Warning, this review is LONG. There are so many things to mention to help future travelers. My wife and I stayed at this hotel from June 1-11 and had the time of our lives. Weather was perfect with just two short rain showers during 2 afternoons out of 10 days. We travel frequently, so we are not easily impressed, but we were very impressed with Gansevoort, called Wymara(parent company) on the island! I will use sections for this review to keep it on point and organized...ENJOY
The hotel picked us up from the airport on-time and with ease. It took us 15 minutes from walking off the plane to getting into our hotel transport. Customs was lightning fast and easy(no bag check). We were greeted with rum punch on arrival and were shown our incredible one-bedroom ocean front room.
Our one-bedroom ocean front room was amazing. The rainshower head in the glass encased shower was the best that I have ever experienced and the super-deep tub was incredibly relaxing. The room had a fully equipped kitchen, washer dryer, dining room, living room, bedroom and bathroom. The ultra modern features include electronically adjusted shades and modern plasma tv's in the bedroom and living room (Yes, don't feel guilty about occasionally checking ESPN Sportscenter or your favorite show!) . The heavenly view from our balcony was full ocean front (room 1309) and had table, chairs and a great lounger.
The staff at the hotel are incredible and they tend to your every need. From Jamal (the pool/beach guy) to the pool and beach manager(Jill). From the food servers, Leonard and Lynn to the front desk staff, Jean Francois and Diane, these people go above and beyond to guarantee that your every request is taken care of. Room service was up in our room in 20 minutes or less and the included continental breakfast is large with muffins, toast, fruit, yogurt and juice/coffee.
The hotel grounds are amazing, with a very modern, white exterior. The pool is not huge, but very well designed, incuding pool islands and the most comfortable padded loungers you will every experience. The beach and pool have more than enough pool and beach chairs, and this would probably hold true even during high season. The gym was well equipped and brand new(as the rest of the resort). You can get a very comprehensive workout in this gym and it is air conditioned fully for your comfort. There is an equipment desk on the beach that provides you with free snorkel gear, kayaks etc.. This is great for snorkeling at the nearby and walkable Coral Gardens or Smith's Reef. There is a beach bar to quench your thirst, and full pool service from Bagatelle that serves great drinks and killer Chicken Wraps for lunch. I am unable to comment on Bagatelle's dinners, as we chose to dine away from the hotel for our evening meals. However, the guests seemed to enjoy the dinner fare at Bagatelle. The hotel also offered, Core Fusion, Sport Fusion and a yoga class offering taught by Erin Jacque and assisted by MaryLou. My wife went to these classes EVERY day and LOVED them. They were 1-hour classes that challenged your limits of flexibilty, core strength and focus. The best thing about Erin is that she allowed you to do your best and was motivating and inspirational to the entire class! Her classes were one of our trip's highlights! The classes were usually around 9-10 am and 5:30-6:30 pm. Try a class, you will love the experience. These classes were regularly $28per class, but were free to us (I think that our package included these classes). In addition, our package included a 1-hour massage for each of us. Christina gave us an incredible massage in the most tranquil environment. I woud highly recommend this service during your trip.
My wife and I did not travel with our children, and therefore did not want to visit an Disneyworld like atmosphere chock full of screaming children. Although I would not say that this resort is anti-families, it had very few families during our stay. The vibe of the hotel is South Beach and laid back. There are not really any hotel activities for children and it seemed that the few families that we saw were reserved and well behaved. I would not recommend this hotel as ideal for families. This hotel seemed to be best suited for couples who want relaxation and break from their hectic lives.
First off, my wife and I enjoy good food and solicited many opinions from locals and travelers to decide on our evening dining pleasures. We went to 3 restaurants twice because they were soooo good! Our favorite wasa little restaurant located in a plaza called CAICOS CAFE. They have a charming atmosphere enhanced by incredible service from the chef's daughter, Justine, and great helpers that set-up your table and tend to your every need. ORDER THE SCALLOPS, they are the best that I have ever had. In addition, the carrots prepared in a ginger orange sauce were to die for. These were so good that I called in before our second dining to ask if I could get a large order of these. The restaurant obliged and had my favorite side dish ready ...just for me! The desserts are great, highlighted by Apple pie with raisins a la mode. From start to finish, this was a great meal.
