Last week I was off enjoying a fantastic girls’ getaway to the Beaches resort in Turks & Caicos! With warm water in every imaginable shade of blue, you’re going to want to add this idyllic island to your travel bucket list!
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I’m a bit new to the all-inclusive thing! In fact, the only other experience I’ve had was on another girls’ trip to the Hyatt Ziva in Jamaica. While as a couple we typically like the fun of exploring on our own, they are a great option for group trips or multi-generational family getaways!
The all-inclusive Beaches Resort on Turks & Caicos is comprised of 5 distinct villages and an on-site water park. Each village is decorated in theme: French, Italian, Caribbean, Seaside and Key West and each contains it’s own mixture of pools, bars, dining venues and amenities.
We stayed in a two-bedroom suite in the Seaside/Caribbean Village area of the resort and it was perfect for the four of us! As titled, the suite featured two bedrooms, each with their own full bathroom and patio and a central living area with seating that included a pull-out sofa, a dining table and bar/kitchenette space. Two more large patios were located off this living space and there was another full bath in the entry, which was fantastic when all of us were getting ready for dinner in the evening.
TIP: This is a large property and updating of rooms is continuous. For the best experience, request a recently updated location.
The bar/kitchenette is equipped with a microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker and instant tea kettle, along with all the necessary supplies. The staff was excellent at making sure we had plenty of our favorite sodas, beers, wines and liquors close at hand!
Toiletries were by the private label, on-site, Red Lane Spa. We all loved the scented lotion and asked housekeeping to set us up with some extras as (oddly) the lotion isn’t for sale in the spa. I found it surprising that a spa menu wasn’t provided in the room. If I were managing Beaches, I’d want to put anything that was an up-sell front and center! Guess that’s just me.
With 21 restaurants and 15 bars, you’ll be hard-pressed to sample everything unless you’re staying for a couple of weeks! Going into this trip, my expectations for food were pretty low. Any time you’re trying to accommodate a mass of people (conferences, cruise ships, all-inclusives) there is a good chance quality will suffer. Perhaps because I wasn’t expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised. TIP: The staff was excellent about asking if there were any allergies or dietary restrictions. Great news for families with children that struggle with this issue.
All but one breakfast we went to were buffets, which was fine by me as I typically just have a bit of fruit/yogurt at that time. The offerings were much more extensive than that and included a number of traditional British items as well as all the American standards. At our one a la carte breakfast, a travel companion tried to order a simple cheese omelet but was told they couldn’t make it that way – they had to do the full omelet as described on the menu. Curious!
There are a huge assortment of lunch options, ranging from walk-up-and-take-it pizza, salad, jerk chicken, smoothies, and gyro shacks, to sit down meals at most of the restaurants. We typically ate poolside and there were plenty of choices to please us all.
Dinner was our main dining event each day and we were able to sample several of the on-site restaurants. Kimono’s, a hibachi grill, was unlike any other I’d ever been to. A fun time with a very committed staff but be prepared for a LOUD experience! At Schooner’s and Arizona’s I went with two seafood options: snapper and salmon. Both were quite good. One of my group had an unappealing rib-eye at Schooner’s but it was the only significant food complaint of the stay. Sky (a rooftop venue) offers filet and at Le Petit Chateau we tried a lobster and filet combo that was a hit with our group.
TIP: There are no menus for the various restaurants in the room which can make it a bit challenging if you are looking for a particular type of food on a given night. Snap pics of all the menus as you walk around or ask your butler, concierge, or front desk for copies to have on hand.
Alcohol is included at all venues and in rooms with the option to upgrade wines at dinner time. The standard wine is Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks – a line created exclusively for Beaches resorts. I tried both the Sauvignon Blanc and the Cabernet Sauvignon and both were quite drinkable, if not especially memorable. The local beer, I-Soon-Reach was also quite good.
The best of the mixed drinks are of the umbrella variety, those frozen slushy, concoctions just right for poolside sipping. Unfortunately those aren’t really my jam. When going off-menu (but still well within the range of “normal” bar drinks) things go somewhat awry. We tried ordering a Paloma, Cosmos, a Moscow Mule, etc. and all were pretty severely off the mark. TIP: Stick to beer/wine/sparkling or umbrella drinks for the best experience!
I don’t drink soda but several in my group do and they mentioned that the fountain soda was off. Too low of a ratio of syrup to soda water was the feedback given. TIP: Stick to the canned soda provided in your room if you are a soda drinker!
There are no limits on the fun you can have at a Beaches resort! Even scuba-diving (typically an extra cost) is included in the rates here. All the typical water sports are available: snorkeling, kayaks, paddle boards, Hobies, etc. On land, there were a number of tennis, basketball, volleyball, croquet and shuffleboard courts.
The kids have their own kingdom at the Pirates Island water park. This park features a number of slides, a lazy river and the Caribbean’s only surf-simulator. Tiny tots will love the Sesame Street themed kids’ camp. And an Xbox lounge will soothe cranky kids if you run into a rainy day!
One day we booked a private boat charter through Caribbean Cruisin, a 10-minute cab ride from the Beaches resort. On our half-day outing, we got to feed iguanas, visit an island with tons of shells and had 30-40 minutes of snorkel time at a nearby reef. Getting out on the water lets you see some of the less inhabited areas of the islands! TIP: For private excursions, consider booking directly through a local provider rather than the Beaches tour desk. You’ll save A LOT of money and have more flexibility to design your own outing.
For shoppers, there is an on-property jewelry store as well as a couple of resort shops. The shops feature typical resort wear like Vineyard Vines, Tommy Bahama and some island merchandise. Kids have a mini Build-a-Bear to visit as well as a small candy shop. They also have some items available for purchase at the Red Lane Spa.
There are a variety of activities going on day and night for both kids and adults. Pool games, a craft market day and nightly events like beach parties, a Reggae night and live theatrical performances! We estimated the property to be at about 35-40% capacity while we were there. With that in mind, things wound down by 10 or so at night. There are a couple of late night adult clubs that likely have more action during high season. After spending the day in the sun, we were typically beat by 11-12 anyway!
Check out more travel posts HERE and, until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish and satisfying life!