Is there such a thing as a perfect luxury all inclusive family vacation? Turns out the answer is a resounding yes. My family of four, two very particular adults and two girls ages 15 and 13, just returned from a five day stay a the Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos, and we had the time of our lives! Located on a 12 mile stretch of the picture perfect Grace Bay Beach in the Providenciales Islands, Beaches Resorts promises and delivers luxury, pampering and above all else, five star service.
Here is my list of insider tips, what you need to know, to get the most out of your luxury stay and give you the vacation you have been dreaming about.
1. Accommodations: There are accommodations to suit every style and price point at the Beaches Turks and Caicos. The resort is divided into four Villages all with their own ambiance and charm; Key West, Italian, Caribbean and French. Find a village that suites your style and a suite that fits your family. Rooms range in price from the most expensive in the Key West Village, that can have you tricked out in a Villa with multiple bedrooms and a semi-private pool, to a more wallet friendly room with a garden view in the Caribbean section.
Insider Tip: No matter the room you choose, remember two things; you won’t spend much time in your room and deals can always be found on the Beaches website.
2. This resort is truly All Inclusive: Leave your wallet at home. Meals, drinks, tips, snorkelling, Camp Sesame, Scuba, Pool Entertainment, in room safe, specialty nights, paddle boards, pool loungers, hammocks, and transportation. Truly everything is included.
Insider tips: There is no saving of chairs at this resort! How refreshing! No need to hunt for pool or beach chairs, they are plentiful and there are always some available. Even the coveted loungers with shade at the beach can be found, again at no extra charge. Second tip, the only reason you may want to bring your wallet is if you are interested in hiring a nanny for a couple of hours, are craving a stop at the spa, or desire to do a little shopping at the many sundry shops.
3. Water Sports: I was travelling with two active teens. At most “all inclusives” there are a lot of hidden upcharges for every water sport you want to dive into. At Beaches Turks and Caicos, paddle boards, Hobbie Cats, Hydro Bikes, scuba, and snorkelling are included!
Insider Tip: Simply can’t wait to get your snorkel on? You can sign out snorkelling equipment beachside and take a ten minute walk down the beach. There you will come across a stunning reef with fabulous snorkelling! This is the perfect place to try snorkelling for the first time, and at your own pace. Mind the current and take life jackets if you’re not a strong swimmer!
4. Dining: There are 19 restaurants and 12 bars! Wow! There was no way we could get to all of them in our five days, but we did try! Some of our favourite meals were at Marino’s, Arizona’s, Barefoot by the Sea, Bayside, Schooners, The Cricketers Pub, Bobby Dee’s, and Cafe de Paris.
Insider Tips: Don’t want to give up precious pool time but need a bite to eat? Head to the courtyard and order yourself a quick pizza to go from DINO’s! Pizza made to order in a wood burning oven. Craving a special dinner with a side of entertainment. Make a reservation for Kimonos. Teppanyaki cooking with chefs who clearly love to entertain!
5. Pirates Island Water Park: A Pirate Ship sets the mood for the coolest water park in the Caribbean. Ten Waterslides, a lazy river, a splash pad, unlimited ice-cream, and a swim up bar especially for the kids! It’s 45, 000 square feet of fun!
Insider Tips: This is also the home of the only surf simulator in the Caribbean, tie the bathing suits up tight and give it a try! Two of the water slides require tubes to go down and are smooth enough that they do not jar your back as you slid. A huge bonus for the over 40 set!
6. Entertainment and Specialty Nights: Included! Each day you receive a little note under your door to advise you of the happenings around the resort.
Insider Tips: Read this note! It advises you of everything from extra special activities at the kids clubs, to Beach Parties, to White Night (Sundays!) with a killer dessert and sweet spread. My other bit of advice, if you are there during a Beach Party, go! It’s a BBQ on the beach like you have never experienced, a stage show with Sesame Street Characters and a sunset that will take your breath away.
7. Cafe de Paris: In my opinion, this in itself deserves it’s very own mention! Cafe de Paris quickly became my favourite place to go. A heavenly little spot to stop and grab the perfect cafe au lait, coffee, or cappuccino. Don’t forget to pick up one of the best sugar cookies ever made while you are there! Insider Tip: Simply, don’t miss the Cafe de Paris.
8. Kids Camp: Offering care, outings and crafts, there are organized activities for everyone! There is an Infant Program (up to 24 months), Toddler Program, (ages 3-5), Child (ages 5-7) ,Pre-Teen Program (ages 8-10) and Teen Program. Insider Tip: All nannies and Kids Camp staffers at Beaches Resorts are members of the International Nanny Association. Every staff member I spoke with was warm, engaged and truly cared about the children under their watch. I would be more than comfortable leaving my children at Camp Sesame.
9. Pay It Forward: The Sandals Foundation offers an incredible way to pay it forward while on vacation. Before you leave home, book yourself and your family on The Reading Road Trip via Island Routes. For a couple of precious hours you will have the opportunity to visit a local school, read stories and interact with children at the sponsored school. Don’t forget to pack some new or gently used books and school supplies to donate for their library.
Insider Tip: Book this excursion in advance, it fills up quickly!
10. Trench Town And The X-Box Lounge: Giggles and joy could be heard emanating from Trench Town, singing out over the games of electronic basketball, air hockey and pool. I may have gotten my butt kicked a time or two at a dance game in the X-Box Lounge. Trench Town and The X-Box Lounge were true gathering places throughout the day as children and teens were seeking a break from the sun, and after dinner it was the hottest place to hang out and have some fun!
Insider Tip: Not just for tweens: We logged a lot of hours as a family in the X-Box lounge and playing some fairly competitive games of foosball!
At the end of our stay at Beaches Resort we were happy, tired, more connected as a family, a little sunburnt but nowhere near ready to leave. Is there such a thing as a perfect vacation? I think the best way to find out is to pack up your kids, your sense of humour and adventure, and head to the beach to make some memories. We’re already counting the days until we can return to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos.
Disclosure: I attended Social Media on the Sand and was a guest of Beaches Resort at a discounted rate, as always opinions reflected on this blog are my own.