In a year filled with amazing adventures, you might be surprised to find out that one of my favorites was my visit to Turks and Caicos as part of the Social Media on the Sand Conference. The conference is hosted by the all inclusive Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort, who provided our stay for a fraction of the regular cost. It was an offer I could not pass up.
As many of you probably already know, I am not the typical big resort type of customer. I love luxury for sure, but my idea of luxury tends to be more boutique style hotels in the middle of the jungle offering immersive experiences in the local environment. Due to this, I had never even considered a trip to the Caribbean, much less a massive resort like Beaches. My mental image of Beaches consisted of only what I had seen on TV commercials – a big resort, a water park, a total kid focused environment. I wasn’t sure this would be my cup of tea.
The commercials are true; this does all exist. But I must admit, all of my preconceived notions of what it would be like to stay in a massive resort were totally dashed upon my arrival to Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos.
Beaches isn’t a vapid, soulless big chain resort. It is a family owned business that takes serious the happiness of each and every one of its customers. This customer service can be felt in all aspects of their care for guests from the moment you are picked up to the moment you leave. The family owners are still highly involved in each and every aspect of the running of their hotel here and throughout the Caribbean. Each decision their management team makes is carefully thought out.
With over 20 restaurants and 9 pools, a super fun water park, the world’s top beach, amazing snorkeling, highly trained staff and a no tips policy, there is just so much to love.
I am a convert. And you should be one too!
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What I Loved at Beaches Turks & Caicos
With so much to love at Beaches Turks and Caicos, it’s hard to concisely put it into words. Overall I would have to say the biggest surprises to us were the the amazing Kids Camp, the services provided from food to activities and the exceptional service by staff throughout the resort. In addition to all of this, there are a variety of accomodation levels catering to all the different types of family travelers visiting. Without further ado, why we loved Beaches Turks and Caicos and you should too!
Kids Camp at Beaches Turks and Caicos
Before our visit to Beaches, my son regularly moaned about how he would have to attend the kids club since I would be busy in my conference. He’s only been to a few kids clubs in the world. Once in Fiji where he even had his own private nanny, in Ireland at our yearly family meetup at Kelly’s resort and in Mexico. And he disliked them all.
You see my son is not a typical kid. He isn’t interested in watching movies or playing video games. He doesn’t want to just sit in a room playing with old toys meant for young kids.
He wants to be engaged and entertained.
He wants to have unique fun experiences.
He wants to experience the place he is visiting, not just be stuck in a room.
Beaches in the Turks and Caicos delivered all of this and so much more. He was so excited to go to the Kid’s Camp every day of our visit. He had so much fun doing things that even I didn’t get to do. He went sailing which he LOVED. He did a science experiment on the beach that he still talks about. He played at the water park and in the pools for hours on end. He went to different restaurants and enjoyed ordering his own smoothies at the swim up bar.
He had his own unique Beaches Turks and Caicos experience apart from me. It was amazing. Seriously, we are both total converts. He has his fingers crossed we will be able to go again next year as it has become one of his top trips ever. This is huge coming from a jungle, animal loving kid who has been to over 25 countries already in his 8 years.
What makes Beaches Kids Camp so special? First, there are three different camps catering to different ages – Sesame Kids Camp for infants and toddlers, the pre-teen camp and the teen camp. Having this set up allows the staff at Beaches to be trained on their specific age group with skills and ideas specific to them. Second, all staff are specifically trained to work with children of all abilities including children on the autism spectrum. This is a massive comfort for families who have children with special needs.
The Infant and Toddler Program, called Camp Sesame is housed in the same area which includes a small playground and small wading pool perfect for kids this age. They have activities indoors and outdoors catering to the different ages. The kids were always so happy, playing and being silly when we would see them throughout the resort.
My son participated in the Pre-Teen Camp which is for kids ages 8-10. This camp focuses on helping kids in this age range really get out all of their energy through fun, engaging and active activities. Like I mentioned before that includes tons of swimming, sailing, volleyball, soccer, scavenger hunts and more.
The Teen Camp is much more free flow with the teens being able to come and go as they please. This age group is much harder to engage since they are definitely in the “I’m too cool to be in a kids club” age range. However, the program really focuses on trying to pull youth in with activities like pizza bars, to their own “nightclub”, as well as more active time like group water sports, boat cruises, pool olympics, tennis clinics, karaoke, discos, dance parties, talent shows and more. Even some of the more reluctant teens were seen quite engaged here during our visit.
