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Caribbean Paradise Inn 3.0

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Off a quiet road within walking distance of tourist area and beach
  • All rooms feature handmade woodwork and balcony or terrace; some have kitchenettes
  • Clean outdoor pool in tropical garden setting
  • Full bar located in hotel lobby
  • Outside breakfast area with all-day free coffee, tea, and drinking water
  • Coin-operated laundry machines
  • Free communal bug spray, umbrellas, and suntan lotion in lobby
  • Free Wi-Fi and on-site parking
  • Bike rental available

Cons

  • It is not recommended to drink the tap water
  • Fee for breakfast
  • Adjacent restaurant is only open November through July
  • Lobby bar closes in early evening along with reception
  • Slow owner-handled room renovations means room quality is highly variable
  • Outdoor kitchenettes can be mosquito heavy

Bottom Line

The Caribbean Paradise Inn has 18 honey rooms, all with balconies or terraces overlooking the lush garden grounds. Suites have full, outdoor kitchenettes. This mid-range hotel is ideal for singles or couples on a budget who want to be within walking distance to the beach, shops, bars, and restaurants. Open from November to August, the adjacent Iron Chef-owned restaurant, Cobaya, serves acclaimed Caribbean fusion and seafood dishes. Note that with slow, seasonal (and sometimes noisy) renovations in the hands of the owner, many rooms are at various levels of renovation -- some displaying contemporary decor and fixtures, and others looking dated. However, in an area filled mostly filled with expensive resorts and residence properties, the Caribbean Paradise offers great bang for your buck -- especially in the newer rooms.

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Scene

A simple, quiet, and affordable find on an expensive island

Right off the bat, from it's modest signage and low-key entrance, you can tell the Caribbean Paradise Inn is a simple, no-frills hotel. It was taken over by a French ex-pat just after the start of the millennium, and is one of the only owner-operated boutiques on the island of Providenciales. The owner, Jean Luc, takes pride in his hotel and has a very hands-on approach to business. In fact, he does all of the renovations and is the woodworker behind the lobby's wooden vaulted ceiling, as well as the cabinetry and bed frames found in the rooms.

Without air-conditioning, the lobby can get a bit sticky, stuffy, and buggy on hot summer days, but guests can take a seat on one of the cushioned wicker chairs or bar stools, and cool down with a cocktail from the lobby bar. There is a front desk covered in excursion and dining leaflets, a flat-screen TV hanging from the wall, and a few love seats for guests to lounge on as they wait to check in or book activities. The staff, like the hotel, is small, and the receptionist doubles as the concierge and bartender.

Usually left open, a door to the right of reception leads out into the tropical garden grounds and onto the pool patio. Island lizards run around the palm trees, flowering plants, and sea grass, occasionally hopping on rocks. If the mosquitoes are on a break, this pool courtyard as well as the breakfast area, are pleasant and sunny places to hang out. The grounds are quiet and surrounded mostly by a stretch of vegetation on either side. Views from the main building's second floor exterior hallways are beautiful. For the most part, the quaint grounds are surprisingly idyllic, save the slightly disheveled "unorganized garage" feel of the laundry and public bathroom areas.

At night, with no receptionist or manager on-duty, entrance is granted through a side door off the parking lot. Guests are given an unlock code at check-in, although the door rarely shuts on its own, making security a possible issue. The lack of employees on-site at night may also cause problems for anyone needing assistance during "closed" hours. While there are signs posted, it should be noted that drinking water from the taps is not advised, but the hotel does have a free water cooler for guests to fill up water bottles, located in the breakfast area.

