A classic Caribbean property perched on one of the top beaches in the world, the Ocean Club Resorts on Providenciales island in the Turks and Caicos offer the epitome of rest and relaxation. Loll on the beach. Stretch out on your private verandah. Sip another fruity umbrella drink. Just be sure to leave your stress and strain at home. Here are five reasons to love these sister resorts.
1. Two Resorts in One
Start with the fact that the resort combines two properties in one: Ocean Club and Ocean Club West, less than a mile apart. With frequent free shuttle service connecting the two, guests can enjoy the services and amenities of both. That includes multiple restaurants and bars, three tennis courts, two fitness centers, a spa, complimentary bikes, an array of water toys, and two pools — one of them a freeform wandering wonder adorned with stone frog waterspouts and crossed by several small footbridges. Plenty of white lounge chairs surrounding the pools guarantees your own place in the sun. Lush foliage embellishes both properties. Brilliant bougainvillea, sunny allamanda and purple wisteria lace low-rise buildings poetically named Sea Angel, Sea Coral, Sea Espirit, and Sea Grape.
2. The Beautiful Beach
Gracefully draped along 3-mile-long Grace Bay Beach, the Ocean Club claims a coveted spot on one of the world’s best beaches, which is also the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands. How spectacular is Grace Bay? Let me count the ways. Sand that is talcum-soft, cool as silk, and blindingly white. Water that is peacock-hued blues and greens, comfortably shallow, and placid enough for toddlers. A beach that is blissfully uncrowded, whistle-clean, and broad as a smile. Plus, rows and rows of signature pink umbrellas, courtesy of the Ocean Club, under which I spent many happy hours gazing out to sea.
3. The Riveting Reef
Divers and snorkelers, rejoice! One of the longest barrier reefs in the world, at 340 miles — which Rodale’s Scuba Diving magazine rates among the top 10 best diving destinations — beckons just offshore. Snorkeling and diving trips are easy from the Ocean Club. Charters and cruises pick you up right on the beach in front of the hotel. And a dazzling world of underwater delights await: purple sea fans, vibrant corals, parrotfish, wrasse, triggerfish, jacks, blue tangs, and brilliant angelfish. Occasional predators, such as reef sharks, barracudas, and stingrays, also make their appearance in these waters.
On my half-day snorkeling foray I lucked into seeing JoJo, the playful Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin who has been an icon here for decades as well as a symbol of marine conservation in the Turks and Caicos. I also spotted critically endangered Turks and Caicos Rock Iguanas at Half Moon Bay, where we lunched on conch plucked fresh from the sea.
4. Three Restaurants
Jerk chicken wrap. Coconut-crusted grouper. Turks & Caicos conch ceviche. These are just some of the tasty island-style dishes available at the Ocean Club’s three dining venues, which offer enough options to keep everyone happy. Start with the fanciest of the three, Opus Wine Bar Grill, which boasts the largest wine list on the island plus 50 varieties of rum. Its setting is the prettiest, too: a soaring pavilion with a center bar flanked by outdoor tables in a courtyard lit with strings of tiny twinkling lights. The Cabana Beach Bar & Grill at Ocean Club and Solana at Ocean Club West, meanwhile, are both casual open-air eateries facing the sea. Cabana features weekly beachside buffets and ribs specials and Solana has a teppanyaki and sushi bar. All three sway to live music several times a week.
5. Spacious Condos
From intimate studios perfect for couples to spacious, three-bedroom condo apartments great for families and groups, all accommodations at Ocean Club are privately owned. As such, they each have individual décor and style, but offer all the comforts of home — especially full-service kitchens or kitchenettes. My large, airy condo came with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, multiple TVs, and a delightful screened-in terrace large enough for oversized lounge furniture and dining table and chairs. It was the perfect place to curl up with a book or sip morning coffee in private, while listening to the trade winds rustle the palms. Ahh!