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  • Writer's pictureMegan Winslett

Island Escape to the Turks & Caicos

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

It's no secret that the water in the Caribbean is stunning, but despite the number of places I've been and the thousands of pictures I've seen, the moment I stepped onto the beaches of the Turks and Caicos I was speechless. The water pallet was unlike anything I had ever laid eyes on, and the hotels and resorts made sure to maximize your ability to soak in the island's natural beauty at every turn.

I had two distinct experiences at the Shore Club and the Grace Bay Club resorts. Each touted their own unique amenities and advantages and both were drop dead gorgeous. Picking between the two really depends on personal preference. I could happily stay in either--permanently.

Stay here if: a wide beach and access to restaurants and shopping is important to you

Located on the largest beach on the island--perfect for long walks and close to shopping and restaurants, is the Grace Bay Club. With multiple accommodation options, the all-suite, luxury resort is perfect for an adults-only getaway or a family gathering.

Guests 16 and older can stay in any of the all ocean-view suites at The Hotel. It’s a gorgeous setting for a tranquil escape and has a private, low-key pool. The Villa Suites are family-friendly and range from 600 to 6,000 square feet of living space, giving you the ability to really spread out. There are kids and teen programs and excursions offered through the resort like whale watching, sea turtle workshops and snorkeling, as well as nanny and babysitting services.

If you want your own private pool, media room or outdoor rainshower, the ultra-luxury and private section called The Estate is the spot for you. It is like a resort within the resort! In 2021 a more modern, cliff-side section called the Rock House will be added. Secluded and with views out of a painting, the area is about a 15 minute drive from Grace Bay.

There are seven dining options on the Grace Bay Club property that range from on-the-beach tacos (a must do) to a gourmet culinary experience at Krave, so it’s convenient to grab a bite to eat no matter what you’re in the mood for. The Grace Bay Club is also within walking distance of many local restaurants and shops so you can really get a feel for the local life.

Book with me for: upgrade upon arrival based on availability, $100 resort credit on a sliding scale up to $300

Stay here if: you are seeking ultra-privacy or have small kids in tow

On the opposite side of the island, on a narrow but long beach, with knee-deep water as far as the eye can see, is The Shore Club. All suites offer unbelievable water views and the uber-private 4, 5 and 6 bedroom villas come with a private pool, a butler and private SUV transport to and from the airport.

The entire resort is spectacularly decorated. Everything from the lobby to the rooms looks like it could be featured in a design magazine. Guests have access to four pools--including a dedicated, adults-only pool. Choose from cushioned lounge chairs that are set on a ledge in the pool so you can step directly into the water; hanging, over-water bucket chairs; or private cabanas. You really can’t make a bad choice.

Kids will be entertained watching the kite surfers offshore. More adventurous travelers can take kitesurfing lessons through the resort or rent jet skis. About 10-15 minutes away are the restaurants and shopping of Grace Bay

Book with me for: breakfast for 2 each morning, upgrade upon arrival based on availability, $100 resort credit.

Contact me for more information or book at your own convenience through my Virtuoso online booking hotel tool.

Megan's Musts: Turks & Caicos

Charter a Boat-- Spend the day exploring Turks and Caicos by sea. A captain will take you to Iguana Island where iguanas run free like squirrels in your backyard. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the drift side of the island, a five minute walk from where you anchor. You won't believe how different, though still equally stunning, the water color is. It's such an unexpected surprise.

Visit Potcake Place-- Whether you're an avid dog lover or just looking for an atypical island adventure with kids, Potcake Place is as unique as it is rewarding. This organization takes in stray pregnant dogs and their puppies and cares for them. Visitors can meet the puppies, take them for walks--and even adopt! Talk about the ultimate souvenir!

Attend a Thursday night Fish Fry-- You really get a taste of life as a local at this weekly event that starts at sunset each Thursday. In addition to local foods and tropical cocktails, there is live music and entertainment. The highlight of the night is the island's Junkanoo band. There are dozens of local men playing Caribbean-themed music on instruments made out of junk--think metal trash cans, boards and utensils!

Eat at Coyaba Restaurant-- When you first sit down, order dessert. Yes, you read that right. The apple strudel is out of this world and takes time to make, so put in the order before you even open your menu--I promise you will thank me. Local island foods combine with European influences to create an outstanding menu.

Shop for high end jewelry-- It sounds like an odd recommendation, but there are a number of high-end jewelry shops on Turks and Caicos and all purchases are duty free. If you've been eyeing a certain something special, you may be able to save a significant amount of money.

In addition to being easily accessible with direct or one-stop flights from most locations, the island uses U.S. dollars so you don't even have to worry about converting currency. While not difficult to get around, transportation on the island is on the expensive side so keep that in mind when you are weighing renting a car or hiring a driver.

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