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“High expectations not met”

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The Somerset on Grace Bay
Ranked #8 of 45 Hotels in Providenciales
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“High expectations not met”
Reviewed 21 November 2009

Overall, this is a nice resort on a very nice beach (powder soft sand) but it didn't meet our admittedly high expectations. After reading a lot of reviews we felt this would be a very memorable way to spend our vacation as 1st timers to T&C.

Pros:
Wonderful staff, very friendly (especially Winston, Janet, Eva, and Nadine). No problems whatsoever with the entire crew.
Very clean pretty landscaping and continueous upkeep.
O'Soleil restaurant is very good and the head chef Lauren is excellent
Modern condos with high end appliances, interior design and accomodations

Cons:
Our unit had some sort of bug problem in the kitchen area. Don't think they were roaches but some sort of native species? Housekeeping was proactive with spraying after our report but it never solved the problem.
Patio glass door had a broken handle (couldn't lock it and it finally fell off). Took maintenance about 2 days to completely fix it.
Our unit was on the ground level and we constantly heard the pool filter. We should have asked to be moved.
The resort doesn't have any sort of gift shop or convenience store. Went next door to Regent Palms to pickup some small items.
The resort doesn't offer a place to have breakfast other than in your room and only after 7:30 am. We ended up going next door to Regent Palms for a nice outdoor breakfast several times during the week.

We expected a 4-5 star accomodation along the vein of a Westin (at least) or the Ritz (at most). Perhaps we were wrong to compare it this way but I felt that the $$$ we spent was not on par with what we envisioned.

The island is pretty quiet so that translates to a very quiet resort without a lot of activities going on. We didn't rent a car (we should have) so we felt tied to either staying around the area or paying a lot of $ for questionable taxi service.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bozzie63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Cali
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2009

The Somerset has the most beautiful grounds and the nicest beach on Grace Bay. It was not too crowded and I could easily find a pool chair or spot on the white sand beaches. Our room was large and had an in room jacuzzi. We received excellent service the entire time!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank medgirl2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2009

I stayed at The Somerset for 3 nights from 10/11 to 10/14. I absolutely loved Provo and the hotel. Provo is by far my favorite island to date. We had a lockout room in the Sterling Towers with no view but I didn’t mind it at all. The hotel is a bit on the pricey side but the resort is gorgeous and well kept. The rooms are clean and they provided a turn down service as well. While I was there, the hotel was at about 10% capacity so there were not any guests in the room connecting to ours so we didn’t have to be concerned with the noise problem so many other people had issues with. Bear with me as I write this detailed review.

My room was very nice, simple and home-y. The décor is similar to that of Pottery Barn I would say. It’s quite small in size and it was only a queen bed. The bathroom had a large whirlpool tub (which we did not use) and a separate standing shower with decent water pressure. My boyfriend and I are not picky people as long as the room was clean, and it was. We also had what they called a “kitchenette” in the room, which consisted of a sink, a small fridge and a microwave. The room also came with dinnerware/silverware. There was a flat screen television with pretty good channel selections (what I am used to in New York City) and a DVD player. The safe was free and easy to use. For the price I paid for the room, I was a bit disappointed in the toiletries they provided. There was only shampoo, conditioner, bath foam and two bars of soap. Generally speaking, I was content with the room. There were some cons such as no alarm clock, only one night stand and only one mirror in the bathroom. You could not get light into the room without opening the curtains and exposing your entire room (no shades). Another thing I was kind of annoyed with was the set up of the bathroom. The bathroom door opened against the bathroom sink so you would have to walk around it, close the door to get full access of the sink. But those are just little nuisances that didn’t ruin my stay.

The grounds of the resort are well kept. Every morning during my stay, we would see gardeners and cleaning crews hard at work. The pools and the chairs and umbrellas looked clean as well. We didn’t go into the pool because it was taken over by families with toddlers. No big deal since the beach was to die for. One thing about the pool is that the infinity pool isn’t really an infinity pool. There is a view of the sea grass right in front of it so it doesn’t look like it goes straight into the ocean. So be prepared if that’s one of the reasons why you are picking this hotel.

Hotel staff was great. They remember your name and go out of their way to please you. If they see you walking around, they would smile and wave. Check in was a breeze. They welcomed you with cold towels and a fruit drink. They give you a brief tour of the pool area and then bring you to your room. We were on the 3rd floor and only rode the elevator once because there were mosquitoes in the elevator. The night before you check out, they slipped our hotel bill underneath our doors so we can review. They gave us a bill for a different room but all we had to do was go to the front desk and they fixed it. We had an issue with our DVD player one night and called the front desk. The guy who usually handles these issues had gone for the day so they sent the security guard to see if he would be able to fix it. He wasn’t able to so the receptionist suggested that they go to an unoccupied hotel room and switch the DVD players. This was already past midnight so I said tomorrow would be fine. I had to remind them the next day but we had a working DVD player in no time. They have a “library” of DVDs you can borrow from. It was a pretty good selection. They charge you $25 per DVD for security deposit but release it once you return it.

