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“ideal beach location” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sands at Grace Bay

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Sands at Grace Bay
Ranked #20 of 45 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“ideal beach location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2005

Just returned from a week at the Sands..The location and facilities exceeded our expectations. You are able to walk for miles on white sandy beaches. The resort grounds were well maintained and resembled a tropical garden. The staff is competent,curtious and friendly. Hemmingways restaurant on the Sands property was excellent with reasonable prices. We had a more elegant upscale dinner one night at the sister resort,The Palms. This is a short beach walk away.
The Sands has an up to date fitness center and a hospitality room where you could read,play games or just relax while waiting for friends.
The Tuesday night managers Rum Swizzle party around the pool was great..live music and good conch fritters. Will return for sure!!!

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank fishwish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2005

We just returned from our 7 day stay at the Sands. We had a wonderful time. Our 2BR condo had a beautiful view of the ocean and had a well-stocked kitchen with all the utensils for cooking our meals. Our 6 and 9 year olds had a great time and met some kids to play with during our stay. It was a very relaxing trip.

BEACH: Beautiful! Come to T&C before all the condos and resorts are built! The water is warm and crystal clear. You can't tell where the water ends and the sky begins. Sun is stong so bring lots of sunscreen and aloe vera. Bring hats.. don't overpack. We just work bathing suits and shorts the whole time and did laundry when we needed to.

ISLAND: Tons of construction. There are 13 large construction projects going on on the Island. Many 3-7 story condos and new roads being built. This construction takes away from the island. In another 5-7 years, T&C will be like Mexico. The beauty of the island and its pristine beaches will be tarnished.

Upon our arrival, we were stuck in customs for over an hour. Then had to wait for a ride to the resort. Things are at a slower pace so keep that in mind.

Service was okay... considering that the T&C economy is solely based on tourism, I found they can be more friendly, hospitable and accomodating. Was not thrilled.

FOOD: If you plan to cook try to bring food from home. It was very expensive when we went shopping at the IGA. There is nothing harvested on the island so every bit of food is imported from the states. We were in the mood for baked chicken one night and bought a Perdue chicken for 15.00! Try to bring tuna, pasta, sauces, cereal, stuff for frozen drinks, cookies, popcorn, oatmeal, powered mixes, tang, beans, nuts, granola bars, snacks, etc. There is a convenience store where you can buy milk, bread and eggs.

I found the restaurants nice but a bit pricey.... One simple dinner was about 110.00! (and that is with a kids menu) If you are into dining out, then you will certainly enjoy the restaurants... Hemingway's was nice. Liked the fish and chips.... nice portions. Portions at the Bay Bistro are not that large but food was good.

RESORT: Quiet. Relaxing.... No nightlife. Thurs. (or Fri.?) they have live music at the resort and on Tues. they have a free snacks and drinks at the pool. Kids were in the pool or at the beach all day, after dinner we played board games, cards, watched tv, went walking on the beach, etc. Bring your own pool toys and floats. The resort provides whatever guests have left. behind. Bring a flashlight - we lost power twice and it's dark on the beach at night.

The resort had kayaks and life jackets. Bring your own snorkel gear if you can, esp. for the kids. People get up early and "claim" their spot on the beach. Snorkel gear is checked out and may not be available all the time. We took the kayak out to the breakers, went snorkeling... and saw beautiful ocean life. It was breath-taking!

This is a nice, clean and pleasant resort if you need to wind down. During our stay, there were a lot of couples with older kids and a lot of young couples with babies and small children. Since my husband and I both work full-time, this trip allowed us to really spend some much-needed, special quality time with our children.

If you have active kids and would prefer to have them on their own, I would look into Beaches. We visited some friends at Beaches as it is only a short walk away. My 6 year old was amazed. Tons of things to do, water slides, game room, pool/ping-pong. If we went to Beaches instead, I would never would have spend any time with my kids. There were kids everywhere!!!! It was a little overwhelming. There were 5 pools and some of them had so many people on floats it looked like bumper cars. Parents don't even have to see their kids all day, if they don't want to.. kids go the to the camp and parents can sit drinking by the pool all day.

All in all, it was a great trip. Just bring extra money for the snorkeling excusions, fishing trips, parasailing, banana boat rides, etc. It can all add up!

