My family has had a rough time the last 5 months. My mother has been in critical care since October 2015, and until recently on ventilator support. The last few weeks she has shown some incredible improvement, enough where we felt comfortable going on this vacation which we had planned last September. With all the stress of the last few months between my mom and other family matters, it was such a relief to get a away for a little while.
I was able to find a direct round trip flight in and out of O’Hare/ Providenciales Saturday to Saturday and the cost was not too bad, however the lodging is crazy expensive (they also have a 30% tax on lodging to boot). I painstakingly selected our hotel for this trip some time ago. I wanted to be on the beach with a beach view (and not just in the far horizon). I wanted to be able to sit on the deck and hear the ocean crashing, have coffee, read a book and relax in my PJs if I so choose. I selected Coral Gardens at Grace Bay beach. The room was privately owned and I booked via VBRO 316291. Shortly after booking this, our friends Frank and Ginny decided to come along and they also booked a room in the same building directly above us, from the same owner.
The entire goal of this trip was to relax, so we didn’t plan much and were only looking forward to lounging, eating some good food, reading books and snorkeling. Since our hotel was directly in front of Blight Reef, we were certainly able to do plenty of snorkeling! Lots of brightly colored fish, turtles and creatures were found in this crystal clear ocean. Ginny even saw a reef shark that freaked her and few other people out. The sand was white powder and soft and the beach long and beautiful.
We visited quite a few restaurants during our stay and I found the food to be very good, although very expensive (everything was, even the groceries). We at pizza at Lupos, Ribs at Tiki Hut, Sea food Paella at Mango Reef, Coconut Crusted Grouper at Groupers, a variety of food at Somewhere cafe (this was located right at Coral Gardens) and finally Mahi Mahi at Caicos Cafe. I can honestly say we did not have a bad meal the entire time we were in T&C. Tip: have desert at the restaurant, it was really good each time we opted for it. A few times we went out for ice cream and it really sucked at 3 different places except for Melt, the Ice Cream was good, but very expensive for what you get, coffee there was great though. There is also the Thursday night fish fry which is not to be missed. Local restaurants set up food kiosks at the nearby park and serve local food and beverages right there on the beach, there is a DJ and live local music which goes on until about 10 pm.
This entire trip was almost perfect with one exception, the picture perfect condo I selected with a beautiful view turned out to be infested with Roaches, primarily in the kitchen. We called the management company and they sprayed the next day and we dealt with the aftermath of them coming out to die and cleaning it up. We were good for a day until I saw a dozen or so babies flying out of the fruit basket on the counter, and then more adults emerged shortly after. At that point we were 4 days into our stay and I requested to be moved to a new room. The new room was at the very far end of the resort with a limited view, not exactly what I wanted, and now far away from our friends that were so close before. Needless to say, our first 4 days were very stressful for me as I don’t deal with these types of vermin well. I was paranoid to walk around in the kitchen, and I was scared to death of having them hitch a ride home with us. We shook the heck out of everything before packing up to come home.
I’m not sure how to avoid this situation in the future as I had read all the reviews of the condo and the resort and this did not appear as an issue. Also, our friends in the room above us did not have an issue nor did we in our new room. It seems there was something terribly wrong with the unit we had and I wasn’t interested in sticking around long enough to have them figure out what it was. The management did give us a few nights credit on our stay to compensate, although I did have to negotiate with them from what I thought was a very insulting first offer considering the number of days we dealt with the issue.
This trip certainly didn’t start out to be relaxing but by the last 3 days, we were finally able to unwind and enjoy ourselves on the pristine beaches of Grace Bay