Allegro Resort – Turks & Caicos Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel & Resort Reviews


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Allegro Resort – Providenciales – Reviews Posted – 9

March 2004

We have just returned from the islands of Turks and Caicos. We stayed at the Allegro Resort. This could be the last review as the resort is scheduled to close at the end of April. The question then is should I be nervous about going there. I know that the news of its closing caused me to be apprehensive to the point that I spent a lot of time looking for alternative accommodations. I found that everything was sold out or was too expensive. By the time we arrived my expectations were not very high. As we bounced along the pot hole filled road I thought my negative predictions were being confirmed. We then approached one resort and I thought "I wish I was staying here." To my surprise I was. It was the Allegro. It did not look like a five star resort but it was much better than I expected. A very pleasant young lady checked us in. Taking the advise of an earlier reviewer in this site, I immediately asked to be upgraded to an ocean front room. She said she had one left and it would be an additional $40 a day. We already had an attractive rate and the additional cost was well worth it. I would recommend that you ask for buildings one or six. We were on the first floor. The second or third floors might be better as they would give you a better view of the beach and ocean.

There is no question that the facility is in need of an overhaul. You can tell that they know the place is closing and they are not spending any more money on nonessential repairs. Having said that, the physical plant is not terrible. The health club equipment is mostly broken but if that is important to you there is a health club right across the street and you can negotiate a weekly rate. There is also a Internet cafe across the street where you can get phone cards and Internet access for $10.

The food at this all inclusive was good. It was very good after I heard from people staying at non-inclusive resorts. They were paying New York prices every day for very good meals. The tropical drinks were as expected. The wine was good at times and terrible at other times. Unlike at Cana they did not save the best wine till last.

The entertainment was provided by the staff and you could see that it is important to them. I enjoyed their high energy shows. There were many families at the resort and it seemed like a good place for them.

I had an enjoyable time at the Allegro Resort where you share the same spectacular beach with the other much higher priced hotels, condos and resorts. If your thing is to sail or dive Provo, the Allegro is just as good as anybody else. As for me, you could find me at the delightful Irish Pub just a five minute walk down the road.

If you are disappointed in your stay at the Allegro or any place else it will be because of the people. We were fortunate to be served by some excellent staff members but we also encountered some who are just going through the motions. After hearing from fellow travelers while in Turks and Caicos and while on the way home, I would offer this advise to the tourism board. It would be in the best interest of all who live and work in Turks and Caicos if they would educate themselves to the importance of the tourist business and therefore to the way they treat tourist. Everybody talks about the spectacular beaches, the lousy roads and the disinterested and sometimes unfriendly people. I know they will do all they can to preserve the beaches and we can see that they are working at improving the roads. With apologies to some delightful people we had the privilege of meeting, I hope that the rest will consider an adjustment in their attitude. Right now in Turks and Caicos it does not seem cool to be gracious and friendly to visitors. That has to change and when it does what a great tourist destination it will be.

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Allegro Resort Francois — Canada

February 2004

Just got back from a one week stay(Feb. 12 – 19)with all inclusive.

We are a couple (43 and 41 years old) with a couple of friends in same age range. Resorts visited in past years: Gran Melia Cancun, Bahia Prinicpe Tulum, Natura Park Punta Cana Dom.Rep., Pelicano Cayo Largo Cuba, Great Bay Hotel Sint Maarten

The island:
Turks & Caicos are a group of small Islands just North of the Dominican Republic and offers a different sight as the climate seems to be quite arrid(at least on Providenciales Island). The vegetation is almost desert like and you see a lot of cactus with just about no palm trees outside of the resort areas.

Resort:
Located about 20 minutes from the airport, the Resort gave us room number 2118 , facing the pool and close to the outside theater. Room was clean everything in good order. Close to everything, we liked it a lot, but at night the noise and music coming from the theater was quite loud. We were so tired of our day’s activities that by 9:30pm we were sleeping good! Resort is well kept daily with some animation, mostly at the pool. Beach in just fabulous. Close second in our opinion to Playa Sirena in Cayo Largo, Cuba. Clear and sparkling water with nice colors. Calm with no waves except for the last day as the wind got little bit stronger, waves started but still enjoyable. Sand is clean and is a fine white powder. You can take nice long walks both sides of the resort. Lots of chairs on the beach, although the "palapas" for shades go early in the morning. You have to get up early and reserve one with your towels or some clothes if you want shade throughout the day.

Food: The resort offers one main buffet restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is two "A la carte" restaurant: The Caruso(Italian) which we attended once and found it good. The other specialty is a grill serving a variety of fish, and meat(chicken, lamb , beef etc. ). When attended the lamb chops were good but were the same that the main buffet served the preceding day! The Grill restaurant was used for lunch and was convenient as it was closer to the beach. It was serving hot-dogs, hamburgers, nachos, and fries. Around 3-4 pm they would serve nice little "crepes" with fruit filling. The main buffet was always serving good food, in a neat setting but lacked in variety. It was quite repetitive after just 3 days.

Activities:
The resort offers beach or non-motorized sports like kayak, snorkel equipment, catamaran, and more. We did used the snorkel equipment but you had to be early as after 10am all the equipement is gone! This equipment rental opens at 8:30 am. We did bring our tennis equipment and played a few sets on well kept concrete courts. There was some snorkel close by the beach. Some better snorkel within an hour walk on the beach at Coral Gardens.

Car rental: We rented a 4WD Toyota for exploration of the Island. We wanted an open jeep but got a hard top. Turned out to be the better option as the road were quite dry and very dusty all around the island. With a map of the island we headed out for the North west point and reached a beach that turned out to be nice, quiet and remote only( only us 4 people) but you needed water shoes for the numerous rocks at the bottom. Then we got to Malcom Road Beach: the map warned that you need a 4WD to reach this beach and believe me you really need one! Beach is not as private, but is very nice with some good snorkeling close by. Remainings of Tiki Huts at the far end of the beach adds a touch of exotism. We visited the Leeward Marina area and the Long Bay Beach area but did not reach the beach itself. Going around the island is pretty safe but even with maps, finding your way is not always easy as there is not always signs with names of the road. We did a little of trial and error to finally get where we wanted. The roads in remote areas are rough but manageable with a 4WD. In the middle of the island, most of the roads were under construction and made it rough, but should be much better in a year or two. Just a note: you drive on the left side of the road. Being from Canada, it added a little bit of challenge… There were other areas of the island we would have like to visit but we ran out of time…

Tours:
Middle Caicos – From J &B Tours , we left the marina in Leeward with a speed boat running for about 1:30 minutes along nice small islands namely; Pine Cay, Parrot Cay, North Caicos and after a stretch through shallow waters we reached Middle Caicos. We hoped on a bus to visit a cave ( a first for us) that we found impressive although the visit lasts about 30 minutes. Our friends had visited caves in Europe and found this cave unimpressive! We proceeded to secluded Mudjin Beach where we served lunch and had some time for nice photos with postcard views. Back on the boat we went again through shallower waters as the tide was going out. This was funny as the "captain" left us on a sand bank to go get through the shallow stretch so that he could get us back on board ! We stopped by a Wrecked ship for some nice snorkeling. On our way back we stopped on Shell Island to pick up a few shells and the Iguana Island for some iguana observation. This is sort of a National Park and an additional fee of $5 US per person is required to get off the boat. This tour is nice but at $149US its too much money for what you get. Specially for the Iguana Island which, unless the iguana is your favorite pet, is a joke. Don’t pay the fee and stay on the boat. You will probably see as many iguanas on the beach. The lunch served is also unimpressive for the location. We were back at the resort at around 3:00pm, wishing we had stayed a little longer at the beach and snorkeling sites.

Introduction to Scuba Diving – From Dive Provo shop located at the resort. Having done some snorkeling in the past years, we decided to try scuba. I was scared as I had heard bad stories from different sources. The staff was serious and very informative about the different options available namely an introduction or a certification. The introduction starts with a video presentation by a certified instructor followed by a review of all the dangers and safety measures. Then the group proceeds in the pool for practice with the scuba equipment for the equalizing and different emergency procedures that may be needed while diving, including the sign language. The instructor encourages you to voice your worries and this was appreciated as I wasn’t sure at all I would like the experience in open water. I felt some sort of uneasiness as I found myself breathing heavily at times in the pool exercises. The instructor made sure we felt comfortable enough to proceed to the open water phase. Later in the afternoon we proceeded to an open water dive an approx. 30 feet depth. This was a revelation as the uneasiness felt in the pool quickly disappeared to leave place to an awesome experience of diving close by a reef wall and the various life of under sea water. The experience was awesome and think I will go for certification so I can appreciate more of this kind of diving. The waters in Provo(Providenciales) where especially clear as we could see the bottom of the ocean 40 ft below.