Location

Off a quiet road, walking distance to beach and several points of interest

Located one road off of the a main drag, the Caribbean Paradise Inn is walking distance to many restaurants, other resorts (some which allow non-guests on-site), shops (particularly the Ports of Call shopping plaza), bars, and -- most importantly -- Grace Bay, one of the world's most beautiful beaches. A two-minute walk to the right of the hotel, guests will find the Casablanca Casino, while CoCo Bistro, one of the island's best restaurants, is just around the corner. The Club Med Turkoise, an all-inclusive hotel which offers day and night passes, is only a five-minute drive from the Caribbean Paradise. Although surrounded by many of the island's tourist points and establishments, the Caribbean Paradise remains a quiet garden oasis just on the outskirts of the action. The hotel is around a 15-minute drive from the PLS airport, and within a 10- to 15-minute drive from almost everywhere else on the island.

Rooms

Rooms vary immensely thanks to slow renovation process, but all feature mini-fridges, microwaves and outdoor space; some have kitchens.

All 18 rooms at the Caribbean Paradise Inn are individually renovated by the owner. This means that the only things the rooms have in common are their fairly big size, terra-cotta floor tiles, toiletries selection, handmade wooden bed frames, ironing facilities, and personal outdoor space. Some rooms have renovated bedrooms and old, dated bathrooms, while some are the opposite; lucky guests will get a room with both up-to-date.

The difference between the decor in renovated room versus non-renovated room can be deal-breakers for some, so be sure to inquire about your room's specifics. Older rooms have simple teak colored furniture and burnt orange bedding, dated plastic pink showers, and older or lower-quality appliances -- and possibly old, lumpy mattresses. Newer rooms feel brighter (although actual lighting is fairly dim) with fluffy white bedding, natural (if simple) maple wood furniture, contemporary decor accents, and higher quality appliances.

Updated bathrooms replace pinks with a more contemporary beige, and the plastics with large marble-style tiles and decorative tile accents. All rooms have a microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker with Wolfgang Puck products, and a shiny new flat-screen TV loaded with cable channels. However, other varying factors in rooms are the for-purchase breakfast menus, alarm clocks, and strength of air-conditioning units.

Separated from rooms by a wall-sized sliding glass door, the balconies (Paradise View Rooms) and terraces (Paradise Studios) off the room are spacious, and have views of the garden grounds and/or pool. Suites are located on the ground floor and include full-sized and fully stocked kitchens -- outside. This poses both positives and negatives; with leftover food and cooking smells out of doors, the island's infamous tiny ants will be less likely to enter your room, but a hefty army of mosquitoes may try to feast on you as you create your feast.

Features

Pool, lobby bar, and a nearby Caribbean-fusion restaurant

The pool is the centerpiece of the Caribbean Paradise. It's small, but sufficient in size. Three sides are surrounded by plastic-banded sun chairs, and there is also a cement-and-mosaic table and bench set, complete with an umbrella. A shower is nestled in the corner to rinse off before or after entering. The hotel also has an (un-air-conditioned) lobby bar open until early evening, when the receptionist goes home.

Just adjacent to the hotel is Cobaya, an Iron-Chef-owned restaurant serving up constantly changing Caribbean fusion dishes. Unfortunately, the restaurant is closed during late summer months, and all Tuesdays. However, be warned: dining at this acclaimed restaurant isn't cheap.

The hotel, while small, has some thoughtful conveniences, including a communal basket of bug spray and suntan lotions in the lobby. Instead of wasting partially used bottles, departing guests donate their leftovers to the front desk, who in turn offer them up free to new guests. In the lobby, guests can also sift through the plethora of tourism, tour, and activity leaflets (or just ask the receptionist/concierge for suggestions), and the hotel is happy to help with arrangements.

There are also bikes for rent, for those who want to pedal around the island. While breakfast is available, it comes at a fee, but the breakfast area is open to all guests and includes a microwave, pot of coffee (available until it runs out), a water cooler (since the tap water is not drinkable), and several stone and ceramic-mosaic tables and benches at which to eat. There is also a coin-operated washer and dryer for guest use. The hotel also has good, reliable Wi-Fi and on-site parking for free.

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Address

Bonventure Cres Road, Grace Bay, TKCA 1ZZ, Caribbean

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