by: Amanda Brayman
Going through the formative years of my life with movies like Bridesmaids, Wine Country, and even Blue Crush (not technically a vacation movie, but set in a vacation town) had embedded in my mind that a tropical getaway with just my closest girlfriends was the ultimate grown-up flex. With vacations, at least in my mind, designated for family trips and romantic excursions, the idea of an infinity pool, palm trees, a bottle of rosé, and some of my best gal pals seemed like a welcomed shake-up.
The locale was always a moving target, but after a recent WIMCO FAM trip, I was awakened to the girl-trip-perfection of Turks & Caicos. I will lead you through the steps I would take to create the ultimate girls’ trip itinerary.
Villas VS Resort: Where to Stay
Having fallen in love with the Grace Bay area of Turks & Caicos, I have made the executive decision that we should only look for stays within that region. I have a lot of personalities in my friend group, and I know the trip could be dead in the water if we all stalled out on where we should stay. Because of this, I have a couple of options in mind to help narrow my friend group’s focus and encourage them to choose.
Option One: Staying at a Resort
The simplicity of a resort quickly uncomplicates a lot of “what ifs” in a vacation party larger than four. Room service can feed the homebodies, resort bars and restaurants can entertain the socialites, and access to pools, beaches, fitness rooms, and spas will encourage the active to unwind. The first Turks resort that came to mind for me was the Grace Bay Club.
The Grace Bay Club has that long-sought-after blend of resort living and villa seclusion that many tropical hotels chase. With access to Turks fave Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar and the splendor of Grace Bay Beach, as well as Anani Spa, and the proximity to the main strip of Grace Bay – this is my top resort choice.
Rather than all buying individual rooms, staying on the Estate side in a five-bedroom Residence would get us closer to a villa experience.
I imagine my friends first experiencing the sounds of palms swaying and waves crashing on plush sand (and every now and again, light rain) and visibly seeing their bodies lose the tension of everyday life and then re-energize as we popped our welcome bottle of Sand Tropez rosé.
Vacation mode on.
Option Two: Staying at a Villa
The more a think about the logistics of a vacation with my closest friends, the more I lean into absolutely spoiling them. Although Grace Bay Club offers at-your-fingertips access to many amenities, the full-sized bathroom count is always one less than I would like for it to be. With my friends’ morning makeup routines and nighttime face care regimes, I knew each person needed their own bathroom.
Villa it is. To avoid sacrificing the amenities of Grace Bay Club, I opted to stay at a villa I quickly fell in love with while on my work trip: Beach Enclave’s Grace Bay location.
Villa Beach Enclave feels like a once-in-a-lifetime stay. It’s hard to not imagine my friends having the time of their lives here (I know I did!). With outdoor amenities like private access to Grace Bay beach and our own chaise longues, a perfectly sized infinity pool, deck, and fire pit as well as contrasting white walls, warm woods, and luxe touches like Le Labo Hinoki body products and bespoke Beach Enclave robes, I was sold.
Not to mention, the cherry on top of it all – a dedicated villa butler.
When on my work trip, our stay was kicked off by the villa butler (and trip favorite) Nuwan, with freshly squeezed juice and cool towels spritzed with essential oils. Every moment felt special here in large part due to Nuwan. Beach towels were folded neatly for excursions to the beach – endless suggestions of how to best enjoy the island – not to mention morning breakfasts and drinks made whenever needed.
This is something I want my friends to experience.
Compared to many villa stay experiences, Beach Enclave can be rented for 4 nights during the “off-season” over the typical 7-night minimums often seen during high season or on islands like St. Barths. Make sure to ask your WIMCO Villa Specialist about special offers, like staying 5 nights and getting 7 (what a steal!).
Now, Onto the Itinerary
Let’s face it. Everybody’s work schedule and life path are different. Especially in my friend group. Some are new mothers, worried to be away from their children, and some are DINKs (Double Income No Kids) with plenty of time off. A 4-night Turks trip will be thrilling.
The biggest tip I can give you: leave for Turks & Caicos early. The earlier the better. If you can land on the island anywhere between 12 pm and 3, you will beat any rush hour traffic, as well as have a little bit of time to grab a bite to eat before checking into your villa. Check-in times for Villa Beach Enclave are typically at 3 pm. Ask your Villa Specialist if you can request an earlier check-in.
Another tip: No matter how long you’re staying – make sure your vacation encompasses a Thursday. Why? The Turks & Caicos weekly Fish Fry, which starts around 6 pm and goes until around 9 pm.
It’s kind of like a nighttime farmers’ market in the way of there being food, musicians, and artisans set up in tents – but at the celebration level of a carnival.