Every trip is what you make of it.... I hope this is helpful and you have a wonderful time wherever you may go.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank NY_LADY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2005

we've travelled extensively in the caribbean and would rate the sands as one of our best experiences. it all starts with the long sandy beach and clear turquoise water. on our long walks on the beach we discovered that other properties either had no beach scene at all (grace point, ocean club) or were wall-to-wall people (beaches, coral gardens). at the sands the charming thatched huts made for an exotic feel. there was a mix of guests but all seemed to enjoy the milieu. beach service was terrific. the free hobie cat was great fun.

our room was clean, nicely furnished, well equipped (fridge, TV, porch, wicker chairs) and the sevice was fine.

one morning, as we waited for our shuttle to go fishing, we saw others going off for golf, scuba diving and tennis. there was plenty to do or, if you desired, nothing to do but hang on the beautiful beach.

we really enjoyed caicos cafe for dinner. hemingways was also good. the winner however was bay bistro next door at sibonne. we walked 5 minutes on the beach to get there and, after a delicious meal, walked back in the moonlight on the beach to the sands.

the staff at the sands was extremely friendly. all of our needs were met on site with a convenience store and gift shops. free internet was nice too.

criticisms: no night life. other than the beach and water, the island is quite ugly. no town or village. lots of development all over, none of which impacts the sands at this time.

overall, this is a great spot for a great beach vacation. we would return.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank cribbeaner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2005

Second time at the Sands resort in Provo. Liked it better the first time we went (Jan., 2003). Alot more $$$ this time (Rates went way up) but service and accomodations were just ok. Rooms are starting to show their age (Refrigerator door wouldnt close so all our food was was room temperature, tiny ants everywhere, safe in room was broken, rug and furniture had stains all over them, lightbulbs burned out). Grounds of hotel are beautiful-nicely manicured. Pool was cold and main pool that is close to beach is very cloudy. Other pool with river was cleaner. Hot tub was very hot-too hot to go into. Food at Hemingway's is excellent. Front desk staff very unhelpful and alot of workers (not only at Sands) seem to have attitude or chip on shoulder. We did not seem to experience this when we were here 2 yrs ago but noticed a change this time. Maybe because of all the ultra-exclusive luxury hotels going up on island and now everyone thinks Americans are mega rich? I felt like every time we turned around someone was looking for a tip. Beach umbrella situation wasnt bad. You do have to be out there by 9 am or you wont get a beach umbrella/hut. They have added these half circular umbrella things for people to sit under and they do have these green canvas umbrellas you can put in the sand, by good luck trying to get the guy at the activities desk to dig the hole for you. Manager's rum party on Tues. night was a JOKE. lasted about 45 minutes, never saw the manager anywhere, they had 2 small bowls of food out-1 was chips and salsa and the other had small cheese cubes and crackers and as soon as it was gone, they took EVERYTHING away-even the drinks. I thought they would refill the food bowls, but they just packed everything up and away it all went so if you didnt get down to the party right at 5 pm, you were out of luck. Beach is beautiful although it was very windy for 4 of the 6 days we were there so waves were too big for my kids to go into the ocean and there was tons of seaweed in the water right at the shore that the wind blew in so we didnt want to go in. ANother day there were SWARMS of jellyfish in the water right at the shore so no one could go into the water. Local guy told us it happens every year in APril and lasts about a week but we only saw them one day. Overall, Turks is beautiful and there is no doubt Grace Bay is one of the nicest beaches I have ever been too (And I have seen ALOT of beaches). However, Turks is getting way too "ritzy" for my liking and they are trying very hard to build it up to be an exculsive, elite island that appeals only to people with tons of money which is sad, IMO.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level Contributor
56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2005

We just returned from a stay at the Sands at Grace Bay. We loved it! My husband and I took our children (ages 11, 9 and 7). After much research, and reading many reviews on TripAdvisor, we selected the Sands. In the weeks prior to our arrival on April 2 we started to read some negative reviews. We were somewhat concerned but decided to stick with our reservation. We are so happy we did!

The beach was fantastic. My husband is in the travel industry and spends most of the winter on various tropical islands throughout the world. The beach here is by far the best. The water was gentle and blue and we were less than a 20 minute walk to Coral Gardens for snorkeling.

