November 5, 2018

10 Things to Know Before Going to Beaches Resorts

Travel has always been a passion of mine, and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to over 40 countries.  So naturally when I had kids I started seeking out family-friendly locations.

My kids have traveled all over the globe with me from Costa Rica to Riviera Maya, Chicago to Dominican Republic.  Growing up in Los Angeles, I mostly traveled to Hawaii and Mexico.  The Caribbean was this mystery place to me that looked incredible, albeit very far away from the West Coast.

While the flights may be longer than say, Hawaii, the Caribbean is a magical place with incredible weather, the bluest water you can imagine, friendly people, delicious foods, and the perfect place to travel with kids.

We just returned from Beaches Turks & Caicos, and it was the family vacation of my dreams for these 10 reasons.

  1. Beaches Turks & Caicos Is Located on the #1 Beach in the World

Grace Bay Beach, the location of Beaches Turks & Caicos, was just named the #1 beach in the world…yet again.  My mom sent me an email about this incredible distinction on our way to the resort.  To say I was excited is an understatement.

As many of you know, I went to college on the beach in San Diego.  UC San Diego is located next to Black’s Beach, which is widely regarded as the most beautiful (and #1 surf beach) on the mainland US.

So you can say I’m a sucker for a good beach.

And Grace Bay Beach is by far and away the most spectacular beach I’ve ever visited.

White sand stretches out as far as you can see.  The water is crystal blue and so clear you can see straight down to the seafloor.  The water is calm, warm and welcoming.  Seashells are everywhere you look, and seaweed is minimal.

Turks & Caicos is known for having some of the best diving in the world, and you can take classes right at the resort!

2. There are 6 Pools and 3 Have Swim-Up Bars

My #1 must-have on vacation?  A good pool of course!  I was a swimmer for most of my life, and the pool is my happy place.  Apparently I passed this trait on to my kids as well, because they are happiest swimming all day.

Beaches has huge pools located throughout the resort.  Each pool has its own vibes and completely different feel.  We stayed near the French pool, which is oversized with a large kid’s pool and massive jacuzzi.  One of my biggest pet peeves about warm-weather destinations is when they don’t have a hot tub.

Beaches features tons of hot tubs throughout the resort, which is the perfect way to relax after a day of swimming!

The Italian pool is also oversized and located right by the beach and a barefoot restaurant located on the sand.

We spent the most time at these two pools.

There’s an ultra-modern pool at Key West Village and several smaller pools at the Caribbean Village.

3. There’s a Water Park with Water Slides and a Lazy River & More Water Fun!

Beaches Turks & Caicos boasts a 45,000 SF waterpark that features fun for every member of your family.  From a lazy river (my FAVORITE pool in the world!) to the Caribbean’s only surf simulator, gigantic waterslides and a water play area for younger kids, the waterpark has it all!

Pirates Island is a fantasy world filled with gigantic waterslides, kid-friendly pools and swim-up soda bars. There are also water cannons, whirlpools and lazy river journeys, as well as the Caribbean’s only surf simulator.

4. Everywhere You Look Is Another Instagrammable Photo

Beaches Turks and Caicos stretches out for 12 miles on the pristine Grace Bay Beach.  With 6 pools, gorgeous architecture, white-sand beaches and lush landscaping, Beaches T&C is simply stunning.

To me an amazing vacation is being surrounded by beauty, and Beaches T&C brings that!  Pack a float (or buy one there) and get a fun pool float shot, snap a picture in front of the bougainvilla at the Key West Village, take a picture on the beach in a hammock.

Then wait for the likes to roll in!

5. Choose From 21 Restaurants that Are All-Inclusive

Whatever type of food you’re in the mood for, Beaches Turks & Caicos has it.  From sushi to Teppenyaki, Mexican to Jerk Chicken, Italian, Indian, Seafood and more.

Every restaurant is first-come, first-serve except for the Teppenyaki restaurant (Kimono’s) which is something I love since I want my vacations to be relaxed and mostly free of schedules.  Also we got into Kimono’s no problem with absolutely no wait!

The food is delicious, plentiful and fresh.  Since I am dairy and gluten-free, I always worry a bit when I travel to a new place about whether I will have foods that I can safely eat.  But the restaurants at Beaches Resorts feature a wide variety of foods, often served buffet style.  This means my kids don’t have to wait long to eat (a huge plus as kids often go from happy-go-lucky to cranky I need food in minutes!) and I can clearly see what I can eat.

