Turks and Caicos Islands/1 update information

19/09/2014 23:41

Written by Bradt Travel Guides

Chapter 1: Background information
Chapter 2: Practical information
Chapter 4: Providenciales
Chapter 5: North, Middle and East Caicos
Chapter 7: The Turks Islands

Chapter 1: Background information

Electricity

p. 61 Should read ‘110-120 volts 60Hz’ (also on p. 2 and inside front cover)

Government and politics

p. 16 Following a Commission of Inquiry into alleged TCI internal government irregularities and in order to introduce necessary reforms the Governor is predicted to declare a temporary partial suspension of the Constitution with effect from 31 May 2009. The action is anticipated to have no direct bearing on tourism.

Chapter 2: Practical information

Getting around

pp. 49–50 Air Turks and Caicos has taken over Sky King. Flights from Providenciales to and from Salt Cay are normally routed through Grand Turk. Operating subject to sea conditions, the thrice-weekly ferry service linking Salt Cay with Grand Turk, journey time approx 1hr, is currently rather quaintly priced – $10 male, $6 female, one-way, under-12s free. Alternatively, the dive companies can arrange passage (contact them directly).

Chapter 4: Providenciales

Getting around

p. 86 On Provo, the Gecko bus has ceased operation.

Where to stay

p. 88 In Providenciales during the last six months, several new accommodation options have opened. These include two adjacent oceanfront condo-resorts in the western section of Grace Bay:

Wymara Resort and Spa (91rooms) Lower Bight Rd; tel: (649) 941 7555; US toll-free tel: 877 774 3253; www.gansevoortturksandcaicos.com. Resort managed by Gansevoort (flagship hotel in the Meatpacking district of Manhattan); über-cool; dining New York style in Bagatelle Bistro; Exhale indoor-outdoor spa; fitness centre. $$$$

West Bay Club (46 suites) Lower Bight Rd; tel: (649) 946 8550, US toll-free tel: 866 607 4156; www.thewestbayclub.com. Atlantic Bar & Grill featuring outdoor cooking station; twist her arm & chef Liz Tracey will gut & prepare a guest-caught fish; Spa Tropique; fitness centre; wedding specials. $$$$

And in central Grace Bay:

Regent Grand (23 suites) Tel: (649) 941 7770, US toll-free tel: 877 537 3314; www.theregentgrand.com. Both this resort & the nearby golf club are managed by the same company, who offer discount green fees & complimentary transportation to & from club for guests. No restaurant yet at this resort; pool bar; on-site Teona Spa; fitness centre; tennis; bicycles. $$$$

A new mid-range option is:

Grace Bay Suites (18 studios, 6 1-bedroom suites) Grace Bay Rd, adjacent to Salt Mills Plaza; tel: (649) 941 7447, US toll-free tel: 877 320 5559 (office open: 8.00–20.00 only); email: info@gracebaysuites.com; www.gracebaysuites.com. Budget deals sometimes available. No sea view but 5-min walk from beach; lift; small pool; well-equipped rooms, each with either balcony or patio; small pool; TV; free WiFi; kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave & coffeemaker. No restaurant but cafés nearby, inc Danny Buoy’s, who will deliver drinks & meals. $$$

The current economic climate notwithstanding, hotel occupancy remains remarkably healthy in TCI, but special offers are sometimes available. In (high season) winter 2009 the pretty Caribbean Paradise Inn (tel: (649) 946 5020; email: inn@paradise.tc; www.caribbeanparadiseinn.com; see page 93), a French-owned boutique hotel only steps away from Grace Bay, was offering spacious doubles, each with leafy balcony or patio, fridge and coffee-maker, for $135 and (plentiful) continental breakfast. Recommended.

For general information regarding discounted hotel rooms, it’s always worth checking, either with the chosen establishment or through the Tourism office, now relocated at Regent Grand Village, Grace Bay (across the street from Salt Mills Plaza, upper floor, enter via stairs at rear; tel: (649) 946 4970; www.turksandcaicostourism.com).

Beaches all-inclusive resort (page 94) has expanded its Pirates’ Island Waterpark, adding a lazy river, surf simulator, new waterslides (now totalling nine), water cannons, pop-up jets and ‘tiny tots’ pool.

Where to eat and drink

p. 96 In Provo, new restaurants include:

Lemon Café Grace Bay Village; tel: (649) 942 4059; www.facebook.com/LemonCafe; open:11.00–15.00 & 18.00–22.00 Mon–Sat. Moroccan cuisine: tagines, merguez sausage, etc. $$$

Opus Formerly Gecko Grill at Ocean Club East; tel: (649) 946 5885; http://oceanclubresorts.com; open: until 23.00 daily. International/Caribbean cuisine; extensive wine bar. $$

Chez Wou Previously Hey José; Unit R—11, Central Sq, Leeward Hwy; tel: (649) 941 7203; open: 11.30–15.00 & 17.00–23.00 daily. Wide selection of Chinese dishes: stir fry; noodles; rice; with seafood, pork, chicken or tofu. M/card & Visa accepted. $$

JoJo’s Café Windsong Resort, Stubbs Rd; tel: (649) 941 7700. Salads; toasted sandwiches; pizza.

