Review – The Veranda, Turks& Caicos

Nick and I had our island vacation from Feb 20th, 2010 until Feb 27th, 2010.  We picked the island of Turks & Caicos in December as a winter getaway spot.  We did tons of research on options of resorts, condo rentals, all inclusive etc.  Our criteria was only that it should be right by the water (which most of the resorts are), and mostly adult, ie. not family oriented.  We’re okay with some kids – but when it’s intended to be a family resort, it can be pretty overwhelming to us.  That meant Beaches was out.  the only other AI resort was Club Med.  We had a friend stay there and had a good time, but wanted something…more modern.  All of the sudden, we saw a posting that there’s a new AI being built – scheduled to open first week of Feb.    Hey, we’re adventurous, we’re willing to give it a try – plus they had a killer intro price promo, so we went ahead and booked it.

I think our experience with the Veranda is very different than others that would have gone after – or if we were to go back.  For the duration that we were there, there was only a handful other couples and families there.  I would say no more than 10 other “groups”.  that meant a lot of Veranda staffers, coordinators, and general helpers for every guest.

Upon arrival at the airport, we were greeted by a Veranda staff and usher to the courtesy Taxi provided.  When we arrived at the spacious front entrance, they were ready for us, and gave us a beverage (very strong whatever it was!), cool towel, and a guide to show us to our rooms.   We literally gasped when we saw our room – we were only expecting a studio room – but what we ended getting was a one bedroom suite with a full kitchen, living room, balcony, and a huge bathroom.  Everything was very nice, bright, new, and modern. Exactly how we like it.   Pics are in the gallery section. beautiful!  We had a pool view and a glimpse of the ocean if you look at a certain angle.  The cleaning was great – our rooms were always tidied, and they always got rid of any sand that we carried back with us.

By the 2nd day we were there, all the Veranda people were calling us by our names…which has a nice personal feel to it. There was always someone there if you need anything – very attentive and eager to help.   The restaurant staff were all friendly, albeit slow (but that’s typical in an island setting), and we weren’t in any rush, so we were fine with that. just have that level of expectation!  Breakfast was served in the the grill area where the sun shines in the morning.  It was the only meal that was served buffet style.  By the 3rd day we were there, they set up an egg station (yay!), so the chef would be able to make your eggs any style.  Lunch menu was the same every day – but there was so many choices, we ate a different dish every lunch.  Dinner was a fare – different theme meal every night – and the “core” menu.  The food was awesome – not the typical All inclusive buffet style which we liked.   There was also a bar menu for in between meal times, and of course free flowing drinks all day and night.

The concierge was great – helpful in finding excursions and tours and ideas for things to do.  even when we weren’t looking to book anything, we ended up strolling by and chatting with them for a few.  For excursions, we ended up doing the Conch Dive and snorkel tour with Caico Dream Tours as well as a kayak paddle around the mangrove with Big Blue (self guided). both excursions were awesome and the companies we dealt with was great and professional.

With 2 pools, 3 dining areas, lots of hammocks, activities (they do have a kids club), a gym, and a spa; they were very well equipped for leisure times.

Here are some points that I recall being spectacular about the Veranda and the staff:
– there was always a security guard that walked us to our rooms at night
–  One climbed a tree to get a fresh coconut and cracked it for us to drink
– one taught us the basics of sailing (using a hobo-cat as the example)
– I asked for hot choco one night, and they didn’t have it, by the next night, they offered it for me
– the fresh Naan bread made by the chef.
–  the clear bottom kayaks.  only one on the island – you can see the reefs and fish below as you paddle
– lots of books, ps3 games to borrow on a rain day (we got one rain day and had plenty to do)

Overall, it was the best time we’ve ever had on a leisure vacation, all thanks to the Veranda.  We would go back in a heartbeat (though we usually try to go to different places for new experiences!)  but never say never – I sure wouldn’t mind.

To see the pictures we have for the Veranda, go here.

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