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TPAYT Mar 12th, 2009 01:46 PM

Trip Report: Turks & Caicos 2nd time around
Just back form our 2nd trip to Ocean Club West, GraceBay, T&C.

We had an easy flight from Milwaukee to Charlotte and then on to Provo---one of the reasons we returned. We also heard that US Air is starting a direct from Chicago--even better.

We arrived at OCW late in the afternoon, and we were glad that it looked just as good as last year. Got settled, walked on the beach, and had a burger at Seaside Grill at the resort.

The next day the weather was perfect. MDH golfed early and I read a book on the beach.
Sounds boring to some, but it's my way to spend some time.

The next few days the weather was somewhat cool for the islands and very windy, but it was nice in the shelter of the pool area. It improved much for the remaining days.

What we like about OCW is the low rise buildings with very easy access to the pool & beach. Plenty of beach chairs in all areas, so no 7am rush to snag one. The beach cafe has good, reasonable food & drinks. The grounds are beautiful & very well kept. The staff friendly and efficient. The condo units have large balconies & kitchens. Now I really don't cook on vacation, but we like to have breakfast on our balcony and a frig for wine, soda, etc.

They have a shuttle to the IGA, nearby golf course, & restaurants. MDH enjoys the golf course, again, easy to get to with shuttle, resaonable price($575 for 5 rds. of 18), and challenging course.

The weather improved and we took a drive with another couple around the island and to "Da Conch Shack" for drinks & snacks---very good.

All in all, the island wasn't as busy as last year. They are building a lovely shopping area across from The Saltmills. It looks like it will be high end shops, but they are all empty now. We picked up a few small things for the grandkids, but not much else.

Grace Bay beach was just as beautiful as ever, and we enjoyed walking & swimming there, a very relaxing vacation. The sand is some of the best in the Caribbean.

The restaurants are excellent, with a good choice of prices. Here are my comments:

SeasideGrill-OCW-----very good, reasonable casual food. Best burger we had.
Calico Jacks----again, very good, reasonable casual food.
Da Conch Shack----fun place on the beach. Great selection of conch dishes, drinks & wine(who would ever expect Veuve Cliquot at a beach shack?)

Mango Reef-RWI-----excellent, loved the coconut shrimp & lobster ravioli.
Coco Bistro----also excellent shrimp satay and rib eye, with a great wine by the glass selection(ex: Sanford Pinot Noir by the glass, very rare find even at $16.) It's in a beautiful setting and the service was outstanding.

Iguana Steak House---another great pick of shrimp appetizer and blackened grouper. I've read mixed reviews about this place, but we liked it.

O'Soleil----definitely not our best experience. Good food, but very small & overpriced. Extremely bad service.

Coyaba----I've saved the best for last. It was our favorite last year, so we saved it for our last night on the island. I reserved a garden table on the internet about 2 weeks before we left. The setting was perfect, the service friendly & efficient (which always doesn't happen with team service). We had wonderful shrimp appetizers, MDH had a steak, and I had lobster thermidor. Great wine list. I had Caymus Conundrum (again a rare find by the glass). We were too full for their great apple pie for two, but did have cappucino for me and Jamaican Blue Mountain in a small french press for MDH.

We will definitely return next year, hopefully with our grandchildren. The weather wasn't as good as last year, but who can predict that? We still had a great time, and would recommend Grace Bay and Ocean Club West to anyone. As I've said before on this forum, we've been going to the Caribbean for 19 years now, and this is our favorite island.

OceanBreeze1 Mar 12th, 2009 03:44 PM

Hi, TPAYT! Thanks for your trip report. Sounds as if you had a wonderful time. When you say temps were "cool" how cool are we talking?
We are considering T & C for 2010 for a "beach holiday". We have just returned form Aruba where it was in the mid-90's every single day. Can you give me some idea of the average temps in T & C for late Feb/early March?

virginia Mar 12th, 2009 05:04 PM

ob1, this page will give info:

mymoosie Mar 12th, 2009 06:18 PM

We just came back from Provo (3/5-3/9) and there was a weather front passing through. It was very windy. It wasn't too bad during the daytime under the sun, but it was definitely cool at night that we needed light sweaters. The water was cool, but not cold. We were there around the same timeframe several years back and it was also cool in the evenings.

OceanBreeze1 Mar 12th, 2009 07:25 PM

Thx, everybody!

caribtraveler Mar 13th, 2009 12:56 PM

I must be boring like you. Give me a good book and a beach and I'm in heaven! :-)
I'm glad to see that Coyaba and Coco Bistro still offer great meals.
Thanks for sharing!

blamona Mar 13th, 2009 08:55 PM

sounds like a nice trip. I know what you mean about service. I've had plenty of experience in T&C, where you have multiple servers, in the begining they are all suffling silverware, buy the end you have to track them down for 20 minutes to get the check--and forget about refills on drinks! I also think there's island time, and then there's brutal I feel like I'm putting them out time. I had a slow experience once with O'Soliel, but lucky for me, the singers were singing so that made it all good. I've had consist good luck at Coyaba and Coco Bistro, I've had concsistent bad luck at Anocaona.

TPAYT Mar 14th, 2009 09:47 AM

virginia---thanks for the tip on weather underground. It's better than the site we were using.

oceanbreeze1---it was cooler this year(2/28/09 to 3/10/09) than last year(3/08/09 to 3/19/09). You did need a lite wrap at night and it was windy. I don't know if this was because it was just a bit earlier or the weather pattern for this year.

blamona---good description of team service. I think if the singers were there it would have been a little more tolerable.

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