Most restaurants have a lot of meat and vegetables, which is mainly what I eat.  But anytime I was unsure, you can ask to speak to the chef and they will help you find what you can eat or make something special just for you.

For breakfast, we loved Guiseppe’s with a huge breakfast buffet of eggs, bacon, pancakes or waffles and my personal favorite, an omelet bar served until 10:30 am.

For lunch we loved Arizona’s, a Mexican-style restaurant that features a buffet during the afternoon and a menu for dinner.  The buffet had many of my kid’s favorites like chicken nuggets and pasta.

The have a grill station right on the beach, and I loved the grilled chicken topped with lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole and salsa.  YUM!  Their dinner is also BEYOND!  I had the absolute best steak of my life, and I am a steak girl.  Go there and start with the ceviche and then order the steak.  It is SO GOOD!

A few other favorites for dining are the mac and cheese truck by the Water Park area which even has gluten-free mac and cheese with veggies.

Cafe De Paris has coffee and tea and yummy treats all day and night long, and they even have my favorite, almond milk. I started each day with a latte with almond milk from Cafe De Paris.

Barefoot by the Sea is a great place for lunch or dinner with sand on your feet and yummy seafood.  We loved eating here as the kids can play in the sand and sit at their own kid’s tables, which means we can kind of enjoy our food!

Bobby Dee’s is a fun 50’s themed dinner with lots of foods that your kids will love.  Both pizza restaurants Bella Napoli and Dino’s Pizzeria make food to go, that we often picked up and ate by the pool.

Note that most of the restaurants are closed one night a week, so keep that in mind when meal planning!

6. Kid’s Camp

Let me put this simply: one of my kid’s favorite parts of vacations is going to kid’s club.  And at Beaches Turks & Caicos, the kid’s camp is a THING!  Most mornings, my kids woke up and begged to go directly to kid’s club.

Beaches Turks & Caicos is designed to give everyone in your family an incredible vacation, which means they will take care of your kids in a fun camp environment while you get to relax, read a book, enjoy water sports or maybe even…nap?

The Kid’s Camps are broken out by age groups – infants (with cribs and all!), toddler aged 3-5, kids ages 5 – 8, 8-10 and tweens and teens.  Harper is almost 5 (well, in 3 months) and she was allowed to go with the 5-8 year olds since she is pretty mature for their age.

They ate meals together, played games like air hockey and foosball, swam, did arts and crafts, went on outdoor adventures, visited Build A Bear (for an additional fee) and Harper never wanted to leave!  They apply sunblock on the kids and have fun, well-trained people leading the programs.

Both kids went several nights so my mom and I could eat dinner and enjoy the Teppenyaki restaurant.

And the best part…it’s all included, for free!  We’ve been to resorts were it is as much as $100 a day per child, so this is a huge value add!

7. Drinks Are All Included

When you check in, the front desk staff will ask about your wine preference and stock your fridge in the room.  They also will stock waters for you as well.

You will find bars almost everywhere you look at Beaches with the happiest bartenders dancing to music and happy to make you anything you like!  I mostly went with the Miami Vice (a Pina Colada with Strawberry Dauquiri mixed in) while my mom preferred the Purple Rain (blue cacoa and vodka).

8. Water Sports Are Included For Free

Grace Bay Beach is absolutely stunning, so get out and play on the water!  Included for free are kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (my favorite water sport), Hobie Cats, scuba diving, windsurfing and hydrobikes.  You can sign up for scuba diving and windsurfing lessons daily.

9. Daily Complimentary Resort Activities

Everyday at Beaches Turks & Caicos there are tons of complimentary activities.  From riding a Choo Choo Train around the resort with your kids, to a parade with the Sesame Street characters, dancers and fire breathers, there is so much to do at Beaches Turks & Caicos.

Every night features a variety of activities from live shows, beach parties, dancing, singing, parades and more.  And the best part, everywhere we went we made new friends too!

10. The Sunsets Are the Best In the World!

The absolute best part of Beaches Turks  & Caicos is being located on Grace Bay Beach with the most magical sunsets I I have ever seen in my life!

Every night is a two-hour performance.  I made sure to be out every afternoon with a drink in hand with my mom and kids.  They would play in the water and gather seashells while we watched the setting sun turn the sky from blue to purples, pinks, oranges, yellow and purples.

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