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My family and I recently returned from a glorious five-night stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos. Neither my wife nor I had ever been before but it’s long been on our list of places to visit and if you’ve ever been or have seen photos of the gorgeous turquoise waters and white sand beaches, you’ll understand why.
With two little kids in school, our opportunities to travel have narrowed so we very carefully pick and choose where we want to spend those precious days when we can travel. What really motivated us to finally visit Turks and Caicos was our neighbor’s rave review of Beaches Resort. She is a pilot and has a child around the same age as our two children.
When she returned from the island, she gushed about her multigenerational trip to Beaches Turks and Caicos. At the time, I was vaguely aware of Beaches but not very familiar. Not long afterward, another friend raved about the resort so I knew it was time to check it out.
Traveling from Los Angeles (LAX) to Turks and Caicos is not as easy as it is from the east coast or the central U.S. so I was surprised how many people I recognized from the Turks and Caicos (PLS) airport on our return flight to LAX via Miami, including my seatmate. It seems the long flight, which requires a connection, doesn’t stop people from making their way to this island paradise.
Getting to Turks and Caicos from the West Coast
To get to Turks and Caicos from the west coast, you need to make a connection so your route depends on what airline you fly. On American, you’ll fly through DFW, CLT or MIA. Delta stops in Atlanta while United flies through IAH, IAD and ORD. Flying Southwest? You’ll connect through FLL. JetBlue flies from JFK and Air Canada flies from YYZ. There’s also a nonstop flight from London, which makes sense since the island is a British Overseas Territory.
Miami International Airport Hotel
To maximize their time on the island, most visitors take a red-eye. But about a week before our trip, I decided to nix that idea. I started thinking about my two young children (ages 4 and 7) having to wait around Miami Airport for four hours after taking a four-hour red-eye. So, I changed our plans, took the kids out of school a day early, took a 1pm flight to Miami and spent the night at the Miami International Airport, despite everyone telling me to avoid the Miami airport hotel at all costs. We stayed there anyway; here’s my review.
Arriving in Turks and Caicos
The flight time from Miami to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is only 1:20 in the air, which makes it a nice and easy flight. FYI: The locals and flight crew call Providenciales (the capital city), Provo.
As you can imagine, the PLS airport is small and all passengers either walk down the airplane steps or a ramp to get into the airport. Our American Airlines flight had a ramp though Delta passengers I saw used stairs so we got lucky; it’s much easier walking down a ramp, especially with kids and bags.
According to one of the immigration officers, the line can be up to 40 minutes long but we didn’t have to wait since we were in the front of the plane and the passengers from other airlines had just cleared out. TIP: Be sure to fill out the bottom of the customs form and keep it in your passport, even though no one ever asked for it upon our departure.
Transportation from the airport
The ease of staying at Beaches Resort starts as soon as you exit customs. Just hang a left and you will see a small Beaches podium with a couple of representatives. One will check your name off their list, then escort you to the front of the exit so a taxi dispatcher can arrange for your car. The drive is 15 minutes without traffic.
Why Beaches Resorts?
If you don’t like kids or all-inclusive resorts, you should stop reading right now since this place isn’t for you. If you like all-inclusive resorts but not kids, then look up Beaches’ sister property, Sandals, which is adults-only. But if you have kids, then this is a fantastic place to go.
As I said, this was our first time there but the property has a ridiculously high return guest rate, based on my conversations with others and snippets of conversations I overheard between guests and staff. In fact, one person sitting next to us at breakfast said this was their ninth year in a row visiting but most said it was their second or third visit. The few first-timers we met said it wouldn’t be their last .. and I’m with them.
Why is Beaches Turks and Caicos so amazing? There are so many reasons, I decided to present this as a Top 20 list. So, without any further ado, here are 20 reasons to visit Beaches Turks and Caicos.