When I was there, we danced to local musical talent with rum punches in cut-out pineapples, perused local artisans’ tents, and snacked on fare from the many food trucks lining the event (try to get some Jamaican Festival Doughnuts if you can find them).
To close the event, a traditional Turks Junkanoo rush (which involves a lot of singing, dancing, and big drum energy) paraded through the grounds.
We couldn’t help but dance along!
The Start of a Long Weekend in Turks & Caicos
By Morning. Let the girl’s trip begin! Once having landed and gone through customs and get your bags, head over to Grace Bay Rentals (conveniently in the same complex as the airport) and grab the car your WIMCO concierge helped secure – make sure to get the car that suits your party size. From there:
By Afternoon. – Stop for lunch at The Terrace. The Terrace is a casual place to grab a refreshing drink and a bite to eat – one where you don’t have to worry about how disheveled you may feel after having been on a plane for a few hours. It looks like an elevated sports bar – white walls with thoughtfully placed sports memorabilia placed about.
Foodie Suggestions: Get the Elderflower G&T (if you’re a gin fan), and try your first conch of the trip with their Caicos Conch Salad.
Then, check into Villa Beach Enclave, unpack, and relax! As soon as you enter, be prepared to get swept away by your butler, who will greet you with cool towels, spritzed with lemongrass, and fresh-squeezed juice.
Afterward, have a fun time touring the property with your butler, who will help you get acquainted with your rooms so you can unwind and freshen up.
Between now and Fish Fry time (around 6/6:30 pm). Make it a plan to stop by your personal beach cabana at Beach Enclave, so you can jump into Grace Bay for the first time!
By Evening. – To the Fish Fry! For the Fish Fry, you can park literally anywhere, even up on the sidewalk (unless the security at the event tells you otherwise)! It’s just a matter of finding the closest spot to the event. Once here, plan to stay until the end to see the Junkanoo.
WIMCO Foodie Tip: Find a drink that comes in a pineapple or a coconut, and hunt down some Jamaican fried dough (also known as Festival).
Still hungry? Stop by Yoshi’s Sushi on the way back to the villa for a sushi boat and some sake.
WIMCO Foodie Tip: Believe the menu when it says it can feed 5-6 people – it can!
By Morning. – Breakfast in-villa with your butler to help you gear up for today’s big activity – an Eco-Kayak Tour with Big Blue Collective! They are located in the Leeward Marina in Provo and offer everything from charter trips to snorkeling excursions. The kayak tour covers lunch, so no need to worry about feeling peckish during this excursion.
WIMCO Insider Tip: Wear a UV protecting hat, a long sleeve sun guard, sunglasses, a towel (to protect your legs), and plenty of SPF. You will be on this eco-tour for about 3 hours in the Caribbean sun!
By Afternoon. – You will come home late afternoon, definitely exhausted from your day with Big Blue. The Beach Enclave butler will help revive you with a light snack while relaxing by the pool or beach. Capitalize on as many excursions to Grace Bay Beach as you can during this stay! Take a dip before getting ready for the night.
By Evening. – Dinner at Coco Bistro is mandatory when staying in Turks. Nestled in the largest palm grove in Provo, this romantically lit secret garden is the perfect place for a girl’s night out. Show off your best cottagecore dress, or dress up in your best silks and linens to highlight the effortlessly chic picnic vibes of Coco Bistro. Because this restaurant is so popular (for good reason), reservations are highly recommended, especially for parties over two. Your WIMCO Concierge can help you with these reservations ahead of time.
WIMCO Foodie Tip: Try their pepper-crusted tuna and blackened mahi-mahi. For the table (if you have 4+ people), get two orders of the salmon tartare and the tuna tartare – you won’t regret it!
After dinner, continue your night out with a nightcap at Grace Bay Club’s Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar. This bar is very welcoming, with warm rattan light fixtures dressing strategically placed palms, and has a uniquely killer view of Grace Bay Beach. Once you’ve wrapped up there, meet back at the villa for fun by the pool – it’s beautiful to go for a swim by starlight!
By Morning. – Visit my absolute favorite coffee spot in Turks & Caicos – Lemon 2 Go! This boutique cafe is located right on the main strip of Grace Bay. The entryway is overgrown with climbing ivy and decorated with rattan pendant lights and fun soft yellow neon signs, giving it an urban hidden garden feeling. The coffee shop also houses a gift shop and a florist – cute!
WIMCO Foodie Tip: Get their Vanilla Late, sub for oat milk, and a few Jamaican patties to share. They have veggie and meat options, and they’re a Caribbean must-try snack!
