Post # 1
So we’re debating on 7 nights at the all inclusive Sandals Grande St. Lucian Or Parrot Bay by COMO in Turks and Caicos. Sandals in St. Lucia is all inclusive, adults only etc. My travel agent just showed us a great deal that Parrot bay is running for 7 night for the price of 5. It comes about $1200 under budget but it’s not all inclusive. Which would you choose? Any experiences at these locations?
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Post # 2
I have been to both St Lucia and Turks. Stayed at the Sandals in St Lucia but not at Parrot Bay in Turks. Parrot Cay was ridiculously expensive when we went – I think it was like $2,500 a night and that was not in the budget.
The Sandals will give you a very generic all inclusive experience. I am not turning my nose up at all inclusives because I do both kinds of hotels when I take a vacation – just depends on the trip. The Sandals was good in the sense that you stay at one and have access to all three Sandals in St Lucia – so you have a lot of restaurants and activities to try. It is also nice that ALL activities are included even non standard things like waterskiing. You don’t really get that at other all inclusives. The French restaurant was VERY good. Other than that, there was not anything all that remarkable about the hotel experience.
St Lucia was, however, great. If you are interested in more than just laying on the beach, there are tons of things to do. St Lucia has the Pitons – I don’t know the technical definition, but they are like mountains rising out of the sea. You can hike up the bigger one – it is the hardest hike I have ever done and not for the faint hearted. There was also decent snorkeling and other water sports. You can also take a day trip by ferry to nearby Martinique, which is a French island – quaint, sleepy place.
Even though we did not stay at Parrot Cay in Turks, we made friends with a woman, whose husband was one of the managers there and had dinner with them. Based on what he told us, Parrot Bay is VERY exclusive. You can only get to it by taking the resort’s private boat from Providenciales, your name has to be on the manifest well in advance and you need proper ID. The pictures of Parrot Cay are gorgeous and it seems to me that it is a place where people go to hideout or be cut off from the world. It would be a great honeymoon spot if you just want to be left alone to spend time with your husband. Be ready to spend a ton of money though – our typical breakfast in Providenciales was like $40 per person and that was not for anything fancy. Lunch was maybe about $70 and dinner about $100. We rented a car, so some days we went into town and found cheaper options, but nothing is cheap. I can just imagine how much things would cost on Parrot Cay where you are a captive audience and they are used to celebrities and the very wealthy.
There was less to do on Provienciales. The water and beaches are probably in the top 2 or 3 that I have ever seen, but the island is a limestone dessert and not all that developed, so options for non-water sports activities are limited. I think there was horesback riding and maybe ATV tours.
As far as what to choose – depends on what kind of trip you are looking for and whether you are ready to spend the additional few thousand it will cost for food/activities on Parrot Cay.
Post # 3
I would 110% do parrot cay, unless you’re big partiers.
The beach at Sandals Grande is nowhere near as nice as the beaches in Turks and Caicos will be. The one good thing about the Sandals Grande is that the restaurants and bars are right on the beach — but this also means it’s pretty loud and crowded.
The food at sandals restaurants is also pretty “meh.” I haven’t been to Parrot Cay, but it’s supposed to be incredible.
Post # 4
I’ve been to both. Absolutely recommend T&C! We didn’t stay at Parrot Cay but everything about that island was better than everything about St. Lucia. We stayed at a Sandals there and while it was nice, it simply did not compare to Turks!
Post # 6
were doing St. Lucia! Direct flights and the gorgeous mountains were selling points for us. We’re doing all inclusive but not Sandals. Not into the big resorts.
ETA I’m sure Turks and Caicos is lovely though. My FBIL/SIL are honeymooning there at Grace Bay.
Post # 7
I am interested in the answers here as well!
We loved St. Lucia, we went three years ago and I’ve wanted to return! We did Sandals, and I t was your typical all inclusive, but it was easy on the wallet and it got us out of the Midwest cold in January. We didn’t spend much time just sitting on the beach, but that wasn’t our intention. There was a lot to do. We typically do either Aruba or the Dominican (fairly inexpensive, easy trip) yearly so it was a nice change for us.
I have not been to Turks & Caicos but it seems to be the more laid back option just from talking to friends. But I have heard it is wonderful! It is a contender for us as well. We’ve also discussed Bora Bora. So many options 🙂 I truly don’t think you can go wrong with either!