Sands at Grace Bay
Travel Blogs from Providenciales
... boats =). You are thus limited to snorkel in a donut-shaped area of the ocean. The donut hole being the cordoned off area to protect part of the reef. Although it is really a shame to limit us from seeing the full reef, it was evident it needed to be done as I saw a woman put her foot down and stand on what used to be a brain coral! Plenty of people must have done just that because it was now only a pedestal with no coral but ...
For some of you this will be the last entry you read before I get back home. For those only reading these blogs at work you'll not get my last ones until Monday, when it will all be over. For the rest of you I will continue posting entries until we reach the Orlando Airport on Saturday.
So how would I summarise my first cruise? Well, generally I have hated it. On a positive note this ship is amazing, and the musical hooters very clever. ...
... rest for the next 10 hours to our next destination. I thought I was done with the Bahamas but one more night proved to be a welcome addition. The night was amazing, millions of stars above and the bio-luminescence made it look like there were stars in the ocean below! Every time you get up for an anchor watch you could see the sea life crowding the underwater lights and hear the less brave fish flapping about off in the dark. What ...
... Which is a shame because we saw 2 sharks, a turtle, a barracuda, and a ray. Not to mention the dropoff. It is strange how disconcerting that is. Why should it matter that the water goes down 6000 feet? It isn't like you can fall. But it was a weird sensation. All in all, it was an almost magical experience.
Back at the hotel, we did a little beach time and ...
We quickly don swimsuits, mix drinks, and head to the beach and find our chairs. The water is an irresistible clear blue. Grace Bay Beach is beautiful. The stretch of sand in front of The Alexandra is wide and white. We take a stroll toward the west, walking past Beaches resort and ending up at Bight Reef... But without snorkeling gear. We'll come back tomorrow. We take note that Beaches does not look like our type of vacation. The ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Sands at Grace Bay Providenciales
Had a wonderful week at the Sands
I just returned from a wonderful week at the Sands with my husband and 15 yr. old daughter. The beach was pristine and not the least bit crowded (unlike the mob scene at Beaches). Most of our time was spent on the beach. However, the pools were quite beautiful. The hedges and landscaping around the meandering pools were very nice and added a sense of privacy. Since the resort seemed half full, the atmosphere was delightfully tranquil. We rented a car but returned it after a day since it was really not necessary. Although I had heard that Smith's reef had the best snorkling, we found the snorkling better just past Beaches in front of the white house and steps (about a 15 minute walk from the Sands). We aslo rented a kyack and rode bikes to Ports of Call, the small shopping area nearby. Hemingways was great. We also had a fine dinner at Bay Bistro at the Sibonne next door but it was a bit more pricey (as were other good restaurants within walking distance). I followed someone's advice and brought a small flashlight which we found helpful walking on the road to restaurants at night. We ate most of our breakfasts and a couple of lunches on the balcony at our condo unit (a lovely one bedroom with an ocean view). I even used the immaculate fitness center with good treadmills, a couple of bikes, weights and a universal gym. My daughter also loved the facial she got at the spa. I particularly liked the friendly staff and casual atmosphere of the resort - looking forward to going back next year.
