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“A great spot for a family vacation”

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The Sands at Grace Bay
Ranked #19 of 44 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 17, 2008

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.

6  Thank Barbara R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 16, 2008

This was our third stay there and it was wonderful as usual. We were in building 6 gardenview studio. Overall, this resort is great! Their pools and grounds are immaculate and very relaxing. The maid service is decent and the folks at the front desk were great. Everyone remembered us from our previous stay and it felt like we were visiting friends. I only have two complaints about the resort and they weren't enough to ruin our trip. Beware that building 6 does get a lot of road/parking lot noise. Most mornings we were woken by either cars burning out and flying up the road, or honking their horns constantly at 5am. The bed is probably the most uncomfortable I've ever encountered. It's like sleeping on box springs. Not sure if that's just in the one building, or if they're all like that. I never heard anyone else there complaining about theirs. A very minor complaint is that the hot tub wasn't even warm. The jets did work, so as long as you don’t mind having a “lukewarm tub”, it’s fine. I would highly recommend this resort to families, but not so much for couples looking for quiet or privacy (at least if you go in the summer after schools let out). It was much more crowded than our previous trips in early May.

  • Stayed: June 2008
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2  Thank mbl340
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2008

The perfect place to go for a relaxing vacation or destination wedding. Rooms were spacious and comfortable, pools were perfect, beach and huts were perfect. We enjoyed the free kayaks and snorkel gear. Hemingway's food was great for every meal. Jason, the concierge was helpful and made sure everything was perfect for our wedding on the beach. Terry at Hemingway's took care of our reception dinner and made sure we had the best table in the place at the end of the pier for our group. Only issues we had were our safe didn't work and after 3 days of trying to get batteries for our remote I finally bought some of my own. But for an 8 night stay that wasn't bad. Provo is beautiful and the weather was perfect. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank curtmac34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2008

I just returned from a Girls' trip to Turks and Caicos and we stayed at the Sands. We couldn't have been happier with our choice. The Sands is perfectly located smack dab in the middle of the Grace Bay Beach. The beach is big and beautiful, yet uncrowded. We stayed the first week in June and there seemed to be just enough people so we didn't feel secluded, but certainly not crowded or packed at all. We had a Garden View one-bedroom suite which offered a great view of the well manicured Gardens and pools and from our balcony (covered with screens which was LOVELY for morning coffee and evening nightcaps) we could see the beautiful blue/turqoise ocean. Simply gorgeous.

There is a full kitchen and dining room in the one-bedroom suite as well as a pull out coach. It was very spacious, comfortable and well appointed. Having said that, you don't feel a sense of stuffiness at all in the resort. It provides everything you need in a laid back atmosphere. We walked the entire beach and observed many of the other hotels, but none of them provided the tranquility, amenities and perfect placement on the beach as compared to the Sands.

The outdoor/beachfront restaurant on the property, Hemingway's, is a great spot. You can go from playing in the ocean to being seated at Hemingway's in 60 seconds. Very convenient.

The staff was friendly. Folks are definitely on an island speed so if you need assistance, like a bellcap, do order in advance. Whether traveling as a couple, group of friends or a family with kids, the Sands will not disappoint. A very lovely property with an AMAZING beach. The Tiki Huts and cabanas for the guest are great. They also have katamaran, various flotation devices, kayaks, snorkel equipment and hobie cats gratis for the hotel guests. The towel hut is right on the beach and always well stocked. You will find plenty of additional water sports (parasailing, banana boats, etc.) availabe for additional costs right at the tour desk located in the towel hut.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank BlissfulTraveler12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2008

My best friend & I recently took a girlfriends vacation for a weeks stay at The Sands. It was the first time for either of us at Turks & Caicos. This is definitely not an area for anyone who is a partier. Luckily neither of us are. We had a very nice relaxing vacation.