Negatives:
At the resort the negative we found was with the service, especially the bartenders. Some were nice and offered good service but some turned out to be quite rude. Quite often ordering more than a beer or soft drink, say a Margarita (made with only the mix, ice and tequila served in plastic cups) would bring you a definite no or an undrinkable brown Margarita! As there is only three bars on the resort, you only need two of those bartenders to make the experience quite unpleasant.

The island is very nice and offers some of the nicest beaches we’ve met in the past 10 trips to the Carribean. But the Island is expensive. Shopping is deceiving with not much to offer at high prices. Restaurants offered dinner for two in the $120US in average and expect $150US of more in the better restaurants.

Still, we enjoyed very much this destination and would recommend it highly but be aware that your dollar goes a lot further in other destinations…

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Allegro Resort Dan — USA

December 2003

Trip 11/28 to 12/06…From previous reviews on this and other forums we expected about a 3.5 star resort.The Allegro came up a little short but we had the 50 % discount that most of people had (we stayed 8 nights and paid for 4) so that took off some of the rough edges.If you pay anywhere above this you are being ripped by your TA. We had a good vacation because of our managed expectations of the resort and a really nice beach, as it says in Frommers "We like this resort but think it’s becoming overpriced" If you don’t have the 50 % deal think twice.

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Allegro Resort from Janet — USA

November 2003

AIR & HOTEL PACKAGE: The all-inclusive package was through Liberty Travel. This included the fol-lowing: Roundtrip air transportation, 4 nights – 5 day room accommodations, all meals, drinks, and tips. (Tips for outstanding service to maids, bartenders, taxis, etc… not included.).

ARRIVAL: The flight was on American Airlines. The aircraft was an airbus (two seats to the left, four seats in the middle, and two seats to the right.) It was approximately a 2-hour 45minute flight from New-ark, NJ to Miami, FL. Here we switched planes for the connecting, 1-hour 30-minute flight to Providenca-les (Provo), Turks & Caicos. The aircraft was a 737 (three seats to the left and three seats to the right). The minute you step off the plane in Provo, the heat blasts you like an oven. I would suggest you change into shorts and t-shirt in your connecting city before you continue on to Provo. Immigration was surpris-ingly quick with no long lines, but the “no air-conditioning waiting in line” scenario was a friendly, familiar experience. Luckily I bypassed luggage claim (I carried on my luggage), and continued through customs, and was immediately directed to a taxi. This was the beginning of an anxiously awaited Provo adventure.

TRANSFER TO ALLERGO RESORT: We were transferred by taxi to the Allegro Resort via an air-conditioned mini-van. We paid $18.00 for two people. The transfer was approximately a 15-20 minute drive through the town leading into Grace Bay. I was surprised to see the positive financial display of the island. The roads were currently under construction, giving you a preview of when completed, there would be a four-lane highway. There were small businesses on both sides of the highway. In this immediate area there were no visible signs of a struggling economy. From “my eyes only” I did not view any run down homes / shacks in obviously poverty stricken villages. It was a wonderful sight not to see the ever-so disappointing Americanized Midas touches of Mc Donald’s, Burger King, or Pizza Hut! Caicos is a flat island with no picturesque mountainous scenery. Do not expect a lush, green island. It compares greatly to Aruba with the dry, desert like terrain, minus the cacti. Keep your eyes open on the left for a sneak peak view of the extraordinary unspoiled coastline. You will only view enough to tease you in the interim, but once you set foot in the sand one feels completely spent!.

RECEPTION AREA / CHECK IN: The reception/lobby is a colossal open area displaying beautiful tan, white, and sand colored marble floors, with several couches and chairs for lounging. Lush, green tropical plants potted in huge clay pots are strategically placed to make the enormous lobby look complete. To the left is the check-in counter, (continuing counter clockwise) an exclusive shop, Topaz main dining area, hallway to buildings 1,2,3 and the remainder of the resort, The Logo Shop – Sundries, steps to 2nd floor, tours and excursions information desk, restaurant reservations desk, bell area. In the center is an open atrium with clear views to the second floor. The color scheme is very soothing to the eyes and immedi-ately puts you at ease.

We were greeted in the reception area with a cold rum punch cocktail, and immediately checked in. You are given your green prison id bracelet, which distinctively identifies you as a guest to the Allegro and for all to see. In addition, without surprise you are informed that no rooms will be available until 3:00pm. Dur-ing this two-hour idle time I did some resort layout exploration to get my bearings, and immediately found the bar. After approx 2 hours I sauntered back to the front desk to obtain my room key and safety deposit box lock & key. I originally requested a “Superior Ocean View Room 2nd floor” – Building #3, and once viewing this room, I was grossly overjoyed to know we have been upgraded to a “Deluxe Ocean Front Room” – Building #1 through the good graces of the hotel management…

ROOMS: *** During my stay all of the poolside / pool-view rooms were closed. I hope the justification for this was due to renovations, but I did not hear any hammering, or smell paint fumes ???

Before I start to ramble on pertaining to this topic I would like to share my strong opinion on room catego-ries:

*** If you reserve a “Superior Room – standard hotel room with garden or pool view,” please do not be disappointed with the outcome. These rooms are comparable to the size of any single room at a Red Roof Inn across the USA. The rooms have limited space and views. They are small! I am one who only sleeps for a few brief hours and showers in my room, and I would have been extremely disappointed to settle for this room if no upgrades where available. Bottom line…I would strongly suggest to upgrade to an Ocean Front room or suite.

My room was classified as “Deluxe Ocean Front Room” – Building #1 (Room 1204). This building is on the sand and only a few steps to the beach. The room is sizeable with plenty of space for a king sized bed, sitting area with a pull out couch, oversized bamboo chairs, large square bamboo table, 2 floor lamps, and an interesting Buddha stand that was great for holding my drink! The room was hopelessly, tropically decorated with a funky colored bedspread and curtains screaming for a good washing, or even better, an assisted suicide. The room is in desperate need of a good paint job. That is all would take to brighten up the room. The floor is terra cotta colored large tiles that were amazingly clean. There is also a large sized bureau, which holds a 20inch TV, and has four big drawers to store clothes.

The bathroom area has a large closet with three pull out doors and plenty of hangers. The safety deposit box is located here. The vanity area has a sink and full sized counter top with plenty of room to store your toiletries. There is a hair dryer mounted to the wall, and also a coffee pot with a day’s supply of coffee and tea. The outside bathroom door has a full-length mirror, the inside has a toilet, full bath, and shower. There is an iron and ironing board mounted to the wall.

Two sliding glass doors open up to a serene view of the endless turquoise blue waters that continue to the horizon. There is plastic furniture consisting of two chairs and a table on the balcony.

*** My room was at the top of the steps on the second floor. All night (early morning) you are constantly awaken by the sound of people clomping up and down the steps. It echos very loud. I swore there were a bunch of Clydesdales horses trotting up and down the steps all morning…

CHECK OUT: Our flight was at 4:00pm Check out is 12:00pm with no exceptions. The maid was pound-ing on the door at 11:55am. I explained that I was just finishing my shower, and I would be a few minutes longer. She knocked on the door every 5 minutes until I left the room. I guess she was excited to clean my room. She must really like her job. (wink).

Checking out went smoothly. This whole process took about five minutes. There were plenty of taxi’s out front to chauffeur you to the airport

DEPARTURE: I would not suggest getting to the airport in excess of 2 hours prior to your flight. The air-port is very small and sweltering hot.

The ride to the airport was Deja Vu all over again. There is really nothing to see. The lines at the airport were surprisingly short for American Airlines. Check-in for departures moved quickly. Upon check-in at the ticket counter all checked baggage will be searched. I had carry on luggage and was directed straight to the ticket counter, bypassing the checkpoint.

