While handling our reservations and inquiries over the past few years, I more often get asked two common questions:
1) Is Grace Bay Beach really all they say it is?
2) How are the island prices?
It is true that Grace Bay Beach has been consecutively voted as the number one beach in the world by several trusted publications, and while it is also true that the cost of a vacation anywhere can quickly add up, there are so many ways to make a Turks trip affordable! The beautiful thing about Turks and Caicos is that you can make your vacation exactly how you want! Whether your goal is to keep spending costs within reason, or the complete opposite and not have a care in the world what anything costs, this article aims to provide you with an idea of what you can expect to spend while vacationing at Ports of Call.
What to Keep in Mind When Reviewing Prices
You are traveling to a Caribbean island! While there is plenty white powdery sand for the production of salt and crystal blue waters offering the freshest seafood – resources are limited. Considering the majority of items on the island are imported, it is unusual to see more than a one or two dollar markup. Imported items are charged a 7.5% customs processing fee in addition to the 10 - 40% taxes.
Are there any items I should consider bringing from home?
This really depends on what you're looking to do! The great thing about staying at Ports of Call is that everything you can possibly need is no more than a few minute walk from us. For the sake of taking up a small spot in your suitcase, you can save the few dollar surcharge on certain items.
If you're looking to take advantage of our barbecues
There are no duties on importing food into Turks and Caicos, however, it will need to be declared upon entering. Bring a cooler with the frozen meat(s) of your choice and have fun cookouts poolside. Pack some paper/plastic utensils as these types of items tend to be higher priced. Graceway Gourmet does offer reasonable prices on many food items that you can grab to cook (ex. $12 rotisserie chicken, 'add one to two more examples'). Please note, studio rooms may or may not come with freezer space in the mini-fridge. Guests staying in the apartments or villas will have large freezer storage.
If you're looking to spend your days with a drink in hand
The are great locally produced options for rum (light and dark), vodka and beer (lager, IPA, ale, stout, and wheat):
If you're looking to do laundry
For those staying in our studio rooms, we have coin-operated machines available for guest use at $5/wash and $5/dry. Tokens, detergent and dryer sheets can be purchased from our front desk but it may be worthwhile to pack your own tide pops pods/dryer seats to avoid buying a whole box at the store.
If you're looking to stay hydrated on the go
The tap water in Provo is potable so bring a reusable water bottle from home and you'll have no excuse to be dehydrated. We always have ice cold water in our lobby and disposable cups if needed. If you're not a tap water drinker, water is very inexpensive at Graceway Gourmet (approximately $2 for a 2L jug).
If you're looking to Snorkel as much as you can
A one-day rental for snorkel equipment (fins, mask and snorkel) will cost $25/set. If you have your own stuff at home, bring it with you, and if not, shop around and see if you can find a good deal.
*Note – prices are subject to change. Graceway Gourmet offers price checks! Feel free to contact them.
Items to consider buying in TCI to save luggage space
If I could tell you one thing, it's that you will never have a hard time finding an affordable and delicious meal in Turks and Caicos. From Caribbean food to authentic Italian dishes, the island has it all and a majority of the restaurants are located within walking distance from us.
Breakfast – $0
As a guest at Ports of Call, a continental style breakfast is included! Enjoy a variety of different cereals, pastries, toast, fruit, yogurt, milk, coffee, tea, juice, and cheese. There will also be a hot item which will rotate daily between scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, Belgium waffles, bacon, sausage, and hash browns.
Interested in dining out for breakfast?
There are some great options around us where you can kick star your day with exactly what you're craving:
Low Cost – $2 - 10
Eat Lunch for as low as $5
Dining out for every meal can get bloating, expensive and cut into your sun time! Many of our guests choose to buy groceries and make things they can take to the beach (e.g.,sandwiches, snacks, fruit, etc.).There are mini-fridges in all of our studio rooms as well as microwaves and barbecues on property. If you’re staying in our one-bedroom apartment or three-bedroom villa, a full kitchen is included.
Low Cost – $5 - 12
Enjoy Dinners starting at $8
Low Cost – $8 – 15
Nothing says vacation like having a fruity cocktail in your hand (your first one is on us during check-in)! An easy to save money is to grab items from Graceway Gourmet and pour your own drinks (your room will have disposable plastic cups). We kindly ask you to refrain from bringing your own drinks to our pool area while our bar is open (1 - 8pm). Our poolside bar as well as many other places offer happy hours which is a great way to stay conservative while still getting table service. Our happy hour special offers $1 off all drinks from 5 - 7pm daily.
Low Cost – $5 - 12
While tipping is not mandatory, the general rule of thumb is similar to North America (15 - 20%). The Government has recently passed a bill in which all businesses that provide a service (i.e., hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas, etc.) are to charge a 10% service fee to the bill. Please note, this is a baseline that acts as a tip for all service staff to share equally. Any further tipping is at your own discretion. If you are looking to provide additional gratuity, be sure to check your bill or ask the staff whether or not an additional service charge is included. Ports of Call Resort does not include an additional service charge to the 10%.
While laying on the beach and making full use of our amenities will keep you busy during your stay, you may be interested in some of the other activities the island has to offer. For the most part, there are multiple companies that offer the same excursion so you can compare price, dates/times available and overall impression. Booking ahead is always a good idea but if you would rather wait until you're on island, our front desk staff will gladly help you!
Explore the Islands by Boat and Snorkel Over Coral Reefs – $100 (half day) OR $200 (full day)
Most excursions include drinks (alcohol and non-alcoholic), snacks, snorkel equipment, and pick up service from our beach spot. Kids under 3 years of age are free, ages 3 - 10 are half price.
