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“Push through the footsteps...”

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Pirates Hideaway By the Sea Guest House on Salt Cay
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Salt Cay
New York, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Push through the footsteps...”
Reviewed 26 March 2011

It was time to get away from the glitz, glamour, and pull of the big city. I boarded a plane and found my way to Turks and Caicos. Which is wonderfully great for a vacation, but there are others there, others with their big hats, sunscreen white noses and screaming kids either pushing off the cruise ships or jostling for a lounge seat on Grace bay (that is if you stay at one of the hotels on Grace bay--).. I needed less, much much less... So I googled 'Off the beaten path'. And what do I see but a wonderful tiny 2mile island 30 minutes off the coast of Provo. -Salt Cay- I flew into a tiny airstrip on Caicos express. As of my visit the plane- a 8 seater Cessna flys in twice on Monday and Fridays and once on Wednesday. That fit the bill for my need for less people and relaxation to a tee. Candi the owner of Pirates Hideway was there with a nice gentleman/island guide Cozi to meet the plane and take me on a golf cart back to the hideaway. Candi had a wealth of knowledge of the orgins of the island, the current political situations, and the best ways to relax here. Two other wonderful ladies were there as well to pick up people that were staying on the island. Debbie from Salt Cay Divers/island tours (as well as a wonderful casual ocean front eatery), And Heidi the owner of Island Thymes(a wonderful casual bar/restaurant--you have to try the almond crusted snapper--better then any ny eatery!!) as well as manager of small island rental properties. Yes. When you land you are far removed from anywhere you have ever imagined. You are brought back to the basics of life and relaxation. The roads are sand/dirt. There are several really really friendly donkeys, and a couple of cows that meander up and down the streets. Little families of chickens walk on the sides of the roads. Yes there are roosters that remind you that its time to wake up and enjoy the splendor of nature. The hideway is on the south portion of the town it has a nice pool to cool down after a long hike or a strenuous day snorkeling/sun bathing. On a walk home late one night after enjoying a wonderful fish dinner at Debbies I walked off the property and onto the road next to the salinas and looked forward. The island is relatively flat and there were stars--- more stars then I have ever seen from straight ahead to the sides over the ocean to behind me I was engulfed in another world of bright twinkling lights. You even saw the Milky Way, Orion even had all the stars so that he really did look like Orion!!.. The next morning I decided to go exploring the soft sand of the North beach and the Rocky east beach. There were no footsteps in the sand. There was no one. The ocean was three different shades of turquoise. Beautiful Conch shells litter the white sand (make sure you go to Debbies for Conch night!!), gorgeous corals, natural bridges over the rocks, and serenity. Just the gentle sound of the waves meeting the shore. As you get to the south portion of the island you see a gentle inlet from the ocean into the island and the beautiful mangrove forest and nursery for the baby ocean fish. Out a hundred yards in to the ocean is the Columbus Channel. Every day I saw humpback whales blow or breaching. Debbie has a nice excursion where you take a small boat out to get close to these gentle giants. Amazing doesn't even come close to the bond you feel with life and with nature. Its like your very own survivor show only its you and the sea... I saw two donkeys grazing further up the hill and followed the footsteps back to the small town.. There are less then a hundred people on the island. Three main eaterys --Debbies, Island Thymes, and Pats (all who are amazing ladies that can make fabulous fish, conch, lobster or just a burger!!!).. Just remember that this is a small island and although fish is plenty it costs alot to bring fuel, basic cooking supplies, and spices to the island and the costs you incur correspond with this.. I always felt welcome by the islanders, ex pats, and fellow travelers. By the end of the trip most even knew my name!!... So come call any of the nice ladys and look up saltcay.org. and find yourself in the most basic of ways...

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank janetatevet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2008

Being in Salt Cay is being in love. The island and its mother the sea live together perfectly. Their beautiful flow of energy of life is magnificently reflected in Poseidon, aka Nick at Pirate’s Hideaway.

Pirate’s Hideaway is the guest house of Nick and his impressive sister Candida. It features Oliver Cromwell, a delightful parrot whose “hello” and other conversation mingled musically with the donkeys’ bray, birdsong and roosters’ crows. Nick’s connection with the wildlife enabled our children, an eleven year old girl and a six year old boy, to marvel at the donkeys’ “velvet like” fur. They also got to go salt raking -- exellent!

Nick’s generosity also gave us clamming in North Creek where the kids, after operating as clam runners from guest to guest, made sand villages along teeming tidal pools. Their villages featured bridges and a “government building” (I wondered why they would include this voluntarily) made of clam, snail, conch and more shells. The expanse of wet sand was a perfect palette for their driftwood stick drawings on a big scale – wowee zowee!

The clamming experience was better than any salted seaweed spa I can imagine. The mineral richness of magnificent mushy sea sand took me in and smoothed and soothed my body and soul – all while able to gaze upon Poseidon! Gentle North Creek is a stone’s throw from the Atlantic crashing on boulder like coral – yin and yang at its best.

