Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Providenciales: Royal West Indies

We booked our trip to Provo through Expedia, which wrapped up hotels and flights together into one package. There were 20 or so hotels to choose from that were in a comfortable price range and then a handful that were really expensive ($1000+ per night) and then a few that were much cheaper due to a poor location and/or sub-par facilities. After doing some research on Trip Advisor, we settled on the Royal West Indies. What lured us in was the proximity to a more secluded/less popular beach, the positive reviews about the cleanliness of the rooms and the friendliness of the staff, and the fact that rooms have a kitchen or kitchenette (depending on the size).

I thought RWI was a great hotel. The staff really was v. friendly and they have a small, but substantial, library of books and DVDs to borrow (so we borrowed one every night to watch before bed). The cleaning staff is diligent and does a great job and any employee you meet on the property will greet you with a smile and a hello. They also have beach cruisers (bikes) to borrow for 2 hours at a time from 8am to 6pm; there are taller "boy bikes" and shorter "girl bikes" to suit differing heights.

I will say that pretty much all resorts and hotels in the Grace Bay area are right on the beach so what it all comes down to is how much you're willing to spend and how much you think your dollar is worth. I do recommend that you check out the hotel website as well as Trip Advisor for real human reviews before making a decision. Because icky lodging can definitely ruin your holiday, even if you're not spending a tremendous amount of time in the room.


One thing to note: all of the running water in Provo comes from a desalination plant. We did detect a slightly sulfur-y smell and taste when brushing our teeth but the smell was even stronger when we were taking hot showers. I'm not sure if it's a trait of all desalinated water or just this island, but there are a few forums that mention the taste/smell at every hotel/restaurant all over Providenciales. That being said, the water IS safe to drink but we didn't want to risk possibly getting ill so we went to the IGA and bought a 24 pack of bottled water for $7. But one thing that's nice and green: RWI recycles its rainwater and shower/sink water and uses it to irrigate the plants on the property. Don't worry, it's filtered.

Our room was so clean and we were really happy with it. I liked that there was a tile floor because carpet skeeves me out; plus, that would just be impractical in a seaside environment. The room also had a safe - you set your own code - which we used for our money and passports and other valuables while we were out of the room.
The bathroom was really clean and seemed like it had recently been redone. Also, in a closet next to the bathroom, there was a washer and dryer which was awesome. On our last night, we did a load of laundry so that we wouldn't have to pack salty, sandy clothes into our luggage.


You can see a bit of the kitchenette in the background of the photo. Like a dummy, I didn't take a good picture. The kitchenette had a full-size refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker, microwave, and sink with a bit of counter space. The cabinets and drawers had dishes, glasses, mugs, and silverware so you don't have to bring your own. There's also a (fresh brand new for each guest) dish sponge and dish soap so you can rinse up after yourself.
Here's a little glimpse of our lanai. It was right near the pool, which was awesome.

One of the pools had a bridge running over it, which we thought was neat.
Can you spot my sister on the bridge?
The grounds themselves were really lovely. Lots of flowers and greenery; and you could tell they really cared about their gardening because the sprinklers came on morning and evening and there were maintenance people working on pruning and shearing and clearing, everyday.

And on days you wanted to head to the beach, you'd be greeted by white sand, beautiful blue water, and free lounge chairs, umbrellas, and (yes, free) access to hobie cats, kayaks, and other sporty equipment. Gorgeous, right?

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