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“Honeymoon in paradise!”

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The Sands at Grace Bay
Ranked #18 of 44 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 23, 2010

We spent 7 nghts at The Sands at Grace Bay for our honeymoon. We booked through Costco Travel and felt like the deal we got was good for the area. When we arrived late on our first night we went to our "ocean view" room, which really lacked much of an ocean view. Since it was our honeymoon, we decided to inquire about other available rooms with a better view or what it would cost to upgrade. The person at the front desk helped us, and was able to get us a better view at no extra charge, starting on the second night. The new room was amazing. Very glad we asked to change! We spent a lot of time sitting on our balcony watching the ocean, and drinking coffee or wine.

The room was very nice and met our needs. There was a small fridge, coffee maker, toaster, utensils, dishes, etc. We walked to the nearby grocery store and purchased some wine, and snacks which we kept in our room and enjoyed throughout the week. The resort itself is very quiet, which we enjoyed. But if you're looking for big nightlife or a party scene, this is not the place.

We dined at the resort restaurant, Hemingways, on several occassions and enjoyed almost everything we ate there. The only thing I had that I didn't like was the huevos rancheros, but everything else was quite good. The resort is also close to many other restaurants. We went to Bay Bistro, which is right next door, on two ocassions, which was very good. They have a very nice brunch on Sundays.

The beach is amazing at Grace Bay. The sand is soft and white, and the water is so clear and blue. It was beautiful. We were there during the slow season, so there was no problem getting a spot under an umbrella and a couple chairs.

Only thing I wish was different, is I wish they had room service. After we got such a nice view it would have been nice to have some meals out there and relax. Also, the staff is not overly friendly, but not to the point of being rude or anything, just direct I guess and not a lot of extra smiles like I'm used to.

I would definitely go back to Grace Bay and would stay at the Sands again, if it still looked to be a good deal. It seemed there were other resorts that were more luxurious, but the Sands was very comfortable and clean and was perfect for us.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Janjan550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 15, 2010

My name is Kia Holmes and I was recently a guest at The Sands from 10/7-10/13. I came all the way from Newark, DE to visit the beautiful country of Turks & Caicos and what it had to offer and I was not disappointed. The Sands Hotel was a beautiful establishment of luxury and privacy something I came along way to retrieve. The room was well kept by the housekeepers daily and the superior amenities and friendly personal service by Leonard Higgs specifically, was quite impressive. More than once did I lock myself out of my room and Mr. Higgs in a timely manner came to my rescue. Mr. Higgs was helpful when it came to local restaurants and outings around the Island, because of him and the rest of The Sands employees I felt like a valued guest. I truly hope Mr. Higgs and The Sands staff are rewarded and commended for their outstanding service. Thank you, and hope to see the Island of Turks soon for another stay at The Sands.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank romard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2010

Ok, beautiful beach, how can you go wrong, but we didn't have the greatest experience at this hotel.

Beach: a beautiful, beautiful clear water, white sand beach in front of hotel. We walked up and down the beach and I really like this beachfront the best. Many of the other beach hotels had fewer huts/umbrellas, and many were way too close to water and the people, chairs, etc. looked cramped. The sand walking into the water is soft which is less true down by some of the other hotels.

Room: Nice, but not as nice as I thought. Needs updating but big and very clean. We had an oceanview suite in Building 2 with a washer/dryer, microwave, and fridge. I never saw any bugs, but we didn't have a whole lot of food there. It overlooked the pool and you could see a little tiny piece of ocean from far away.

Hemingway's Restaurant (at the hotel): The people who worked there weren't even remotely nice, except one or two, and it was overpriced. Great for breakfast, and a very nice ambiance at night. They didn't really serve "beach food" there so often times we had to order hot dogs off of the kid's menu. When you are the beach and swimming in the pool, who wants fresh fish, soup, or pasta for lunch? They have a little bar area inside but this isn't the type of resort where there is a huge bar where everyone is hanging out at. I almost didn't even notice it.

