I knew from the moment I entered the Regent Palms‘ open air lobby in Turks & Caicos and was greeted by fresh breezes, chirping birds and a refreshing lime, cucumber & mint spritzer, that this was a special place. When I first arrived to the lobby, I was simply captured by the beauty and lush greenery of the inner open courtyard that it faces, which is flanked on both sides by boutique shops and anchored at the back by Parallel 23, Regent’s main restaurant. Conde Nast Traveler magazine describes the resort’s style as “upscale yet comfortable British-colonial.”
As I was shown to my room, we made our way past the courtyard and through the inviting pool area that contains a mix of thick white-cushioned chaises and large round beach beds and then past the pristine beach and sparkling Caribbean sea. Finally we arrived at my building (building number five of five total) and took the elevator to the second floor (each building has only three floors, creating a more intimate and boutique resort feel instead of a large hotel) where I was shown my one-bedroom oceanfront room.
My jaw dropped a little upon entering my room, as it was even more spacious and beautiful than I thought it would be! The decor was very island chic, with marble bathroom counters, pastel accents, white cabinets, and touches of the Caribbean such as little paintings of palm trees on the kitchen island. The space was very bright and airy, with huge picture windows that framed the turquoise waters as if the sea was a pretty painting, and not real life outside of my room. As I mentioned in another post, most hotels in Grace Bay beach contain individually-owned condo units, so have full kitchens and living rooms. The kitchen in my room at Regent Palms was very well-appointed with a Viking range, full-size refrigerator, coffee maker, and dishes adequate for cooking. The living room couch folds out into a bed, so a family of four could EASILY fit into one of these rooms. Also, the entry category is a junior suite, and from there, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites, as well as a penthouse which can actually be configured to 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms as well. The penthouse comes with a personal butler who can run errands, cook, do anything for you!! So for a family or multi-generational trip, this can be a really great value.
After quickly unpacking, I had a couple hours before dinner and knew that I had to visit the ocean FIRST. I hadn’t yet done so in the two days I’d been on Turks, and the green-blue clear water looked so inviting, I hated to say no as it beckoned me again. So I obliged and set a new record for changing into a swimsuit and running to a beach. I was met by a very attentive beach staff who offered me towels and set up my chair for me. I was then asked a slew of questions to which I realized I had no answer.. “under the umbrella or no?” “chair facing the sun or the water?” And I was stumped. I was completely done when the kind attendant offered frozen fruit and cold bottled water. Then I slipped away into a very happy and relaxed place for about two hours, before realizing it was almost time for dinner with my colleagues at Parallel 23!
Regent Palms has two restaurants. Parallel 23 is the fine dining restaurant where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on a classy open-air patio (or just inside, but it is also open-air). Plunge is the more casual restaurant by the pool which consists of outdoor seating as well as the swim-up bar and SWIM-UP BOOTHS in the pool. Didn’t matter that I have never before seen a swim-up BOOTH before, but I had a sudden urge to have every one of my meals in one. So fun!! I’m sorry, did my mind wander to pools and bars? As I was saying.. my colleagues and I had the most delicious dinner that night at Parallel 23.. bottles of wine, conch ceviche, conch chowder (which I did not try but colleagues attested it was well deserving of its first place award at the Turks & Caicos Conch Festival), Caribbean prawns, and my personal favorite.. seared jumbo scallops. Melted in my mouth. Of course for dessert I selected a port wine (I feel so smart now after my recent trip to the port cellars of Porto, Portugal) and a light sorbet served with pistachio biscotti. Have I succeeded in making your mouth water yet??
Has anyone ever asked you “what would your perfect day include?” My answer would always involve some elements of food and sun.. and wouldn’t you know it, by my standards, my last day at Regent Palms was PERFECT!! I started out with the breakfast buffet at Parallel 23 (and can I note they have a scrambled egg whites station?? The Sales Director’s bodybuilding son is also impressed with this healthy feature) followed by a half day boat trip, followed by one of the best massages I have ever received- at an award-winning spa no less!, and ended with dinner and drinks right on Grace Bay beach and the sun dipping just below the horizon as we laughed with happy and full bellies and hearts.
As much of the activity on Turks & Caicos is water-centered, our half day boat charter took us first to a spot to dive for conch. Conch, a local specialty, actually lives in those really pretty curvy seashells that you may have seen as decor before. Ever wonder what lived in them before they became a decoration? Now you know. We were tasked with finding a football-sized conch that was pink on the inside.. a bit harder than it sounded!! But after each of us came up successful, Eddy from the Regent, as well as Bobby and Kwe, the boat crew, helped clean and prepare the conch ceviche-style for us to enjoy with our lunch. After our meal which was accompanied by some freshly-made rum punch, we were ready for our next adventure.. sand dollar diving! The reef offshore of Turks which creates the beautiful clear turquoise water also creates massive sandbars in which you can find sand dollars!! In water several feet deep and with snorkels on, we set out to find some for ourselves.. I proudly managed to find one and celebrated the occasion by toasting with Veuve Cliquot.. hey, don’t judge. Finding a large, perfectly shaped sand dollar was a great accomplishment for me that day in the Caribbean.
Upon return to land (and please find Kwe to be your boat captain should you head to Turks.. he does group and private charters and is fabulous!), I immediately got ready for my spa appointment. Regent Palms spa has been ranked #1 in the Caribbean and Atlantic by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and is beautiful, relaxing and has a very calming aesthetic. Treatments are performed in stand-alone rooms, and my 90-minute massage was out of this world. Amor, that was her name, and a fitting one at that since I truly loved my massage, even handled my slight sunburn with great care. Kudos to Stephanie the Spa Director for maintaining such an oasis of calm for guests to escape to! She is very sweet and will make sure you are well taken care of.
And after all of that.. we still had dinner on the beach to look forward to!! An absolutely beautiful table was set, including conch and candle centerpieces, and large balloon lights were strung up around our table creating an intimate atmosphere. We toasted new friends, the wonderful destination of Turks & Caicos, and most of all.. one of our new favorite hotels- the Regent Palms.
Virtuoso amenities include: upgrade on arrival subject to availability (and applies to specific room categories only), breakfast for two daily, and a $100 resort credit.