T&C (Provo) - RWI Trip Report (Long)

Nov 29th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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T&C (Provo) - RWI Trip Report (Long)

We just got back from a seven night stay at Royal West Indies (11/9 ? 11/16). We had booked a studio oceanview room, with a request for a building as close to the water as possible or an upgrade to oceanfront if one became available. (All the oceanfronts were booked at the time we reserved.) We ended up with Room 422 (4th building, second floor), and as far as oceanview rooms go it wasn?t bad. We did actually have a view, albeit small, of the ocean. We also had a view of the gardens, one of the pools, and the restaurant. It would have been my preference not to have a view of the restaurant, but there was nothing wrong with it. It wasn?t noisy or unsightly; just my preference. RWI also offered us the room of 531 (I think), which was a bit farther back and higher up. The oceanviews may have been slightly better (negligible) and so we stayed where we were. The accommodations are clean, spacious, and simple. The studios have a full refrigerator, a microwave, a toaster, various utensils, ?kitchen? sink, and a washer/dryer combo with detergent provided daily, if needed. The bathroom is a decent size with a full tub/shower. Our studio had a king-sized bed, a lounge chair, a desk and chair, two nightside stands, and a table with two chairs. The deck is a nice size and cable TV selection is ample. Dresser space is limited. My only complaint is the bed?..it was very hard and the sheets were not a high quality, high threadcount variety. Nonetheless, I slept very well. All of the staff were very pleasant, helpful, and courteous. There is free use of the hobie cats, snorkel gear, and rafts. I thought the pools were very aesthetically pleasing, and they were a good size. One of the staff members mentioned to us upon arrival that RWI had won an award(s) for having the best gardens. They were indeed very nice and well kept.

Mango Reef: They just changed management/ownership about 1 ? months ago. We ate breakfast there every morning, and split lunch there every afternoon. We both thought that breakfast and lunch were very good, although our expectations are not as high as they would be for dinner. The funny thing about breakfast?..I don?t think we were charged the same price for the same breakfast on any given day. That being said, it was always cheaper than the stated menu price. Go figure. Maybe the prices changed with the ownership. Lunches were always charged as stated. The food cost was reasonable; several sandwiches are available for less than $10 including fries. My husband and I did eat there for dinner our last night. I had the grouper, which I thought was good. My husband had the prime rib, and it was fair. The dining experience does not really compare to other options on the island, but we didn?t think it was horrible either.

Restaurants: We went to Hemingway?s, Anacaona, Coyaba, Grace?s Cottage, and Magnolia. With the exception of Hemingway?s, all our dining experiences were memorable. We both found Hemingway?s to be rather disappointing. It has a nice ambience, nice bar area?..but the food was disappointing and the service was disjointed. We had so many servers, we weren?t sure who to order from and then ?they? forgot to put in our dinner order. My favorite meal was at Coyaba?..the sea bass was beyond belief. My husband?s favorite meal was at Grace?s Cottage. Out of all four places, you can?t go wrong. They were all exceptional. We had thought about trying Coco Bistro, but a few people we ran into had eaten there and were not happy, so we passed. We did get several recommendations for Aqua, but we did not get there. In addition, Anacaona has a pleasant and inviting bar area, making it a nice place just to go for drinks and it is close to RWI. We went to Danny Buoy?s once for after dinner drinks, but we never went back.

Cabs: We did not rent a car. We strictly used cabs to go to dinner and back, as we did not do any sightseeing this trip. The least expensive ride was $8 one way (Anacaona) including tip, and we walked home along the beach. The most expensive was $30 round trip (Magnolia), including tip. Our cab fare averaged less than a daily or weekly rental. We did not go to the IGA or the local grocery store. All we wanted was water, and we just bought it at RWI. RWI provides a shuttle to the IGA for $20 round trip (this is NOT per person). I heard that the IGA is expensive, so it might be better to go to the local grocery store.

