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.

By Michael Wu

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Getting Up To Speed on T&C

The Chicago Tribune has a lengthy article ("Stargazing in the Turks & Caicos: With Oprah and JoJo in hiding, the glow worms steal the show") on what basically amounts to a trip recap by one of its writers. However, it's a good read especially if you're looking for activities to do during your stay in Provo. The article talks about everything from JoJo to trained conches to glow worm mating to real estate development to celebrity sitings and more. Interestingly, the one thing that is missing is any mention of the beach, which I imagine was deliberate.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sleep in Christie Brinkley's Bed

Ok, so i knew that Bruce Willis has a villa on Parrot Cay where Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner got married. Donna Karin also has a place there. And then there is the resort loved by the rich and famous (and only affordable to them, of course). But if that isn't enough for you, you can always hang out at Christie Brinkley's place when she's not there. Apparently she has a three-bedroom there that rents for $4000-$9000 a night. It's like VRBO for the rich and famous! So all you Wall Streeters who don't know what to do with all your bonus money because you're on a waiting list for a Ferrari, why not stay here for a month or three!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Potcake in NY

"Potcake" is the name used for the many stray dogs that can be found roaming around Provo. The dogs are cute and smart and places like Potcake Place make it a hassle free process to adopt one whether or not you are down there. They take care of vaccinations, provide them a home and organize the health certificate for travel. Since there are so many strays, not all of them can be helped so adopting one is equivalent to rescuing another. What could be a better gift for the holidays?

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.

Helpful links:
Potcake Foundation
Potcake Place

Monday, November 20, 2006

Don't Forget Your Passport!

The first time i went down to Provo a few years back, I almost panicked because it was after 9/11 and the gov't had started tightening up its rules about passports to the Caribbean. My passport had recently expired and i started looking into passport emergency services. Apparently i wasn't the only one, as the gov't gave us a reprieve and chose to extend the policy (allowing Birth Certificates and other valid documentation) ... until now.

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

Conch Festival Set for Nov. 25

Everyone knows that conch is synonymous with the Turks & Caicos - it's even present on its flag. Where else is a visit to the Conch Farm considered an integral part of a vist? So it you're going to be down there at the end of this month you won't want to miss the 3rd annual Conch Festival featuring chefs from the island competing for the best recipe, live music, a mojito making contest and much more.

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.

Guster, Barenaked Ladies & TCI

I've been a big fan of Guster since I heard them last summer in Central Park with Ben Folds - the singer I actually went to see. They are truly amazing live. And most people know who the Barenaked Ladies are although perhaps it conjures up different images in the context of the tropics. So this sounds like a pretty fun cruise combining one of my favorite bands with a stopover at one of my favorite places.

If you're interested in listening to some Guster songs, there are a bunch on You Tube.

Photos from Provo : Film Fest Edition

Well, odd as it may sound I've been taking a break from dreaming about TCI by um, working. I know, that sounds pathetic - who am i to argue but thanks to some prodding i'm back! As i mentioned in an earlier post, my sister was down last month and so i'm using her photos for this edition of "Photos from Provo." Ignore the several construction photos at the beginning - i asked her to take those for me to get an idea of what's going on down on the island :-) Check out the photos.

Here's a wrapup story about the fest.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Film Fest in Full Force

The first Turks & Caicos Intl. Film Fest began on Oct. 17th and my sister is currently staying at our condo at the Alexandra. It turns out that the Alexandra also happens to be the host hotel for the film festival so she's a happy camper indeed. She has promised to get me photos from the event but in the meantime, a nugget of news from Variety Magazine says that they "will honor composer John Debney and the late Tupac Shakur." Shakur's mother will be onhand to accept the honor on behalf of her son.

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

Provo Beach Tops Again

For those who have been spoiled for years by the beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water surroung the Turks & Caicos Islands, it will probably come as no surprise that Providenciales (Grace Bay) has been voted the Best Beach in the world for the second year in a row at the World Travel Awards. Usually when i read about someone declaring them the best of anything, I naturally (cynically, some would say) assume the award was handed out by a bunch of guys sitting in a small basement room to promote themselves. In this case, it's a real honor. Voting is done by travel agents in over 200 countries and they get hundreds of thousands of votes. This year, the Awards were held at Provo's own Beaches Resort.

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

A Tale of Two Islands?

I ran across two articles today, both in Florida newspapers, that reflect two completely different ways the Turks & Caicos Islands is marketing itself. On the one hand, the Miami Herald has an article Caribbean shifts toward high-end tourism which talks a lot about the upcoming Ritz Carlton Molasses Reef resort on West Caicos and quotes Premier Michael Misick saying "We are not interested in quantity, we are interested in quality. If you can't afford it, the Turks and Caicos is not for you. That may sound snobbish, but we've made a strategic decision to pursue up-market tourism." Yes, Mr. Misick, that is pretty snobbish, but I guess you get credit for saying it as it is.

