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TRIP REPORT: Turks and Caicos: Providenciales (Provo)

TRIP REPORT: Turks and Caicos: Providenciales (Provo)

Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 24
TRIP REPORT: Turks and Caicos: Providenciales (Provo)

We stayed in Provo over the holidays, with a group that involved older parents (late 60s with knee problems), mid-30s, and a four-year old and a one-year old.

We rented through VRBO one of the properties at Coral Gardens, and it was an okay facility. The building management was accommodating enough, and the property was well-situated on Grace Bay.

The BEST part of the location was indeed the beach and the snorkeling. The reef is gorgeous and accessible. And the Somewhere Cafe which is next door is a fine place to grab a bite when needed, but not great food overall. There's not much else that's great in walking distance. The hotels on either side (West Bay Club, Gaensvoort, and the Wind Song) had decent restaurants but not spectacular. And the Somewhere Cafe could be LOUD at night, which might be bad if you have kids with you.

Our favorite place became the Tiki Hut, which I'd read about on here. It's in Turtle Cove Marina, which is pretty bare bones, but the indoor/outdoor setting and delicious menu is well worth it. And it's reasonably priced. Great place for kids.

We checked out Hemmingway's closer into town, which was nice enough, if a bit overpriced for what it is. In general, I felt that, if you're a foodie in "real life" you'd be disappointed by food options on vacation in Provo. You'd probably do better sticking to the local places, like Da Conch Shack and Tiki Hut which have no pretenses, though perhaps Grace's Cottage and some of the REALLY high-end hotels have better fare.

If you have people in your party who can't snorkle, the Undersea Explorer trip might be worth considering. It was a bit overpriced for less than an hour, 20 minutes of which is spent getting in and out of the marina, but it's pretty neat and better than a glass-bottomed boat.

The short trip to Iguana Island is also worthwhile as an alternative. Again, it's a short one-hour round-trip, and worth bringing a bathing suit to have a dip in the lovely shore on which you land, especially as it can be HOT, even early in the day, with little shade. 2 of the 3 boardwalk paths were destroyed in the recent hurricanes, so it's a very short little path to see the Rock Iguanas. If you do this, make sure you bring GRAPES, which you can feed to the iguanas, and it's amazingly engaging.

Some warnings:
- Food in general is unbelievably expensive. Even shopping from the brilliantly stocked IGA Market (a cab ride away) was easily triple what you'd pay in the states.
- Cabs are also expensive - priced per person NOT per trip, and they vary wildly depending on the driver - so be sure to ask prices in advance.
- Absolutely leave 3 full hours at the airport. While there's not much there, the security line can be an hour wait, so best to bring food with you and leave extra time.
- If you want anything to play with in the water (floats, sand castle stuff), you should bring it...snorkles are plentiful, but other kids or pool leisure stuff is picked over. We got something called the Sea Explorer float with a clear window that can be taken into the ocean, great for kids (and adults) who are too young to snorkle:
kazoo is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,813
You said "Disappointed by food options" ...NO, not really...you did not mention any of the best restaurants: Coco Bistro, Caicos Cafe, Bay Bistro, Magnolia, Mango Reef, Coyaba, Anacaona, O'Soleil, Parallel 23 and a few others!
Caribzack is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Thanks for the report. I have to agree I was underwhelmed by the food options also and the prices were quite high. I would have prefered an AI package. That's just one of the reasons why we have not returned.
KVR is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 24
Caribzack, apologies for not being more clear - I meant that if you have high standards for food, the kind of "designer" high-end options just seem like standard fare you'd find elsewhere, though they're the best in T&C - and the prices are much more than you'd expect for comparably good meals anywhere else, just because everything has to be flown in...so, yes, while options like Parallel 23 and Coco Bistro are a good counter point, I typically prefer to have "local" food experiences, since I hail from LA and can get all manner of food here...and the choices in Provo seem to be limited in terms of great local places (the couple I named and perhaps a few others) versus the hotel restaurants that cater to people who prefer the comfort of meals that feel more "western"...
kazoo is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 04:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,813
Thanks Kazoo, we enjoy both the fine dining and the places like Da Conch Shack, Flamingos and Horseseye Jacks . I just did not want people to get the wrong idea, again thanks for the added info. We live in NYC and on Long Island on weekends and the provo prices are very much like ours ! (Even some of the IGA prices, ugh )
Caribzack is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 05:25 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
Thanks fo rthe tips, just a note: "- Absolutely leave 3 full hours at the airport. While there's not much there, the security line can be an hour wait, so best to bring food with you and leave extra time.

Most planes back to the states leave about the same time, so there is that rush when you see the security line out the door. Even on the busiest day, they get everyone on their plane on time, and most get there 60-90 min prior.

Like said earlier, the store and casual dining can be expensive, but I find the high end quality restaurants are VERY well priced
FrankS is offline  
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