I Stayed in a $2,200-Per-Night Caribbean Penthouse…And Didn’t Pay a Dime

I’m quite open regarding how I feel about Grace. It felt like I was hit by a thunderbolt the first time I saw her. The good news is my wife, Judy, has no problem with my infatuation. You see, the object of my passion is Grace Bay Beach on the Turks and Caicos Island of Providenciales.

Turks and Caicos is a chain of 38 islands and cays located southeast of the Bahamas in the Caribbean. When I’m not venturing off to Anguilla, Antigua, or Aruba, I’m lounging on Providenciales, home to a five-mile stretch of white sand and turquoise water, considered one of the best beaches on the planet. What allows me to do all this is a simple discovery that has changed the way that I explore the world… Travel writing.

On my most recent trip to Providenciales, I gladly accepted a sweetheart deal for oceanfront accommodations. Our suite’s expansive balcony offered a fabulous view of the trademark turquoise water for which Grace Bay is known. Included in our stay were three free meals at the hotel’s restaurant—their sister property—located one mile down the beach. In addition to a lunch of pecan crusted grouper, Judy and I enjoyed a complimentary dinner under the stars. This feast was accented with a flight of high-end rums from their extensive cellar. Then, on our last night, we delighted in an interactive chop-chop dinner show by their Teppanyaki chef. This delicious meal was capped by an island vocalist serenading us with a spot-on Whitney Houston medley.

Regardless of the islands I visit, I’m humbled by the perks that accompany my new way of traveling. On my trip to Turks and Caicos I stayed at its newest luxury resort. The penthouse, which features a wraparound sliding-glass door and a balcony that opens to a sweeping view of kite boarders skittering along the Caribbean Sea, normally goes for $2,200 per night…but for me it was free.

Greens fees for golf in the Caribbean regularly go for over $100 per round. For me…free. In addition, the good people at the golf course introduced me to a spontaneous perk. They suggested I visit a restaurant that had just opened two weeks prior. It turned out that the island’s most popular restaurant had added a vintage food truck on the coconut grove adjoining their property. When I arrived, the chef laid out the red carpet. Judy and I savored sweet and sour lobster, Peking duck tacos, and tuna tartare. Once again…it didn’t cost me a dime.

Becoming a travel writer has been a lifechanging experience for me. Not only do I get to experience the full glory of the Caribbean without any costs, but best of all…I get to renew my love affair with Grace.

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