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“Many other places to visit for the price”

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The Sands at Grace Bay
Ranked #20 of 44 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Many other places to visit for the price”
Reviewed June 27, 2005

Sorry it took so long to post...spent 5 nights at Sands in April for family vacation. We were just glad to be together on vacation so we had a fine time despite some issues at Sands.
Arrival: Terse front desk personnel, seemed to be tolerating the arrival of
new guests from our flight.
Room: Not ready for several hours. When cleaned housekeeping had not
changed sheets on pull out bed and left four towels for five people. Issue could not be rectified that day apparently....on the advice of teenager who is an experienced Sands guest I found a housekeeping cart and appropriated a few towels and new sheets. Appliances not working:
blender, toaster, coffeemaker. Could not be corrected despite calls to desk and assurances that "we are doing our best to help you out". Thank you, but for the price I expected clean sheets and better than a three day response time. Furnishings worn and chair actually torn in places. Bathrooms basic, stained tubs, poor water pressure. Housekeeping service is included on your bill per day. Unfortunately on two days they failed to
show up at all. Late afternoon calls to desk eventually brought them in before we turned in for the night. The screened patio was nice though.
The resort: This is not a resort in the true sense. These are condo rentals
with a front desk. Be clear on that when you book, don't expect resort
service or accommodations. The landscaping was nice, but did not exceed expectations, the pools are unheated and small. The hammock area,
which I was looking forward to, unfortunately turned out to be a haven for a few teenage pot smokers. Same teens informed me they are repeat guests. Clearly the staff turned a blind eye. Be warned between the hours of 7-9 am or thereabouts, the staff waters the plantings along all the walkways. They use "brown" water for this purpose and the stench of sewage is most apparent and unappealing.
The beach: this is what it's all about. Quite nice long, white sand, pretty water, breezy all the time. Also littered with broken chairs piled up, some construction debris here and there and stray dogs. Some resorts looked deserted, with one or two guests on the beach. The Sands seemed the most lively of them all. Didn't bother with walking into Beaches. There are many wonderful beaches in the world, this one was quite nice but not
worth more than many others.
The island: Sad is the only word I have. Desert scape ruined by poor
planning/development. Construction projects incomplete, rusting
away along the main road, strip malls, litter etc. Waterfront properties are nice, but the rest of the island is tired and dusty.
The restaurants: The best part of the trip. We didn't find them too expensive at all! Food was great and service top notch. Anacoana, Bay Bistro, our favorites.
Tips: Agree on taxi prices with front desk person and taxi driver present.
They will claim they misunderstood each other. Use shuttle when possible.
If you are snorkeling etc. be aware trips can be cancelled last minute for
"too few reservations to make the trip profitable", unless of course you'd like to pay more per person! The best excursions I've heard about while there were with the eco guys at Deep Blue. Great on safety and clean equipment, which is more than I can say for Capt. Billy's pirate cave and snorkel trip. Banana boat was fun, Golf surprisingly was excellent. I'd not
heard great things about the course, but it was challenging and well kept
and yes it was a bit pricey, but worth the cost. The clubhouse at Provo Golf Club was great lunch. Check your bill carefully, many guests found many big errors, including long distance calls made from their rooms!
Overall: Too expensive for what it is, unless you are a diver, biologist, snorkeler. If like us you are just a vacationer, there are too many other great destinations to spend that much money on this one. One visit was enough for us, will go elsewhere next year.

Stayed April 2005
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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MI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2005

We stayed at the Sands for our honeymoon June 6th-14th. After having brand new luggage ruined on the way down there, I needed the room to be perfect, I was not let down. The room looked exactly like the pictures, the view was incredible. We were in a 1 bedroom ocean front deluxe on the 3rd floor. It rained for about an hour the 2nd to last day and rained the whole day the last day we were there, the rest of the time was perfect. The beach and water was just as I wanted it to be, perfect white sand and beautiful water that is so clear it looks like a swimming pool. My husband found a star fish, 3 sand dollars, and a conch shell in the shallow end right in front of the hotel (we didn't get to keep it as they were still alive). We laid by the beach just about every day, did not have a problem getting a umbrella or towels. Hemingway's was good but a very limited menu if you eat there more then 4 times. Bocci's was very good. The food and drinks are very expensive at most of the restaurants, maybe we are used to American food but neither of us were really impressed w/ any of the meals any where on the island, but we are not big sea food eaters either. Maid service was ok, we left a note for 3 days in a row for fresh robes, the last night we were there we finally got them. There were tiny ants all over the kitchen in living room, my husband was not bothered by them but I certainly was, especially when your trying to cook, it is a Carribean Island, but I still did not like them being there. The island itself is undergoing a lot of construction, not a lot of vegatation, the best part of the island is the beach and water. Free internet access (although one computer and always some one on it). Roundtrip transfers to the airport were appreciated. They had a winding pool which was fun even for us! Rum punch was delicious I couldn't of asked for anything better!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michigan05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2005

