Located North of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, the Turks And Caicos islands has been a favorite for our family for many years. Boasting some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, they are the perfect destination for vacationing families.
Our family has been lucky to stay at a few resorts on the island, but in September we spent 4 days at Beaches – the island’s crown jewel.
With four villages on one huge property, this resort offers something for vacationers of all ages and lifestyles. Beaches Turks & Caicos has 10 swimming pools, 22 specialty dining options, free resort-wide WIFI and fully customizable wedding packages.
Key West Village
For this trip, we stayed in the Key West Village. The newest area at Beaches, this village almost feels as though you are staying in a small town with the quaint porches and townhouse style layout. When you arrive to check in at the village lobby a member of the concierge staff will accompany you to your suite and toured it with you so you’re aware of all of the amenities. Because we were traveling with my mom, we needed more space than the standard 2 queen room. One of the things I love about Beaches is they offer a large variety of rooms so that families can stay together in one space. Our room was a two-bedroom suite with a full living room, dining area, kitchen, and laundry. This was perfect because there was space for everyone and it was a short walk to the beach and restaurants.
The Key West area is home to three restaurants that all overlook the beach; Neptunes, Sky and Bayside. There are also a few pools sprinkled throughout the village, but the big attraction here is the beautiful Grace Bay. From sun up to sun down, my kids swam, built sun castles and snorkeled in the crystal clear water. This beach has been voted number one beach in the world many years in a row – for good reason. It is spectacular.
After dinner, there is a firepit area adjacent to Neptunes where you can sip a glass of wine, listen to the waves roll in and enjoy one of the local performers sing.
Just steps from Key West is the Italian village. Home to the resort’s biggest and most happening pool, this area also offers a variety of family-friendly restaurants. You can enjoy classic pub fare at the Cricketeers Club, Bistecca alla Pizzaiola at Marios or leave your sandals in the room while dining at Barefoot by the Sea.
You can start your day with yoga on the beach or venture out as a family for a snorkeling adventure on one of the resort’s catamarans. There are also water bikes, Hobie cats and kayaks.
The buildings in this village are 6 floors high and some of the suites are large enough to sleep 12 people. This makes this resort perfect for multi-generational vacations.
If you forgot something or want to grab a souvenir, there are quite a few shops in the Italian Village you can peruse. Couples looking to get married on property will also find the wedding planner in this area as well!
Kids can also take a ride on the train that sits just outside the entrance to the lobby.
Just behind the Italian Village is the French village. The only area to not have direct access, this village is closest to the resort’s massive waterpark, the nightly entertainment stage and some of my favorite restaurants.
But first, the pool here is beautiful and it is positioned in a way that it is easily accessible from all of the rooms in this village.
Each room tower is named after a popular place in France; Nice, Paris, St. Tropez, Lyon, Dijon, Cannes, and Bordeaux. If you have younger kids, the Sesame Street character breakfast is very close – at Le Petit Chateau. This is held on Mondays and Thursdays. There is a small fee, but well worth it for the fun the kids have with the characters.
In the same block you will find great dining options like Kimonos Tepanyaki, Soy Sushi restaurant, and Cafe Du Paris, which I can honestly say you will visit 3 times a day. You can get coffee, espresso, tea freshly baked treats and sandwiches at all hours of the day.
After dinner settle into a chair and watch the performers on stage. Each night, Beaches has a different show scheduled, including a One Love Reggae Night, a Family Jam Variety show, firebreathers, movie night and even a chocolate buffet.
If you are looking to play Tennis, the courts are just adjacent to this Bordeaux building.
The biggest portion of the property is the Caribbean Village. The original resort, this area is home to two pools and many restaurants. One night we ate at Arizona’s the Southwestern restaurant and the food was fabulous. We loved it so much we went back for the buffet the next day.
This restaurant sides on to the village’s waterfall pool so you can float in the pool and order drinks from the bar.
