For our 15th wedding anniversary, Dave and I traveled to the much buzzed about Turks and Caicos for five days of all-inclusive relaxation. We went against our usual travel style of finding off-the-beaten path, a la carte places and cramming each day to the fullest, in exchange for an easy like Sunday morning experience.
Coming from Asheville, we drove to Charlotte, dropped the kids with their grandparents and took an easy and very affordable non-stop flight to Providenciales. From the airport, there’s really not a spot on the island that’s more than a 20-minute drive. We were up at 6am in North Carolina and on the beach sipping cocktails by noon.
Where We Stayed
After way too much research, I booked us at The Beach House, named in 2016 as one of the best all-inclusive Turks and Caicos resorts by Travel + Leisure. We wanted all-inclusive for the convenience and because our bar bill would be astronomical otherwise, but the foodie in me was resistant because I usually love trying local cuisine in all its shapes and sizes when I travel. But “easy” was the key word for this trip, and The Beach House boasts “The only adults-only boutique all-inclusive resort on Grace Bay Beach, with a small culinary obsession” in its Instagram bio. And then there was a 40% off promo due to the off-season. I was sold.
The Beach House is a high-end, adults-only resort, meaning we were surrounded by likeminded people who did not want to hear shrieking toddlers — be it screams of delight or terror. Most of these guests were more likely celebrating their 25th anniversaries rather than their 15th (actually one couple was doing just that) but there was one younger couple in their twenties on their honeymoon. They tagged The Beach House in their vacation photo and the resort put it on their official Instagram page and website… but somehow our hashtagged photo didn’t make it?? Whaaaat??? #celestechallengeaccepted
What I Loved
First, let me say that even with the huge discount, we still spent twice as much on this trip as we have on any other. We are wanderlusters on a budget, but what better excuse to go all out than your 15-year wedding anniversary? My expectations were high, and for the most part they were met if not exceeded.
The Beach House staff was attentive, friendly, and upgraded us from our one-bedroom poolside no-view suite to a two-bedroom top-floor oceanfront suite. I knew from their website that the rooms were well-appointed, and stocked with beer, wine, soda and water 24/7, but it was a lot cooler to experience it in person.
The butler, Charles, was friendly, funny, and made a point of knowing us by face and name immediately — this was not his first rodeo. But it was my first time at a resort with a butler and I felt like Lady Gaga at the Oscars (or how I’m guessing she will feel when she goes this year. She’s going to kill it).
The liquor in our all-inclusive cocktails was top-shelf: Patron in our margaritas, Grey Goose in our martinis. We definitely drank our money’s worth.
My favorite luxury amenity was The Flag. Each suite (which have names, not numbers) has its assigned cushy private beach chairs and umbrella. Ours was Enchanted:) Whenever you want something, be it a cocktail, lunch or snack, you plant your flag in the sand, and a staff member will come by and bring you whatever you want. I thought this was the caterpillar’s kimono. I need a flag at home. I need top-shelf liquor at home. But I digress…
The absolute best thing about our trip was the beach itself. The water was absolutely gorgeous in multiple shades of blue that would make anyone who isn’t there green with envy. I could borrow the resort’s snorkeling equipment, walk literally one minute down the beach and experience some pretty incredible snorkeling at Coral Gardens.
What I Didn’t Love As Much
I know I’m super picky and my expectations were high, but I’m afraid I was let down by the food, and in this case it was more due to the marketing of the food. I feel like I’m not the first one to say this, because since I booked our stay in the summer, I see that the content on the website has changed (no more lionfish ceviche). One of the main draws to this particular place for me was the way they marketed it for the culinary-obsessed — an all-inclusive resort for foodies. If they hadn’t touted that particular part, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed. But as it was, the cuisine was akin to cruise food. There was a lot of heavier common denominator crowd pleasers on the menu. For lunch: loaded nachos, cheeseburgers, salad nicoise, things I don’t care to eat in the heat in my bikini. I would’ve loved to see a fish taco on there or a bright, fresh ceviche. And while I love a good conch (enter your conch/cock jokes here), I can only eat conch fritters so many days in a row. Again, bikini and heat. I did LOVE the soups at dinner, both in taste and presentation. Dave said I shouldn’t expect so much from an all-inclusive and that’s what you get, but I disagree. This was really my only issue. But being that for us this was such an expensive trip, and being that I live to eat, it was quite the issue. I think I have a future as a traveling menu consultant. If you’d like to hire me, I’m more than happy to come to your hotel or resort, all expenses paid, eat and drink everything you have, and give you my expert opinion. I’m so not kidding. Did I mention I’m looking for a job?
We still had an amazing time, truly relaxed, and we’d totally go back to T+C — although we’ll most likely have kids in tow which means no Beach House. But if you’re looking for a romantic, luxury, no-kids getaway with great cocktails and service, and aren’t an insanely fussy foodie, two tanned thumbs-up for The Beach House.
Recommended links for the Turks & Caicos area: The Beach House, Somewhere Cafe and Lounge, Pelican Beach, Bonefish Unlimited