If I could dream up my ideal vacation as a mom, it would involve time as a family, time with my husband, and time alone. I would want to be somewhere warm with breathtaking views and delicious food. Overall a tall order, but I like to dream big! Enter Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa! Our visit to this resort was truly a dream come true and left me thinking about when we could return again. If you have similar ideals for your next family holiday then you will definitely want to read on and hear about all that Beaches has to offer!
Beaches Turks and Caicos is a Sandals Resort that is family focussed. It is located on the pristine waters of Grace Bay on the most-populated Turks and Caicos Island, Providenciales. From the moment we arrived I felt a perfect combination of excitement and peace. We were greeted by a concierge at the airport who added room tags to our bags and assisted us in finding our shuttle. In less than 15 minutes from the airport we arrived at the resort, and were greeted by our butler with cool lemon-water soaked facecloths. Our luggage was unloaded and taken to our suite as we were escorted into the beautiful Italian Village Lobby. While we checked in, our children were offered a glass of fresh juice and enjoyed a time of play in the children’s lounge beside the front desk. It was so lovely to have them occupied with books and toys while seated on couches just their size so we could concentrate on all elements of arrival. After check-in our butler said “Welcome Home!” and I knew this was a place filled with care.
Over the next 7 days our family enjoyed incredible meals, unique activities, hours of relaxation, and breathtaking views from every angle. Here are the top 10 things that we loved about Beaches Turks and Caicos, and long to go back to over and over again.
The Food and Beverages: There are 21 restaurants at Beaches Turks and Caicos with a variety of cuisines such as Caribbean, Italian, French, Southwest, and Asian offered in a variety of styles including buffet, a la carte, family style, adults only, café, and beachside. There are also 2 gourmet food trucks: Mr. Mac (gourmet mac and cheese) and Curls and Curls & Swirls (ice cream and milk shakes). The presentation, flavour, and overall quality of the food and beverages offered were outstanding. My kids and I especially enjoyed the sushi, fish/seafood, and seemingly endless fresh produce. My husband LOVED the flavour and tenderness of the beef at Sapodillas, Le Petit Chateau, and Arizona’s, as well as the variety of omelets served at Barefoot and Bayside. And since that is just a taste of what we loved, I will be writing a full blog review on the restaurants and food of Beaches Turks and Caicos in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
The Ocean-Based Watersports and Activities: Snorkeling is a “must do” when you visit Beaches Turks and Caicos. Twice each day there is a boat you can sign up for that heads out to a coral reef that is about 5-10 minutes away. We took our 6-year-old twins with us snorkeling and saw fish of all colours! One of my boys looked into the water and up at me and exclaimed, “This is the definition of spectacular!” I couldn’t agree more. Scuba diving is also an option as part of your stay. There is a $100 fee for resort certification which is available right at the on-site dive shop if you are not PADI certified. If you are looking for a little challenge you must try windsurfing! It took me over an hour to master, but once I did I felt like I was living a dream. The view was just stunning as I glided across the water. We also enjoyed kayaking and a Hobie Cat ride with our boys. All so much fun!
The Resort Activities: While you are always welcome to choose to lay back and relax while at Beaches Turks and Caicos, there are many activities available throughout the day and evening to add to your vacation experience. The daily activity schedule for events such as aquafit classes, pool relay races, family tie dye, and evening shows, was delivered to our room nightly so we could plan the next day’s activities. Non-scheduled activities include: pirate’s Island, waterslides, surf and boogie board simulator, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, fitness centers, and pool or beach volleyball. If you feel like less active family bonding time, you can head to the games hut and take out your favourite board game to play back in your suite, or for if you are craving quiet, you can head to one of two Red Lane Spas for a relaxation massage.
The Kids Camp: The Kids Camp has daily age-specific activity options from 9 am to 9 pm. The age categories are: Sesame Street Camp (0-2 and 3-4), Pirates Island (5-7 and 8-10), tweens, and teens. All Kids Camp staff are certified with the International Nanny Association and have been trained in safety, nutrition, and child development. Our boys had a wonderful time at Kids Camp. Our 4-year-old loved the treasure hunt, cookie making, swimming, and playing with other children his age. Our 6-year-old twins loved the sand castle making, snorkeling, waterslides, tennis lessons, lawn games, air hockey, ping pong, and of course a little time in the Xbox lounge. All kids camps are included in your resort stay. If you have a child with special needs, you can request a “Beaches Buddy” to be with your child in and/or outside of camp at an additional charge. There is also in-suite child care available for evening babysitting if you wish to pay for it. Maxine from the Sesame Street Camp come on two of the evenings so our children could get to bed in good time, and we could enjoy an evening out. We were incredibly impressed with all of the staff and programming in Kids Camp!
Sesame Street: Where else can you go for a walk and run into Big Bird, cook with Cookie Monster, read with Elmo, and have tea with Abby Cadabby??!! The Sesame Street characters, activities, breakfast party, parade, and 6:30 early evening shows are part of a really special element that helps to make Beaches Turks and Caicos so unique!
