Stuff you MUST know about Providenciales
By Galina and Rich
Info current as of Jun 2010 (our last trip there)
- Calico Jacks-- at ports of call, upstairs. Casual outdoor dining, local cuisine. One of our favorites. CLOSED THROUGH AUGUST (owners are divorcing)
- Da Conch Shack-- up the Blue hills road about 1/2 mile on the Right. The conch was as fresh as could be, and the atmosphere couldn't be beat (we ate on picnic tables on the sand overlooking the water), service is slow (it's good to not be starving right when you get there). But it's a great experience.
- Tiki Hut- Turtle Cove. Famous for their ribs (specials on Thursdays last time we were there)
- Saltmills Cafe in the Saltmills shopping center. Basic cafe with decent selection, good portions and decent prices, and tasty food.
- Hemingways- At the Sands resort. a favorite of many folks.
- Bacci- Great Italian food in Turtle cove.
- Bay Bistro- At Sibonne hotel, next to the Sands. We had a nice Sunday brunch there.
- The Vix At Regent village shopping center. Outdoor seating, nice ambiance. Grill fare mostly. Food is good. We ate their on pub night and had fish and chips, very good. they have good prices on Pub night on Thursdays ($15 entrees) and Tuesday night grill night ($25 all you can eat), summertime only I think
- __ wine bar (don't remember the name!) right next to the Vix in Regent Village. Good wine selection, appetizers, decent prices. It looks inviting, though we haven't been there yet
- Aqua-- Turtle cove, right on the water. Excellent food, nice atmosphere.
- Magnolia-- up at the top of turtle cove. Wonderful food and view from up high of Turtle Cove.
- Cocoa Bistro-- east along the Grace Bay road, past Ports of Call. People rave about this, but I've has had poor experiences in all 3 times we've visited the place.
- Caicos Cafe-- Right next to Ports of Call. We were only here once, during our first trip to the island, about 2 years ago now. we've liked this place each time we've been there. Recently, they started serving a free glass of champagne with dinners.
- Matsuri Sushi Bar-- 2 locations: next to the IGA and in Saltmills. Fish is fresh but extremely expensive. We went once to the place in Grace Bay and haven't been back.
- Mango Reef-- Royal West Indies. One of our standbys. Outdoor seating next to the pool. Nice and relaxing atmosphere, with good food.
- O Soleil-- at the Somerset Resort. Richard and Joy highly recommend this place as one of the best on the island, though we haven't been there yet.
- Bagatelle-- at the Gansevoort resort. Good food, very small, limited menu, and very overpriced. The key attraction to this place is the Gansevoort resort itself- it's modern and chic-looking. Very cool swimming pool.
- Anacaona-- this is always one of the highlights of our trips here. Anacaona is one of the most expensive, high end restaurants on the island. But they have a bar just a step up from the beach. Used to be you sit on couches in the open air, under stretched canvas "sails". They've upgraded the decor to be very modern and not quite as inviting. But still, with casual music playing in the background, you order expensive (but large and strong) drinks, and talk and laugh while watching the sunset. Very nice!
- Hemingway's-- the bar itself is not an attraction, but you can pick up a pin a colada to go in a plastic cup and walk with it along the beach.z
Graceway gourmet-- this is right in Grace bay, on the road linking leeward highway to grace bay road at seven stars. It's a medium-sized store with many of the basics. Not as good a selection as IGA, but it's good for picking up a few things, and it's within walking distance from Villa Renaissance (and many other resorts).
IGA (grocery store)-- up on leeward highway, towards the airport, east of the turnoff to "the Bight". About 3 miles from Villa Renaissance. We bike it but we recommend getting a taxi or driving.
Fish Market: This is a shack on Leeward Highway about 1/2 mile east (towards downtown/airport) from the IGA. Much better prices than IGA. Call them to make sure they're open and ask what they have available. Some of it is fresh, some frozen (even the frozen stuff is great). UPDATE: last time we were in Provo, we didn't go there, but the couple trips up and down Leeward Highway, I couldn't find it. I hope it's still there!
- Open: late morning till about 5-6 in the evening. Call first to find out what they have.
- We've bought lobster tail, snapper, sardines, conch.
Places to buy rum and other spirits, beer, wine, etc.
Regent Village has a place (forget the name of it), on grace bay road. Typical wine, beer, spirits shop.
You can get wine at both the IGA and Grace Bay Gourmet (see above)
Beer is very expensive, although Turks Head (brewed on island) is delicious and worth trying. Wine is not quite as expensive as beer, relatively speaking, as is liquer. Rum is reasonably priced. There's even a cheap local brand (forget the name).
Things to Do
Out on boats: (There are lots of vendors that do these things, though we haven't yet, so we don't have any recommendations.)
- Catamaran day snorkel trips.
- Sunset sails
- Scuba: Provo usually gets high marks for the reef life and there are lots of places to go.
On or near the water:
- Snorkel at Coral Gardens or Smith's reef (right off the beach). We recommend Coral Gardens- we've seen a great variety of fish there. Smith's reef is farther off the beach and more difficult to find the reef itself- we don't recommend it.
- Horseback riding along Long Bay Beach. [http://www.provoponies.com/(approve sites) Provo Ponies]. We haven't done this, but have heard good things about it.
Other things we've done, more off the beaten path
- Visit Long Bay Beach. Deserted, often calm, sometimes completely still water. We saw a sea hare there once. We've biked there, but the roads are mostly gravel and sand, so it's challenging.
- Go Miniature Golfing. Leeward highway east of grace bay (near leeward)
- Visit Leeward- not much to see, but there is a beach at the northernmost tip that is deserted.
- Visit the Blowhole (on Long bay beach, it's on the provo maps). It's a big hole in the ground that goes down 30' or so. Kinda neat.