North & Middle Caicos Day Trip – $150 (DIY) OR $225 (Guided Excursion)
Traveling to North & Middle Caicos on your own is extremely easy and definitely worthwhile. Our front desk will provide all the resources for the trip! A quick look at the cost breakdown:
Taxi ride to ferry – $20 return
Ferry to North or Middle Caicos – $50 return
Car Rental on North/Middle Caicos – $60
Food/Drinks (buy groceries and bring them with you) – $20
*Based on one person. Traveling with others? Split the car rental!
Parasailing – $85 (based on 10-minute ride)
Standup Paddle Board Mangrove Tour (2.5 hours) – $115
Diving – $145 (based on two tank dive)
Tubing (Super Mable or Banana Boat) – $50/adult and $35/child (based on ________ minutes)
Private Boat Charter – $1,250 (half day) OR $2,500 (full day)
Some companies includ unlimited food, drinks, tubes, water skis and other equipment for use. Shop around beforehand to find out which company is best for you. Interested in a luxury yacht charter? Prices start around $1,600 (half day) OR $3,200 (full day)
Deep Sea Fishing - $____
Jet Ski Guided Tour – $____
ATV Tour – $150 (based on two hour guided tour)
Spa – $120 (based on 50 minute Swedish massage) OR $115 (facial)
There are so many spas throughout TCI that you can explore. Spa Tropique is located on property and offers our guests a 10% discount when you book in advance!
Underwater Submarine –$70 (adults) & $60 children (children – 11 and under)
Horse Back Riding – $110 (based on one hour group ride; you are responsible for getting there)
Golf – $110 (9-holes) OR $195 (18-holes)
Tennis – $20/hour
Yoga – $25/class
The hotel includes a gym – see photo here.
*Rates are per person and should be for reference use only. Subject to a 12% Government tax. Please contact the business to get an accurate quote.
Grace Bay is home to a majority of the islands’ most luxury resorts but don’t let the rates scare you when you can stay with us for as little as$229/night + tax. When staying at Ports of Call, you have all the amenitiesincluded that are offered at larger resorts while obtaining a boutique experience. To receive the best price, I recommend booking accommodations in advance! We offer early booking incentives (normally 20 - 25% base price) and you can secure the room type you want with no hard commitments. Depending on the time of year, and room type, only a one- or two-night deposit is due at the time of booking (50% for villas) and the remaining balance is due at check-in. You can view more of our reservation policies here. The least expensive time to stay with us is during the islands low season (May 1 - December 21). Nightly rates start at $229/night + tax before any sales are applied. Alternatively, you can escape winter at home and travel in high season (January 5 - April 30) for an additional $110/night + tax. Christmas Week (December 22 - January 4) is the most expensive time of the year to travel in terms of air fare and hotel but it is also a lot of fun! Nightly rates during this period range from $389/night-$949/night + tax.
Have tentative travel dates in mind? Let us know and we'll provide a quote!
*Rates based on single or double occupancy in a Garden View room. Tax rate is 27% (12% Government tax, 5% Facility Fee, and 10% Service Charge). Rates subject to change.
There is no public transportation in Turks and Caicos; the only ways to get around are by taxi, car, bicycle, scooter, foot or swim! The great thing about staying at Ports of Call is that you are within walking distance to everything and anything you'll need cutting the costs of multiple taxis or a car rental. If you want to get out and explore the island, I advise renting a bicycle or car for the day.
Getting to the Hotel From the Airport
This is probably the most popular question I am asked. I usually suggest our guests take a taxi; there are plenty readily available after exiting customs. Mention to the driver you are going to Ports of Call Resort and they will pair you with others heading to the same or nearby properties as their cars can hold up to 12 people. We are only a 15-minute drive but fares are Government regulated at $33 for the first one to two people and $16.50 for each additional person. Taxis are cash only so please ensure you have cash on you as there is no ATM on property. If you have a party of 5 or more, it may be less expensive to rent a vehicle for the day. Most companies will have the car ready for you at the airport, or provide a shuttle service to their lot. Take advantage of the rental and explore the island or check off one of the restaurants you wanted to visit that wasn't within walking distance (Tip: Mango Reef and Da Conch Shack are great local choices). If you booked a package, there is a chance it includes airport transportation. I recommend looking into this prior to departure and if it does, knowing who to look for upon your arrival.
If you do decide to rent a car, I recommend booking with Caicos Wheels (rates starting at $60/day + tax). They are located on property and provide our guests a 10% discount. Alternatively, you can look into Grace Bay Rentals which is slightly down the street. If you feel comfortable renting a scooter, this is a really fun way to see the island. Rates start at $40/day + tax.
Important Things to note:
Keep in mind that taxis charge per person. If taking a taxi anywhere, ask our front desk to get a quote when they order one for you and confirm with the driver before getting in. If you are going somewhere that you will not have phone access, make sure to plan a time and place for pickup with your driver.
Approximate Reference Points with Applicable Rates
Bicycles can be rented on a daily basis from Caicos Wheels located on property. Bicycle rentals cost approximately $20/day + tax.
*Rates are for reference use only (exception of Airport Taxi fees). Please contact the business/taxi driver to get an accurate quote.
Airfare will vary depending on the time of year travelling, how far in advance you are booking and the city in which you are departing from. Click here to find out which airlines offer flights to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) from your nearest airport and sign up for their mailing list to get notified of seat sales. Similar to accommodation rates, airfare could increase the longer you wait! While it is normally less expensive to fly in our low season, many airlines cut the amount of times the flight operates weekly, if not entirely. With our flexible cancellation policy, you have time to watch for flight sales and find the best deal!
Tip – if it's easy for you to get to FLA or MIA, fly with Southwest or JetBlue for as low as $80 + tax (one-way).
Still have more questions? Ask me by leaving a comment in the thread!