Ports of Call Resort
Travel Blogs from Providenciales
... you really going to take video of your washing?" I asked, trying not to sound too stunned.
"Sure am buddy" replied Mr Executive. "It's just to prove to the folks back home that our washing machine isn't so loud after all".
Wow. The long winter evenings must just spin by with all the conversations with neighbours about the loudness of household equipment.
Fortunately my laundry was done and I was out of there, but as I left I passed Mr ...
... our stay here in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
We are about to pull the lines and set off for our 45-48 crossing to Puerto Rico. Guess I should stop acting like a Captain's wife and get to work. Hydrated, check, motion sickness meds, check, balance bracelets, check. Off we go to the next island adventure. Not much time off in PR but I'm sure we will make the most of every minute.
Love from the blue
Captain Steve & Chef Clair
... to living on board (alone). They greased the locals and scored fresh yellow fin tuna from the dock on Thursday which I seared up to everyone's delight, after of course checking off a major life ambition to eat raw tuna straight from the sea. Sashimi the next day for lunch and then the Owner scored black fin tuna again yesterday, never thought I could say it but I'm tuna'ed out! They as always were thrilled with everything I ...
... his mates on his mobile, who he had been out with last night for a serious session (5am) they decided they needed the hair of the dog and we picked them up and we all went to a great beach bar on the way back and they didn’t try to make me pay for all the beers, these are seriously chilled out guys. In the evening we went ashore and found an upmarket bar/restaurant and had serious burgers and chips
2/4 we motored the 5 miles up to ...
... I shared the warm chocolate cake with Alex.
I don't know if they are regulars, but there were two adorable silver tabby cats hanging out at the restaurant. The lady next to us started feeding them slivers of what looked to be filet mignon, so I can certainly see why they would hang out there.
And then back to our beach to watch the sunset. Which, once again, was a bit too ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Ports of Call Resort Providenciales
My wife and I stayed at the Comfort Suites in Provo from Tuesday, April 27, to Saturday, May 1, 2004, and we certainly can recommend it to others. We got a very good price deal and wondered if we would like the place. We need not have worried, because we very much liked the place and we had a wonderful time in Provo, generally. There is nothing fancy at Comfort Suites but it has everything you need and is very clean and well run. The pool area is very nicely landscaped. All of the employees with whom we had contact were very friendly and helpful. We arrived before the check-in time, but were promptly put into a room. We were on the third (top) floor - and there are no elevators - but that made no real difference to us - you might keep that in mind if it would be a problem for you. The hotel is a good quarter mile hike from the beach, but we had known that and it was no problem for us. Our major interest in going to Provo was for snorkeling and the snorkeling was great. We have snorkeled extensively around the Caribbean, never before in Provo, and the snorkeling in Provo, particurly the off-beach snorkeling, was the best we have ever experienced in the Caribbean. We did not rent a car and took a taxi to Coral Gardens ($10 total fare each way) to snorkel at Bight Reef, which was very good; and then took a taxi to Smith's Reef (near Turtle Cove Marina and Sharkbite restaurant where we had a great lunch) ($12 total fare each way), which was excellent. Smith's reef is the best off beach snorkeling we have seen in the Caribbean, at least the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, for sure. Smith's and Bight's Reefs are close to shore and require little swimming to get to them. One day we walked up the beach past the Club Med and snorkeled from shore with no knowledge of what was there and had some decent snorkeling right there - it was there that I first saw a rather large Barracuda (at least four feet in length)- which I had not expected to see of that size close to me and it jumped my pulse rate up. It of course wanted nothing to do with me and was no problem. Throughout the week we also saw turtles and rays, and my wife saw a shark on a boat excursion snorkel - a first for her that also made her question for a breif moment what she was doing in the water with such things. (It also of course had no interest in the humans.) We took three boat excursions, one with Silver Deep, and two with J & B, although the particular operator made no real difference to us. We booked them all with the Dive Provo office across the street from the Comfort Suites in the Ports of Call center. They were helpful and friendly there, booking you on whatever was available - but you need to make sure you confirm things and not assume that just because you sign up the trip will go - they are not always the best organized in the office to get back with you - you need to check. We would have liked to go out on one of Dive Provo's bigger boats but the ones we were interested in, and in one case signed up for, did not get enough people and had to cancel. There simply did not seem to be a lot of people interested in snorkeling excursions on Provo when we were there. When you take the excursion they pick you up and drop you off, so no car need there. We had some very nice meals at restaurants in the Ports of Call shopping center, including 21 North and Calico Jack's. We were surprised at how good and reasonably priced the food was. In summary , we had a great time on Provo and would return. The people we met were all very friendly and helpful - one of our taxi drivers came to pick us up at the top of the road to Smith's Reef, 15 minutes early and it just so happened we had gotten there early too and were ready to go. Compared to some recent experiences on other islands of no one showing up at all at the agreed time - that was great.
