We read this forum on a daily basis for months before our trip and really learned a lot, so hopefully this trip report will help other visitors. The weather involved a lot of clouds and rain, unfortunately, but we still had a great time and were able to do everything we wanted to do. The sun made enough appearances that we were able to see how beautiful the water is. Sorry for the length of this, but here goes:
We flew Delta Airlines from Atlanta. We were about 2 hours late leaving Atlanta, most of which was spent sitting on the plane. Anybody ever tried to keep a 2 year old entertained in a stationary airplane for 2 hours? Not fun. I was always under the impression that if you were late for your flight, then the plane simply leaves you behind. Evidently, this is not always the case. Long story short, we waited while this group of people traveling together changed their mind back and forth over whether they were going to board since they were not all present. This required Delta to dig their luggage out of the plane and then put it all back in when everyone arrived and they decided to go. By the time all of this was sorted out, weather had backed up the airport and we were like 16th in line for takeoff. Then we had to listen to them complain as they boarded that their seats had been taken and there was no room left in the overhead bins. Delta really should have left them behind. It was not fair to the people on the plane and it was not fair to those waiting for the plane in Provo. Anyway, enough about that.
Airport to Seven Stars:
We breezed through immigration with a very short wait while a local band played some very lively music and went on to retrieve our luggage. The luggage was coming off of the plane very slowly and the luggage handlers at the airport were fairly aggressive to help you. I told one of them that we could use some help....he asked what our luggage looked like....he then crawled behind the luggage carousel (through the little door the luggage comes out of), found our luggage, and returned with it on a cart. I was impressed and tipped him well. We were ushered outside and an airport official hailed us a taxi with a very unfriendly driver who took us to Seven Stars.
Seven Stars was outstanding overall. The resort was nearly deserted. Rarely did we see another guest, which is not necessarily a bad thing. We were afraid that Seven Stars would be short on services due to the financial situation that they are in, however, we were taken care of very well by the small number of staff who are there. They are running the place with a handful of people who are doing a great job despite the situation. There were times where the same staff member was handling front desk, bellman, and concierge duties. O'Brien, Judnell, and Yngrit were all very helpful.
Our room (2405) was great. We have stayed in some of the best hotels and resorts in the world, and we were impressed. Tall ceilings, lots of marble, solid 8 foot doors, 1.5 baths, a huge balcony area, 2 dining areas (1 outdoor and 1 indoor), separate living area from bedroom, full kitchen, washer and dryer, free internet, large lcd televisions with satellite service, and a to-die-for view. The kitchen with dishwasher and the in room washer/dryer were invaluable for life with our soon to be 2 year old daughter. Housekeeping did a great job and offered turndown service every evening.
Seven Stars location is excellent. It is near many restaurants and within walking distance to the new IGA and Ports of Call which was great.
I know some feel that Seven Stars security is overkill, but the restricted access to the resort gave us a lot of comfort. In light of the recent surge in crime on the island, we were glad the security was there.
My wife visited the spa for a massage. She didn't feel like it was the best spa she had ever been to, but felt that the therapist did an adequate job. She wanted a pedicure, but there was no one at Seven Stars to give her one. O'Brien arranged for someone to do an outcall from another spa in the area. They always made sure we were taken care of.
Overall, we were very pleased with our stay at Seven Stars. It is kind of sad to see the property in the financial shape it is in, but that did not affect the quality of our stay with them. They need to get their restaurant open again to get some traffic into the resort, and it would be nice for guests to have a restaurant on site. They had a champagne reception for the staff and guests while we were there to celebrate the new ownership. Hopefully, this will stabilize things for them. I know some do not care for the appearance (architecturally) of Seven Stars, but we had no objections. We would definitely stay there again.
Walked to the IGA to get a few groceries. The prices were high but we were expecting that. You will need an ID if you plan on using a credit card. The manager had to come out and override our transaction because we didn't bring our drivers licenses. The chocolate pecan cookies from the bakery were killer.
We ate at Calico Jacks in Ports of Call for dinner. The menu was pretty limited and the food was OK. Our waitress was very good and attentive and even gave our daughter some toys to play with while we waited on our food. We walked over to Calico Jacks and never felt unsafe in any way around Ports of Call.
We waited about 40 minutes for a taxi to take us to the Coral Gardens in the morning for some snorkeling and beach time. My wife and daughter hung out on the beach while I snorkeled. I have snorkeled in a lot of places including the Great Barrier Reef and I was impressed with the sea life here.....saw some turtles, a good size barracuda, and a beautiful queen triggerfish.
