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Turks & Caicos- our first trip!! We need some advice!!

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Turks & Caicos- our first trip!! We need some advice!!

Old Jun 17th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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Turks & Caicos- our first trip!! We need some advice!!

My fiance and I are going to Turks and Caicos in July for our honeymoon. We are staying at Grace Bay Club. I have a couple of questions for our trip!

We are not renting a car while we are there. Will we have to get a taxi for most trips from our hotel to restaurants in the evenings? Are taxis easy to get?
How long of a taxi drive is Blue Hills Beach/Da Conch Shack from Grace Bay Club?
How long of a taxi drive is Chalk Sound from Grace Bay Club? Is this worth it?
Is Graceway IGA the only place near Grace Bay to get groceries?

Would anyone recommend the Conch Farm?

So far I am considering Coco Bistro, Hemingways, Grace's Cottage, and Magnolia Wine Bar for dinners. Do you have any other recommendations or thoughts on this?

I thought it would be fun to have a little picnic on the beach one night- any ideas on where to get some fun things to eat, wine? Is this safe to do on the beach?

Any other spots that we must hit or things to do while we are there are very well appreciated! Thank you!!
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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I am interested in your replies as we are having a Jan. wedding in Turks at the Windsong. Did the Grace Bay Club help to find the photographer/videographer? We have about 30-35 people coming with kids so I too am interested in places to eat. We are looking at using Kissing Fish for a dinner cater? Anyone used them for a beach bonfire? Any info would be helpful.
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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ok, I went back and re-read your post and I see that you are honeymooning in TC. sorry. I am still interested to see if anyone has used Kissing Fish and all the questions you asked.
Does anyone know how far the Windsong is from the Somerset?
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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From Grace Bay Club you can get a taxi to/from any restarant--no problem at all BUT, I think they have their own shuttle. To Conch Shack it's at least 15-20 minute drive, taxi would be very expensive, guess $40-50 each way. Chalk sound is beautiful but, you'd would have to get the taxi to come back later, Chalk sound is mostly villas, not a real place to pick up / drop off. Conch farm...nothing great,just rebuilt from hurricane. Graceway Gourmet is close to you , Big IGA is out on Highway. I would rent a car form Grace Bay Car Rentals for 24 hours, go to all of the above you asked about...easy in one day! www.gracebaycarrentals.com They will bring you the car..$39.00 a day. Corolla type, older car.
For dining check out O'Soleil at The Somerset -fantastic, for more casual,Mango reef-fantastic, big menu. Also love Bay Bistro !
Picnic in front Of Grace bay club--great and safe, get everything at Graceway Gourmet-wine, pate, cheese,meats, french bread, berries, etc,

Weddingmom- Check out Tropical Imaging for photos
Kissing fish is fantasic, they own Bay Bistro at the Sibonne--excellent restaurant.
Windsong is about a 20 min walk on the beach to the Somerset--NOT recomend walking it on the road at night!!
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 04:12 PM
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When we stayed there 5 years ago, the hotel offered free shuttle to nearby restaurants. I was looking into staying there next month and saw they still offered it. At the time, we used it to go to Coco Bistro and Grace's Cottage. For other places, I'm sure the hotel can call a taxi for you and you can ask the restaurant to call you one when you're done eating.

Grace Bay Club offered romantic dinner on the beach at the time. I'm sure they still do.

The best thing we did was go on a private boat charter with J&B tours. It lasted about 3 hours and we were taken to nearby cays. Fabulous.

We did rent a car for a couple of days. I'd recommend doing that so you can see a bit of the island.

My trip report:
http://www.nbptravel.com/TurksandCaicos.html

Have fun planning.
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 04:39 PM
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this is one of the best dining spots in Provo - don't miss it!

http://www.coyabarestaurant.com/
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:23 AM
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Just returned from Provo on Monday on a girls trip. Stayed at Vila Del Mar, just behind Grace Bay Club. Beautiful place, fairly new. Missed the ocean view, but honestly, worked perfectly for us since we were on a budget, and our walk to the beach was prob as short as others stayign in the resorts and we were able to use GBC as needed. Should be great for your honeymoon. It was so quiet!