After check-in at the ticket counter walk five steps to the gate area for security and x-ray. Once completed walk five steps to immigration. Once completed walk five more steps to the gate area. This is the only waiting area for departures. There are only about 4-5 shops where you can purchase duty free items, liq-uor, souvenirs, and a bar.

After departing the Provo airport, the flight to Miami, Florida was approximately 1 1/2 hours. Customs in Miami was insane. The Miami airport is enormous, and be prepared to walk, walk, walk. Wear comfort-able shoes. Here we disembarked off the plane and entered the custom area and reclaimed luggage. There are 28 lines for customs, but only 6 are dedicated to US citizens. After entering this area, proceed immediately to the far right of the customs area to lines 23 through 28. Make sure to look for the “Ameri-can flag” on the window of the line your are standing in. After customs you will re-check luggage to con-tinue through your final destination. I had over a 2-½ hour layover in Miami, and I made it to my next gate just as they were boarding all rows. Thank goodness I did not stop to eat or shop, or I would have missed my flight.

*** The remaining topics are miscellaneous subjects pertaining to the Allegro Resort / Turks & Caicos. They are in no particular order except for alphabetical.

ACTIVITIES: Below are some of the daytime and nighttime activities that are offered. Daily: Water aerobics, water basketball, water volleyball, billiards, fitness center, tennis courts, table ten-nis (ping pong), beach volleyball, shuffle board, life sized chess, and board games.

Nightly: There was a variety of entertainment nightly in the outside stage area starting at 9:30m. The en-tertainment staff deserves a big high five for the dedicated effort and hard work they put forth in these shows. There is also entertainment in the Piano Bars on the nights when the outside stage in not being utilized. Water sports: There is a water sports center located on the beach. They offer the following activities: SCUBA, Hobie Cats, snorkeling, kayaks, and many tours and excursions.

AIR CONDITIONING: The air-conditioning in my room was perfect. The room was comfortably cool at all times. IMPORTANT – – – The air conditioning will automatically shut off when you open the balcony door. It is sensory controlled. You must close the balcony doors completely and line up the sensors on the top of the sliding glass doorframe. Then you will hear the air compressor kick on again. This was an interest-ing issue trying to troubleshoot after a zillion rum punches. I tried every switch and knob in the room to try to get the air to work. I wish I had this on video…

BARS: For starters service at the Suntan Bar was slow. All day, all night, slow…Order 2-3 drinks at a time. It helps! (Unless your bartender is Delroy…Every time my drink was half full he eagerly refilled it He was getting a big hoot out of seeing me “tipsy” before dinner.). Service at the Piano Bar / Disco was fan-tastic. I never had to wait more than a minute or two for a drink. Piano Bar/ Disco. 6:00pm to 2:00am This bar is located on the second floor in the lobby. It is adjacent to the Italian Restaurant – Caruso. Some of the nightly entertainment/activities are held here. The bar itself seats approx. 15 people. There are plenty of tables, chairs, and couches to sit in. Cold beer is readily available (Heineken, Coors, and Turks Head) in addition to bottomless glasses of wine, mixed drinks, and blender “specialty” drinks. The selection of premium brand liquors is an exceptional amenity. Sun Tan Bar: 10:00am to Midnight Service here is slow…very slow…bring a good book to read while waiting for a drink. Mostly everyone congregates here. There’s a pool table, TV, video games, and a port-able blackjack table here readily available.

BUGS: This subject was a big concern to me because I am severely allergic to just about every flying pest on this earth. I did get quite a few mosquito bites while on the beach, dining outdoors in the Topaz restaurant, outsize main stage area, and Suntan bar. I brought OFF Botanicals lotion and the bugs seemed to love it in addition to Avon Skin-So-Soft. Finally my trusted friend “Deep Woods Off with deet” was the magical potion I needed. IMPORTANT – – – The very minute the sun goes down, the sand flies (otherwise known as piranha flies – I swear they have little teeth) buzz around in swarms and suck your blood like little vampires. If you plan on viewing the magnificent sunset from the beach, make sure to wear full body armor, or soak yourself in bug juice. A great remedy for after bites is “Benadry after bite stick.” It worked great for me. Plenty of rum punch also numbs the itching after about an hour….

CAR RENTAL: I know this service is available, but I did not utilize it. Rent a moped instead across the street. It will cost you approx. $45-50 for a 24hour rental.

CASINO: The casino/game room is located in the lobby. The casino was closed due to “low occupancy and slow season,” but will re-open on October 19th.

CURRENCY: The currency is the U.S. dollar. VISA, Master Card and American Express are all widely accepted. Also, Traveler’s cheques are accepted in most establishments and foreign currency is easily changed at the banks.

CHILDREN: The resort is advertised as a perfect resort for couples, singles, and families. I would not suggest this resort for families with children, mainly during the slow season. The resort does not seem to appear to be “kid friendly.” There were several families vacationing during my stay, and the children ap-peared to be restless and cranky. The pool and beach can only keep them occupied and distracted for a short amount of time.

DRESS CODE: The dress code is casual just about everywhere. Shorts and any type of shirt are accept-able during the day. It is suggested that men wear pants with a collared shirt for dinner at nigh, but 50% of guests did not adhere, and this rule was not enforced during my stay. In the gourmet restaurants, the dress code was surprisingly casual. I did not see many “formal attired” people all week.

ELECTRICITY: 110 volt / 60 cycle, suitable for North American electronic appliances.

ENTERTAINMENT: This resort deserves high ratings for entertainment. The entertainment consisted of the usual…theme nights, dancing, and energetic choreographed skits. There were a few games, which include audience participation. The activities staff entertainment is the only activity, which keeps this hotel alive. They are hard working, dedicated, and talented individuals.

GROUNDS: The grounds are landscaped to the best ability that the climate will allow. There are many tropical flowers, plants, trees, and bushes placed strategically throughout the resort. The grounds in gen-eral are very clean and well landscaped. There is a gazebo located in the middle of the pool area, allow-ing you to catch a glimpse of the bright blue Caribbean Sea

HOUSEKEEPING: Every afternoon the housekeeping staff cleaned my room, replaced towels, and mopped the floor. The rooms were clean. They supply you with soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Make sure to leave “a little something” for your housekeeper at the end of your stay. She deserves it after picking up after you all week!

LANGUAGE: : English is the official speaking language in the Turks and Caicos Islands. However, there are a number of expatriate residents who speak Creole (Haitian community), French, and Spanish. Simply, they speak English with a typical Caribbean accent and a smile.

OCEAN/BEACH: The water was a never-ending color of light turquoise blue. There are a few breaking points where the color blends to a darker shade of blue, then the light turquoise picks up again spilling over to the edge of the horizon. Actually, this is more picturesque then water scenery, which contains mountains as backdrops. When you look out into the water, it is streamline to the world’s edge. So it seams. Very soothing on the eyes…The water temp was close to a warm bath, but at the same time re-freshing. The clarity of the water was clear with little plankton or seaweed. Therefore, this answers all of your snorkeling questions.

There is not a reef in front of the resort, so therefore do not bother to snorkel from the beach. The only thing you will view is sand and more sand. Take a 20-minute walk up the beach, hop in a cab, or book a tour to snorkel at the public beach “Coral Gardens.” You will see more marine life here in only 15 feet of water. Bring a disposable underwater camera to catch those “Kodak moments.”

Grace Bay beach is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen in the Caribbean. The first word that comes to mind is “unspoiled.” The sand is powdery and not grainy with shells. Once you step in the sand it resembles the texture of baby powder. Your feet sink into it. The sand is always cool even in the blazing Caribbean sun. The beach shows no visible sign of erosion. There are plenty of lounge chairs readily available. There is plenty of space to spread out if you want a little privacy away from the other guests.

POOL: The pool really looks nice…but in all actuality I could not figure out the reasoning for the layout of this area. It is set up kind of weird like a screwed up figure eight of some sort. The deep end by the activi-ties center/towel desk is deep and round with a “ledge” on one side, then it continues under the bridge to the volleyball net gradually getting a bit shallower with a ledge on one side again, then it continues to-wards the “pool view rooms” in various water depths. There are these weird ledges taking up a huge amount of space. I believe they are actually for sun worshippers to drag down their lounge chair in the pool waters edge. But I believe I was the only one who did that one-day, and everyone looked at me kind of funny. The pool also has these slips you can sit in that are supposed to be utilized as “personal ja-cuzzi’s”… I couldn’t figure that one out either. Nevertheless, there are tons of chairs for everyone to lie on. No need to grab one early in the morning. Most of the guests were on the beach anyway.