Other restaurants: Sept and Oct are the island's slow months (which I didn't know beforehand) so about 70% of the restaurants and stores on the island are closed for repairs and such. That was a bit of a pain but we found a couple of gems. The hotel is closest to the restaurants Lemon, Yoshis sushi in Salt Mills plaza (which also contains a cafe and some stores for shopping), and Bay Bistro on the beach. Most were closed, but we went to Yoshis which was my favorite restaurant (and is great for non-sushi lovers), Baci in Turtle Cove (good and cheap pizza $10, good fresh fish), and Coco Bistro (a really beautiful atmosphere, the best service we had on the island, and good food -- cost $100 for 2 people and was a $10 cab ride each way). We went to Danny Buoys near Salt Mills plaza which was just awful. Avoid. Just know there is nothing cheap on this island by way of food. A couple of people had a really good idea and as soon as they arrived took a cab, or the hotel shuttle for $8/9 which leaves every morning at certain times, to the grocery store and stocked up on some basics.

Shopping: There wasn't a whole lot of shopping, and what there was of it was very expensive. I live in D.C. so I'm not immune to expensive/overpriced, and I've been to many islands, and I have never seen anything like here. Magnets were $11, shirts $40, etc. Everything was outrageously overpriced. I ended up buying a few shirts at the store at the Sands at 20% off my last day there. It's called the Sand Dollar and is good if you want to buy some bottled drinks, Gatorade, and snacks.

Hotel staff: No, I do not expect to be treated like a star when I go to a hotel, but I expect to be treated like a guest, or at the very least a living human being. The employees here are so rude - from the front desk, to the restaurant, to the tours and towel hut. They have attitude, they tell you the bare minimum when you ask a question or give you the wrong information. No, you don't always get the best service, but this stood out and after awhile it gets old. I talked to people on the island who were staying at other resorts and they just raved about the staff. Let me also say that away from the resort, I didn't find the taxi drivers or restaurant and store employees all that friendly either. And again, there are always exceptions and there were 2 or 3 really nice people at the Sands. One being Christopher the "Hobie Cat guy" who was the nicest person we dealt with there and took us out on a long ride on the Hobie Cat (free at hotel). That was a good time.

The Sands is in a long row of hotels and I thought most of the other hotels looked so much nicer (and more expensive) in comparison but this is still a nice, comfortable place, with a great beach. But I would have paid a little more to get some hospitality. The Somerset next door is just beautiful.

Loved the free internet at hotel. They have two computers and the gym in the Hospitality Bldg by the lobby. As it wasn't crowded, the computers were always free to use.

Getting around the island: Taxis. Expensive. And no one ever, ever, ever has change. Stores don't either. It's sort of a pain after awhile. Sometimes I had to tell the taxi drivers, "well this is all I have unless you have change" and sometimes they'd accept whatever you had. Most of the taxi drivers were rude but we had a wonderful one on the way to the airport ($11 per person which isn't so bad). One night one driver tried to pick me up while my boyfriend was getting change and it made me very uncomfortable. We also rented a car the last day there for like $50 (including insurance) to drive to Chalk Sound and Sopadilla Bay (about 20 min away). (We did find $1 bottle of waters at the gas stations on Leeward Highway which was a plus.) Driving is on the left hand side and the steering wheel is on the right which was hard to get used to. There are no stoplights and lots of roundabouts.

Safety: Well, I didn't really hear things until the end of my stay which I guess was a good thing. Robbery is on the rise there – citizens robbing tourists and stores. I didn't realize that there had been incidents in the areas we were – especially walking at night to the local restaurants or on the beach. We did both and were fine, but take normal precautions. When we rented a car we were told not to go down by Five Cays, which is very close to Sopadilla Bay. And to leave the windows down and doors unlocked so no one could break into the car. I heard about incidents at secluded beaches too so i was watchful at Sopadilla Bay which was secluded except for a few people far away at some of the houses/rentals. I also read that a few tourists have been robbed and killed there this year. But again, this happens everywhere so just take normal precautions.
Excursions: Sopadilla Bay is clear, calm water that is about 2 feet high for 30 feet out or more. It's a nice place for children or just to check out but if you miss it no biggie. It was right by Chalk Sound which was absolutely beautiful - but you can't swim in it, or not that I'm aware of. A lot of rich houses around it. There is a restaurant there called Las Brisas (closed while we there) but they have views of the Sound and will take you out on a boat around the Sound.

