Turks & Caicos Beat
The latest information about what's going on in the Turks and Caicos islands with a focus on Providenciales and Grace Bay.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Monday, December 18, 2006
Recently, a potcake was featured in the New York Post when author Paul Conway adopted a pup who she's named Marley.
"I was in Turks & Caicos, and I came home with sunburn and a potcake," explains Paula Conway, co-author of "The Beauty Buyble"
Read more about her adventures with Marley when she returned to the city.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Per the US State Department website: "In January 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document."
The LA Times reports that this is going to be a crushing blow to tourism in the Caribbean with the notable exception of "high-end" islands like the Turks & Caicos where travelers tend to already have passports. Nevertheless, that will hardly be any consolation if you forget to renew your passport.
Monday, November 13, 2006
The festivities kick off at noon and run until 7 in the Blue Hills section. If anyone snaps photos, please send them to me!
Here's the full press release.
If you're interested in listening to some Guster songs, there are a bunch on You Tube.
Here's a wrapup story about the fest.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Photos and news as it comes....
Previous postings are here, here and here. The website for the film festival is turksandcaicosfilmfestival.com
Thursday, September 28, 2006
So the next time it's snowing and freezing cold outside and you're bragging to your cube mates about where you're going that weekend. Tell them "To the Best Beach in the World." They won't be able to top that!
Monday, September 11, 2006
Meanwhile the Orlando Sentinel in Grand Turk beckons visitors talks about the onslaught of tourists at the TCI capital. "This tiny island once received perhaps 10,000 visitors a year. It's now welcoming an estimated 300,000." The Grand Turk cruise facility was built by Carnival, a decidedly non-upscale cruise line.
Update 9/18: Here's another article about the cruise ship dock at Grand Turk. This ones goes in a bit more depth about the excursions available. Plus here's an interesting tidbit:
Its position makes it a safe berth, Ellis said, a contingency port in bad weather, with a two-ship pier engineered to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. "The rest of the island might blow away," Ellis said, "but the pier won't."
So where does that leave Provo? I guess it's for us folk who aren't swimming in money and cannot (or do not want to) afford a multi-million dollar place in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary but at same time don't like the crowds of a cruise destination. We call Provo: "just right".
Friday, September 01, 2006
Labor day is just right around the corner. Which means, now is the time to reallly start thinking about spending more time down in the islands.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
"This year the proceedings were blessed to have the first true hurricane of the season, Hurricane Chris, just glance off to the northeast, stirring up a few strong winds and a couple of thunder showers. But the outdoor music festival, set up on a dockside stage at the Turtle Cove Marina, proceeded without incident, though the shows usually began late and went on until 2, 3, and 4 in the morning!"
All I know, hurricane or not, i would rather have been down there than sitting at my office scavenging for reports!
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Previous posts about the fest on this blog can be found here and here. The website for the film festival is turksandcaicosfilmfestival.com
Friday, August 04, 2006
Meanwhile, the Turks & Caicos Music Festival is supposed to be going on. I blogged about it earlier and I thought it might get some foot traffic but so far reports are not so good. In the words of a local "yeah, no on I know is going to it, not even the tourist board people!" And nary a news story about it either. Here's hoping the TCI Film Festival will find more success....
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
- Leave expensive jewelry, unnecessary credit cards, and anything you would hate to lose at home.
- Use a concealed money pouch or belt for passports, cash, and other valuables.
- To facilitate replacing a lost or stolen passport, carry two extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport information page and other identity documents with you in a separate place from those items.
- Do not take valuables to the beach. When possible, use the hotel safe when you go to the beach or into town.
- Do not dive into unknown bodies of water because hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death.
And finally a great tip from Barb:
- Never lock your car door and always leave the windows open so that way if someone is tempted to go snooping all they have to do is poke their head in (instead of smashing in the windows). They don't want to steal your car.... Really... how far would they get? And obviously don't leave something tempting like your passport and diamonds in the car.
Many of these tips are from the US State Departments Tips For Travelers to the Caribbean. I know, TCI is not officially in the Caribbean, but there's plenty of other good, relevant information on their site.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Update 9/18: Thanks to Provoman and Sea_King_Bill from the Tripadvisor forums, who respectively pointed out that hotels were missing from the map (since the original was created by a realtor) and added the missing hotels onto the map. If you need a pdf, click here.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
If anyone has photos (recent or past) they'd like to share in future editions, please send me the link to your gallery and tell me a little bit about yourself.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The Turks and Caicos archipelago contains eight inhabited islands out of 40 in all. Ritz-Carlton's new Molasses Reef Resort on the uninhabited island of West Caicos, which opens in 2008, will include 60 villas and a 125-suite hotel and spa (ritzcarlton.com). The resort is named for the nearby reef where Columbus's Pinta is said to have sunk.
It's the last sentence that piqued my interest however because it turns out that a pair of marine archaeologists are going on a dive to search for a slave ship called the Trouvadore that sunk in 1800 and "created a nation."