There is a beach towel – check out at the activities desk near the pool and Suntan bar. You will be given a towel card upon check-in. Present the card(s) to the activities desk, and you will be given a fresh towel daily. At the end of your pool and beach day, return the towel and you will be given a card back. .

RESTAURANTS:
Caruso – Italian Specialty: Dinner 6:00pm-9: 30pm – Reservations required. The food here was very good for an Italian atmosphere in the middle of the Caribbean. I had the veal and it was very good. The presentation and quantity of the dishes rates a “B-.” The service was prompt, and the wait staff was al-ways friendly and smiling.

Islander Grill: 6:30pm-9: 30pm – Reservations required. Caribbean specialty cuisine is served here. I had some type of chicken something ad it was very good. The presentation was very nice. The service was prompt. I would have dined here all week if I had more time.

Topaz Restaurant: Breakfast 7:00am-10:30am, Continental Breakfast 10:30am-11:30am, Lunch 12:30pm-2:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm-9:30pm. This is the main, half open, half closed area for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast there is a mediocre buffet with the added extra of a station for eggs and omelet’s to order. Breakfast consists of milk and juices, fruit, cheeses, pancakes, waffles, breads and muffins, oatmeal, cereals, and usually some type of meat product and potatoes. The person who switches up the menu should be slapped. One day there was no bacon or sausage to eat….instead, they fried a bunch of pizza pepperoni and slopped it in a big pan. Go figure.

The lunch buffet consisted of everything from nacho’s, burgers, french fries, hot-dogs, pizza, veggies, pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups, rice, etc…

The dinner buffet consisted of the same as the lunch, in addition to fish, ribs, turkey, more veggies, and more salads. The desert table is not very appealing. I could not find a piece of chocolate anything all week…the made-to-order pasta was very good. The fresh fish catch of the day was also great. Plenty of different salads to choose from. I would not be able to eat at this buffet every day for dinner. Frequent the specialty restaurants.

ROOM SERVICE: I do not believe that this feature is available, but I never had the opportunity or desire to utilize it. I was never in the room long enough.

SERVICE / STAFF: On a scale from 1 to 10, I rate the staff and service about a 7. Most of the staff is pleasant and at least smiling. The wait staff is a bit slower and is afraid to smile, but just make a cute joke toward one of them and their personality shines through. The bar staff was always friendly and attentive, except for the “woman with child” who bartends at the Suntan Bar in the afternoons. The activities staff all deserves a raise. They bust their buts making an effort to say hello or good morning to as many people as possible. They are the beating heart of this resort. The following employees deserve special thanks and need to be mentioned: Maurice, Amaurys, Leonardo, Lucy, Jimmy, Delroy, and the pleasant smiling soul at the reservations desk. I’m sorry I forgot her name.

SHOPPING: Exit the front of the resort and turn left. Walk approximately 100 yards and there is a little shopping plaza with great little shops. You will find typical souvenirs. There is the Dive Provo shop with some great t-shirts. Check out all the dive shops for your shopping needs. They have less dive stuff and more of everything else!

TIME ZONE: EST – Eastern Standard Time, from October to April and DST – Daylight Savings Time from April to October.

WATER: The water was safe to drink here. I was drinking it straight from the faucet, and never became ill. I did bring a bottle of plain Listerine to rinse my mouth after brushing just in case.

MY TIPS AND TRICKS: 1) Upgrade to an Ocean Front room…away from the steps… 2) Bring bug spray. I suggest Deep Woods Off 3) There is a coffee pot in the room with a day’s supply of coffee and / or tea. 4) Do not pack a hair dryer or travel iron. 5) This is not a good resort for families with children. 6) Do not pack a beach towel; there’s a towel exchange next to the pool. 7) US currency is accepted everywhere. 8) Buy your own snorkel & mask (they are cheap). You never know who’s mouth was on it before you! 9) Bring lots of sunscreen and reapply. 10) RELAX; SLOW DOWN, AND ENJOY…

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February 2003

My wife and I just returned from 10 wonderfull days at Allegro resort.I’m just going to make a few comment since your other revievers did such an outstanding job with their discription of this resort.First, if your looking for a lush tropicial island this is not it. Go to Jamaica or St Lucia. This island is more like Aruba,vary flat.Check in was the fastest we ener encountert. It was no more the 10 mins. from the time we arrivied till we were in our room. Nadeeka the women at the front desk,is one of the friendiest and most helpfull people we have met in all our island travels. She is a real gem.Yes, the towels and wash cloths were a real prolblum the firest 3 or 4 days we where there. Had to make 2 and 3 calls a day to housekeeping before they were delivered. Aftter speeking with Nadeeka,our towels were in our room every morning.Service in the restaurants was poor at best. After taking your first order,no one ever returned to see of you needed any thing else. Try and find a server from Jamaica,they are much beeter and always smiling.Bar service was also slow due to the fact that they only ever 1 bar tender on at a time.The bar tenders work real hard trying to keep up.The best buildings are 4,5,&6 since they are close the the restaurants,pool and beach.Everyone talks about snorkeling at Coral Gardens,go to Smith reef also.I think it was much better. We took a cab to both,and the cost was $3.00 to CG and $4.00 to Smith reef each way. If you need a great cab driver,call Calvin Dean 241-4109. The ocean and beach is more beautiful them you can imagine. We have vacationed at 8 different islands and I have never seen water this beautiful. In conclussion, Allegro is a great value and and we will absolutely will return. If anyone has any questions,please feel free to contact me at Beaumax2@aol.com.

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Allegro Resort Mike & Janet Acerra
December 2002

I am writing you to tell you how disappointed we were with you’re resort and how poorly it was managed. I really do not know were to start! The first night we were there some one came in to our room while we were sleeping and walked to our safe and took all our cash $3,OOO. Than after giving our statements to the security of the hotel we went to the front desk to ask if any one could give us a ride to the bank to get so money, being we did not have any money. The manager told us to take a cab, not even offer us a curtsy ride, after all we just got robed and no body went out of there way to help us or even try to have some compaction.

Than it did not get any better every day there was a shortage of towel’s either beach towel’s or towel’s for the room. One day we waited 5 hour’s for towel’s to come to our room, we had gone fishing in the morning and we came back about 1:30 had no towel’s. We kept calling and did not get towel’s until I made 4 call’s to the desk and had to finally at 6:00 go to the desk and than they sent them to the room. Every day I had ant’s in my room around the sink, I called the desk and nothing was done about it. One day I had a cockroach in my bath room. One day our toilet was clogged and overflowed. Called front desk to send maintence, with a plunger and a mop, well it to two call’s to the front desk and the guy never bought a mop, and there was toilet water all over our bathroom floor, we ha dto go and use the lobby bathroom. The bar’s were not stocked very well, some times you could get a certain drink and some times they just did not have that drink. Let me tell you about one day I wanted to take two cans of ginger-ale soda to my room, and I was told I could not have a can, I could have it in a cup. Than I explained that I would like to take it to my room for later and I was told no again, and that I could only have one, after an argument I finally got my two cans of ginger-ale. My brochure says unlimited soft drink so why the hassle over a few cans of soda. Some of the food at the buffet was not in my option ,properly refrigerator, some of the cold cut’s were sweating and flys were landing on some of the food. The food for the most part was most of the time pretty good the Italian was the better of the two.

The water sports- We were there for 10 (LONG) days, for the first 4 or 5 days the Kayaks were broken & the sunfish boats were not in use for the first 5 days. I could go on and on but I would start to sound unbelievable. I can assure you it was as bad as I am saying it was, and I am sure I am leaving things out. It was by far the worst vacation I have ever been on in my life. I played to stay at all-inclusive resort, and I expected a serene kind of service, that I did not get at all. I will never return to your resort ever again. I also guest ion your security it was a very strange type of robbery, and security also gave me a hard time to obtain a copy of the report they took. So all in all we unfortunally hade a real bad time.

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November 2002

I just got back from the Allegro Resort 11/9/02. I was there from 11/2/02 – 11/9/02 and had a wonderful vacation.

