the restaurant for breakfast once).

The ability to walk to many restaurants(cabs are extremely expensive--next time we'll get a car).

OCW is between Grace Bay Club and Seven Stars, 2 very high end properties. We've gone to Grace Bay Club quite a few times(walked over on the beach). Great causual, if pricy,restaurant with couches and tiki torches. Gorgeous bar with unusual drinks, again pricy. Very pricy gourmet restaurant with tables right on the sand--stunning setting.

Also the proximity to the gold course. MDH golfs in the morning and I am very comfortable sitting on the beach with a book by myself until returns for lunch.

Now the cons:

You need to upgrade to a Junior Studio Suite or larger. The small Studios are extremely cramped and most of them are in a less desireable location.

Some of the units are a bit tired. The privately owned units IMO are better decorated and taken care of. The only down side to a privately owned unit is that you can't sign at the bar and restaurant.

Now this is something we like, but being younger, you may not like is that it is very quiet here. Family oriented, but we never really had a problem with noisy kids.

Another con----absolutely no snorkeling, just gorgeous white sand. We used to be into snorkeling alot and if we still were we would not even be on Provo. After The Caymans and The Virgins, etc. we would find this island lacking in that department. I have read though that there is snorkeling around the Coral Reef property, but I don't know how good it is. After The Virgins, I have a feeling I would call it swimming with fins. I think there are some snorkel boats that go out though.

That said, after 20+ years of going to Caribbean islands, this is "our place".

I did write some trip reviews that include the restaurants. Click on my name, then scroll to the bottom where the trip reviews are located.

Any more questions, I'll be glad to give you my humble opinion.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 03:26 PM
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oops! That's "golf" course, not gold course.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 05:48 PM
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hi, i've not stayed at either resort, but do know they are too far apart to walk between the two.
tpayt, when you're there next time & have the car do go down to coral gardens. early in the am is most fish & fewest people.
for truly good snorkeling drive bite rd towards turtle cove. just before the marina turn right. small church on right & yacht club bldings on left just over small bridge. go to deadend. turn left. go to end of road. park in sandy lot. walk out onto beach & down past ?4 villas. you should find a carin on the beach. go into the water through the very skinny sand path through the ironshore (black rock). swim out and to your left to find a good sized reef. some Very shallow spots at low tide & pay attention for any boats if you're on the outside edge. starting from the same spot swim further out & to right for more coral. if you get a jeep for a day go out to malcolm rd beach. we saw some huge soft corals.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 06:18 PM
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tpayt describes Ocean Clubs pretty well. I completely agree T&C is special enough to be "our place." ;-)

I do have to disagree with the snorkeling though. (sorry!) I have snorkeled Caymans on 2 different trips and Virgin Islands on 7 different trips. I have found the snorkeling to be just as good at T&C. Unfortunately in front of Ocean Club there is nothing resembling a reef for miles (the beach section is soooo soft and clean). It's too far to walk to Coral Gardens and Smith's Reef where off-the beach snorkeling takes place.

you can walk to Coral Gardens from Alexandra if need be.

Almost all the resorts on on glorious Grace Bay Beach, 12 miles of it!

Can you give us a budget? that could help. In June there are usually many specials too-such as 4th and 7th night free at some properties might find the persfect place.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Hi guys! Thanks so much for the responses.
I think we are probably going to stay at OCW in a rental. It's not much of a savings but at least we know what we are getting. The one we are looking at is in building G. It has a great view of the pool and ocean but I saw that there are two buildings closer to the ocean (more ocean front than ocean view.) Our budget is around 2000 for the hotel but we are a little flexible.
I went to OCW website and they offer a pool/ocean/garden view for around 2200. But, is that just luck of the draw? I read some reviews that talk about people barely being able to see the ocean from their ocean-view room. A view is pretty important to us but I know our budget makes that hard.
Is there any snorkeling within walking distance to the OCW? We can walk pretty far...
TPAYT- thanks so much for your list of pros and cons... you make a good point about not being able to charge drinks to our room, which is a bummer, but do-able. We are not really into the party scene so I think OCW would be great. We just want to lay on the beach or by the pool all day. We will be traveling without our toddler son so seeing all the little kids might make us miss him more but that mango margarita might help ease the pain! =)
TPAYT- the room we are thinking about is a junior suite. Like I said it's in building G. Do you think there is anyway we would get lucky and put in building A or B by booking a junior suite? What buildings have you stayed in?
Thanks again for all the help!
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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As far as the kids go----some times they were there and other times not. Always well behaved when they were around.

We've stayed in Bldgs. D,E, and G. G was our favorite as our balcony looked over a nice, bubbling, round fountain. This is the privately owned Junior Suite we rented in G. Another thing we liked was that she has a private safe in the room for your use. If you look into it, say Hi to Lorraine from the Paytons. She was a delight to work with.

http://www.vrbo.com/73638

Here's some photos that might make you wish you were there right now---I know I wishI was.

http://www.shutterfly.com/simplepath...3ce936de451066

Click on the individual photos if you want to see them larger.

I think A & B have alot of privately owned units. and unless you were on the very front of the building and 2nd or 3rd floor, I don't think you'd get much of a sea view. Besides the grounds are beautiful and so small that it's just a short walk to anything---one of the things we liked.

As far as renting from the hotel itself, when we didn't like the location of our extremely small studio in E, they were of no help in changing our location. Maybe they were full and had no other room,but it didn't appear that way at the beach or pool. Other than that one thing, they were good to work with. We still will rent privately when we return. Not signing was of no inconvenience because the rooms are so close by if you need to retrun to get some money.

We still might go again to TCI at the end of March. We were thinking of skipping our Caribbean trip this year so we could return to Ireland in May instead. We were in Ireland Sept.'10 and just loved it. But now that we're in the depth of winter here in Wisconsin, we're second guessing our decision. That fabulous turquoise water sure looks good and we could still return to Ireland in Sept. Decisions, decisions!

Any more help----just ask.
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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TPAYT-
Thanks again for your response. That is the exact rental we are going with. I just wondered if we might get a better view or closer to the ocean by going through the actual hotel. It is so good to hear that you liked it.
I couldn't really find many reviews on that exact rental so hearing that it was great for you and that Loraine was great is a relief to hear. We will tell her hello from you!
I have never been to Ireland so can offer no advice. We are so excited to visit TCI. TO date, our favorite place has been south Maui... I think that will be hard to beat but I hope we will love TCI just as much b/c its a little shorter travel time to get to.
I wasn't able to see your pics. It just took me to the site but no pics....=(
I loved your restaurant tips!
Is there good snorkeling within even 3 miles... MDH and I can walk pretty far it it's not 100 degrees (we're from Texas...) Thanks for the help.
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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For snorkeling read Virginia and blamona posts above.

We walked from OCW to The Sands(Hemingway's) on the beach for lunch one day. It was far but doable. Now look on your map---Coral Gardens(snorkeling) is somewhat farther on. Maybe you can tell if you want to walk that far.
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Old Feb 7th, 2011, 09:52 AM
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laceelite----maybe you can view these photos. If you want more, I can add to them.

http://s708.photobucket.com/albums/w...view=slideshow
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Make sure you check out blamonas recent restaurant reviews.

http://www.fodors.com/community/cari...ou-warm-up.cfm
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