If you read anything about my recent trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos, you’re probably in one of two camps. The first one is I didn’t go so can you please shut the hell up about it already camp. I get it. I did THREE posts on my trip last week where I showed you my best Instagram captures, immersed you in the beauty of tropical flowers, and introduced you to some of the native wildlife. This week, you’re ready for something news.
There’s still the I wish I could go and I just can’t get enough of your trip so that maybe I can plan my own camp. And this post is squarely for that camp. If you’re in the other camp, maybe you can just quickly scroll through and enjoy the pretty pictures. Because I would be remiss if I didn’t spend one last post focusing on everything you need to know about Beaches Turks & Caicos.
1. Travel and Transportation
You’re going to want to fly to Turks and Caicos. It’s really too long of a swim. There is a major airport in Providenciales that is serviced by airlines such as American, USAirways, and Delta. But be warned. It ain’t cheap. If you’re booking your own airfare (meaning it’s not included as part of a package), you’ll want to set up airfare alerts and check alternate airports. We got a deal by flying out of DCA instead of BWI, through Miami. But airfare was still over $500 per person. You’ll definitely want to budget that in.
This is an international flight so you and your entire family will need passports. Yes, even your teeny tiny baby. Birth certificates don’t cut it anymore so be prepared with the proper paperwork.
Once you arrive at the airport, you can expect to walk down a staircase onto the jetway (Air Force One style) and into the terminal. It’s a small airport so don’t expect to see a Starbucks. You’ll find a bathroom and that’s pretty much it.
After a short wait in Customs and Immigration, you’re off to your resort! If you’re going directly to Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, no worries. Your prearranged shuttle will be available to take you directly to the resort.
Since we were arriving late, we stayed one night at an inexpensive hotel (Ports of Call Resort) close to Beaches and arranged for our own shuttle transportation.
But once we arrived at Beaches the next day, the only transportation we needed was our feet!
2. Checking In to the Resort
There are four villages at Beaches Turks & Caicos: the French Village, the Caribbean Village, the newest Key West Village, and the Italian Village (which is where I stayed).
Our driver took us to directly to our lobby where we were greeted quickly and allowed to fill out our paperwork while sitting comfortable in the gorgeous Italian-style lobby.
And if that wasn’t worry-free enough, we were offered our choice of cocktail from the outdoor bar. I went with the recommended Planter’s Punch.
Since our room wasn’t quite ready, we were invited to enjoy the property, grab some lunch, and relax by the pool or beach, so that’s exactly what we did.
3. The Hotel Room
Although there are four villages, my family only experienced the Italian Concierge Family Suite and I can truly say I didn’t have room envy. While larger families had larger suites (with an upstairs even!), I fell in love with the room, the location, and the amenities.
Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.
4. The Food and Drinks
If you’re like me, a visit to an all-inclusive resort makes me immediately think of all of the food and drink I plan to consume. In fact, before we went, my husband actually asked me what my “eating plan” was going to be.
I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get the sample it all but I walked away with a pretty good feel for some of my favorite restaurants on the property.
Mario’s Italian Cuisine – an authentic Italian trattoria offering a wide variety of Northern Italian cuisine, buffet style for lunch.
Schooner’s Seafood Grill – a beautiful outdoor setting near the beach with a variety of island seafood specialities; not normally open for lunch, it’s where we had our catered conference lunch.
Neptune’s Mediterranean Seafood – touted as Mediterranean cuisine, a stop there made me fall in love with a curried couscous salad and an amazing fish and chips lunch.
Arizona’s Tex Mex Cooking – providing make your own fajita style meals and stick-to-your-ribs ribs and my husband’s favorite – JERK chicken!
Barefoot By the Sea – easy to dismiss as a casual eating place, this was one of my favorites; toes in the sand by the beach and amazing food like lobster and conch fritters.