The hotel was nice. I had read a lot of reviews before I had left and was concerned over some of the negative ones but my fears were ungrounded. Our room was fine..it was in building 1 on the ground floor so I considered it beachfront because there was nothing between my room and the hotel. The only problem we had the whole time we were there was with getting towels for our room. Never had any issues with beach towels…we may have had to wait a 1/2 hour but also got one. The food was fine and plentiful. The bar-b-que on Thursday night was great! Never had any issues with the bars running out if anything. We did tip the bartenders, so maybe that helped, I do not know.

The beach was fantastic..absolutely beautiful. The pool was great too. We always were able to find a place to sit and catch the sun.

We did go out to dinner one night to the Tiki Hut. We went on Wednesday when they have their chicken/ribs special and it was great. Call and make a reservation and you get a table on the marina (I didnt figure that out until I got there..but our table was fine too, just not on the deck). It was very crowded but the atmosphere was great and the food really good too. It is about a 15 minute taxi ride from the Allegro.

We also did a beach tour and a sunset tour booked through the dive shop that were great fun too. We rented a 4 wheel drive from Avis and drove out to Malcolm Beach was just beautiful. I have never seen such beautiful water and views. The tiki huts are very cool and make great photo opportunites. Take it from someone who knows…took over 250 pics using a digital camera during the week :). The only bad part about this location was it looks like some people use it as a party place and of course they dont pick up after themselves…I wished I had a trash bag to pick up some of the left behind bottles etc. The drive is a rough one..you definitely need 4 wheel drive and it takes about an hour from the Allegro but well worth the trip.

All in all I would go back in a minute and I would go back to the Allegro. I loved the time we were there because it was not very crowded but we had no issues with it being off season either. I talked to a lot of people there and was told that Beaches was great if you had children, because there are a lot there. I was also told that Beaches had a lot more activities for children. There was a family that stayed at the Allegro but bought day passes at Beaches because they came with their children.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to email me at susan_83@yahoo.com if you have questions.

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Allegro Resort Dan Bissetsmith
October 2002

My wife and I went to the Allegro Resort, from Sept 23 – 30, 2002. We had a first class time!

The Beach: The beach is everything and more that everyone says about it. Beautiful. The water is as turquoise and clear as is reported! We had no trouble getting a shady spot, but then again, it was the off season.

The Hotel: The hotel is really nice. The staff, from the reservations manager to the wait staff bent over backwards to be helpful. Food was really good too. But read the reviews prior to this one. The restaurants to eat in are the main buffet restaurant and the Italian restaurant.

Entertainment: Be sure to catch the ‘Latino Show’ night. You really don’t want to miss this show.

Cruises: The three hour snorkelling cruise was worth it. We had the boat to ourselves, so it turned out to be a personal tour. My wife found a lovely conch shell on the beach which we brought home. Also, be sure to walk down the beach to the reef off of Coral Gardens. It’s a bit of a hike, but you will see every kind of fish there that you see on the pay for tours.

I have absolutely no complaints about this vacation … only praise for a resort that was well organized and a delight to stay at.

If you want to see pictures of the resort and beach feel free to email me. I’ll give you a URL to some of the pictures we took.
danhb@mail.com

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Allegro Resort Denise New Hampshire
August 2002

Our trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands (Providenciales)
July 21-July 28, 2002

In a word….WOW. What an incredible time we had. I can not believe how beautiful the beaches were. I am still in shock over the clarity of the ocean water! I will break down this trip report into sections so it is easy for the reader. If you would like to e-mail me with any questions, please do not hesitate. I relied on reading trip reports before choosing my destination for my vacation, and they were extremely helpful. Often times, when I read trip reports, people focus mainly on the resort. I will give my honest opinion on the resort, but I am also going to focus on the other aspects of my trip. Just a word of warning….This is going to be a long report. There will be information that you don’t need, but hopefully there will be some that will of use to you in planning your future vacations!

Planning the trip:
We live in New Hampshire. We purchased our vacation through The Vacation Outlet in the Mall of New Hampshire. It was a vacation package through GWV vacations. I have to say that we loved the people at both The Vacation Outlet and the GWV staff. They were very helpful and gave us a package that suited our needs perfectly. Our package, with airline tickets, resort voucher, etc. came in the mail about 2 weeks before we left for our trip. We were initially scheduled to fly on a charter direct to Provo from Boston. However, the charter did not work out so we flew on American airlines.

Departure:
Our flight was scheduled to leave Boston at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 21. Because we live in N.H. and we had to arrive no later than 4:00 a.m. we decided to hire a limo company for our transport to Boston. We sent inquiries to several companies in the city where we live, and found the best deal through Danielle’s Limo service. We only rented a town car, as there were only two of us going and a limo was unnecessary. We arranged for the car to pick us up at 2:00 a.m. Our driver, Dennis, was great. He arrived right on time and got us to Logan airport at 2:55 a.m. The cost for the car was $70.00 and we gave $30 for a tip. Well worth the money! We hung at the airport for awhile, got coffee, etc. until it was time to get in line to check our bags. Security was pretty tight (which made me feel safe and I was thankful for it!) We boarded the plane and departed a few minutes late. The airline crew were very accommodating. We were served a drink and a granola bar.

We arrived in Miami around 9:30 a.m. Security there was evident but again, this made me feel safe. Random body/luggage searches. We then connected to the flight for Providenciales and were off to our paradise! There was a bit of turbulence but nothing too bad. On the flight we were given our customs paperwork and some general information on Provo. We were also given the name of the GWV representative who would be meeting us. We were served a drink and a bag of chips. The pilot then announced we were approaching the Bahamas. It was amazing to see the beautiful ocean below, and when we arrived in Turks and Caicos, the colors of the water were even more amazing. I couldn’t resist taking pictures from the plane!

We arrived at the airport at approximately 12:30 p.m., after quite a rough landing!! I was quite thankful to be on the ground. The airport was quaint; we were let off in the lot where the planes land and walked into the airport. It was a sunny and beautiful day with a pretty good breeze. When we got in the airport we went through customs, which took about 15 minutes. Very easy. We then gathered our luggage which was waiting for us. We saw a woman holding a GWV sign. We went over and was introduced to Regina, the GWV representative. She led to a shuttle that would take us to the Allegro and told us that there would be an information session at 2:00 p.m. at the Allegro. We waited about 15 minutes for everyone to get on the shuttle and we were off. It was about a 15 minute ride to the resort.

Check In:
We arrived at the Allegro at 1:25 p.m. The front of the Allegro was attractive. There was a little pond area with fountains. Flags were waving in front of the resort. There were palm trees (very dry as they are not native to TCI), bushes with colorful flowers, and pretty butterflies fluttering about.

There was a short line to check in. We were given a cold punch to drink while we waited. The lobby area was nicely decorated with a Caribbean feel. Nothing too fancy, but there were a lot of plants, trees, centerpieces, etc.. which gave the area a nice look. What I found interesting was the open concept of the lobby. There was no air conditioning as the lobby was all open. There was no door separating the outside from the inside. However, there was a nice breeze and this kept us cool. We had a glimpse of the beautiful beach from the lobby and couldn’t wait to walk down!

We were told our room wasn’t quite ready yet. The woman at the check in desk was very nice and helpful. She suggested we go have something to eat and check back for our room. We checked our luggage in and went into the main eating area, Topaz Restaurant, which is the buffet area. We had a bite to eat (details on food below) and checked back to see if our room was ready. The room was ready at this time, and we were given our keys for the room and safe, a towel card for each of us, three slips for reservations for the ala cart restaurants, and a few brochures. We were encouraged to call or come by anytime if we had questions or concerns, or if there was anything that could make us more comfortable.

Room:
We were in room number 4101. It was on the first floor. We liked the fact that our room was so close to everything. We were steps away from the pool, Topaz dining area and the lobby. We were also very close to Coco Loco Beach club and the Suntan bar.

We walked into our room after having a bit of difficulty with the key. We were immediately relieved by the coolness delivered by the air conditioner. The room was nice and clean. The walls were painted orange, blue and yellow and it had a Caribbean flare with paintings and colorful window treatments and a bed comforter. The dresser was wicker and had plenty of space for our belongings. There was a television, sitting area, end tables with lamps, an armoire, and the floor was reddish tile. There was a coffee pot, two mugs and two packets of Foldger’s coffee. I found it peculiar that there was no sugar provided; only Sweet ‘n Low. We had sliding doors in lieu of a balcony (second floors and up had balconies while the first floor had sliding doors) that led directly to the pool area. We had chairs and a table outside our sliding doors on a little patio.

