Welcome to the front beach at the Pelican Beach Hotel. While we cover more luxury and upscale properties (boutique luxury is our favorite) than not, including Vacations Rentals (a relatively new category for us), when we find a charming gem that is worth knowing about, it lands on our list if we’ve had a good experience. When I stayed there for a week this summer, I had nothing but positive experiences, which largely has to do with the passionate about life and incredibly warm female owner, Susie a local who is about as authentic as they get and her co-owner Clifford.
If you’re not familiar with the Turks and Caicos, know that it is remote and it can be expensive depending on where you go. Grand Turk Island is known for all things chic and luxe and Providenciales, where I flew into, has it’s fair share of overpriced restaurants, cafes and eateries (can you say $38 for a burger?). That said, Providenciales is a special place in that the architecture is interesting, the beaches and snorkeling is great and the food is plentiful, which is not the case in the more remote parts of Middle and North Caicos, where I spent 99% of the time during my summer stay.
North Caicos is a quiet spot known for its ample vegetation, miles of beaches untouched by development, and a rich colonial past, so staying here is blissful if nature is your thing. If clubbing it and fine dining is more of your cup of tea, then I’d give Middle and North Caicos a miss since there are very few restaurants and you’ll be better off with the local rum and anything that has Pina Colada in or around it than a upscale spirit or glass of wine.
Overlooking a beach at what they refer to as Flamingo Pond, this secluded unassuming hotel is 9 kilometers from North Caicos Airport and 8 kilometers from Three Mary Cays. It took us about 15-20 minutes in a cab to get to the hotel from the ferry drop off point.
Activities include swimming, bird watching, astronomy (the skies at night are magical), snorkeling, diving, fishing, visiting historical sites and, above all, relaxation. If your interests include bird watching or astronomy, you’re in luck. In addition to a colony of wild flamingos on island, ospreys and pelicans visit the beachfront hotel almost daily, and the night sky is spectacular for stargazing, with very little light pollution. If fishing is what hooks you, you can try your luck in front of the hotel or Susie can arrange a boat trip to catch one or to dive under the sea with a mask and fins on. Nature lovers can explore the untouched beauty of neighboring cays. They also have loaner bikes and you can talk to Susie and Clifford about arranging other activities and transportation if you don’t rent a car.
What was so special about my time here was it’s family-like atmosphere, but set among a slice of heaven. The water was warm, the skies crystal blue, the people warm and inviting and the days, lazy and relaxing, the way life should be on a vacation. And, I happened to meet some of the most fabulous women I’ve come across in years, which is always an added bonus. There’s nothing like bonding time with a great group of women on a beautiful island!
In addition to meeting incredible women, which included Los Angeles yoga instructor Julie Yannatta (aka Normal Grace on Twitter) below, there was also a Sri Lankan astrophysicist from Florida who showed up on the Pelican Beach Hotel beach one day wearing a bright purple blow up pelican around his waist. Where to go from there, you ask? More Pina Coladas on the beach of course.
For me, the reflection time on the beach (and on the hammock which was facing the ocean) was my favorite part about staying here. Digital detox time and the perfect place to read that long awaited novel you’ve been putting off for months. Below, I was in pure bliss.
This is a view of the most front-ward facing rooms — ten feet or so and you’ll be wading in warm, salt waters.
Ahh yes, there’s that hammock again!
A view from the ocean above. Note that there is a newer more modern building to the right, which is set back a little from the beach and not all rooms in that building have ocean views. That said, all of the rooms are a stone’s throw from the beaches edge, so it’s hard to go wrong. While the rooms are basic, they’re clean, have air conditioning, ceiling fans and a fridge in every room. It’s also worth noting that breakfast and dinner are provided with your stay and there’s a bar on-site to order those Pina Coladas or cold bottles of beer.
Getting There — The Logistics:
Once you book your stay, they can arrange your transfers to North Caicos, at your request. This entails taking a 15 minute taxi ride from Providenciales International airport to the ferry dock at Leeward Marina; followed by a 30 minute ferry ride up our scenic north coast (passing the Islands of Water Cay – Iguana Island, Pine Cay, Dellis Cay and Parrot Cay) over to North Caicos. On arrival into North Caicos, they arrange for a taxi to meet you and take you on a roughly 10-15 minute ride to the Pelican Beach Hotel.
Pelican Beach Hotel
Turks & Caicos Islands, British West Indies,
Tell Susie that Renee from San Francisco sent you and says hello.