For our 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey—yes, more than three decades—a record 600,000 registered voters weighed in. On the islands of Turks & Caicos, your choices focused on the wide expanses of white sand beaches that the British territory is known for. You focused on the best stays in the hotel hotspot around Grace Bay, where to fully unplug as you spend some time on self care, and even a more boutique-y option with fewer than 30 rooms and villas. Good choices, all. As you continue to travel, we continue to listen: Here are the hotels in Turks & Caicos you loved most this year.
Ken Hayden/Courtesy COMO Hotels and Resorts
9. COMO Parrot Cay
The sand at wellness-pioneer COMO Parrot Cay might be the whitest in the Caribbean, but the massages at its Shambhala Retreat are so effective that visitors may spend more time in the treatment rooms than on the beach. That’s more or less what your days will consist of—not to mention biking around the island, snorkeling expeditions, kayaking, and dawdling over long feasts. The only reason to wear a watch is to make sure you don’t miss yoga. For those who prefer their Caribbean hotels a bit more hedonistic, you can always skip the green juice and slurp a mojito at the bar, which Keith Richards has been known to frequent when he’s in residence. The Rolling Stone is just one of the island’s famous homeowners. Donna Karan has called her Balinese-inspired villa on Parrot Cay “a sanctuary where I go to create awareness.” Bruce Willis and Christie Brinkley own estates nearby, which can be rented should you need more space than COMO’s beachfront villas can provide. This is a wide-open, big-hearted place that puts beach life first.
Courtesy Beaches Resorts
8. Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
This mega-resort sets itself apart from other all-inclusive properties throughout the region with its family friendly activities. There is a 45,000-square-foot waterpark and kids clubs for different ages, including one with Caribbean-ified Sesame Street characters, the Xbox Play Lounge, and a teen disco. For the rest of the family, there are 10 swimming pools, 21 restaurants, 15 bars (some of them swim-up), and access to the 12-mile Grace Bay Beach. The 750 rooms are spread across five themed villages, whose architecture represents different regions: France, Italy, Caribbean, Key West, and so on. With 52 room categories, the resort truly offers something for everyone.
Courtesy The Palms Turks and Caicos
7. The Palms Turks & Caicos
Located on Grace Bay in Providenciales, blue skies and blissful white sand views are the hallmarks of this beach resort, perfect for a parents-only getaway or a trip with the kids. Just how perfect, you might ask? Rooms flush with white linens overlook the pristine pool or the ocean, and the three-bedroom Penthouse Suite touts its own private outdoor shower to wash off the wear and tear of a day by the water. Stop to take in views of the crystalline surf at the uncrowded beach, and check in to the award-winning, 25,000-square- foot spa for a Mother of Pearl body exfoliation, delivered with a blend of hand-crushed conch shells and a soothing rain shower. Amenities include bikes to ride into town, just 10 minutes away, and endless opportunities to partake of beach vacation must-dos, like horseback riding, parasailing, tennis, whale watching, and jet-skiing, just to name a few.
Courtesy The Shore Clubs Turks and Caicos
6. The Shore Club Turks & Caicos
Away from the developed chaos of Grace Bay, the Shore Club occupies a prime stretch of Long Bay Beach—stunning but still secluded, and minutes from Provo’s town center. The design is classic without being overly cutesy-colonial, and the dominant color is turquoise, as in the ocean and sky that are visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows with views in which you can just lose yourself. Elsewhere, there are plenty of distractions. Rates include complimentary use of non-motorized water sports equipment, and the bells and whistles include the Dune Spa, a fitness center with a private tennis court and lap pool, three restaurants including the Peruvian-Japanese Sui-Ren and the family-friendly Caribbean-inspired Sea Grapes, a smart boutique, four swimming pools (adults, family, exercise, and a bonus), and a kids club.
Courtesy Grace Bay Resorts
5. Grace Bay Club
Grace Bay Club offers not one, but three distinct accommodations to its discerning guests: the adults-only Hotel building, the family-friendly Villas Suites, and the Estate, a resort within a resort, with exclusive access to dedicated amenities, such as a separate pool, cabanas, and more. Despite catering to different crowds, they do have a few common features, including spectacular oceanfront views and personal concierge service. Head to the oceanfront Infiniti Restaurant & Bar for bites of such fresh local fare as a warm South Caicos lobster salad, garnished with shaved carrots and crispy basil, or the Mahi Mahi carpaccio, with a kick of jalapeño, served to the sound of breaking waves. Looking to stake your umbrella in the sand a little while longer? Rent one of the homes in the Private Villa Collection, a cluster of five freestanding private beachfront residences that come with all the amenities and services of a superior hotel stay, including roundtrip airport transfers, daily housekeeping, and complimentary breakfast.
Courtesy Seven Stars Resort/©Steve Boxall
4. Seven Stars Resort & Spa
A fan-shaped trio of seven-story buildings curve around a beachfront pool and patio at this Grace Bay resort, close to Providenciales’s shopping district. Enormous rooms in soft colors have marble baths and soaking tubs, and prove that bigger does mean better. Staff can be a little slow but always serve with a smile and remember names. Seven Stars dishes up Caribbean-inspired cuisine at dinner, with entrées like house-made stone crab ravioli. The kids’ camp provides diversions such as lizard hunting and sand-castle building. You can also go for a dip in the island’s only heated saltwater pool.
Magda Biernat/Courtesy Wymara Resort & Villas
3. Wymara Resort & Villas
There are no half measures at the lavish Wymara. As soon as you arrive, the dramatic, open-air lobby directs your eye to the 7,000-square-foot infinity pool. They won’t mind if you need to fish your bikini from your carry-on and dive right in after check-in. Later, you might find yourself in a private villa with a wooden terrace perched right over the cerulean sea. Even the most basic rooms delight, with full ocean views, lots of glass, and a cool modern design. The two restaurants bring in Southeast Asian accents to mingle with the local ingredients. One of them, Stelle, earned a Wine Spectator Award for Excellence for its array of bottles meant to pair with Asian spices and flavors.
2. Point Grace
In the midst of the craziness that is Grace Bay, Point Grace still manages to exude a calm, intimate charm. It’s one of the oldest hotels on the beach, and it has a (ahem) grace that few of the big newcomers can match. It has just 28 suites and penthouses, ranging from one to four bedrooms, all with a tropical fruit color palette, overstuffed couches, and colonial touches. When hunger strikes, there’s the cheerful, casual poolside Hutchings Restaurant, but when it’s time for something more sophisticated, Grace’s Cottage is a cozy architectural gem with bright-white gingerbread details and outdoor seating beneath starry skied gazebos. The spa makes perfect sense for the location, as it focuses on thalassotherapy (seawater) treatments.
Courtesy Grace Bay Resorts/©Steve Passmore
1. West Bay Club
You can’t go wrong with this all-suite (all of them oceanfront) paradise. The family-friendly property sits on a vast and quiet stretch of Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos, at a safe remove from the swarms of vacationers in the resort district. It offers a Kids’ Club, one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom suites (all equipped with creature comforts like kitchens, washers, and dryers) and a spa. Throw back a cold one at the resort’s beach bar before you depart on an excursion, orchestrated by one of the resort’s handy concierges: whether you want the best snorkeling in in the country, a day on the green, or the scoop on where to find the best souvenirs for even your pickiest relative, they’ll sort it out for you.