Return to Grace Bay

Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:23 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Return to Grace Bay

We had been to Ocean Club West on Grace Bay 3 years in a row and then skipped '11 for another trip. So here we were in March '12 and headed back, both of us wondering if we would like it as much repeating the same things again.

Answer----we absolutely loved our 4th trip to the same resort. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer, 9 days was just not enough.

Flying in over Chalk Sound
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3029.jpg

This time we rented a car through Grace Bay car rentsl as per Fodorites suggestions.
http://www.gracebaycarrentals.com/t
At a base price of $39 a day, it was a great deal. From the very first Email, the process was handled efficiently. We had a small, older Toyota Corrolla which fit the bill to dash around the island. We were met at the airport and on our way within minutes of arrival.

Turning into Ocean Club West, we were happy to see that the grounds looked just as beautiful as we remembered.
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/TCI20091.jpg

We do prefer the jr. suites with more room, but opted for a studio we had rented before to save a few bucks. With the two of us it was enough space and redone with a huge new TV, computer, Sirrius radio, Ipod dock speakers, and a large, screened balcony.

After unpacking, we were down to the beach and into that stunning turquoise water----aaaahh! This is the life. We've been to 20+ islands and you just can't beat Grace Bay beach. It's the one I dream about. Here's a couple of teaser photos, more to follow.
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w.../TCIBeach2.jpg
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2008017.jpg

After a swim and a little beach time we headed to the grocery store nearby for some supplies. We like to have breakfast on our balcony and some wine, soda, snacks, etc.available in the room. There is a full service bar & restaurant right by the water for 3 meals a day. We were told that the restaurant was under new management and you could tell. The food was always good, but the service was not. It has much improved. As we were really tired from our long travel day, we had some excellent fish & chips here and turned in.
OCW, restaurant by the sea.
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012076.jpg

More to follow as we make our way round the island.
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:38 PM
  #2  
 
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Yay! Pictures!
Gorgeous

8-)
blamona is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2012, 01:46 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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i'm just soooo jealous enjoy my favorite island & please keep posting photos.
virginia is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 07:49 AM
  #4  
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It's all about the beach. Long walks, lazy days, dips in the sea. Add to that some people watching, a good book, and a few mango margaritas-----perfection!

Some days calm, some days with waves. It's all good.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3062.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3041.jpg

Day 2
Very distinctive weather. Hot & a bit windy we walked by Grace Bay Club, RWI, Club Med, OC and on to the deserted end of Grace Bay. Some black clouds came on the horizon making the sea appear to be neon aqua in contrast. A very brief sprinkle of rain and they moved out to sea.

Grace Bay Club
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3042.jpg

Club Med
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3035.jpg

Ocean Club--the other one
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3038.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3046.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...I2012027-1.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012036.jpg

After lunch at the resort we went up to Provo Golf Club to get MDH set up for the next morning. He's an avid golfer at home and really enjoys this course (another reason to vacation here.) We the drove around a new development nearby with multi-million dollar homes on canals out to the sea with boats out front. This area needs a lot of work, aka, money influx. Some roads are finished, but it doean't appear that many of the places are occupied.

On the way back we stopped at Coco Bistro(one of our favorites) to make a dinner reservation. This was Tue. and the earliest we could get in was Sun. at 8:30. Tip: call as soon as you arrive, this is a very popular place.

Back to the beach and then dinner at The Tiki Hut in Turtle Cove.
Shrimp starter
Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
Grouper sandwich
Dessert, 2 wines, coffee, & tip $102.
They have a very kid friendly menu, so lots of families here.

Yikes! I'm really rambling on. I'll try to shorten up the next post.
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:09 AM
  #5  
 
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Thanks for reporting in, this is great!! DO NOT shorten up the posts, lol
I can not believe how busy it looks in your phots esp. the shot of the Coral House area ( past Tuscany, Venetian) wow !
Caribzack is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Oh please TPAYT. Don't shorten anything! I'm loving every word. And every picture.
sharona is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #7  
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I agree, it does look busy, but in passing the resorts,the beach chairs were only about 1/2 (or less)) full. Since the beach is somewhat wide in these areas, it really didn't seem crowded. If occupancy was up and all of those chairs were full, I'm sure it would be a different story.

Of all the resorts we walked by, Royal West Indies had the most people on the beach. All of the other places looked half empty, including Ocean Club West where we stayed.

Working on the next installment.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 12:20 PM
  #8  
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Day 3
I was out at 8:30 for a great morning on the beach. Another reason I like OCW is that it is so comfortable for me to be alone for a few hours while MDH golfs. Looking at the ocean and reading "Deep Blue Alibi" by Paul Levine was so relaxing. This Key West, lawyer book is quite funny, so several times I laughed out loud and got some strange looks from near by people.