Our second favorite was COCO's BISTRO.The atmosphere under the lighted swaying palms was awe-inspiring and they started off our meal with a pesto enhanced bread that was both unique and addictive. The duck wonton appetizer was wonderful and their seafood was delicious. The total meal, service and food gets an A+.
Our next winner was Coyaba. This restaurant had the most creative menu on the island, taking ordinary offerings and adding spice and flair. This was evident when the bread opener was accompanied by a coconut butter comprised of coconut cream, cream cheese and sour cream (insanely good), followed by a conch ravioli that had unique spice and accompaniments. The chocolate fondant dessert was a special treat. The only hiccup at this restaurant was an ambivalent server (that we encountered on both dinners). She was not rude, just unengaging and lacking of the pleasantness that you find in most any other restaurant. We also loved the atmosphere and service of Parallel 23, the unbelievable sea bass at O'Soleil and the the casual dining of Tiki Hut and Somewhere on the Beach.
One piece of advice...GET ONE!!! Taxi's are enormously expensive and at $39/day, Grace Bay Rentals will deliver and pick up your car at your hotel. At the Gansevoort, you will find that you need a car to get to most any restaurant, the grocery(IGA) and the most incredible beach on the island, Taylor Bay (I'll talk about this slice of paradise later). The owner, Todd is the most amazing person that we met, giving you any information on directions and things to do. He even offered to bring me beach chairs for our beach adventures!!! Driving on the left is a snap, and apart from turning on your windshield wipers when signalling to make turns, you will have no problem with island traffic. One last piece of advice...GET A RENTAL CAR!
I gave this slice of heaven its own section for a reason. My wife and I explored the whole island and found nothing that came close to the beauty, seclusion and relaxation of Taylor Bay. If you do nothing else while you are in TCI, GO HERE!!! When you see this beautiful bay you will know what I mean (pics attached). It is next to Sapodilla Bay, but is less visited, more pristing and more breathtaking (in my opinion). To get to this bay is a little tricky. You pass Las Brisas on the right and travel about a mile to Ocean Point Drive (maked by a small sign and a pile of nicely stacked and lanscaped rock formation). You make a left hand turn on Ocean Point Dr and drive a couple of hundred feet to where the asphalt ends and the concrete road begins. You will park at this point on the right hand side of the road that has a dirt shoulder big enough for 2-3 cars. Walk down this path for about a minute, pass the tennis courts on your right, and walk into this heavenly paradise. The beach is expansive, finer sand than Grace Bay(if you can believe it), warmer water that Grace Bay and shallow (less than your waist) for the entire length and width of the bay. Walking on the sand (both in and out of the water) is like walking on pillows, and you can lay on your back for hours while wading in this paradise. And now for the best part...YOU WILL PROBABLY BE ALONE. In 5 separate trips to this bay, we were alone the whole time for 3 of the 5, and the most crowded it ever got was 2 other couples spread out over this enormous playground. Bring a lot of water, sunscreen and beach towels as this is a secluded and unshaded bay. PLEASE go here and let me know of your impressions.
Bring singles or two-dollar bills(my favorite) for tipping. It's not necessary, but we like to appreciate great service. Stock up at the IGA. It;'s not cheap, but you can make your lunch each day and save a ton on your vacation bill. Pick up little petit-four desserts from Fresh Bakery near Salt Mills.This is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without abandoning your beach body. Take a ton of digital photos, as these will be your chronicles of these amazing sunrises, sunsets and the best beaches in the world. Try to get a room on floor 2,3 or 4 so that you will have a better view of Grace Bay and the beach. Try to get a one-bedroom suite with full kitchen and washer dryer. This will help you pack less clothing and offset your trip costs by preparing some meals. Try to arrive and depart on a weekday, as I have heard many nightmares on excessively long Saturday lines. Arrive with a great attitude, you will have the time of your life. Please contact me with any questions, Dan.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.