**Beach Junkies Note: Our friend Kat was so thrilled with her stay in Turks &Caicos so I asked her to write up a review for us (seeing that us Beach Junkies have not been to this island). All photos used in this post belong to Kat**
Trip Date: April 9-16, 2011
Location: Turks & Caicos
Kat's Rating: (based on 5 stars)
Beach: 5 / Food: 5 / Rooms: 3.5 / Pools: 5 / Snorkeling: N/A
The Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos caters to kids and adults. It's a beautiful resort with 3 large "villages" - Italian (newest), French and Caribbean; all within walking distance of each other. There are 16 restaurants and dozens of pools with a large water park for adults and kids.
Beaches is the only resort that provides complementary shuttle service to/from the airport and they're very efficient; I was expecting to wait around for at least 30mins while they got themselves organized but the minute we were outside with our luggage, we were whisked away into the first shuttle and taken to our room. Beaches is a cashless resort so everything that's outside of the all-inclusive plan gets charged to your room. They don't accept tips either (?!) so the cash we had remained in the room safe for the entire trip.
Because this resort is kid-friendly, they have tons of kids activities; some which requires an additional fee to be paid. The character breakfast (you dine with Elmo and friends - totally worth it) or the sesame street cruise are extra but activities like baking cookies with Cookie Monster (Wednesdays at 3pm), Elmo's birthday party (once a week) and the Sesame Street camp (open daily - daycare for kids and they get to frolick around with the characters) are all free.
I think check-in is 3pm but we arrived late and our room was already ready. I'm not sure why but we had private concierge service so they brought our luggage to our room
We stayed in the Caribbean village in a 1bdrm suite. It was a decent room but I expected more since I paid through the teeth for this trip. However, it was clean, the staff was excellent and we had a great terrace that stretched from the sliding door in the bedroom to the main area. The Caribbean Village is the older of the 3 villages and the most quiet and we booked this area for that very reason since our daughter goes to bed around 8pm.
The food was awesome. There were 16 restaurants scattered around the resort and you could walk into every one. Some were adults-only but most of them were kid-friendly. They had different 'theme' nights; my favorite was Mario's restaurant - it was huge and the food was really good.
They were pretty good. The drinks were good and the service was quick.
Fantastic; by far, the most beautiful beach aside from the beaches of anguilla. The water was crystalline blue so those pictures you see on the internet of the turks beaches/ocean are that gorgeous. I LOVED the beach - it had fine, white, powder sand and the water was so refreshing.
Beaches resort had tons of pools; they even had a water park with slides and everything. The French village had a children's water park/splash pad that our daughter loved with a lazy river and giant slides for adults. Lots of swim-up bars, great (fake) caves for the kids to play in.
Awesome entertainment for kids. Every evening, they held a Sesame Street show (free!) or some kid of talent show/dance off, a Sesame Street parade through the entire resort and at the end of the week, they held a beach party complete with a show, amazing local food, lighting, the whole works. It was awesome.
For the most part, the staff was so incredibly nice. The ladies at the bar near our pool were sort of crusty but all the other staff were so nice and friendly.
Checkout wasn't bad. Because we had private concierge service, we didn't have to wait in line. They have an 11am checkout but our flight wasn't until 715pm! Luckily, we reserved on of the private cabanas so we chilled out by the pool until we had to leave. They provide a departure lounge where you can shower/get ready for your flight and they also serve refreshments/snacks while you wait for your (complimentary) shuttle to the airport.
Definitely a 10. We loved it so much, we're planning on going back there next year!