> Destinations > Turks & Caicos Islands > Trip Reports > Trip Report
This is a report from our trip to the Club Med Turkoise on the island of
Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos islands at the end of May 00 (from
the 15 to the 29). My wife and I are French Canadians in their early 30s,
and we currently live in Colorado. This was our first all-inclusive
vacation and our second time in the Caribbean. Our first Caribbean trip
was to Hotel Mont Vernon on St. Martin at the end of May 98.
Overall, we are happy with our vacation, but are not sure that we
would go back to a Club Med for two weeks. My wife found it too
structured to really relax. We feel that a week in the high energy of the
club with another week to relax (say at the Grace Bay Beach Club) would
have been perfect.
The Turks and Caicos islands are still fairly undeveloped. Provo has the
amazing 12 miles long Grace Bay beach. For most of our trip, this beach
was deserted (except in front of Club Med, Allegro, and Beaches). Unfortunately,
the water at this beach was infested with baby jellyfish during our stay. The
unusual amount of these unpleasant creatures was caused by, apparently,
colder winter/spring weather.
Our first impression of the Club was that it is just one big frat party.
Our more lasting impression is that it is a Club geared toward adult singles
who want to have a good time and are into sports. For our stay, I would put
the average age of the guests (GMs) to be between 25 and 30, with a
majority of women (65 percent women and 35 percent men, no kidding). A
large portion (over 50 percent) of GMs were from New York (there is a
direct charter from NY), and the rest from California, Canada, and Europe.
Most of these people were there to have fun and were polite. So, it's
like a big frat party with well behaved polite people.
The staff (GOs) were really nice and helpful. The GOs are mostly men, and a
large proportion of them are French Canadian (Quebecers), which made us really
happy. The sports GOs were really knowledgeable. During our stay, I had fun
beginners tennis and sailing lessons. Most people raved about the water-skiing
The club is really clean and newly renovated (the cleaning staff does a good
job). The pool is big enough to do laps, but it is mostly used by leisure
swimmers or water-polo. The gym is small, but sufficient. There are 2
threadmills, 2 bikes, and an hybrid stair/skiing machine (?). There also is
some free weights and cybex equipments. The sailing, tennis, volleyball,
basketball, circus, and hockey equipments are also just fine. Yes hockey,
well street hockey. Actually, my best memories of the club involve
playing street hockey with retired NHL superstar Glenn Anderson (who owns
a house on the island).
The accommodations are really basic, but you do not go to Club Med to spend
time in your room. The windows on the outside world are small, and our
views were not worth talking about. The interior decoration is absent. The
room had a shower only, a television with cable, a telephone, and a hair
dryer. The King size bed was really twin beds put together. Mine was
crooked: the right side was a good 2 inches higher than the left side, so
that I kept rolling on my wife's part of the bed. This was not really a
problem as we have been married for only two years :-). As I understand
it to be the case on most caribbean islands, there were some mosquitos
and ants in the room, but nothing to complain about. Our room was also
fairly quiet: there were no noise coming from the bar/disco area.
Overall, it was a correct place to sleep and shower.
The club has two bars. The main bar opens on the pool, while the other bar
(Sharkeys) opens on the beach. The beach bar seemed occupied mostly between
2am and 5am... The club does not include booze in the package. That is,
outside of the restaurants, you need to purchase your drinks via bar books.
A note of caution, on this island, drinking is expensive: beer and margaritas
were more that $4 each. Was carrying around the little bar book a problem? Yes,
but we were happy not to be subsidizing other people's drinking.
The disco opens at midnight, but we were in bed by then. During our stay,
some celebrities (Alan Thick, Ian Ziering, and others) partied at the
disco one evening. They were in town for a charity golf tournament. The
evening entertainment consisted of shows that were fun, but not really
serious. I had to participate in the GM's show, which basically involved
getting undressed on the stage with 5 other guys to the sound of Macho Man
(we did not go full monty).
The club has two restaurant: the main buffet area and a sit down one
called the Grill. For this type of resort, I was impressed with the
quality of the food. After all, this is a cafeteria. But if the cafeteria
at school had been that good, I would be a happy overweight man. Note that
tap beer (Miller light) and house wines (1 red, 1 rose, and 2 whites) are
included with lunch and dinner. The main buffet restaurant hosts
breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For all three meals, the choices are varied
and excellent. For dinner, the buffet has a theme that changes daily.
Also, in the evening, the dining area is separated between singles and
couples. They sit you at tables of 8, so you get to meet other GMs. The
dining area gets really noisy in the couple's section, but nothing
compared to the single's section.
Over the two weeks, we visited the Grill about 5 times. It is a more
conventional restaurant, and it is only open for dinner. The Grill' menu
changes daily. It usually consisted of an appetizer, a choice of entrees,
and desserts. The entrees generally were one meat and one fish. Here, we
were usually seated in a table for two, and a waiter would bring
appetizer, entree, and dessert. The rest (salad, bread, and cheese) was
buffet style. The food is not noticeably better than in the buffet
section, but it offers a quiet and intimate atmosphere.
We did three excursions during our stay. The first one was a beach drop
for $150. Basically, they bring you to a small deserted beach and provide
beach chairs, umbrella, and lunch. We had fun, but the beach was not that
pretty and not that deserted. We saw boats and people walking on the island.
Most of the time, however, it was the two of us, the beach, and three iguanas
(which seemed really attracted by us and our food). Overall fun, but not worth
$150. The second excursion was the `cave safari' for $250 per couple. This
excursion offers a variety of activities. We took a long boat ride to one of the
island where the caves are located (I don't remember which island). These were
inhabited by natives a long time ago. We had lunch on an amazing beach. We
snorkelled some cool reefs. Overall fair pricing. The third and by far the best
excursion was a day snorkelling trip to French Cay for $250. This required an
long boat ride to French Cay. On our way there, we saw a school of dolphins:
unbelievably cool. The snorkelling was excellent. We saw cool reefs, tons of
and the occasional stingray.
Finally, I organized this trip via the phone with Club Med, after visiting their
webpage and asking for a quote via the web. Both the web and phone services were
efficient. Club Med provided airfare (with American) and two week accommodations
for two at their all-inclusive Club Med Turkoise for less than $5000.00. This
also included transfer between the airport and the club. The travel plans were
from Denver to Providenciales via Miami. The costs of bar books, excursions, and
little gifts added another $1000.00. Thus, a total costs of $6000.00: A great
Thanks to Martin for this trip report ...