Weather: We had gorgeous weather while we there. The sun was out every day, although there were a couple of days with passing clouds and some passing showers. The showers generally lasted several minutes and then the sun came out. The one weather variable I did not expect was the wind. It was very windy while we there, which caused very rough seas. There were only three days that we actually got into the water. There was also one day of ?stinging? sand, which was unpleasant. Mostly the wind made the sitting on the beach very comfortable?..but it was disappointing not to get in the water more. I overheard other guests say that their snorkel trips had been cancelled and there was no snorkeling off the beach. I think I saw hobie cats in the water only one day, and there were no JoJo sightings. From what I gather, it gets windy in Provo during their winter. What I?m not sure about is if the rough seas were also common.

Children: This is definitely a kid-friendly place, so if you?re looking for adult only?..that is one thing Club Med has going for it. There was only one day where there were bunch of kids running rampant all over the pool area. Running, jumping, yelling, splashing, etc. It appeared to be a couple of families who ?found? each other. I will say this, I don?t believe the kids were behaving badly?.they were being kids. The parents were behaving badly by not controlling their kids. Other people on vacation do not want to be around unruly children.

We did not have any problems with construction noise, and Club Med was relatively quiet.

This is long already. If anyone has any questions, please fell free to ask. If I remember anything else I will add it.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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Lizzie,
Thanks for the info. I am surprising my husband with a trip to RWI for his birthday. I really appreciate the restaurant and resort info; you can never be too informed. What did your husband order at Grace Cottage for dinner that made it his favorite? Did the resturants have a decent wine list? When I say decent, I mean more than 8-10 selections of wine. Also, when you did go in the water, did you snorkel at all? In general, what was the average temperature during the day and evening? Again, thanks for sharing your vacation - I really appreciate it.
largall is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 09:50 PM
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Thanks so much Lizzie for your very detailed, informative report. I'll be incorporating a lot of what you wrote into my upcoming trip.

You went to all the restaurants I want to try so I really appreciate your comments. Do you recall if any of them allowed infants?

Lastly, was it windy all throughout the day or just in the afternooons? If it's the latter, at least can I try to get activities planned for the early morning.

Thanks again
bluefan is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 04:40 AM
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largall: I believe my husband had the tenderloin at Grace's Cottage. He just thought it was a really good piece of beef. He had a glass of wine with that meal, but he didn't really care for the server's suggestion. He didn't think it complemented his meal very well. For Grace's Cottage we found out that the chef was brand new and was learning the menu. We never would have known, as our meals were excellent and the ambience is very romantic; very much like a Japanese garden. The servers, however, were a little green (i.e. not as helpful with the menu or suggestions, or what comes with the entrees). Every restaurant we went to had a wine list, but we really didn't drink that much wine. I have heard that Magnolia has a very nice selection....my suspicion is that they all have decent wine lists. It was really too rough to snorkel, so no, we didn't attempt it. There was one guy who went out one day, and he was back within 5 minutes. Daytime temps were in the 80s and it was very comfortable. I don't know what the nighttime temps were, but I usually brought along a sweater just in case. Some nights I needed it (mostly because the wind made it chillier) and other nights I was fine without it.

Bluefan: I saw infants/children at Hemingway's, but I really didn't see them at any of the other restaurants. A couple with a 9 month old was staying at RWI while we were there, and they found a babysitter. They said she was a local policewoman?!? I'm not sure how they found her. As far as the wind goes....it was pretty much windy all day and at night as well. The wind wasn't so much the problem (except for the one day of stinging sand)....it was the roughness of the water. Since Grace Bay is on the windward side of the island I guess it's not too surprising. Some people did go to the leeward side, and the water was very calm. There are no beach chairs, bathrooms, or vending services on the leeward side, however.

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post....and how I left this out I'm not sure....Grace Bay was the nicest beach we have been to. It had the whitest, finest, softest sand we had ever seen.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Thanks so much Lizzie for your response.
bluefan is offline  
Dec 5th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Ted
 
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November is probably the worst month to go to Turks & Caicos. I went one November & it rained all day for most of the week & the other days were extremely windy. It is considered rainy season a risky time to go there.Have been to Provo most other months & weather has been terrific.
Ted is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 04:43 AM
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Then I guess I feel fortunate, because our weather was beautiful. Got a great tan and didn't need to sit out and bake.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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Lizzie,one question I forgot to ask, do most of the restaurants and shops, etc. take credit cards? I shy away from carrying lots of cash on these types of trips. Thanks.
largall is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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Yes, I think we paid by credit card at most of the restaurants. You should have no problem there.