My wife and I were at the sands from June 4-11 and had a great time. The beach is spectacular as everyone comments. Had no trouble getting a beach umbrella or towels. Also, the Sands has two Hobie Cats available and will even give you a quick sailing lesson. We sailed three times and would have gone every day if we'd known about them giving lessons. There is good snorkelling about a 25 minute walk down the beach, past Beaches. We also took a 1/2 day snorkeling trip to the reef and a deserted beach, which was fun.

Restaurants on the Island are a bit pricey. The convenience store is outrageously priced, at least for alcohol ($18 for a six pack of Turks Head). However, there is a liquor store about a 5-10 minute walk away in the Salt Mills. Turks Head was $10 a six pack which is about the going rate on the island. The Island has Sunday Blue laws, so stock up on alcohol before Sunday. Wine is also expensive, so if you like the grapes bring a couple of bottles. You can bring in about 2 liters per person duty free. Nothing better than sipping a drink on the beach overlooking that gorgeous blue water.

The studios say "full kitchen" on some of the web sites, but it is just a mini-fridge, microwave, toaster and coffee maker, so you won't be able to do much cooking.

We had a celebrity sighting while we were there. Tom Cavanaugh (aka "Ed") and his wife and in-laws were sitting under the next umbrella for about 45 minutes one afternoon before he and his wife walked back to their place at the Palms.

Basically, we were almost never off the beach. We have heard that there is no night life, and that appears to be true, but after a full day in the water, a few drinks and dinner we didn't miss it at all.

Staff was very courteous and generally helpful. The restaurant was pretty good, especially for breakfast overlooking the ocean. They have free internet access. The Tuesday Manager's party was pretty good. All the bottled beer or Rum punch you could drink as well as a variety of snack food.

All in all a great vacation.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hawk0711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas TX
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2005

My husband and I stayed at The Sands for 7 days the second week of June. We had a studio oceanfront room in building 3, and had a fantastic view of the ocean, beach and pool. The space was perfect for us and included a mini-fridge, toaster, microwave, coffee maker, as well as cutlery, glassware, plates, etc. It was a great setup for two people, or two adults and one child. The bedroom, bathroom and living room are all separated by doors, so you feel like you are in an apartment. Our patio's views were fantastic; we ate out there often and having a screened in porch is a must! We truly enjoyed the patio and the room.

The resort is great; everyone is friendly. The beach is beautiful and the pools are also stunning. We could not get over how well landscaped the hotel was, and how white the sand was! The ocean water was the clearest we had ever seen. We likened swimming there to being in the pool, as the ocean is incredibly clear and the sand is so soft under your feet. There are very few waves, so snorkeling and just playing in the water is easy for everyone. The beaches are much more "user friendly" than the beaches we have been on before, as the sand is so soft and water so clear, you have no discomfort at all.

The restaurants we frequented were Hemingway's and Bay Bistro. We also dined at Iguana and Grace Cottage. All of the food was great, but it is more expensive than at home. Just make sure you bring money for food, or upgrade to a full kitchen and get lots of groceries. The food really was delicious at each of the restaurants. You get a great sunset view at Bay Bistro, and Grace Cottage is lovely for a fine dining experience.

We did two excursions: jet skiing and a beach cruise with J&B tours. Both were fun, although you have to stay right by the marina with the jet ski. The beach cruise with Captain Shawn was great. We loved seeing some of the outer islands, looking for sand dollars, and snorkeling in the ocean.

The trip was fantastic. We had no problems and no complaints. We traveled last summer to Hawaii, but we had a more relaxing time at The Sands! Do bring bug spray or buy some because you walk to dinner and dine outside, you will need it at night.