Salt Cay’s hospitality was deliciously expressed in the Pirate’s Hideaway’s clam chowder – expertly prepared (from our clams!) by Nick in their own kitchen, a large comfortable space within earshot of Oliver featuring African flavored artifacts. Their freshwater pool provided a waterfall for soothing massage if one liked (I did), along with plenty of floating noodles. All of this abundance was surrounded by flowers and fruit trees -- plus, they have a cotton tree!

Not to be missed is the fried conch -- to my mind a taste of the sea's angels' wings -- at Pat's Restaurant, located near the Pirate's Hideaway.

Candi attended efficiently to all our arrangements, including our “wheels” for the week, a golf cart on which we were routinely greeted by friendly waves from resident islanders, reflecting their polite welcome for our families.

In the sunshine the scuba diving was perfect, and in the night the stars bathed us most plentifully – Neptune and the Southern Cross protecting us. And all the time the sustaining breezes – at bedtime I could feel and hear them all around and drift off so easily.

I am most grateful for the sweet refuge of Pirate’s Hideaway and Salt Cay; it holds a first in vacation destinations.

Stayed July 2008, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank KarunaSearch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2007

We have been to Salt Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands several times now. Salt Cay is the island that time forgot. It is a wonderful place to go and relax and forget about everything for a while.

If you are looking for a huge, all inclusive resort, stay in Provo, but if you are looking for a small island that can offer you friendly people, a comfortable stay, seclusion, and beaches where you can swim and snorkel, than Salt Cay is a place for you.

Blackbeard's is an island home with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is well furnished and has fans in almost every room. There are wonderful murals on several of the walls inlcuding some terrific ones around the showers. Candy is a fantastic host, and would do anything to make her guests feel right at home. By the time you leave Salt Cay, you will be able to call Candy a friend as we have. If you stay at Blackbeard's, you can use a beautifully tiled freshwater pool just steps away from the house at Pirates Hideaway. Pirates Hideaway is adjacent to Blackbeard's and is another fine place to stay.

There are many great beaches on Salt Cay ranging from fine sand beaches to rocky shoreline. The island is only about 3 miles by 1.5 miles, so no matter what kind of beach you are looking for, nothing is more than a short distance away. Travel on the island is done mostly by golf cart on unpaved roads, which Candy can help you arrange. There are many donkeys and cattle that roam free on Salt Cay and that adds to the charm of the island.

Blackbeards has a full kitchen where you can prepare your own meals, but you may want to consider eating out at Island Thymes, The Green Flash, Coral Reef, or Pat's. You will not go hungry on Salt Cay. The food is great, and is only surpassed by the good times you will have talking with everyone from Salt Cay before, during, and after meals.

Several places on the island now offer you Wi-Fi for your computers, but once you are on island you will soon find that is easy to forget about the outside world, and you can focus on meeting many new friends. Remember that Salt Cay is a small island with many friendly people so take advantage of the time that you can spend with them over checking your work e-mail if you can.

The diving on Salt Cay is top notch. Debbie and Ollie run a great dive shop and will work with you on whatever kind of diving you would like to do. They have good equipment, nice boats, and always hire professional dive master. You can also take your diver certifications classes from Salt Cay Divers. You can expect to see anything from sharks, turtles, dolphins, eels, lobsters, or at the right time of year even whales while diving in Salt Cay.

Salt Cay is a unique treasure. It is a wonderful place for a vacation and you are sure to return home well rested and with fond memories.

  • Liked — Pool, Clean, Paintings
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Sandseekers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwalk, CT
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2007

My husband, 3 year-old daughter and I are all having withdrawal symptoms......after a one-week stay at Candy's/Pirate's Hideaway in Salt Cay, we're addicted. The island itself is amazing - one of the last places one can go to escape overdevelopment and see some untouched nature and abundant animal life (both in the water and out). The ocean water is stunning, clear and clean. The island is so safe no one locks their doors, and you can leave the keys in the golf cart and your stuff on the beach without worrying about it. And the residents are so welcoming - warm, kind and family friendly.

Candy bent over backwards to make our stay perfect. We booked the smallest room she had - but she upgraded us to a huge island/sea themed cottage with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, full kitchen, living room, and outdoor screened-in porch. The decorations really made it special - dark wood doors, shutters and beams; fish/aquatic life tiles, colorful walls & underwater painted scenes, and shell/dolls/sea fans - strategically placed to give the place a unique inn-type feel. We stayed there 5 nights - and when a large diving group came in and needed to use the place - she upgraded us again to the cottage at the Frangipanni ocean-front villa. The big deck overlooking the ocean was amazing for sunsets.

Candy did lots of extras too.....it started by her calling and helping us choose dates when we could best see the whales, asking if we need anything that she could pick up, and helping us get our flights in order with the somewhat unreliable (web site is completely wrong on times and prices - and planes are often late) Air Turks and Caicos. She gave us unlimited bottled water, put some fruit in the refrigerator, and gave us some bread and a box of cookies for our daughter. She even filled the gas tank on the golf cart we rented from her before we looked to see if we were on empty. She hooked us up with her neighbor, Philamine, who babysat for us two days while we went out whale watching and snorkeling. Philamine had a daughter a bit older than ours - and they loved playing together.

