This year has been about trying new things in terms of travel, and so a trip to the Caribbean was booked. After extensive research on the best beaches, we opted for Grace Bay in Providenciales or “Provo,” Turks and Caicos.
Our trip began on a redeye out of Phoenix on JetBlue to JFK. I was excited because I’d never flown JetBlue. They didn’t disappoint. The aircraft featured lots of leg room, and the airline provided us with ample snacks and even a sleeping mask.
We arrived in JFK for our six-hour layover. While JetBlue’s Terminal 5 is nice, six hours is a long time. Sadly, none of the Priority Pass lounges are in Terminal 5, and we were advised by several people prior to the trip that it wasn’t worth the hassle of leaving security and going back through 2x for the lounge. Instead, we had breakfast – unmemorable at best. The service was so bad that boom, there went two hours. We explored the rooftop terrace and slept at the gate. So glamorous!
Then, it was time to board to PLS. The flight was about 3.5 hours and smooth. I loved seeing the sea as we were coming in for a landing – a brilliant blue color.
We had no issues going through Customs – the line moved fast and the agent even wished my partner a happy birthday. He was excited about that. We hopped in a cab and were off to the Somerset. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a yummy rum punch and a cold towel. Then, we were shown to our room – a 1-bedroom garden cottage with a loft. It was a nice room, but a bit removed from everything except the restaurant. We enjoyed walking around the property and seeing the beautiful pool and stunning beach.
The next morning, we got up for the complimentary breakfast. The fresh fruit was good, and there was a piece of toast and a few pastries. Overall, a bit meh. Then, we headed out to the beach. The beach is gorgeous. I could go on and on about this. The crystal blue waters and so soft sand. I’ve never seen anything like it. I enjoyed swimming and floating. (Tip: Be sure to bring an inflatable from home.) We spent most of the time on the beach – relaxing, reading, napping, and people watching. It was divine.
A common question is where to eat? Here is where we ate and my overall thoughts:
One day, we journeyed down the beach to Hemingway’s for lunch. Lovely views. The food was pretty good, and the rum punch was enjoyable.
Another day, we had our pool bar deliver fish tacos. They hit the spot. For dinner, we tried tapas at our hotel’s restaurant – the Pavilion. They passed around conch fritters (yum), pizza, and chicken and steak skewers. And, there was a DJ. This is a lot of fun on a Monday night.
We took part in the Somerset’s Beach BBQ on Tuesday. I highly recommend this. Excellent, yes EXCELLENT buffet of food. You can eat with your toes in the sand. And, the firedancer was really cool too.
We also dined at Bay Bistro next door to the Somerset. Lovely setting overlooking the water. Tasty almond crusted grouper, fresh salad, and delicious bread rolls. Make your reservations for this one.
Our final night, we didn’t feel like journeying out, so we ordered pizza and mozzarella from Pizza Pizza La Terraza. It was filling and the delivery was super fast. If you are looking for a delivery option, I recommend this.
We only did one island excursion. This was a half-day snorkeling tour with Island Vibes. If you book this only because you want to snorkel most of the tour, I’d recommend looking elsewhere. However, if you want to have more of an intro to snorkeling, sightseeing on the island, and a bit of a boat party, this is your excursion. We snorkeled at the coral reef for about 35 minutes. The water was very choppy. I’m not sure if it is always like this. Some of the group were not strong swimmers and hadn’t snorkeled previously, so they were struggling a bit. After snorkeling, we journeyed to Iguana Island. Beautiful, though I didn’t see one iguana, even though others on the boat did. Our group leaders also showed the group how to harvest conch. We had time for exploring, swimming, and ample rum punch. After a light lunch, we had some time to jump off the boat’s diving board and go down the slide. This was a lot of fun.
We also kayaked and used the hobie cat at our resort. I can’t recommend that enough. We were sad to leave. The beach is so amazing – beachwise, more amazing than Bora Bora in fact. Though snorkeling is better in Bora Bora. Sadly, we didn’t see JoJo the celebrity dolphin, but Elvis, the barracuda, made a few appearances at the beach of our hotel. We also saw a few stingrays.
Would I go back?
YES! A few pointers though:
- Turks and Caicos is expensive, especially if you are eating out. I’d make use of the grocery store next time. (We brought a lot of snacks from home, and opted not to make a grocery store trip.)
- Buy duty-free alcohol at the Airport before you come.
- Try the rum punch. So good.
- Bring and wear lots of sunscreen. You will get sunburnt. Coral reef safe is the preferred sunscreen. The Somerset had sunscreen available too at their sunscreen bar. Even after applying and reapplying, my neck is still burnt.
- Have fun!