Updated June 12, 2016 (after visit #12)
So you decided to book the Seven Stars in Turks and Caicos. Mazal Tov!! And now what? Not quite sure what to do? Got that deer in headlights look after all those All Inclusive trips? Time to change that to Raccoon in fresh Indian leftover garbage can look. Or something like that.. you know what I mean. Here are some tips that should enhance your stay. Some of these are my own opinions by the way so save the hate mail and voodoo. I occasionally have friends and family stay here so I’m partially doing this to save time writing stuff for them.
Airport – first things first, get your island reading material. After customs, go straight to the stand on your left to pick your free copy of the Where When How Magazine and Dining Guide. Dont be surprised to see my frontal balding head and a food column in the magazine (not dining guide). Then let the SS rep outside know that you arrived safely, call your mom, and take a shared taxi to the hotel ($33 per couple, $16.50 per additional, subject to change). There’s also a VIP fast track available to or from, starting at $200 per for the first person, $75 for each additional
Car – You can get away without renting in this location but renting for at least 2 days is recommended. I usually rent from the ultra reliable Grace Bay Auto Rental. You can pick and drop from the airport and from the resort itself. Very simple. On one of the days drive to Taylor Bay or Sapodilla in the morning followed by lunch at Las Brisas (closed Tuesday for now – owner says they may start opening soon) overlooking stunning chalk sound. Click here for directions. On another day you can drive to Bugaloos or the Blue Hills area and have lunch at the Conch Shack or any of the other local spots. Another fun option is Long Bay Beach, watching the kite surfers do their thing, although when the winds are not out, its just about as good as it gets (see below). BTW, a new tradition for us is pick up the car at the airport and get some fried chicken on the way from Sweet T’s
Excursion – Some of the popular ones are half day excursions with outfits like Island Vibes or Caicos Dream Tours. Entire list in here (links on the left).
If you want parasailing, you can just catch “Marvelous Max” walking around on the beach and he can get someone to pick you up within minutes. No need to reserve this ahead of time as many do
IGA market – 5 minute walk. Come out of the hotel and its straight ahead. Get you Bambarra Rum coconut + Pineapple juice and its party time folks. Or….
Seven Stars Market – A small store front where you can get your bare necessities, i.e. Beer, bambarra, sandwiches (for the airport), basic drugs, sunscreen and much more.
Entertainment – These days you have live music on the deck normally on the weekends 6-9pm. Sunday beach BBQ with music and bonfire (about $59/pp).
Photography – Seven Stars teamed with Paradise Photography for a $350 portrait special that includes one hour photo shoot (sunset/daytime), access to all images and a Web gallery.
Spa – Seven Stars boasts one of the top spas in the Caribbean. Dont believe me? Ask Conde Nest readers, voting it one of the Top 25 in the world. Yes, the world! We used the spa a few years back and can confirm the world status. But now with further improvements and the addition of a retail store, things are looking even better.
Other amenities: Free bike rentals, tennis, watersports, yoga, kids club with movie night, a coconut station, omelette station (finally!), adult only deck, a pillow menu, mosquito nets, bidets (I would sub a bidet for a quality Squatty Potty myself. I mean who uses bidets anyway, except at night by accident)
I have to say, I’ve seen the resort grow from a bare-bones, simple condo rental property to a full service resort over the years, and I’m super impressed by the job Ken and company done.
Insider Tip: No need to reserve seats here. We’ve been here at the busiest times and between the deck, beach and pool there are always plenty of seats. Dont be the one! BTW, all the pictures here were taken at the busiest times since thats the only time we can travel as a family. So you can see for yourself
Insider Tip that is not really an insider tip: Dont bring a speaker to the beach no matter how small, and dont assume everyone likes Country Music. I see that from time to time. Might as well wear an “I’m a douche” T-shirt. If you do that I promise to bring my own speaker and blast “Best of Barney” right next to you.
Caicos Bakery – (opens 7:30. close Sundays) 5 minutes away. Come out, turn left and look for it right next to Caicos Cafe in Caicos Cafe plaza. Get some croissants (almond – yum, chocolate), a baguette and you are all set. And dont worry about the “here’s another idiot bringing their own bread to breakfast” look at the free breakfast. You’ll get used to it. Best bread on the island. Well, they are french!
Lunch ideas: Besides lunch at the hotel you got many options nearby. The following directions all facing the ocean.
To your right you have Ocean Club West and Seaside Cafe (5 minute walk). Seaside is becoming a great dinner choice as well. The food is better that the “resorty” place suggets as long as young phenom Francois is at the helm
Also to your right, another exciting option, 20-25 walk is Flamingos. Past Club Med, by the second dock you’ll see. Fun local fare. Great curried grouper.
To your left, a 15 minute walk, you got Hemingways at the sands – Nice conch fritters, Fish and chips (great fries), very popular fish tacos with mango chutney
Also to your left (5 minutes) is the Regent Village you can enter via the Regent Grand. Highly recommend Lupo, Garam Masala (not open for lunch at the moment,) and Le Bouchon (burger with egg!).
Elsewhere, as mentioned lunch at Las Brisas on chalk sound is pretty cool with the most stunning views on the island. Try the lobster salad in season.
Bugaloos and Conch Shack are other driving option
Dinner ideas: You got Seven, The Deck, Sunday night beach BBQ on the premises and a plethora of restaurants within walking distance like Bella Luna, Caicos Cafe, Le Bouchon, Lupo, Via Veneto, and more. Here are some of our favorites…
Coco Bistro $$$$ – 2 minute drive. 15 minutes walk on the road, dont walk in the dark. Perhaps the most romantic and definltely the most popular resaturant on the island. Great soups, Tuna Sashimi, grilled lobster, lamb, and more. Coconut cream pie for dessert is a must
Seven $$$$ – One of the better resort restaurants on the island with a pretty inventive menu. Try the Vanilla rum butter poached lobster with papaya buttermilk risotto, or the best end of lamb.
Caicos Cafe $$$ – 5 minute walk, in Caicos Cafe Plaza. This is our personal favorite and we try to eat here at least twice on every visit. Do not get fooled by the review rankings on Trip Advisor. Great great pastas, some homemade that day, some artisanal with top quality ingredients. Try the Grilled Calamari, Gnocchi, Wahoo Carpaccio (when available) apps. Fantastic seafood pasta dishes like the Tagliolini, Lobster Fra Diavolo (in season). Some of the meat dishes like the ribs and steak are popular as well. We’ve tried them all
Le Bouchon $$$ – At the Regent Village. As French Bistro as it gets on the island from a former bistro owner in Paris. Fantastic escargot and arguably best steak on the island.
Seaside $$$ – Great new addition (since new owners took over a few years ago) at the Ocean Club West next door. This is an underrated gem with Coco veteran Francois doing all sorts of magic with groupers, fresh tuna, and conch
Caravel $$$ – A newish, local, super friendly comfortable spot, just a short drive (turn left, on the left right past OCW entrance). Try the white chowder and Fish Tacos
Private Dining at Seven Stars – SS also offers a variety of private dining like feet on the sand, beachside cabana, and an in-suite option. The first two come with a private butler, while the in-suite comes with a private chef. All start at $300
Hope this helped. Enjoy!
Thanks for the info! We are headed out to Turks and Caicos this weekend.
Do you know if seven stars also rents out fins amongst other Snorkel gear? We are planning on bringing out snorkels, masks and ike Lites. I may bring some short fins (fit on a carry on) but knowing what they rent would be helpful!