Vacation Diary – Shoulder Season Sunshine in Turks and Caicos

Mykonos, Thailand, Hawaii, Anguilla, Aspen… the list goes on. To say that Angela Franz and James D’Silva are a well-traveled couple is an understatement. Both employees at Luxury Retreats, Angela a Product Manager and James a Senior Villa Specialist, the globetrotting pair live and breathe travel both on and off the job. When vacation time came around this year, escaping to a beach paradise was a no-brainer.

“I was eager to go to Turks and Caicos again to see how it measured up from my last trip there a few years back,” says James. He continues, “As soon as the plane landed, I could see the island has been well maintained, it’s as quiet, picturesque and pristine as I remembered.” Though it was the first time visiting Turks for Angela and the five friends who traveled with them, there was indeed an element of familiarity, “The moment I stepped off the plane, the familiar feel of the hot Caribbean air surrounded us. It only takes a few hours of traveling to be worlds away from Montreal,” says Angela.

“As we drove up the hill, we were in awe–‘wait, THAT is where we are staying?'”

Prearranged transportation picked the gang up at the airport and whisked them to Bajacu, a sprawling villa that fuses contemporary architecture with Mexican-style decor sequestered high on the hillside, “This villa has the best views in Turks and Caicos” notes James. Angela remembers the excitement shared by everyone, “As we drove up the hill, we were in awe–‘wait, THAT is where we are staying?’ Needless to say, James and I love taking our friends and family to villas–they never cease to be amazed.” This time around, the vacation was a thank-you trip for the couple’s wedding party from their nuptials last summer. After a bachelorette party at Ani Estate in Anguilla and a bachelor party at Quinta Clara villa in Playa Del Carmen, it was definitely worth being a part of this wedding.

“There are always some practical concerns that can arise when traveling with a group” says James. “Room selection has the potential to be a tricky situation–and even an argument!–but at Bajacu, each room is as equally beautiful as the next.  Plus, we had a 6-month old along for the journey, and everything was baby-ready in the villa by the time we got there.” The villa manager even went so far as to have a babysitter come over and get acquainted with baby Arabella, just in case the parents decided to head out for a night on the town.

Once the grand tour was given and the rooms selected, the agenda read: bathing suits, beers, pool. Angela smiles, “It’s the first thing we always do! An immediate change into our swimsuits followed by poolside beers.” The exceptional service made relaxing easy. “As soon as we sat down, the snacks arrived” remembers James. From Turks & Caicos favorite conch fritters to homemade guacamole and chips and everything in between, delicious snacks à la private chef was a common theme throughout the trip. “Honestly, my souvenir from this trip was an extra 3lbs…We were fed like kings!” laughs James.

“People always want a beachfront property in Turks and Caicos that is also within walking distance to town. It’s an extremely rare find–but Coral House has both”

Halfway through the week, it was time to experience a different type of view at Coral House. “People always want a beachfront property in Turks and Caicos that is also within walking distance to town. It’s an extremely rare find–but Coral House has both” notes James. A completely different feel than Bajacu, Coral House is a classic, stately two-storey home with an old-world charm. Angela describes the overall vibe, “Because it’s so homey, it’s very relaxing. The breeze from the beach comes through the big windows and you can’t help but feel total bliss.”

But beachfront doesn’t mean families who are walking down Grace Bay Beach can see you lounging by the pool. Angela notes, “It’s great because there is plenty of space between the poolside area and the beach, so although the beach is easily accessible, we still had our privacy.” Plus, they jetted away at shoulder season–an ideal time to travel because, as James puts it, “The weather is still fantastic and the island is way less busy.”

Amping things up after leisurely days of poolside chills and culinary thrills, the group headed out for a night on the town at the Casino, a success story across the board, “We actually all won money!” says Angela. Maybe it was a stroke of good luck or the confidence-boosting cocktails at Grace Bay Club, right on the beach, that did the trick. “Either way”, says James, “It was nice to go exploring a little bit–since both villas had everything we needed right at our fingertips, it was hard to find a good excuse to leave!”

After yet another successful trip under their belt, Angela and James both agree that a beach break is necessary to revitalize and recharge. As they remember paddle boarding and kayaking in the crystal blue waters right in Coral House’s backyard, the unforgettable fresh tuna burgers from Chef Josh, and the beaming faces of their friends arriving to Turks and Caicos, unsurprisingly, they’re already looking forward to the next big adventure. When asked where the travel bug is going to take them next, in perfect unison they excitedly say, “Costa Rica.”

Find out more about Bajacu 

Find out more about Coral House 

Colleen McNamara