By David Newlands
Photographs courtesy David Newlands
One of the many beautiful destinations serviced by Bahamasair, visit Bahamasair.com to book your travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Upon flying into Providenciales, visitors to Turks and Caicos have the privilege of taking in one of the most beautiful views. Rather than a sudden shift from the deep blue sea to an island, visitors are gifted with a natural mosaic consisting of shades of blue, beige and white. This is Chalk Sound National Park, located on the southernmost tip of Providenciales—a large sound that is covered with tiny cays. As airlines fly over this prime example of natural beauty, visitors and residents alike get to witness why Turks and Caicos’ slogan is “Beautiful by Nature”. To the naked eye, this national park is a pristine oasis with only a few homes on the surrounding hills. I, however, am here to inform you that you actually can visit and even stay there during your vacation in a small villa complex that allows for short-term rentals, called Neptune Villas.
To find this location is an adventure in and of itself, as visitors must travel in the opposite direction of most traffic—heading towards South Dock instead of Grace Bay. It is approximately a 10-minute drive, bringing visitors through an industrial area, but in the end it will be worth it. Visitors will find themselves in the Chalk Sound Settlement, where Neptune Villas is located. Chalk Sound is primarily a residential area, and is home to not only the national park, but also to the beautiful Sapodilla Bay. With a short drive into the settlement, visitors will see the distinct entrance of Neptune Villas, which has an ornate gate flanked by two statuettes of the Roman god of the sea. Separated by a small bridge, the complex is directly off of the main road, offering a definitive sense of privacy and seclusion for its guests.
Originally constructed as a small community of cottage-styled homes, the community housed many residents and long-stay visitors. However, it has come under new ownership and was recently converted into a short-term rental community. Today, the cottage-styled homes have been renovated into luxury villas where guests are offered the comforts of a house, including a full kitchen, living room, private balconies and breathtaking views. Most visitors will probably not spend a great deal of time in their villa, however, as this vacation getaway offers a variety of activities to keep visitors entertained and enamored with the beauty of the national park.
Neptune Villas offers a variety of activities for guests, ranging from boat tours around the beautiful cays that dot the Sound, to kayak and canoe rentals for the more adventurous explorers. They also offer snorkeling expeditions and are located very close to Sapodilla Bay beach where watersports enthusiasts can jet ski and wakeboard through various agencies. For those who seek a more relaxing stay, the complex also boasts a beautiful pool where families can lounge and play in complete comfort and luxury.
If the location, seclusion and amenities weren’t enough to convince you, Neptune Villas also has amazing dining options for its guests. Las Brisas Restaurant and Sushi on the Sound are two restaurants owned by the villas that complement the surrounding beauty with delicious food. Resting directly on the shores of Chalk Sound, these luxury restaurants offer guests the comforts of a five-star restaurant along with unbelievable views.
The Mediterranean ambiance of Las Brisas Restaurant sets it apart from many other restaurants on the island. It boasts a white marble deck that extends from the poolside bar to the open-faced kitchen which sits directly across, allowing guests and residents to smell the delicious aromas of fresh cuisine being cooked. Beyond the poolside bar is a covered dining area, where families and couples can share dinner in an intimate setting; and for those seeking to impress, they also offer a beachside gazebo that allows dining guests to look out at the mosaic of Chalk Sound while they enjoy their meals.
Las Brisas Restaurant’s menu focuses primarily on Mediterranean dishes, including tapas (both traditional and modern versions) and iconic dishes such as Azorean stuffed chicken, seafood paella and langostino. For guests who aren’t craving Mediterranean cuisine, they also offer delicious entrees such as lobster thermidor, seared tuna steak, beef Wellington and racks of lamb—along with local fish and classic dining fare. These dishes can also come with an array of local sides such as yucca chips, fried green plantains and sweet grilled plantain, for those who seek a more Caribbean-centric dining experience.
If a sit-down meal is too conventional, Neptune Villas also offers Sushi on the Sound, a new restaurant that puts a unique island twist on the traditional Japanese dish, offering a diverse selection of rolls in both traditional styles and unique fusion styles. Nestled in a covered-gazebo mere feet away from the shore, this open-air dining experience allows guests to enjoy the natural ambience as they dine, as opposed to the crowded, tight quarters of more conventional sushi venues.
Neptune Villas is the perfect destination for first-time visitors as well as returning guests, and is ideal for families and couples. If you seek an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience of the Turks and Caicos, away from the crowds and chaos, this quiet, beautiful venue is an excellent choice. If you are interested in further information on the villas, or the restaurants, you can visit the Neptune Villas website at www.NeptuneVillastci.com. With idyllic scenery, excellent amenities and amazing food, Neptune Villas is one of the best vacation locations in the Turks and Caicos.