The camp system here at Beaches makes a family visit relaxing in so many ways. Kids, only children like mine, can find their community while parents can also get some much needed downtime (ala at the spa!).
Heading to the beach? Check out this printable beach packing list to cover everything you might need and forget otherwise!
Amazing Number of Activities & Amenities at Beaches
Another one of the things we absolutely loved about Beaches Turks and Caicos is the all inclusive aspect. Since our visit there, my son has asked at every hotel we have visited “Is this all inclusive?” It really made a huge impression on him. He loved being able to sample different foods without fear of not liking it. He LOVED being able to get smoothies all day long. Overall he just loved me not messing about with how much it would cost!
Even with a week visit, we didn’t have time to experience all that is on offer here, but here is a bit of what we did experience and what we want to do next time.
The great thing about Beaches is that they include so many amazing activities that other resorts charge so much for. From water sports to land sports and everything in between. Some of our favorite included activities were the glass bottom boat tours that guests can book every day to go out to the reef to search for sealife. Occasionally there is also a visit by a friendly dolphin!
Another great family friendly activity included in the stay is the daily snorkeling tours that take visitors out with all the gear needed to snorkel. If you don’t want to wait for a tour, you can also check out your own snorkel gear for free and walk down the beach to an amazing spot right off the beach. This was one of our favorite things to do during our visit.
There is also a lazy river, water slides, and so many pools that you need a week at least to experience them all. Some pools are quieter than others while some have games and group activities scheduled throughout the day. There is truly something for everyone.
Scuba Diving – if you are into diving, you need to come here. For those who are already certified, you can go on two 1 tank dives each day or one 2 tank dive included! How amazing is that. For those of you like me who don’t know how to dive, but what to learn they also offer short on-resort lessons (for an additional fee). This short one day lesson allows you to go on 1 dive up to 30 feet each day of your stay for free.
For kids (aged 8 and up) who want to learn, they offer a Bubbles program in the pool, as well as several other options creating a fun learning environment. My son didn’t want to try this trip, but I know he will be ready next year as he has finally discovered the amazingness of the underwater world.
Sports, Shows and More!
This is just a sampling of the many activities that are on offer at the resort. There are areas for sports, for air hockey, a video game room and so much more.
Every night at the resort there is an amazing live show put on at the French Village outdoor theater. This was one of my son’s favorite things to do every night. He loved seeing the acrobatics and searching out the different actors from each of the shows. An early small kid version is also hosted most nights featuring Sesame Street characters.
Another major hit at the resort for families of young kids is seeing Sesame Street characters around the resort during the day. On Friday you can also witness the amazingly fun parade featuring kids from the kids clubs as well as Sesame Street characters. This is a huge hit with families.
Oh I forgot to also mention that you can book a private photography session for free (photos are an added fee) to get the perfect family photos for your yearly holiday cards!
Seriously there is so much on offer here, that I keep almost writing that it is a town! Visit a Build-a-Bear Workshop, grab a gelato, enjoy the Wednesday Fish Fry and so much more.
Restaurants for All Types of Eaters
When you have worked up an appetite you can visit one of the many restaurants throughout the resort. In a week we were not able to even sample half of them! There is everything from a fun Japanese inspired hibachi restaurant to an Indian cafe (with amazing flavors!) to a kid friendly diner that is open almost 24 hours.
The beauty of being at an all inclusive resort with no limitations on where or how much you can eat means that if you try a place that isn’t your cup of tea, you can go eat at another place right after! Or if you are like us and enjoy having some sushi but then find yourself hungry again later, you can have second dinner.
We loved the breakfast buffet at Mario’s. We met the executive chef and he told my son that was the best oatmeal at the resort. We sampled a few at different places and he was right, that was the best for my son. For more adventurous eaters, there are fancier versions at different restaurants including at Schooner’s.
At the kids camp, my son ate at Guiseppe’s and loved it. Although after a few days he said he wished they could try other places during lunch as he knew there were so many other places on offer.
One of our favorite places was the Jerk Shack. Simple, beach hut with amazing meats and sauces. This is one of the restaurants that cannot be missed!