The weather is great, the water is an amazing turquoise color, and the food in T&C restaurants like the Grace Bay Club, Aqua, and others is simply wonderful. Every square inch of Provo is seemingly for sale and it's very expensive (by design), but the development is low rise and low density so nothing seems crowded. If you want lodging that's affordable, the Comfort Suites are a $ deal and the staff is nice, but it's not on the water. We almost moved to the Grace Bay Club just to be on the water, but then changed our minds and stayed put. Almost all the Grace Bay oceanfront condos are gorgeous, which is where we'll stay the next trip. They are trying to improve the roads which are mostly unpaved and full of pot holes. Cars must have very short lifespans but it will be remedied in the next few years.
Providenciales is a beautiful place at high risk for becoming too built up with enormous hotels on the beach. Tour books call it "ecoconscious" but I saw otherwise. (Snorkelling and other excursions were lovely though.) I didn't see any forethought going into needed infrastructure (except for road construction) for this island (i.e. fresh water supply and treatment, trash clean-up and disposal, mass transit). The natives are upset that roads are being built to support tourism but there is no medical facility there that can deal with any sort of medical emergency or most medical non-emergencies. We planned to get around on bikes but found the roads are too unsafe for bikes. Expensive taxis are the alternative.
If you're looking for a discount hotel that is clean and comfortable, this is it. I would compare it to a Marriott Courtyard or Fairfield Inn but with a pool and a bar. The rooms were a good size, clean, plenty of hot water, clean towels, and TV, hairdryer, radio alarm, AC all worked fine.
My husband and I stayed at the Comfort Suites from March 2 - 5th. I had read up on the reviews before going so I would know what to expect. The hotel staff were fantastic and I never had any trouble with asking the front desk personnel any questions. They were very accomodating and friendly. In fact, I would have to say that the people from Turks & Caicos were some of the friendliest I've ever encountered.
This is the place if you enjoy doing nothing. The hotel is new and very clean....however, the breakfast is nothing but a few rolls and something that looks like OJ ( but tastes like punch). It is priced really well and the hotel offers a small bar at the entrance of the hotel. Taxi fare is between $18.00 to $18.50 one way from the airport and the people are really nice. The biggest complaint my husband and I had was that it is just a hotel with some people that are rude if you ask too many questions about things to do. There are shops across from the hotel that they direct you to but they can't help you about anything outside of the hotel. If you are lucky there are people that beep their horn and will take you on a tour of the island for $10.00 and to the one and only grocery store on the island for $2.00 one-way.
We went to Turks and Caiucos in February 2003. The Comfort Suites was a very decent hotel for the price. Turks and Caicos is absolutely beautiful, the beach is 12 miles long, the water sparkling clear and bath water warm. The weather was awesome every day with the usual trade winds blowing, (did get sand blasted a few times on the beach). The trip from the airport to the hotel was insufferable in a taxi-van with no A/C & dressed in my New England weather garb (it cost about $20 to get from the airport to the hotel, 15-20min drive)!!! The first room we had was next to a room with a family and about 500 kids...noisy!! We requested a room change and were accomodated immediately! The new room was just fine. The A/C is funky, it goes off when you leave the room and take the room key out of the little slot for the room power, but I think it's like that everywhere you go these days. There are 4-5 resturants right outside the hotel in the little mall (also a little bodega for juice, snacks, bottled water, though not spring H2O, distilled, blah). The food was ok (wait staff moves in extra super slow mode), conch is their specialty bleck. The beach is just across the street, a quick 2 minute walk. There are beach chairs to lay on and I got my hair all braided for like $40. We rented motor scooters a couple times to check out other spots on the island, ate at a few other resturants, saw some sea turtles at Turtle Cove, the guy who owns the Resturant in the Bay was from Boston, lots of red sox stuff and great food (I think it was called the shark bite?) The pool at the hotel was ok. Very cool water, nice towels available at the front desk which is right there (you can even take them to the beach), and a bar right there. There were a lot of kids at the hotel it seemed, so I guess it's an ok place for kids. The hotel staff were nice, never rude, just a little indifferent. There was a little continental bkfst each morning, muffins, juice, coffee. Overall, Turks and Caicos is a beautiful island, but if you do not scuba dive (I don't) there is nothing to do......unless you get the all inclusive hotels. There are no sites to see. Really. We scootered all over the place, it was fun and relaxing just no sites to see. All I wanted to do was relax and go to the beach and it was A+++++++ in that dept!! My friend Lisa just got back and agreed, awesome relaxation spot!! Club Med resort down the beach looked pretty happening!!
