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Villa Consultant Michael Chisholm Plays Island Guide in Turks and Caicos

Island Info

Greetings all, and welcome back to the Turks & Caicos Islands, specifically Providenciales.

Turks and Caicos Official Flag

Turks and Caicos Official Flag

These maps show the islands in the chain and the geographic location in relation to other islands and the Atlantic Ocean. The island chain is a British Overseas Territory.

Map of Turks and Caicos

Map of Turks and Caicos

Its sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and is represented by a governor, appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Foreign Office. The islands are geographically contiguous with the Bahamas, but are politically separate. As you can see from the map, Providenciales (or Provo as it is known) is by no means the largest; it is, though, the most populated at approximately 38 sq miles. During our week on this island we covered a lot of these square miles in the broiling 90 degree heat, which we were told on several occasions “is hotter than normal for the time of year”. Just our luck!

Turks and Caicos Map

Turks and Caicos in relation to the Bahamas

The primary attraction on Provo is Grace Bay Beach—five miles of stunning beach with a lot of resorts, offering accommodations covering all price points. The prime purpose of our trip is, of course, the villas on the island. We plan to add more to our inventory for the increasing popularity of this beach destination.

Up-close map of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Up-close map of the island

The map above shows the primary areas nicely. On the Grace Bay side there is Thompson Cove, where Castaway Villa sits, and where we will soon add more villas.Bear in mind that Grace Bay is five miles of beach, and hosts most of the prime hotels: The Gansevoort, Regent Palms, Point Grace and the cute boutique Sibonne are four with whom we frequently work. Amanyara is due south of the western end (shown as Northwest Point). The wonderful Parrot Cay is off the map to the east, a 45 minute boat ride from the Leeward marina. Also at the Leeward end of Grace Bay we have Conch Villa. Moving due east in Leeward, we have Blue Orchid, then round to Long Bay.

WIMCO Villa Castaway, Turks and Caicos

Villa Castaway

Island Concierge

We now have an island concierge which is a useful addition, especially for busy times when reservations for dining and excursions make for a more enjoyable stay. On this trip, on arrival, we were met by our concierge who showed us the way to Villa Castaway. This is in the Thompson Cove area and is in walking distance to the renowned dining spot, “Da Conch Shack”. Another great aspect of this service is the provisioning. I had asked our concierge to set up the villa for us and what was provided was more than adequate. It is styled after our Maya’s To Go provisioning on St. Barths and helped a lot. This will be a nice start for any arriving guests as shopping can be time consuming.

Da Conch Shack. Photo by RealLifeCaribbean

Da Conch Shack. Photo by RealLifeCaribbean

The island has not changed much since last year. Bill noticed more changes as his last trip was with me was in 2008. It being Suzanne’s first trip, it was interesting for me to be once again acting island guide.

Villa Tours

Each day we started at 9am with villa tours:

Wednesday morning was some in the Turtle Cove area, and our guide showed us a new gem,Turtle House in Turtle Tail [coming soon to our collection]. This house was a near complete building site last year, so it was great to see this finished. We were treated to a chef’s dinner in the villa, and it was a wonderful way to see how guests would be treated.

On Friday we spent the night at Conched Out (TNC COO), and on Saturday, set off for Turtle Breeze (TNC TBZ) a delightful five bedroom villa in Turtle Cove. This house has a great set up for families or friends. We grabbed breakfast at The Green Bean, which is in easy walking distance from the Turtle Cove area, and very nice too. They also rent out snorkeling equipment, have WiFi and make a good cup coffee. It is at the side of the Turtle Cove Marina where there are three restaurants all within easy walking from the dozen or so villas in this area. This is an area clients will enjoy staying in.

WIMCO Villa Turtle Breeze, Turks and Caicos

Villa Turtle Breeze

Before taking up for our next villa, Breezy Villa (IE BRE) we stopped by the IGA for some provisions. This grocery store has all you need, is easy to find in the middle of the island, and has an off-shoot gourmet IGA shop closer to Grace Bay. While on this topic, in Leeward there is a new market too, which serves the eastern end of the island and is a very good addition, especially for the villas in this area. After checking in to Breezy Villa (what a name!), we stopped by The Regent Palms and The Gansevoort, two of the hotels we represent fronting Grace Bay, and quite different from one another.

On Sunday we headed over to Long Bay to see some wonderful villas there. Villa Isla came up as a favourite, a very nice five bedroom beachfront property. As with other islands, building is ongoing, and Isla has a site next door nearing completion. We rounded out the day with a stop by the Bay Bistro at The Sibonne Hotel, which is a great location and a popular dining spot.

WIMCO Villa Isla, Turks and Caicos

Villa Isla

 Dining    

For dining, this island has something for everyone. Coco Bistro is easily one of the best restaurants I have tried anywhere. Do not let the name fool you as “bistro” – it is not. Sampling the villa chef service was also great; first at Turtle House with their staff, and then with chef Alex Pelli at Villa Breezy, which was an exceptional dining experience for sure, and something I will absolutely suggest to clients.

The sunset from the roof deck of restaurant "Somewhere"

The sunset from the roof deck of restaurant “Somewhere”, photo courtesy of somewherecafeandlounge.com

 

The local Fish Fry makes for a colorful and delicious evening. For excellent lunch spots, Bugaloos is for sure worth finding; Las Brisas did not disappoint, and the conch fritters at any spot we tried were great too. Somewhere (the restaurant name!) is perfect for dinner with views over the beach. All in all, plenty to choose from, too many to try, and a great reason for a return visit. If you’ve never been to Turks and have questions, please let me know. It’s an island I keep returning to!

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