If your idea of a perfect honeymoon involves plenty of beach time and a healthy dose of adventure, the Caribbean island of Turks and Caicos should top your list of potential destinations.
Providenciales, commonly known as “Provo,” is the most developed island in Turks and Caicos, and the majority of tourists retreat to its white-sand beaches and postcard-worthy views. Along the picturesque 12-mile stretch of Grace Bay Beach—which sits on the north shore of the island—is where you’ll find a hand- ful of amazing accommodations, including Grace Bay Club, the first luxury all- oceanfront-suite resort in Turks and Caicos and an ideal spot to settle into for your honeymoon.
For foodies especially, Turks and Caicos is the ultimate fall destination thanks to the annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, a weekend-long celebration—from November 5th through 8th this year—that brings together elite chefs and winemakers from around the world for a series of food-focused events.
Pair that rare dining experience with Provo’s spectacular scenery, and you’re all set for the trip of a lifetime.
BY DAY Honeymooners who want to keep busy will love all the activities Turks and Caicos has to offer. Plan a day on the water with Island Vibes Tours; you’ll cruise around the island, snorkel among the reefs, and bask in the breeze while sunning on the boat’s rooftop lounge. Rental bikes are available for riding along the tree-lined streets, and just a short walk from Grace Bay Club, you’ll find plenty of quaint shops full of clothing, artwork and local wares. Back at the hotel, sign up for private yoga sessions on the beach, paddleboarding, kayaking (they even offer lessons), and whatever beachy sport floats your boat. And if either of you is a golfer, just a half mile from the resort is the top-ranking Provo Golf Club.
BY NIGHT The Infiniti Bar—the first infinity-edge bar in the world, and the longest bar in the Caribbean—is the pride of Grace Bay Club, and you’ll want to spend every night soaking in the view from this 90-foot-long landmark. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, you’ll enjoy entertainment at the bar while sipping on the signature Infiniti Martini. If you feel like celebrating your newlywed status offshore, a sunset cruise—complete with champagne, of course—will fit the bill perfectly.
WHERE TO STAY The Mediterranean-inspired Grace Bay Club includes three separate properties on its 11 acres of pristine land along the beach. For your honeymoon, you’ll want to stay at the adults-only hotel, which offers a range of suite sizes to accommodate your needs, or the Estate, a collection of 22 elegant residences complete with a poolside bar, cabanas and exclusive amenities. And you can’t beat the personal concierge service: When you arrive, you’re given a cell phone that offers direct access to the staff at all times.
WHERE TO EAT You’re sure to find a favorite among Grace Bay Club’s five on-site dining options—all of which have oceanfront views. While the sun is shining, grab a casual bite at Krave (Caribbean comfort food) or Grill Rouge (casual bistro fare) or at the resort’s pop-up restaurant—the concept changes seasonally—that’s located right on the beach. For dinner, get tapas and cocktails in the lantern-lit outdoor lounge, or opt for a feast under the palm trees at Infiniti Restaurant and Raw Bar, the only gourmet oceanfront restaurant on Providenciales. And if you’re in the mood to check out the island’s native dining scene—conch, prepared in a variety of ways, is the specialty—venture outside the resort to local favorites Da Conch Shack, Mr. Grouper’s or Hole in the Wall.
WHAT TO PACK Sunscreen, a floppy straw hat and lightweight clothing will be your must-haves while on the island—plus a dress or two for dinners at the resort. Other packing essentials: swimsuits, sandals and sneakers for outdoor excursions. Bug spray for nighttime outings is a smart choice, too, though there’s usually some stashed in the lobby for guests to use.
BEST TIMES TO GO The near-constant sunny skies are a huge draw for Turks and Caicos, but you’ll want to visit between November and May, when the weather is warm without being uncomfortably hot. Peak tourist season is from mid- December to mid-April—the driest time of year in the Caribbean.
NEWLYWED NEWS The concierges at Grace Bay Club can plan your entire honeymoon experience from start to finish: Romantic dinners, private excursions and tons of champagne can all be worked into your stay. You won’t want to miss the Time For Two massage at the resort’s Anani Spa—the cozy couples room includes a beautiful private pool for use after your treatment (though the spa tent for massages on the beach is pretty spectacular, too).
GETTING THERE If you book early and catch one of the few direct flights from Philadelphia International Airport, you’ll be dipping your toes in the lush blue waters in just under three and a half hours. Many of the resorts on Grace Bay are a 20-minute cab ride from Providenciales International Airport.
For more—advice, tips and inspiration—on honeymoons, go here.
This article originally appeared in the fall/winter 2015 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.