Ahhh–the first day of summer after a long school year! My kids were super excited about a trip to the Caribbean right after school got out for the summer. I was also looking forward to a week of R&R. After going to various Caribbean resorts in the past, I was thrilled at the thought of splurging on a Beaches resort vacation! After extensive research as well as word of mouth, I purchased our stay at the Turks and Caicos Beaches resort.
Let me describe our vacation in one word….amazing! Other than the flight, which was a bit of a headache due to the lack of availability of non-stop flights from DC to Turks and Caicos, the transition from the airport to the resort and from then on was seamless. There was a Beaches representative at the airport to take our luggage, confirm our room and provide us with bottles of water. We were then transported in an air conditioned van to the resort (less than a 20 minute ride) where we were greeted with cool towels, fresh fruit and cookies as well as ice cold beverages. The check in process went smoothly as well, and our rooms were ready upon our arrival (not a guarantee, however).
All in all , the resort caters to just about every age group and every need. There are tennis courts with tennis pros who provide group classes (included in the rate) and even private lessons (an additional fee), spa services (also an additional fee), over 20 different restaurants (all included), multiple, huge swimming pools, swim-up bars, a gym, coffee shop, beach access, and group fitness schedules (all included). The beach access does provide a dive shop. Snorkeling and glass bottom boat excursions are included, but the scuba diving and snuba are an additional fee.
If you walk down the beach towards the end of the resort, you will reach an area called the Coral Gardens (about a 10 minute walk). Here there is a gorgeous reef where you can snorkel off of the beach without going on a boat. Just don’t forget to check out snorkeling gear from the dive shop!
We ended up going on a snorkeling excursion through the resort on a daily basis in the mid-mornings. It was a great way to get our exercise in, and we really enjoyed the staff. On two of our excursions, one of the boat “captains” even snorkeled with us to point out different species of fish and even a lobster! In addition, the Coral Gardens snorkeling experience was also amazing, and it was nice to be able to snorkel whenever we wanted to without being constrained by a boat departure time!
Outside of snorkeling, my husband enjoyed the group tennis clinics. It was his way of working off all of the delicious food. He would wake up before the rest of us and head on down to the tennis courts for his 8 AM clinic! The kids and I preferred to sleep in a little later and enjoy a lazy breakfast before we headed to the beach for snorkeling .
Our afternoons consisted of relaxing at the pool and enjoying the amazing water park! My boys ended up making friends, and they always met up in the afternoons at the waterslides. I enjoyed the three high slides as well as the lazy river. I had never been to a beach resort with a full size water park before, and it definitely provided another fun option for our afternoons!
After a full day in the ocean and at the pools, we fought our way to the first in line for the showers and then got cleaned up for dinner and the evening entertainment.
Dinners were varied depending on which restaurant we chose. There were options of Indian cuisine, Japanase steakhouse fare, Italian, Mediterranean, and , of course, Caribbean. I usually topped off my dinner with a latte at the coffee house before settling down with one of my summer novels. My kids preferred to see the live evening shows most nights.
Overall, despite the price tag, Beaches is definitely worth the splurge for those families looking for true vacation. Everything is taken care of for you during the trip, and kids clubs (even teen clubs) are included if that is something you are looking for.
Highly, highly recommend!