1. The beach
Let’s start with the obvious. The photo above illustrates one of the main reasons to visit Turks & Caicos. And of course, the photos don’t quite do justice to the colors in real life, nor do they convey the feeling of those laidback beachy days. With beaches like this, it’s no wonder Grace Bay beach has been voted, year after year, as one of the best beaches in the world. In 2023, Tripadvisor gave it the Number 5 spot (last year it was Number 1) on its ‘Best Beaches in the World’ rankings.
And of course, you can order drinks on the beach and sip on the sand.
2. Ease and convenience
Beaches is not cheap but the money you spend on a vacation here not only pays for your accommodations but for all those other expenses that really add up when you’re staying at a hotel that is not all-inclusive. You won’t have to worry about the unknown or unexpected expenses of transportation, food, drink, tips and activities. It’s yet another reason that Beaches is such a great choice. In fact, I left my wallet in our room for the duration of our stay and I didn’t touch it once. This ease and convenience really allows guests to have a more relaxing stay.
3. Transportation to and from the airport
As I mentioned above, the ease of staying at Beaches starts as soon as you exit customs at the airport. The package you purchase determines the car you’ll get. The worst you’ll get is a shared shuttle, the best is a private SUV (a Suburban or Escalade). We had the latter because the resort hooked us up with their Butler program (more on that later). Good to Know: If you rent a car, know that Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory so they drive on the opposite side of the road.
4. The resort
Beaches has four (soon to be five) individual resorts on one mega property. The current four are the Caribbean Village, the French Village, Key West Village and the Italian Village, all which a unique look and feel. We stayed in the Italian Village, pictured above, which was built in 2008.
I heard that the nicest and the newest is the Key West Village (built in 2013; pictured above) as some of their villas have private pools. I didn’t get to see any of the other rooms, which was a mistake, but walking by them reminded me a lot of Sunset Key in Key West.
When we arrived at our village, we were warmly greeted by a bellman who grabbed our bags. We were offered chilled towels and escorted into the lobby.
In all the times I visited the front desk, rarely did I see anyone go up to check in. Instead, guests can relax in one of the many lobby chairs while a roving representative checks you in. Then you sign a standard form and hand them your credit card for the $400 deposit.
6. Kid-friendly lobby
Beaches is completely kid-friendly and that attention to kids starts in the lobby. There’s a small dedicated sitting area for children with a desk and chairs where they have coloring sheets and crayons.
7. Welcome drink
Everyone gets a welcome drink upon arrival, which is a concoction of orange and pineapple juices, Sprite and blue Agu. Adults have the option of a shot of rum in theirs. If you’re hungry, there are finger sandwiches and bite-size desserts on display in the lobby. But I would hold off because so much more awaits you.
8. There’s no tipping
Another reason Beaches is so great is that tipping is included. Normally, I’m fumbling in my wallet and stressed about having enough bills on me to give to the staff but here, you don’t have to worry about it. The only staff who get tipped are the butlers if you’re in that room category.
9. Butler service
Since the hotel team was kind enough to set us up with the butler service, we got to experience what it’s like to really travel well. In addition to the Beaches staff who greeted us when we arrived, we were warmly greeted by both of our butlers. In this room category, families have two butlers assigned to them. The butlers work two shifts: 7am-2pm and 2pm-9pm.
There are 58 butler rooms at Beaches Turks and Caicos and each butler oversees two to three rooms. Having a butler really makes your trip to Beaches ridiculously smooth. First, they escort you to your suite. Ours was huge and had a living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchenette and a small dining area. More on our room down below.
Before leaving our suite, our butler went over everything about our stay and answered all of our questions. We were also given an Android phone so we could always call or text our butlers. TIP: Don’t lose the phone or there’s a $200 fee. Also, be sure to check if any alarms are set on the phone. The last person to use our phone had set an alarm for 5:51am and it woke us up on our first morning, one of the only mishaps of our stay.