Umbrella area at OCW and me in the sea
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2008177.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012016.jpg

MDH enjoyed his game and was paired up with a guy who had eaten at "Fairways" the night before. He said the steak was terrific, but the service was "terrible." We had a reservation there this night, We'll hope for the best.

A little pool time this afternoon. Love the river pool at OCW.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2009029.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2008076.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2009052.jpg

A gorgeous sunset and we're off to dinner.
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3190.jpg

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times----"Terrible" doesn't even begin to describe the service in this restaurant. It was non-existent. The beginning service from a young man was almost funny. It was like he was afraid of us. Then a waitress, Vanessa, came & took our order and she was quite professional, knew the wines and menu very well----never saw her again until we asked to speak to her at the end.

The good part of the experience was that the home baked bread(photo), shrimp starter, and steak were all excellent.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012060.jpg

The bad part was the loaded baked potato which tasted old and reheated, and the presentation----a small filet in the middle of a huge white round plate with no garnish whatsoever. I realize that modern, minimalism is in vogue, but this looked just plain weird with no thought put into it.

The worst part was the service after the order was taken. I'm sure they are working very hard to make a success of this restaurant, but even if the steak is good, your whole experience is ruined by the lack of service. We were 1 of 4 tables occupied and nobody was on the floor. More water, another glass of wine, a friendly face asking how we liked our dinner? Who's training these servers? Empty wine & water glasses lined up on the table----at $166 for 2, this should not happen.

I feel sad for the chef, Laure Callighen, who came over from O'Soleil. The bad service is ruining her wonderful steaks.

I usually don't like to say such negative comments, and would normally just not review it at all, but if they don't make some improvements, they won't be there long. They should go and get some tips on how to do it at "Coco Bistro" and "Bay Bistro." Those guys really know how to make your dining experience wonderful. If they can train servers correctly, why can't some of the other places?

Looking foward to Chalk Sound tomorrow.
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 12:39 PM
  #9  
 
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Wow, friends went to Fairways in February and had a very bad experience like you...too bad....keep up the post and photos--this is great! TU
Caribzack is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 01:00 PM
  #10  
 
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love love the last pic from day2 - the birds!
don't shorten. ramble on.
now to read day 3
virginia is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 03:31 PM
  #11  
erp
 
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Love your posts. I am thinking of going to Turks in July with my husband. Are you familiar with West Bay Club -- we are considering that hotel.
erp is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 03:37 PM
  #12  
 
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Erp, west bay club is awesome.
Actually won Fodors choice this past summer.
blamona is offline  
Apr 4th, 2012, 09:15 AM
  #13  
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Another gorgeous morning on the beach. Then around noon we headed to have lunch at Las Brisas on Chalk Sound.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3100.jpg

The views were outstanding. With the water being only 2-3 ft. deep every change in the sun brought new colors.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3105.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3068.jpg

You can lunch in this gazebo next to the main deck.

src="http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/ww90/TMPAYT/Turks%20and%20Caicos%202012/IMG_3097.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">

You can take a 2 hr. tour around the sound on this boat. $50 per adult, children half price.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3083.jpg

It was so pleasant sitting on the deck having lunch and looking at the ever changing views of the sound. We had a couple of very good club sandwiches and a turquoise rum drink to match the colors of the water. I highly recommend it.

On the way back we stopped at Regent Village where I found some stylish sun dresses for our 2 granddaughters.

Back to the beach. 5pm or so is one of my favorite times on the beach. The sun is getting lower and the water starts to glisten. Another mango margarita---I could sit here forever.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012058.jpg

Another outstanding sunset kept us on the beach much longer than expected.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...T/IMG_3191.jpg

After last nights high end dinner disappointment, we decided to just go to Danny Bouys for a sandwich. Another big mistake.

My steak salad was somewhat good but MDH's burger was beyond terrible and the ff's were so extremely spicy that they were not edible. Again, not very busy and no service. He would have sent it back and I would have had another glass of wine, but there was no server in sight. Finally we got up and went to the register because, of course, noone came with the check. $45 for a very bad experience. Thank God we have reservations at Bay Bistro tomorrow night.
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 4th, 2012, 09:41 AM
  #14  
 
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Bay bistro is my new favorite, hope you love it too
blamona is offline  
Apr 5th, 2012, 02:45 PM
  #15  
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Day 5
Usual early morning beach walk. Then at noon we drove out to The Conch Shack for lunch. So good we ended going there 3 times for lunch. The conch fritters are the best we've ever had with a choice of sides. MDH loved the mac & cheese & cole slaw---I think this is the reason we went back 2 more times. On top of that, the setting was beautiful and the service was fast & friendly. The servers seem to really enjoy their job. Great rum punch. About $43.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3188.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3182.jpg

View from the bar deck
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3162.jpg

Bringing in the conch
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3177.jpg

Take your pick
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3172.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...2/IMG_3140.jpg

This turned out to be great food day. Conch Shack for lunch and Bay Bistro for dinner.

