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“The Sands was Perfect”

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The Sands at Grace Bay
Ranked #20 of 44 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 October 2009

My wife and I along with another couple spent a week at the Sands in May of this year. This was our third trip to the Turks and Caicos and we have stayed at the Sands all three times. This time we rented a three bedroom beach front condo on the third floor and it was spectacular. The wraparound porch was huge and there was plenty of room for all of us. The 180 degree views from the porch were spectacular both during the day and at night.. If you look at my pictures you will see a view from out screen porch and a sunset.

We traveled to the local grocery store to stock up on food so that we wouldn't have to eat out every night. If you want to save money, that is the way to go. Now, they have a new grocery store that is within walking distance of the Sands and is every bit as modern and well stocked as any grocery store in the states. After a morning walk we stopped by the new store and had a coffee and a pastry. We did eat out a few times and I would recommend that you don't miss the Wed rib special at the Tiki Hut. It is great and the ambience is wonderful. We also ate at Calico Jacks and would recommend them for pizza.

The only negative that I would mention is the unwillingness of the reservation staff to work with you when you asked for a specific room. We stayed at the Sands last year and at the conclusion of our trip we discussed with the on-site staff about the possibility of reserving the ocean front third-floor condo for the following year. They all assured us that if the owner was not coming during the time we were there it would not be a problem. Several months later we made a reservation but when we requested the third-floor condo we were told that they could not ensure we would get it since the owners have up to 60 days in advance to notify the Sands that they were coming and not to reserve the condo. We understood and waited until 50 days before we were to arrive to contact the resort again to ask for the third-floor condo; however, again they would not guarantee us that room. Our concern is that someone else would show up the day before we arrived and would be given the condo we had been trying to reserve for months. The rental management office is VERY INFLEXIBLE and if we had know of the hassle they were going to give use when the on-staff management staff assured us that reserving the room would not be a problem we might have looked elsewhere. As it turned out we did get the condo but not without some stress.

The on-site staff are very friendly and helpful. The day we arrived our air-conditioning went out and they immediately had a staff member work on it and got it going. Unfortunately, it went out again and they had to bring an off-island technician in to repair it. He arrived the next day and they relocated us to a different condo for the night that did have air-conditioning. I thought the staff handled the situation very well and made sure that our needs were met.

The husbands in our group are scuba divers and we did a week and dived with Caicos Adventures. If you dive I would highly recommend this outfit. They pick you up in the morning and you return from diving between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. Their boats are spacious with plenty of room for the divers. They are a great company to dive with. I put a few of my pics up with the hope that you will enjoy them.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jamescrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,488 - 1,494 of 1,903 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2009

I enjoyed my 4 night stay at The Sands. Studio with balcony on the 3rd floor ~ kitchenette, washer/dryer, ceiling fan and really nice furnishings plus very lush landscaping on the property. There are no elevators but 3rd floor is the highest in any of the buildings. There is a water sports desk near the beach with towels and kayaks and sailboat to take out for free. Hemingways restaurant is open all day long. Prices for this hotel vary greatly on the internet. Look at hotels.com and expedia.com. >> Go to the spa at The Grace Bay Club.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank pan-am-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2009

Our suite had tiny bugs/ ants all over the kitchen, thousands of them! They had gotten into all of our snacks and practically walked off with our cereal box on their backs. They we're inside everything, It was gross! After we immediatly complained to the front desk, they asked "what do you want us to do about it?" Don't expect an overly friendly staff at this place. On a better note, the Beach was beautiful, like nothing I have ever seen.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank AP1205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sands_Managment, Manager at The Sands at Grace Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2010

I have lived in the Caribbean for the last 6 years of my life and one the first thing I learned...besides use lots of sunscreen is do not keep anything sweet out in the open. Here are a few local tips to avoid loosing your sweets to sugar ants

1) Keep it in the fridge - The fridge its a great place to keep it away from them
2) Zip lock bags - put things in zip lock bags even if not open
3) Vinegar - nothing can be more repulsive to sugar ants than a little White Vinegar.

We have systems in place to control them but yes they do exist, your help is greatly appreciated.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2009

We traveled with a group of 11 friends, 2/3 of which are divers. We reserved one 2-bedroom and one 3-bedroom oceanfront suite and overall both were spacious, well-stocked, beautifully decorated, clean and comfortable. However, if (when!) we go back, we will not stay in a 3 room unit with friends again because it is more suited to a family with small children. The master suite was amazing, but the other bedrooms were very small. One had the HVAC unit in a closet (started up very loudly several times per night) and only two small end tables with drawers for our clothing. The other was set up like a sitting room with a sleeper sofa rather than a standard bedroom. Not good when everyone is paying an equal share and one room is far superior to the others. The 2 bedroom unit was perfect for adults or a family traveling together.

