turks and caicos hotel choice

Old Oct 5th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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turks and caicos hotel choice

Greetings!
Planning a surprise birthday 4 night trip for my wife and our 1 year old boy. We want a quiet, clean hotel (with kitchen/kitchenette) on Grace Bay with pools, and restaurants, etc. within walking distance. Don't plan on renting a car and likely won't even leave the resort. Have found affordable options at Alexandra, Royal West Indies and Ocean Bay. Thoughts on these? I've seen conflicting reviews on other websites regarding the ages of these facilities as well as staff friendliness.
Thanks much!
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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Do you mean Ocean Club (not Ocean Bay, never heard of that one)? Alexandra is the newest of the 3, really GREAT onsite restaurant Mango Reef, can easily walk from there to a handful of others. Also, in the same category...have you looked at the "Sands" ?
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for your reply. Yes, I do mean Ocean Bay. Haven't thought of the Sands but it appears to be a little more expensive. I've been looking at renting through VRBO rather than the hotels themselves...cheaper.
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 10:07 AM
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All your choices are great. Just so you know, no one hotel is close to everything, everything is in clumps.

Alexandra is the furthest from supermarket and shopping strips, but on a terrific part of Grace Bay. Yu can walk to a couple of restaurants from there either by beach or if you use sidewalks there is some dark areas. Yu really need a car if you want to snorkel, and quite frankly, you need a car to take your 1 year old to Sapadilla Bay, which will make him, quite frankly, beyond giddy.

RWI is walk to supermarket and numerous restaurants and small shopping strips. Still need car to get to other less expensive restaurants and snorkel. While it's kid friendly, it's not as kid friendly as Alex and OC.

Ocean Club West might fill the bill for you. Close to supermarket and small shop strips. Close to. A couple of less expensive restaurants. Still need car for snorkel, other restaurants and Sapadilla Bay. This is probably the "oldest" property of your choices.

For a full kitchen, keep n mind you'll need a 1 bedroom or higher size room. On VRBO there is 1 unit that's smaller with full kitchen, but it rents fast. It's the only one I can think of.

Cars rentals start at $39 a day, taxi ride one ride will cost you that.
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Old Oct 12th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Alexandra vs windsong?
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Old Oct 13th, 2011, 02:51 AM
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Alexandra has many dining options nearby, Windsong not as many. Windsong on narrow beach and gets crowds snorkeling at the reef , Alexandra beach larger and more spread out plus, as mentioned B4 excellent onsite restaurant.
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Old Oct 13th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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Wind song overall is a nicer category resort.
Both you'll need a car, both have really dark sections if you're walking at night.

Alex is closer to the middle hub, wind song is right in front of an excellent snorkel reef.

For what you're looking for, I think RWI is best choice.
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Old Oct 17th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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I am not an expert, but we did just return from a five day trip last week, and we didn't go far from where we stayed either because we did not rent a car.

We stayed at Le Vele, so I don't know much about the places you've mentioned other than what I saw during my walks on the beach. However, based only on having accessibility to things by walking (or using a resort bicycle if one of you goes out independently without baby), I would think, of your three choices, that Ocean club west would be your best choice for location if you don't get a car. From there you could walk to a few good restaurants, the grocery store, pharmacy, and a few shops.

RWI appeared to me a little further east of those things, potentially making for a longer walk. While RWI gets high ranks from blamona for value (and I did not see the inside so I cannot say and I'm sure it's lovely), I did not care for their narrow stretch of beach, proximity to Club Med, or few numbers of beachfront rooms (given their narrow stretch of beachfront). Alexandra seemed a little farther west, and I did not have a good sense of what may be around it for walking/finding restaurants, other than those you would get to by walking along the beach. However, I did like their beachfront.

Le Vele might fit the bill for you if you really do want small and quiet, but it really is small and quiet. We loved the privacy on the beach, and the pool was nice, but it is not a large lavish resort with lots of pools and a lot to do other than lounge on the beach or at the pool. They do not provide free non-motorized water sports or snorkeling gear but they do provide complimentary bicycle use. (there was an ocean kayak that my husband and I used once, but it appeared to have cracks in the bottom and had water inside it when we got back (!) Le Vele also does not have a bar or restaurant on site.

However, the positives of Le Vele - great location; they do provide free breakfast in your room each morning (bagels or croissants with apples, oranges, bananas and orange juice) and they have a cooler with plenty of water bottles by the pool; much privacy and quiet - beautiful beach front with no one on it; every room/suite is ocean front (a plus to me if bringing with you a napping baby). Their current promotion is stay 3 nights get 2 free, which was great for us staying 5 nights. They also paid for our hotel/airport transfers (taxi fares), and provided one night's dinner for two anywhere we chose to eat (this promotion is supposed to be dinner for two at Grace's Cottage - right next door at Point Grace - but that resort was closed the week we were there, so instead we ate at coco bistro and they reimbursed us).

We really like the location of Le Vele - we were in easy walking distance to Salt Mills Plaza and Regent Village shopping plaza. We rode bikes to the grocery store and pharmacy, but you could also have walked. The following restaurants were within an easy walking distance (10 min max):

via the beach:
Grace's Cottage (at Point Grace right next door)
Hemingways restaurant (at the Sands)
Bay Bistro restaurant (at Sibonne)
The Deck (at Seven Stars)

via the road:
Salt Mills Diner
Yoshi's (japanese)
Danny Buoy's (irish)
Bella Luna (italian)
Vino Tiempo (wine bar - but good food)
The Vix
Lemon (moroccan/mediterranean - I think we could have walked here based on signs, but we never actually saw it)
Thai Orchid (thai)
Garam Masala (indian)

An easy bike ride, or a bit longer walk (or drive)
Caicos Cafe
Jimmy's Dive Bar
Coco Bistro
Coyaba
and probably many more I cannot think of.

If you are only there for four nights, you may not want to wander far, but I do wish we had rented a car for one day to go to some of the other places on the island I had heard so much about (sapodilla & taylor bay; the conch shack in blue hills; turtle cove marina). From what I hear, sapodilla bay is worth a visit with small children due to the shallow calmness of the water. While Grace Bay is beautiful, the water gets deep fairly quickly (not that you would let a one-year old wander the shoreline on their own anyway).

The only reason we did not rent a car for a day was because we had a lot of rainy weather and when it finally did clear up on our last full day (and planned car rental day), we finally got to see that incredibly gorgeous beach we'd heard so much about, and couldn't bear to leave it for the day.

My thoughts... sorry so long. Good luck!
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Old Oct 17th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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Of the three you are considering I would say Alexandra would be best.
Great central location right next door to Regent Palms (shops and world class spa) Somerset and a couple of dining options and Bay Bistro at Sibonne. These are in addition to Mango Reef which is a good value right at the Alexandra.
Caicos Dream Tours operates out of this resort too for excursions that might be something you might want to do.
I like the more central section and the beach frontage is very nice at the Alexandra.
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