PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos -- When Ron Ohliger Sr. first visited "Provo," a still-developing island south of the Bahamas in the late 1980s, he remembers falling for the unspoiled riches of Grace Bay Beach.
"You could walk from one end of the beach to the other and not see a person until Club Med (the only resort at the time)," he recalls. "It was just us and the water and nothing else."
Ohliger helped put "Provo" and the now-world-famous 12-mile strip of beach on the map for tourists. He developed the original Ocean Club Resorts in 1990 and years later added Ocean Club West less than a mile down the beach of this laid-back British Overseas Territory.
These two all-suites, condominium-style resorts are ideal for families, honeymooners and couples looking for an oceanfront Caribbean escape. The well-decorated suites are spacious with kitchenettes, laundry facilities, one-to-three bedrooms and free Wi-Fi. Both resorts charm visitors with pools, a Spa Tropique, at least one tennis court (where equipment is complimentary) and a restaurant right on the beach.
West's Seaside Cafe offers a bar menu of conch dishes as well as great lunch and dinner selections. The Ocean Club's Cabana Bar & Grille plans to begin serving Friday night dinner right on the beach this year. Fine dining comes at The Ocean Club's Opus Wine-Bar-Grill, which specializes in seafood but serves a great cut of meat, too.
Guests can rent free bikes to explore nearby shops. Golfers staying at an OCR property can score reduced green fees at the Provo Golf Club, an interesting 6,700-yard test right across the street.
Still, it's the beach that steals the show.
"It's honestly the most beautiful beach I've ever seen," says Steve Russo, a guest at Ocean Club West from Long Island, N.Y. "The clarity and temperature of the water is impressive."
For more information about Ocean Club Resorts, call (800) 457-8787 or visit www.oceanclubresorts.com.