I was lucky enough a couple of weeks ago to take a last minute trip to Turks and Caicos - and get away from the cold of the northeast US for a few days. My flights fell into place and my friend who I was meeting there came across the Villa Del Mar on the internet. They were running some pretty decent specials so we locked in for 5 days, even though they are not directly located on the beach.
I found the property really well maintained and clean – almost like new in some places. The location is a non-issue from my perspective – it’s like 30 seconds to the beach and they are actually closer than some of the back rooms in the ‘beachfront’ resorts near them. Our one bedroom suite was really spacious and comfortable – better furniture than my apartment at home for sure – and we had a pull-out sofa in the living room so it could comfortably sleep four I would say. And the decks are a nice place to relax and take in the views and they make the rooms feel even bigger. I like their pool too, and there’s a little bar on site.
Our beach strategy was to wander. Let me say that the entire Grace Bay Beach is fantastic and you really can’t go wrong with any portion of it. It’s the reason most people fall in love with the place. And it’s all public so you can stake your claim anywhere along the entire 10 miles of it. The part by Villa del Mar is in front of the Grace Bay Club, which is a very nice high end hotel, although the pina coladas at their very cool infinity bar were a bit out of my budget range. Further down to right (as you look at the water), is Club Med which has nice scenery for single gents like us and it’s a wide stretch at that point. Just past their dock is a cool local bar which didn’t seem to have a name but the beer was sure cold. There’s a little local craft market there, too, and someone told me they have lice music some days. We logged some good hours there and you are literally right on the beach.
To the left, the beach curves around some really nice resorts. I camped out in front of the Sands and enjoyed their restaurant called Hemingway’s on the Beach, which has good food and a deck right on the beach. I didn’t; make it past that point but it looked a little busier further down the beach, which may be because that’s where the Beaches hotel is.
Back to Villa del Mar – it’s so convenient to get to and from there to the beach, and also a lot of other handy things. Like the casino right around the corner. It’s not Las Vegas by any means but there are plenty of ways to lose your money. And it’s open late, late (5AM I think). I could walk from my hotel, but they seemed to offer free transport, too. There were a bunch of restaurants close by – I liked Fresh which was a breakfast/lunch deli type place but with a natural, healthy theme. It’s right across from the Casino. We were on a bit of budget so stuck to mostly cheaper places and found Danny Buoy’s a great place for food and to belly up to the bar. It’s about a 7 minute walk from Villa del Mar and the whole area has nice wide and lighted sidewalks. The shopping center type development nearby has a couple of cool little bars and cheap east too. Jimmy’s and the place right above it (where we saw a live band on Friday night).
We bought some food at the supermarket on the corner by the big 7 Stars hotel – Gourmet something. They have all the basic a guy like me could want – lunch meat, bagels, coffee and beer. And since my room at Villa Del Mar had a full kitchen and fridge, we were able to save a bit of money by eating in.
Neither of us scuba dive but that’s supposed to be fantastic in the Turks. Our hotel offered dive trips with one of the local shops and we aw a few others during our walks to Danny Buoy’s (by the way, we didn’t bother renting a car – if you’re not interested in seeing the whole island, there’s really no need. You can walk everywhere in the little area where Villa del Mar is). We did do a parasailing trip, which was a cool way to see the island but a bit pricey ($75 for 15 minutes in the air, but you do get a nice boat ride, too).
I give Villa del Mar two thumbs up (and my friend agrees, so I guess that’s four) and I will definitely be back to TCI. It’s super easy to get to from anywhere in the northeastern part of the US. It’s high end for sure, but you can still have good time if you’re on a budget, as we were.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa del Mar is the perfect island retreat for a vacation filled with endless sunshine and delightful diversions. Located on Providenciales (a.k.a. Provo), the most developed island in the Turks and Caicos chain, Villa del Mar is just steps from the 12 mile strip of sugary fine sand and cerulean blue water known as Grace Bay Beach, internationally recognized as one of the world's top 10 beaches. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Del Mar Hotel Providenciales
- Hotel Del Mar
- Del Mar Hotel
- Villa Del Mar Turks And Caicos/Providenciales