Helpful?
6 Thank Sissa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naperville, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2005

We just returned from a week at the Sands. The shuttle met us at the airport, but they put us on a van to the Ocean Club because the driver was "expecting VIPs." I guess our family of 6 didn't qualify, but we got to the Sands after dropping off a couple at OC. The greeting was better at the Sands front desk where we got rum punch upon our arrival. Our 3 BR OV condo was towards the back of the property, but not a far walk to the beach. It was very spacious with 3 full baths, a kitchen and a kitchenette. Most reports were correct, the beds were very firm. We liked the screened balconies which came in handy for sandy snorkel sets, wet towels and swimsuits or just sitting out overlooking the pools. We also liked the 3 TV sets for tired kids after a long day at the beach. Our water was off twice due to nearby construction, but it was back on within an hour. Also, our refrigerator went out, but they sent someone to fix it immediately. We used the washer and dryer for quick loads of laundry. Housekeeping kept the place relatively clean and replaced soap, shampoo, detergent, paper towels and sponges frequently. We saw no insects in the room and the A/C worked very well. We drank the water, mixed lemonade and made ice tea with no problems. The property is nicely kept and the pools were warm and inviting. However, we spent most of our time on the beautiful beach. The water was clear and turquoise and the sand was fine and powdery. We had no problems getting a beach umbrella and chairs, although towels were sometimes a problem. The onsite convenience store had a few things like ice cream bars and the other store had T-shirts and souvenirs. The shuttle back to airport was on time and quick. We found some of the Sands personnel friendly, while others not so. We did attend the manager's party on Tues. night and enjoyed rum punch, Turks Head beer, conch fritters, chips and salsa and veggies. We also ate at Hemingway's, the onsite restaurant twice and enjoyed both meals. The fresh grouper dishes were very good while the seafood kabobs less so. We booked a 1/2 beach cruise at the tour desk at the pool which was convenient. Mosquitos became worse after it rained one day. The restaurant has Deet spray available if needed. All in all, the Sands provided an enjoyable stay. If we come back to T&C, we would consider the Sands again.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kmjlhs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 14, 2005

We have just returned from The Sands at Grace Bay after a wonderful 2 weeks. The beach and ocean are beautiful. You can see starfish in the water just a couple of feet from the shore (although it was a bit sad to see some people taking them out and putting them in bags).

We found The Sands to be spotlessly clean both in our room and around the hotel. Our room was cleaned before noon every day, the towels/toilet roll/tissues etc replaced every day. We had a washer/dryer even though we were only in a suite, not a family room. Not that I'm complaining, it was great to dry towels and swimming costumes etc.

The grounds are manicured and the pools are clean and not too crowded. We had a pool to ourselves.

There is not much to do on the island, and it's a little too hot to walk too far. There are no pavements at the moment, so it's difficult to walk. The buses are quite expensive, but if you want to see the island you can buy a bus pass for the week and use it as much as you want. You can even stay on the bus all the way round the route!

Shops are limited and there is no nightlife.

There is a lot of construction on the island and while it didn't bother us at all, it will change the island forever in a couple of years time. Only time will tell if that change is for the better.

Overall, the hotel and island are the most beautiful place we have ever visited, but we're not sure if we will go back.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2005

I wanted to contributie something back to tripadvisor since I used it so much prior to our much anticipated Honeymoon at The Sands.

The weather was fantastic the whole week we were there. Very hot but not too bad when the caribbean ocean is 20 feet away. We had a one bedroom studio ocean front room on the third floor, that was alot bigger than what I had expected. It was very clean and stocked with dishes, a mini fridge that came in useful once we got groceries from the local IGA store. The AC worked great and it also had two ceiling fans in the room that helped cool. No bugs what-so-ever! Our balcony overlooked the beautifull grounds, ocean-side pool, and Grace Bay.

We ate at Hemingways, Barefoot Cafe, Magnolia, Iguanas, Twenty-One North, Bambooz, Sharkbite, and Danny Buoys. All of these were great! NO complaints at any of these. Hemingways was our favorite by far, because of the great setting, the price was very reasonable, and it just happened to be at our resort. Igaunas was very good too, with a nice setting. The most expensive place was Magnolias which is in Turtle Cove, and it was pretty pricey, but we knew this going in to it. The view and the atmosphere was spectacular!

We did rent a car one day from Hertz, and it proved to be well worth it. We traveled the island form end to end. We even managed to get out to Malcolms Beach! We had the car for one day only and that was all we needed it for.

A good portion of our vacation consisted of sitting under a thatch hut and overlooking the grace bay and the many shades of blue. It was an amazing week full of memories, and many photos.

I hope this review helps those hesitant on planning, or those who have already planned a trip. Please ask any questions and I will do my best to answer.

The only bummer is now reality is setting back in and it's definately not the Turks!!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Leslie_2004
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

Property: 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
#18 Luxury Hotel in Providenciales
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Providenciales
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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