Yes, my Miami friends, there is a place other than our beloved Bahamas to explore this summer and that place is the Turks and Caicos. Situated on the island of Providenciales is the Ocean Club Resorts. Its two properties, Ocean Club and Ocean Club West are right on the beautiful Grace Bay Beach. Their motto is, “Stay at One, Play at Both.” And boy did I play….and relax.
As I opened the door to my condo, the breeze from the fans mixed with the ocean air eased the Miami tension from my body. The sliding glass doors that spanned the length of the family room and bedroom were opened wide to a screened in porch that led straight onto the beach. No time to unpack as their famous pink umbrellas beckoned me outside where my feet slipped into sand that can only be described as silk.
After a leisurely stroll down the beach, I decided to explore the resort. A quick shuttle ride or a fifteen-minute walk along the water’s edge connects both properties. The accommodations are studio–three bedroom condos decorated with a seaside décor and a private balcony or patio. There are three pools between the resorts and poolside BBQs that guests can use at any time. One pool even has bridges you can swim under! Tennis courts, fitness centers and three award-winning restaurants round out the Ocean Club Resort experience. The Cabana Bar and Grill, Seaside Café and Opus with its tree lit garden lounge and largest wine cellar on the island offer up fresh fish, island spices and of course…conch.
I quickly came to the sad conclusion that there was more to do here than I had time for so I did what anyone would do in my position, I grabbed a frozen drink, sat on the beach and plotted out my next move. I made my way over to Big Blue and went for a kayaking tour amongst the mangroves while my guide gave me a quick lesson on the history of the area. Having worked up an appetite and thirst, da Conch Shack, an open air, landmark restaurant was where I headed. I took a seat at one of the pastel colored tables that dotted the beach, ordered some conch fritters, Jan’s Infamous Rum Punch (CJ, my waiter, warned me, “It’s a creeper”) and lost myself in the crystal clear turquoise water.
The next couple of days I experienced island life at its best. Something not to be missed is riding with Provo Ponies because this is a far cry from your typical trail ride. I cantered on the beach and even rode my horse into the water for us both to cool off. What an amazing feeling! I did a sunset sail onboard the Atabeyra, a 77’ rigged trading schooner. With my feet dangling over the side and the coolness of the setting sun, I welcomed the end to a simply beautiful day.
My last day in paradise was spent just doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I had options: scuba diving, snorkeling, golf, parasailing, paddle boarding or fishing but I picked up my book and ensconced myself in a lounge chair under a pink umbrella. The sound of the waves lulled me to sleep until I awoke with a start. Had I missed my massage appointment? Luckily, I was on time to SpaTropique and that is where I met Demas, my masseur. Let’s just say I left wondering if I had time to get another one before leaving the island.
Well, it happened, my departure day had arrived. I walked outside and onto the silky sand, looked out over the water and said those famous words, “I’ll be back.” (accent included)