Where do I even begin - there is so much to tell. We just returned from a 7 day stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos last Tuesday. It was myself, my husband and our four kids who range in age from 15 to 5. We had a fabulous time. We travel often - usually three trips a year - and we have stayed all over including high end resorts like the Ritz in St. Thomas and the Four Seasons in Maui so our expectations were high. I have many friends who have recommended this resort to me over time so we decided to give it a try. (In general, I am skeptical of all-inclusives because I worry the service and food quality will not be up to par.) After booking but before we went, I must admit I had a bit of sticker shock and I was joking with my friends that at the price it better be the best vacation we ever take. Little did I know, my saying that turned out to be prophetic. The resort blew all of our expectations away!
First off, up until now, I have had the impression (right or wrong), from all our travels, that the service in the Caribbean is substandard to other places we travel to. We stayed at the Atlantis in the Bahamas and the staff acted like we were putting them out by being there, for example. So, I went into this vacation thinking we would have more of the same - boy was I wrong. It sounds like since Beaches started in Jamaica, many of the staff are relocated to Provo from Jamaica and most of them had such a wonderful, helpful attitude. From the ladies who made up our room to the guys behind the bar at Turtles to the waiters who cared enough to grab our camera off our table and take a family picture of us at dinner, these are a wonderful group of people.
We had been to Provodenciales before (stayed in a house on the beach four years ago) so we expected the natural beauty of the Grace Beach. (The only beach we've ever been to that rivals the beauty of Grace beach is one on St. James, but it was part of a protected preserve and was so undeveloped, you had to bring in your own drinks, etc.) So, go in expecting to think this is one of the most pristine, beautiful beaches in the world - you will not be disappointed.
I also worried that it would not be warm enough. For the past several years, we have been going to the Mexican Riviera for Christmas break vacation and some years, especially on cloudy days, it can be a little chilly, especially if you are swimming. When I looked at the map, Providenciales is lateral to where we go in mexico, so I thought it may be chilly, but I was wrong about that. In 7 days we hardly had a cloud in the sky and we were never cold, even when my kids swam at night (I never confirmed this, but I am pretty sure the pools are heated).
Since we went over New Year's, we were told it was the high time for the resort and it was filled to capacity. I even tried to add an extra day to achieve more favorable airfare after I booked and the resort could not accommodate us because it was totally filled. Because I knew that it was totally full, I was worried that since it was so crowded, there would be lines for things and no chairs available. Amazingly, even though the resort was at full capacity, we had very little wait and we could find chairs whenever we wanted at any time on the beach or by pretty much any pool (and we moved around a lot to follow our kids around). We also felt the resort was OVERstaffed - how many times do you hear someone say that in a review? The employees (who are wonderful people, by the way) were tripping over themselves to help us. On one occasion, I saw a waitress drop and break a glass and this other employee came running up behind her with a broom and a dustpan and cleaned it up immediately like Johnny on the spot. Wow!
There are four "villages". Carribean is the oldest, and it shows from the outside, but the inside of the rooms are all redone. We spent our first two nights in Carribean Village and then moved over to the Italian Village for the other five. Italian Village is in the center of all the action and the rooms are all built around it's one, giant pool. It is only a few years old so it is new so it is nicer. Staying in Carribean Village is like staying in an older home where the inside has been updated, while staying in the Italian Village is like staying in a new construction home. We did not see the inside of the French Village rooms, but it is in a much more remote location and we noted that only the ground levels had walkouts - no balconies for the upper levels - so it would not be possible to sit outside in the morning and enjoy your coffee in many of their rooms. We spent a fair amount of time in the Key West Village pools. It is a very different feel over there - more compartmentalized, but very nice. They have a few, small pools nestled inside the buildings. We did not see the insides of the rooms, but judging from the exterior, I am sure they are nice and probably more on par with Italian Village. It is interesting to note that the resort did not build Key West village, it was a development next door that they acquired and added on so while we were there, it still had people staying there who were under the first regime, and that might be why we thought it felt underpopulated over there.
The food and drinks everywhere in the resort were ridiculously good. The phrase I used with my husband was "even more" because even though our expectations were already blown away, we kept encountering more wows. Like, an employee with a cart of nachos and hot dog on the beach or a gigantic dessert table erected in the middle of the French Village, or an employee walking around with a tray of warm chocolate chip cookies by the pool, or my kids being able to get cotton candy on a stick whenever they wanted, or a midnight burger that was fantastic at Cricketeers or a 2 a.m. run to Bobby D's to get cheese fries or onion rings or a burger. Basically, anything you desire is there 24 hours a day and it is all very high quality and included (my kids kept saying "free" and we had to repeatedly set them straight :-) ) We had wonderful Grouper at Schooners and the beef tenderloin at Barefoot on the Beach rivaled Mortons. We are normally a healthy eating type family, but we were all having trouble controlling our intake! I am talking white tablecloth dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner - 5 star dining at every single meal with choices upon choices upon choices. You should have seen the lunch and dinner buffets - it blew our minds each and every time.
All the scuba is included, although we did not do it since we still have a little one, but an employee did take us out on a Hobie Cat ride, which was fun and his attitude was great so we laughed the whole time. You can check out scuba gear and walk down the beach and snorkel off the shore, which we did, but we didn't think it was great (my husband and I have a diving background so our expectations may be too high in this area).
In summary, the place is truly paradise. Yes, expensive, but for a good reason. You really do get what you pay for (and I didn't mention that the other guests were all high quality people so you didn't have to worry about theft by the pool or anything like that). All of my well traveled kids said it was the best vacation they've ever had and none of us wanted to leave. We met several other people who come every year - the place has sort of a cult following - and we are going to be joining in. My only regret is that I didn't find this place sooner! Thank you Beaches Turks and Caicos for giving our family a fantastic, memorable, high quality vacation like no other. My taking the time to write this review is the best way I can think of to thank you for an incredible job well done.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Sweet 16! Sixteen specialty dining options with everything from Caribbean to Japanese, Italian to French, Seafood to Sushi•7000-sq-ft retail village offering guests‟ high-end jewelry, fashion, candies, souvenirs•Our very own Pirates Island themed aqua-playground hosting one of the Caribbean‟s most comprehensive water parks featuring nine slides, lazy river, surf simulator, water cannons, cranks and spray features•Kids of all ages can enjoy fun and games with Elmo and friends in our Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street®•X-BOX® Play Lounge with plasma screens and the latest games on the market •Voted Beaches Resorts “World‟s Leading Family All-Inclusive” 14 years in a row•Voted Beaches Turks & Caicos “Turks & Caicos Leading Resort” for the 4th year in a row•Voted Beaches Turks & Caicos “The Caribbean‟s Leading Family All- Inclusive” for the 2nd year in a row•Six Star Diamond Award- Beaches Resorts “Keeping it Green”, American Academy of Hospitality Sciences•Six Star Diamond Award- Beaches Turks & Caicos for the Italian Village•Five Star Diamond Award- The Resort, Le Petit Chateau Restaurant and Mario‟s Restaurant ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beaches Turks Caicos Providenciales
- Beaches Turks And Caicos
- Beaches Turks & Caicos Turks And Caicos/Providenciales