Turks and Caicos, our first travel destination for 2020, was one of the most beautiful Caribbean Islands to spend a tennis, sun and sand vacation! Soft white sand, turquoise water, hot sunny days with a slight breeze... a perfect setting! This trip was special because we joined a group of close tennis friends on a fun filled trip to the beautiful island. Anticipating this trip helped me get through the previous eight weeks of rehabbing from bilateral knee replacements (a special thank you Dr. Sabrina Strickland, HSS, NY,NY!). My goal was to be able to walk on the beach, enjoy the beauty of the island and get back on the tennis court.
Traveling to Turks and Caicos
Traveling to Turks and Caicos from Newark, New Jersey was a breeze. We flew United Airlines, non-stop to Provenciales Airport in Turks and Caicos. Several couples bought tickets together through Costco Travel and packaged air and hotel. Although the group trip was to be for a week, we were only going for four days (long weekend), so we just brought one carry-on. (travel tip: AWAY (Serena) bigger carry-on is my travel bag. This bag is one of the largest bags that fits overhead). There are several choices for getting to your hotel including Taxi or pre-arranged car service. We arranged for private transportation from the airport through Sea Breeze taxi and tours. Our driver was waiting for us with a sign just outside the doors of the airport. We were at our hotel within twenty minutes. Taxis are available at the airport for $16 per person each way. Pre-arranged car service is a bit more, we paid $50 one-way for both of us.
Seven Stars Resort and Spa
Our group decided to stay at the Seven Stars Resort and Spa oceanfront property. We were warmly greeted and immediately provided a tour of the property (including tennis courts) and then shown to our junior ocean front suite in our building. Our suite was beautiful, with a four poster bed draped with sheer panels, a kitchenette, a large bathroom with a washer and dryer, and a beautiful balcony overlooking the ocean.
Our first day we spent time at the pool, and then walked on the beach. The sand was soft. We had an early dinner at the Magnolia Wine Bar and Restaurant. Reviews of this restaurant bragged of a stunning sunset. During February, the sun sets around 5:30 pm. We were there for the magical time. It was romantic watching the sunset, overlooking the yacht club below, drinking a glass of wine and enjoying the Caribbean evening. We were very pleased with our dinner, service and wine selection. We used taxi rides to and from the restaurant and it was just about 12 minutes between the restaurant from the resort. (hotel tip: at the Seven Stars resort, when using a taxi, the taxi will pick you up and drop you off directly in front of your building instead of the main reception building).
Tennis at Seven Stars Resort and Spa
The next morning, we had a 9am tennis hitting session scheduled with the tennis Pro at the Seven Stars Resorts. The resort has two hard court tennis courts (with lines on the courts for pickleball). We were glad we were on the court early because then we would have the rest of the day to go to the pool and beach. I had not played tennis since before my surgery and I wasn’t sure how long I would last and how much I could move. We decided that it would be better for me to hit tennis balls with little movement. Thus, we opted to hit with a tennis pro who can feed perfect balls. I was so happy to be able to hit balls again! After our first hitting session, we decided to book our Pros time each morning of our trip. Our tennis Pro, Rey, was fantastic (Coach Rey teaches full time at the TCI Tennis Academy. He teaches tennis at Seven Stars Resort by advanced reservation with the concierge). Not only did I get to hit balls and find some range with what I could do; but my husband could also work on his tennis game. It was important to book the tennis lessons and tennis court time directly with the concierge at Seven Stars as there were people playing every morning. Two of the couples in our group played doubles matches each morning (travel tip (compliments of our friend Larry): pack your wireless speaker for listening pleasure while playing tennis). In fact, there were many people at the pool that asked about playing tennis with us... next time for sure when I am able to actually play! (travel tip: as shown in the photo below with the rainbow, the construction site next door to the Seven Stars is a Ritz-Carlton beachfront property.)
Seven Stars Resorts Activities
After tennis each morning, we would have breakfast at the Seven Stars. Breakfast was included with our stay. We enjoyed the made-to-order Omelets, fresh fruit and much more. After breakfast we decided to go swimming, and sunbathe by the pool. I was able to swim my laps and do my rehab exercises in the pool in the resort's salt water pool. We met a lovely couple while hanging out at the pool. They noticed my husband's US Open tennis cap. We immediately started talking about tennis, and wishing I was far enough long with my rehab to play doubles. What we learned from our new friends is that people come back to the island each year because they enjoy it so much. Allie had a great floppy, colorful sun hat. We decided to take photos of everyone wearing her hat. (shopping tip: Allie’s hat was from her shop, Allie June (fun gift/beach items) in Duck,North Carolina).
Our friends arrived at Seven Stars, and the party began! We enjoyed the bonfire on the beach, together, before dinner. We enjoyed dinner with our friends at the Seven restaurant, which was on the resort property. We were a party of 10, which was no problem. So large groups are welcome! The food and service was fantastic.
At the Seven Stars, there are many things to do while on the beach. The attentive staff were there to setup lounge chairs and umbrellas as well as serve both food and drinks. There were Hobie Cats, snorkeling, paddle boards, kayaks and other water toys. Our friends even booked a private boat for a day out in the water. There was something for everyone.
Coco Bistro Restaurant
Our dinner the next evening was at a Coco Bistro, near the resort. The service and food were fantastic. Our tables were set under a large canopy of palm trees, lit up with soft strings of lights. We can’t say enough good things about this restaurant (travel tip: reservations can and should be made in advance with the concierge at the Seven Stars). Some of our group went to the casino, which was within walking distance from the resort.
All good trips must come to an end. On our last morning, we elected to have a final hit with the Tennis Pro. Honestly, we would return to this resort from our tennis experience, alone. We were very pleased to have been able to visit this beautiful island before most of our 2020 travel plans were put on hold. Here is to good friends, travel and tennis in Turks and Caicos!