Beaches: The Ultimate Family Resort
A Luxurious Experience for Adults and Happy Memories for Kids
by Jen Coulter
SPONSORED BY BEACHES
Our family of five loves to travel, but just like any group traveling together, each one of us has specific requirements on our checklist that can make finding the perfect resort a challenge. My husband and I want the kids to have fun and create happy memories, and we want to be indulged with a luxury experience, including delicious food and cocktails, excellent service and upscale accommodations. Every year for spring break, we head to the Caribbean to escape what seems like an endless winter. Finding the perfect all-inclusive resort to meet all of our needs has been a challenge in the past—until recently when we discovered Beaches Turks & Caicos.
One of the many benefits of a Beaches vacation is that transfers are included to/from the resort. Having an air-conditioned mini-van waiting for you rather than waiting in long lines to find your own transportation is a nice way to start the trip. Even better? Arriving at the resort to be greeted with refreshing hand towels and tropical drinks. And did I mention the drive from Providenciales International Airport is only about 20 minutes from the resort? That means within an hour of arriving on the island, you can enjoy lunch by the pool.
Activities & Entertainment for Everyone
We were thrilled to have five days to explore Beaches. With its size and offerings for guests of all ages, you can find something new every day. Our younger kids loved the Pirates Island waterpark and our oldest son couldn’t get enough of the surf simulator. My husband and I enjoyed the lazy river, which weaves through the waterpark, giving us all the opportunity to be together and still do our favorite things. When we weren’t in the waterpark area, we were lazing away at one of the six pools. One of the best parts of the pools are the swim-up bars, staffed with attentive bartenders and bursting with our favorite premium liquors, beers and wines. This is where I discovered the frozen mojito, packed with fresh mint and a little sugar—so refreshing! And our kids had fun trying every smoothie offered on its extensive list of non-alcoholic drinks. It also has an Xbox Play Lounge, a game room for tweens and a teens-only club. With our kids’ ages (4-9), we were more into the Sesame Street parades and the nightly outdoor theatre shows. In addition to a large fitness center, the resort also offers tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, plus shuffleboard, lawn chess and croquet. Unlike some Caribbean resorts, at Beaches, we were able to enjoy both non-motorized and motorized watersports free of charge.
Travel Tip: Read the daily newsletter left in your room to see what’s on the schedule and plan according to everyone’s needs. Some activities, like baking cookies with Cookie Monster, a volleyball competition or a BBQ party on the beach, may only be offered once a week.
The Most Beautiful Beach
Beaches is named as such because of its strategic placement on Grace Bay, the World’s #1 Best Beach, according to the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards. Lined with flowing palm trees, this 12-mile stretch of white sand is paired with calm, turquoise water. And with snorkeling included, we took a boat out to see the many species of colorful fish not too far off the beach. I could spend the entire day on this beach with butler service and be perfectly happy. And many of our fellow guests did just that. We made it a point to start the day here and reconvene with a glass of champagne in hand to witness the spectacular sunsets. Seeing the sun melt into the water is such a treat, even more so on a beach as beautiful as this one.
Delicious Dining and Premium Wines & Liquors
With 22 dining options and two food trucks, we sadly didn’t get to experience all of the venues. But of the ones we tried, our favorites were Neptunes (Mediterranean Seafood), Dino’s (Pizza), Soy (Sushi), Arizona’s (Tex Mex), and Kimono’s (Teppanyaki). My husband and I like to enjoy upscale dining, fine wines and craft cocktails. After having one too many disappointing experiences at all-inclusive resorts in the past, we were happy with the level of quality and range of offerings at Beaches. While buffets are typically my last choice, when you have kids who prioritize playing over eating, it was often times the right choice for a quick breakfast or lunch without sacrificing quality. And Café de Paris quickly became my morning ritual to enjoy one of the best cappuccinos outside of Europe.
Travel Tip: The only restaurant that requires a reservation is Kimono’s, so make one as you check in. We booked ours for our final night and it made for a memorable and entertaining sendoff. Aside from the delicious Far East cuisine and the interactive entertainment with our chef, another plus was that all three kids stayed seated through the entire meal (with zero electronic devices involved).
Five Themed-Villages & Multiple Room Configurations
Another area of importance to my family is finding a room that fits five people. Ever since having our third child, we have been in one too many situations of paying for a second room, including at some of the past all-inclusives we’ve visited. That is not an issue at Beaches because they offer room sizes and configurations that meet the needs of groups of up to 14 people, with five villages to choose from, each one has its own flavor and style. For this trip, we stayed in the Italian Village. Our two-bedroom suite—one with a king size bed and one with a bunk bed and a trundle—included concierge service and a fully stocked refrigerator with champagne, wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks. It also had a balcony that overlooked the pool and had incredible views of the crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Travel Tip: It takes a while to figure out the differences between the five villages. Save a lot of time and stress by letting one of our travel experts figure out the right village and room accommodations to meet your family’s needs.
A Relaxing Vacation for Parents is Possible
Any parent with kids knows that once you have kids, family trips just aren’t relaxing. I would say a vacation at Beaches is about as relaxing as you can get given its family-friendliness, kids camp, babysitting services and helpful staff. And did I mention there are no uncomfortable wristbands to wear? Not to mention the need to tip or sign bills. And while we visited during spring break, notably one of the busiest times of the year, it did not feel crowded on the beach or at the pools, and the restaurants were easy to get into with little to no wait.
Travel Tip: If you’re thinking of going during a busy time of the year (spring break, long holiday weekends, etc.) plan to book 3-6 months in advance. If you’re a larger group, the more time in advance the better, as the options for more guests are not as plentiful as it is for families of 4 or fewer.
Three Locations on Two Beautiful Islands
We have been lucky enough to enjoy two Beaches locations: Negril in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos, and are anxious to try the third at Ocho Rios as well. Negril is smaller than Turks and Caicos, but we loved it just as much when we visited a few years ago. The major difference, aside from the property size, is that there is a longer drive to get from the airport to Beaches Negril. But having the time to see the beautiful hills and foliage of Jamaica on your way is a plus in my opinion.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable family vacation to a Beaches resort? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with a Beaches specialist to customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.