Sands Hotel and Turks is Wonderful
PROVO: Living in Sarasota, we have access to one of the best beaches in the world. However, the water at Provo is the best we have ever seen and we have traveled to many places including St. Thomas, St. Marteen, Aruba, Curaco, Cancun, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, etc. HOTEL: The Sands is a great place to stay. Beautiful hotel, beach and pool. Not crowded. Great onsite restaurant (Hemingways). I highly recommend it. Washer/Dryer is fantastic. Microwave, kitchen sink and fridge were great too (we were in a studio). We bought some cheese and wine at the on site store and had our own happy hour each night on the terrace. When we come back, we will definitely stay at the Sands again. There are numerous emails regarding this hotel, so I want to comment on some of the other island aspects as well. RESTAURANTS: We ate at Hemmingways (twice for dinner and all lunches that weren't a part of a tour or when we didn't have left overs). Very good and reasonable (loved the grouper). Grace's Cottage (good service, ok food (lobster ravoli was just ok and not good if you compare it to the $41 price, rack of lamb very good) but very expensive at $225 without a bottle of wine. We wouldn't go there again. Bella Luna was my favorite. A must for Italian. Coco Bistro was a long walk, but worth it. Good lobster at the best prices we saw on the island. Caico's Cafe is not French. Food was good, but all was prepared in the same manner and it was not what we expected (French). Last meal was at the Cuban restaurant. We liked it very much as well. All dinners, except for Grace's Cottage, were between $75 and $110 for two with appetizers and 4 drinks total. Check your bill. Many restaurants add 20% (10% tax and 10% gratuity, so you only need to tip another 5-10%). All of the above were within walking distance of the Sands, so we didn't have to pay the shuttle service. Just bring a little flashlight to take with you. Another bonus for the Sands. Location in the middle of the "strip". ACTIVITIES: Walked to Coral Gardens. Long walk carrying equipment, but worth it. We thought that was wonderful snorkeling at the time. Then we went on the Beach Cruise (discount price on Mondays) and the Island Discovery Cruise (discount price on Fridays) and couldn't believe it. Absolutely the BEST snorkeling that we have ever done. Nurse sharks, barracudas, rays, turtles, angels, sargent majors, triggers, grammas, tangs, puffers, everything under the sun and more. And clear! But that is not the best part. The coral is fantastic and watching the fish and the coral in such healthy reefs is wonderful. Not like Aruba where the fish were eating the coral faster than the coral could grow. Iguana Island (part of the Beach Cruise) was ok. Not necessary, but came with the snorkeling. Conch snorkeling (Island Discovery Cruise) was great fun. We found 5! Wonderful lunch prepared with this cruise too (lobster, BBQ chicken, conch salad, fruit, raw vegetables). Both were VERY good tours (Beach 1/2 day and Island Discovery full day). If we had to pick just one, we would choose the Island Discovery Cruise, but this would be a long day with kids. Free Hobie Cat at the Sands for guests. Plan to get wet. Good fun. Free wind surfers at the Sands too. Eat your Wheaties before trying this. SHOPPING: Practically non-existent. Some souvenier shops within walking distance. Signs say they open at 9:00, but more like 10:00. Mostly T-Shirts and knick-knacks. FISHING: We chartered the Gwendolyn for a full day of Marlin fishing for $1,000. 8 hours exactly. A week before the trip, I talked to the owner who indicated they were catching Marlin every day and were hooking up something (Wahoo, Tuna, etc) on two lines within 10 minutes of leaving the marina. Ok. He is a fisherman and tends to exaggerate, but we didn't catch one thing during 8 hours and it was only a week after our discussion. I was not really disappointed that we didn't catch anything, but that I was led to believe that we definitely would. False representation (just like the "French" restaurant). I was also disappointed that after 5 hours of fishing with nothing, that the captain didn't change the set up (dead bait or live bait instead of luers (I know I spelt luers wrong)). We have a small boat in Florida and if 3 hours go by with "nothing", we change what we are doing. After saying all that, we will charter with Gwendolyn next time. They were very professional, the boat was more than adequate (my boyfriend was upset about no air conditioning, but I didn't care), very friendly and seemed apologetic about our day. Picked us up and brought us back to our hotel so we didn't have to take a taxi and even brought us to the IGA grocery store beforehand to get our lunch. Very nice people. Recommended even though a disappointing day, so that is saying something. My boyfriend also took a cab one morning to the otherside of the island to wade in and fly fish for bone fish. No luck there either, but he had fun. Recommend that you charter a boat for this as well as when wading in he couldn''t "see" into the water or cast as accurately. SUMMARY: Best vacation we have ever had. First place that we have ever been to that we are going to go back to SOON. Go quickly before it gets more developed.
At athe sands
our family escapade at the turks was a nice experience, the water is awsome so is the beach, the place we chose to stay "the sands" was very nice and quiet, exactly what we were looking for, both with the choice of island and hotel. no cruise ships with masses of cheap tourists, a good mix of europeans and others vs americans. as far as the hotel,everything was top notch exept: the food at the hemmingway restaurant and the water sports situation. I am french and avid sailor and food and water are vital to my well being and was looking forward to sail sail sail during my vacation. the two hobbie cats were in poor condition,only one in working condition during our trip so the other one was a "battle" to use. that was not part of my vacation plans so i gave up sailing. also I recommand renting a car for 2 or 3 days(@$60day) for a suzuki jeep. there are a few restaurants and marinas, as well as parts of the island that need to be seen. going to an island and not knowing whats outside the gates of the hotel is not right. we used a driver from the hotel but the charge is by the head and every time you go to the grocery store or a restaurant (6 of us) it was @ $50 . rent a car and have the freedom to go when you want where you want as early or late as you want. the turks and caicos seem to have about ten more good years before becoming a place like cancun, so go while it is still quiet and soak in the overwhelming beauty of the coral reefs and shades of blue that you cant find at home depot. hope these few tips help your vacation over there.