We chose Salt Cay because we wanted to see the whales, wanted a safe place to take our daughter, didn’t have to rent a car but could golf-cart it, could dress informally every place we went, and we like hearing roosters crow in the morning and evening (starting at 4:30 am while we were there.....sure beats 4:30 am garbage truck noises). The donkeys were entertaining as well - funny to hear them in the morning. We have a thing for donkeys ever since my husband and I went to Morocco together and took a picture of him in a walled city next to a donkey (two "Jack- ***es" in one photo I always tease).

Things we liked the most on the island: Pat's cracked conk and company at dinner; Porter's (Island Thyme Bistro) "wolf" shots and nightly bar entertainment (Porter's island history stories are a kick and patrons provide much entertainments while doing a series of shots....). His food was excellent - especially the coconut French toast, omelets, and tuna.

Also we loved Debbie's (owner of Salt Cay Divers) frozen key lime pie, cold beers with lime while watching whales from the beach bar, and staff that played with and entertained our daughter; Sue's & Jagan's glow worm party and fried fish & chicken wings at their place, Green Flash; a romantic 5-course dinner, impeccable service and Levi singing opera under the stars at the Windmills; and the huge "North Beach" in front of Windmills with perfect powder white sand and enormous reef full of life that we snorkeled just off the beach. It took us 5 minutes from "center town" to get to the beach in our golf cart - not 40 minutes as mentioned by another writer (the island is only 3 sq miles....)

Things we didn’t like: lots of trash on the east side of all the little islands (including Salt Cay) in the area due to cruise ships illegally dumping.

  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ookpik-AK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2007

My husband and I honeymooned in Salt Cay and it was the best trip of our lives. Candy is an extremely accommodating and generous host. She did everything she could to help us during our stay. It was like staying with a friend. Whatever is her's is your's. She'll call and make dinner reservations for you and let you know what's happening on the island. There are plenty of little beaches and coves to explore via golf cart, which is really fun. If we hadn't stayed with Candy, we wouldn't have gotten to know the island as well as we did and really experience everything it has to offer. Salt Cay is a very unique experience...there are no hotels, big chains, etc. It does not disappoint. The food we had was excellent everywhere we ate, the people are extremely friendly and helpful, the snorkeling and diving are amazing. I could go on and on.

Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Megan29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Prairie,Tx
1 review
Reviewed 11 January 2007

We had a wonderful stay, with a terrific host, Candie. Salt Cay is a beautiful, quaint little island, away from the crowds one would find on other islands. Beautiful beaches and sunsets, friendly people. Great food at Pat's Place and Island Tyme, thank you Pat for your wonderful converstaions and stories of the islands history. We enjoyed our morning breakfasts at Deb's and snaks ay the Green Flash. One the best laid back vacations we have ever experienced. Butch and Sandy

  • Liked — Quiet and laid back
  • Disliked — NA
  • Stayed April 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sharklady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2007

Salt Cay is definitely secluded - however we feel that although the island offers very friendly people and a get away from anything touristy - it does not deliver on all of the promises. We stayed at Pirates Hideaway. Candy was there to greet us at the airport and help us get oriented - and also did everything she could to help plan our stay. However, in the end we were not happy with either the accomodations or the island in general. First, the Pirates website says that its "directly across from a sandy beach" and shows a picture of a gorgeous beach. That was a big selling feature for us, but unfortunately its a lie - plain and simple. You must travel via golf cart at least 15 minutes dodging bumps, pot holes and Donky dung (which lingers in the air throughout most of the island) to get to a small rocky beach. The nicer beach is at the other end of the island and takes 40 minutes each way by golf cart down the same road.

Second, in the accomodations itself was mold on the books, mold on the shower & soap, no beach towels (Candy fixed this later), no outside light, and only 1 working lightbulb out of 15 on the enclosed patio. Also, at night the mosquitos get in - as do the cockroaches! Finally expect to be awakened at 2 or 3 in the morning by the several roosters that don't stop crowing until after supper time.

We are "regular" folks who don't need and were not looking for swanky accomodations. Our recommendation is that you save your money and stay at Grace Beach on Provo. If you really want to go to Salt Cay - find alternative accomodation and visit Island Thyme Bistro - Porter is a howl!

  • Liked — The friendly people
  • Disliked — Everything else.
  • Tips/Secrets — Ask for more pictures than on the website!
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Jetsetters007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pirates Hideaway By the Sea Guest House on Salt Cay

Property: Pirates Hideaway By the Sea Guest House on Salt Cay
Address: Victoria Street | Turks and Caicos, TKCA 1ZZ, Salt Cay
Region: Caribbean > Turks and Caicos > Salt Cay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Salt Cay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pirates Hideaway Guest House and accommodations in Salt Cay is a stone's throw from the ocean with a private freshwater swimming pool nestled in a tropical garden. Stroll the historic salt raking villages and see all the donkeys, rustic coastline and white powdery sandy beaches. Excellent diving and snorkeling spots. Pirates Hideaway is comfortable with friendly service, great stories and we will pick you up from Salt Cay airport for short ride to Pirates hideaway. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pirates Hideaway Hotel
Pirates Hideaway By The Sea Guest House On Salt Cay Turks And Caicos

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