Each year millions of families take vacations around the world to spend quality time together while unwinding from their busy lives. For the last couple of years, we haven’t had the money to travel abroad, but this year things moved in the right direction and we wanted to indulge in a nice getaway to celebrate.
We love traveling to Europe, but with my husband’s work schedule it wasn’t feasible this year. So, we chose the next best option – a trip to the Caribbean! What better place is their to unwind as a family? We have traveled to the Dominican Republic a couple of times, but wanted to try something a little different this vacation. I browsed through a map of the Caribbean and came across Turks & Caicos. I then researched the island and found that Grace Baby Beach in Providenciales is consistently ranked one of the nicest beaches in the world. I also loved that island is very safe and that the resorts caters to travellers looking for a luxury vacation.
One of properties that popped out was The Somerset on Grace Bay. Described as an intimate 5-star resort, The Somerset offers 53 spacious, luxuriously appointed villas and suites. Accommodations range from the economical 275 sq. ft. Queen Guest Room, a 1,400 sq. ft. one-bedroom residence to a 5,300 sq. ft. five-bedroom penthouse estate. Suites and Villas feature:
- Imported marble floors throughout
- Luxurious bathrooms featuring imported marble tiles, mahogany-carved cabinets, soaking tubs, rain showers, Molton Brown of London toiletries, waffle bathrobes, hair dryers, iron and ironing board
- Gourmet kitchen with wood cabinets, granite countertops and Viking® appliances including built-in refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, wine cooler, dishwasher, electric stove/oven, and microwave
- Washer and dryer
- Flat screen TVs in the living room and each bedroom
- DVD/CD multi-room sound system and iPod docking stations
- Air conditioning with thermostat controls as well as ceiling fans
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Outdoor terrace or balcony with views of the croquet lawn, garden, pool, beach or ocean
As a family, I always find it’s best to stay in a villa or apartment while vacationing. It makes the whole experience much easier and stress-free when you have a full kitchen and separate bedrooms. You also have the ability to buy your own food, so you can eat in after a long day. Parents can also spend some time alone while the children sleep in their own room.
I also loved that our villa at The Somerset was outfitted with a washer and dryer. If you have ever visited the Caribbean then you know that your clothes can start to smell musty after one day at the beach. This smell starts to get into the room too if the clothes are not cleaned. Using the washer & dryer was super easy and didn’t take away from my vacation time. Plus, I ABSOLUTELY loved going home with a suitcase full of clean and fresh smelling clothing.
The villas are privately owned and the owner’s association at The Somerset allows owners to give their property a personal touch. This really makes the villas feel like a home (condo) rather than a residence in a chain hotel. While at The Somerset, I actually previewed the other categories of villas and I was lucky to see one of the penthouse villas being remodelled.
This condo feel extends throughout the resort, so if you enjoying a low-key, but luxurious vacation with your family The Somerset is a perfect vacation property. The check-in area is nestled away from the main buildings and is housed with the resort shop and spa reception. Nearby is the croquet lawn and the larger condo properties.
The Somerset offers two spectacular pools, a 138-foot reserve-current lap pool and a zero-edge infinity pool. Serving as a centrepiece of the resort, the pools run the length of the resort and give the illusion that they extend all they way to the ocean. Once the sun sets, the pools remains the centrepiece of resort when the solar energy lights illuminate to a green color, thus giving a romantic and peaceful feel to the resort.
I found that the reserve-current lap pool was perfect for adults, especially those that enjoy swimming laps. The infinity pool is best for families and my daughter spent most of her time swimming in this pool. Smaller children can wade and splash around in shallow area while older children can perfect their swimming skills at the end. There is also a ledge at the end of the infinity pool that I enjoyed lounging on.
Everything else pales in comparison to the stunning Grace Bay Beach. The sand is powder soft and the crystal clear water is virtually waveless. Lounging in the ocean was like sitting in a tub. This was especially nice with a young child who hates being hit by waves! We visited other properties on Grace Bay and we found The Somerset had one of the nicest beachfronts. We even saw a stingray pass-by after we tried paddle boarding one day.
For lunch, families can make something quick in their room or enjoy lunch in a casual dining atmosphere at the LunaSea Pool Bar & Grill. My favorite dishes included, the conch fritter (a signature dish of the island), and the Turks Head battered grouper. The kids menu offered a variety of options and my daughter who likes to keep things simple enjoyed the hot dog and fries!
My family decided to take part in the weekly Beach BBQ. It was a nice change to dine on the beach and we splurged by selecting the lobster special. My extended family is from Nova Scotia, where Lobster is a staple, so I know a thing or two about a good lobster. The lobster tail at The Somerset was truly one of the most mouth-watering I have ever had! We also met a nice family seated near us and we enjoyed talking to them during the night. My daughter actually made friends with their youngster daughter. They played in the sand and danced to music way past their bedtimes!
For parents looking to have a date night The Somerset offers a babysitting service. The woman that babysits the children is absolutely amazing and makes a point to get to know each child at the resort upon their arrival. Parents won’t have to go far for a night out either. The Somerset houses Pavilion, a fine-dining restaurant, which boasts a comprehensive menu with dishes like flank steak, herb-dusted lamb and jerk chicken. To note, the complimentary continental breakfast the resort offers is served each morning at Pavilion.
Teona Spa at The Somerset is also another way parents can unwind while vacationing on the island. I enjoyed a pedicure that was absolutely divine and the lady who did the pedicure was not only well trained, but very pleasant to talk to. My daughter actually came with me because she wanted to get her toenails painted.
The island itself was one of the most beautiful we have visited in Carribbean. We rented a car from Grace Baby Car Rentals and it was easy to pick-up after arriving at the airport. It saved us money on the expensive taxi ride to and from the airport. Renting a car also gave us the opportunity to pick up groceries, visit restaurants not within walking distance and explore other beaches on the island. Our favorite day trip was to Taylor Bay. The water is the clearest I have ever seen and you can walk out almost endlessly.
One of our favourite restaurants on the island was Kalooki’s in the Blue Hills area. I had the curried lobster and my husband had the jerk chicken. Both of the dishes were delicious and afterwards we enjoyed sitting on the beach and playing in the water. To note, prices for food on the island are steap, so that is something to take into account when making your travel budget.
Our vacation at The Somerset is truly one we will always remember and we hope to revisit Turks & Caicos one day. To learn more about The Somerset visit the resorts official website. Their you will find more information about the resort, menus of their restaurants and the spa treatment offerings.
Disclaimer: The Somerset on Grace Baby graciously hosted us while staying at their resort. Although, the opinions within this post our my own.