The Sands is an excellent value.
I stayed at the Sands from July 4th until July 8th. I traveled alone and had a very relaxing holiday weekend. The complimentary transfer is excellent. The van is there to pick you up upon exiting the airport which is reassuring when you are in a country you have not traveled to before. It will not kill you to tip the driver. The grounds are beautiful. I found the staff to be very friendly, if you are friendly to them. Most of the staff is from T & C or other islands so we are the visitors. Show them a little courtesey and it will go a long way. I don't know what standard people are using to call Hemingways expensive. The lunch menu is very reasonable with 8.95 fried grouper and fries, or fried jerk chicken breast and fries, and also a cheeseburger platter available at all times. The dinner menu was also reasonable. If you are a drinker, that will drive up your cost. Within walking distance that I went to also was Cuba Bella, good food, say hello to Godfrey the bartender, and Danny Buoys. Good food, also reasonable. The rooms were very comfortable, a separate sitting area and bedroom. As far as the people of T & C not being friendly, the rudest people I ran into were tourists, not the locals. People should watch their children on vacation, or go to an all inclusive where they will have other kids to play with. I would recommend the Sands to anyone. The location is perfect, and if you do not mind having a nightlife, it is excellent. This is a place to relax.
Beautiful place, but pricey
We stayed at this resort in March and it is beautiful! We were shocked on how expensive transportation and food is on this island and there is not a lot to chose from! This resort has 1 restaurant "Hemingways" and it is expensive! But the food was very good, the beaches are awesome and the water is like no other water you have ever seen..amazing! The Sands has quite a few families and lots of kids, so I would not prefer it for a honeymoon, but it's a great resort . The pool was very nice, but needs some repair. Overall, I would go this resort again.
Great Beach, average accommodations
The island of Provo was absolutely beautiful. There were plenty of watersports and excursions available, not to mention the relaxing, flawless beaches. The Sands Resort, however, did not meet our expectation. I think it was a bit overrated. The rooms were clean, but did need some minor maintenance. For example, we had a toilet that ran constantly and the shower faucets were coming out of the wall. We requested that the toilet be fixed, though it never was. The resort itself has very little entertainment. Live music plays two night a week by the pool/ restaurant for a few hours. The restaurant, Hemingways, served very nice dinners. Breakfast and lunch were just okay. There are many excellent restaurants on the island. Magnolia's has breathtaking views, at sunset especially. Bay Bistro, which you can walk to from the beach, was excellent for dinner and breakfast. The wait staff at ALL of the restaurants were lacking in the area of friendliness. Everything is very expensive there, so prepare yourself. There is no shopping to be had, so don't waste your money on a taxi for that purpose. I would return to Provo again, but I probably would not stay at the Sands Resort.
Highly Recommended but a bit Pricey
This is a review of The Sands at Grace Bay, a resort on Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands. I have attempted to separate the resort from the island, but they are obviously very interrelated. I have also tried to avoid including information that can be found on The Sands or TCI informational web sites.First, some statistics my wife and I stayed there in late May/early June of 2003, which is considered to be part of the off season. The hotels occupancy rate averaged 61% during my stay (the high was 74% and the low was 51%). This was relatively high, especially when compared to the other hotels which seemed almost desolate at times. I spoke with some people staying at these other hotels and they confirmed that their occupancy rate was very low (much lower than The Sands). Please keep in mind that a review is very relative compared to other resorts, other islands, etc. My other recent Caribbean vacations were in The Bahamas and Aruba but Ive been to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Barbados. The Resort We had a slight problem at check-in, but this was quickly resolved. The room that was originally assigned to us seemed to have a plumbing problem it made a lot of noise when you flushed the toilet. This gave me a very bad first impression, but we were moved to a different room. I never felt cramped at this resort. The amount of beachfront space, the number of tiki huts, etc., seemed to be more than adequate. We never had to wait for a tiki hut to be vacated by other guests there was always one available. This is unlike my experiences at other resorts where it seemed