Turks & Caicos: Paradise is Close
Paradise is only a three hour flight from Manhattan. Honest-to-god paradise.
Many Choices for 5-Star Cuisine
Because Grace Bay, where The Somerset is located, is a gorgeous beach with a large selection of romantic restaurants that any NY-foodie would be impressed with by, we tried a new venue each night.
One restaurant that particularly appealed to me was Infiniti at Grace Bay Resorts. What makes this spot particularly striking (beyond the fact that you’re dining right on the beach), is the baskets with lights inside them hung from the trees above. It’s one of the most romantic restaurants I’ve been to in my life. I loved that they have gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, and their pumpkin and gingerbread dessert is to-die-for.
Don’t leave without trying on-the-beach dining. At The Somerset, you can give them advance notice, and a table will be set and waiting for you after sunset, surrounded by the soft glow of tiki torches. The chef will prepare a custom menu and dedicated wait staff will deliver each course. It’s the perfect opportunity to feast, toast and reminisce over Caribbean cuisine with the sound of the surf in the background. A quiet stroll along the beach or a private bonfire for s’mores is the ideal way to conclude the evening.
Plenty of Incredible Activities
The Turks and Caicos Islands offer plenty of opportunities for having fun and is also world-renowned for its clear waters and exceptional scuba diving. Home to the third largest barrier reef system in the world, many old shipwrecks and diverse sea life are also found throughout the islands. Unlike most other tropical destinations, where underwater visibility is only five to ten feet, in Turks and Caicos you can enjoy up to one hundred feet of underwater visibility. This makes a massive difference in the enjoyment-factor of your scuba trip.
Scuba diving with Caicos Adventures was perhaps one of the most unforgettable experiences of this trip. They use top-of the-line scuba gear (no uncomfortable weights or snorkeling fins) and high-end boats, and take you way out to the coral ‘wall’ where the ocean floor drops from 30 feet to a whopping 700 hundreds deep. The coral walls at Grand Turk, Providenciales and West Caicos, are probably the best on the planet. I saw sharks, turtles, huge dog snappers and even heard a whale. I saw countless vibrantly colorful fish that I had never seen before, and schools of tiny fish which strangely reminded me of fairy dust. A truly magical experience indeed.
The snorkel adventure I took with Island Vibe was the absolute highlight of this vacation in Turks & Caicos. They offer half or full day beach snorkeling and sunset cruises. Getting on one of these upscale and super modern boats is like joining a party that never ends. Great music, great drinks, dancing, snorkeling and breath-taking views, these guys know how to entertain. The captains couldn’t have been better. They are very attentive and hospitable, but at the same time are casual and super fun. They make you feel like family.
The snorkel spots were fantastic with great visibility and the private beach gorgeous. The coral was only about 5 feet underwater, so we got an up-close look at several small sharks, stingrays and lots of beautiful, brightly colored fish. You absolutely must bring an underwater camera to capture the terrific underwater views. The delicious conch salad, made from the conch we caught on this very outing, and prepared on a deserted beach, was memorable. I would do this snorkel excursion every day if I could!
When a relaxing massage was what we craved, we called on Spa Tropique to provide a decadent Ooh La La aromatherapy couples massage right in the luxury of our suite. Their top-notch service from start to finish and the treatments I received left me in state of total tranquility. The appointments are very easy to book (the concierge at your hotel will help you out), and they have a nice array of treatments and add-ons. I found myself transformed to a new woman, with every knot and sore on my body worked out. My body and muscles all felt flexible and loose afterwards, and the effect lasted several days. I’m big into using chemical-free products, so I was stoked to find out that they use essential oil infused coconut oil. They have oils with rich island spices and tropical floral essences that nourish, detoxify and rejuvenate your skin for a luxurious 70 minutes.
I definitely recommend and will book another vacation to Turks & Caicos the minute I get another chance. This is the ultimate place to truly indulge yourself, and it’s worth every penny.