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

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.