the beachfront property and beach amenities were always in high demand. There was also adequate space between the tiki huts so I never felt like I was side-by-side with other guests. I should also mention that the beach was the most beautiful beach I had ever seen. The water was more clear than my aquarium. On several occasions, schools of small, colorful fish would swim between my legs as I was standing in the water. The pools were also there was plenty of space to spread out, plenty of umbrellas, etc. Personally, I find this to be very important I never want to feel cramped in when Im on vacation. Real estate is very costly and Im willing to pay a little more for a resort with adequate real estate. The layout of the resort was wonderful. There are 3 pools and 2 of them are connected by canals. The pools are surrounded by tropical gardens, sitting areas, paths, etc. The area was so attractive that a small wedding took place in the gardens of the resort. There were a number of private sitting areas with umbrellas in the gardens and all were a few steps from a pool. The gardens were very well maintained and not overgrown. During my stay, I saw gardeners taking care of the property on several occasions. There were also a lot of geckos scampering around the gardens. The larger pool was separate from the gardens. This pool had a lot of concrete chipping off the bottom and the side walls making it both little rough to walk on as well as cloudy at times. This pool is in need to a resurfacing but Im happy they didnt do it while I was there. The resort also has an outdoor hot tub. I believe there were only 2 resorts on the island with hot tubs.The rooms had a number of little extras that made you feel like youre someplace special. The floors were ceramic tile, not an old stained carpet. The door handles were lever-style antique brass, not basic knobs. While these little things may not add much tangible value, they do add a touch of class. The rooms had a generous amount of square footage, as well as a washer and dryer which really lightens the load in your suitcase. We started a wash before going out to dinner and dried the clothes when we got back so it didnt seem like a chore that took away from our vacation time. The rooms also had a small refrigerator with a freezer, a microwave and a toaster. If you dont want to go out for every meal, you can go shopping at the grocery store and keep some basic food and drink in your room. We stayed in a studio suit able.The six buildings each had a mixture of room types. The drawback to this was that the suites with a few separate bedrooms are more likely to be used for families with small children. We had an infant in the neighboring suite for at least half of our stay and I found this to be very annoying. A better layout would have been to put more of the rooms that are attractive to families together in one or two buildings. Considering that the occupancy rate averaged only 61%, they also could have distributed their clientele in such a way where the families with children would not be as bothersome to the couples without children. This was almost annoying enough to complain and ask to be relocated to another room. Considering that Beaches (a resort aimed specifically at family vacations) was nearby, the number of families with small children staying at The Sands was a bit surprising. The hotel had a tour desk where some of the resorts friendliest people worked. They did a lot of the legwork in arranging both group and individual events. The main lobby had a PC with internet access which allowed you to check your email and surf the net. A few binders with explanations of activities (beach cruises, etc.) and local restaurant menus were also available in the lobby. Hemingways Restaurant, the only restaurant at this resort, was one of the best value-for-the-dollar restaurants that we found. The prices were very reasonable, the food was good and the location was excellent. I automatically assume that the restaurant at a hotel will be overpriced and have average food dont make that assumption here. They also offered a poolside and beachside beverage service as most resorts do. The hotel has a hospitality suite that was a very nice touch. Often the last day of a vacation is a waste because you dont have enough time in the morning to do anything, you have to check out early, you have to hang around the hotel or airport until your flight leaves, etc. Checkout is 11:00 AM and my flight wasnt until 3:30 PM but my day was not wasted. a and a lounge. This allowed me to use the pool until about an hour before my transportation to the airport left.The resort has shuttle service to/from most restaurants during the evenings, which saves a lot of money compared to the high cost of taxi service. The resort also has 2 daily trips to the IGA (the local grocery store).One of the most pleasant surprises was the quality of the clientele. My wife and I have stayed at