We arrived at the Sands on Saturday 6/7 from JFK – the direct AA flight. We had done a lot of taxiing before takeoff so we arrived about 45 minutes late. Todd was there waiting for us with the rental – a roomy 12 year old Toyota Corolla which held all of our bags and my 24-year-old 6’7” son, my 6’ husband and me.
We had originally booked at RWI but after much thought and reading many posts, we changed to the Sands. It was the right decision for us. Our room was not ready so we walked out to Hemingways to have lunch while we waited. Our daughter, son-in-law and 8 month old grandson were due to arrive on the Delta flight from Atlanta around 2:30. They met Todd for their rental car and arrived at the Sands about 3:00 ish – still room not ready.
We were in a 2 bedroom (4204). It was quite spacious – had king-size bed in each bedroom and sofa opened to queen. There was a crib and high chair in the room waiting for us. The screened in balcony was great – it overlooked the pool and waterfall area and we could also see the ocean and further pool. We had a round table with 4 chairs and 2 wicker chairs with cushioned foot stools. It was very spacious and a great place to feed the baby and let him crawl and practice his standing/walking. The washer was quite large and we were grateful to have it as well as a dishwasher for baby’s bottles.
The set up at the Sands was really nice for young children and there were quite a few there but it was never crowded or noisy because the pool meanders throughout the center garden area so people could be really spread out. The garden area also provided shade in various portions of the pool which was great for the baby. We often had a small round pool area by the waterfall to ourselves and it was perfect for him – in fact, one morning he literally fell asleep in the pool while sitting on my lap on a step. Our room had full-size coffee maker, toaster and microwave as well as 4 burner stove. We ate several breakfasts and lunches at Hemingways – staff was great and food was good, too.
First night, we had dinner at Iguana’s – food was very good but portions were very small (at least for my very tall men!) My daughter and I shared the surf & turf (steak & shrimp), my son had the rib-eye which was quite large, but my son-in-law felt his surf & turf was an appetizer portion – the turf was literally 3 bites and there were 4 small shrimp. We each had a drink and our bill was about $260 for the 5 of us. I would not go back because there is really no atmosphere/view – nothing special about it.
Sunday we had dinner at Calico Jacks sitting outside upstairs on the deck. It was very casual, inexpensive and good. Monday we went to Baci at Turtle Cove. The atmosphere was really nice, the service was attentive and the food was excellent. Tuesday we went to Bay Bistro – also a great atmosphere and wonderful food – the chocolate torte was so good that we went back the rest of the week to get a piece to take back to our room for dessert. We also ate breakfast at Bay Bistro about 4 mornings – it’s such a relaxing setting with the best ocean view – open air, fans and just the beautiful stretch of turquoise in front of you.
Wednesday we went to Tiki Hut for the chicken and ribs – again nice outdoor atmosphere at the marina, good, reasonably priced food. Thursday we ate at Grill Rouge – Guion was our waiter and he was so delightful. My son-in-law thought he had the best hamburger ever and the onion rings were fabulous! Overall, a most pleasant dining experience. On the last night we went to Coco Bistro and were not disappointed with the food, atmosphere or service – although our bill was $300. Again, we all had drinks, a couple of appetizers to share and 2 ribeye steak dinners, 2 pasta dinners and a chicken/shrimp curry – all of us very happy with the food.
Three more places we liked the food – one was Jimmy’s Dive Bar – the chicken fingers and fries are home-made, not frozen like you generally get at home – and they were really good. It’s a neat lunch place. We had lunch one day when it was raining at Mango Reef – food was excellent and portions were huge. My husband and I shared the chicken panini which came with the best fries and salad – glad we shared! We also bought breakfast sandwiches at SaltMills Café and took back to eat by the pool. Salt Mills also has lattes. They didn’t have lids for the large cups so I ended up buying a couple of large take out coffee mug souvenirs and I used them all week – I hate cold coffee in tiny cups so this worked out well!
The guys went bonefishing one afternoon with Ed, the famous captain from Catch the Wave – they had a great time although only my son caught a bonefish. Everyone caught other fish though. They said Captain Ed was so knowledgeable and it was a great excursion. My husband snorkeled at Coral Gardens and he was thrilled to see an Octopus and a small barracuda as well as the stop light fish and a variety of others. The kids enjoyed the catamaran most days and the guys went to the casinos (Players once but the other one most of the time).
One of the high points of our trip was having Jon Nickson from Eyespice take family photos for us on the beach at the Sands – he was excellent and the slideshow that he made are truly the best pictures we’ve ever had done – even better than our daughter’s wedding pictures! Jon shot the pictures from about 6:00 to 7:30 on the beach on Tuesday and had the slide show disc for us on Friday afternoon!! I highly recommend him for families and weddings – his pictures are amazing [--] !
Every place we ate was so child friendly – waitresses and waiters made a point of stopping to smile at and talk to our grandson. We never felt out of place in taking him to the restaurants we went to (of course, we purposely stayed away from the adult only locations).
I think the weather was actually milder than what we missed in CT the first several days. We did get a bit of rain almost every day but it didn’t even require that we leave the beach or pool – it was really a shower in a very warm place. The one day was a steadier rain and we just went to lunch for a while. There was humidity but often there was a breeze and definitely getting in the water made you immediately comfortable. Water was bathtub temperature – both at the pool and in the ocean.
Overall, we loved the island – the water was more beautiful in color than any other island we’d been to in the Caribbean (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Curacao, Barbados) and no beach has compared to Grace Bay. I still happen to really love Curacao – but for very different things. My husband is looking forward to returning to TCI and more bone-fishing, snorkeling.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfect harmony on Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales Experience an earthly wonder of sand and sea at our 114-suite luxury resort on Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, British West Indies. Family-friendly, yet ideally suited for romantic getaways and wedding celebrations, The Sands at Grace Bay offers a harmonious balance of home comforts and sublime Caribbean elegance - as well as a picture perfect location on the sparkling shores of Grace Bay Beach. If you are dreaming of a beach holiday in the Caribbean that gives you the flexibility of having your own fully-equipped suite while enticing you with fine dining, pristine grounds and sigh-inducing vistas, we look forward to welcoming you to The Sands at Grace Bay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sands At Grace Bay Hotel Providenciales
- Sands At Grace Bay Providenciales
- Sands Grace Bay
- The Sands At Grace Bay Turks And Caicos/Providenciales