I found a wonderful surprise last month when I stayed for a week at “Aqua House” on Grand Turk, Turk and Caicos. It’s a perfect retreat from the fast pace of the outside world.
I was traveling with an old friend and her 17 year old daughter. Two years ago we went to Isla Mujeres, Mexico and through Trip Advisor had found some important amenities that we again wanted to find again: a good value, something right on the beach with lots of snorkeling and diving; but a big night scene was not important.
At Aqua House not only did we have a sandy beach at our doorstep, uninterrupted views of the ocean; we had 2 full bathrooms with plenty of hot water, a good sized closet with ample hangers, and, a coffee maker that was stocked with the gratis provisions (they also provided free popcorn), AND light bulbs in all the lamps! (What a difference from a previous room we had once rented for a week... before I found out about using Trip Advisor!)
We hadn’t thought some of the amenities they listed on their website would be necessary ...such as the washer and dryer…but we sure appreciated the “ever fresh” DRY towels instead of constantly having to move damp ones from one door to another! And, what a surprise to find that 3 times a week a maid cleaned the whole place. Better than home!
But I’m ahead of myself. A few years ago I had stayed at the Ramada at Provo, but found that the diving was a long boat ride. So I thought I'd check out Grand Turk. I finally found a webiste for Aqua House (it wasn’t in Trip Advisor that’s why I’m writing now.)
All arrangements were made on-line with ease. Jack, a taxi driver, met us up at airport. Most of the time we’d walk or ride bikes into town to get groceries or sightsee (interesting historical culture at the National Museum; also rented scooters for ride around the 7 mile island. Do take a bag with your camera, sun lotion, towels and water to drink since you make lots of stops.) WE also enjoyed shopping at the new Cruise Ship Village.
Most of our time was spent in the water. As a “former diver” I snorkeled while the others SCUBA’ed. One fun day was spent in kayaks rowing over the reefs and plunking in the water whenever we felt like it. (We later learned that with proper planning my friends also could have made the kayak into a dive trip.)
My friends who have considerable diving experience recommend the Fish Bowl and the Aquarium as their favorite sites. But I loved Coral Gardens for anyone at any level. And, if you are comfortable swimming offshore and you stay in these condos, Coral Gardens Reef is right off Aqua House’s beach and the excursion costs you nothing!!!. We were able to snorkel all day long. We even did one dusk / night dive there.
For food and drink, I’d recommend the Sand Bar for sunset cocktails, though our balcony also was great and we swear we saw the “green flash” (no, not hot flash!!) Their Cracked Conch is as good as some found in the Bahamas. Also go to Salt Raker for dinner and enjoy the music and talking to the locals. Our best dessert? Key Lime Pie at Ospray.
Other pluses for this island: my cell phone worked! The island is safe yet secluded (important when women are traveling alone.) The accommodations had great fish & bird ID books and also their guest book gave us lots of information so we were never bored.
Downside: they say Turks and Caicos is like Bermuda. Well, I lived for there for 14 years and found T& C has many mosquitoes so bring lots of DEET. Otherwise I had a fantastic time and would return.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.