The entryway leading to the bathroom had a sink and vanity, as well as a closet where the safe was located. There was plenty of room to hang clothes and hangers were provided. There was soap, shampoo and lotion for us to use, displayed in a white shell container. There was a hairdryer as well. The wash clothes were folded nicely. There were two wash clothes there.

The bathroom itself was fair in size. There were two bath towels as well as a bath mat. There was an ironing board and iron on the wall. The shower was in need of repair or even replacement! The faucet hung off the wall and I feared that it would eventually just fall off. It didn’t however, and even though it looked as though my showers would be affected, they weren’t. The shower pressure was fine.

My biggest complaint in terms of the room was the bed. Only two pillows (very flat pillows) were provided, however, when I asked the front desk for more, I was immediately brought another one. While I appreciated the prompt service, I was a bit disappointed to only get one more pillow (I kind of expected two!). The bed itself was not very comfortable. It was somewhat hard and the sheet and blankets were rough; not soft in the least. This was a major disadvantage when your skin is burnt by the sun! It almost felt like sand paper.

We walked around the grounds of the resort and agreed that they were beautifully kept. There were hammocks in front of the “pink house” (a section of upgraded rooms). All guests were free to use them.

Food/Drinks:
The drinking water here on Provo was delicious, right out of the tap. No reason for worry; you will not get sick from the water here. They had water bubblers all around the resort with ice cold water.

Breakfast: Topaz dining area (buffet). They had trays of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, French toast, pancakes, Belgium waffles, cereal, fruit, bread assortments that consisted of rolls, croissants (these were actually very good; I lived on these at breakfast!), English muffins, bagels, and toast. They also had a station called “Eggs: Any way you like.” There was a bowl of whole eggs and containers of onions, peppers, tomatoes, sausage, etc. You could order an omelet with everything in it, or eggs sunny side up. I figured you couldn’t go wrong with the omelets, so I ordered this. I don’t know why, but the eggs here are watery. I thought this was because they weren’t cooked all the way (they hardly cook them!). You really have to emphasize “Well done” even just to have them cooked thoroughly. But even when they were well done, they were still watery. The omelets weren’t too disgusting, but definitely could have been better. The waffles and pancakes were terrible! They were doughy and had no taste!

Another nice attempt at breakfast was the smoothie station. There is a staff person there who makes smoothies to order. You can choose from various fruits such as watermelon, bananas, melon, pineapple, mango, etc. and create your own smoothie. These were pretty good, but they make them with milk instead of yogurt. Maybe this is normal and I am the weird one, but I thought smoothies were made with yogurt.

I am an iced coffee drinker, so needless to say, I was quite disappointed in the fact there was no iced coffee available. However, the staff were very accommodating and would get a glass of ice and pour hot coffee in it. A very nice gesture, which I did very much appreciate. However, anyone who loves iced coffee as much as I do knows that iced coffee made this was doesn’t taste very good. Very watered down and weak. We solved this dilemma by bringing a container of coffee to our room, a little cup of milk (no cream available) and filling an ice bucket to make our own. Speaking of ice buckets. Okay, it is quite an adventure to get ice. There are no ice machines. The staff are great. They will fill your bucket 100 times if you ask them, but it was the convenience factor. It is small details like this that would make the Allegro that much better. Another downfall in terms of food was the milk. It was always warm! I am not a picky eater, honestly. But I detest warm milk, especially for cereal. Coffee is one thing, but warm milk for cereal? They keep the milk out for hours as well. This made me a bit leary but we didn’t get sick and I didn’t hear of any one else getting sick either.

Lunch:
Topaz dining area. Selection included: Potatoes, rice, fish of the day, meat of the day (lamb, chicken, pork), mixed veggies (usually carrots and something else), salad bar (lettuce, tomatoes, macaroni salads, choice of three dressings), pizza (cheese, pepperoni, onion and pepper, and one day, corn…yes, corn), soup, and pasta made to order. I am missing a few items I am sure, but you get the picture.

The pasta bar: Here you have a staff behind a frying station, two huge trays of different plain pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, shells, etc.), a bowl of red sauce (marinara?), a bowl of white sauce (alfredo?), and a few containers of veggies, garlic, butter, olive oil, parm cheese, and occasionally some type of shell fish. You can choose whatever pasta you want, whatever veggies or sauce you want and he will prepare it in the frying pan. I figured the pasta with red sauce was a safe bet. WRONG! The sauce was terrible. It was honestly a cross between tomato soup and ketchup. Even with the five pounds of parm cheese it still was nasty. I later decided to go the olive oil and garlic route.

They had a station that had a staff person making sandwiches to order, on a grill. They had platters of different cheeses (swiss, cheddar, american, provolone), deli meats (ham, turkey, roast beef), sliced veggies (onions, tomatoes, etc.), and condiments (mayo, mustard, etc.). You also had your choice between three types of breads, including white bread, a torpedo roll and a bagette. After shoosing what you wanted, the staff would grill it for you (they didn’t use butter). These sandwiches were really good.

Desserts were plentiful, and they had a decent selection daily. There were different pastries, cheesecake, pecan pie, chocolate cake, some kind of jello type mold, cookies and ice cream. The ice cream was delicious. The flavors they had during our stay were coconut (my favorite), maple walnut, chocolate chip, chocolate, and cookies and cream. This ice cream was definitely the highlight of lunch time! It was so good!

Lunch at Coco Loco: Being a vegetarian, my choices were limited here. My boyfriend is not a vegetarian, and he enjoyed the food here. Menu items included; cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries, nachos, salad, and pizza. My boyfriend thought the burgers were great. I had nachos with just melted cheese, salsa (delicious salsa!), and sour cream. They were great! This place was always dead for some reason. I wondered if people realized this place was included in the all-inclusive deal, or if it even existed! Coco Loco was a hop, skip and a jump away from the beach, and it was wonderful to go and get a cold drink here. Heniken Beer (sp?) in the bottle (if you were going to the beach they would pour it in a cup), all types of liquor (same as Topaz pretty much) and soda.

Dinner:
Topaz dining area. Really the same selections as lunch, minus the sandwich station and the ice cream. However, they also included a carving station which alternated between roast beef, lamb, and pork. They also had different themes each night (French, International, etc.)

A la cart dining: Caruso Italian Specialty and Papaya’s Oriental. We didn’t go to either of them. We had reservation to go to Papaya’s, but lost track of time in the casino! We heard mixed reviews on these, but the majority was that the Italian was pretty good and the Oriental was terrible. You have to make reservations at “guest services” (a desk in the lobby) for the following night, and they alternate nights. For example, Papaya’s is open M-W-F, so you would make reservations S-T-Th. Same for Caruso’s. I can’t remember if these are exactly the days they are open, but you get the picture. Also, each restaurant is closed one day of the week, and I can’t remember this either. The weird thing about reservations is that you can’t go and reserve for the week. You have to go the day before to make them. I heard it was tough to get into Caruso’s, so if it is important you go there, find out what nights it is open, and go early the morning before to reserve.

I really think that if the resort staff cooked in a more native type of style the food would have been good. I felt as though they tried too hard to cater to the tourists and attempted to give the food an American and European flare. Please don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t totally nasty, but this was definitely the biggest complaint of the trip. Was it enough to prevent me from going back to Allegro? No. I WILL go back to Allegro, as the staff were wonderful and very accommodating. We will definitely upgrade to a room that has a kitchen so we can get a few things, but I will come back to the Allegro for sure. More comments regarding this at the end of this report. Even though the food was not great, this in no way had an effect on our vacation. We had a fabulous time.

At all of the bars, the drinks are plentiful. They do not skimp on the booze in any way! We never experienced a wait for our drinks. We found the service to be efficient in all of the bars.