Carambola Airport Hotel Tel: (649) 946 8122. Shrimp tempura; grouper; pork chops. $$

(The two below are not new but were previously not mentioned:)

Seaside Café at Ocean Club West Tel: (649) 946 5886; open: 07.00–21.00 daily, happy hour 16.00–18.00. Open to non-residents; access from the beach; great breakfast; lunch & early dinner. $$

Caribbean Delight Open: 08.00–21.00 daily. A small take-away in Neptune Court, Dolphin Road (adjacent to Grace Bay Pharmacy) serves b/fast, lunch (lobster salad; chicken sandwich; shrimp pasta) & early dinner; some tables & seating available in the courtyard. $

p. 99 Gilley’s at Leeward marina has closed. Gilley’s at Providenciales airport remains open; info is unchanged.

Shopping

Food and drink

p. 103 In March 2009, a branch of IGA supermarket, Graceway Gourmet opened in the central area of Grace Bay (adjacent to Neptune Court, on Dolphin Rd; open: 09.00–21.00). Conveniently located for self-caterers in the beach resorts it carries a wide selection of fresh produce and prepared foods.

‘Fresh Bakery & Bistro’ (tel: (649) 345 4745; email: info@freshprovo.com; open: 07.00–19.00 Mon–Fri; 07.00–18.00 Sat; closed Sun) recently opened at Prestige Place on Grace Bay Road, opposite the Casablanca Casino. Cakes, breads, soups, sandwiches, hot lunch; eat-in/take-out; catering; deliveries. 15% discount on bakery goods between 16.00–18.00.

Other practicalities

Communications

p. 106 An internet facility close to Provo airport: JSD Internet Café (Walkin Marine Building #1; Old Airport Rd; email: jsdproducts@tciway.tc; open: 09.00–21.00 Mon–Sat, 10.00–16.00 Sun; $5 first hr & $2 per subsequent hr).

Medical facilities

p. 106 In addition to Grace Bay Medical Centre (GP & nurse normally available 08.00–17.00 Mon–Fri; 08.00–13.00 Sat; closed Sun), Neptune Court complex also includes a veterinary surgery; and LENS medicaleye clinic (Unit 101; tel: (649) 941 5983; mobile: (649) 244 2340; email: lensdoctors@yahoo.com; open: 08.30–17.30 MonSat); Amex, Visa and M/C accepted; optometrist in attendance.

What to see and do

National Environmental Centre

p. 119 Opposite the National Environmental Centre, a spacious beachfront recreational space, The Bight Park, is now operational, featuring a botanical garden, children’s playground, public lavatories, picnic area and car park, giving open access to Princess Alexandra Marine Park and its great snorkeing.

Chapter 5: North, Middle and East Caicos

Middle Caicos

Where to eat and drink

p. 135 Daniel’s Café has new hours. Now open: 11.00–20.00 Thu (fish fry); 11.00–20.00 Fri (lunch & dinner-with-music; lobster tails); 07.00–22.00 Sat, all day ‘full-works’; 10.00–15.00 Sun (brunch/lunch inc. in season, lobster many ways), freshly baked bread; closed Mon–Wed.

Shopping and other practicalities

p. 135 Middle Caicos Co-op has new hours. Now open: 10.00–16.00 Thu–Sat (or by appt; group visits; handicraft demonstrations).

Activities

p. 135 Middle Caicos Sailing Association, on the first Saturday of each month, holds demonstrations and instruction with model boats on beautiful Bambarra Beach from 13.00–16.00.

Chapter 7: The Turks Islands

Grand Turk

Getting there by air

p. 159 Air Turks and Caicos has taken over SkyKing. Flights from Providenciales to and from Salt Cay are normally routed through Grand Turk. Operating subject to sea conditions, the thrice-weekly ferry service linking Salt Cay with Grand Turk, journey time approx 1hr, is currently rather quaintly priced – $10 male, $6 female, one-way, under-12s free. Alternatively the dive companies can arrange passage (contact them direct).

Getting around by taxi

pp. 161–2 Non-cruise visitors to Grand Turk should note that it’s difficult to find a taxi for hire when a ship is in port. Advance booking is therefore recommended but unfortunately not foolproof.

Where to stay

p. 162 As a result of severe damage from Hurricane Ike in autumn 2008, the Grand Turk Inn sadly has closed.

Salt Cay

Rumoured development plans for lonely Salt Cay should become clearer; meanwhile, the adventurous in search of a time-locked experience should not leave it too long.

Where to stay

pp. 176–7 Windmills Plantation too is now unlikely to be re-opened following damage from the hurricane.

Where to eat and drink

p. 178 The Green Flash Café was destroyed by Hurricane Ike and so far there is no indication whether it will be rebuilt.

Delicious home-baked bread is available to order from both Netty’s, across from Island Thyme restaurant, and Pat Simmons’s Island Store on Victoria Street.

Activities

p. 180 It should be noted that the shallow South Creek is an excellent spot for wading and picnicking, and especially good for very small children. There’s very little shade, so go prepared. Don’t miss the lovely old Government House nearby. A small swimming hole is hidden in the rocks beyond the casuarina trees just north of the White House.

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