This is a difficult review to write. We took a family of 16 for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration. It was our first experience with an all inclusive resort and will probably be the last. There are several things that are great about the resort, several things that are terrible, and a lot of mediocrity in between.
From the time we booked, we had difficulty with communications. Because we have smaller grandchildren, we wanted to have adjoining rooms with their parents. We were told to book very early to insure adjoining rooms so reservations were made over a year and a half in advance in the French Village. Imagine our surprise when several months before our anticipated arrival, we were told that the resort could not guarantee adjoining rooms. This is supposed to be a family resort and I found this answer to be unacceptable. As a result of the failure to guarantee adding rooms, we then moved our room reservations to 2 bedroom concierge suites in the Key West Village. As a result of this change, we ended up paying substantially more than our original booking would have been and as a reward for extra revenue to the resort, they took away our "group" status as we were now booking 4 rooms(7 bedrooms) and they had recently changed their policy to grant group status to room bookings of 5 or more! After an angry E-mail to the General Manager, Beaches did reinstate our "group" status and group amenities but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth and we hadn't even arrived yet.
Another issue is sleeping arrangements. Again, as a family resort, why have 2 bedrooms with King beds in both? We had a few teens with us who were not keen on sharing a king bed. Why in the world wouldn't a family hotel have a king room for parents and another bedroom with 2 beds, either twin or full? For a family of more than 4, the additional sleeping option is a trundle bed in the living room of the suite. Beaches claims that these 2 bedroom suites sleep 6 but unless 2 of your family want to share the second king and others sleep on a trundle bed, it is a lousy arrangement for the price being charged.
Food was another issue. As a group of 16, we wanted to eat as a group each evening, either at a table of 16 or 2 tables of 8. We were told that only one restaurant took a reservation and that was Kimonos. We could show up at 6:30 and probably be seated as a group but we wanted to eat later at 8-8:15 so everyone could clean up after a day on the beach. We were told that we would not be able to do that. I said we would even confirm each day with a restaurant manager that we would be coming that evening with a large group but were told repeatedly that we could not make reservations and it was a strictly first come first serve proposition. We decided to make a firm reservation at Kimonos and then take our chances with the other restaurants by simply showing up at the 8:00 time frame and see if we could all be seated. Imagine our shock when we showed up at Kimonos at 8:00 PM for our reservation that had been made 3 months in advance and, was listed on our group activities sheet, and were told WE HAD NO RESERVATION! The manager actually asked me to go back to my room and bring back proof that we had a reservation. I refused and he then said "I'm taking a risk but I will seat you". How's that for customer service! To add additional insult, our group went to the Italian restaurant, Maurio's, one night at 8:15 and I was told by the greeter that we should have had a reservation made by the culinary concierge. After informing here that I had tried for months to get reservations and was told , even by their own staff member the same morning at breakfast, that it was a strictly first come basis. I did speak with the restaurant manager and expressed my belief that no one in Beaches talks to on another. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.
On a positive note, we did have great meals at SOY, the sushi restaurant and Schooners. Mercedes was the manager at Soy and went out of her way to give us two of the best meals we had at Beaches. The manager at Schooners also arranged a table of 16 for us and the meal was very nice. We also had a private anniversary dinner for the 16 of us that was very well done, albeit at a hefty surcharge over the all inclusive rate. Overall, however, we found the restaurants to be just average in terms of quality of food and presentation. The nice thing about an all inclusive resort is that you can eat often and as much as you want out don't expect to to be a fine dining experience.
What is excellent? The beach, pools and water park. The beach was as good as any that I have ever been to. The pools with swim up bars were also great. My only complaint is that there was not enough shade as it gets very hot in the afternoon and cabanas, umbrellas seemed to be taken early by butlers for their assigned families, leaving most of us to fend for ourselves with the sun.
Included activités are a bit of a joke also. We did a hobie cat ride that lasted less than 10 minutes. Two in our group wanted to dive but had to take the refresher course first which we paid for in advance. On the day of the course, the watersports desk had no record of their reservation. Snorkeling is done with a very large group and when we booked a private snorkeling trip, Beaches canceled it on the day we were to go out.
I could go on longer but I hope readers have gotten a feel for some of the frustrations we encountered. This is a great property on a great beach with great water activities. It is marred by a lack of customer service ( a trait I have noted on many caribbean islands), poor communications amongst staff and inconsistent rules. If you are looking for a resort where food is measured more by quantity than quality, promises and reservations don't seem to matter and activities are crowded, Beaches is your place. I, however, will never return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dive into a one-of-a-kind, unbelievably exciting Beaches all-inclusive Turks & Caicos vacation for the whole family. A 45,000 square-foot waterpark; four magnificent villages, boasting the architecture and ambiance of Italy, France, the Caribbean and Key West; a 12-mile beach lapped by clear turquoise waters; endless fun activities for everyone, from tots to tweens and teens, featuring Sesame Street(R) characters, the new Xbox(R) Play Lounge and a sizzlin' teen disco, Liquid at Beaches-all located on one of the world's best beaches.19 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(R)•X-BOX(R) 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Beaches Turks Caicos Providenciales
- Beaches Turks And Caicos
- Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa Turks And Caicos/Providenciales