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Turks and Caicos - Best Time to Book Accomodation

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Nov 16th, 2014, 05:46 AM
  #1
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Turks and Caicos - Best Time to Book Accomodation

Hi Alli,

My wife and I are going to TCI for the first time in Feb 2015. We've already booked our flight and a reservation directly with a resort (Ocean Club) which is fully refundable 21 days before check-in date.

My questions arose as I was looking at comparable rental options through VRBO which offer some price savings but have less flexible cancellation policies. If I like the VRBO rental and it offers a substantial discount, should I just book it or is it likely there will be future discounts offered by the hotel perhaps between Thanksgiving and just after New Years? I know few have the inside information to predict with certainty but what has been the historical pricing?

Thanks!
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Nov 16th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Make sure that VRBO guests can use all resort services.
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Nov 16th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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Resorts will not have any specials for February-- it's ultra peak season and not much left anyway, so no need to discount.

The units at Ocean Club are pretty popular, and majority of vrbo and Flipkey have a 60 day prior cancel, but can't cancel after that.

Some don't have daily maid service, or might not include services directly from the resort, but some do-- so just make sure what's important to you is included.

No one has sakes in February-- busiest month!
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Nov 17th, 2014, 07:42 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the helpful and thoughtful response. After accounting for additional cleaning fees etc and not having some amenities I decided to book through the resort. It also offered a much better cancellation policy allowing full refund up to 2 weeks before. Now that's taken care of it's time to scour the forums for food and activity recs...
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Nov 17th, 2014, 11:50 AM
  #5
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I have three favorite restaurants in Provo. They are: BAY BISTRO,
COCO BISTRO, and SOMEWHERE CAFE ( go for the mixed drinks at sunset).

On the would go but not knocked out by the food list: BELLA LUNA and COYABA.

On the I am going to try this in January list: MR. GROUPER ( fish).

Have fun!
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Nov 21st, 2014, 04:01 PM
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We have stayed at Ocean Cub WEST 5 times(much better location than the original Ocean Club.)
4 times through VRBO and once throught the resort itself.

Here's my advice:

#!---make sure you upgrade from the lowest price. When we took the lowest price through the resort we ended up in a terrible location. Right outside our patio doors was a giant streetlight which made us close the hurricane shutters in order to get any sleep. Also, right below our windows was a repair hut for the next door resort where a buzz saw went off every morning at 7am. There were no other rooms available in our price range to move to.

Our 4 stays thru VRBO were in wonderful locations and obviously we loved it as we returned again & again.

The only downside of renting privately is that you can't sign at the bar & restaurant. Really the ONLY downside.

Rent a car, even for a few days, through Grace Bay car rental. Very nice people and decent, if not the newest , cars. What we also like is that they will make dinner reservations for you ahead of time. Since COCO BISTRO is difficult to get into, this is a great perc.

caribzack----private rentals can use all of the Ocean Club services like beach towels, chairs, etc.
The only thing you can't do is charge to the room. That is unless that has changed.

Our favorite restaurants:

COCO BISTRO----a must
BAY BISTRO----try & reserve a table on the beach
LE BOUCHON---love that French vibe
COYABA---in the garden
BACI---lovely outside setting with everything from pizza to excellent dinners. Make sure you reserve a table outside.
TIKI HUT----nice setting outside on the marina, very casual food.

If you rent a car:
DA CONCH SHACK---for lunch
CHALK SOUND---fantastic views, a nice lunch restaurant, and a boat ride around the sound if you like.
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Nov 21st, 2014, 04:22 PM
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Thanks for the great advice and recommendations.

We did book directly through the resort at Ocean Club West since the price difference was nominal and the cancellation policy much better. What I don't understand when I spoke to them and haven't confronted them about yet is why they allow you to request a room but don't guarantee it and "move rooms around all the time until the very end." I suppose one possible reason is that some studio rooms are adjoined to other units and if someone else books the 2 units together and I happen to have requested the studio then they will bump me since the other party becomes more important since they will be bringing in more revenue overall.