Our foodie friends had fun exploring all the “nicer” restaurants throughout the resort and had nothing but great things to say. One friend returned to the same place every day for her avocado toast which looked heavenly! I couldn’t pull my son away from his favorite oatmeal most days, but I won’t complain because I also ate the best bacon and cheese omelet I’ve ever had!
When you check in to Beaches Turks & Caicos, you will fill out a drinks card with your favorite beer and wines so that your room is always stocked. All included of course!
All Types of Accommodation at Beaches
One of the most amazing aspects to Beaches is the abundance of accomodation options at a variety of budget levels. This can be quite confusing, but it’s also a great problem to have! There are so many different levels of accommodation that you will surely be able to find something for your family.
During our stay we stayed at the furthest village from the ocean and it was totally fine. It would have been nice to be closer to the beach at times, but then I wonder if you would really explore the rest of the resort as much. Our favorite pool was the one in our village as well, so trust me when I say there is no wrong answer on which type of room to choose. Look at your family needs as well as your budget and go from there.
For a quick reference, here is our Beaches Turks and Caicos review for the different villages.
Key West is the higher end, most luxurious of the villages as well as one of the quietest. Being located on the far end of the resort it can feel quite a ways away from the other areas, but if you are looking for luxury, large rooms with full kitchens as well as peace and quiet this might be the perfect place for you. Two of our favorite restaurants are here as well. Many adults in our group also preferred this pool as it was the most mellow.
The Italian Village feels to me the most like a regular hotel with several stories in each building overlooking the popular and busy pool. There are a number of busy and popular restaurants here as well as the Dive shop making it super convenient but also potentially noisy. If you have light sleepers or day nappers, you may consider a different village. However it is very convenient to most everything you would want to do at the resort.
The Caribbean Village is one of the beach facing villages that have been recently upgraded inside and out. The brightly colored buildings are a wonderful welcome. The Caribbean lobby is a busy place with a restaurant and is often used as a walkthrough from the French Village, just FYI. The pool here is used by the kids clubs so can also get busy. The Caribbean Village is close to both the Kids Clubs, the beach and the delicious jerk shack restaurant at the end of the property.
The French Village is the furthest from the beach and probably the cheapest option available. Rooms here tend to be standard double rooms french doors opening to small patio. This is where we stayed and honestly were very happy with our room. We had a ground floor room (which is the best after the long walk from the beach!) and loved it. Here in the French Village you will find the nightly entertaiment shows, a large zero entry pool and tons of grassy area for kids to run around on. For a first visit, this is a fine place to choose. However, if you have family members with mobility issues, you might choose one of the other villages so you don’t’ have to walk so much.
Beaches Gives Back
Number 1 million and 21 reason why I love Beaches Resorts and the greater Sandals company is their dedication to give back to the communities they are in. Not only do they try to hire from within the different islands that they operate, but they also have a foundation, The Sandals Foundation, that works on projects throughout the different islands. During our visit we were able to work with a School Speciality, US based company that provides much needed services to schools throughout the world. In our work, we volunteered to repaint a school just blocks away from the Beaches Resort.
In addition to giving back to the community, I was really impressed with Beaches’ commitment to making a difference in the area of single use plastics. Shortly after our visit, they instituted a resort wide no straws policy. They are also working behind the scenes with their supplies and internally to find ways to cut out single use plastics all through the supply chain. Instead of looking at far off dates in the future they are starting right away where they can and moving as quickly as they can. I hope that during my next visit we will see even more changes in this regard.
For now, you can bring your reusable water bottle and fill up on cold water at almost every bar in the resort without even asking for someone to help you.
Beaches Turks and Caicos Review Summary
As you can tell, we absolutely loved our stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos. Yes, we were provided a generous discount for our stay as part of the conference, but I can say with full confidence I would pay full price to visit again. Actually now I want to visit ALL of their family friendly resorts!
If you are looking for a luxurious, all inclusive holiday where you will get down time from your kids, your kids will be well taken care of and fully entertained, this is the place for you. In addition to the amazing service at Beaches there are a ton of things to do in Turks and Caicos as well. There are tons of all inclusive resorts around the world, but none offer this level of service, amazing food, included activities and set on one of the best beaches in the world. Trust me, I have been to a ton of beaches and this really is one of the best we have experienced.
Are you ready to book your stay at Beaches Turks & Caicos?
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**Thank you to Social Media on the Sand for the invitation to join the conference and of course to our wonderful hosts Beaches Turks and Caicos for the greatly reduced rooms!