Overall The Sands was amazing - excellent staff and service, on-site spa ranked one of the best on the island, beach-side concierge w/free use of beach and snorkeling equipment, including hobie cats. The divers booked through Caicos Adventures, which came highly recommended and was one of the best dive outfitters we'd ever used. The hotel assisted with tons of other excursions including horseback riding, 4-wheeling and a night at one of the local casinos. There were several pool areas - all well-maintained. Tues night there was a cocktail reception with free drinks and food - all excellent! The rum punch is addicting! The resort is not in a heavily populated area, so we walked quite a bit to find restaurants other than the one on-site - Hemingway's, which was terrific, but you can only eat at the same place so many times before you tire of it. Mango Reef was a 1.5 to 2 mile walk (cabs were fairly expensive for groups our size), but was also excellent. There was a shopping center roughly 1/4 mile away with a great casual/family restaurant (SaltMill Cafe was the name, I think - fastest service we found) and several small shops, which we visited quite a bit. There's also a grocery store about 1/2 mile away and The Sands will take you there by shuttle twice per day.

The only (very mildly) disappointing element was the lack of evening activities. The casino outing was very disappointing (it was small and completely empty except for our group) and other than local bands playing a few nights on the patio at Hemingway's, there was simply not much to do. Good thing we were very tired from so much day-time adventure! I would highly recommend The Sands to families and couples alike and will def be going back some day - particularly when it was definitely the most affordable luxury resort on the whole island - and possibly that we've ever experienced.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank NCLuckyWon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2009

The location along the long strip of hotels was perfect. Set away a little from hotels on either side. It had the widest beach area with cute tiki huts so you could still take in the scene unlike some of the hotels with chairs and sun shields right against each other. The landscaping was really pretty and green. Hemingways is the only bar and restaurant on location and they come out to the beach for drink requests. $5-9 drinks We hit the IGA and bought beer and wine for the week which worked out well. The pools were clean and refreshing. Relaxing waterfall at the middle pool with great pergola and shade palm trees. Easily our favorite spot. Hotel has floaties for lounging in the pools and ocean. We took out the little hobie cat sailboat which was so much fun. Risked hurricane season in Sept but the weather was perfect and had the hotel practically to ourselves. Reserved the queen bed condo with courtyard view or something but we still had a great location and I thought it was better than the one room king bed regular hotel style. Our room was separate from the front/ living room space with kitchenette. We stocked up on snack foods and sandwich stuff so we could eat and get right back to the beach or pool and went out for dinners. Overall it was a decent hotel, clean, great location, kind staff and a great trip!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank novia26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2009

My husband and I visited Provo for the first time for our 10 year anniversary. I visited TripAdvisor every week for months to make sure our stay would be the best, and it was!!

We arrived at the airport and went directly to the Budget counter to rent a car. The price was $39.95 daily which was comparable to in town rental places. The only drawback was that you had to return the car to the Budget office in town as opposed to the airport and someone will drive you the short distance to the airport from there.

The Sands at Grace Bay is BEAUTIFUL!! There was a miscommunication with the room we booked and we were upgraded immediately to room 3310 which was awesome. We arrived on a Tuesday just in time for the managers rum punch evening. That was a great introduction to Turks... having rum and Turks Head lager while watching the sun set and meeting some fellow vacationers. Since we happened to take a chance and visit during hurricane season the resorts and restaurants were SO not busy. A couple of the restaurants and resorts were closed. The Sands was the most happening place within a mile walking distance on the beach. Try and make it to the IGA just to get snacks and drinks if you want to avoid the $4 Turks Head and $7 fruity drinks. We LOVED the palapas and never had to wait once for one.

Our favorite place to eat was Hemingways at the Sands. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were consistant and the prices reasonable. The fish tacos were our favorite and the filet with mushroom sauce for dinner was great. Other places we dined.... Tiki Hut, Horse Eyed Jacks, Somewhere on the Beach and take out from Pizza Pizza in our room while watching the Steeler game... that was fun!!!

The staff at the Sands were nice and things ran smoothly. They have a 'no problem' attitude which worked great for us since this was a purely relaxing vacation. My husband dived with Dive Provo... which was great, especially when he got to swim with a shark. We went on a sunset cruise that we booked with the tour company at Sands. It was great and we met some really nice people from all over the world. We snorkeled at Coral Gardens right off Grace Bay and saw sting rays, turtles, angel fish, barracuda, star fish and other little creatures. We drove to Sopadilla bay but wasn't that impressed. There is a much prettier beach if you drive away from the airport on Leeward Highway and take a side road where some housing developments are being built.

