We like to begin presentations by offering our conclusions first and then explain the reasons for them. So consistent with that preference we’ll lead off by saying we greatly enjoyed our stay at Seven Stars and would have no hesitation to do so again.
We’ve stayed on Provo only once before which was last year at Grace Bay Club where we had an ocean front one bedroom suite in the adult hotel section. At Seven Stars this year we had an ocean front Premier 1 Bedroom Suite in the Alhena building. We used TCI Reservations to do the booking and that worked well, for the most part. Sometimes their responses were quick while other times they were slow. From several travel “rewards” they offered for using their reservation services we selected the $125 voucher for use at the Seven Stars Deck. We were told it would be waiting for us at the front desk when we arrived, but it wasn’t. It appeared a few days later. Then when we tried to use it the staff and management at The Deck had no clue what to do with it, even after making phone calls trying to learn how they could apply it. Later when we were chatting with the Rooms Division Manager, Bela Govindjee, we mentioned the problem and though it wasn’t her responsibility she immediately took care of the matter by issuing a credit to our resort account which would be used to offset any expenses of our stay, not just charges from The Deck.
Upon our arrival and after a quick, painless check-in and welcoming rum punches, we were greeted by Bela who informed us our suite was not ready because of some unspecified maintenance work being performed and was extremely apologetic, genuinely so. She told us we would be escorted to The Deck where whatever we wanted and as much of it as we would like would be free while we waited. That wasn’t all bad! About an hour or so later we were collected and taken to our suite where a bottle of wine and a note of apology for the inconvenience were waiting. Also waiting, as arranged before the trip with concierge Leo, were the flowers from Environmental Arts and two six packs of Coors Light in the refrigerator (requested since we were arriving on a Sunday and there were no grocery store sales).
Though we included a few pictures of the suite in our photo tour …shutterfly.com/commands/pictures/slideshow… we will say that the ones on Seven Stars website http://www.sevenstarsgracebay.com/ are better and most importantly are completely representative – no embellishments whatsoever – what you see is what you get. And the floor plans included there are accurate. We have no idea if it’s a proper comparison (apples to apples), but this suite was much nicer than what we had at Grace Bay Club with the principal differences being more and better furniture, a full kitchen with all upscale appliances including a wine cooler and multiple types of coffee makers. Just as a quick aside with respect to the kitchen, it’s easy to overlook the very effective ice maker housed in the large freezer drawer beneath the refrigerator doors. Every day we were able to fill a good size cooler bag with ice from it. Other differences from GBC were the presence of a utility room with washer and dryer, and an additional half bath. The view from this year’s accommodation was significantly better and the well-furnished, large balcony was much nicer than the small ground level patio we had at GBC.
We had very few “complaints”. One of those was the poor quality toilet paper supplied, just as was the case at GBC. That truly puzzles us. Perhaps it’s considered a “high end” crinkly pattern, single ply, but by our standards it’s very low quality and certainly not something we would ever have in our home. Our guess is some bean-counting procurement person has managed to undermine their premium resort image in an attempt to save a relatively small amount of money. Very bad decision. We also didn’t care for the bed pillows. They looked “fluffy” but quickly compressed to about an inch thickness when one’s head rested on them. Another disappointment was the large tiled shower which was quite nice except for the shower head which was like the one we had at GBC and truly disliked, and also only warm water – not hot. The shower head was one of those wide types which has no meaningful pressure to the water coming from it. Though it may be intended as a conservation measure, it’s self-defeating because it takes so much longer to rinse the soap from your body and it’s almost a futile task trying to remove shampoo from long hair. We’ve made a note for future stays to bring a small adjustable wrench and a cheap Walmart shower head with us.
Housekeeping was perfect. The two people teams spent a lot of time each day very carefully cleaning and importantly they cheerfully respected our “do not disturb” request which was often in place until late morning. In the late afternoons we would hear the doorbell ring and find someone there with bottles of water for us and asking if they could do anything for us. After several days of that we learned it was actually the daily “turn down” service and we could terminate it if we liked. We did cancel it because it was waking us from our customary late afternoon nap after our time on the beach and at The Deck, and before we roused ourselves to prepare for a nice evening out. The people at Seven Stars really are most accommodating.
The grounds of the resort are absolutely lovely and any guest with even a modicum of appreciation for quality landscaping would do well to explore what’s there. Nicely designed and nicely maintained – very tastefully done.