We went down in front of Coral Gardens Hotel to do snorkeling (about a half hour walk down the beach from the hotel). The hotel and the snorkel rental place were closed and no one told us when we inquired at the Sands and elsewhere. Someone let us borrow some equipment but the water was so choppy and the current so bad we couldn't get that far out. The water was also murky there so it was hard to see anything. I've read that even kids go snorkeling here so this must have just been a bad time to go. The sand was mixed with rocks here and we did find some seashells which was nice.

Apparently the water is choppier and the current strong during September. We did the half day snorkeling trip on Caicos Dreamtours but didn't get to do much as the current was so bad and the water so choppy. They knew that up front but didn't bother to tell anyone and I'm talking young, strong men and women who couldn't swim against the current, including me. Luckily they had the lifesaver readily available. The tour included diving for conch to eat for lunch, and you got to keep the shell. There were no conch where they took us but a diver on the boat dove for some elsewhere. We were supposed to look for sand dollars but didn't. The best part was keeping the conch shell. Go with Big Blue, more expensive, but everyone I talked to raved about them.
Overall: I probably won’t return to this island anytime soon, and if I did I’d stay elsewhere, but this isn’t the worst place ever and the beach is definitely worth it!

Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
4  Thank MsAmer1693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2010

We were hoping for 10 days of sun and relaxation and that's exactly what we got.

We paid an extra $1000 for an ocean room - probably not worth the extra cost but the room was really nice, recently decorated with high quality furnishings and a very comfy bed.

The resort was wonderfully quiet as we went out of season as we were often the only people by the main pool. The onsite restaurant is pretty good and there was enough variety to eat there several time during our stay. Decent value for money and a really nice setting overlooking the beach. The rooms do have fridges and small kitchenette areas though so it's possible to prepare snacks and lunches etc in the room. We rented a car for some of the trip so went to a supermarket to stock-up on lunch and breakfast supplies. The hotel also runs a supermarket shuttle for a few dollars if you don't rent a car. Staff are quite helpful and relatively friendly (considering you are on 'Island time').

Turks is not a particularly exciting island - lots of ex-pats and residential development. I've lived in the Caribbean in the past and this is another example of a peaceful holiday location with great beaches and lots of sun, but not a whole lot else. All being said, we would return to Turks for a sun-bathing weekend - great for sleeping and book reading.

Ocean and beach are beautiful and if you are feeling lazy but fancy a change of scene, stroll up the beach and try some of the other hotel bars.

Was warned not to walk the beach at night and there were also some rumours of 'incidents' with people walking the main roads at night. If in doubt, take a taxi.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LondonJo2204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2010

We have stayed at the Sands @ Grace Bay twice in the last two years, and both times have come away completely happy with our experience. Having been to many Caribbean islands, I can say unequivocally that Turks & Caicos has the most beautiful combination of powdery white sand and crystal clear water anywhere. The Sands sits on one of the most beautiful stretches of Grace Bay. The restaurant is excellent, in both cases during the weeks we stayed in 2009 and 2010 we ate at the on-site restaurant for 80% of our meals. The island itself, outside of the incredible sand/water combo, is fairly mundane. However, for a beach vacation it can't be beat. The condos are roomy, upscale, modern and well laid out. The only two complaints are: First, incredibly hard mattresses that were atrocious to sleep on. Secondly, showers at times were nothing more than a trickle of water, and at best had extremely poor water pressure. If management were to take care of these two issues, from my perspective the Sands would be perfect.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank jstropicaltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2010

We spent five nights in early September at The Sands and loved every minute of it. The rum punch upon check-in was delicious and Terry the bellhop was very helpful and friendly. We lucked out by getting to experience the Manager's Reception the first day we arrived, usually on Tuesdays but postponed until Thursday which was the day we arrived, as Hurricaine Earl passed by earlier in the week. The free food, punch, beer and water were all great, perfect way to start the vacation!

