The crystal blue water rises up to meet the jet as it barrels toward the runway. As we land, an audible (mask covered) exhale comes from the passengers. It’s the sound of 200 strung out New York City area Covid-year survivors ready for relax. The only reason to go to Turks and Caicos is to relax. It’s a playground of serenity.

Like the quintessential Greenwich couple, after a yearlong of stress from work/no work, on-and-off at-home schooling (and a bout of alopecia for me! Get ready to see bald/wig-covered Elaine roaming Fairfield County!), ChiChi and I decided we needed a getaway! It came at the perfect time. It was a few weeks past our fun, but crazy Miami spring break with the boys and pre-busy event-driven spring (as busy as a pandemic time can be) and to celebrate my birthday. Us Taurus girls like to celebrate big time! We also love to travel and lounge on the beach and get pampered.

We decided on Turks and Caicos – two nights each at The Palms and The Shore Club. It’s a quick three hour direct flight from New York. One must have a negative Covid test to fly. The arrival into Providenciales Airport was easy. We were whisked off on a 20 minute taxi ride to The Palms, located on Grace Bay. We were received by the lovely staff at The Palms and given a wonderful ginger infused happy drink. We registered and one of the team escorted us to the poolside/beachside restaurant for lunch. As we were being seated, we were greeted by five familiar tan and happy moms from school and sports who were enjoying their farewell lunch after spending a wonderful two days celebrating a friend’s birthday. They made some menu and spa recommendations and were off with a flourish, “see you soon at YWCA parking lot pickup!” they called out. Back to reality for them and into relax mode for us. We enjoyed the freshest fish ceviche and tacos, paired with the most delicious margaritas for lunch with a gorgeous view of the clean blue ocean and white sands beach.

As we finished lunch, The Palms’ General Manager, Jeff Morgan gave us a tour of the resort and explained its history. The Palms is the second resort development by Stan Hartling of the Hartling Group on Grace Bay. It was built in 2002 on a 12-acre site. It has 72 oceanfront luxury two-and three-bedroom suites, complete with two restaurants, a ballroom, boutiques and a full service spa and gym facility. Jeff also explained that many of the suites are condominiums and owned by private individuals who put them out for rental by the hotel for a portion of the year. Each core suite is beautifully appointed with comfortable furnishings, gorgeous ocean view patios and state of the art kitchens. There’s a terrific flexible floorplan where bedrooms can be added depending on the number in your group. It’s a great set up for a couples trip or an extended family vacation.

We enjoyed two days luxuriating at the beach and floating in the amazing blue water. The white sand around the bay was a dream walk each morning. We even hit some tennis balls (they have racquets and balls or you can bring your own). The spa was a highlight! It was almost impossible to decide on which treatment to get. I opted for the Mother of Pearl Scrub, which includes a massage. I arrived half an hour early and lounged by the mini pool in a complete Zen state. Each treatment room has its own garden and the spa facilities are ample and private and peaceful. I was definitely more relaxed when I walked out than when I walked in.

Dinner each evening at Parallel 23 was fabulous. The food is “Caribbean fusion cuisine with an elegant ambiance.” The restaurant is open air and tables spill out onto a garden patio. Guests dress up – smart casual – which is not foreign to our Fairfield County crowd. ChiChi and I selected fish, as we knew it would be fresh and the sauces and presentation were beyond our expectations. The rum Old Fashioned was scrumptious and the wine list has many delectable selections. You must order the dessert samples with rum raisin ice cream. They were to die for!

As we bid adieu to charming Jeff Morgan, he said to ChiChi, “you look so much more relaxed than you did two days ago. I can really see the difference!”

Our week continues at The Shore Club in Part 2. Please stay tuned!