Even though we were at an all-inclusive, we decided to venture out for something different to eat. We went to Lattitudes one night, which is directly across from the Allegro in the Ports of Call. We had a nice time here. The atmosphere was nice and relaxing. They had a bar and pool table and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The menu had good selection. My boyfriend ordered the fish and chips which he said was delicious. I had the veggie pizza. It was very good, but it was not made as the menu suggested. Example: The menu said the pizza came with artichoke hearts and maranated mushrooms, as well as other veggies. Well, there were no mushrooms or artichoke hearts. It did however have broccoli and jalepeno peppers which the menu did not state. However, the pizza was delicious and I for one love broccoli and hot peppers. I could see why a customer would have been upset about this, but for me it was fine.

The total for the dinner (two beers for my boyfriend and a soda for me) was under $30.00. The service was very good and our waitress was friendly.

We also checked out the Barefoot café, which is located in the Ports of Call as well. They had a great selection of coffees, but again, no iced coffee! I just find this peculiar when it gets so hot in the islands!! Perhaps iced coffee is an American thing? Once again, the staff were more than willing to accommodate any request and made me an iced coffee that was very good. The staff here were very friendly, and we were glad to have come here. My boyfriend ordered a burger with fries and said it was excellent. The prices here were reasonable. On Friday night, they had a live band playing. They were great!

Allegro BBQ:
One day per week, the Allegro has a BBQ, which is quite an event. We had a blast at the BBQ. The food was good this night, and the selection was great. They had all sorts of salads, pasta dishes, baked potatoes, breads, corn on the cob, fish, chicken, beef, a whole pig, etc, etc. They also had deserts galore! The staff went out of their way to ensure the guests had a wonderful time. And we did. Everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves.

After dinner, they had a great show. The staff are so good; very energetic! They aim to please. They end this wonderful night with fireworks. This was a definite highlight in our vacation.

Excursions:
Before coming to Provo, we decided to do at least two excursions. The first one we did was the beach cruise through Dolphin Tours. The desk for Dolphin tours is right I n the lobby for the Allegro. The cost was $35.00 each for a four hour trip. The trip included a stop at Iguana Island, a stop for snorkeling and then over to Fort George Cay for shallow water snorkeling for sand dollars and shells. The bus picked us up in front of the hotel (previously stopped at Beaches to pick up other guests) and we were on our way to the dock. We got fins and snorkeling equipment and off in the boat we went.

Iguana Island was fun. More for the kids, but fun anyway. When we came back to the boat, a few other people decided to take a dip in the water. It was then that Kevin, our guide, pointed out a huge sting ray, right in the shallow water! What a sight. I was glad to have gotten a picture. The Iguanas were interesting, and some where really big!

Next stop was snorkeling in the middle of the ocean. Kevin was a great guide. He pointed out different points of interest and was quite informed of the island. I didn’t go too far from the boat because the water was a bit choppy, although there were 10 year old kids who didn’t have a problem. My boyfriend and a few other people snorkeling saw three HUGE stingrays right below them. Everyone saw beautiful fish and coral, and when Kevin our guide swam down deep, he saw conch crawling along.

Next stop was Fort George Cay. The boat ride was, for me, the most enjoyable part of the day. Seeing the beautiful shades of water was so relaxing and amazing. I can’t explain how turquoise and clear the ocean was. The beach at Fort George was beautiful. Very clear water, and shallow for many feet out. We found many beautiful shells here, as well as some coral that had washed ashore. We didn’t find a sand dollar, but two others did. We have amazing pictures from Fort George. The water was just as beautiful as can be. You could see the bottom everywhere you went. It is a great trip for the little ones, as the water is extremely calm. No waves at all when we were there, and as I understand it, there very seldom is. It rained for about three minutes this day. However, this in no way impacted our trip. The sun was as hot as ever after the shower.

This beach excursion was one of the many highlights of our trip. We loved it!

Another excursion we took was a two hour snorkeling trip through Dive Provo. They are located right in back of the pool area at the Allegro. This is also where you get your free snorkeling gear to use while you are an Allegro guest. This trip was fun, and our guides, Lucy and a gentleman whose name I can’t remember, were very informative and professional. They stopped at two different locations on the reef. The water this day was a bit choppy for me, but I gave it a chance. We saw parrot fish, angel fish, beautiful coral, barracuda and stingrays. I didn’t go as far out to the reef as most, but those who did had great sightings to share. A few people saw a nurse shark, lobster, and awesome tunnels in the coral formation.

We had a great time this excursion, but when we returned, I learned that we had missed out in a big way. Jojo, the island dolphin, had followed another boat in and swam around with the people on the beach for awhile. Many people we talked to couldn’t believe they actually saw Jojo, never mind swam with him. A girl I chatted with got some great pictures. Oh well, next year we will be back and hopefully will see the dolphin!

Beach:
Ahhhhhhh…..My favorite thing to talk about. To those who want to find a place that has the most beautiful beach you will ever see, come to Turks and Caicos. I can not even describe how beautiful this beach is. The water is brilliant neon turquoise like a color you have never seen before. There is NO SEAWEED anywhere, not on the sand or in the water. None! There are no rocks to be found either. It is the clearest water I have ever seen. It was 88 degrees when we were there, but it still felt refreshing! When I hear of water being that warm, I used to wonder how one could be refreshed after a day in the sun, but sure enough, this water was extremely refreshing. I still to this day, dream about Grace Bay in Provo. The water was amazing. It was like swimming in a pool. It was so clear and clean. We have only been to the Bahamas before here, and we went to Freeport (YUCK). The beaches don’t even compare. We spent the majority of our time in the warm, beautiful, inviting water. I couldn’t get enough of this beach. The shades of blue would alternate from neon turquoise to deep aqua, to a crystal clear blue. Amazing.

Right in back of the Allegro is the Dive Provo operation. Here you can get your snorkeling gear (free). You can use the equipment for the entire day. It must be returned by 4:30 p.m. I had heard by reading reports before going that you only had 2 hours with the equipment, but this isn’t true. The gear was in great shape.

We walked down the beach to Coral Gardens. It was awesome! Probably the best snorkeling we did the entire trip. We saw barracuda, a turtle, parrot fish, sting rays, etc. only a few feet away from the shore. It was fabulous. There is also signs and trails under the water that point out different things. We had a blast while snorkeling here. To walk here from the Allegro, simply go to the beach in front of the Allegro, and walk to your left. It is about 2 ½ miles down.

Another sight I wanted to mention was the starfish!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!! If you are on the beach in front of the Allegro, walk to the left, go past the dock a ways, and look in the water. There are tons of huge starfish! At first I thought they were rocks, but then I realized there are no rocks in the water here, especially that big! Sure enough, they were starfish. It was amazing!! Huge starfish, all different colors ranging from red to orange to yellow. Some were bigger than a dinner plate. We got some awesome pictures. They are cool to pick up, but please do not take them out of the water! I saw a man picking them up out of the water to show his kids, but he kept them out too long! We got a quick underwater pic (I held it almost to the surface) and then gently put it back on the sand under the water. The starfish are in very shallow water, so this would be a great experience for the kids.

This same day, we snorkeled up and down the beach, and my boyfriend found a huge sand dollar. It was alive, so obviously we didn’t keep it. It was so cool to see a sand dollar alive. It had little hairs on it and was grey in color.

I could go on and on about the beach, but I guess I will stop now! I challenge you to find a more beautiful beach. It was stunning! The color was so amazing. I wish I was there right now!

One day, my boyfriend and I snorkeled up and down Grace Bay looking for shells or anything else that caught our eye. Suddenly, Ron motions for me to come over to where he is. He points out a stingray, buried under the sand. Only it’s eyes were above the sand, and you could see the outline of his body and especially his stinger! It was so cool! It appeared to be waiting for his lunch to swim by.

I am not exactly sure how long Grace Bay is. However, you can walk the entire length. There are no rocks to deal with, or any other interruptions. You can walk all along Grace Bay. The sand is so soft!

Pool:
The pool at the Allegro was very nice. Extremely refreshing, as well. Our daily routine consisted of spending the entire day on the beach then diving in the pool. What a life!

The pool has a couple of waterfalls, cold water jacuzzis and sections where you can play volleyball or lounge. The pool has an unusual shape, and I am not so sure it would be that safe for kids. It is somewhat difficult to determine the shallow end from the deep, as there is no indication. The pool is very big and never seemed crowded. It was always clean. Occasionally you would find a cup floating around, but the staff were quick to take care of that. It was annoying knowing a guest just threw their cup in the pool or didn’t pick up after themselves. The staff work so hard to make the Allegro clean and pretty. There were plenty of chairs and lounge chairs around the pool. There was never a wait to get a chair. There were floats for guests to use, as well. There is not a pool bar (which was a bit disappointing) but there are two bars very close.