You will be glad you got some fuel because next up is shopping! Across from Lemon 2 Go is the Salt Mills Plaza (you may remember it from Yoshi’s Sushi two nights ago), where there are a ton of boutique shops, ready to be explored! Visit The Studio by Island Organics for unique-to-the-island candles, lotions, and soaps. This shop is run by a daughter, and her mother and sisters, and they all play a hand in crafting the scents and body care lines! (PS – their candles smell so good – I brought at least 5 home from my last trip). For anyone feeling less than excited about what they packed, Anna’s Too and Fancy Feet Shoetique are great places to go for a new outfit and heels.
By Afternoon. – For lunch, stop by Cocovan, Coco Bistro’s very cool and laid-back sister restaurant. The eatery is similarly nestled in the palm groves, next to Coco Bistro. Food is made out of an airstream and served at umbrella-covered picnic tables. Be on the lookout for Cocovan’s resident cat, Van, who loves to sun next to patrons in hopes of getting belly rubs. Cocovan also sells some cool merch to take home – their Coco Bistro cookbook is a unique way to remember your trip!
WIMCO Foodie Tip: Try their house-made lemonades, they’re delicious! Also sample the Cocovan’s take on salmon tartare – and, you can’t go wrong with some tandoori chicken skewers.
By Evening. – Take to another romantic palm-canopied location for dinner (and a great place to show off any newly purchased outfits), Opus. Located fairly close to the villa, Opus Wine Bar & Grill. Opus is the perfect marriage between American cuisine and Turks specialties. Some nights there is a live band playing out on the patio, which is elegantly appointed with fairy lights and uplit palms. We recommend eating outdoors (but bring bug spray!) for ambiance.
WIMCO Foodie Tip: This is the place to get a delicious cocktail. The La Colonial is a delightful blend of gin, ginger, and cucumber.
It’s Saturday, so you could go out again to bars like Vibez Lounge or Infiniti again, or, you could cap the night with another evening by the pool with drinks crafted by the villa butler back at Beach Enclave. Because you have been out shopping all day, I would suggest the latter.
This is the last full day of our long weekend in Turks – so let’s make it all about slowing down with a spa day! Your WIMCO concierge will help you set up your massage times in advance, that way you don’t have to lift a finger while on the island.
By Morning. – Wake up early with the sun, and get ready for a session of sunrise yoga, compliments of Beach Enclave. This yoga session takes place down by the beach. Wear your bathing suit underneath for a quick dip in the water afterward! Once back and showered, enjoy another in-villa breakfast with your butler. Starting the day slow, meditative, and intentional will help set a tone of relaxation.
By Afternoon. – Up next, facials and Swedish massages at The Palms’ spa. The Palms is a sizeable resort with an old-Caribbean Barbadian charm. Their spa is set up like a mini temple, with reflecting pools and an overall sense of balance, symmetry, and peace. Once you check in, you will receive a locker that has stowed in it a robe, and shoes that are just your size. Change into those and then head to the waiting area, and listen to the fountains and swaying palms as masseuses and estheticians in pale sage floated their guests from chaise lounge chairs to private rooms.
WIMCO Insider Tip: If you want to learn more about your skin and how to improve its overall quality, get a facial here. The estheticians are very knowledgeable and helpful in letting you know what you are doing well for your skin, and what you need help with.
For lunch, take a pitstop at Shay Cafe, located in the Le Vele Plaza just past the Salt Mills. It’s a great brunch spot with delicious Nutella crepes, oatmeal with banana puree that will blow your mind, and a variety of wraps, paninis, and personal pizzas that will fill you up. Make your lunch to-go and bring it back to the villa for one last beach day. Soak it up while you can!
WIMCO Foodie Tip: Being a brunch joint, Shay Cafe closes on the earlier side. Expect the doors to be closed by 2pm, so schedule your massage to accommodate restaurant hours.
By Evening. – Because this is the last night, let’s celebrate with an intimate private chefs’ dinner back at Beach Enclave. The chefs of Beach Enclave are talented in their craft, and wonderful to be in the company of. I always suggest chatting with your chef after the meal is done – you can learn so much from just a ten minute discussion!
WIMCO Insider Tip: Your WIMCO concierge will help you set up your chef’s dinner ahead of time. Let the know about any dietary restrictions, allergies, or foods that you dislike. The chef will prepare an amazing dish set around those parameters!
Because this is your last night, your butler will create an extra special experience for you. Expect thoughtful floral arrangements, heightened ambiance, and music playing at just the right volume. Sit outside by the firepit and enjoy each other’s company on your last night in Turks & Caicos!
Well, it’s time to go! Once you have packed the car, it’s time to head to the airport. Returning your rental car is easy, as Grace Bay Rentals is right across the way from the entryway to the airport. Make sure to follow instructions from customs, and check a bag if you need to.
So, ready to go?
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