The beach is exactly how you see it on the website. It is beyond gorgeous. The water is calm and clear. My boyfriend and I bought our own floats and just spent the entire time sitting on them and relaxing in the water. The hotel provides complimentary use of hobie cats, kayaks, wind surfing, life jackets and snorkeling equipment. Since the hotel was almost empty, we didn’t have any trouble using the kayaks when we wanted to. It was so much fun! Chairs and umbrellas were plentiful and they also provided a little table. I have never seen that before and I thought it was pretty useful. Word of caution, it is breezy on the beach so you don’t realize how much sun you are getting. Make sure you use sunscreen and reapply!

We didn’t eat at any restaurants at the hotel so I can’t provide any insight on that. We did, however, attend the Manager’s cocktail reception one evening at the bar in O’Soleil for free sangrias and 2 tapas dishes (shrimp tempura and tuna tartare). All were delicious! We also got a guava and pina colada smoothie from LunaSea and they were $9 each! It was good but yikes! The hotel also had a lobster dinner bonfire one night but we passed on that since it was $42 a person and we wanted to go to a local place. The dinner came with 2 sides, 8 oz lobster tails and a drink. The bonfire was still going on when we came back from our own dinner and there was a live band. We sat and watched them for a while. They were a great acoustic band. Our room rate had free continental breakfast every morning served in your room. You just call the front desk and place your order and they bring it up to you within 10 minutes. It was an assortment of pastries, fruits and juices.

Now some other details about my trip. We rented a car with Grace Bay Car Rentals prior to arriving in Provo. I strongly suggest you rent a car if you are going to Provo unless you are going to stay in an all-inclusive resort. The Somerset charges $22 a person each way to use the airport shuttle. A gentleman was outside of the airport waiting for us with maps. He was nice and patient enough to draw on the maps how to get to the gas stations (gas is about $5 a gallon), supermarket and most importantly our hotel. I would definitely recommend Grace Bay Car Rentals. We got an old car with the cheapest rate but it ran fine. It was $160 for 4 days including insurance. We just had to fill up the tank when we dropped it off. The car had right side steering wheel and we had to drive on the left side of the road which took some getting used to. There are no traffic lights and only traffic circles. That also took some getting used to, but a few times on the road, you’re able to recognize which road goes where. We went to IGA twice during our stay. Things are expensive in Provo. If you are able to pack your own snacks/food, I would suggest you do that and just purchase perishables at IGA. We went to the new IGA down by Seven Stars Resorts so I couldn’t tell you about the old one. The new IGA was clean and had great stock. One night, we were too lazy to go out for dinner, so we bought a whole rotisserie chicken there for $9.99. It was soooooo delicious! It gave our wallets a break from eating out.

We didn’t go on any excursions and it seemed like there were not many non-water excursions. We did take a drive in search of Sapodilla Bay. Definitely worth it. This beach alone is worth renting a car and going on your own. Just as I thought Grace Bay could not be beat, Sapodilla Bay takes the prize. There were only about 6 of us on the entire stretch of beach so it was pleasant and relaxing. The water is warm, shallow and calm. Just perfect.

We ate at Hemingway’s on the beach (try the fish tacos), A Hole in the Wall (a definite must! This was the best and cheapest meal we had), Tiki Hut (also good), Da Conch Shack (another definite must! Get the conch salad) and Horse Eyed Jack’s (this was just ok in my opinion). We went to Player's Club Casino. It was small but the limits were low.

I enjoyed my stay at The Somerset and would recommend it if budget was not a concern for you because I did feel that it was a tad overpriced. Provo is just an amazing island so I am sure wherever you stay you would be happy. It’s hard to be angry when you see beautiful views every day!

Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank superyooch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2009

