Weekend in Turks & Caicos

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Turks & Caicos is easy to love because just a three-hour, nonstop flight (from NYC) can transport you so quickly to welcoming powdery soft beaches, warming sunshine and a super mellow vibe.  I recently spent a long weekend there – left home at breakfast time and by lunch, I was in flip flops and a bathing suit, relaxing by the pool.
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We spent the first night at the Amanyara (http://www.amanresorts.com/amanyara/home.aspx), which had me at hello.  The property is exquisite and the service is so perfect that I would actually be curious to know how it is they they train their staff so flawlessly.  The staff seem to levitate in and out of your presence at all the right times.
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The hotel is the only private property located inside of Marine National Park on the otherwise sparsely occupied northwest coast of Providenciales. As if that were not enough to make you feel like you’re on a deserted island, the accommodations are comprised of villas, each surrounded by lush landscaping to maximize guest privacy.  The hotel is designed in a modern, Asian style, from the architecture to the furnishings to the service.  In fact if I just loaded a bunch of pictures onto this post without words, one might guess that these photos were taken in Bali.
My husband and I were there without the kids, which brought the zen factor to an even higher level. Although children are permitted, I would imagine this hotel might not be ideal for families with young ones –  no kids club, waterslides or pool toys.
All meals can be prepared by a private chef, pool side at your villa (most villas have gorgeous infinity pools).  We took advantage of this amenity for our first lunch and it was heavenly.  The hotel has a spa, tennis courts and a host of non motorized water sports if you’re too antsy to sit on the breathtaking beach with a book or a cocktail.
We opted to have dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was located on a lagoon and lit only by candlelight and torches.   Although a menu was provided, we basically created our own meal and the service could not have been more accommodating.  We sat for hours basking in the beautiful setting.  The next morning we visited the spa and had massages which, not surprisingly, were spot on.
After one night we transferred to the Gansevoort (http://www.gansevoorthotelgroup.com/hotels/gansevoort-turks-caicos), located on a beautiful stretch of Grace Bay.
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The Gansevoort was an altogether different experience but still great.  We were in a very pretty and spacious one bedroom suite with a terrace overlooking the ocean. The property is quite compact and I actually liked that the pool, beach and restaurants are all very close to one another.  We thoroughly enjoyed our buffet breakfasts and one dinner at the restaurant on property.   For anyone looking to enhance their mind-body wellness, there is an exhale spa (http://exhalespa.com/locations/turks-amp-caicos) where you can decompress with a massage or energize with a core fusion fitness class.
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We ventured out one evening to Coco Bistro (http://www.cocobistro.tc/), which was terrific. The last time I was in Turks & Caicos the food was very mediocre
(and very expensive) everywhere, so I didn’t have high expectations.  But Coco Bistro blew us away. The setting alone, amidst of the largest palm grove on the island, was worth the ride. Fortunately the food was impressive as well.  If you go, you might also want to check out a cute bar/restaurant just down the beach from the Gansevoort called “somewhere”.  Although the drinks were nothing to write home about, the barefoot beachfront setting was pretty amazing.
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