As Caribbean destinations go, it doesn’t get much more luxurious than Providenciales’ Grace Bay Beach. Visitors here spend their time soaking up the sun on its famed powdery shores, browsing the designer labels in its high-end boutiques, and pampering themselves within the confines of the upscale resorts that look out over the sea.
Of course, these are troubled times for the luxury travel market, as more and more clients are scaling back their vacation budges. But that doesn’t mean that Grace Bay is going out of style – thanks, in part, to The Sands At Grace Bay. Enjoying the same location as its pricier neighbors up the road, The Sands offers spacious, well-designed and, most importantly, affordable accommodations that give guests access to the rest of the island’s luxurious attractions as well as options for increasing the value of their stay.
room to relax Stepping into The Sands for the first time, clients feel every bit as pampered as their high-budget counterparts up the beach. The lobby that greets guests upon their arrival is an elegant coral and marble sanctuary, complete with greathouse-style couches and tropical welcome drinks. From there, clients are led on a short stroll through the resort’s lush, tropical gardens, complete with bridges over a tiny stream, to access their guestrooms – spacious accommodations that are the essence of the phrase “home away from home.” Each of the 3-story buildings contains accommodations from studios to 3-bedroom suites, each with all the comforts you’d expect if you were renting your own private villa. Studios come with kitchenettes and sitting areas; some have private balconies looking out over the gardens or the ocean. And the larger suites all contain full kitchens and generously sized screened balconies, with plenty of living space inside as well. In fact, the sheer amount of space available in most of The Sands’ accommodations is its biggest selling point, particularly for the families who make up much of its clientele. A 3-bedroom apartment gives family members their space, whether they’re parents traveling with young and older kids, or a multigenerational group with needs for grandparents, parents and children. Some suites even have multiple outdoor access points, letting young adults come and go from their bedrooms at night without waking up the rest of the group.
Be they studios or 3-bedroom apartments, the accommodations at The Sands share a few key qualities – microwaves, toasters and coffeemakers in the kitchens or kitchenette, Internet access, and Caribbean-styled decor in muted beiges, greens and blues. Beyond that, however, each room is unique. Some have private, screen balconies, some have more than one door to the outside, some have washers and dryers. For this reason, the best way to sell the resort is to see it for yourself, keeping potential clients in mind. In fact, the resort offers a 40 percent discount off of rack rates for travel agents (black-out dates apply).
onsite savings Beyond The Sands’ well-designed accommodations, clients have plenty to look forward to at the resort. Most guests spend their time here relaxing by the side of the free-form swimming pool, or beneath one of the thatched huts lining the shores of Grace Bay Beach. Either place is ideal for kids of any age, as the pool is shallow enough for beginner swimmers and the waters of Grace Bay are characteristically gentle. Older, more active kids may want to take advantage of the watersports available for free at the resort, including kayaks and windsurfing equipment. One of Grace Bay’s more popular snorkeling spots sits just a short walk down the beach from the resort. Guests can elect to sail there by hobie cat then park the hobie on the beach while they take a look around beneath the surface of the water. All-weather tennis courts are available to guests until as late as 11 p.m., fully lit for nighttime play. And when guests decide to venture beyond the resort, The Sands offers bicycle for rent, giving guests a cheap and easy way to travel to the surrounding shops and restaurants.
Not that they need to travel far to find a good meal. Hemingway’s, the resort’s onsite restaurant and bar, serves up island-style delicacies like fish tacos and Caribbean jerk chicken at dinner, as well as traditional favorites like eggs benedict for breakfast and kids’ meals like chicken fingers and grilled cheese sandwiches. Like the resort’s guestrooms, Hemingway’s packs in a ton of value, with most meals weighing in around $10. (All kids’ meals are $6.95.) And where ambiance is concerned, Hemingway’s is classic Caribbean casual, with open-air indoor seating and a large patio looking out over the ocean. Lit up at night, it’s the most romantic spot on property.