And I forgot to give credit where credit is due.....Thanks HowardC for all your great information. Your restaurant suggestions were right on.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2005, 06:08 AM
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Lizzie, Thanks for your report. Have always wanted to go to the T & C. Can you tell me if there were ample beach chairs and umbrellas for shade at RWI? Is it the type of place you have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a beach chair? Thanks.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Jan 1st, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Lizzie518,
Great trip report! So would you return to Provo and would you stay at RWI again? Room #531 was where they first put us and we didn't care for that one at all. No view!! I had to laugh when I read your comment about breakfast at Mango Reef, because we had the same experience. Same breakfast, but a different price everyday! Glad you had a good time.
Sandy
GC_Sandy is offline  
Jan 1st, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Message for orangetravelcat: We stayed at RWI the end of Nov/early Dec and did not have a problem getting chairs and umbrellas on the beach. The staff takes all of the chairs and umbrellas off the beach at the end of day and sets them up again around 7am. The hotel was about 60% full when we were there. We were worried that it was going to be like Aruba where you had to get up at the crack of dawn to get a hut on the beach. You need an umbrella on the beach for shade. There are no palm trees to sit under for shade.
carol3 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2005, 06:58 PM
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I agree, great report. My boyfriend and I are going to RWI in 2 weeks and cannot wait! Do you have any recommendations for sailing or snorkeling trips? We're looking for a tour company that treats the ocean life with respect and doesn't just ship people to a tourist trap. I see Sail Provo all over the place but wonder how a company with so much advertising can remain loyal to the natural marine life T&C seems to have... Thanks in advance for any suggestions...
Jan2005 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2005, 07:35 PM
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The waters of Turks & Caicos are protected marine reserve and any reputable outfit will be respectuful to the marine life, but it's up to everyone to do their part! Be sure to go to the white house for some of the best snorkeling on Provo!
sharkdiver49 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2005, 10:52 AM
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We had no problems with the beach chairs/umbrellas. We headed to beach each day about 10-10:30am and never had to scramble for a spot or empty chairs.

We would definitely return to T&C. It is a lovely island with a magnificent beach. I wouldn't hesitate to stay at RWI again....but I think I would like to try a different place. Accommodations at RWI are very utilitarian.....clean, simple, etc. But I myself prefer something a little more pampered.....things like I alluded to before, such as a comfy king-sized bed and nice egyptian cotton sheets. That being said, there is nothing wrong with RWI. In fact, the in-room washer and dryer were great.

We did not do any snorkel or sail trips. We hadn't planned to anyway....but some of these trips were cancelled due to rough seas. I have heard some good things about Sail Provo as well as J&B Tours (I believe).

Enjoy your stay....it's a wonderful place.
Lizzie518 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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I'm not understanding how Club Med is "adults only."

In fact, I thought they had programs for babies there - maybe I read their website wrong?
dcronin5000 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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Lizzie,
Great report. Of note, the IGA IS the LOCAL store...probably the best stocked grocery store on the island. If on further trips you decide to venture out, there's a good jeep trek to the west side tiki huts and for fresh fish and conch head out toward taylor bay but hang a left well before that....two large buildings at the end.
Traveler863 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 08:25 AM
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The Club Med in Turks is an adult village, no kiddies allowed.
sharkdiver49 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 08:27 AM
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The Club Med in Turks is an adult village, no kiddies allowed. I have been there three times and my wife and I actually met on the beach there.
sharkdiver49 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2005, 06:06 AM
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Traveler863: My memory may be fuzzy after all this snow in the NE, but I thought there was a "local" grocery store called something like the 7/11....but not like the States "7/11" convenience store. The prices are supposedly cheaper. But I could be oof-base.

The ClubMed in T&C is definitely still adults only. I have heard reports, however, that ClubMed is trying grab more market share and may be converting some of their adults only sites into family friendly destinations. Don't know ??
Lizzie518 is offline  

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