We had lunch at Somewhere on the Beach which was very good. The food and drinks were excellent and the staff were very friendly. The bartender called us a taxi back to Seven Stars which we again waited about 40 minutes for. We decided it was time to rent a car. Judnell at Seven Stars called the Avis just up the street next to the IGA. Avis came and picked me up, and within about 10 minutes, I was on my way back to the resort with a rental. I was worried about driving on the left but it was no big deal at all to navigate around the island.
Dinner was at Coco Bistro which was our favorite restaurant. The food and service were outstanding. The atmosphere there.....dining outdoors under the coconut palms is incredible. The coconut pie is very good.
Total rainout....it rained all day and all night.
Lunch was at the Salt Mills Cafe which was a very good sandwich and fries style place. It is very kid friendly and they charge based on your kids age. Our daughter is 1 year old, so her meal was one dollar.
Dinner was at Baci down near Turtle Cove. Getting there was a bit of an adventure. It had rained all day and the streets were flooded in spots making the road almost one lane in some areas. We were traveling on Lower Bight Road when a rather crazy looking man walked out in the road up ahead of us. Remembering the story about the couple who had their windows bashed out on the very same road, I didn't slow down and just steered around him. I looked in my rear view mirror and he had picked up a huge plastic barrell and threw it at the taxi behind me. We had to wonder whether this was the same man who terrorized the other couple. Anyway, the food at Baci was very good....our waitress wasn't overly friendly....and no sign of the man my wife nicknamed "Donkey Kong" on the way back to Seven Stars.
We took the ferry over to North/Middle Caicos and rented a car. Please see the thread "North/Middle Caicos Anyone" for my post about our trip.
Dinner was at Hemingway's. The atmosphere there was good. My meal was chicken stuffed with goat cheese and spinach which was very good. My wife ordered the crab cakes for her meal and they were very disappointing. They had a thick fried coating on them with mainly shredded crab meat and a lot of filler. There was no lump crab meat in them. Luckily, we waited on a table indoors, as the rain really started to come down hard. The weather really caused issues for the restaurants all week as they would scramble to try and accommodate all the outdoor diners when the rain would start.
This was my wife's birthday. We had lunch at Jimmy's Dive Bar at Ports of Call. The food was basic but good and the beer was cold. No complaints. It was raining still, so the place was pretty busy. Ports of Call has some nice shops, so we shopped around for a bit while it was still raining. We then drove to the bakery just down the road past Coco Bistro....I believe it is called Fresh. We bought an assortment of desserts to celebrate my wife's birthday. The miniature fruit tarts were the best thing we bought.
Dinner was at Parallel 23 which was very good. The Regent Palms is a beautiful place and we had an excellent birthday dinner. We both had steak and it was perfect. The desserts were also impressive. If we would have had another day, we would have went back here a second time.
We did the 1/2 day trip with Caicos Dream Tours. They picked us up right on the beach in front of Seven Stars. We had a great trip with Shawn(sp?) and Lickey(sp?). I highly recommend this company. We had a really good time. I forgot my sandals on the boat and they even delivered my sandals to Seven Stars that same evening....really nice of them.
Lunch was at Da Conch Shack. The setting is really great there and the food really surprised us. It was really good. We have had conch fritters in the Bahamas several times but these were way better. The shrimp and the rum punch were also very good. Our boat captain Shawn from earlier in the day was also there which was cool.
Dinner was at Mango Reef. Our food was good and the service was very good and friendly. Most of the menu items had a very Asian flair which surprised me a bit (not a bad thing, just not what we had expected).
Finally, we woke up to a very sunny and beautiful morning. I jumped in the car and headed down to try and find Smith's Reef. My wife and daughter headed for the beach and pool. I finally located the right area and snorkeled for about 3 hours solid. I had a great time...saw lots of barracuda, some queen angelfish, a large nassau grouper, and a beautiful spotted eagle ray. It was a great morning.
Lunch was at the Sand Dollar, poolside at Seven Stars. The food and mixed drinks were very good.
Dinner was back to Coco Bistro. Same great atmosphere and food.
Our departure day.....
We had breakfast at the Salt Mills Cafe which was excellent. Great waffles and pancakes.
We finished packing and headed for the airport. Big surprise, it was pouring the rain again. I dropped my wife and daughter off at the terminal along with the luggage. I then went to return the rental car to the airport Avis location but the road was completely flooded and coned off. I didn't know what to do so I parked the rental in the short term parking lot at the airport and went in the arrivals terminal. An Avis rep was there and was able to take the return. I was very relieved to get the car dropped off.
Wow, the airport terminal is really small and there were not enough seats for everyone waiting on their planes. The place was packed and it was tough to keep our daughter contained and entertained there. We were really hoping Delta was on time and they were thank goodness.
Overall, we had a great trip despite the rain and would definitely come back.
Here is a link to our photos: