I don't usually gravitate to big, AI resorts, but I had miles I had to use, the deal at Club Med was good, and it sounded like a place decently well-suited to my low-maintenance needs. So I went. It was my first Club Med experience.
Big pluses for the beautiful beach, the stunning water, the mostly cheerful staff, the breads, the hot milk for morning coffee, the wide array of activities (only the seriously hyperactive would be able to sample them all), the social setup (I originally thought I'd be traveling alone). I liked that it was adults only. And the whole "Jane Austen meets Euro Sun Tribe" thing (Gentle Members? Chiefs?) sort of pleases me.
This wasn't a trip of a lifetime for me, or a honeymoon, or anniversary, or anything that would cause me to bring particularly high expectations with me. Mostly, I wanted to lounge in the sun and go diving someplace new and reputedly good.
The rooms were just fine--everything worked, the toiletries smelled nice, I never heard my neighbors and it was very comfortable. Some people here have made fun of how outdated the furnishings are, and I guess they're not at the cutting edge of trendy resort minimalism or whatever, but they didn't strike me as heinously ugly or anything even close. Just pretty standard hotel furniture. The alarm clock/radio worked; I didn't put the coffeemaker, hair dryer or full-size ironing board to the test.
It was nice to be able to walk to the office across from reception and rent big clunky beach cruiser bicycles for a few bucks, although the process wasn't 100% smooth (stopped in at about 8 am and was told we couldn't get bikes until the following day, and even then, doing the paperwork was a little balky--and they wouldn't take cash, etc.). We could have rented from the same bike company a couple blocks away, too, and saved the small convenience charge. But this was, indeed, more convenient.
The beach was lovely, and it seemed there were plenty of lounge chairs, and there were some shade spots, too. Nice that they have shower/foot wash stations coming off of every main beach path.
Breakfast was always a welcome part of the day--it was cool enough that we usually sat outside so we could enjoy the sea view and the family of pretty cats that would arrive across the rooftop canopies like a troupe of tightrope walkers.
We made some friends.
Things I wasn't all that crazy about:
--Because the rooms don't have balconies or patios, there's no handy place to really dry your things well--and as scuba divers, we had a lot of wet gear and stuff. I found myself dragging things to the beach--effective, but not so convenient. I was glad I had three bathing suits, because it took at least two days for anything to dry hanging from a shower peg. Maybe they could install some discreet laundry lines near the room blocks?
--Though there are a ton of different activities, many of them have weirdly narrow sign-up windows, i.e., if you want to go diving, you have to sign up the day before in one of two places, each of which is only open for a brief bit of time. I think it's because there's so much multitasking required of the staff, but it adds a strange level of rule-minding to what is otherwise a pretty carefree vacation.
--The diving. I only dove with the house shop for one day before switching to another operation. The Club Med boat was great, as it could hold zillions of people, but there were only about seven of us that day. They took us to two sites within Grace Bay (at first they said they were going to go someplace reputedly better), both of which looked pretty beat up. If they had taken us to better reefs right off, who knows--maybe I would have continued to dive with them. The onboard snacks were bounteous, and they bring a dive doc along on every trip, which is a new one on me. I thought the surface interval was too short, but we managed to get in hour-long dives anyhow. They just weren't very pretty dives, despite the appearance of some sharks. I much preferred the operator I switched over to, who took us to much nicer West Caicos sites. In all, I didn't mind doing the day with Club Med, as I ended up thinking of it as my shakeout dive of the trip.
--The snorkel boat. It was fine, and I'll try not to complain about being forced to wear the annoying yellow vest. I do wish, however, that they let you stay in the water longer. I think the limit was something like 45 minutes.
--The food could be better, though I think the cooks worked very hard, and one needn't walk away from a meal hungry. Much to choose from. We were told most of the food is flown in from Florida. Still, I would have liked to have seen a wider variety of fruit. It was mostly melon. Some mangoes, pineapple, etc. would have been nice. There was always a pile of fish, but it seemed always to be tilapia, usually grilled and heaped into a steam pan or made into a rather bland ceviche. Since fish is what I eat, I would have appreciated more variety. The dinner buffets had varied international themes (Italian night, island night, etc.), and one could almost always find something that looked and sounded tasty, and tasted okay. The breads really were excellent, and I liked the big block of Parmesan and ample supply of anchovies at the salad bar.
--The wi-fi, which tended to be slow and spotty. I bought it by the hour, and it was kind of frustrating.
The staff tends to be young, energetic and professionally friendly. It seems it's part of their job to eat and interact with guests at meals--sometimes that interaction felt pretty forced, sometimes moderately genuine, oftentimes interesting and sometimes perversely entertaining, as in the case of a young guy who was indulging in what I would term extensive recreational lying (ie "the sharks here have no teeth"--this made me doubt greatly his tale of free-diving with giant squid). Had I been traveling alone, I would have been grateful for all of it. I was there during low, low season, and I think there may have been more staff than guests, which drove home the impression for me that the young employees are a family, and you're crashing their party just a little bit. The plus side of that GO family zeitgeist was the circus show--it made their athletic feats seem all the more intimate and impressive. We only took in one other show, and, well, I think it's neat that they get to be creative and come up these entertainments for their guests.
The staff at the front desk always helped me when I needed it.
A tip--there's a weekly sailing of the catamarans to a place called Lizard Island. I didn't do it, but it's apparently very popular, so the spaces fill up fast. And like many things at Club Med, there's a very definite time at which you have to sign up. So if you're interested, find out when that is, and be there early.
- Also Known As:
- Club Med Turkoise, Turks & Caicos Hotel
- Club Med Turkoise, Turks & Caicos Hotel Providenciales
- Club Med Turkoise, Turks And Caicos
- Club Med Turks Caicos
- Club Med Turkoise
- Club Med Turks
- Club Med
- Club Med Providenciales
- Turks Caicos Club Med
- Club Med Turkoise, Turks & Caicos Turks And Caicos/Providenciales
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the incredible beauty of Turks and Caicos during your stay at Turkoise. A breathtaking resort designed with a panoramic view of the talcum-soft sand and clear turquoise waters of one of the most gorgeous beaches on the globe. Travel to Club Med Turkoise with your friends or alone to enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in beachfront tropical scenery on the island of Providenciales, in the Caribbean Sea. Stay at this upscale all-inclusive adult resort and experience a vacation as carefree as exciting. Relax on a beach chair or indulge in the ultimate in water sports and fun activities. As one of the best all-inclusive resorts reserved exclusively for adults, this beautiful location is a destination that allows singles and couples to enjoy their getaway like they never have before. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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