Kimono’s Oriental Cuisine – easily my favorite meal; a fun, family-friendly Japanese steakhouse with a fixed menu and beef that’s to die for!
Le Petit Chateau – adults-only, this French chateau-themed restaurant was the location of our Sandals Foundation breakfast with the most perfect French toast (of course)
Cafe de Paris – one of my favorite spots with good coffee, good tea, dessert pastries all day, and for breakfast, ham and cheese croissants and crepes!
The Cricketers Pub – a British-style pub serving Newcastle, Guinness, and Bass and the best french fries anywhere; at 10pm, it’s adults-only time for karaoke!
As for the drinks, you can expect any mixed drink under the sun (literally) with top shelf liquors and private labeled wine from Beringer. And if you want to relax in your gorgeously appointed room, they keep your minibar fully stocked with top shelf liquor, mixers, red wine, white wine, and a local brew (along with plenty of water and soda). Yes, it’s included and they’ll replenish it every day!
5. Water Activities
Whether you enjoy lounging poolside with a drink in hand or burning calories tackling the ocean, you have unlimited access to both. Our family took advantage of snorkeling, sailing, swimming, and the water park. With more time and more cooperative weather, we would have ventured out with SCUBA diving and aquacycles. We still managed to get waterlogged, though.
Here are some of our favorite water activities.
(We snorkeled at a place off the beach called Coral Gardens Reef.)
I’ve covered getting there, sleeping quarters, food and drink, and water stuff. If you’re going to the Caribbean, that’s pretty much all you need to know. If you’re going to Beaches Turks & Caicos, you’ve at least got the basics down. But if you have a burning question, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it!
If you’re looking for a no-hassle, worry-free, literally “no problem” vacation for the whole family and you’re fine with budgeting for luxury, I highly recommend checking out Beaches Turks & Caicos. And what makes it truly enjoyable is everything that I mentioned above along with the people who actually seem to enjoy their jobs and love to make sure your vacation is exactly what you want it to be.
My stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos was included in my registration fee for the Social Media on the Sand conference.
It looks like such a beautiful place! I’m in the “why didn’t you take me in your suitcase” camp. 😉
Rumor has it there will be ANOTHER conference next year so I’d definitely visit socialmediaonthesand.com and sign up for the newsletter. It’s an AMAZING family destination!
We have this place on our bucket list. Three couples we know went two summers ago, but Craig was deployed, so we couldn’t really entertain the option. Needless to say, we loved each and every photo and memory they shared. Looks like a lovely way to vacation with kids in tow. But, definitely one we have to save for!
Amen to the saving part but if you start now… you should also check out the conference site!
I MUST go if #BeachesMoms happens again
It sounds like there’s a pretty good chance it will and I’m hoping to be on the list too!
This is a wonderful review! I was in the “can you shut the hell up already” camp, mostly because I was jealous, but now I’m in the “why didn’t you take me in your suitcase” camp. We recently went on our first “family” vacation this year, but I had a hard time toting a 1 1/2 year old around. Mostly due to restriction of activities she would be able to do. What age group would you recommend this type of trip for? I would love to do something like this in the future.
Oh trust me, I’ve been in that camp before too! But I’m glad you liked the review. I took my 7 1/2 year old son and he was happy as long as he was in the water or eating. There were plenty of other families with young children and they enjoyed it so much. They have all of the Sesame Street characters there and do a parade once or twice a week. They have a Choo Choo train for rides around the resort and on Friday night, they had a Caribbean beach party with a stage show with all of the characters. Besides that, there’s a day camp for kids. My son wasn’t interested but the other parents told me their kids didn’t want to leave! The camp is for kids of any age (even babies) and some parents hired the camp counselors to sit in their room after they put their kids to bed so they could go out and enjoy a little adult time! The CEO spoke to us and admitted that once upon a time, Beaches was pretty much Sandals with some coloring books for the kids. Now, it’s a family-inclusive vacation for even teenagers! (sorry about the book here!)