Turks & Caicos is a gorgeous country to visit in the Caribbean with family. The island of Providenciales is extremely family-friendly with great properties and many fun activities. It is not as developed (yet) as many other Caribbean islands. Because of that, Providenciales has a laid-back, friendly atmosphere where it’s easy to relax and enjoy a vacation from the moment you step off the airplane. One particular resort on Providenciales, Ocean Club Resorts, is a great resort for families of all sizes.
Ocean Club Resorts is located on Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos. Comprised of 2 all-suites properties, Ocean Club and Ocean Club West, the resort offers a “Stay at One, Play at Both” feature. That means guests can partake of the great amenities like water sports, spa treatments, and gourmet restaurants at both properties.
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Ocean Club & Ocean Club West are located on Provo’s Grace Bay Beach, on the northeast end of the island. Providenciales is located in the Turks & Caicos Islands and is a 2 hour flight from Miami. I flew form Austin, so I had to do a quick flight to Charlotte before heading down to Provo, but it took about a half a day from my house to the beach.
Both properties offer beach-front accommodations with the ability to walk right out of your suite and onto the expansive white-sand beaches. The properties are short taxi rides from most places on the island, making it a great location to stay. We explored the island during our stay, with kayaking, horseback riding in the surf, and a sunset sailing, so having a central location in Grace Bay was nice.
Ocean Club West
I recently visited the resort and stayed in a two-bedroom “Deluxe Ocean Front Suite”. It was large and the open design made it feel even bigger. Designed with a family mind, it had a spacious living and dining area, a master bedroom outfitted with a king-sized bed and a second bedroom with two twin beds. There were 2 and a half bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. For those of us with more than the average two kids, there also is a couch in the living room that could be made into a bed.
I spent most of my time outside the suite on the large, screened-in patio that had another dining table, couch, and loungers. It was the perfect spot for watching the gorgeous island sunset each evening.
Two other family-friendly features: The suite is tiled throughout and has a washer and dryer. That meant less worry about the sandy feet and easy clean-up of the salt- and sand-encrusted bathing suits. Bonus – there was plenty of laundry detergent for your use too.
When I arrived, all the windows were open, allowing the cool ocean breeze to float through and immediately lowering my blood pressure and moving me into a zen-like vacation state. Even though the sun was bright and the temperatures were high during my stay, the suite stayed cool throughout the day. That meant I didn’t need to turn on the air conditioner and could leave the sliding glass doors open at night so I could be lulled to sleep by the cool breeze and crashing waves.
Ocean Club West has a large pool with fun features like a waterfall, bridges and an island with grills for BBQing. It has one restaurant, Seaside Grill, tennis courts, fitness center, full-service spa, and bikes to cruise around the property or to take to the nearby shops of Grace Bay.
Ocean Club West offers all sizes of suites from a studio with a kitchenette and balcony to a three-bedroom deluxe suite. Even the studio, with its king-sized bed and pull-out couch, seemed large enough to comfortably house a family of 3.
Ocean Club Resort
Ocean Club Resort is a few years older than Ocean Club West, has a smaller pool, but more dining options and sports equipment rentals. The rooms have been updated with modern decor and furniture.
The 2 restaurants are the casual beach-front restaurant, Cabana Bar, and the fine dining restaurant, Opus. Provo Turtle Divers is where guests from either resort can pick up snorkeling equipment, kayaks, beach bikes, or arrange a longer, guided tour.
I didn’t stay here, but visited twice during our stay. It’s a little quieter than Ocean Club West and felt more like a good spot for couples. In fact, we encountered several couples or groups of adults traveling together at this property.
Ocean Club West, meanwhile, seemed to have more of a family atmosphere. There were always families playing together in the pool or along the beach. And I found it a great property to host multi-generational trips, as each family could stay in their own suite. In fact, on the last day, I had a lovely conversation with a family celebrating their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. All three siblings had traveled with their families down to Provo for the week.
Seaside Cafe – The only restaurant at Ocean Club West, it offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a full menu for each meal, we enjoyed burgers for lunch and fine dining for dinner. The view is fantastic, with 2 options to dine under a patio by the pool or an umbrella by the beach. Try the award-winning conch salad for lunch and the shrimp tempura for dinner.
Cabana Bar & Grille – This beach front cafe at Ocean Club is similar in style to Seaside Cafe with a much more robust menu. The conch fritters and fish sliders were great and they have fun drink specials daily. And though I didn’t try it, I heard there is more on the Cabana Bar & Grille breakfast menu than Seaside Cafe offers.
Opus Wine Bar-Grille – A fine-dining option at Ocean Club, Opus is a delicious option for dinner. With an extensive menu with steak, seafood, and vegetarian options, this restaurant offers dining inside and on the patio under the twinkling lights. And while the food was delicious, the atmosphere is romantic, perfect for a date night with your significant other. Opus also has the nicest wine cellar on the island.
I enjoyed the diversity of the 3 dining options at Ocean Club Resorts. Where you might find more dining options at other properties, I really liked the fact that I had a full kitchen in my suite. Had my family been traveling with me, we would have visited the market close by and planned breakfast and lunches. Also, we ventured off the property to eat at a local restaurant, da Conch Shack (an absolute must!) and a local fish fry one evening.
Here’s What We Think
Built in the early 1990’s, Ocean Club Resorts has done a good job of maintaining the property and updating decor. While I did not find the suites the most luxurious, they were extremely comfortable and offered plenty of space for a family. The suites felt livable and not stuffy. In other words, your family can fully relax here. These suites were meant to be enjoyed comfortably.
What Works for Families
- Full Kitchen – the larger suites come with a full-size stove, oven, refrigerator, and microwave. The cupboards have dishes, pots and pans, and a coffee maker. A meal for an entire family can easily be made here.
- Close Proximity to the Grocery Store – There is a great market (a 15 minute walk) that offers everything you could want from milk to cereal to gourmet cheese, bread and pastries. Most families rent a car while on the island making having a kitchen & grocery store an easy way to have an affordable vacation.
- Washer & Dryer – It’s great to have the ability to wash clothes before heading home. Think of all the wet bathing suits you won’t have to pack.
- Free WiFi – The resort offers free, password protected wifi in each room and has a resort-wide network that even reaches to the beach (though my suggestion is to leave your devices in your suite and enjoy the beach!)
- Beach Access – Both properties are located right on the beautiful Grace Bay beach. The beach is quiet and peaceful, with no vendors selling their wares to you. The sand is white and soft and the water is the perfect shade of blue. You can snorkel right off the hotel beach and find beautiful seashells and creatures. If you don’t bring your own gear, you can rent it from Ocean Club Resort.
- Stay at One, Play at Both – You can enjoy the beaches and restaurants of both properties. Shuttles run back and forth between the two.
The only thing I missed on this trip was a nice, relaxing drink on the beach, since there is no drink service on the beach. The more I thought about it, I decided that actually adds to the family atmosphere. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how attentive the staff was to me. The first night I noticed my patio door on the screened in porch did not lock. Since I had a first floor room located right off the beach, it was important to me that it was fixed. Within 15 minutes, security and maintenance were called and had it fixed in 30 minutes. That attentiveness to my comfort made me appreciate the staff even more.
Ocean Club Resorts is a great location for a family vacation to Turks and Caicos. Each suite is individually owned, but I found the prices to be competitive, even more affordable than other properties in Grace Bay. Also, Mid May thru mid June tends to be a slow time of year – rates are best and crowds are low.
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