The butler service is great for so many reasons. A big one is that they will make all your dinner reservations for you and you won’t ever have to wait in line at a restaurant. They will do everything from unpack your clothes, though we did not ask ours to do that. They’ll grab something you forgot from your room and open your door when you forget your key inside your room. Yes, I’m speaking from experience about those last two examples.
You also don’t have to wake up super early to reserve a pool chair. One of my biggest pet peeves at a hotel is when guests run down to reserve their chairs at sunrise by throwing a book or blanket down, then go back to bed and come back to their chair after breakfast, leaving many other guests with nowhere to sit. Some hotels allow it, others forbid it and unfortunately, Beaches doesn’t stop guests from doing this. However, with the butler service, they will reserve and set up a cabana for you. Depending on occupancy, you may not be able to reserve cabanas at the same pool each day but that’s a good thing; it gives you the opportunity to experience the other pools on the resort.
Our butlers brought snacks to our cabana, usually shrimp, a cheese plate, fruit and cookies. And every night when we returned to our room, we found a huge bowl of popcorn, cookies and other treats.
While we were on the island, we had some stormy weather and on the days we stayed in, our butlers said they could order and deliver food to our room for us. And because of our son’s food allergies, they would even co-ordinate having food from a different restaurant delivered to the restaurant we were eating at. They went above and beyond at all times.
There’s so much more butlers do for guests: arrange to have you served breakfast in bed, arrange tours, arrange the in-house photographer to capture your vacation memories, help with packing and unpacking and so much more. While there’s no tipping throughout the resort, guests can tip their butlers, who, at least in our experience, very much deserved it.
10. Our room
We were so fortunate to be hosted in an Oceanfront Penthouse Family Suite in the Italian Village. The large two-bedroom suite had a comfortable king-size bed in one room …
… and a bunk bed with a trundle, sleeping three, in the other room. During our five-night stay, I slept two and a half nights in the large, comfortable king-size bed and the other two and a half nights on the bunk bed because of course, the kids wanted to crawl into bed with their mama.
Our room also had a living room, a dining room table and a stocked mini fridge.
There is another stocked mini fridge in the butler pantry that guests can have stocked with whatever they’d like but we didn’t make any special requests other than asking for more milk for the kids.
The only thing our room lacked was laundry. There is a guest laundry facility in each village but in the Italian Village where we were staying, it’s just one small room with two washing machines and one dryer.
You need to get a $4 token for each machine from the front desk and buy detergent from the gift shop, unless, of course, you pack your own, which we always do by throwing some liquid laundry pods into a hard-sided sunglasses case. Unfortunately, the butlers don’t do laundry. Don’t worry … I didn’t even ask.
The balcony in our room had a steel drying rack, which is perfect for bathing suits or when you put too many clothes in the dryer, they come out damp and you don’t feel like running back to the front desk to get another token. There’s no screen door but it doesn’t really feel necessary since it’s pretty hot out all the time. While we were there, the high was 83F and the low was 80F. However, it did rain for most of our stay. Fortunately, I only got one mosquito bite. FYI: We always travel with this natural bug repellent.
The hotel has free basic WiFi all around the resort. It works fine, certainly for most online tasks. However, when NewsNation asked me to do an interview for the evening news, I upgraded to the Premium WiFi, which costs $39 for a day or $79 for your stay. If you’re interested, here’s the interview I did.
We had two bathrooms in our suite. One was extremely spacious with a stand-up shower and a separate bathtub and Jacuzzi. The other was smaller with just a stand-up shower. But all in all, the two bathrooms made it so quick and easy to come in and shower or take a bath when we came in hot, sweaty and sandy from the beach or pool.
The pools are a big highlight of the resort. There are 10 pools across the resort but we spent our time at the pool in the Italian Village, pictured above …
… and the French Village, pictured above. Both pools have very shallow sections, perfect for little ones to splash around in. This is just another reason why a resort designed specifically for families is so great. The large shallow pool areas make it much easier for kids to enjoy themselves and for parents to relax a little more.