Our children loved the pools. The river pools were lots of fun and the main pool was great. For those with younger children, you should be aware that there is tropical foliage that blocks the view around the river pool. You will not be able to sit on a lounge chair and watch your child swim in the rivers. The rivers are only 2 1/2 feet deep but you may need to enjoy the river with your young child.

Our 2 bedroom oceanview suite was fantastic. We had two bedrooms each with a King bed and a comfortable (so says our 11 year old) fold out sofa. The kitchen was well stocked with dishes, silverware, dish and dishwasher soap and a blender for frozen drinks. The washer and dryer came in handy.

Some prior reviews indicate that people have trouble with the staff. We found them courteous, friendly and helpful. Our room was always cleaned by the time we returned from the beach for lunch. The front desk staff provided us ample information about activities and tours and arranged rides for us. The rum punch was very welcomed upon our arrival as we checked in. We liked Germaine as a taxi driver. He told us about the island and quickly picked us up after any activity when called. One thing to note, we asked the conceirge to make us dinner reservations at Bay Bistro on the night we arrived. We arrived at the restaurant and they did not have our reservation. We were told by the restaurant staff that this happens with most of the hotel conceirge services and it is best to book reservations on your own. We did this each of the following nights. The staff at Hemingways was very nice and took drink orders when we were at the pool and on the beach. Our kids loved this.

As for food, we found wonderful food on this island. We loved walking down the beach to Bay Bistro. The food was fantastic. The service was slow but not inattentive. We also liked Iguana and Hemingways. With every restaurant in the TCI we found it necessary to adjust our American speed expectations and to try to savor the leisurely evening meal. This is not New York City where they are trying to turn over the table as soon as possible. In the TCI you are treated to friendly people, delicious food and a memorable experience. If your children can't sit through a long meal, most restaurants are in close proximity to the beach, so one of you can take them there to pass some time.

We took the Native Adventure Snorkeling trip with J & B tours. It was great. Clearly, the world has not yet discovered and destroyed the barrier reef around the islands. The coral and fish were so colorful and full of life. It was fantastic. Our children took into school today the conch shells they retrieved from one of the stops on the trip.

Just a note, for the those considering Beaches, your vacation will likely be quite different from the vacation I decribed above. Beaches contained the only overcrowded beach on Grace Bay. It was loud and there wasn't any walking room between the chairs. They seem to have the narrowest beach on Grace Bay. Beaches looked a bit tired and reminded us of Disney World. The rest of Grace Bay is not like Disney World at all. It is beautiful, relaxing and laid back. Just a word to those considering Beaches.

We loved TCI and will be returning in November. We plan on staying at the Sands again!

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
25 Thank momstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2005

I hope the title of this review is clear enough, but just in case it isnt, dont waste your money, don't bother making reservations (becuase they wont be honored), dont waste time thinking about the Sands (unless you were confusing it for the smooth white sand on the beach), just flat out DO NOT GO HERE!!!!!

I feel as I can write volumes about this resort, but i will spare you as I dont think it is worth the effort. I just hope you heed what i say, and avoid making the same mistake I made. NOt much went right about the trip, starting with arrival. My girlfriend and I arrived, but apparantly our reservations hadnt. With written travel agent confirmation in hand, they still had no idea who we were. After traveling for over 8 hrs total, we were left helplessly in the "lobby" awaiting word from beyond closed doors. To say the help was dissinterested to me seems unfair....for in order to do so, one would assume they were at one point first interested. Not the case at all. I'm not sure the help even cares about themselves, let alone the guests. After hours of no person in site, who were "working on the situation", we finally got another room, that then took 2 hours to prepare before we could go in. So we were left in jeans and long shirts to sit at Hemingway's for lunch while our room was readied.
All hope of this being an out of the ordinary incident was soon lost. Our air conditioner broke. It FROZE. No, that is not a type, it froze...into a solid ice block. Many calls to the manager later, (after they had sent out the handyman to look at it, and come up with the brilliant conclusion that it was frozen, and they woiuld come the next day to put warm towels on it to defrost) a technician came out to fix it. Still no consolation after missing dinner reservations and having no air conditioning for a day.
I do have one good thing to say though, i must be fair in doing so. We did sign up for a couples massage in the Spa. A little small in setting, but we were both able to get massages at the same time, and very good massages at that.....Oh, that's right, the Spa is independently run. No wonder it worked out well.
In closing, as to not bore you with anymore: Food: ok, Service: Horrendous, Facility Condition: ok, Beach: excellent (if you win the battle for a chair and umbrella....one that the most crafty of minds can not figure out easily) Water: crystal clear, Staff: horrendous....Jo Jo the Dolphin...can't comment, didnt see him.
I think i have made my point, but just one more time to hammer it home, DON'T GO!!!!!


