When it comes to family travel, the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos has an intimidating reputation: beautiful and serene, yes, but also incredibly upscale. The lineup of resorts on Grace Bay boasts a handful of luxury brand names—great for indulgent getaways like honeymoons, but not so great for families looking for a laid-back, casual place the whole family can enjoy.
But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that mixed in with those ultra-luxe resorts are properties designed with exactly those family clients in mind. Ocean Club Resorts’ two properties on Grace Bay offer condo-style accommodations that are easily configured for any family, all with the same pristine shoreline and convenient location as the budget-busting resorts next door. So don’t let that high-end reputation fool you; when it comes to family travel in Provo, your clients really can have it all.
family-friendly stays Though they’re two separate properties, both Ocean Club and Ocean Club West offer very similar accommodations. Suites here feel less like traditional resort stays and more like a home—and, in fact, many of the condo-style rooms are privately owned vacation properties, set up for owners with families of their own. Convenient amenities including kitchens or kitchenettes and washers and dryers are ideal when traveling with kids who are picky eaters or have a penchant for playing in the mud. All have spacious screened balconies, many offering partial or full oceanfront views, adding extra living space to already spacious living areas.
But the most advantageous aspect of Ocean Club Resorts’ accommodations is their versatility. As anyone who books family travel knows, no two families are alike, and not every family shares the same vacation wants and needs. Parents traveling with toddlers won’t need as much space as families with teens in tow; some siblings need separate rooms; and adding grandparents to the mix can add yet another dimension to the planning process. Ocean Club’s accommodations give you the chance to virtually build your own suite, with rooms ranging from studios to three bedrooms, plus a wide range of interconnecting rooms. Working together with reservations experts, agents can book an ideal room arrangement for any family group.
Ocean Club and Ocean Club West offer similar resort experiences, but their differing locations give each a slight but important change in scenery. Ocean Club, the older of the two, is set on the eastern end of Grace Bay Beach, removed from the strip of boutiques, bars and restaurants, but just across the street from the Provo Golf Club. Ocean Club West, on the other hand, puts visitors closer to the action, with easy walking access throughout the more developed area of the island. Grace Bay Beach isn’t a metropolis, of course, so the two are an easy 10- to 15-minute walk on the beach from each other. And a free shuttle operates transfers between the resorts for any clients who’d rather ride.
out and about The family-friendly ambiance continues outside the rooms. Between the low-rise condo buildings on each side of the property, two free-form swimming pools meander through lush tropical landscaping. Kids can splash around to their hearts’ content as parents soak up the sun on the deck. Plus, the plant life surrounding the pools is home to lizards, frogs and other animals of particular fascination for little ones. It’s not uncommon to witness a kid intently studying a gecko he found along the paved path through the resort.
Kids can get even closer to nature on Grace Bay Beach itself. Its calm waters are safe enough to allow small children to get their feet wet; bigger kids and parents alike can take to the seas with a variety of rentals and tours. Ocean Club offers rentals of motorboats as well as equipment for windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling; Ocean Club West is home to Big Blue Unlimited tours, offering kayaking and snorkeling excursions as well as private charters of catamarans and other boats—all fun ways for parents and kids to spend time together.
Of course, there are also plenty of grownup pursuits here as well, for when parents crave a little time to themselves. Ocean Club’s location right next to the Provo Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course anchored by a clubhouse with a bar and restaurant overlooking its picturesque greens, makes it a convenient choice for anyone hoping to get in a round or two during their stay. Parents can also chill out for an hour or so with a spa treatment at either property’s Spa Tropique, offering massages, manicures and pedicures, wraps, scrubs and more.