These isles are home to the beaches of screen savers. Best known for the long stretches of sparkling sand lining clear, vivid blue water, just about every waterfront resort has its own stretch of hard-to-beat, palm-lined beach.
Grand Turk Inn is the West Indies-style inn of Caribbean daydreams, with plenty of wicker deck chairs, four-poster beds and wooden staircases. There are just five rooms, all of which have air-conditioning and their own kitchens. Ask for the Conch Cottage suite, which has a four-poster bed that’s enrobed in drifts of white gauze. The inn itself offers plenty of bleached out sand and hammocks that literally swing between palm trees (room rates start at $250 a night and include continental breakfast; grandturkinn.com).
Photo courtesy of Grand Turk Inn
To Do: From January through March, you can whale-watch from the inn’s sundeck, or take a boat ride around the island to check out the Caribbean Humpback whales as they migrate through the region.
Where to Eat: Da Conch Shack and Rum Bar in Provo is a must-see. This small, well, shack, serves up fish and lobster, but you come for the conch. If you’ve never had it before, try it in a comfortably familiar concoction, such as fried into fritters or cooked in chowder, and leave the more ambitious conch salad, conch creole, and cracked conch to the old hands.
The first Aman resort in the Caribbean, Amanyara feels luxurious, decadent, decidedly Asian and blissfully off the radar. Picture calm reflecting pools and lounging salas (open air spaces) by the main swimming pool as well as a sugar-sand beach, an Asian-inspired spa and ultra-private villas and suites, most with their own pools (room rates start at $1,300 a night and include airport transfers, mini-bar, non-motorized watersports, some activities and yoga; amanresorts.com).
Photo courtesy of Aman Resorts
To Do: Amanyara is located on the Northwest Point of Providenciales, far from the crowded shores of Grace Bay, where resorts sit up against one another. Here, you can cocoon yourself in quiet and privacy — so why leave? From May through September, gentle breezes create the ideal climate for boating, and the resort offers complimentary Hobie Cats and ocean kayaks to explore the coastline. Don’t miss the spectacular snorkeling located just off the beach. Private excursions and daily complimentary group outings offer the chance to spy loads of tropical fish.
Where to Eat: Some of the best Asian food in the region is at Amanyara. Because the Aman hotel group is based in Asia, the chefs who work here often come from the eastern properties, adding an authenticity to Pan-Asian dishes like tuna with yuzu sauce and braised pork belly with Asian mushrooms. But it’s the Thai dishes — from the soups like tom kha gai and tom yun goong to curries and Phuket-style lobster with chili sauce — that steal the show. Leave space for the homemade ice cream.