Last week, we had an amazing time during our visit to the Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos for the official grande opening party for the resort’s newest Key West Village. While the main purpose of the press trip was to attend the grande opening party with 54 other members of the media, we made it a priority to find out everything that this all-inclusive Caribbean resort has to offer families.
The resort is located in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos which is just over an hour flight from Miami. I’ve been wanting to visit Turks & Caicos forever to experience the crystal clear turquoise waters and white sand beach that Trip Advisor named one of the best beaches in the world.
As soon as our plane was landing, I knew this strand of islands was not going to disappoint. Even through the American Airlines window, the beauty of this tropical hideaway was not lost on this avid traveler.
We stayed in a one bedroom suite in the new Key West village that is perfect for families. The suite features a full kitchen including stove, dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator. Since this is an all-inclusive and this type of room does not offer room service, I’m not sure the full kitchen is really necessary though.
What I do think is a total bonus for families is the in-room washer and dryer. There is a roomy family room with table, chairs, TV and a couch that can double as a bed for two with its handy trundle that pulls out.
Parents will be excited about the separate one bedroom that allows them watch TV or have conversation at night without disturbing the sleeping children in the other room.
There are 19 different restaurants on the property. Two are “reservations only” but the other 17 eating establishments will accommodate everyone. Since we were only there for 4 days, we didn’t get to eat at all 17 restaurants but we definitely gave it a good try. Here are a few of our favorites:
Mario’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is worth a visit not only for the delicious food but for the amazing restaurant architecture and decor. It was beautiful! Plus, we loved that they really focused on kids with a special section with kid-sized tables that were perfect for the little ones to have their own space right next to the adults table.
Specializing in jerk chicken and ribs, this beach-side, Tex/Mex, outdoor/indoor restaurant was top notch for our lunch visit. I highly recommend the ribs, chicken and chocolate cupcakes.
This is one of the two restaurants that requires reservations. We had no problem securing a reservation the same day, and we are so glad that we did, because it turned out to be our favorite. This is a Japanese restaurant with amazing food that is cooked right in front of you with a chef that keeps it fun. Great place to take the kids because it is like dinner AND a show.
Bobby Dee’s is located within the magical Jolly Roger ship on Pirate’s Island conveniently right next to the water slides. This fun diner is a favorite among the littlest guests with their pizza, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and ice cream offerings. They not only have hard scooped ice cream but also an soft-serve ice cream machine with cones for kids to eat ice cream until their little hearts’ are content (or mom cuts them off!).
FOOD ALLERGIES & SPECIAL REQUESTS
Beaches pays special attention to those with food allergies. When you check-in, make sure to let them know that a member of your party has special dietary needs whether it is gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free or other. That food request will be tagged to your room number which you give to staff whenever you visit a restaurant letting the chef know that extra attention is needed.
We were never at a loss for things to do at the resort. We were happy to see so many activities included in our stay. It’s not a cheap vacation by any means but I love that there aren’t a million things that cost extra. That way, we could enjoy everything without reaching for our wallet every 15 minutes. Sure, you can just hang out in one of the 6 pools, 2 kiddie pools or 4 whirlpools but we highly recommend that you take advantage of the water activities.
Hobie Cat sailboats are just waiting on shore for you to sail out into the ocean with a guide or without.
For those who like a smaller boat, there are ocean kayaks, paddle boarding and windsurfing.
This was my first time windsurfing, so I was determined to get it right. Unfortunately, after 2 hours and about 100 falls later, I’m not sure I’m any better than when I started.
Snorkeling and scuba-diving (for those certified) are also available for those interested in venturing under the water. With the crystal-clear, turquoise waters, I highly recommend at least snorkeling.
Besides the beach activities, there are so many other water activities for the kids to do. Seriously, this is one of the most kid-friendly resorts I have ever been to because of all the things that they have.
Back in the French Village of the resort is a waterpark with two huge water slides, a surf simulator, lazy river and pirate ship water playground. You’ll be hard pressed to get your kids out of this area just to eat a meal. Yep, it is THAT fun!
The property is bursting with water activities but there are also other land activities to do.
Shuffle board, chess, croquet, basketball, pool, table tennis are just a few of the activities. There are also two fully-stocked gyms for those looking to stay in shape during their visit.