Visited: 10-2003 If you're looking for an affordable place on this expensive island, try it. If you venture to beachfront properties on Grace Bay beach, you'll see those are much nicer, but at least twice the cost. We stayed here two nights (although paid for three) on a Skyauction vacation. It was a steal with airfare included. We had a third floor king balcony room. It was no charge since we were nice and pleasant to the front desk grumpies, otherwise it would be $20 extra per night. The walk up the stairs was fine, we needed the exercise. The room was very standard. It was clean and simple, everything worked fine. The A/C also was fine...so what's the big complaint from others? It was plenty cold. Just tip the bellman to show you the electricity "on" trick (folded piece of paper in the slot)The bathroom was small, but functional. Beware the extremely low showerhead! It would be fine for guests who are four feet tall. There was good water pressure on the belly button, though! The bed was firm, but that's the way we like it. The pool small, but fine. We spent our time on the incredible Grace Bay Beach. Wander over (approx. 450 paces, five minutes easy walk down a paved access road). We snuck into a lounger at Allegro Resort (adjacent area). And nobody bothered us about it. We golfed three days at Provo Golf and Country Club. It was very nice, although there were no waterfront holes. There were lots of lakes, marshy areas, and waste bunkers. It was tough when the wind was blowing. They had very nice facilities. The cost was $130 greens fees, which was a little steep. We moved to the Sands at Grace Bay for the last three nights (also Skyauction win). There was an unbelieveable difference. That was a first class oceanfront resort. It was worth paying more to be on the beach.
We try to take at least 3 beach vacations a year to Mexico, Hawaii, The Caribbean etc. So for us, the price of a hotel is important. Good Points about Comfort Suites/Provo: For the price, The Comfort Suites was a good value. The room was a comfortable size, clean, and the bed was comfortable. We did not see any bugs in our room. The a/c kept us cool enough. The landscaping around the pool is nice by motel standards. The walk to the beach is short enough such that most people won't be terribly inconvenienced. Now for the bad: Depending on who was working that day, the staff ranged from rude to very nice. Breakfast (included in in the price of the room) was a joke. Bring your own or go elsewhere unless you enjoy bananna bread, pastries, coffee and imitation orange juice. I've never seen a hotel go that cheap on breakfast---never! It's "iffy" as to whether any food is left, no matter what time you walk down for this unimpressive ration. The ice maker on our floor was broken. The jacuzzi connected to the pool was not working and didn't appear to be under maintenance to repair it. No elevators. If you're on the 3rd floor, you walk up and down the stairs. They only gave us one room key, and upon leaving the room, we had to remove the key from a slot that then turns off all the electricity---thus, unless you figure out a way to "make" a key to stick in the slot on the wall inside your room, you come back to a hot room after a day on the beach. Same thing happens when you go out to eat at night. I've never known a hotel to give out just one key, and I'm sure it's to keep you from leaving a key in the room to run the electricity during the day when you're not there. Sheets are not changed daily. For a weekly stay, your linens will be changed only once, unless you request otherwise. Take bug spray. Since many restaurants were closed in September, we had to eat outdoors a lot. Mosquitoes love women, so take your bug spray. "Potty breaks" while you are on the beach are interesting, since the hotel is a hike away. Staff at the Allegro on the beach didn't seem to mind when we "borrowed" their bathroom occasionally for a potty break. My #1 disappointment was the construction of a condo/resort next to the 4 (yes, only 4) covered areas where Comfort Suite guests can lounge on the beach. The noise coming from chain saws and heavy machinery absolutely spoiled the beach atmosphere. They even worked on Sunday! We moved closer to the Allegro resort's beach chairs just to escape the noise, which gave me a headache---no joke! This will be an ongoing problem for a long time, as the construction is at the beginning phase. The best part of the vacation was the beach, water, and sun. Having vacationed in Bali, Fiji, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean, this is hands down one of the BEST beaches and most beautiful water I have ever seen. Safe and calm...no waves...no boogie boarding...but great if you want a quiet, safe, relaxing time reading a book on the beach, watching the sun set, etc. A good "mental" break for us. We were not disappointed, and the pictures we took make the beach and water look post card perfect. We didn't bother with a taxi, as the $20 we paid to/from the hotel gave us an indication that getting around would not be cheap. I would recommend this island for people who love the beach and water, and are happy to "just relax."
Turks and Caicos has got to be my favourite destination in all of the Caribbean. I have been there twice and wouldn't hesitate going there again and again. My first time to Provo I stayed at Club Med. No complaints there as i really enjoy Club Med resorts. The second time my GF and I decided to give the Comfort Suites a try. As with any Comfort Suites in North America, it is a "motel" and not a resort. The complex itself is fairly small, but fairly new and very clean. The rooms were great. There was a small fridge to keep your water, beer and pop cold.