Vertically-stacked building is not wheelchair-accessible
No alarm clocks, land-line telephones, or extra pillows
Made up of 78 large one- and two-bedroom luxury condos (each with a kitchen and washer/dryer), this condo-hotel complex offers stunning views of the Caribbean via two rooftop pools and huge balconies in every unit. There's no beach access (the property is one of few not even located near Grace Bay), restaurant, overnight desk staff, or spa; guests come for the beautiful views and accessible price tag.
Large luxury condos with full kitchens and huge balconies, but services and features are few, and it's a five-minute walk from the beach
A barren shopping plaza is the unlikely entrance to this condo-hotel. A small office -- it cannot accurately be described as a lobby or reception area -- near the parking lot is one of few storefronts that isn't empty, and here you'll check in with the office manager who will kindly provide you your key and free cell phone, and escort you to your room.
A good pair of walking legs is imperative for those staying at La Vista Azul, as all rooms are vertically stacked -- and there is no elevator. After walking through the eerily quiet shopping center (which will hopefully one day house shops and restaurants), you'll climb two, three, even four flights of stairs, depending on the location of your room. The hallways are equally austere, something you'll probably notice quite a bit as you catch your breath after the climb.
Once inside the rooms, though, you'll appreciate the effort it took to get there, as the views from the expansive balconies are completely unobstructed. Furnishings are clean and contemporary, though somewhat simple, and full kitchens and washer/dryer combos are a huge plus. Observant guests, however, will notice quite a few shortcomings in the finer details -- queen mattresses are low-quality and you can feel springs when laying down; rooms lack alarm clocks, land-line telephones, and extra pillows; and many elements seem to have been hastily assembled (for instance, the desk drawer that doesn't close all the way, or the bathroom tiles that don't line up).
The hotel grounds get better and better the farther you climb the stairs, and once you hit the rooftop, you'll encounter two pools, two Jacuzzis, and jaw-dropping views that will make you forget all about the ghost town center below.
You'll have to venture out for most activities as there is no restaurant or spa on-site, and the beach is a short walk away. However, a few convenience stores and a guest-only fitness center on the first floor will appease those who want to relax at the resort for the day. And daily housekeeping -- something you don't see too often at a condo-hotel -- helps ensure that those who prefer not to lift a finger won't have to.
One of few resorts removed from Grace Bay, La Vista Azul is not right on the beach, but close to hot snorkeling spots and waterfront restaurants
While not located on Grace Bay -- generally the go-to spot for vacationers in search of Providenciales resorts -- La Vista Azul still manages to impress with its hilltop location overlooking Turtle Cove Marina, and its proximity to Smith's Reef. Of course, hilltop is not beachfront, so those hoping for direct beach access or guest-only lounge chairs and umbrellas will be better off at any number of resorts along Grace Bay.
15-minute drive to Providenciales International Airport
5-minute walk to Turtle Cove
7-minute walk to Smith's Reef
15-minute walk to Grace Bay
5-minute drive to IGA grocery store
10-minute drive to shops and restaurants at Salt Mills and Regent Village shopping centers
12-minute drive to Da Conch Shack and Rum Bar
15-minute drive to the Caicos Conch Far, the world's only conch farm
Unlike at many condo-hotels, where the furnishings vary depending on each owner's taste, La Vista Azul's rooms are relatively uniform, with contemporary yet simple furniture and well-maintained kitchen appliances. Some layouts are slightly awkward though; for instance, in the studios, refrigerators are more in the hallway than in the kitchen, and the two chairs in the crammed living area face the bed rather than the TV. Nonetheless, upscale furnishings -- like a matching dark wood headboard and desk with leather accents, and gorgeous white leather dining chairs with square cutouts -- appear to have been selected with care.
On the downside, the units, which were completed in June 2010, appear to have been hastily put together, with some details looking sloppy and others missing altogether. In my studio, for instance, tiles around the stall shower did not line up, and paintings on the wall were far from centered over the furniture. Missing altogether were extra pillows, an alarm clock, shampoo and conditioner (which were delivered when I informed the front desk), and a telephone (though the resort makes up for this with free loaner cell phones).
Free cell phones (to make up for the absence of landlines in the rooms)
No alarm clocks, DVD players, or telephones
Ceiling fans in every unit
Studios are a spacious 700 square feet, but feature an odd layout that feels crammed with too much furniture.
The more expensive but hardly bigger Junior One-Bedrooms are hardly worth the extra cost, at 830 square feet. For a real upgrade, you'll have to book a One-Bedroom Suite, which measures in at 1,050 square feet and includes a formal dining space.