Providenciales and the Caicos islands are still a work in progress when it comes to shopping, although an increasing number of small shopping "villages" or plazas have cropped up along Grace Bay Road including the Ocean Club Plaza, Regent Village, and Le Vele plaza. The older shopping plazas are the Saltmills (Grace Bay Rd.), which has seven shops, including a wine-and-liquor store, and several restaurants; and Ports of Call (Grace Bay Rd.), with eight shops and several restaurants.
You may not be shopping until you drop during your TCI vacation, but you can discover some real gems if you do some digging -- particularly when it comes to regional artwork, much of it reasonably priced and including the famously colorful paintings by artists from neighboring Haiti, as well as local crafts, such as beautifully made Middle Caicos fanner-grass baskets and silvertop-palm bags, hats, and other items.
Most shops are open from 9 or 10am to 5 or 6pm (generally later in the high season), but hours are ultimately subject to the owners' whims. Be sure to call in advance so you aren't disappointed to find that a store has shut down for the day.
Shopping the Hotel Boutiques
Shopping doesn't have to stop at your hotel door. A number of hotels and resorts in Provo have very good in-house boutique shops, many selling items you won't find in most standard-issue hotel gift shops. Here are a few recommended shops and a sampling of the goods you might discover there:
- Amanyara: This hotel resort on Provo's Northwest Point offers such high-end goodies as Asian-inspired tunic tops by Elizabeth Hurley Beach; Havaianas flip-flops from Brazil; and Amanresorts' wonderful spa products.
- Beaches: Beaches has two stores: Treasure Island, which sells high-end beachwear, Beaches-branded T-shirts, hats, and beach paraphernalia, gifts, snacks, soft drinks, and limited toiletries; and Pirate Cove, which sells Sesame Street-branded clothes and toys and other kids' items.
- The Gansevoort: Not surprisingly for this cosmopolitan brand, this boutique sells sexy (and pricey) styles in swimwear and silky kurtas, among other high-end products.
- The Meridian Club: This small shop sells Meridian Club T-shirts, tops, and hats, locally crafted basketry, and other gift items.
- The Palms: Palm Place, which faces the terrace of restaurant Parallel23, is a real shopping mecca, featuring not one but five boutique shops. Wish boutique has upscale clothing, including those sweet little soft cotton tops and skirts from designer James Perse. Next door the Palm Shop carries casual logo wear and gift items. Splash has beachwear. Spice has gourmet snacks and beverages, such as Harry and David chocolate-covered cherries and Miss Vickie's Potato Chips. Harmony Gallery sells lots of the home furnishings and pricey little tchotchkes (handblown-glass conch shells, sea-urchin candlesticks, shell-encrusted mirrors) you see around the hotel. (Oh, and you can also buy skin-care products and treatments along with big-ticket yoga- and sleepwear in the Spa at the Palms.)
- Parrot Cay: The shop sells lovely but pricey jewel-encrusted Asian-style tunics and kurtas, along with other high-end clothing, books, jewelry, bags, and a few essential toiletries. The COMO Shambhala spa's wildly popular Invigorate line of soaps, shampoos, and the like is also on sale here.
- Somerset on Grace Bay: This nice little boutique is packed with goodies such as Sita de Vesci beachwear, silk kurtas, Theory clothing, jewelry, bathing suits, and menswear.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.