Other than upgrading, which we don't really want to do for budgetary reasons, are there other strategies to get a better room. On that topic, I've heard the studios on the 3rd floor are nice since they have vaulted ceilings and we don't mind the stairs. 2nd floor seems ok also but i've seen people complain of mosquitoes on the 1st floor. Since you've been there so many times TPAYT can you address any of these concerns?

It's great to know that the rental car company can help make reservations at the tough to book restaurants. Are reservations essential for most of the restaurants on the island and if so how early in advance is booking accepted and suggested?

Thanks,
Andrew
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Nov 21st, 2014, 07:31 PM
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For us it wouldn't be the floor the studio was on but what the studio was facing. It seems that the studios do not have pool views and to be truthful, have the least desireable views in the complex.

We stayed in a pricy Jr. Suite with a pool view one time. The other times were in a studio which was just fine & did have a good size screened porch. It had a view of palm trees & was quiet. The privately owned studios seem to have the best views. As I said, the studio through the resort was in a bad location and sort of run down. I don't know how you can get around them telling which unit you will have.

What I would try is calling the US contact at 1-800-457-8787 or 302-369-1420 and voice your concerns.

After we complained someone based here in the US called us and tried to smooth things over after we got home. She said we should call the US office to book again.

That said, if it was us, we'd book thru VRBO or Homeaway in a private unit so we would know exactly what we were getting.

For reservations I think about 2 weeks out should be good.
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 06:05 AM
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OceanClubs, along with 90% of resorts on island, are individually owned condos placed in rental pools treated like resorts.

They have to be fair to all owners, so when it's their unit to rent, they must be fair to owners and that's the unit you get

Can't request floors, won't honor buildings, etc. the only exceptions are they will try if your a repeat visitor.

That's why vrbo and flipkey are the only units you know exactly what you're getting.

Most studios are in the back, so try to upgrade or get thru vrbo

Majority of vrbo offer daily maid, so really just loosing signing to room privileges?

I say stick to vrbo in this case
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 07:55 AM
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Yikes! Reservations? I did mean dinner reservations not condo reservations.
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 11:55 AM
  #11
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For restaurants in peak season,(December-March) I would call at least a month ahead. Preferably six weeks.

Just last week, I booked Coco and Bay Bistro for the first week in January. I was told that both places were already booking up for that time period.
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 01:07 PM
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WWK---good to know. We're usually there in March when 2 weeks out was good.
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 06:40 PM
  #13
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TPAYT- We typically go right before or right after New Year's, which is why it's so busy. March sounds wonderful! Maybe I need to go down again then!!
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Nov 23rd, 2014, 08:42 AM
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WWK----how is the weather in Jan.--isn't it still a bit cold?
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Nov 23rd, 2014, 04:27 PM
  #15
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TPAYT-

We've had absolutely gorgeous weather first week in January, last four years in a row. High 80s during the day, cooling down into 60s/low 70s by late afternoon. Water temps have been fine for swimming. We bring sweatshirts/light jackets for late afternoon, evenings. It's heaven for me. I just hope this year is as good!
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Nov 25th, 2014, 06:25 AM
  #16
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TPAYT & Blamona- good info about the resorts/condos. It makes sense that they have to try to treat the owners fairly. I also think the owners need to maintain the condos to certain standards and expect to be rewarded for doing so. In many places the condos are rated, say arbitrarily on a Platinum, Gold, or Silver scale, to reflect amenities and level of finishes used for renovation. Those could command a higher rate or be the ones that people request. The current system protects the owners who don't want to invest in upkeep at the expense of vacationers who may not get the product they expect. Ultimately this is bad for the resort, IMHO.

WWK-thanks for info we'll start booking for a few places that we definitely want to try while we are there - so many good choices.

How's the weather/water in February? Would we need wetsuits for snorkeling? Is it worthwhile to bring our own snorkel gear if we are only going once or twice?
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Nov 25th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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My family has never needed wetsuits for snorkeling in January, so can't imagine that you'd need them in February.

There is a place to rent gear just behind CORAL GARDENS ( one of the prime snorkeling spots), but my husband complained that his mask was leaking in the water and kids complained about the fit of the fins.

However, if you're only going once or twice, it's probably not worth taking everything down with you and maybe dealing with extra luggage fees.
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