What is your dream beach? A hard question to answer perhaps? For some it may be a coral bottom with high rolling waves ideal for surfing. Others may desire heavy doses of wind to propel a kite-board to its fullest. How about soft delicate sand and beautiful calm blue waters? If a picture postcard beach is high on the agenda then one of the best places in the world to find this is Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. Nestled in the Atlantic and, in reality an extension of the Bahamas island chain, Turks and Caicos is a high-class destination geared toward the rich and the ready-to-spend. Everything about Turks and Caicos exudes opulence, from the fine dining to the five-star accommodation. A great destination for families, the wide beaches make a wonderful playground for children. Ocean Club Resorts, located on Grace Bay Beach, make the perfect choice for a tremendous family Caribbean escape.Ocean Club Resorts are based on the formula of a series of privately owned condominiums with the added benefit of resort amenities. The two centre resort, with properties situated one mile apart directly on the sands of Grace Bay (Ocean Club and Ocean Club West), is the ideal base for families wanting to make the most of Turks and Caicos. Ocean Clubs Resorts has a vast variety of tricks up its sleeve all geared toward turning a mere holiday in the sun into an unforgettable escapade in luxury and frivolity!
The rooms are something of an attraction in themselves. Mine was a giant affair fully equipped with everything a family (or couple) could ever need during a luxury holiday. The one-bedroom deluxe suite came with a complete kitchen, dining area, living room, separate bedroom with ensuite facilities and a washer/dryer. All in all engulfing some 1,100 square feet! Each ‘apartment’ is individually decorated so retaining a homely yet tasteful appeal.
The all-suite resort is endorsed for the family by its General Manager, who himself is a father of two, Tom Lewis. He believes that; “kids love it here,” he adds that, “between the two resorts families have three pools to play in and 12 miles of beach to run around on, they have a ball!”
Tom is a friendly character who aims to make each and everyone of his guests feel right at home. He explained over breakfast that the resorts would make an excellent investment opportunity for British businessman/women owing to the strong pound. “We don’t see as many European visitors as we would like, but now is the perfect time for the British to invest with the pound as strong as it is.” He could be right.
A highlight of having such a prominent position on one of Turks and Caicos’s best beaches are the spectacular sunsets each evening. The view really is jaw dropping with interlaced hues of pinks and violet creating a virtually perfect end to the day. It is also a great opportunity to sip on one of the equally spectacular cocktails that are served up at the Gecko Grille. Seeing the bar at the Gecko Grille is a site to behold in itself.
It is one of the biggest and best in the entire Caribbean and worth tripping to the Turks and Caicos just to sit and drink at! The biggest plug for the bar is its near endless Vodka menu with varieties from every corner of the globe and to suit every pocket. Bar manager Mike, a lively and talkative tome of knowledge on anything wet and alcoholic, will effortlessly guide you to your perfect cocktail, with the obvious being one of his signature martinis. Be warned however, one of Mikes pet hates are those visitors who pull up at the bar and order a top end vodka and then add a mixer; “What’s the point?” he exclaims in his instantly recognisable Now York accent, “why put a sipping vodka in a vodka and coke? It’s a waste of money and good vodka!”
However the vodka served does taste good in one of the endless cocktail creations on offer. And if Vodka isn’t your poison then opt for a tipple of rum, or anything else that springs to mind. For me it had to be Barbancourt on the rocks, Haiti’s best export.
GM Tom Lewis insists; “We’ve compiled an extensive vodka menu and created a few signature cocktails for our clientele. Our goal is always for our guests to feel at home here at Ocean Club - so they can either have their ‘usual’ or treat themselves to something new from our selection”
Of course there is lots more to do at Ocean Club Resorts rather then just drink, including diving, golf and plenty of fine dining ranging from the oceanfront Seaside Cafe (Ocean Club West - the seafood curry is a must) to the magnificent Gecko Grille (the steak could well be one of the best in the Caribbean - have the mighty Porterhouse, marvellous.) However don’t forget that you are on holiday. Another Barbancourt please barman. Cheers.
British Airways now offers a twice-weekly flight to the Turks and Caicos visit www.ba.com
For more information on Ocean Club Resorts visit www.oceanclubresorts.com.
Words and images Ben Kilbey 2005.