It's not easy finding a resort that fits many different criteria: great for kids, easy access to the beach, full kitchen to cook meals, separate bedrooms for adults and children, screened-in balcony to avoid bug bites and restaurants that appeal to a variety of tastes. Ocean Club Resorts in Turks and Caicos fits the bill.
There are two resorts in the Ocean Club Resorts family: Ocean Club and Ocean Club West. Both properties consist of all-suite rooms, and both are located on Grace Bay Beach, consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the world. What's nice about the sister properties is that they have a "Stay at One, Play at Both" policy, so guests get all the services and amenities of two resorts at one price. The properties are a quick five-minute shuttle ride or a 15-minute walk on the beach away.
I stayed at Ocean Club, the quieter of the two properties, and it was chock-full of couples, families and multigenerational groups (grandma, mom and kids). If you're traveling with little ones, it's good to know that the resort offers cribs, Pack 'n Plays, high chairs, strollers, baby monitors, beach toys and babysitting.
My two-bedroom suite was super spacious with two separate bathrooms, an enormous screened-in balcony (with a full table and chairs making meals with little kids a dream) and a full-size kitchen complete with fridge, oven/stove, microwave and dishes. One of my favorite features in the suite was the washer/dryer; anyone traveling with children can relate. Accommodations range from studio suites to spacious, three-bedroom apartments. All rooms have free WiFi, plenty of extra towels, daily housecleaning, ceiling fans and views.
A kayaking tour on Providenciales’ Mangrove Cay with Big Blue.
Ocean Club also boasts plenty of amenities; two good-size pools, a spa run by Spa Tropique (I got one of the best massages I've ever had there), a fitness center, complimentary bikes (you can bike around Providenciales, the island the resort is on, as well as the Salt Mills Shops) and tennis courts (also complimentary). You can also book sailing, snorkeling/diving, fishing, parasailing and golf for additional fees.
Often I enjoyed simply relaxing under the resort's trademark pink beach umbrellas while watching the little ones playing in the sand. However, the island also has some wonderful activity options, including horseback riding on the beach, where the horses actually swim in the water with you on their back (Provo Ponies, www.provoponies.com); sunset sail and snorkeling excursions (Sun Charters, www.suncharters.tc); stand-up paddleboarding (Water Play Total Adventure, www.waterplayprovo.com); and kayaking tours (Big Blue Unlimited, www.bigblueunlimited.com).
Dining options at Ocean Club include Opus Wine Bar & Grille, an upscale restaurant with fresh fish, steaks and appetizers such as lobster spring rolls and conch ceviche as well as an enviable wine cellar. For a casual breakfast or lunch, hit the Cabana Bar & Grille; the fish tacos are amazing, as are the views (just steps away from the beach). At Ocean Club West, the Seaside Cafe not only has a great beachfront deck, but it boasts Provo's only conch bar.
Nightly rates for studio suites begin at $229 at Ocean Club and $239 at Ocean Club West.
This article has been updated to reflect new nightly rates; the original version contained high-season rates only and not starting rates. Also, the pool is from Ocean Club and not Ocean Club West as originally stated.