"If it turns out that this is the Trouvadore, it would be huge for the nation itself," said Jason Burns, one of the two archaeologists making the trip. "Pretty much anyone on the island can trace their lineage back to the wreck."
If you have any interest in the history of TCI, how could you not continue reading this article?
Update on the expedition: It's now complete and you can read about it in Slave ship expedition yields murky answers.
Friday, July 07, 2006
"Med vacation: it’s sorta like watching *Melrose Place*. You don’t want to think of yourself as the kind of person who likes it, because it preys upon your most base impulses, both sexual and slothful. You’re embarrassed that it appeals to you, so you participate for awhile with a mindset that is somewhere between *heckler* and *lowbrow camp.* But eventually the calming endorphins kick in. Acceptance occurs. Then, you are hooked, and you will go back."
It's a long article but an interesting read. Keep in mind that even if you don't want to stay there, they do offer day passes and it just might be a good place to check out for a day or two if you're looking for some activities. And heck, they discovered Grace Bay long before the other resorts so they must be doing something right.
Friday, June 30, 2006
In other news more info out of the TCI Film Festival. Apparently its emphasis is going to be on films that "best marry music to cinema."
"I have felt for a long time that film and music are inseparable in creating an impactful on-screen experience" explains Exec Director Jasmie Guy. "This is a great opportunity to celebrate that fusion, and to embrace films and filmmakers from around the globe." More here and in my earlier post.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Resort Deals Roundup
- Stay 14, Pay 11; Stay 7 pay 5; Stay 5 pay 4;
- 7 for the price of 3; 9/2 - 11/3; starting at $870
- 50% off second guest; until 9/1
- "Suite Deal" - fifth and seventh night free - 9/3 - 11/3
- 10% senior citizen and AAA discount; restricted time periods
Ocean Club Resorts
- Stay 7, Pay 5; 9/1 - 10/31
- 7 night packages sale - $50 off
- Diver's Special - 9 and 10/1-14; Buy 1 double-tank Dive and 2nd day of diving is free.
- Summer Escape; 7 nights for 6; July; starting at $2850
- Summer Specials; 4/19-12/20; Discounts across all rooms; Value rooms $99, normally $110; Ocean Views $145, normally $165
- 7th night free; 5/29 - 12/20
- One "Suite" Deal: 7th night free 11/1-12/20
- Second "Suite" Deal: 6th and 7th nights free; until 10/31
Turks and Caicos Club
- 7 nights for 5 and 14 nights for 11: until 8/31 and 10/1-11/15
Friday, June 23, 2006
More about the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association. Unfortunately most of the links don't work....
Thursday, June 22, 2006
The subheading is "Turks and Caicos Islands are not too crowded -- yet" which I concur with. It's always one of the first things that returning travelelers point out (except if they stayed at Beaches!). I think it's startling to a lot of people that they can go to some place that is so beautiful and yet not be bombared with crowds, people trying to sell stuff and other peace-destroyers.
Back to the article, the places mentioned include Amanyara, Parrot Cay and Grace Bay Club. It wraps up with a bit of talk about the Grand Turks. Great read for those looking to learn more about TCI.
Update: The Boston Herald covers Carnival's entry into Grand Turk. Must be Boston coverage of T&C day or something!
Update 2: Thanks to alert reader Jane from the UK for pointing out this article in the The Sunday Times. It discusses, (surprise, surprise) Amanyara and Parrot Cay. Whoever does their PR is earning their keep!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Turks and Caicos conch served escargot-style turns out to be conch served in four pretty shells lined up in a row on four porcelain plates. Each shell holds a few bites of meaty conch, which you have to tease out with your long, narrow fork. The new Moroccan Room at Social Hollywood, the revamped Hollywood Athletic Club, is all about looks and presentation. The menu is global—hence the dolled-up conch, but the décor is the romantic Morocco of Rick's Café Americain in "Casablanca." The Moroccan Room at Social Hollywood, 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 462-5222.
Visit the Caicos Conch Farm website for more information about tours while you're down in Provo. It's actually one of the nicest websites i've seen originating out of TCI!
Here's a little nugget of information:
"Explore the only conch farm in the world, yes where Caribbean Queen conchs are raised from veliger to adult. Here you can watch how the process is done, enjoy a show with the two trained and very friendly conchs, see conch pearls and even purchase fresh conch for a fabulous conch salad."
Who says you don't learn things on this blog on slow news days?
Thursday, June 15, 2006
So Alberto is the first hurrciane of the season but it pretty much bypassed the Turks and Caicos. here's a report from the helpful Brent Gustafson dated june 12th.:
"Mostly sunny with temps in the mid to upper 80's today
with warm 15 - 20 mph humid breezes from the S/SE.