We won’t dwell on dining at the resort since we hope to do a separate write-up about our gastronomic experiences. But we will note here that the restaurant Seven is attractive and the dinner staff are exceptionally well trained and well spoken. Last year we rated the evening meal we had at Seven as being our overall best dining experience, but that wasn’t the case this year. It was good, just not great. The free morning buffet is provided at the restaurant and was most enjoyable. Though not nearly as extensive as that at GBC and also without the option for individually prepared dishes, it was more than adequate. There were lots of fresh fruits, cold cuts of meats, cheeses, cereals, yogurts, scrambled eggs, exceptionally good bacon, a large variety of pastries, breads and juices in addition to other things. And there was the option of being seated outside on the nice terrace or inside to take advantage of the air conditioning.
The salt water pool is quite an attraction but our preference was the beach. And when it comes to describing the beach itself, what can we say? It’s prime Grace Bay – incredibly beautiful. As we noted last year, the sand truly is white powder, no exaggeration, and the water clear with hues of turquoise.
The Seven Stars lounges, umbrellas and towels are perfectly adequate, but not in the same league as those at GBC which most definitely are superior. Contrary to some indications we received before our trip, there was always readily available beach service for food and beverages, and any assistance that might be needed with umbrellas and such. We did something rather unusual for us which was to pack a collapsible cooler that we used each visit to the beach. We would make periodic visits to Graceway Gourmet to purchase cases of Coors Light and subsequently we would take whatever we wanted for the day to the beach in the ice filled cooler. For those who might be interested in doing something similar, our effective cost/beer was $2.33 versus $8.89 from the beach attendant ($7 + 12% tax and 15% service charge). We indeed were somewhat surprised to find the staff cheerfully complimentary of our resourcefulness. They most definitely didn’t mind us bringing our own. Fact of the matter is we made a really smart decision to take the cooler apart from any economic considerations. Someone at Seven Stars had made the decision to stop offering Coors Light and their remaining supply became exhausted. The staff indicated they were getting quite a few complaints about the matter – understandably so from our perspective.
One of the fun beach related activities was feeding the fish. Sandra would take bread into waist deep water and in no time at all she would have a flock of what looked like silver bodied angel fish enjoying her treats. She also would soon have a flock of bystanders wanting to watch and, of course, she shared with the kids and showed them how to do it. Her fish feeding episodes were soon eagerly awaited by a number of the kids each day.
Pretty much without fail, after we had probably over beached it, we would adjourn to The Deck bar. It’s worthwhile to note The Deck was one of the major motivations for us to stay at Seven Stars this time rather than Grace Bay Club. We love being able to sit at a beachside bar with a great view and listen to both recorded and sometimes live music. What’s available at GBC just isn’t the least bit comparable, though we understand they’ve now added a small appetizer bar by the beach. In addition to the actual bar, The Deck has table seating and also large sofas around a fire pit. Very, very nice. Try the spicy spring rolls available on the menu there – delicious and definitely will get your attention. If you sit at the actual bar, the tenders Alen and Eddie will keep you entertained. If you arrive and discover they’ve forgotten to turn on the music, ask them what’s up with that. They’ll give a big grin, say “Oops”, and remedy the situation.
We enjoyed browsing the small boutique in the reception area. Whoever buys for it has very good taste. Sandra acquired a lovely linen shirt dress there.
Arranging a late checkout time from Seven Stars proved to be no problem and, as they very consistently had been the entire 11 days, the front desk staff and concierges were extremely helpful, cheerful and an absolute pleasure.
Guess before we conclude we ought to share for those who care about such things that the cost of our reservation at Seven Stars was 27% less than that quoted for Grace Bay Club.
We’ve mentioned Bela Govindjee a couple of times and as we reach the conclusion of our report want to say a bit more about her. We had quite a bit of interaction with her during our visit. She has significant responsibilities at the resort and while, no doubt, very competently performing them, always took the time to personally deal with guests. And we would like to share a little personal experience that we think typifies her extraordinary caring and attention to guests’ needs. Before our trip we determined because of the serious illness of a family member we needed to be certain we could be contacted at any time and we asked the resort for an emergency email address and phone number that would be monitored 24 hours a day. Subsequently during our trip we learned from one of the staff that the ones which were provided ahead of time to us were the personal, private email and cell number for Bela which she had volunteered to meet our needs. As we noted on our resort critique requested at the end of our stay, Ms. Govindjee was the shining star among the many bright lights in the Seven Stars constellation.
Hopefully it’s obvious from the preceding comments that we hugely enjoyed our stay and indeed look forward to more in the future. We highly recommend this resort to others. Based on our experience with many top flight establishments around the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico, we don’t find it the least bit surprising that for 2013 Travel & Leisure ranked Seven Stars as the 9th best resort in all of the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas and 1st in the Turks & Caicos. A well deserved honor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.