Pretty In Pink

Provo’s Ocean Club Resorts are perfect for a ‘best beach’ vacation

By: Janice Mucalov

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Guests at the Ocean Club resorts on Turks &
Caicos are never far from the sand and shore.
The sand and the sea are why we keep coming here,” the well-tanned woman agreed with her companion, as they debated the merits of best beach spots around the world.

Their conversation drifted over as I sank ankle-deep into sand as soft and white as flour, then waded into water the most vivid shade of turquoise imaginable. Indeed, these are the reasons I too would return to the island of Providenciales (“Provo”) in the Turks & Caicos that, and Ocean Club, which snuggles up to a prime stretch of famous 12-mile Grace Bay beach.

Ocean Club is a charming, unpretentious, condo-style resort boasting more than a 50 percent repeat guest list. It’s the perfect place to send clients who want to simply relax, swim and sun under pink umbrellas in a pretty piece of paradise. The beach is a key draw Conde Nast Traveler ranked Grace Bay the “best beach” in the world. More active clients might also enjoy the islands’ top-ranked scuba diving.

Upon checking in, I discovered that my one-bedroom suite was a comfortable home-away-from-home. Bookshelves in the living room were stuffed with paperbacks, and pink conch shells lined the railing of the huge screened porch. I felt like I was staying at a seaside family cottage, not a resort.

Units at Ocean Club and its sister property Ocean Club West (together called Ocean Club Resorts) range from 400-square-foot studios to 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom suites. The top third-floor units, which have vaulted ceilings with wood beams, are the most desirable. Individually owned, the units are decorated differently; mine featured bright colors in the quilted bedspread and cushions covering the wicker furniture. Another suite I peeked into had plush living room furniture and a Persian carpet covering the pink tile floor. A big bonus, especially for families a large market for Ocean Club Resorts are the full-size washers and dryers found in all units except studios.

With access by cab to a large IGA grocery store, many clients will enjoy the convenience (and cost savings) of cooking in their unit’s fully equipped kitchen. But Ocean Club’s Gecko Grille, one of the best restaurants on the island, is sure to tempt them out for dinner at least once. In a candle-lit setting, either in the sleekly styled, air-conditioned dining room or out in the garden, they can perhaps start with delicious baked escargot with mushrooms and cheese, and then move on to some grilled fresh Caicos lobster tail on a bed of linguine.

The very casual Cabana Bar & Grille by the beach pool is a good place for lunch, especially conch fritters washed down by the local Turkshead lager. When the beach chair beckons again, clients need simply to kick off their flip flops by the side of the wooden stairs leading down to the sand to reclaim their place in the sun.

Other amenities offered at Ocean Club include free high-speed Internet (there are Wi-Fi hotspots by the pools) a supervised children’s program, a small fitness room and spa services.

The Turks & Caicos and Provo in particular is currently undergoing a construction boom in the high-end luxury market. Ocean Club Resorts is a moderately priced but good quality alternative.


Ocean Club or Ocean Club West ?

How do clients choose between Ocean Club and Ocean Club West?

Both look similar with the same pink-and-white, Caribbean-style architecture. But Ocean Club West, also fronting Grace Bay beach just a mile away from Ocean Club, is newer than Ocean Club and has an attractive winding pool with bridges and lush landscaping. It offers more studios and studio suites, which at 900- and 1,100-square feet, respectively, are larger than those at Ocean Club. It also tends to attract more families with young children, while boomer-aged couples gravitate toward Ocean Club and, in particular, its popular Cabana beach bar which is a lively gathering place at sunset.

I preferred Ocean Club, even though it’s older and a little faded (the paint was peeling in my bathtub) I liked its wider beach better and the fine dining Gecko Grille restaurant is on property. But whatever the choice, staying at one offers clients privileges at both, and a free shuttle every 30 minutes connects the two properties.


Ocean Club Resorts

Commission: 12.5 percent on nightly rates