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

TCI 1st International Boxing Tournament

Not content to have the best beach in the world, Provo wants to also be well known for .... boxing. Well, I jest. But according to this article in the Nassau Guardian, Gary Lightbourne has been trying to establish their own federation for over a year now, culminating in this inaugural event which will be held from September 7-10. The last thing I want to do when I head to Provo is see a boxing match, but then again that's pretty much the last thing i want to do here in the States too. But i put this information out there for those who might be fans :-). Ticket and venue information can be found here.

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

The Music Fest

Well, as you know i've been searching far and wide for information about what was supposed to be the summer's big event and finally i found a decent writeup. It sounds like the hurricane (moreso the threat of Hurricane Chris) dampened things (no pun intended) but still sounded like a good time.

"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

T&C Film Festival Chicago Launch Party

Looks like they're making the rounds. First it was LA, then it was NY, now it's Chicago. The party is tonight from 8-12 at the China Grill. If you happen to be in Chicago, you get to hobnob with Chief Minister Michael Misick and his model wife LisaRaye as well as the directors of the Fest, Jasmine Guy and and Terrence Duckette. Check back here for photos of the festivities (if we can locate some).

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

Hurricane Chris

Well, the first "big" one was supposed to hit today but so far it's just a "Normal Day in Sunny TCI" according to Edgar Howell, reporting from the Islands. It looks like Provo will be spared (once again).

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

Traveler's Tips: Safety

No matter how safe a destination it's always best to use some common senese when traveling. Provo is very safe but it's not without its problems. Here are some tips that every traveler should find handy:

  • 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

Where is that dang resort?

We got a question today asking where on Grace Bay Alex 3303 (Alexandra Resort) is located and truth be told we get this question a lot and not just for our condo. If you go to any of the resort websites they just list "Grace Bay" as the location and presumably any taxi will know where to take you - after all Grace Bay isn't that big. But if you're walking, where you're staying actually can make a big difference. So here's one of the few maps available on the web that will show you the locations of most if not all the resorts. We don't know the realtors behind this map nor do we endorse them but we sure appreciate the legwork they put into this map!

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

"O" My

Well, here's another private island retreat that I will never be able to vist until I win Powerball. Vienna-based O Property Collection recently launched a $1 billion hotel and villa project on Dellis Island, a roughly 2 square mile island 20 minutes from Provo. According to their website, "the focus will be on creating an upscale, exclusive, private island serving the needs of affluent travelers." They plan to open 2008. Parrot Cay watch out! This photo is from their website where there isn't a whole lot of information but plenty of pretty pictures.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Photos from Provo : Inaugural Edition

There's nothing like staring at the beauty of Provo especially when you're cooped up in some air conditioned office somewhere. So I thought i'd start a somewhat regular feature from regular folk called "Photos from Provo" to showcase photo galleries that people have taken through the years. Thanks to Barbara from Charlton, MA for the kickoff edition. She's being going down for 14 years and has a timeshare at the Alexandra. Back then there were only 4 resorts. People talk about having their own private piece of paradise now - one can only imagine what it must've been like back then! Thanks for sharing Barb! Click here or on the photo to view her gallery.

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 Birth of a Nation

This week's issue of Newsweek picked up on the appeal of the Turks & Caicos' appeal for those looking for an "Island of their own" specifically focusing on the Ritz Carlton:

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

Club Med: Worth A Look?

Let's face it. Staying down in Provo is expensive and eating out is just as bad. That's why many people go there with suitcases packed full of PB&J. But there are two all-inclusives. Beaches and Club Med Turkoise that offer a somewhat more affordable option. I've never been to Club Med, but to myself and many other people it sometimes conjures up less than desirable images. This is why I thought this article by respected travel writer Po Bronson was a great read. Bronson spent a week at Club Med going down with a full dose of skepticism but leaving with a much different sense. Here's his "Executive summary":

"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

Random Bits

Asked by Harper's Bazaar what she was going to do on her 20th birthday, Lindsay Lohan said "I'm going to go away, out of the country...Do something fun and different. [Photographers] won't find me... No one can get a picture of you on Turks and Caicos. I go there with my family, and it's the perfect place to go with a guy." It's July's cover story if you're so inclined to go to the newsstand. Now we know how cool we really are that LL shares our love with the island.

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

Well, this is my first posting of specials at the resorts on Provo so suggestions are welcome on how best to do this. I decided to only list resorts that are offering special discounts for the summer/fall. All resorts have package deals but those rarely change so aren't listed here. All deals were available as of today but you should visit the respective websites for more information:

- Stay 14, Pay 11; Stay 7 pay 5; Stay 5 pay 4;

Club Med
- 7 for the price of 3; 9/2 - 11/3; starting at $870
- 50% off second guest; until 9/1

Coral Gardens
- "Suite Deal" - fifth and seventh night free - 9/3 - 11/3

Le Vele
- 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.

Point Grace
- 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

The Palms
- 7th night free; 5/29 - 12/20

The Sands
- 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

World Cup Crazy in T&C?

Probably not. Although the Turks & Caicos Islands are a member of FIFA, they are ranked 204th ...out of 205 teams. American Samoa holds the title for world's lowest ranked team and has the dubious honor of suffering the worst defeat in history (31-0) against Australia. Last World Cup, FIFA scheduled a match against the two worst ranked teams (Bhutan and Montserrat) right before the Final match but alas, there are no plans to do it again this year.

