This was our first trip to TCI and RWI (7/5 to 7/12/09). We stayed in a garden view studio.
Room was nice, clean, and comfortable. The grounds are spotless, the landscaping is lush, the pools clean, and the beach area well managed. The hotel provides detergent for the washer, paper towels, coffee filters, coffee, and powdered creamer. Also included are an iron board and hair dryer. They have bikes with baskets, hobies, snorkel gear, and kayaks (all have time limits). There is wireless internet in the room and one pc in lobby. We brought a netbook so we could make calls back home using Skype which worked out really well. The in-room safe was big enough to hold the netbook but probably not a full-sized laptop. We had no problems with our incidentals bill -- a copy is left for review the night before check out. Also the front desk will call the night before to see you would like transportation arranged to the airport. Overall the property is very well managed and staffed.
The beach is amazing. The water is crystal clear, no rocks or debris on the bottom, no seaweed, and very warm. Make sure to bring a cheap floaty. The beach never seemed crowded but there was always a nice level of activity. The only people that approached us on the beach were the parasailing guy and the glow-worm tour guy. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to drink on the beach or not but everyone was. There is at least one staff member on the beach from 6 to 6.
The pools are very nice. The larger pool, next to the restaurant, is for everyone and has a small toddler area. The smaller “quite” pool area has the hot tub. I don’t know if the pools are heated but they felt like they were. Although the pools aren’t big they never seemed to be crowded or overrun with kids. We never had trouble getting a lounge chair. Drinking around the pool area seemed acceptable; no one said anything to us if we weren’t supposed to.
Out of convenience we ate mostly at the hotel restaurant, Mango Reef. Service, food, atmosphere, and value were good. You can expect to pay for two people about $85 for dinner and $35 for lunch (you can charge to room). They switch to the dinner menu at six so if you want to save a few dollars go a little early and order dinner off lunch menu. You can order snacks after six from the bar like pizza.
We also ate Somewhere’s ($35), a beach front café right near Coral Gardens, which we really liked and Anacaona. Anacaona is right next to RWI at the Grace Bay Club. It’s adult only and reservations are required. Men are supposed to wear a closed-toe shoe but my husband didn’t have any and got away with a sandal. It’s right on the beach and every night they light what seems like 100’s of tiki torches, very romantic. The food is expensive but worth it ($140, one drink each and an entrée).
The Ports of Call, which has a few restaurants, is within walking distance -- about 10/15 minutes by the beach. Its right across from the Seven Stars which has a beach access to Grace Bay Road -- although the access way is kind of creepy at night -- it gets dark early, about 7:45. Anything past the Seven Stars, like the Salt Mills Plaza and Danny Buoys, IMO would be too far to walk.
As most reviewers have mention the cost of food is high in TCI so you‘ll want to visit the grocery. The IGA is an easy bike ride. Prices you can expect - $4 for a 6-pack of soda; $6 for a box of cereal; $4 bag of chips; $7 for a 6-pack of Bud; $12 for a small bottle of Barefoot wine. If you plan to use a credit card bring your driver’s license and you must charge at least $25. The Fresh Bakery is practically at the entrance to the hotel and they have a nice selection of pastries, especially desserts, and they also make sandwiches to order.
My husband wanted to try bone fishing so we rented a car for one day from Grace Bay Rentals ($52 w/ins). You cannot fish from the shore on Grace Bay as it’s a national park. To purchase a fishing license you need to go the Turtle Cove Marina office which sells one-day licenses for $11 or a 30-day license ($?). The one-day license is only good for that day so if you buy it at 9am it expires at midnight. My husband fished at Flamingo Lake and at the Southside Marina area which is near the lake. Flamingo Lake shore line is mucky and brushy, there’s really no place to sit so it‘s probably best not to bring the family. Everything was easy to find just using the map you can get at the hotel.
Our only other self-guided excursion was snorkeling at the reef at Coral Gardens. We walked there from the hotel, it’s far - about 3 miles one way, but it was a lot of fun. There are also two piers on the Club Med property (next door) that have a lot fish activity. If you walk past Club Med the hotels end and you’ll come to a big house on the point and just a little way more is a small reef you can snorkel at as well.
We did not feel unsafe at the resort or during the day out and about but I personally would not walk around after dark. I did noticed a lot of security -- the IGA has a guard, Ports of Call had a guard at night, and it seems most hotels have a guard at least at night
A couple miscellaneous things…only had use bug spray one night, we drank bottle water but other than that we were not especially cautious about the food and had no issues, when you arrive at the PLS airport a staff member will ask you what hotel you are staying at and direct you to a van going your way--you pay when you get on so have your money ready (van ride $15/pp plus tip), we did not have to pay a departure tax at the airport.
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- Also Known As:
- Royal West Indies Hotel Providenciales
- Royal West Indies Providenciales
- Royal West Indies Resort Turks And Caicos/Providenciales