Upon reading some mixed reviews, it's easy to get skeptical about the quality of a hotel, but if you are looking for a relaxed, beautiful, experience, this is it! If you are looking for hotel staff to cater to your every move, then you may be disappointed. The amenities at the hotel and in the suites are perfect for travellers who like to be independent and if you need to ask the front desk staff a question, they are available. We were in Room #3203, a one bedroom ocean front and it was huge and very comfortable, especially the amazing view from every window and the large balcony! Our building was much closer to the beach than other hotels we noticed up and down the beach. The pools at The Sands were so great, we especially loved the waterfall area.

As for the island itself, it's quiet and calm (especially during the Sept slow season) and has the most beautiful beach and water colors we had ever seen (compared to other Carribean islands). Food and shopping is expensive, we brought some dry food with us and went to the IGA Gourmet (could walk from the hotel vs. a car needed to the regular IGA) to stock up on some basic essentials. Hemingway's was always very good and a great place to have at the hotel, as were all the meals we experienced during the vacation. We walked to the Coral Gardens Reef every day to snorkel, lots of beautiful fish and on the last day saw a sea turtle, very exciting! Did a half-day boat trip to Iguana Island and the Barrier Reef, all really good!

The Sands at Grace Bay exceeded our expectations and we hope to go back much sooner than later.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MelissaGVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2010

After reading the mixed reviews i was so nervous of what we were getting into. Got a cab right outside the airport. Short ride. When we went to check in we were greeted with open arms and rum punch!!! Our room was in building 1 first floor.The room was very clean. King size bed and 2 twin beds in the other bedroom. No TV in the second bedroom,my boys didn't seem to mine(they actually read before bed) We did have a view of the ocean but by the end of the week there was 2 cars parked in the parking lot .It was still a pretty view. I think for total oceanfront you need to be in building 3 which is by the main pool and restaurant. In our bathroom and all around the island there are tiny ants. We had some in our bathroom but housekeeping came up right away and sprayed. just in case Never saw them again. We did keep all our food in the refrigerator.Speaking of food..its very very expensive!!! It's cheaper to rent a car then to buy a case of beer. We went to both grocery stores the IGA is bigger.Sept. is hurricane time in TCI so a lot of the hotels and restaurants were closed. We had most of our meals at Hemingways(right in the resort) The food was great and they had a special every night for dinner. Tues,Thurs and Friday there was music. We did go to the rum party tues night, They did a nice job with drinks and appetizers. You could go in your bathing suit. We had breakfast and lunch at the sawmill dinner(forgot the name) It's a new shopping mall...not too much done there yet. We ate at Coco Bistro. If you have picky eaters I don't know how they would do. The food was great we ate outside.did get bitten on our legs but it was worth it.. Go when its just getting dark its pretty. We did rent a car as it's expensive to get around by cab.Went off the beaten path to explore other beaches. It was scary not many people or cars around. When we got back we were told by others that we should just stay on the grace bay strip!!! If you love the beach then this island is for you. Not much else to do except for snorkeling,sailing etc... I feel like we were very lucky when we went as it was not crowed at all,sometimes we were the only ones on the beach or in the pools. The staff was always happy and willing to help. This is a low key resort (went to dinner with no shoes on) Please you don't need a lot of clothes bring more cover ups!!! Lastly enjoy every moment and take lots of pictures.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank donnaNewMilford
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:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Providenciales
#13 Spa Hotel in Providenciales
#16 Luxury Hotel in Providenciales
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Providenciales
Price Range: $232 - $755 (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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