Kite boarders were out in full force today off of
Grace Bay, Providenciales. The forecast calls for much
of the same for the rest of the week with a few
possible night time showers. A few late afternoon
rain columns could be seen offshore to the N/NE this
Click on the headline to be taken to StormCARIB where this posting is from. We recommend this website highly - it's what we'll be monitoring through the hurricane season.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
rent a car or should we take the Gecko bus." Well first of all, the Gecko bus is not very reliable and I often hear stories of people having to wait hours to catch one so if you have to be somewhere at a specific time forget it. However, the Gecko bus is more than just transportation. It could be the cheapest tour you take on the island especiallly if you get a day or multi day pass. Pricing for a one day pass is $11 and $22 for a 3-day pass. It stops at all the Resorts, the IGA, Salt Mills, Ports of Call, the Golf Course, and a gazillion other places. Maybe that's why they're always late! Hey you're on vactation. Who cares?! Routes, schedules, etc. on their website.
Now if you're not staying at a resort on Grace Bay or you want to be able to move around, renting a car is probably the best bet - and make sure it's an SUV! Some of those roads outside of Leeward Highway are chock full of potholes, dirt and worse! If there's a sudden rainstorm (especially during the summer and fall) you'll want to be above the flooding. I've personally rented from Avis and had a good experience as have my friends.
A not well know known fact is that Avis actually has two locations on Provo, one at the airport and one on Grace Bay and they will pick you up or drop you off if you need. (A little bit of Enterprise in Provo, right?). I had a friend who picked up a rental from the airport to save on the cab (normally $20 to grace bay) and took it to the IGA to get some groceries and then to the Alexandra Resort on Grace Bay. She then dropped it off at the Avis Grace Bay dropoff point and they dropped her back at the resort. Towards the end of her stay she went to the Avis (Grace bay) spent a day visiting places, then the next day dropped it off at the airport. Not a bad routine in my opinion. The other rental place I hear mentioned is Scooter Bob's, but i can't vouch for them.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
It's the third year of the annual music and cultural festival and they got a pretty impressive lineup this year including Ludacris, 2004 American Idol winner Fantasia; Grammy award-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams and more.
There's also going to be a Miss T&C beauty pagean, boat regattas and more. The whole shebang runs from July 31 - August 7th and is sponsored by BET.
Last year their headliners include Shaggy and Ashanti so it seems like the stars don't mind a little jaunt to the Turks & Caicos ;-).
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Update: A friend of a friend stayed at Alex 3303 and recently posted their trip report on Trip Advisor. Check it out for a somewhat unbiased opinion.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Update: Vivica Fox was one of the stars at the T&C Film Fest party in Los Angeles. People Magazine's got the coverage (actually it's mainly about her appearing on Dancing with the Stars this summer.)
Update 2: A photo gallery of the June event can be found here. Includes photos of Chief Minister Michael Misick and his new wife, LisaRaye.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Well my first reaction might be "better there than on Provo" not that it would even be possible here, but actually I think this is a good thing as it brings more attention the Turks and Caicos island but is not likely to lead to a flood of new tourists to Provo. The reason being that the people who travel on cruises and flood these terminals are different from the people who like to lie out on the beach all day on Grace Bay. Also, Carnival is helping the T&C government to build up Grand Turk and hopefully some of the funds from the terminal will be used to beautiful Provo, pave the roads, build a proper downtown, etc. Wishful thinking? Stay tuned....
The Grand Turk Cruise Center has its own website where you can view some of the excursions they have. Some of them sound pretty fun, i have to admit. Maybe if i'm tired of sunning, i'll take a boat ride over there and see what all the hubbub is about.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Anyway back to the topic at hand.
"Amanyara, which opened last month after eight years in the making, is the first West Indian outpost from Singapore-based Amanresorts, and the largest Aman property yet, with 40 guest pavilions and 33 multi-bedroom villas, the latter of which are being sold as condominiums for $6 million and up. For a company that made its name in Southeast Asia, Amanyara represents a bold move into new terrain. Its arrival in the Turks and Caicos may also be a watershed for this semi-obscure archipelago, thrust again into the limelight after decades of fits and starts. "
It's a good read. Personally i was a little nonplussed after reading the review by the fact that it's not right on the water and everything is all scrubby but i guess that's Provo - take it or leave it! Not that i could ever afford to spend even a night there. For me, splurging would be spending an hour at the spa at the Palms next door! They also compare it to Parrot Cay.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
The birth of a blog
I have to say that even though we bought at the Alexandra, we spent some quality time at all the other resorts. In particular, I really liked the "lounge" area by the swim up bar at the Palms. The Alexandra has a swim up bar but it's not quite as good. Plus eating $12 pizzas at the Palms can't be beat. We really liked Hemingway's at the Sands as well. Man, that was some good lobster.
I'm one of those types of people who researches things obsessively before buying anything and i continue to keep up with stuff after buying, so naturally i've read a ton about Provo,Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos, etc. etc. I figured i'd start this blog for anyone what wants to learn a little more and keep up with what's going on down there.