Date of Trip: November 2008
PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
On November 11, we went to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands for eleven days. We had a more than great time there.
We left from Syracuse, NY and had a change of planes in Charlotte, NC all on US Air. The airline got us to and from our destination without any issues of being late or cancellations. We are always quite pleased with US Air. We got to the Providenciales International Airport about 2:00 pm, cleared customs/immigration and proceeded to pick-up our luggage. So far, so good, everything was going fine. The immigration officials (s) stamped our passports, and we then jumped into a taxi, and we were on our way to the hotel, which was the Comfort Suites.
I was a bit concerned with a gay couple going to the Turks and Caicos Islands for such a lengthy period of time, being that this island is not really listed as “gay friendly”, but then again it wasn’t listed as not being “gay friendly” either. It soon appeared that whether being gay or straight there made no difference at all. There really isn’t a per say “gay scene” there; Provo is a very small city.
Our stay at the Comfort Suites Hotel for 10 nights/11 days was just fine. The rooms are very clean as is the entire hotel and its grounds, and a decent breakfast buffet comes with the room daily. The breakfast certainly helps with not going out to have breakfast every morning at one of the restaurants on Grace Bay Road. The majority of the restaurants and touristy type shops and hotels are on Grace Bay Road, or just right off from it. The main highway in Providenciales is the Leeward Highway, which runs from the airport to Grace Bay Road.
A day or two before we left we went to a restaurant closer in the little town of Provo and had lunch there at Mackey’s Cafe. The food there was very good. This restaurant was also very clean, and operated by a Dominican family. If you are going to the Turks and Caicos Islands, you may want to give Mackey’s Cafe’ a try for lunch one day.
Since I am on the topic of food. There are several great places to go out and eat in Provo, from all different ranges in price. We dined often at Jimmy’s Dive-In and Calico Jack’s Restaurant. Each of these places is a restaurant with a full-service bar and nightlife area. Jimmy’s has better food and just an overall better ambiance than Calico Jack’s. Oh’ yeah, better looking waiters too!!!! At Jimmy’s Dive-In, you can get these huge cheeseburgers, about 1 pound of beef with fries for $11.95. In the Turks and Caicos Islands that is a decent price for dining out. They have a vast menu at Jimmy’s and it we were never disappointed with our food. A majority of the restaurants are located in what is called the Port of Calls, which is just across the parking lot from the Comfort Suites Hotel. At the Port of Calls, we had either lunch of dinner at Calico Jack’s, Jimmy’s Dive-In, or The Big Bamboo.
Also, there is a great ice cream parlor in the Port of Calls, called, Giggles. Great, excellent ice cream!!!!!! Another couple of nights we had dinner at a place called Pizza Pizza and Danny Buoy’s. Danny’s is an irish pub style restaurant. They keep their cocktail lounge/bar open until 3:00 am or later during the weekends. It is probably the only place in Provo that stays open that late.
It should be known that the Turks and Caicos Islands is not known for late night partying as is Puerto Rico, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, or Jamaica. Most of the stores are closed by 6:00 pm.
There is a convenience/drug store across the street from the Comfort Suites that charges relatively high prices for most items in the store. We purchased some suntan lotion in there for $11.95, which we could have purchased at Target for $5.95. There are several stores on Grace Bay Road to do some souvenir shopping. For example, there is Mama’s, which is a rather large store with lots and lots of stuff in it, and is operated by two sisters from the island. Mama’s is located in the Port of Calls plaza. Right across the courtyard from Mama’s is Marilyn’s, she has great deals also, with a higher quality of t-shirts and tank tops. The Dive-Provo Shop is one of the first shops that you will notice when leaving the hotel, and they arrange and host diving trips within the island, and have a decent selection of swimwear, some souvenirs, and t-shirts, etc to choose from. Actually, we made purchases at each of these stores.
About a fifteen to twenty minute walk from the hotel is the Casablanca Casino. This casino is fairly small, but clean, modern and with a friendly staff. We walked up a couple of nights. There is a brand new modern new-wave style deli right across the street from this casino with very good sandwiches and pastries. It is worth a trip here for lunch.
There are always taxis parked in front of the Comfort Suites, and it is very easy to find one in Provo to get around. Also, there is a car rental and bicycle and motor bike rental place right next door to the hotel, near the German Consulate. I think that the name of the place was Caicos Wheels. In the Turks and Caicos Islands, it is all about the beach. The water there is absolutely beautiful, and the beaches are kept very clean. There really isn’t any trash on the beach. The waters are just that, turquoise. We were very pleased. Every day, even the day that we departed, we went to the beach.
Our last morning there, we went and spent another two or three hours on the beach, had a quick lunch at Jimmy’s and we were off to the room for the completion of packing and then to the airport. Our vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands was brilliant. This is a place where really anybody could come here and you will not go wrong. As in some islands, they are not for everybody, but here in Providenciales, all will be pleased, and want to return.
JAMES DALPHONSE, UTICA, NEW YORK USA