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“2nd time as good as the first”

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The Sands at Grace Bay
Ranked #20 of 44 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 August 2010

This was our 2nd trip to The Sands at Grace Bay. We loved it as much the 2nd time as we did the first time. The beach is FABULOUS! You won't find better beaches anywhere. The rooms are clean and comfortable. Treat yourself and go!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank BURGESS-IN-VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 August 2010

My husband and I traveled with another couple to this hotel for seven days at the beginning of June 2010. The front desk were not the friendliest people, but certainly not the worst and we didn't encounter them often anyway and it certainly didn't affect my opinion on the hotel overall.

We stayed in studio gardenview rooms, which were quaint and comfortable and more roomy than we were expecting. There is a small living room with a couch, dresser and coffee table. They have sinks, full dish sets, microwave, toaster and mini-fridge which was perfect. We went to the store and split groceries for breakfast with bagels, toast and snacks. The grocery store was quite expensive, but we didn't find the restaurants more expensive than the ones in Arizona.

We ate at Hemingway's a number of times and it was always delicious! Breakfast and lunch average about $10 a plate, but portions are big so we often split meals. Dinners were a tad bit more expensive accross the board averaging about $25 - $45 per plate. We also walked down the beach to Somewhere.... a couple times and loved it there! Very affordable as well. It's a bit of a walk, but not too bad and better than renting a car. We took the beach cruisers down to Mango Reef one day for lunch which was also delicious!

One day we rented a car and took it around the whole island, which was nice to see the "off the beaten path" places. They give you a map with GREAT directions and we had no trouble finding our way around at all. Went to a couple different beaches around the island, also went to Chalk Sound which was beautiful and had lunch on that side of the island at Breeze's which a ton of locals recommended and it was pretty good. Would highly recommend exploring the island in a car one day, so nice.

Another day we went on the snorkel trip which was probably the highlight of the trip. Saw a four foot wide manta ray right when we jumped in the water, tons of fish, coral and even saw a 6 foot long Reef Shark!!!! They take you to Iguana Island to walk around which is $5 extra because it's a national park, wasn't anything special but beautiful. Then you go to another snorkel spot to catch your own conch for lunch and then they take you to Big Cay Island. Amazing! Stunning! We snorkeled there, ate lunch and just lounged around for about two hours. There is no rush for anything. It was hard to catch your own conch though, you have to be able to dive about 20 feet down. And then you keep the shell. On the way back in to shore, we saw a huge sea turtle and JoJo the dolphin. Best experience of my life and worth every penny of the $85.

You get free snorkel gear, beach cruisers, rafts, hobie cats and kayaks on the hotel property. And if you buy your own beer at the store you can take it down to the beach as well. We never had a problem finding umbrellas or chairs on the beach at anytime of the day.

But do bring bug spray, they have sand flies and mosquitos which attacked me the whole time and was the only bummer!

I would highly recommend this hotel out of all the others we saw on the island. It's very small and quaint compared to the others. Could use some updating, but nothing big. Plus, there is no hotel directly next to it on either side, so the beach is uncrowded and very calm. We walked by the Beaches one day and it was a zoo! Kids everywhere, so big and very busy. We were so glad we didn't stay there. Plus, the beach in front of the hotel is amazing. No sea grass and always clean. We would stay here again and recommend to anyone looking for a calm and relaxing vacation.

Amazing!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KrysT1224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2010

For the most part the hotel is exactly as advertised. It’s a condo resort that I would say was a low 4 star. Grounds were perfect and immaculate. If I had a recommendation it would be to update the entry. The entry always sets the tone for what to expect, nice but dated.

Room: I stayed at the low end in a studio courtyard and felt it was sufficient. I had requested a room as close to the beach as possible and management put me literally as close as they could for a SCY. Decor was a bit dated and worn, but that was expected. Reminded me of South Florida…..Bed was not hard, air conditioning was like an ice box, water pressure was great with no odors and house keepers prompt.

Beach: I walked both ways and it seemed to be the best…..that’s really why we came here. Snorkeling is about 25 min. walk away.

Hemingway’s: Great little restaurant that was a fare value for the island.

Nightlife: Nothing. The Tuesday 1 hour management party is it for hotel entertainment. This is the single reason I wont be returning to the hotel. The hotel is pretty much dead after 7PM .