I’ve used Trip Advisor to vet every resort I go to so it’s only fitting that I share my experience at the Somerset @ Grace Bay with you. This was my 2nd visit to Grace Bay. We stayed at the Sands in 2006. We (group of 4) took the direct AA flight from JFK to Provo that gets you there and back in just over 3 hours.
Although the resort was small it had the amenities we needed for an enjoyable stay. Reception, Concierge, Fitness Center, Pool side bar/lounge, upscale restaurant and one of the most beautiful beaches there is. What more could you ask for.
The resort was under 30% occupied and that gave it such a great feeling….knowing that you didn’t have to reserve chairs at the pool or beach, being able to use the watercraft anytime you wanted to…getting to know the staff one on one (thank you Xavier, Warren and Janet for making our stay one we’ll always remember) Yes, the resort is 5 Star and with that you will always pay a premium but like was said I could pay $8.00 to $10.00 for a Cocktail or Corona in the NY Metro area and not get a view as spectacular as this…So the moral of the story as far as we were concerned was pay up and enjoy every minute while it lasted.
The selection at the poolside bar LunAsea was limited but the seafood was always fresh. Didn't experience the Lobster bake on Tuesday nite..Sorry
We (group of 4) did have dinner one night at O’Soleil and with a few cocktails the cost ran over $300.00 with tip. If you’re expecting large portions go somewhere else or order more bread. Again, we ate there one night and enjoyed the experience of this sophisticated restaurant. Our accommodations were terrific and high end as stated by the website. I would highly recommend the Somerset @ Grace Bay if you’re planning to come to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Restaurants…all four of us agreed on the following….Mango Reef we ate here twice (low $200’s for 4 ) …and Hemmingway’s (low $200’s for 4) …and last but not least Pizza-Pizza ($80 for 4) all meals included a few cocktails…
Car Rentals…Use Grace Bay rentals…about $100+ cheaper than AVIS and Hertz…not the newest model/lowest mileage cars but clean comfortable and functional….who needs more…
We did choose Provo ponies one evening and thoroughly enjoyed riding in the beautiful ocean...thanks Kelly..
My wife did experience a Massage at the Palms next door...said it was the best she ever had...for $180..I sure hope it was...

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank marduggan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rackuhn4
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2009

We just got back from Turks and we enjoyed our 5 night stay at the Somerset. We stayed in the Sterling building in a 2 bedroom oceanview suite (suite 206). It was spacious, very comfortable and luxurious. We were 4 adults and had plenty of sitting room in the living room. We would not hesitate to stay at the Somerset again. The restaurant at the pool is very good and we enjoyed a Lobster bake they had on the beach on Tuesday night, I highly recommend it. Continental breakfast did not work out one morning since they don't start till 7:30am and we were getting picked up at 7:45am to go diving. The staff was friendly and helpful. Would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rackuhn4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
raleigh, nc
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2009

My husband and I stayed at The Somerset from Sept 2-6th. Beautiful Resort.
We stayed in Sterling House room 305 overlooking the pool with a ocean view (1 bedroom ocean view unit). Discovered that these units are condo's owned by individuals and rented out by the resort. Loved 305... it was BIG!
Huge kitchen, bedroom and bath (double sinks, separate shower and jacuzzi tub). This unit was wonderfully decorated by the owner. This unit also has a "lockout room" attached (normally a 2nd bedroom with a master type bath and kitchen efficency). This lockout room ("305A") was not occupied during our visit- so we were unable to determine if it would have been noisy (as other reviewers have mentioned).

It was slow season, Somerset was at 30% occupancy (some resorts and restarants were actually closed!). We love privacy so this was perfect for us. Not crowded, chairs and Hobie Cat was always available. Reservations were readily available... this was perfect for us.

Note: The hotel has a small area I would call a Business Center off of the front desk. There is a computer set up with access to the internet to check email and/or weather updates. This was a great way to keep in touch with family without having to rent a phone.

Loved the "free" use of the Hobie Cat and Sea Kayak's... these were available whenever we wanted to use them (resort has 2 Hobie Cats, but one was broken and not in use!). Never had trouble getting a chair at the pool or in the sand (Elphant and Bernard very accomodating!).
Ate at the Pool Side Bar first night (Wednesday) for Conch fritters, Somerset Burger, Shrimp Wrap and 2 drinks... @$75.00, but very good! Jackie was very good server/bartender.
We found out that the Somerset "clam bake" is held on Tuesday, so we were going to miss out on that!

Somerset was "the way to go". Loved having a kitchen and refrigerator. We went to the IGA Graceway 1st night and stocked up on snacks, beer and wine (great sandwiches at the deli!).
We rented a car (Budget Rent-A-Car) for the entire stay, and would recommend to anyone to do so. Picked up car at the airport, dropped it off at another location (right next door to gas station) and were driven to airport at end of our stay. We got a Daihatsu Charade for 5 days for $170.00. A pretty cheap (and smelly) car (my husband says it feels and drives like a golf cart)- but it got us from point A to point B pretty efficiently. Loved having the freedom of being able to come and go as we pleased.