I would suggest renting a car. By the time you pay for cabs and wait, etc, its worth it to jsut have your own. I've heard nothing but good things regarding gracebayrentals.com, but if you want to use one of the companies at the airport, your options are budget or avis. we did budget and it was easy and cheap usign online coupon code thru costo travel.

Everyone warned us how expensive it was to eat out, but using suggestions from here, I didn't think it too bad. We brought some snacks from home and made our own drinks for the beach and ate out dinner and once at Hemingways for lunch. Great salad and shrimp at Mango Reef nearby. Bay Bistro was suggested plenty of times as well as coyaba. We didnt go to Da Conch Shack, but intead to Horse Eye Jacks. Food was ok, atmosphere was fun. Live music on Sundays I think it was.

Hope you have a wonderful time! We kept thinking GBC would be a great place to honeymoon. Congrats!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 01:08 PM
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I am from the UK but live and work here in Providenciales. You will have a wonderful trip! Very excited for you! Firstly, taxis should be fine for trips to and from restaurants - one thing to remember is most of the hotels operate special shuttle buses so for example if you wanted to eat at one of the hotel's restaurants such as O'Soleil at The Somerset (which would be a great place to go for dinner by the way) offer a shuttle. And also Grace Bay and Nikki Beach also do the same so when you're here it's def worth asking concierge to call the hotels to organise you a ride.

For travelling to and from sights such as Chalk Sound I think you really should hire a car for the day. You can do most of the island in one day alone: you'd be able to do Chalk sound, Sapodilla Bay, Blue Hills and the Conch Shack and most likely the Conch Farm all in one fail swoop. Grace Bay Car Rentals are the best service and best value for money and not far from where you are staying. It really is worth the $39 a day and much much cheaper than getting a taxi to take you around!!

There are only two supermarkets to shop at really...the Graceway Gourmet located very near Grace Bay Club or the IGA, bigger, cheaper but further away. Your best bet is to shop at Graceway Gourmet for your stay.

Food wise...Mango Reef, Hemingways, Conch Shack, Bay Bistro, Jimmy's Dive Bar, Calico Jacks are all cheap (for the island) and very cheerful. Your best place to visit for cheap and very cheerful is bar Somewhere, on the beach near Coral Gardens, Tex Mex fresh food, nice menu and lovely beach location. Main meals are about $10 each.

Fresh the only bakery on the island and is near you and def worth a vist for breakfast or lunch! Get there early though before everything goes.

Mid range and fabulous is Lemon! in the Village at Grace Bay - Morrocan Tapas and very yummy. Great for a lunch with wine!

For a nice meal out O'Soleil would be my number one and also Coco Bistro, Coyaba and Magnolia are very good. The Somerset Resort/O'Soleil also have a great live band on a Friday evening and do specials on drinks 6-8pm and have a fantastic tapas menu (try the truffle oil and goats cheese pizza, trio or hummous or the calamares). Hmm, getting hungry writing this.

A note to 'weddingmon' Windsong isn't far from The Somerset...nothing is very far away really here. You could walk it with a good pair of shoes on - it takes me 15-20 mins to run that distance. Get a taxi if it is for a night out!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:14 AM
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We loved Coyaba and Coco Bistro and Grace's cottage. Fantastic. Magnolia 'ok' and long ride away.

Look into 'Silver Deep' for a fantastic day of boating. We were with a large group so did private charter. It was fantastic. Lots of snorkeling and then a beach barbeque on a private beach. It was delicious and so fun. our friends also did the secluded beach trip another day and loved it [very romantic]. And if you're there during a full moon you could do a glow worm tour.
http://www.silverdeep.com/

Congratulations and enjoy!