Ocean Vibes: Used Caicos Adventures and had 24 people on my dive boat…..awful. The next day I dove with ocean vibes and had 3 on the boat with 2 instructors in the water. Really ran a smooth operation and was able to get me back to the hotel by 2:00. That was a full 2 hours quicker than C.A. Top notch op right at the Sands.

Management: Raymond was great, literally responded to my emails in minutes. Front desk and maintenance was great as well. The concierge on the other hand was absolutely worthless and should be dismissed or moved ( rude……was ½ hr. late one day). ADVICE: THE CONCIERGE SHOULD HAVE GOOD PEOPLE SKILLS.

Spa: Wife liked it....happy wife, happy life.

Conclusion: I suppose this box has been checked for myself. It was a cool beach and the water was as nice as I have seen. It’s just that this hotel and the island were just missing
something…..a “vibe”. I love the Caribbean, I want a Caribbean experience and never really felt it here ( maybe play something with steel drums instead of Pink Floyds Money at the beach bar ). Basically if you scraped south Florida up and dropped it down here, that is what it’s like……though with a killer beach and water. The hotels a solid bet and they provide everything they say will.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JasonGardn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2010

My sister and I spend an amazing extended long weekend at this resort. Rooms are very nice, clean and have all the necessities if you stay in one with a full kitchen. All we need to do is make a trip to the grocery store and we saved a lot of money.

The resort is somewhat small and located right on the beach. We had no problems getting a Tiki hut provided we got down to the water by 11:00am. Even if there are no huts available the staff will setup an umbrella for you.

The water is amazing. The Hobi Cats were great. The sun was hot and the drinks were cold. The staff were very friendly and were more motivated by money. :) Hemmingway's had great food and for a Caribbean resort was not that expensive.

I don't have any complaints about the resort and I'm definitely going back. I heard a couple people whine about the size of the rooms but there was nothing wrong with ours.

The only thing worth noting is that if the room is listed as Ocean View it may not really be. Ours was Ocean View but you could only see the ocean when you walked out the back door. Say the few bucks and pick garden view. It's actually quite nice.

Also, one last thing. Turks and Caicos is not a party destination. There's no night clubs and most things shut down early. It's a very quiet and uncrowded location to relax. If you want to be surrounded by fat, obnoxious Americans from New Jersey go to an all inclusive somewhere else.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Canuck_in_the_South
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2010

