I've written a longer review about the island, so my comments here relate specifically to our stay at Tradewinds. Expect basic, clean, nothing fancy and you will not be disappointed. Our 'deluxe' unit had a fridge, microwave, and stove. The bed was lumpy, the sheets were worn but clean. There were holes in the window screen which allowed 'no see-ums' to eat us alive at night. There are no clothes washing facilities, except a laundress who charges $10 per load. It was windy while we were there, so we were never too hot, never needed to try the a/c unit in the bedroom. The shower is of good size which always ran well and the towels were bigger and thicker than expected. There is a screened porch and bicycles included, which are very handy for getting around. Tradewinds is very close to the dive shop, Coral Reef, and Island Thyme.
It was not practical for us to travel with a supply of food, so we sent Debbie a list of provisions well in advance. Our order did not arrive, so we had to scrounge for things amongst the locals. This was very annoying, as there are few groceries available in the local shop, and the price of food in the restaurants is high. Debbie did her best to help us out. During your stay, you keep a tab of what you have consumed at the restaurants, and settle up at the end. Although this is a laid-back way to do business, you lose all sense of what you have spent and it's all too easy to run up a big bill.
Here is what we learned from our trip:
- If you can afford it, charter a plane from Provodencialies to Salt Cay. You will save yourself endless hassle and stress.
- If you have to take the speed boat to/from Grand Turk, you will get very wet on the crossing.
- Try the hambuger at Coral Reef, and Debbie's key lime pie.
- The food at Island Thyme is more posh and the atmosphere is better in the evening. Try the key lime cake with coconut ice cream, and Porter's margaritas are world-class. Avoid the Wolf if you value your liver.
- The island is going to be redeveloped into the Caribbean's largest resort over the next few years, and the donkeys will leave, so go now if you want to see it in its natural state.
- Order bread from Nettie's and it's delivered hot in the morning.
- We spent a week at supposedly prime whale watching season, but were disappointed. You need to go for 10-14 days to be sure of good sightings, but do not expect to have the snorkeling experience with them. This is a rare event, contrary to what you may read.
- Bring a suitcase of food and insect repellent and seasickness pills.
- The best thing about the island is the friendly community of locals. The worst is the lack of even basic necessities and the trash strewn everywhere.
- Bring twice as much money and half as many clothes as you think you need.
If we go back to Salt Cay, we'd probably stay somewhere with more amenities and a pool.
- Also Known As:
- Tradewind Guest Suites On Salt Cay Turks And Caicos