We were very impressed and will go back again hopefully when our kids are old enough to dive and the whales are migrating.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank tlchurd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2009

Went to Providenciales for 5 days to celebrate my 40th birthday with my wife leaving the kids at home. Arrived at 2:30 right on time, customs was busy but only took about 10 minutes. Paul from Grace Bay car rentals was there waiting for us and was very helpful giving directions and pointing out places on the island. Woudl definately recommend them. Made it to the hotel, kind of odd driving on the right side of the car in the left lave, but got used to it and the roundabouts quickly. Check in was very quick and easy, they had upgraded us to a Studio Ocean View w/ a balcony (see picture) from a courtyard view without one. Got us rum punch and gots us off to a great start. Everyone seemed relaxed, friendly, and helpful. Room was great, small "kitchenette" was a microwave, small fridge, toaster, sink and various dishes, glasses, silverwear. Had a washer and dryer in the bathroom, which was large and clean. Headed to the beach (again, see pictures) and walked around a bit. Tour desk got reservation for diving the next day with Caicos Adventures

Decided it was time for an early dinner as we had skipped lunch flying over the Bahamas, so we went to Hemingways. Had the conch fritters (ok, but a bit doughy), jerk chicken sandwich (excellent) and the fish tacos (best I have ever had) and a margarita (not great) and some Turks Head lager (great). We did find that everything on the island is expensive as this meal ran us $60, but hey, we're on vacation, right?
Next day diving at French Cay. thought we were going to West Caicos but change of plan. Boat was big and only 6 divers and 2 dive masters and the captain. If you have never been here, it is very hard to explain how beautifully blue and clear the ocean is. At 40Ft deep going 20 knots you could easily see starfish on the bottom as we passed over. My wife stayed aboard to snorkel and lay in the sun. Diving the wall was great although I get excited and use my air up too fast. Came back for a nap in the hammocks, went to dinner at Jimmy's Dive Bar and then up to Calico Jacks. Both had really good food and Leeanna at Calicos was great and made us coconut leaf animals to take home to the kids. Then headed to the grocery store, the IGA and did some quick pick up things. Again, we were kind of surprised how expensive everything is. $10 for a large papaya, $5 for a half gallon of OJ and $11 for a six pack of beer kind of hurt. Went back to the room and chilled out
Saturday went to the Conch Farm which was suposedly open but nobody around, so we just strolled around a bit and decided to drive around the island. Went to the Nikki Beach resort which was super luxury and super deserted like just about anywhere else. Manager there recommended Caicos Dream tour so we gave them a shout and booked for the next day. went back to the Sands, got our snorkel gear and drove down to Coral Gardens and went snorkeling off the beach. Saw some good coral, quite a few fish, couple barracuda, couple turtles, at at Somewhere on the Beach which was really good. Back to the Sands for a nap. Headed to Horse-Eyed Jack's for dinner, again, nobody there but us and one other table, had a wonderful jerk platter with pork, chicken, shrimp and some potato salad and slaw, everything was great. Went next door to Da Conch Shack and got a plate of cracked (fried) conch and some rum punch and daiquiris which was all excellent but still, just us and one other table. When they say slow season, they really mean it.
Sunday went on the Caicos half day tour, left from the beach 2 hotels down and went out to the reef on Grace Bay, snorkeled out there, saw some cool things, couple small sharks. Headed back to the east end and stopped near the conch farm, learned about conch and got to dive for our lunch, about 8 ft of water and just go down and grab some, then off to a deserted island to have the captain and mate fix them up in a conch salad and we sat on the beach and drank beer and rum and really consider why I go to work every day. On the way out, saw a HUGE ray swimming so they stopped the boat and I dove out with the camera but had a hard time focusing (remember the rum?)
Back to the beach and just layed out the rest of the day, went out for Pizza that night, again, $23 for a 16" pizza was kind of stiff but....
Monday headed out and drove around killing time before the flight, saw quite a bit if the residential areas, Chaulk Sound was beautiful too.
Anyway, was a great trip, too short but would definately recommend going there and would recommend the Sands as well, it was very well kept up, the pools were great and everything was very clean

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank SJBurk
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
Region: Caribbean > Turks and Caicos > Providenciales
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Providenciales
#14 Spa Hotel in Providenciales
#18 Luxury Hotel in Providenciales
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Providenciales
Price Range: £169 - £488 (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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