If you love seafood, I highly recommend you try Schooners. Their menu offers something for everyone – even those who are just looking for a great steak. I also recommend you stroll past the Caribbean village to the edge of the resort to the Jerk Shack. It was newly opened when we visited and the food was incredible. It is set under the palm trees overlooking Treasure Beach where you can relax in one of the many hammocks set up while you wait for your food.
Inside the main building, Reflections, is the village’s main buffet restaurant. It serves a variety of popular dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The rooms in the Carribean Village are different from anything offered in the rest of the resort as many of them are single floor ocean-front villas with beautiful views of Grace Bay. The main building is set back from the water. There are rooms in the East and West towers that offer higher views of the whole village.
Once a week there is also a local market that is set up outside the lobby of the Caribbean Village where visitors can shop from local artisans.
Couples looking to enjoy a romantic dinner with a view can do so in one of the private gazebos along the beach!
Pirate Island Waterpark
The big draw for my kids was the Pirate Island Waterpark. Home to 5 whirling and curling waterslides, kids can also try their hand at surfing on the simulator or float along the lazy river.
We honestly closed this place down every single night. My kids just couldn’t get enough. They would run from the two water slide areas, body surf in the simulator and then start again.
The centerpiece of this area is the ship, which houses Bobby Dees – the resort’s 50s diner. Kids can swim up on the outside and order shakes and drinks and the swim under the waterfall into the grotto. Bobby Dees is open 18 hours a day so it was also a great place to stop by and grab some pizza, ice cream or shakes if we were hungry at 10pm.
Little kids can comandeer the pirate ship, climb to the top of the tower splash in the water jets or go down the mini slide that is the perfect size for them!
Also, close by is the Xbox 360 Lounge that kids are able to use and the Scratch Academy where they can learn to DJ.
Because we were only staying for a few days, we didn’t sign the kids up for Beaches kids. I did, however, tour the facilities as research for our next trip. Beaches employs a large staff of caregivers to ensure you child is well taken care of while you are away. Regardless of your child’s age or schedule, they have spaces to accommodate little ones at every developmental stage. The Key West location was quite a bit smaller than the Caribbean Village location, but when I arrived the ladies were taking turns craddling a tiny baby. In the room they had classic play toys, bouncers, swings and walkers.
The kid’s club opens every day at 8am for early bird registration, and each day has a different theme for kids who are attending. Little ones(1-4) will learn letters, make crafts and play games, while the older kids 5-7 will hit the beach for scavenger hunts, shell hunting, snorkel lessons or enjoy tennis lessons. The Captain’s Kids(8-10) play pool games, have shuffleboard competitions and go on snorkel tours. They also go on nature walks, put together a talent show and have treasure hunts. Teens(11-14) also do pool games, play beach volleyball, flag football, snorkel and lazy river races.
On Saturday night there is a Bonfire on Treasure Beach by the Jerk Shack that everyone can attend.
One of the things I loved about this resort was the little ways they make your vacation more enjoyable. My husband was quite fond of the espresso/gourmet coffee machines that were sprinkled throughout some of the villages. The Key West lobby had one, and there was also one in the Italian village. This was nice because he loves good coffee and this was a convenient way for him to get it at any time of the day.
One night at dinner my husband told our waiter how much I love guacamole and chips. The next day while we were at the beach, he showed up to our room and left a fresh bowl of guacamole, freshly made chips and salsa and some sweets for us to enjoy. It was completely unexpected and 1000% appreciated. This is the type of service you wish for – but rarely get when you are away. Beaches definitely goes above and beyond to make sure every minute of your trip is perfect.
Plus, regardless of what village you are staying in, you can use the amenities at the other three. It’s the perfect set up.
When we first arrived, I was a little overwhelmed by the size of the property, but quickly figured out how to navigate between the villages easily. On the map, it looks like it stretches from one side of the island to the other, but once you find the path at the top and bottom of the resort, all the villages merge together seamlessly. We actually found the walk through the property enjoyable because there is so much beauty around every corner.
We also determined that 4 days is just not enough. A week is perfect because it will give you more time to see and do everything that is offered at Beaches.