I

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2005

My husband and I spent one glorious week on our honeymoon at The Sands at Grace Bay from March 12-19. The Sands is a beautiful resort and our room was amazing. We stayed in a studio room with an ocean view (room 6302) and it was perfect. Our room was located in the building furthest from the beach but it was still only a minute or two walk from the beach. We liked being at the end because we had a fantastic view of the ocean and the grounds plus we could look out back and view the beautiful sunrises.

We took advantage of the shuttle bus to Graceway supermarket to pick up some things for breakfast and light lunches. One thing to remember about Graceway is that they do not sell alcohol on Sundays. I would strongly recommend doing this so you can enjoy a peaceful breakfast in the quiet of your room before heading out to the beach. We enjoyed eat on our screened in balcony on our little wrought iron table looking out onto the ocean.

The beach is absolutely amazing and the colour of the water was unlike anything we have ever seen!!!! We did get up early 6:30-7:00 am to get a little tiki hut for the day. The water was warm and incredible clear. My husband found a beautiful starfish in the water in front of The Sands when he was snorkelling. The beach staff was very helpful. We took the Hobie Cat out several times during our stay – they gave up a quick lesson and made sure we knew what we were doing and then let us go – I would highly recommend doing this because it allows you to experience the beauty of Turks and Caicos from another perspective. We had no problem borrowing snorkelling equipment for the day from the hotel either. We also did this a few times and headed down to Coral Gardens (about a 20-25 minute walk down the beach). You have to do this and I would recommend going earlier in the day (9-10am). We saw to Stingrays, a nurse shark, turtles, cowfish and a melange of other aquatic life. You can go snorkelling right off of the shore so it’s perfect for the first time or the experienced snokeller. We also took the Gecko Bus to Smith’s Reef and went snorkelling there – we some different fish then at Coral Gardens so if you want something to do one afternoon try that – it’s very quiet and beautiful. Anther half-day trip to do was the “Native Adventure” where you snorkel out by the reef and then go diving for conch (very cool). I managed to find a King Conch (which is rare) so that was very exciting. The other conchs that were found were then cleaned and prepared into a fresh conch salad on a secluded beach. Our tour group was small and it was fun to hang out and eat a meal prepared fresh out of the ocean.

Of course, we tried the multitude of fantastic restaurants in T&C. Our favourite was Bay Bistro located at Sibonne (right beside The Sands). The atmosphere was wonderful – it was as if you were dining right on the beach. Very relaxing yet the service was perfect – friendly and helpful. We ate two dinners and two lunches there – I recommend going to this restaurant over Hemmingway’s (located at The Sands). Hemmingway’s lacked in courtesy and atmosphere. They try to be an upscale restaurant but they need to recognise that they are more of a bar and grill. I suppose they are acceptable for a family to dine at but if you are looking to have a romantic dinner for two – they are not the place to go. Also, breakfast and lunch are slow in service too. They do offer a beach service, which is convenient, but if you want to sit down for lunch take the short walk to Bay Bistro! We also had dinner at Grace’s Cottage – on the other side of The Sands – all I can say is that it was absolutely PERFECT. Amazing atmosphere, delicious food, relaxing music, and friendly staff! If you are looking for a casual dinner take a walk down to The Saltmills and just past it is this cute Mexican restaurant called Carter’s Café – they are so friendly and it’s nice and quiet!

T&C really has something for everyone – I found our days full of activities – snorkelling, swimming, and going out in the Hobie Cat. Our evenings were filled with trying out the various restaurants. I recommend going to this beautiful, clean, and pristine island. I know we’ll be back. I want to especially thank our parents David and Beverley (who vacationed in T&C two years ago) for sending us there on the most fantastic honeymoon we could have ever wished for!!!!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sands at Grace Bay

Property: 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:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Providenciales
#15 Spa Hotel in Providenciales
#18 Luxury Hotel in Providenciales
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Providenciales
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — 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
Sands At Grace Bay Turks And Caicos/Providenciales

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