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Grace Bay Club’s Effortless Luxury Still Sets the Standard on Turks and Caicos

From the beach to the restaurants, Provo’s first luxury resort remains one of the greatest.

February 19, 2020
Grace Bay Club
The location draws people in, but it’s the style and considerable comfort that keeps them coming back to Grace Bay Club year after year. Grace Bay Club

Whether it’s your first trip to Grace Bay Club or your fifth, chances are, it won’t be your last. One reason is things that never change: The pitch-perfect staff. The welcoming rum punch at check-in. Uninterrupted views of an ocean so saturated in turquoise that is seems otherworldly and, in true Wizard of Oz style, seems to transform the world from black and white to color.

Grace Bay Club pool
Everything about Grace Bay Club, from the lobby to the pools and beyond, was designed in a way that makes guests stop and stare. Grace Bay Club

Though Grace Bay Club has expanded over the past 27 years from 21-rooms to just over a hundred and has added pools, restaurants and other amenities, the resort still feels like an intimate getaway where everything is easy. Housekeepers, for instance, leave extra coffee cream when they notice you’ve used all of yours; at the spa, staff members accommodate changing schedules, late requests and other hurdles with calm smiles and not a hint of frustration.

Using one of the free bikes is as simple as hopping aboard one of the two-wheelers parked in their unlocked corral: there’s no paperwork to fill out, no deposit to leave and no waiver to sign. The resort assumes you’ll bring it back. It’s a lovely attitude that makes you want to return again and again.

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Grace Bay Beach
There’s little to say about Grace Bay Beach that it doesn’t say for itself. Shutterstock

Beach access is also easy-peasy. Out your door, past a pool and boom—you’re on the sand, via one of a half-dozen sandy on-ramps marked by neat piles of mandals and flip flops. There’s no lobby to pass through, no giant pool deck to navigate or pathways that force you to walk through playgrounds, bars and clusters of private cabanas on your way to the beach. Towel stations are stocked with cool water and free sunscreen; attendants are on hand to set up your umbrella-shaded beach camp and deliver food, libations and complimentary sweet treats like tiny popsicles and apricot sorbet.

Grace Bay Beach itself is wide, gorgeous and less crowded than you might think. Though technically just over three miles long, adjoining Leeward Beach to the north and The Bight to the south create an uninterrupted sweep of ivory sand that unspools for seven glorious miles. The water, a blue so pure and bright, is, surprisingly, not the Caribbean, but the Atlantic, dressed to impress. Even better, it is a protected area, meaning motorized personal watercraft are not allowed, fishing is prohibited and boats, which pull into the shore to take snorkelers to the nearby reef, must follow strict wake guidelines.

Infinity Bar
Grace Bay Club’s Infinity Bar is a popular attraction for Instagram-happy visitors across Provo, but the Infinity Restaurant offers way more. Grace Bay Club

Grace Bay Club’s restaurants, which are all open air, take full advantage of the scene. Full breakfast—which is included in the room rate—is served late into the morning at the beachside Grill, which occupies a shady, low-slung deck with direct access to the beach. You can lunch here as well, although most guests choose to have creative tacos—think shrimp with creamy jerk sauce—from the resort’s pop-up taco shack delivered to their chaise lounge.

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Set just off the beach under a halo of rattan lanterns that sway in the breeze, Infinity Restaurant serves small plates, salads and elegant dishes like ravioli stuffed with local lobster and napped with creamy Gouda. The restaurant takes its name from the Infinity Bar, a dramatic infinity-edge slab of black granite that extends 90-feet toward the ocean and is the center point of an outdoor lounge that comprises firepits, clusters of seating areas and a covered bar. Laid-back during the week, the lounge comes alive on weekends with live music (or a DJ) and dancing under the stars.

The secret spot is Krave, a covered, 12-seat bar located next to the pool in the Estate section of the resort. At night, local flavors like conch and okra stew, grilled snapper and blackened grouper are served at tables scattered around the pool. Resort guests also have access to Grace’s Cottage, an iconic Providenciales restaurant that’s located just up the beach at the Point Grace Resort, which became part of Grace Bay Resorts in 2018.

When Grace Bay Club opened in 1993, no children were allowed, and that’s still the rule in the hotel building, where room styles range from junior suites to two-bedroom suites. The hotel building’s pool is also child-free and blissfully peaceful. Children are welcome in the villa and estate buildings, where you can choose from junior suites to sprawling multi-bedroom, residence-style spaces with full kitchens and laundry facilities.

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They’re all gorgeous, too, thanks to Thom Filicia’s breezy designs featuring pale fabrics with bright, punchy accents, sleek mid-century touches and eye-catching geometric designs. Even better, every room comes with an ocean view, where you can relax and pretend, just for a little while, that you don’t have to leave.

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