I have wanted to go to Turks and Caicos ever since I heard Kelly Ripa talk about it years and years ago on Regis and Kelly. We have traveled to Hawaii several times and taken cruises, but we always thought Turks and Caicos was out of reach financially. As our 25th anniversary was approaching, I started thinking about how TCI was really where I wanted to go. I got an e-mail from CheapCaribbean.com, and I found the package that included the Sibonne'. I thought it sounded too good to be true to be right on Grace Bay Beach at that price point. I did some reading on Trip Advisor, and the reviews made me think this was the place.
Now, it is definitely not for everyone. If you like fancy and big beautiful rooms with luxurious appointments, you will be disappointed. The Sibonne' is like stepping back in time. There are only 20 something rooms, there are only two stories, no fancy lobby, and no elevator. However, the rooms are clean, cool, and comfortable. We stayed in Room 203 which was ocean view, and I posted the view from our room. It had an additional sitting room attached, so we were able to spread out a little. This also gave us an extended balcony with table, chairs, and a lounge. Don't expect a lot of privacy on the balconies because of the lattice separators; it didn't bother us at all. We didn't sit out there much b/c we could take an extra minute and sit on the beach. I did drink my coffee and protein shake out there each morning:) The king size bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows. The mini fridge was just what we needed. We had planned to eat all meals out but breakfast, so it was perfect. We had two nice TVs, but we only turned them on twice.
Here's the deal. I wanted to stay somewhere that I could roll out of bed at and be at the beach in under a minute. Come on! It's Grace Bay! I did not plan on sitting at a pool at all. In Kauai, fancy resorts and gorgeous pools were important because there were so few hotels on an actual swimmable beach. We had to travel to get to different beaches.... which I loved. But this time, I planned to spend all but sleeping and eating time either traveling the island, snorkeling, or laying/reading by the beach and getting in the water when I got hot. The water. Wow. Never seen anything like it. The ocean WAS our pool. Very little waves. Crystal clear, shallow, sandy, no sea weed or rocks. At any rate, we just needed somewhere to sleep, and the Sibonne more than met our expectations. Had it been inland, no way. But its location is perfect.
The beach is wide and uncrowded at the hotel. I could look right toward the Sands or left toward Sommerset and see a lot of crowds on the beach and in the water. There is quite a bit of space between the Siboonne and those two. They are not right next door. You'll see the pics I took that show there were very few people on the hotel beach or in the water. It felt so private and special. We also brought our own ice chest and stocked up on beer, water, and adult beverages when we arrived. We loved being able to sit and drink and not have to wait for a server or go to a bar. We had our toes in the water, hineys in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold drink in our hands..... the whole time.
Now we did do a half day snorkel trip, and we did rent a car for a day to explore the island. On that day we went to Chalk Sound and Sapadilla Bay as well as explored Blue Hills. We walked to all restaurants except when we had lunch at Las Brisas on Chalk Sound (don't miss that!) and we drove to Sharkbite. Go ahead and skip that. Bad choice on our part. We took a taxi to Coco Bistro which was a beautiful place with outstanding food. Of course, Bay Bistro on the Sibonne property is one of the best on the island, and we ate there three times. Their breakfast is very reasonable, although we only did it once for Sunday brunch,
Stacey at the front desk was very helpful and made calls for us to restaurants and to taxis. The other hotel staff were very friendly if we spoke first. The housekeeping ladies were very sweet and were tickled pink with their tips each day.
Our only negative experience was late on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. There is a public park next to the hotel, and of course the beach is public. That is no problem except that both days a rowdy crowd of young people (different people each day) barged up and sat right next to us on the lounges and under the umbrellas. Mind you we had been experiencing VERY quiet days. No kids, few adults. Paradise. These people were very disrespectful, loud, obnoxious, drinking people who had no consideration for anyone but themselves. Fine if you want to sit up there, but not so fine that you ruined our time. Thankfully it was later in the day both times, so we finally just went to our room. I think it would have been better had I known that was a possibility. We would have rented our car on Saturday to explore. It only happened on the weekend, and I think it only happens at the Sibonne because it has so few guests on the beach at a time. The hotel representative said that it is a complex situation with the locals and that a confrontation might make it worse. That's really too bad. Hopefully what we experienced does not happen often. Again, there was none of that during the week.
When we return to TCI with our three daughters (no plans, but I am speaking positively) we will stay somewhere else unless we can reserve the beach apartment b/c we'll need a kitchen so we can eat more meals in. However, when my husband and I return alone again, we will most definitely book at the Sibonne. It was just so perfect for us. People talk about how Grace Bay is getting too touristy and built up, but as long as the Sibonne stays around, you'll feel secluded in paradise.
Bring snacks and an ice chest if you can fit them in your suitcase.
Bring a blow up raft to float on. I bought a cheap one before I left and then left it there.
We bought a Nikon Coolpix waterproof, wi-Fi camera. Worth the investment.
Bring a back up camera or battery if you do a snorkel trip. We loved Island Vibes!
Use Majestic Taxi - Leonard or Antionette. Awesome people! 649-343-3840
The hotel uses actual KEYS not key cards. Be sure to leave them in the room so youdon't get to the airport with them in your pocket. OOPS. Or if you do, I hope you used Majestic b/c Antoinette came back and got them and took them back to hotel for us:)
If you get a lot of tips from the forums on here, which I recommend, be sure to print it all out. In the past, I always relied on pulling posts like directions up on my cell phone, but I only used my phone at the hotel where there is free wi-Fi. When traveling the island I didn't have access. We got lost a few times because of that. There is an island map, but some beaches are just tricky to find!
Don't put car keys in your checked baggage! We learned that the hard way when we got to Dallas and had to drive home to OKC. Our bags arrived four afters after us, and we had to wait. Bummer. Yes, we have key issues.
Enjoy your trip and remember my father's famous vacation quote: "We did not come here to save money or lose weight!"
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For casual elegance, relaxation and value Sibonne Beach Hotel is an intimate hotel directly on Grace Bay Beach - one of the best beaches in the world. With room amenities of a modern resort - we offer comfortable accommodations, lush garden or ocean views, fresh water pool and the best location on Grace Bay Beach. Our everyday value rates makes Sibonne Beach Hotel the best choice for your Caribbean vacation. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sibonne Beach Providenciales
- Hotel Sibonne Beach
- Sibonne Beach Hotel Turks And Caicos/Providenciales