It was awesome swimming in the pool late at night. The grounds were lit up, with lights spiraling around the trucks of the palm trees. It was so pretty. We did see a sign that said the pool closed at 9:00 p.m., and we usually abide by the resort rules, but the pool was so inviting!

Entertainment:
The Allegro has the only casino on Provo. It was small but fun. There were various slot machines, video poker, blackjack tables, poker, roulette, etc. We actually did pretty good playing blackjack. We walked away one night $200 ahead. The casino is closed on Sundays and is opened Mon-Sat at 7:00 p.m. It is not opened during the day. Strangely, the casino closed for two days while we were there. Rumor has it (and I stress rumor) that the casino ran out of money. I don’t know how true that is!

Every night the staff put on a show. They really put their hearts in it, let me tell you. The audience really reacted to these shows, and the staff interacted with the guests very well. Is it Vegas quality? No, however they do a great job! We enjoyed them very much.

During the day, the staff offered volleyball games, water aerobics, etc. There are tennis courts, a pool table, nearby golf and free scuba lessons in the pool.

Shopping:
There was not a huge amount of shopping here on Provo. However, we had fun shopping at Ports of Call (across from the Allegro). We also ventured down the road to a little straw market place that had a lot of hand made goods, such as baskets, pipes, clothing, etc. The Allegro has a jewelry store (duty free) in it. They sell jewelry, Cuban cigars, perfume and leather goods. I bought a little sand dollar 14kt gold charm (only $24.95) to remember our snorkeling experiences. We also bought a bunch of gifts for our family, such as t-shirts (ranged in price from $12-$35), key chains ($2.00-$10.00), ashtrays ($5.00), beaded jewelry ($5.00-$18.00). I bought my daughter a beautiful doll that was made by one of the local women for only $12.00. It was worth more. I didn’t find the prices in the shops to be too bad, actually. I expected them to be a lot higher.

I should say though, one day while walking back from Coral Gardens, we stopped at a beach bar (at one of the condos, maybe RWI?) and ONE can of coke was $2.50! Yikes! I was so hot that I paid it with no problem, but wow!

Kids programs:
We didn’t bring our daughter so obviously we didn’t utilize the program. To be honest, I didn’t hear much about it. I saw two kids with one of the staff in the pool, and the kids looked like they were having fun. There were pictures drawn by children in the lobby, but that is really all we saw in terms of the children’s program.

Taxis:
We utilized the taxi service on two occasions. Both times, the fare was $8.00 one way. Once was to Coral Gardens (took a cab the first time as I didn’t know exactly where it was. We walked back, and then walked to and from after knowing where it was). Some people had said that it should have only been $3.00 to go to Coral Gardens, so I questioned the driver. He said when there are more people in the cab it is usually about that. It was only us going at the time.

Medical facilities:
Men. Will they ever learn? Prior to leaving, my boyfriend has a toothache. I told him to go to the dentist before we left, but he insisted he was fine. Well, wouldn’t you know that on the second day we were there, he woke up with a slamming toothache and a swollen face?

He found the number of the local dentist, and took a cab over. They gave him medications for the infection and for pain. The total cost for the appointment, prescriptions and taxi fare was $70.00. Not too bad in my opinion! He felt a lot better the next day. He said the dentist was very nice, and saw him immediately after he walked in the office.

Leaving Provo:
I have never cried about a vacation ending before. Well, I did this time. I was so sad to be leaving this paradise! I missed my daughter tremendously and I was anxious to be back with her, but I did not want to leave! I had the best time ever.

There was a board near the desk in the lobby that had departing instructions for guests that traveled with GWV. We had to leave our room at 12:00, and be in the lobby at 1:30. We had plenty of time to take a last trip to the glorious beach and take more pictures. Checking out of the hotel was a breeze. There were no phone charges, which was unusual and a mistake to be honest, as we did make a few local calls. I was told by the hotel staff that local calls were $.75 each. We weren’t charged a dime. We handed over the keys, were thanked profusely from the friendly staff, and the bus picked us up in front of the Allegro and took us to the airport.

Tourists should be aware that there is a fee (I think it is $25.00) that is charged as a departure tax. This fee was included in our package so we didn’t have to pay it, but a couple that we saw at the airport were quite surprised when they were charged. We were, however, charged $5.00 at the airport. I have no idea what this was for but I guess it was a standard charge.

Customs was a breeze. We left on time and stopped in Miami to change flights. This was a bit of a hassle. We had to fill out the custom forms (given on the plane). We didn’t fill it out right so we were sent to the back of the line. We eventually made it through and got on the plane that took us to Logan.

    In closing, I have a few suggestions and thoughts on vacationing in the Turks and Caicos.

  • If you are expecting luxury accommodations, do not stay at the Allegro. You will be disappointed.
  • Stay at the Allegro if you are on a budget and looking for comfortable accommodations with the friendliest staff I have ever dealt with. Go to the Allegro if you want a nice resort on the most beautiful beach.
  • Go to the Allegro with an open mind. Be friendly to the staff! You are on vacation and in their country. Respect that.
  • While tips are not necessary being an all-inclusive resort, we did tip. We felt the service was wonderful and worthy of tips.
  • Before going to Turks and Caicos, get a base tan! My boyfriend who has very dark skin got burnt the first day. The sun is HOT!!!
  • Bring sunscreen and USE IT! You will still get an awesome tan with it on.
  • Bring aloe or a soothing gel to apply to your skin after a day in the sun. You will need it!
  • As far as spending money, we brought $800.00. Depending on what you plan to do in terms of excursions, meals, gambling, shopping, etc. you really don’t need much. The amount we brought was more than enough, and we never went without when we were there. Some excursions (IE: French Cay, Grand Turk) was expensive; around $150 per person. We will do one of those excursions next time.

There is not a lot to do on Provo. This is what enticed me in the first place! I wanted a vacation where I could just relax, swim in a gorgeous beach, snorkel a bit and meet friendly people. Provo exceeded all of my expectations. However, if you are an active person and looking for tons of excitement, I would say Provo is not for you. There are many activities here such as parasailing, boating, fishing, diving, golfing, etc. but there really isn’t a lot more. If you want to swim in the most beautiful and clean waters, if you are laid back and want a lot of relaxation, Provo is for you.

Do not be afraid to venture outside of the resort. While there is crime everywhere in the world, I felt extremely safe in Provo. I never felt afraid, even walking around at night. The people are so friendly here!

We are already planning our next trip back to Provo, Turks and Caicos and yes, we are going to stay at the Allegro. We are going to upgrade our room for only $30.00 additional per night, and buy some things at the grocery store. You will definitely get the best deal in Provo by staying at the Allegro. It is an inexpensive resort, and gives a great value. I also plan on bringing my own sheets in case I get burnt again! Gosh, those sheets felt rough! The Allegro had the best beach front on the entire strip of Grace Bay, in my opinion. It was not crowded at all. The sand was clean; the water flawless. The beach in front of the Beaches resort was EXTREMELY crowded!!!! We were kind of shocked when we walked by. There were tons of people (mainly children). We paid $1,049 per person, which included airfare and all hotel expenses for 8 days. I feel that we got our money’s worth and then some. At no time did I feel ripped off or disappointed.

A few areas in which I feel the Allegro is lacking: There is no ice machine. Like I stated previously, the staff would do anything for you and fill up your bucket 1000 times, but it would have been more convenient to have an ice machine nearby. The bedding should be more comfortable, in my opinion. I think the food offered in Topaz should have more of a local flare. Despite these minor issues, we had a blast. With a little TLC, Allegro could be a 5 star resort.

Even though I haven’t traveled to many destinations in the Caribbean, I feel like I don’t have to look any further. I have found my paradise. I can’t wait to go back! I am sure I forgot to mention a thousand more things about our trip! I have so many wonderful memories of my time on Provo.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I would be more than happy to answer them! Reading trip reports was so valuable to me and helped me tremendously, so I would be more than happy to assist you in any way that I can!

Deniseandronnie@aol.com

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Last updated March 22, 2004

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