Oh and skip the conch farm. You can look for conch shells on a snorkel trip.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:30 PM
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Thank you everyone for all of your wonderful advice! It makes me so excited to get there!
Lele 29- Where is Fresh bakery? Also, where is Graceway Gourmet?
A lot of you made it sound like renting a car for one day would be a good idea! Is it hard for someone to drive there, seeing that they drive on the left side of the road?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Also, how far would it be from Grace Bay Club to Magnolia Wine Bar at Miramar Resort?
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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I just got back from Provo last week for a family trip. Skip the Conch farm. It is ok if you have kids because you see a couple of conchs in their shells "Jerry and Sally" and get to touch them when the guide holds them up and they poke their heads out. It makes for a good photo but the tour is very short for the $10 charge and not that interesting. I suggest you rent a car. Grace Bay Car rentals is who I used. It is not as difficult as I feared. Just yield to the car on the right at the roundabouts. As for dining, Hemmingways is a must because of the view and the food is good, but the food and service was better at the Mango Reef. You need to experience Da Conch Shack but just do lunch there because the food is OK at best. You need to do some snorkeling at Coral Gardens. It is easy to get to and not crowded this time of year
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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grace bay club to miramar about 20-25 mins. magnolia is on the hill just above turtle cove marina - nice view.
here's a map (use the scroll bar or the page will change): http://www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com/map.htm
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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To drive to Magnolia from GBC is only about 10-15 minutes by car .
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Just got back from GBC, see my trip report today. They do have their own shuttle and you are given a phone. So you call your consierge when you are done with dinner and they come pick you up, not a long wait, very efficient. I wouldn't rent a car, not worth it.

Da Conch Shack is only about 15 minutes, I'm not sure if the shuttle will take you, but I don't see why not. We rented a car the day we went to Conch Shack that's why I'm not sure. Chalk Sound isn't worth it IMO.

I would recommend a private sailing charter w/Beluga.

Have a great time!
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 07:27 AM
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You may want to get a car at least for a couple of days. 1 taxi ride=same price as car rental all day. But the freedom you get is priceless. GBC does offer a shuttle to other restaurants, but to nothing else. You are walking distance to the new IGA Gourmet supermarket.

Taxi won't really take you to Chalk sound, which is an amazing sight. They won't take you to Malcolm's Beach, Pelican Beach, or Sapadilla and Taylor Bay either. If you want to see those sights, there is no way to call a taxi to pick you up unless you have a cell phone. This are do not miss sights!

Weddingmom: Tropical Imaging is the most incredible photography company, highly recommended. If they are booked, then also check out Christine Morden at www.MyParadisePhoto.com.

For an ultra romantic excursion, I highly recommend Silverdeep's Beach Getaway-they drop you off (by boat) to stunning Half Moon Bay, with umbrella, lounge chairs, drinks, food, coolers-all day, mostly to yourself. I gave it as a wedding gift to my sister, was their favorite day.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 09:31 AM
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Magnolia looked awesome (from the road!), it looked like it had a wondeful view. CaribZack is right, it's really close to GBC only about 10 minutes or so and the shuttle will take you. They also will take you to the new IGA store down the road if you don't want to lug your groceries walking. You just call them when you're done shopping.

GBC does give you a cell phone and they can put minutes on it for you in case you do choose to take a taxi to places they don't go. It is also very convient to rent the car for the day. If you arrange w/GBC, they have them pick you up in your car, they drive you up the road to the rental car co. then you sign your paperwork. They have parking spaces for your vehicle and you can leave it there for your consiege to turn in for you or you can do it.

That romantic excursion on the island sounds amazing, I would sure choose that if it were my honeymoon! What a great suggestion Blamona.

Weddingmom: We used Tropical Imaging for our family photos per Blamona's suggestion....they are wonderful!!!! Anita Marcus was our photographer.
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Old Jul 9th, 2009, 09:30 AM
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Hello everyone,
Great info, thanks, going next week. Did any of your cell phones work there?
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 09:51 AM
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We just got back. My husbands cell worked fine (AT&T), mine (Sprint) did not. MIL-(Verizon) Did not. Grace Nay Car Rentals can also rent you a cell phone.
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