- Dates of hotel stay: 7 nights – August 15-22, 2020
- Where: Providenciales – Turks and Caicos Islands
- Paid stay / points: Paid
Giraffes need to play it safe during COVID times and with all of the border closures my summer vacation looked a bit different than usual in 2020. For my first trip since Vietnam I wanted to visit somewhere close to New York City with a beautiful beach. Turks and Caicos is 3 hours and 30 minutes from New York and the beaches are stunning so it checked both boxes.
COVID-19 Entry Requirements / Tips – A negative COVID-19 PCR test result and proof of travel insurance is required for entry. The test must be taken within 5 days prior to travel. Children under the age of 10 are excluded from this requirement. Check out the latest COVID-19 entry requirements here.
Seven Stars Resort and Spa – Three Things I Love and Three Things to Consider
What I love:
- Beachfront property on Grace Bay Beach, one the the best beaches in the world
- Adults only Wet Deck and Pool
- The staff takes COVID-19 precautions seriously. Also, there’s complimentary, in-room COVID-19 antigen testing; PCR tests are also available for $185 each
Things to consider:
- Seven Stars is a large resort. If you’re looking for a boutique hotel experience then adjust your expectations accordingly
- Turks and Caicos is expensive for the Caribbean. Expect to see prices equivalent to what you’d find in New York or San Francisco
- There’s only a few dining options on-site so you’ll need to venture off the resort if you’re staying more than a few days. See dining recommendations at the bottom of this review
Turks and Caicos is made up of 40 islands in the Atlantic Ocean and is a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas. Most international flights arrive at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS). From the airport Seven Stars Resort and Spa is a 15-minute cab ride.
Pro tip: Bring USD to pay for the airport taxi. There’s no ride share apps on the island and taxis don’t accept credit cards.
The hotel is in walking distance to a supermarket where you can stock up on essentials including alcohol. There’s a fleet of bicycles available for exploring the island.
Lobby / Check-in
When I entered the resort at the main gate hotel security took my temperature with a thermal scanner. I had to inform security that the normal temperature of a giraffe is 101.3°F (38.5°C). Apparently I was their first giraffe guest.
At the entrance I was greeted by the smiling staff. As per hotel policy all luggage is collected and disinfected. The check-in agent asked me to take a seat to complete the check-in formalities. A few moments later I was offered a delicious rum punch. This is how to start a vacation.
I booked an Ocean Front Junior Suite. The suite is spacious coming in at 700 square feet. It features a king sized bed, flat screen tv, lounge chair and work desk.
Pro tip: Ritz-Carlton is building a massive property next door to Seven Stars Resort and Spa. Depending on the location of your room you may be bothered by construction noise. Request a room located ocean front away from the construction.
The suite has a fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops, GE Monogram appliances and a Nespresso machine. Given it was lobster season I ate out at Grace Bay’s fabulous restaurants every night so this kitchen never saw any use.
There’s ample closet space for a weeks stay. The in-room safe is located in the lower section of the closet and is large enough to fit a laptop and large tablet. Unfortunately, the furniture in the room is starting to show some wear and tear. I was slightly disappointed since the photos on the hotel’s website show updated furnishings. I’m guessing they’re in the process of renovating the rooms.
The large marble bathroom has dual sinks, L’Occitane branded bath amenities and an ocean view jacuzzi tub. Giraffe’s love bathrooms with ocean views!
After a long day at the beach you’ll certainly want a nice shower. You’re in luck, the shower has excellent water pressure. I couldn’t help but wish for a rain shower head, but I’ll take a standard shower head with excellent pressure over a rain shower head with weak pressure any day. The bathroom features a separate toilet room with a bidet.
My favorite part of the room is the furnished ocean view terrace. There’s two padded lounge chairs as well as a table with two chairs. I’d come out to have my coffee in the morning and listen to the sounds of the ocean.
The views at sunset are even more captivating. Watching the sunset from the terrace is truly spectacular.
Fitness Center / Sports Activities
The Fitness Center is open 24-hours and has a variety of strength training and cardio equipment. You need to call the front desk to schedule a visit due to Covid-19 related capacity restrictions, but I never had an issue getting my preferred time slot.
If you’d rather get some exercise outside Seven Stars has lighted tennis and pickleball courts and equipment. Those looking to shoot some hoops can head to the adjacent basketball court.
The children’s play area features a jungle gym. There weren’t many children staying at the resort during my visit, but I can see this being popular with the little ones.
Pool / Beach
Seven Stars has two pools. There’s a heated salt-water family pool, which is surrounded by plenty of sun loungers and cabanas. The cabanas can be booked for an additional cost.
There’s also an adults only Wet Deck with sun loungers and cabanas. The attentive pool attendants are at the ready to serve you your favorite cocktail or some tasty snacks. At many large resorts it’s often difficult to get personalized attention at the pool, but this isn’t the case at Seven Stars.
One of my favorite features of the property is the adult only pool. There was never more than one or two other people here. It feels like an adults only resort within a resort. The adults only area has a dedicated beach entrance.
Grace Bay Beach is consistently rated among the best beaches in the world. It has white sand, there’s no seaweed and there aren’t beach vendors trying to sell you goods. It’s heaven. The crystal clear azure waters are the perfect temperature to enjoy a nice swim.
Due to COVID-19 breakfast was served à la carte at Seven Restaurant. There is a good variety of breakfast food to choose from, but those who stay longer than a week may grow tired of the menu.
During my visit I tried the Greek yoghurt with granola and berry chutney. It is delicious! I could probably eat this every day. I also tried the fruit platter, which was very fresh.
For my main dish I tried the made to order omelette, which was served with roasted tomato, hash browns and an English muffin. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the portions are very large. On my last day I indulged and got the Buckwheat pancakes with Pina colada chutney and maple syrup. They were excellent.
There’s a lot of great restaurants a short distance from the hotel. I dined out at Mango Reef Restaurant & Bar (excellent), Coco Bistro (excellent), Le Bouchon Du Village (excellent) and Hemingway’s on the Beach (skip). Reservations are required pretty much everywhere for dinner, but the hotel concierge is more than willing to help.
First Class Giraffe Approved
Seven Stars Resort and Spa is a great property and I highly recommend it to those considering a trip to Turks and Caicos. I will caveat that with a disclaimer that my experience at the resort was probably a bit different than you’d have during non-pandemic times. If you’re looking for a destination where they take COVID-19 seriously, but you still have the freedom to dine out and go to the gym then Turks and Caicos and Severn Stars Resort and Spa should be at the top of your list.