expensive resorts such as The Atlantis and been very disappointed by the quality of the people staying there. There were simply too many snobs at The Atlantis and we couldnt seem to avoid them. These people acted as though they were better than everyone else because they had money. Their lack of common courtesy and respect for others was appalling. The other guests that we interacted with at The Sands were wonderful. We had no trouble striking up a conversation with people and even going out to dinner with them. Since the resort is a little more intimate than the big high-rise resorts, you saw many of the same people over and over. Before long, we found ourselves sitting with people by the pool, on the beach, etc. and socializing together.The IslandThe islands lack the infrastructure needed to really become a premiere resort area. The main highway is not completely paved and it is not scheduled to be completed until 2005. Only a few other roads are paved. The shopping areas are spread out and they do not compare to those on Aruba, The Bahamas, St. Thomas, etc. The taxi prices are rather expensive but renting a car is even more expensive. This is not Gilligans Island, but its not as commercialized as many other islands either. As always, it depends what youre looking for.One rather strange thing was the number of mosquitoes. It wasnt as though you were walking around a swamp, but it was noticeable. I dont know if this was due to the time of year or if this is normal for the area. Regardless, I recommend that you bring your own bug spray.The quality and cost of dining is an essential part of ev e places we ate.Bay Bistro great food and an imaginative menu but a bit pricey; the service was very slow; great view of Grace Bay; we had live music on the night that we ate there; if you dont mind the slow service (maybe we just had a slow server), the food is worth the wait Sharkbite good food at a good price; great view of Turtle Cove; excellent service; one of the better low cost eating options Baci good Italian food but it doesnt compare to good Italian restaurants in the U.S.; great view of Turtle Cove; the Bella Luna was the other Italian restaurant in the area and the people we spoke with were divided regarding which one was better Hemingways probably the best value for the dollar of the restaurants we tried and it was right at our own resort Aqua Bar and Terrace great food and an imaginative menu not as pricey as Bay Bistro; great view of Turtle Cove; recommeded Fairways good food but high priced; located at the golf course Cuba Bella average food at a good price; if youve ever had Cuban food in Ybor City or at Babalus, youll be disappointed by the Cuba Bella; they also had a very annoying 5% surcharge on the bill (as if there werent already enough surcharges, taxes, etc.); convenient to the resort but I wouldnt go there when I return to the TCI again Danny Buoys Irish pub with good food at good prices; good value for the dollar; Id go back there Gecko Grille excellent food and just a bit pricey; great view of Grace Bay and very nice gardens; Id go back there Chinsons Jamaican restaurant that was just branching off into Chinese food (yes, its a strange combination); the people were very nice and the lunch we had was excellent and very inexpensive; too bad it is not open for dinner; I liked the food so much that I brought a menu back to the resort so they could add it to their restaurant binder in the lobby If you want to play golf, Id recommend that you bring your own golf balls and bring a lot of money! The greens fees were $130 (standard) and $90 (after 2:30 PM). The club rental was $20 (standard) and $40 (prem priced and not as nice as some of the other Caribbean courses (e.g. Mahogany Run) but it was the only course on the island. The fairways were narrow (50-70 yards wide) and there was plenty of room to get in trouble. Im sure its a lot easier to maintain sand and water than grass, so there were plenty of bunkers and 13 of 18 holes had water in play. On these particular islands, I think The Sands provided an excellent value for the dollar. We looked at some other resorts while we were there (Allegro, Club Med, Ocean Club, Sibonne, etc.) and found none that we would have preferred. Overall, however, I think the prices of the resorts and the activities were a bit high, especially when considering how underdeveloped the island is. I found the prices on Aruba, for example, to be a lot better. I realize that this is an underdeveloped island compared to Aruba, The Bahamas, etc. and that things may cost more because everything is imported, but you could also make a case for keeping the prices down because the islands are a bit underdeveloped. Overall, would I go back? My wife and I tend to try a new island each time we go on vacation but the only ones weve decided wed go back to are Aruba and Providenciales. Would I stay at The Sands? Yes, I dont think there is a better value on the island.
