For crystal-clear snorkelling and white sand beaches, stay at one of these first-rate Caribbean hotels in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean has a markedly different feel from its Caribbean neighbours. So far, it has escaped the attention of developers and mass tourism alike – which is great news for you. This British Overseas Territory has eight main islands, wondrous wild beaches, colonial architecture, national parks, incredible marine life and an array of places to stay. Here’s our guide to the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos.
Grace Bay Beach looks impossible; the water photoshopped, the sand too white. It’s a mirage of a place that can’t be real, and yet here it is. More than just one of the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos, it’s been named the best beach in the world several times over. So, if you stick to the pool at the luxury Tuscany resort, we are judging you. Described as 30 “condominium residences”, each has a kitchen with state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and marble flooring throughout. There’s no restaurant, but you can pre-order a fully stocked kitchen ready for your arrival.
Intended to resemble the grand villas of the Italian Riviera (the clue’s in the name), the Renaissance also fronts Grace Bay Beach. The mosaic pool is beautiful, we agree, but get in that sea. We implore you. There are 28 one-, two-, three- and seven-bedroom beachfront suites and eight poolside suites. Again, it’s self-catered, but there is a bar serving food – jump on one of the free bicycles if you need to pop out to the shops. To make use of the tennis courts, you won’t need to bring or rent a racquet; it’s provided. A mobile spa service does in-room treatments.
A bit of a shift from the big condo-hotels that line Grace Bay, the Sibonné is a resort for those that don’t much like resorts. It’s low-rise, not over-polished, and slightly old-fashioned in the best possible way. Quaint, you might say. It may be in need of a little updating, but that means it’s a great value option in an unbeatable location – certainly one of the best places to stay Turks and Caicos can offer to travellers on a budget. There’s a freshwater pool, restaurant and bar. Rooms either overlook the garden, ocean, or if you slant your head and look through the trellis that divides you and your neighbours balcony, a partial ocean view.
Just a two-minute walk from the beach, this 16-suite boutique hotel has an overriding air of calm. There’s high speed internet by the pool, an un-serviced bar equipped with a communal Weber grill for guests to use throughout their stay. In short, the pace is up to you. Well-appointed, even the lowest room category, a double room has a Nespresso machine, microwave, mini-fridge and private patio. Suites, ranging from one- to three-bedroom have a full-size kitchen, dishwasher and laundry. Put those car keys down; with shops, bars and restaurants a short walk away, you won’t need them.
Sometimes it’s the absence of things that makes them so special. Take this ultra-luxe private island resort just west of North Caicos: no traffic, no noise, no pollution. Here, the blissful beach is the star, a mile-long white-powder paradise lapped by turquoise waters. Even the smallest rooms are spacious light-flooded havens anchored by four-poster beds. Beach villas, meanwhile, flaunt such rockstar perks as 24/7 butler service and a private pool – quite apropos since Keith Richards’ villa is just down the road. Bonus: the world-class spa.
The name means “peaceful place” and indeed this mega-plush resort in the northwestern corner of Providenciales exudes a distinctly Zen vibe. Its sleek glass-and-teak villas with platform beds overlook reflecting pools or lush gardens and bring a splash of Asia to the Caribbean. Bordered by a marine preserve, the resort offers an array of aquatic and land diversions along with a five-star holistic spa for resetting body and soul. Don’t leave without trying the Amanyara Mojito, perhaps followed by a starlit seafood dinner.
If you prefer your lodging with a dash of quirk and local hospitality, you’ll likely cherish this adorable beach-hugging hotel in sleepy North Caicos. A family-run institution since 1984, its seven spotless units have blue accent walls that mirror the color of the sea. There are no TVs but for entertainment simply head to its landmark Barracuda Beach Bar to be regaled with cold beers, cracked conch, fun conversation and the inside scoop on snorkelling Three Mary Cays or exploring Wade’s Green Plantation.
If you’ve been fantasising about staying at a resort fit for royalty, give this 10-suite private-island hideaway a lordly look. Surrounded by shallow water so translucent the bottom may well be visible from space, this exclusive sanctuary is reached in a 20-minute flight from Providenciales. Privacy is key, no matter if you enjoy your own plunge pool, steer your golf cart to hidden coves or feel like Robinson Crusoe over a picnic lunch on a deserted island. Bonus treat: complimentary daily spa treatments.
With the iridescent sea literally a hop, skip and jump outside your room, it’s easy to get in your first swim before breakfast at this good-value dive resort on retro-flavored Grand Turk. Superb dive sites teeming with coral and sea life are only a short boat ride away and will enchant even the most jaded underwater adventurer. Non-divers can make finned friends while snorkelling right off the creamy beach or two-legged ones over sunset cocktails and such resort events as movie night and reggae barbecue.
Andrea Schulte-Peevers contributed additional reporting to this article.
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