To start with, the setting of Bay Bistro is just stunning. Tiki torches in the sand, waves lapping---marvelous! Finally. great service in a high-end restaurant!

The owners/managers are right there in the thick of things, greeting you at the door, directing the servers, chatting with the guests at the tables. These guys know how to run a restaurant.

We had a shrimp starter followed by excellent Caicos lobster tails for me and roasted chicken with mashed potatoes for MDH. So much of the food on the island is very spicy, so he really enjoyed the plainer chicken----just like grandma makes! Along with some wine, coffee, & ice cream, about $180 and worth every penney.

blamona---I can see why this is your new favorite!

3 lobster tails
http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012084.jpg
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 5th, 2012, 03:28 PM
  #16  
 
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It has become my favorite!
Too bad you're not there next week, we miss each other by days
Too bad bay bistro isn't having the full moon BBQ this month, it's outstanding! Food always tastes better when wiggling toes in sand and s'mores by bonfire.

Today looks like the winds picked up a little according to webcam. I guess you'll tell us with pictures tomorrow?
blamona is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 08:34 AM
  #17  
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Day 6
Golf morning for MDH. If anyone is wondering about the cost, by staying at OCW you get $45 off a round. So for 2 days of 18 holes with a cart and club rental, it was $370. Far more than he usually spends at home, but less than most other Caribbean islands.

We were looking forward to hearing "NaDa" at The Deck at Seven Stars on this Sat. night.----thanks for the ip on this one blamona. We tried to see them in years past, but never got the timing right. I can see why they are so popular. We especially enjoyed the "Sting" songs.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012098.jpg

That's me in the back corner. It looks a bit empty, but it was really crowded except for directly in front of them.

It was such a pleasant evening, warm breeze, beautiful sunset, great music, firepits on the deck blazing,and tasty drinks.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2012102.jpg

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2009021.jpg

Seven Stars is a magnificent property, very attractive grounds. We enjoyed visiting, but It's just a little too big and hotel-like for our tastes

We strolled on the beach back to OCW and Seaside Grill for some great Shrimp Satay and Shrimp Alfredo pastas for dinner. Tiki torches, lights in the trees, slight breeze---wonderful!

Looking forward to Coco Bistro tomorrow night. I dream about their rack of lamb.
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 7th, 2012, 07:58 PM
  #18  
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I have to add that when we left Seven Stars, we drove out to Horse Eyed Jacks. There were many cars in the parking lot and Madison(said she was the owner) came out and said that the place was bought out by MTV for the night. If we'd like to come back tomorrow night she'd take $10 off our bill. If she actually was the owner, this was a nice gesture. Unfortunately we couldn't take her up on it.

Does anyone have any idea if they are going to be on MTV and when?
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 06:12 AM
  #19  
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The next few days were spent in the same way as previous. Might be boring for some, but I absolutely love Grace Bay beach. The more hours spent there, the better.

A couple more lunches at the Conch Shack---love those fritters. On Sun. we heard Stanley Roots ( a local favorite) play & sing. He was quite entertaining. On Mon. we invited a couple we met at our resort to join us for lunch and a good time was had by all.

Coco Bistro-----another delicious dinner. This seems to be everyone's favorite and there is good reason for that. The setting among the tall palms is fantastic. We had a shrimp starter(quite spicy) followed by a rib eye steak and rack of lamb. As I said previously, I dream of that rack of lamb and the rib eye was just as good. Unfortuneately, they ran out of my favorite coconut pie so we had creme brulee and ice cream. Along with a couple glasses of wine & capuccino plus tip about $200 and well worth it. As at Bay Bistro, the service was perfect.

It's hard to choose which we liked better, Bay Bistro or Coco Bistro. The surroundings at both were beautiful, the food excellent, and the service what you would expect in a fine dining restaurant. It's a pleasure to have these two wonderful places to have dinner at during one vacation.

All in all, we were very happy with our return to Ocean Club West. Having the car was an added bonus. We'll be back next March, if not before.

One more sunset photo. It's from 2 yrs. ago, but it remains one of my favorites. It was taken from Magnolia restaurant and is not enhanced in any way---those really were the colors that night. If you have ever been there, you will recognize that lone tree.

http://i708.photobucket.com/albums/w...TCI2008309.jpg
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 13th, 2012, 08:29 AM
  #20  
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Again----does anyone have any idea of what the MTV thing was at Horse Eyed Jacks and when it will be on TV?
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