My girlfriend and i were getting fed up with old man winter and looked to the internet for a last minute deal (site59). We picked up a 4d/3n package for a reasonably good deal only 3 days before we departed. We had a direct flight from boston to TCI (Turks and caicos Island) and 3.5 hours after leaving boston we were on the beach. Our options were to stay at Sibonne or for a little more the Sands located right next store, both located on grace beach. In retrospect, either way we could not have gone wrong. We ended up chosing the Sands resort as they had free use of snorkel gear, sailboats, kayaks, bicycles. The first afternoon with snorkel gear in hand walked down the beach and swam out to a reef just off the beach. The life on these reefs were amazing. First night walked (15 minutes) to the alero hotel and casino which is quiet small but has a few tables and a bunch of slots. Ate dinner at a local cuban resteraunt and walked back along the deserted beach. During the next few days, ran to the end of the island, borrowed bicycles and rode to the conch farm (45 minutes away). The conch farm is NOT really worth going to except that you can buy large conch shells for $1 if you pick it yourself from large piles of discarded shells, or for $5 for more perfect shells inside the shop. Look outside for yourself, its worth it. We sailed and went snorkling every single day even for only 1/2 an hour. We watched the sunset every night. We had great food although a bit pricey. Truth be told, if you are looking for a large resort or for a lot of people or a place with a lot of activity around you, then look elsewhere; bahamas, cancun, jamiaca ect. If you are looking for your own wide eyed adventures, walking down a seemingly deserted beach which runs for miles (infact 12 miles), or for watching a romantic sunset without seeing many other people, and totally relaxing without any agenda then this place is for you. (The experience may be different if you stay at an all inclusive "camp" resort like The B at grace beach was amazing. Beautiful small suites with a bedroom and small living room with a fridge and coffee maker. beatiful grounds. Plenty of free equiptment to borrow, bikes, boats snorkel gear. If you do not need the equiptment then the sibonne, located right next store will be as nice and a bit cheaper. For noteworthy resteraunts: Bay bistro at Sibonne was amazing. entree $20-30. However, THE COCO BISTRO was by far the nicest, most romantic, (and with very reasonable prices entree 15-25) and best food on the island. It is located at the eastern side of grace beach. The COCO BISTRO IS A MUST!!!For the best snorkeling: By far the best we found was at smith's reef at turtle cove. We saw multiple huge manta ray, huge spiny lobsters tons of reef fish. Other good spots from the beach are a set of reefs a few hundred yards west off the The Beaches Resort, saw manta rays, small eels and tons of typical reef life. I have traveled the carribean extensively (>12 islands) and this is by far my favorite.
We have just returned from a fabulous week at the Sands. The beaches are amazing, the accommodation spacious and the food excellent. We had an ocean view studio in block 6 and spent lots of time gazing at the ocean and pool views from our balcony. We would recommend it to anyone looking for a peaceful break. There is plenty of space for everyone - families and couples alike. Hemingways is great for breakfast, lunch, cocktails and causal evenings and has beautiful views at sunset.In the evenings we tried a different restaurant on Provo every night using the shuttle the Sands runs which costs $5 - $8 per person round trip depending on the distance/direction you're going.We can recommend (in order) Bay Bistro - just next door at the Sibonne, Coyaba, Coco Bistro, Caicos Cafe, Magnolia (for the view). All lovely for couples looking for a romantic evening meal. Prices are fairly expensive though - expect to pay between $100 - $200 for 2 including wine if you have 3 courses.There are other less expensive restaurants too and the Sands run a shuttle to the supermarket if you want to self cater. We can also recommend the beach cruise - one of the tours we booked at the Sands. It is a half day motor boat tour for $55 per person and visits a fabulous beach, the iguanas and some snorkelling. However, all the other guest we spoke to were pleased with the other trips they took too.Complimentary snorkel equipment, and other watersports are available too at the Sands. We would definitely love to return to the Sands as soon as possible.
My husband and I went to Provo island for 6 days in early February. We had a wonderful time-- it was nice to "escape from it all" and relax in paradise! We did all of our research through tripadvisor and decided to stay at The Sands. We were also considering Coral Gardens and the Royal West Indies, but ultimately chose The Sands based on their ammenities and informative website. While we were there, we did check out the other resorts and thought Coral Gardens looked nice (GREAT snorkeling right off the beach!) and the Royal West Indies looked nice, too. The Sands was just how it's pictured on the website... beautiful blue waters and amazing white sand! And not very many people on the beach, which was a huge plus for us! Reading some of the other opinions on tripadvisor, I was concerned that there might be lots of kids and families but we didn't see any kids at The Sands... in fact, about 90% of the vacationers seemed to be in their 50's. We reserved an "ocean view" studio, but you could literally only see about an inch of the ocean from our balcony, so I would recommend spending the money on an "ocean FRONT" room if you really want to see the ocean, or just spring for the "garden view" and save your money. A studio is plenty big for just two people. And the balconies are all screened-in so you don't have to worry about bugs! The resort grounds are absolutely beautiful and very private and secluded when you are walking around at night. We ate at quite a few restaurants on Provo, and they were all excellent. Hemingways was probably my favorite... not as expensive as the others and really good food-- especially for breakfast! Meals are quite expensive here-- expect to pay at least $35-$45 per person for dinner. We also ate dinner at Mango Reef at Royal West Indies and walked on the beach to the Sibonne's restaurant right next door. My husband really liked dinner at Cuba Bella just down the road. Overall, we had a wonderful time... we had beautiful weather the whole time and just loved the laid-back and quiet atmosphere on Provo. And all of our pictures look like postcards!