The Four Villages: There are four villages within Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos and each has its own unique feel and charm. Each village is equipped with its own lobby, pools, and restaurant selection. No matter which village you stay in, the others are easily accessible and you can enjoy the amenities of all four over the course of your stay. The Caribbean Village was the first to be built. It is located right on the beach, has two pools, and four restaurants: Arizona’s, Jerk Shack, Sapodillas, and a buffet located adjacent to the Caribbean Village lobby. The French Village was the second village added to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos. It has a Parisian look and feel with sidewalk café seating for enjoying pastries and freshly-brewed cappuccino at Café de Paris, exquisite fine dining at Le Petit Chateau, and lovely options at Giuseppe’s. Our kids enjoyed playing on the large grassy areas in the French Village with kids camp activities, and while with us they loved the gradual entry swimming pool for shallow area play. The Italian Village is located between the French Village and the beach, directly beside the Caribbean Village. It has the largest pool which has a designated kids’ areas, a long deeper area, and a hot tub. The Italian Village Penthouse suites offer the highest views of the resort and beach. If you are travelling with children, the Italian Village Suites offer a really special bedroom layout with bunk beds and a trundle. This is the style of suite we stayed in and our boys still talk about how much they wish they could go back and sleep in the bunk beds at Beaches again! The Key West Village is the most recently added village. You immediately feel like you have walked into picturesque Key West as you walk past blue and yellow verandas and never-ending palm trees. The pools in Key West were smaller and less busy. If you are looking for accommodation with more space and privacy, Key West is the place to be. There are 4 bedroom suites available with private pools, yards, and hammocks that have incredible beachfront access and views. There are also 1,2, and 3 bedroom accommodation options in the Key West Village.
The Pools: There are several pools across the resort that offer a variety in sizes, depths, and activities. The Caribbean village offers two pools: the Iguana Pool which is located directly beside Bella Napoli which offers Woodfire Pizza; and the Caribbean Village Pool which has a fun “cave” and waterfall area, swim up bar, and is located directly beside Arizona’s, the Smoothie Station, and Irie Grill. There is also an “adults only” hot tub on the edge of the Caribbean Village with views of the beach. The French Village has a long pool with a swim up bar, a hot tub, and a gradual entry edge which is wonderful for kids to play in. It is located in the heart of the French Village with easy access to Café de Paris, Giuseppe’s, Mr. Mac, and Curls & Swirls. It is also the pool that is closest to Pirate Island and Kids Camp. The Italian Village has the longest pool on the resort and has a special energy to it. There are many activities throughout the day in this pool such as aquafit and family relay races. I enjoyed doing lengths and listening to the various family conversations and games as I swam back and forth. It also has a hot tub, a swim up bar, and a separate “kiddie pool” which is quite shallow. My boys absolutely LOVED playing in this area. Mario’s Buffet, Dino’s Pizza, and Cricketeer’s Pub. Cabanas are available at the Caribbean Village Pool, the French Village pool, the Italian Village pool and on the beach for those with butler service. There are also many lounge chairs for anyone to use. The Key West Village has a few smaller pools including one that is adults-only.
The Butler Service: If you choose a butler suite at Beaches Turks and Caicos you are in for an extra special treat! One of your two-person butler team will greet you upon arrival and be available for any need or want you have throughout your stay. They will unpack and iron your clothes upon arrival if you wish, book each meal for you, and escort you there at your requested time. They reserve and set-up your cabana and cooler each day; stock room fridge with beverages; and deliver morning, afternoon, and evening snacks. Our butler always made sure that our freezer was stocked with dairy free ice cream for Clay…a treat he looked forward to each day! On the days that my husband and I went out for a “date night” alone, we ordered supper for our kids poolside. Our butler delivered fish one evening and pizza on another. The boys had fun eating in the cabana and then the treat of an “after-dinner swim”. Having a butler allowed for this mama to COMPLETELY relax while we were away! I felt so very blessed!
The Weather: When booking a trip to Caribbean one usually thinks hot, like really hot! And while the temperatures were definitely warm, the trade winds are truly magical at Beaches Turks and Caicos and we remained comfortable all week. The light breeze keeps you from feeling the heat, and if you do find yourself warming up then a dip in the ocean or pool offers the perfect cool down. We were there the last week in August, and while there was some rain, it lasted just a few minutes before the sun was shining again! The island is blessed with 350 days of sunshine each year! We couldn’t have asked for a better climate!
The Breathtaking Views: There are some things that are hard to put into words and that applies to the views of Grace Bay Beach. Each sunset was unique, the sand is white, the waters are turquoise and clear, and the palm trees are the most perfect green. Photos do not do it justice but here are a few that give a sneak peak.
Stay tuned for my upcoming two articles on Ten Things to Know Before you Go to Beaches Turks and Caicos and A Dietitian Foodie Mom’s Review of Beaches Turks and Caicos.