Turks and Caicos - quick getaway in August

Old Jul 21st, 2012, 10:08 PM
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Turks and Caicos - quick getaway in August

Hi all,

I am looking at a quick celebratory getaway for 4 days, 3 nights to a beach destination near the East Coast with my spouse. Turks and Caicos Islands caught my eye on this forum due to its rave reviews by all who have been there. The turquoise blue waters do appear amazing!

I have some questions:
(a) Is it suitable as a quick getaway (Thursday to Sunday)? That's the most we will be able to take in terms of time off. It's closer to the US East Coast, so I was thinking of this over Aruba or other Caribbean destinations.
(b) We are able to make the trip only in the second week of August. Is it a bad idea to travel to the islands during this time due to hurricane season? I read about travel insurance on another posting. Is it worth it for August?


Thanks!
go2europe is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 03:44 AM
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I think it's one of the best for quick getaway. Most flights arrive between 12and 2:30, and resorts are 15 minutes away tops. Most flights leave between 1:30 - 3:30, so great to maximize your time.

I've been plenty of Augusts and weather has been fine. Of course, can't predict future, only past experience. My past has been hot, water super calm and crystal clear. You can get hurricane insurance if you need extra piece of mind.

What's your budget? Do you need active or looking to relax? Can make some recommendations for you.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 07:57 AM
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Our budget is about $5000 (+/- $1000). I don't mind splurging on a few things, and saving where I can.

I was hoping to try out snorkeling and jet ski, and get some quiet time on the beautiful beach. I would love some recommendations here. Also would like to to try some local vegetarian cuisine (if any!).

For accommodation, I found room tariffs at West Bay Club (one br luxury) and Somerset (1 br ocean view) comparable. Which hotel should we go with?

Most people recommend getting a car there. Can that be avoided when staying at Somerset? Perhaps we could bike, or is that impractical?

And lastly, I checked the prices on specific hotel and airlines websites as well as on Expedia/ Orbitz and found that the packaged deal on Expedia/ Orbitz comes to be cheaper by $400 or so (total $3200 for 4 days and 3 nights). Which one would you suggest. Is there any other way to save?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 03:28 AM
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Somerset is a step up from West Bay Club. You can stay for 3 nights at Somerset and avoid a rental--many great restaurants within walking distance.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 07:58 AM
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Thanks blamona and Caribzack. I am trying to find out more information on huricane insurance, but so far I have only come across general trip insurance for delays and cancellations. Where should I look for it?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:32 AM
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Not sure on Insurance --maybe call a travel agent. We have been in August , never got insurance--great weather and the water is so nice!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 11:24 AM
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Thanks again, Caribzack.

On checking more about Somerset, it seems like they are upgrading their wireless service. Currently wifi is available only in the lobby. Also looking at reviews, it looks like most people have not had a friendly service experience there recently. I got a taste of it when speaking to them on the phone! Any suggestions on hotels comparable to Somerset?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 11:53 AM
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WOW. We have had wireless in our suite everytime and have always had a great experience with staff/service. Hmmm...we spent our honeymoon next door at Regent Palms--very nice , great suites etc...we just happen to like Somerset a bit more. Why not call Somerset back and ask to speak to the GM and explain the experience?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Try: Insuremytrip.com which will give you a complete breakdown of companies and exactly what they provide. Make sure you read the policies carefully. For more $$ some offer cancellation for any reason, others don't.

About Somerset: I could be wrong, but I think I read that they are under new management? Maybe that explains some of the service issues?
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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Thanks Weadles! That was very helpful. I visited the site and spoke to the customer service person at insuremytrip.com who suggested a plan suited for my travels.

I ended up making hotel reservations at the West Bay Club through Turks and Caicos reservation at http://www.turksandcaicosreservations.tc/
They were extremely helpful and were able to offer a better deal than what I found on the internet! Lack of wireless service at Somerset would have be an inconvenience for us. But they'll fix it soon, so guests staying at Somerset after August need not worry about connectivity problems in the hotel rooms.
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Here I go again.... Time to rave once more about The West Bay Club. I didn't post about it earlier, since you seemed to have your heart set on Somerset, etc. We stayed at West Bay for the first time last November and fell totally in love with the island and West Bay. As I've posted elsewhere, I think it's an excellent value both for its accommodations and it's uncrowded beachfront. We are going back twice this year!
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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go2Europe, my family and I will also be in Turks for a weeklong vacation next month, staying at Le Vele Resort. We were on the island for our first time last January, but didn't see West Bay Club. It looks very nice on their website.

We didn't buy trip insurance, probably because we always seem to be under hurricane threats in Florida, and don't worry too much about it. It's not a bad idea though, if insurance makes you feel more confident with your plans.

We also used Turks & Caicos Reservations, same as our last vacation. They're nice people to work with, and were very helpful to us.

Hope you have a great trip! Counting the days.
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 05:18 AM
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West Bay club looks very nice! I'm confused about why you would need a kitchen though? Are there no restaurants at the resort or near by or is this more like a VRBO situation?
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Hi, looks like you have already gotten great advice. I agree that Turks is great for a quick getaway especially from the east coast. I would also recommend you consider a car rental for a day so you can explore some of the other beaches the island has to offer around the chalk sound area including Taylor bay and Sapodilla bay.
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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For a quick trip , I would not waste time leaving Grace Bay...
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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I have to agree with mnag about renting a car. We were there for a quick get away, and appreciated having a car for one day. Villa del Mar was in the middle of the busiest area, but we still needed to drive to Sharkbite, and we wished we had driven to Coco Bistro for dinners.

We've reserved a car all week this time, and plan to do some exploring. Turks and Caicos Reservations will give you some of the car cost back, depending on the total cost of your room reservation. Be sure to ask about that.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Thanks all for your replies. It is an immense help!

tarpontony, on booking through Turks and Caicos, they offered a "travel reward" that can be used for one day of free car rental. So I think we may use it for that based on your recommendations.

NCgalMRF, I went with 1 br luxury based on the suggestions elsewhere in the forum. It has a kitchen, that I think we will use sparingly, but the view outside the windows is breathtaking! And I read that the finishes are somewhat better. Does that sound like a good decision?

And let's see, we may plan to skip the trip insurance. Can't wait for the trip! Will be sure to post a trip report once we are back!
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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The one-bed luxury units at West Bay are straight out of a design magazine. We were amazed at how nice they are. We did use the kitchen quite a bit- mostly for breakfast and some lunches- because as noted in other posts, food at West Bay leaves more than something to be desired,
especially at breakfast. There is an IGA ( think that's the name) supermarket a short cab ride from the hotel, and we did some basic shopping there on our second day. Have a great time!
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Old Jul 29th, 2012, 07:12 PM
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NCgal, we had a kitchenette at Villa del Mar, and didn't expect to use it much. But once we were there, we realized how easy it was to make sandwiches and snacks for the beach, instead of sitting in restaurants for lunch everyday. It's also nice to keep drinks cold.

We don't like to cook on vacation, but next month our kitchen at Le Vele Resort will be used by my mother-in-law and daughter, especially when my wife and I go out for a "date" dinner.
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