We just completed another glorious week at the Sands (12-19July). This was our second time staying there – July 2008 was our first. Once again, I simply can’t understand how this resort gets bad reviews. We truly love it there.
First, the Sands has got to be the best value on Grace Bay. The resort is fantastic. No, it’s not super luxurious, and no, I would classify it as chic, but make no mistake, this is a beautiful resort. The rooms are spacious, clean, and very pretty. Our two bedroom (as I think all two bedrooms) had a king in the master and queen (maybe it was even a king… I’m not completely sure because that was “the boys domain”). The MBR was large, as was the 2nd bedroom, which was super nice because my boys are 18 and 16, so we had a rollaway delivered so each had his own bed. There was plenty of room, even with the rollaway. The main living space was well furnished and completely functional except for a couple of lights out which we had replaced early in the visit. The bathrooms were fine, reasonably large, and clean, but again, not luxurious. Don’t expect rain showers and glass walls, expect a tiled tub with shower curtain. The kitchen was fully functional, and really very large. White, not stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and well equipped. It served our purposes well.
For the rest of this review I’ll try to highlight some areas that are often overlooked in other reviews. The first thing I want to cover under this title is… The Sands should be one of your top choices if you are travelling in the summer. Why? Because it is not a ghost town like most of the other resorts. At the Sands, there are plenty of people around (clearly not stuffed, I asked one day and they said they were about 60% occupied), but I can tell you most of the other resorts (and we visited several) were barely inhabited (Beaches, of course, being the exception… that place is always a zoo). When we would walk the beach, the Sands always had lots of people on the beach to give it a vibrant feel. MANY of the other resorts would have less than 20 people, and more than a couple might just have two or three couples on the beach. Now, you might say that you would like that, but we talked to many a newlywed couple who were very happy that they chose the Sands because it was fun talking to people and making friends. The Gansvoort was clearly an exception, they were reasonably busy, but not like the Sands, and you will pay for the “chicness” that is for sure. One last thing on that regard. If you’ve got teenagers, the Sands is a great choice because there are absolutely more kids that age there than anywhere else in TCI, except again… Beaches (or at least this is the case in the summer when we go).
Next, the Sands does have TWO bedroom Oceanfronts. They don’t show up on the website, or at least I haven’t seen them there, but if you call, they have at least 4 in building 4. We stayed in 4302 on the 3rd floor. In my opinion, it is the nicest two bedroom on the property and it is only a few dollars more a night than the oceanview rooms in building 5. Advice… ask for a room on the 3rd floor. Although you have to climb two flights of stairs a lot, the view is of course better. The oceanfronts like ours looked out over the pool and then the ocean. It was spectacular.
We like to sail and the Sands has two hobbies that you can take out for an hour at a time, anytime you want between 8AM and 4PM daily. I wish they would extend the hours to 5PM because some of the prettiest sailing is later in the day, but this is a great benefit that you should take advantage of. If you don’t know how to sail, no problem… just ask the water sports guys and they will take you out the first time and teach you enough to get by (just don’t take them out the first few time if you see white caps on the water). But even then, the guys are always watching the water closely and will come out in a rescue boat and help you get the hobbie upright if you capsize. Besides the hobbies, the Sands has two kayaks, a couple of wind surfers, plenty of masks/fins, and even a skim board (which was big fun for my sons).
Just a bit about the beach. As I’m sure you know from most other reviews, the Sands beach is incredible. We’ve been a lot of places in the Caribbean and there is nothing like Grace Bay. Confection sugar-like white sand, a reef about 1/3 mile out that keeps the ocean calm, and the most crystal clear water you will ever see. You can sail out to the reef and still see the bottom if the winds are down.
Finally some discussion of food. If I get the time I’m going to review a few of the restaurants we went to (go to the new Lemons Moroccan restaurant for sure) but I really like Hemmingway’s, especially for breakfast/lunch. We always eat either breakfast or lunch in the room, so when we weren’t eating there, we ate at Hemmingway’s. Very friendly staff (some remembered us from two years ago), and good, reasonably price food (for TCI anyway) are, in our opinions, trademarks of the restaurant. The boys especially like the lunches there (some of the dishes were huge). We just ate one dinner there, and it was fine, if not memorable (it was our arrival day though, and we were pretty tired).
Overall, we’ll definitely go back to the Sands again, and probably soon. If you have specific question feel free to email me through trip advisor.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank beachbound40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

We recently spent a week at the Sands. It is not a plush hotel but it is very nice. The staff was friendly and accommodating and the property is maintained nicely. The room had a king size bed and a pull out sofa. We requested a roll away bed for one of our sons. The full kitchen was a bonus since the cost of food in Provo is very high and using taxis to get to restaurants adds about $40 to the cost of a meal. The onsite restaurant , Hemmingways is ok. We had lunch there on the day we arrived. We also walked down the beach to Bay Bistro which was very good. The main reason we chose the Sands was the location. it was important to us to be able to walk to a good snorkeling area. We were able to walk down to the reef in front of the Coral Gardens Hotel but it was a 30 minute walk. The beach at the Sands is beautiful and the shaded areas (Palapa's) are nice. They also provide beach umbrellas if needed. This hotel is also within walking distance of the Salt Mills shopping area. We didn't find shopping to be a big attraction in Provo but it was nice to walk to the stores and restaurants.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank travelmonkey312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2010

The photos do not do justice to this beautiful resort and the breathtaking beaches. The grounds are so beautifully landscaped and well kept on a daily basis. We initially were not satisfied with our ground floor garden suite, so Candice (our concierge)was able to upgrade us to another ocean view for $50 more per night. Hemingsways at the resort was great for breakfast & lunch. The waitstaff at Hemingways were friendly and accomodating. Thanks, Clara, Tracy, Marie & Arisaylis, for such great service. We preferred to dine elsewhere for dinner and highly recommend Bella Luna for a truly authentic Italian feast. We had one rainy day and I was treated to one of the best facials I have ever encountered from Olive at the Spa. She is truly a gem and I highly suggest pampering yourself with a treatment by this wonderful young lady. If we return we would rent a car for a few days as the taxi's are pricey, but the resort does offer transport ($9) to the local grocery twice daily. We would definitely return again.

Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank chi_girl01
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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