I would highly recommend The Sands for your stay. We had a 2 bedroom, ocean view suite. It was a small apartment with full kitchen & washer/dryer. It was nicely appointed & the maid service was great. It was wonderful that the balcony was screened. That area is known for being very buggy late afternoon & evening. If the balcony was not screened, there would be no way to sit out there & enjoy the view & weather. The restaurant at The Sands, Hemmingways, was very good. We ate there every day, breakfast & dinner. We tried various dishes & had nothing that was not delicious. Prior to going we read reviews that were good & bad about the resort & restaurant. We encountered nothing bad at all. The staff was friendly. They seemed to be on "island time"...meaning they don't move the fastest, but who is in a hurry on vacation anyway. They offered free use of rafts, wind sails, kayaks, snorkel gear & hobie cats. We used rafts daily in the beautiful calm waters. One day we went on one of the Hobie cats. Neither of us had ever been on one before, so one of the experienced attendents took us out. It was very enjoyable. They also offer shuttles to the local IGA twice daily at $8 per person. We needed to go only once to get the provisions we needed. Prices aren't as low as in the states, but then most things are imported to them.

The Sands is about in the middle of the stretch of Grace Bay. This made it ver convenient. We walked to both ends of the beach. From our walk we both agreed that the best stretch was in front of the Sands. Nicer sand & a wider beach area. We snorkeled down at Coral Gardens. It was ok, but compared to snorkeling in St Johns or Cozumel, there was no comparison.
We were also within walking distance of the larger plazas. Saltmills & Port of Calls. There were interesting shops & restaurants in both.

All in all it was a nice relaxing vacation. If you want to visit Grace Bay, I would recommend staying at The Sands.

Think my next visit to Turks & Caicos I will see what Grand Turk is like.

Stayed: May 2008
3  Thank Sunsuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2008

We just got back from Providenciales. The Sands is a condo complex on the beach. We had a two bedroom ocean view and the ocean view was wonderful. There were glass doors from the living room and master bedroom onto the screened in juliet balcony. We spent half of our time in the room on the balcony.

The employees were very friendly and the room cleaning service was great. We had a washer/dryer and they supplied the soap for that and for the dishwasher. Every evening someone brought us bottled water.

I've been to a lot of beaches but this is the best one I've ever been to. Better than Paradise Island, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Mazatlan, St Martin and the French Riviera.

You will not regret staying at the Sands they have free beach chairs and towels, beach umbrellas, hobie cat, wind surfboards and kayaks. There is also parasailing and banana boat rides for a fee.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Katykaytravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2008

We really enjoyed our stay at The Sands. The location was perfect situated on a beautiful white sand beach with empty space on either side of the hotel. This was unusual since most of the other hotels were crammed in next to each other. The grounds were magnificent with three swimming pools, a jucuzzi, tennis courts and a restaurant (Hemingways). The restaurant was great for breakfast, lunch and bar drinks. The dinner food was average. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean and spacious with a sleeping area with a comfortable firm bed and soft feather pillows, a large sitting area with a sofa, chairs and flat screen TV, a bathroom (unfortunately the water pressure in the shower was terrible and I would have appreciated a make-up mirror), and we especially enjoyed the large screened-in patio. We reserved a studio with a graden view and were delighted to discover that we had a fabulous unobstructed view of the ocean. The views were best from the third floor but there is no elevator so be prepared to walk up three flights of stairs. The hotel included free water sports and we spent a day sailing on a hobbie craft and another day snorkeling at coral gardens (a thrity minute walk down the beach) The room had a cofee maker with complimentary coffee, a refrigerator, complimentary bottled water, a microwave and even a clothes washer and dryer (which we never used).. Unfortunately, our front door faced the east and the sun came in at 6:00 a.m. and woke us up. The staff brought us a black out shade which we hung over the door which helped eliminate the glare. We rented a car for a day but there is very lttle to see on the island. There is virtually no night life except for two small casinos. We had two gourmet meals at Coco Bistro and at Grace Cottage. The other restaurants were disappointing at best. My husband enjoyed eating at the Conch Shack but I'm not a fan of fried food. We loved our week at Turks and Caicos and hope to return to The Sands for another vacation.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Shuuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sands at Grace Bay

Address: Grace Bay | PO Box 681, TKCA 1ZZ, Providenciales
Location: Caribbean > Turks and Caicos > Providenciales
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Providenciales
#14 Spa Hotel in Providenciales
#17 Luxury Hotel in Providenciales
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Providenciales
Price Range: $197 - $555 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Sands at Grace Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 118
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

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