BEACHES KIDS PROGRAM
Beaches Resorts has a kid’s program for babies to 17 years old and it is all included! Again, this is what is so nice about an all-inclusive resort! Your kids are going to WANT to go to this kids camp! With age-appropriate activities for kids from tots to teens, this is a way to show them that this is their vacation too!
I love that all the nannies and Kids Camp Staff are members of the International Nanny Association and have all met the minimum requirement for 2,000 hours of child-care services. Plus, all the nannies have been trained in safety, nutrition and child development.
Open from 9am to 9pm, the Beaches Kids Camp has different programs for different age kids. The staff will even feed them breakfast, lunch or dinner if they are staying and playing during mealtime.
For newborns through 4 years old, Camp Sesame is stocked with cribs, strollers, high chairs, rocking chairs for the staff to care for your little one. With plenty of toys and games, scheduled activities daily, and an outdoor playground, there is plenty for your toddlers/preschoolers to do. There is even a pool (complete with life jackets) for the staff to take them swimming.
Pirate Island is for kids 5-17. Divided into age groups such as 5-7, 8-10, preteens and teens, there are specific activities all day long for your child’s age group. Kids up to 11 years old have to be checked in and out, while teens can drop in whenever they please (with parent’s permission, of course!). Here’s an example of the 8-10 year old scheduled activities…
Sailing, snorkeling (ages 8-10), swimming, beach volleyball, beach soccer, scavenger hunts, glass bottom boat rides, pizza making, reggae jam sessions are just a few of the activities offered! At Beaches hey are dedicated to making sure that, from first thing in the morning until the sun goes down at night, your children simply have a blast.
Beaches really caters to teens with their Xbox Play Lounge, Scratch DJ Academy, pizza bars, soda bars and even their own “nightclub” with karaoke. They let teens be teens while giving them plenty of places to hang out with friends away from mom & dad.
While many of the activities of the Beaches Kids Camp revolve around being in the water, it’s good to know that they have plenty of life jackets on hand for those who aren’t the best swimmers. One of the staff informed me that they keep the littler ones (5-6 year olds) in a contained area and make sure that the non-swimmers have a band to let everyone know that they need a life jacket.
Beaches Resorts has had a long-standing partnership with Sesame Street so you’ll be sure to see furry friends walking around the property. There are daily stage shows and other activities such as “Cooking with Cookie Monster”, “Story Telling with Elmo” and “Bird Watching with Big Bird”.
The characters also frequently walk the property saying hello to the guests and posing for photos.
If your kids are big Sesame Street fans, there is also a Character Breakfast that is available. This is one of the only things at the resort (besides the spa, of course!) that is an extra charge but it really is nominal ($9/$12 person). We attended a character breakfast and had so much fun with all the characters.
If you are looking to visit Turks & Caicos and want an all-inclusive resort that really knows how to keep families entertained, happy and wanting to come back time and time again, Beaches Resort is it. From food that is truly kid-friendly (plenty of mac & cheese, burgers, chicken, ice cream, and even chocolate fondue!) to an amazing water park to lovable Sesame Street characters to staff that was friendly and helpful, Beaches again exceeded our expectations.
It’s definitely not a budget-friendly vacation, but if you are looking to visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world at a resort that will bend over backwards to make you happy, this should be on your list.
Our Baby Gizmo tips for visiting Beaches Resort in Turks & Caicos:
1) Whether you’ve had experience or not, we encourage you to at least try all the water activities.
2) Take advantage of the Beaches Kids Camp to give you a little adult time. Don’t worry, the kids will love it!
3) Make sure you grab reservations at Kimonos Restaurant! It’s amazing!
4) Don’t skip the stage shows because the kids will LOVE them.
5) If you are traveling with kids, consider getting a suite!
6) If you are traveling with toddlers, don’t forget to seek out the pools that have a designated area that is all shallow which is perfect for them.
7) If you are looking for even more than the resort has to offer, check out their excursions. The “Reading Road Trip” was an amazing experience and the Kitty Kat Cruise was awesome.
8) If you have food allergies in your party, let the staff know right away because they will accommodate your needs.
For more information on Beaches Resorts, visit their website at http://www.beaches.com
*Disclosure: Thanks to Beaches Resorts for paying for my travel expenses to visit the Turks & Caicos resort. As always, all thoughts, statements and opinions are my own.