The Turks & Caicos Islands are known for their beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise water, exceptional water sports and posh resorts. The good news for parents is that this tropical island paradise can also be both affordable and family friendly. It all comes down to choosing where to stay.
The Turks & Caicos chain is comprised of forty sun-drenched islands and cays located just southeast of the Bahamas. The peaceful island of Providenciales is home to a widest range of vacation properties in Turks & Caicos, from villas and condominium hotels to all-inclusive properties. For those families seeking casually upscale accommodations with plenty of room to spread out, Ocean Club Resorts is one of the most popular places to stay.
Named as one of the top resorts in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure, Ocean Club Resorts is comprised of two low-rise condominium-style properties, Ocean Club and Ocean Club West. These mid-priced, laid-back resorts are situated on the more secluded northeast section of Grace Bay, which also has the broadest section of beach. Ocean Club West was also named as one of the “Top 25 Hotels for Families in the Caribbean” by TripAdvisor readers.
Here are ten reasons to make Ocean Club Resorts in Turks & Caicos the top choice for your next family vacation:
1. Plentiful Direct Flights. There are many direct flights from the U.S. and Canada to Providenciales, making getting there a breeze for families. American Airlines has two non-stop 90-minute flights each day from Miami to Providenciales. There are also direct flights from Charlotte, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa as well.
2. A Postcard Perfect Beach Setting. Often ranked as the top strands in the Caribbean, the beaches on Providenciales (also known as ‘Provo’) are stunning. Both Ocean Club Resorts are set on the best section of Grace Bay, named the “Number One Beach Destination in the World” by TripAdvisor. Grace Bay is a spectacular 12-mile long stretch of sugar white sand beach, widest along its upper section where Ocean Club Resorts are located. Grace Bay’s beaches have a gradual entry slope and its lapping azure waters are generally very calm, making it an excellent choice for families vacationing with younger children.
3. Loads of Family-Friendly Amenities. Ocean Club Resorts provide the perfect home away from home for families. The properties offer a “Stay at One, Play at Both” program, so guests can easily enjoy the amenities of both resorts. These include three pools, three restaurants, three tennis courts, two spas, fitness centers, a watersports/dive shop, bicycles, free Wi-Fi, a DVD library, daily housekeeping services, babysitting, and more. For families with young children, the resorts provide cribs, pack ‘n plays, high chairs, strollers, baby monitors and more. The two Ocean Club properties are set just an easy 20-minute beach stroll apart. Attentive staff members at both resorts are always readily available to help families, providing excellent service with a smile.
4. Suite Family Rooms. Both Ocean Club Resorts properties are laid back, intimate enclaves with decked out condominium suites and excellent service. Suites are fully furnished and beautifully decorated, ranging in size from studios all the way up to three-bedroom deluxe suites, giving families plenty of room to spread out. Condominiums feature kitchenettes or full kitchens, allowing families to save money on vacation by enjoying meals in the condo or outside on their large screened porch. In-unit washers & dryers are another valuable family friendly feature. Gas grills for cooking out are also located near the pool.
5. Water, Water Everywhere. Vacations are so much easier for families when they can be directly on the water. All of the buildings at Ocean Club Resorts are set around long, lazy river-type pools, making the water just a few steps away. Some condominiums are even situated right on beautiful Grace Bay beach, providing spectacular views.
6. On-Site Family Friendly Restaurants. Families staying at Ocean Club Resorts are in luck. The on-property dining options at both resorts are excellent. Seaside Café at Ocean Club West and the Cabana Bar & Grill at Ocean Club offer casual beachfront dining with a Caribbean flair. Special dinners on the sand and evening s’mores experiences on the beach can be arranged as well. For a special night out, head to the award-winning Opus Wine-Bar-Grille - an upscale, fine dining spot at the Ocean Club. This restaurant features a lovely outdoor garden setting with a beautiful tree lit courtyard, superb grilled lobster and seafood, and an outstanding wine and spirits list. Children’s menus are available at all three dining spots.
7. Easy Access. There’s something nice about being able to stroll pretty much everywhere on vacation. Guests at Ocean Club West are located within easy walking distance of a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and even a major grocery store. Both resorts have helpful on-site staff that can provide assistance and help arrange tours and transportation, too. There’s even a convenient shuttle bus to transport guests between properties, day or night. Spa Tropique, Provo’s premier spa, is located at Ocean Club West and provides luxuriously relaxing massages, facials, body treatments and more. Golf aficionados will be happy to know that a top-flight 18-hole championship golf course, the Provo Golf Club, is located right near the Ocean Club as well.
8. Ample Dining Options. Providenciales is a vacation destination that will keep even the pickiest eaters and gourmet diners happy. While many top restaurants are located on property or within easy walking distance of major resorts, a few require transportation or a rental car. One first-rate option for eating out under the stars is the deck-style Caicos Café, situated across the street from Ocean Club West. Located a bit further out, Da Conch Shack is another “must do” dining spot. Named “One of the World’s Best Beach Restaurants” by the BBC, Da Conch Shack is situated directly on a lovely stretch of beach. Here, families can sample every type of preparation of fresh conch imaginable - all while sitting at palm-shaded picnic tables overlooking the turquoise sea.
9. Outstanding Water Sports. For the best Turks & Caicos has to offer, get out on the water. The reefs around Provo are spectacular and the water is so clear, making it a great destination for snorkeling and diving. Water Play Provo at the Ocean Club offers lots of exciting options such as Stand Up Paddleboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking through the mangrove areas, snorkeling and more. Diving excursions, deep sea fishing, and other tours are also available through the dive shop located at Ocean Club West.
10. Wild Adventures. Family vacationers will find lots of opportunities to learn about nature in Turks & Caicos. Ocean Club Resorts’ exclusive SeaFari Program teaches young guests about the plants and wildlife found at both properties. Families will receive a SeaFari Guidebook when they arrive at their resort. Once kids complete the SeaFari tasks contained in the guidebook and return it to their front desk, they’ll receive an explorer prize badge based on their score. Exciting attractions await off-property as well. Families and those who can’t get enough of all things conch can stop by the Caicos Conch Farm to learn more about those sea creatures and their fragile existence. Those craving a truly memorable experience can head out on the 70-foot sailing schooner Atabeyra for a half- or full day of exploration. On their sailing trip, families can go snorkeling, stroll along deserted beaches hunting for sand dollars, and visit the nature reserve at Little Water Cay (also known as ‘Iguana Island’) to see the Rock Iguanas. Keep an eye out for JoJo, a wild ambassador-type Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin that has been swimming with residents and Grace Bay vacationers for over thirty years. JoJo prefers the company of humans to other dolphins and has been declared a National Treasure by the Turks & Caicos Islands.
The next time a tropical island vacation is atop your family’s list of getaways, head to Ocean Club Resorts. It’s the perfect oasis for families to enjoy a little piece of paradise, reconnect and play together. To experience an Ocean Club Resorts vacation through pictures, check out this Pinterest board.
Ocean Club condominiums are individually owned, so amenities and decorating styles may be slightly different. All suites must meet a certain standard, however. If there are certain features that are important to you - such as being on the ground floor, having a bathtub, a particular view, or a certain array of furniture, talk with the Ocean Club staff and they will help you book the right unit for your family.
Rental cars are readily available on the island and can be a good idea if your family is planning on doing a lot of sightseeing. If you’re coming down during high season (generally November through April), make sure to make your car reservations at the same time that you book your airfare to ensure availability. Remember, all cars drive on the left in Turks & Caicos. If you simply want to get from the airport to the resort, make a reservation with Virgil’s Taxi Service and they’ll be there to meet you.