Got up very early our first morning (Thursday morning, 2nd day) and got to the Somerset restaurant at 7:00am for the continental breakfast which is included with the room rate. The continental breakfast was wonderful and filling (coffee, juice, muffins, pastries, toast and fresh fruit... nice outside seating). You could also order from the menu if you wanted (If you have the "free" continental breakfast, don't forget to tip the server!!)
My husband played golf early in the morning and I relaxed on the beach. He said that the golf was great and he ended up playing 27 holes. Had a great time, he said that the course was wonderful. That afternoon we walked on the beach and used the Hobie Cat. We snorkled down at Coral Gardens (about a 15 minute walk west of the resort). That night we went out to Coco Bistro for dinner (about 2 miles west of the resort.. again, nice to have a car!). Got there about 6:30 with no reservation and was sat immediatly in the beautiful outdoor eating area (again, it was slow season). I had the conch raviolli and Bob had the local lobster. Wonderful dinner (and had enough for dinner the next night!). Flies were a little problem once the lobster came out, but our server Maria was very accomodating with candles and spray to keep them at bay. Setting was beautiful once the sun went down and they "light up" the outdoor dining area. The restaurant also has a local cat ("Coco") who makes the rounds to the different tables- very friendly - she didn't bother us, but I could tell one table did not like having a cat around their dinner table. Went back to the resort to put our leftovers in the refridgerator.
Went back out and visited the Casablanca Casino and played some Blackjack.

Thursday night there was quite a storm that started about 1am and lasted until about 5am. Lots of rain and wind.
In the morning, beautiful sky.

3rd day we drove around the island. Went to Sapodilla Bay in the morning. Sapodilla was very beautiful beach, large shallow area. This would be a great stop for kids since the bay is shallow out for 30-40 yards and a nice sandy bottom. We were the only ones there during the 2 hours or so we were there. If you go, I would suggest you pack a lunch and have plenty of water- since there is really nothing close by that we could see (other than private homes!). This was hard to find seeing as their are no signs. We stopped at the Chalk Sound Police Station to ask directions. To get to the Bay you go down a dirt road directly across from the Police Station. The Bay was very pretty, but Bob said snorkling was not that great other than swimming with a sea turtle at one point. Drove to Smith Reef and snorkled some and went back to the resort and relaxed on the beach and used the hobie cat some more. Made dinner that night in our kitchen and enjoyed our porch. We played some croquet on the Somerset lawn, which was quite fun.
Went out later and drove around Turtle Cove and had appetizers and drinks at Magnolia Restaurant (nice restaurant on a hill overlooking Turlte Cove) and stopped and played 3-card poker at The Players Club Casino.. won some money and played for hours!

Saturday morning after breakfast, we drove out to Nikki Beach and looked around the resort there and did some shopping around The Saltmills. Later drove down to Coral Gardens and snorkled some more (Somerset provides snorkel equipment at no charge). Great snorkling, they have an area roped off for coral protection- the snorkling all around it is fantastic, my husband was bit by a big fish (he didn't know what kind)that thought his finger was a meal (he was actually "chased" by a big school of the fish looking for handouts of some sort)! Great snorkling, hope the photos from our cheap underwater camera come out! Went back and spent some more time on the hobie cat and just relaxed.
Went out that night to Turtle Cove and had a great dinner at Baci Ristorante (wonderful pizza, again- leftovers for lunch the next day!). Stopped for some more gaming at Players Club Casino (not crowded at all, but we had a good time and won some money!).

Spent Sunday just relaxing and prepared for checkout.

Overall, we had a great vacation. Had a wonderful time at Somerset and would recommend it to all.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank heatherschultz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2009

Firstnight, we noticed bugs on kitchen floor. unable to load pics.. On a pm break, little bugs crawling on our arms in bed. we complained to the hotel asap. no response until 4th day-last -the maid laughed when I pointed it out to her. Amex Travel have completely sided with hotel. We expect better customer service on both ends. Don't stay here or book with Amex Travel on LIne,.Mr. Hagan, the health dep. needs tobe involved

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Contessa5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Somerset on Grace Bay

Property: The Somerset on Grace Bay
Address: Princess Drive | Grace Bay, TKCA 1ZZ, Providenciales
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Turks and Caicos > Providenciales
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Providenciales
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Providenciales
#6 Spa Hotel in Providenciales
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Providenciales
#8 Luxury Hotel in Providenciales
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Somerset on Grace Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on 4.6 Acres of the world-famous Turks and Caicos beach, The Somerset on Grace Bay is an intimate luxury resort where couples and families alike enjoy treasured times together. The five-star resort features 53 one- to five-bedroom luxury villas ranging from 1,400 to 5,300 sq. Ft. Each with ample living, dining and entertaining spaces and gourmet kitchens equipped with Viking appliances. Two restaurants and bars, two freshwater pools, fitness center, full service spa with in-suite spa services, a range of activities on land and sea, complimentary Caicos Kids Club, and concierge services complement your family vacation, group getaway or romantic interlude. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Somerset On Grace Bay Hotel Providenciales
Somerset On Grace Bay Providenciales
Somerset Grace Bay
Somerset On Grace Bay Hotel
The Somerset On Grace Bay Turks And Caicos/Providenciales

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