More about the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association. Unfortunately most of the links don't work....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Boston Globe raves about Provo

This is not the first time the Boston Globe has written about the Turks & Caicos. This time the headline is "Prime Time in the Caribbean." Bonny Tsui writes "the Turks and Caicos have long been off the radar for many Americans. But with their magnificent white-sand beaches -- and recently stepped-up air service, including seasonal nonstop flights from Boston and New York -- the destination is growing more popular."

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

No Need to Go To T&C For T&C Conch

If you happen to be on Sunset Blvd in LA, here's a little tidbit for you from the LA Times (scroll down to "Specialty Fork" or read below). This is not particularly newsworthy but i found it amusing....

Conch escargot-style

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.

But Seriously...

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

Hurricane Season AGAIN?!!

Man, I feel like i'm just recovering from last year's crazy hurricane season. Luckily the T&C gets it fairly easy since it's shielded by the Dominican Republic. Still last year, there were some major downpours and flooding (photos here). My friend Geoff even had to board himself in his villa for a few days without air conditioning. Fortunately he was able to send reports via the Internet. Wait, how did he have electricity?

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

Transportation options: To Gecko or Not To Gecko

Well, slow news week down in Provo so i thought i'd muse on about the sometimes maligned, sometimes much loved Gecko Shuttle Bus and other transportation options on the Island. The common question is "should we
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

Turks & Caicos Music and Cultural Festival

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

Provo Trip calendar

Jerzee Devil has put together a trip calendar that shows a list of people (Trip Advisor members) who are going down to Provo and when. Pretty neat. The more people who participate in this the better it will be and you can finally meet all those people you've been chatting with via the forums.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Need a place to stay?

By now, most everyone who knows about my little blog knows that i have a place at the Alexandra and that's where my family, friends and I stay when we head for the tropics. Well, I finally got around to creating a website for my family's studio condo at the Alexandra Resort. It's a great little place with all the amenities you'd want and daily housekeeping. The resort wasn't doing such a great job of marketing the place so i figured i'd give it a shot myself. So check it out and see if it's the place for you!

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

Peeking in on the T&C Film Festival

After nearly two years since the debut of this festival (full disclosure: I was involved in this), the sequel set for Oct. 17- 21, is shaping up to be quite impressive. This go around the festival is being run again by the government and features and impressive advisory board including (who else) Bruce Willis, Academy Award Winner, Paul Haggis (Crash), Shirley Franklin (the mayor of Atlantis, what?) and Robert Earl, the Chairman & CEO of Planet Hollywood. The executive directors are Actress Jasmine Guy and her Investment Banker husband, Terrence Duckette. The website has a lot of "coming soon" stuff but we'll post more as we hear it.

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

Grand Terminal Opens at Grand Turk

"Unlike other port facilities, which are basically passenger processing centers, the new $40-million Grand Turk Cruise Center built by Carnival Corp. is a destination in itself. It has a swimming pool, changing rooms, lockers and showers, an 800-foot beach and cabanas as well as the usual complement of retail shops. It also is home to the Caribbean's largest Margaritaville, the chain of bar/restaurants owned by musician Jimmy Buffett."

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

What's cooking?!!

Now this is really useful. The people who publish the ubiquitous Where When How Guide have put their dining guide online so now you can check out what all the restaurants offer and what the charge ahead of time. For meticulous planners like me, this is the perfect resource. By the way, we really like Hemingway's located at the Sands but part of that is probably because it's so close to our place at the Alexandra ;-). By the way we really like the Where, When, How Guide so much so that we subscribe (read: pay) to it. I guess it's our way of getting our "little piece of paradise" when we're not lying on Grace Bay.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Amanyara - Travel & Leisure Style

All us little folk know that the Turks & Caicos is the place to be but the big guys are catching on as seen by this Travel & Lesiure "Fantasy Island" review of the new Amanyara Resort. Is this a sign that our little Provo is going to turn into another oversaturated tourist trap? In my opinion, not likely soon. When I or my friends have been down there it's been practically empty. I thought it was just the Alexandra doing a poor job of marketing (which may be partially true) but a look around the whole island doesn't turn up many people except maybe at Beaches. Reports from Trip Advisor seem to indicate the same.

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

Some time in 2004, my friend Geoff, who has a villa down in the Turks & Caicos which i had never heard of was trying to tell me how Provo was the next greatest thing. He used to be a travel writer so i figured he knew a little bit about this topic. He was telling me about the Royal West Indies and i went so far as to get some paperword and look at some numbers but i didn't make the move. This year, Geoff finally convinced me to come down and stay at this villa. Well, maybe "convince" is not the right word when someone is asking you to come down and spend time in the sun! I went down with my father and we had a splendid time, even if we did have to hold an umbrella over our heads while barbecuing! We checked out many of the resorts but we ultimately decided to get a little place at the Alexandra (previously called the Pavillions, which was previously called the Alexandra) and thus this blog begins.

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.