Every evening, our butler asked us which pool we wanted to be at the following day and would reserve a cabana for us in advance. In the mornings, we’d find our cabana by looking for the sign with our name. It’s a really nice perk of being in a butler suite.
The kids loved the pools but what they loved even more were the swim-up bars. It was definitely a first for them and if you ask them about their trip to Turks & Caicos, rest assured that the swim-up bars will come up on their list of favorite things.
Their drink of choice? A Mickey Mouse, which is a banana, strawberry and milk smoothie.
17. Pirates Island Water Park
Having a water park right on the resort premises is amazing. You don’t have to go far and the Pirates Island Water Park is tons of fun. There’s a surf simulator and water slides (with options for big kids and little ones).
The highlight for our kids was the 650-foot lazy river, which they wanted to go round and round on.
There are also two food trucks nearby so you don’t have to go far to get food and can jump right back into the fun.
The mac and cheese truck, called Mr. Mac, features a variety of mac and cheese options.
You’ll find all kinds of options, from the classic kids favorite to more exciting concoctions like the Mexican version I ordered.
Top lunch off with ice cream from the Curls ‘n’ Swirls truck, which serves up diner-style milkshakes, ice cream and frozen yogurt treats.
18. Sesame Street partnership
Beaches has an exclusive partnership with Sesame Street, which means you’ll see the characters walking around and every night, the whole family can enjoy the 30-minute Sesame Street stage show just outside the French Village. Our kids really loved the show and it was a great way to end the night.
If you really want to delight your kids, Beaches offers Sesame Street VIP upgrade packages that include experiences (for an added cost) like character breakfasts, nighttime tuck-ins and all-access photo shoots.
19. Bars and restaurants
It’s hard to believe that I haven’t gotten to the bars and restaurants until #19 on this list but that gives you an idea just how much there is to see, do and love at Beaches Turks & Caicos. Of course, one of the best parts of staying at an all-inclusive resort is enjoying all the food and drink you like without being slapped with a big bill at the end of your meal.
There are 20 dining options at 20 international restaurants on the resort as well as 15 bars. We didn’t hit up any bars but we did enjoy a lot of good food. There’s everything here, from fine dining to diner-style, kid-friendly fare.
We tried a number of the restaurants over the course of our stay. The highlight was our dinner at Kimonos, a fun experience for the whole family. Skilled chefs prepare your meal in front of you on a surface grill, juggling, flipping and entertaining the group with tricks of all kinds. We sat with two other families around the grill and had our most memorable meal of our stay there. Check out a sample menu here.
We also enjoyed meals at Mario’s (Italian), Bombay Club (Indian), Arizona’s (Southwestern) and Neptunes (Mediterranean).
One of my favorite places was Barefoot by the Sea where we enjoyed breakfast. The best part is that, just as the name suggests, you will enjoy your meal with your feet in the sand and they even had separate child-sized tables that the kids just loved to sit at. One thing is for sure: You’ll never go hungry here. See all restaurant options here.
20. Everything else
Well, it turns out 20 points isn’t enough to cover all the things to see, do and experience about Beaches Turks and Caicos and there are many things we did not have a chance to experience. For instance, when it comes to activities, guests can enjoy a variety of ocean activities (scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, hydrobikes, kayaks and paddleboards) and land activities (beach volleyball, basketball, lawn chess, soccer, tennis, pool tables, shuffleboard). Included in your stay is the kids club, which offers age-appropriate activities for kids from tots to teens. When night falls, the party gets started for those looking for nighttime entertainment. Think: Beach parties under the stars and dancing at Liquid at Beaches, a night club for teens and adults.
Overall, Beaches Turks and Caicos exceeded expectations and was a big hit with my whole family, especially the kids, who keep asking to return. If you’re ready to visit this turquoise island paradise for yourself, book your stay here.