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AI versus Non-AI

Philadelphia...
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AI versus Non-AI

My husband and I are considering Gracie Bay for next trip in late April 2012.

We have stayed in various AIs and love the convienance of them but as T&C has so much else to offer, we are considering non-AIs as well.

We would like to be on a beach and have access to restaurant(s) there and a bar/swim-up bar for when we are lounging. I know a lot of places are more like condos, which allow you to bring all your own food/alcohol. This is great but there is something to be said about getting cocktails during the day served to you =)

We prefer to not have a lot of kids around and enjoy a social atmosphere during the day. We will be 30 next year so we don't want a bunch of spring breakers there but we also don't want the place to be dead.

In addition, I have concerns over how easy is it to get around at night. My husband and I love a few drinks at Dinner and therefore, would not want to drive. We would need to take a cab and I don't know how pricey it is.

Given these concerns, is there a right Non-AI for us?

We are wiling to go up to 5000 for 10 days, including airfare for a Non-AI. We will go higher for an AI if it is really worth it.

I would love some feedback.

Canandaigua, New...
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1. Re: AI versus Non-AI

To me.....Grace Bay has so many nice restaurants at the various resorts and others that are located just a short distance away in Turtle Cove or in some of the shopping areas....why do an AI?

We have done them when staying on other islands at more remote resorts....so then it made sense.....but Provo has so many great options.....why stay on property at one resort all week?

This is just my own peronal thoughts on the subject.

Mike

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: AI versus Non-AI

This is always a difficult question to give advice on. People are all different, and have different vacation interests.

Mike make a great point when mentioning that it make practical sense when staying at a remote location -- that's something I hadn't thought of.

On the other hand, the vast majority of TCI resorts are not remote, so that shouldn't even be a consideration.

Seems like most people who stay at AI in the TCI do so because that's how they prefer to vacation (no matter what the cost). They seem content to mostly hang around a resort all week -- and that's fine for them. Those who don't stay at AI seem to do so because that's how they prefer to vacation, and they want to enjoy all the island(s) have to offer, not just a single resort -- and that's fine for them.

It's a decision only you can make.

Here are a couple of links that might help in your vacation planning:

www.wherewhenhow.com

www.turksandcaicosreservations.com

Hope this helps.

Edited: 29 September 2011, 01:53
Staten Island, New...
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for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
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3. Re: AI versus Non-AI

In some of the more popular AI places like in punta cana, Mexico, etc AI is not only convenient but almost mandatory. And for anyone who is used to that, non AI especially in an unfamiliar island can be a scary proposition. Provo to me is ideal for non inclusive because it's compact and everything is fairly close. I'm talking about 5-10 minutes close. From the seven stars for example you can either walk or drive 5 mins tops to the best dining on the island. I've been to AI resorts where you need to take a shuttle to dinner. So to me its not about convenience and it basically boils down to how important food is to you. To many it's not that important and nothing wrong with that.

Knoxville TN
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4. Re: AI versus Non-AI

Depends on the type of spender you are.

I constantly eat and drink so if I were to let loose at Turks and eat/drink with reckless abandon, the two of us could easily spend $400/day on food. To me, THAT"S a lot of friggin money..after 2-3 days of that type of food spending, I will not help but feel that I am getting bent over by high food prices. When I start to worry about spending, it takes away from the vacation. However, if you are perfectly happy and content spending that type of money on food for 6-7 days, Turks is no problem.

As opposed to an AI...the stress of spending too much $$ is out of the way, and I underestimated how not having that stress makes for so much of a better vacation. I'd rather pay up front before the vacation then shell out hundreds of dollars on a daily basis during vacation. Out of sight, out of mind.

I did AI's the past 3 years and when I visited turks this year, it was the first time we did not do AI. My trip was absolutely incredible, but when we go back next year, it will be Beaches as I do not want to deal with the constant daily reminder of how expensive food is.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: AI versus Non-AI

james30i reflects a common opinion expressed on this board. Often times, people are not so much concerned with the actual overall cost of their vacation, but rather that they don't want to think about it while on vacation.

Unlike more visited AI destinations, Beaches T&C is not in inexpensive AI resort. With a family of four, we've cost compared our numerous non-AI vacation costs on Provo with a Beaches vacation, the exact same times of year. Basically, we stay a week in a 2BR, 2.5, bath, approx 1,800 sq. ft. suite, rent a car, take an excursion or two, dine throughout the island at a both upscale and great local restaurants, and enjoy cocktails, all for the cost of a weeks stay in a standard Beaches hotel room with two beds.

My wife and I have also visited the TCI without the kids. Breakfast was included at the resorts where we've stayed, so we'd probably be face-down in the sand after spending $400 a day on food and beverage. We might have spent half that much, but we also don't eat every meal at expensive resort restaurants.

Again, it seems to mostly depend on which option you most enjoy, but not necessarily overall cost, IMO. If concerned about costs, just do the math upfront, and compare "apples with apples."

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6. Re: AI versus Non-AI

First of all it is Grace Bay not Gracie Bay. There are taxis everywhere at T&C but they charge per person each way. Depending how far you are going it can be $9-$18 pp each way. However, a rental car costs $39 and up so is the better deal even if for only part of your trip. Food is very pricey as well. As my brother Mike just recently posted. A meal of 2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, and 2 drinks will be about $150-$200 at an upscale beachfront resturant. There are some cafe type places that are less but still more than you will pay in the states. An AI may be worth it if you eat and drink alot.

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7. Re: AI versus Non-AI

FYI those drinks at the pool will cost about $6-$8 a beer and anywhere from $12-$20 for mixed drinks depending on what you order.

maryland
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8. Re: AI versus Non-AI

holy cow, what drink cost $20.00 and at what resort?

Mullica Hill, New...
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for Turks and Caicos
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9. Re: AI versus Non-AI

Samantha,

From what you have described your best AI option would be The Veranda, and I think your better choice would be to stay at The Gansevoort. (non AI) Younger crowd, few kids, nice pool area. The restaurant there is not very good so you will need to cab to most dinner restaurants. Somewhere Cafe is down the beach which is a great lunch/drinks option.

I hope this helps...

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10. Re: AI versus Non-AI

tweks it is true......Quote from IslandRealator.....Yes, the Palms have some the highest drink prices on the island. But you are paying for some amazing surroundings. I don't recall paying more than $20.00, but a tip would be extra.

Personally I prefer the Anacaoana at Grace Bay Club for it's more intimate setting - try the the Infinity Martini at $18.00.

Edited: 30 September 2011, 03:17
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