Villa agents Suzanne, Bill and Michael spent a week on the white-sand beaches of Turks & Caicos, exploring some of WIMCO‘s villas (38 visited, 3 tried and tested). You can read their full trip reports here and here, but, being curious and inquisitive (and also needing to live vicariously through them), we sat down to ask a few more questions about their trip.
Q: Michael, you declared yourself as island guide for the group, as you’ve visited the island multiple times. When was your first trip?
MICHAEL: In 2008 with Bill, then last June with with [colleague] Ben.
Q: Suzanne, it was your first trip to the island. What would you give clients as a touchstone to what’s it like?
SUZANNE: I would describe Turks by saying it's about the beautiful beaches and the fantastic food. Similar to Anguilla, actually. I like the relaxed pace. It's relaxed chic.
Q: Your first day started out at Turtle Cove, exploring the villas and the surrounding marina area that had lots of little shops and restaurants. What type of clients will like staying in Turtle Cove?
SUZANNE: Those who are looking to be on a beach and in walking distance to a few restaurants, including the Green Bean, which serves a very good breakfast.
MICHAEL: The Green Bean is in easy reach for the Turtle Cove area and there are about fourteen villas here. It’s a good morning hang out—has WiFi, good coffee and is an easy spot for breakfast. It also has snorkel gear for rent!
Q: You were really impressed with the villas on the leeward end of Grace Bay Beach, citing that many were recently renovated, and totally modern. Visually and privacy wise, what is the leeward end of Grace Bay Beach like?
SUZANNE: The villas I saw in this area of Grace Bay were some of my favorites. They’re all located on a beautiful beach with the sounds of surf—perfect for long walks, sunbathing, and swimming. This part of Grace Bay Beach was almost empty when we were there, ideal for those looking for peace and solitude.
Q: The pictures you have of Chalk Sound are incredible and very unique; the ocean color is this light-green teal mix. How does Chalk Sound vary from the other regions?
SUZANNE: I personally think it is one of the prettiest areas of the island. If you are staying in Villa Alizee for example, on one side you look over and see Chalk Bay and on the other, Taylor Bay. A heavenly spot really. Chalk Bay was a blend of the outer Cape and West coast of Florida to me (Captiva/Sanibel). It is a more protected area so you would see people kayaking there.
Q: Aside from kayaing, is Turks the type of place where you can do a lot of beach activities? If so, what types?
MICHAEL: Anything is available on Grace Bay: paragliding, snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding, kite boarding (on Long Bay), scuba diving, fishing, deep sea and bone fishing, and a submarine tour, too.
Q: You talked about some of the great meals you had on the island, particularly at Coco Bistro, Bugaloos, and Las Brisas. What’s “the dish” to get at each spot? Are there any restaurants you would particularly recommend for clients wanting to have a great lunch on the beach?
MICHAEL: For any Turks & Caicos restaurant I like to try the conch fritters. Every one has them and each has their own slant, so each is a little different. For a beach lunch, my spot would be Bugaloos—the conch here is the best I have tried ANYWHERE on the island.
Q: You also had sushi at Yoshi’s in the Saltmills, calling the village “the nicest on the island”. Can you tell us more about it? What sort of shops and restaurants are there? What’s the vibe like?
SUZANNE: Elegant, palm-lined sidewalks, with a variety of inviting shops such as jewelry, art, and clothing, as well as a number of restaurants.
We loved hearing about the chef dinner Michael arranged on the last night (ok, in particular, we liked the part about lobster tail wrapped in bacon). Is this something WIMCO can arrange easily for clients? How do clients pick the menu?
SUZANNE: If the client is interested in a chef, we would contact one of our highly recommended chefs and see if they are available during the week the client will be there. If so, we simply put them in touch with each other so they can discuss the perfect menu for their vacation.
Q.You mentioned the island concierge that we now have in place on the island, who can help arrange activities and do food provisioning (a la Mayas To Go). Would clients arrange with their WIMCO agent what food they’d want to stock?
MICHAEL: We have an arrival pack suggestion styled after Maya’s which works well. We do ask for guests to indicate their choices of some items. Having the villa stocked is great as it takes away the need to shop the first day.
Q. When clients go to St. Barths, they always rent a car. How essential is it on Turks & Caicos?
MICHAEL: As on most islands, a car provides much more mobility. Without a car you would be dependent on taxis, which are available, but would be comparable to the weekly car rental rate.
Q: Let’s pretend we have some clients in mind. What are your top two villas for….
- A romantic getaway with complete privacy?
Suzanne: I loved everything about Villa Conch (PL COV): the layout, the privacy, the fabrics/linens, and the master, with a large bathtub was divine. The beach bar is such a bonus with Leon, who splits his time between here and Villa Saving Grace (PL SAV), preparing ice-cold beverages for you.
Michael: Parrot Cay and a beach front villa there. The resort is remote and has everything. Or, TNC WED (ideal for a honeymoon having just been WED!)
– A spring vacation trip with teenagers?
Suzanne: It depends on budget and and the number of people traveling, but I would say if it’s large group, Villa Varnishkes (IE VAR) is perfect with a large media room with two fridges, a beach, tennis, small fitness room, and just lots of space. Otherwise, Villa Five Turtles (IE FIT) in Sunset Bay for a smaller option. You walk out to a gorgeous beach, pool, and there’s tennis available.
Q: Lastly, how can clients reach you if they want to know more!?
Have you been to Turks & Caicos? What are your some of your favorite spots and activities?