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Reviewed January 10, 2010

I loved reading these boards to prepare for my trip so wanted to share my findings. We are a family of 4 with 2 daughtes ages 10 and13. We do Disney every year and decided to try somting new this year. Thi wa basically our first "all inclusive experience". Also the first time in over 15 years of travelling to the carribean.

We arrived last Saturday Jan 2nd. flying direct from Toronto on WestJet. We were the second of 4 major aircraft to land all wthin about an hour so while our line through customs was realtively small, it did get huge - no AC in arrivals and it was HOT! Get rid of your warm clothes before getting off that plane! The luggage area is the size of 3 kitchen tables.......workers are pushing through the guests to pull luggage off the belt and place them all in a holding area away frm the belt......didn't feel good about this - anyone could take your luggage. Overall it was a conjested mess - but we were on vacation! Clearly Saturday afternoon is a bad time to travel there - more about this on our return flight!!!

The shuttles are bascially van taxis - not beaches staff - but they do know where you are staying. We were supposed to be upgraded from a FV Walkout to the IV but they took us to the FV. You do get the drink and cold towel upon arrival - not as fancy as the video on the beaches.com site. When I asked about the upgrade they said they overbooked and culd not get us this until the next night so we needed to stay one night in the FV. No worries - we're on vacation! The FV walkout King is a nice room if you are a couple - for a family of 4 it is small IMHO. I wanted to tell you that there was no smell but there was!! I immediatley noticed that the AC was belting out a perfumed odour - almost like an air freshener to mask another smell - but this perfme smell really bothered me - it did not bother my husband or kids. It was a 4 poster bed - lovely and comfy and the kids used the trundle which I think was small and the neither of them liked the trundle.

It was nice and warm the day we arrived but it was around 4pm so we et the kids suit up and head to the waterpark to cool off. They LOVED IT THERE! We had dinner at Giuseppes which would become my daughters favourite spot as they do "make to order" pasta at lunch and supper! We walked around the resort - it isn't as big as I thought (not as big as a Disney resort) and it is quite easy to get your bearings fast.

Day 2 we awoke to more sunshine - we were told to have our bags packed and they would move them to the IV at around 11am. We had the buffet breakfast a Marios (which would become our favourite breakfast stop) and then tried to find a spot around the pool. The pool chair issue exists but you quickly learn that a conversation with the lifeguard and perhaps a small tip will get you the best seats every morning! I know they aren't supposed to do this but it happens everyday - so if you can't beat em - join em! Our chairs were set up everymorning with towels and flowers - just like the butlers set up for their guests! And facing the sun which to those just arriving is over Marios in the AM and over the Carribean Resrt sidein the afternoon (at least in January).

We finally got the key to our new room - HOLY COW!!!!! I have to say - the IV suites are like another resort!! They are new, luxurious, huge and I would pay easily an extra $300 a night just to have that room! I know some say "you don't spend that much time in your room" but teens and tweens like downtime - they often needed a break and given our weather (more on this later) we were glad to have space for them. If you have tweens or teens, do your self a favour and get these rooms! Mom and Dad also have their own privacy!!! There was no comparison from FV to IV - if we ever go back I will book IV! Also a quick note on the Red Lane spa amenities that are in the room - they are big bottles! I took my own shampoo, conditioner, and lotion as hotel ones are too small and not very good but their product was amazing! I would use their product next time and not bother to take my own! Also wanted to mention that I asked what the rate would be to have a butler for our room (basically any room can pay for a butler at the IV) and it was $500 a day extra - NO THANKS!! I really only wanted the cabana which I found out later you could rent for the day if available (I think around $200 a day).

From the day we arrived the surf was very high and the Ocean rough and the boats never left their anchor. No water activities were going on at all and the beach was pretty dead given the high winds. By Sunday night, the Miami depp freeze had begun and so we started getting the ran and the cold breeze. I did a separted post on the weather but I will say it then rained and drizzled non-stop for 2 days - all Monday and Tuesday and when I woke up to black skies on Wed I was so bummed but the sun did come out eventually in the afternoon but it remained cold. Weather was much better Thursday and nearly perfect Friday and the day we left, Saturday, it was downright HOT and gorgeous! Watersports only really begun on Friday.

I think I'll categorize the rest of my review:

Service - anyone who says that they received bad service is CRAZY! I bet it is isolated to one employee having a bad day! I challenge anyone to walk by a staff member where that staff doesn't greet you! These staff LOVE THEIR JOB! Many break out in song while working. I guess many are from Jamaica as they took the cream of the crop from Beaces Boscobel and Negril to work at the IV TCI when it opened last January. They make more $$ (according to a restaurant employee) so they like working there and don't want to jeopardize this. I should qualify that the staff at IV seemd to be the best of the bunch - just my observation but I noticed a big difference when I went to the Iguana Poolside bar - but again, might be isolated! My kids and I started laughing becuase no matter what you ask, they respond NO PROBLEM! I never heard them say no.........

Restaurants/Food - it's hard to squeeze them all in - we almost never had a sitdown lunch since we were around the pool. We found out that you can make up a plate from the breakfast buffet at Marios and they will wrap it for you so you can keep it in the fridge and have it aroudn the pool for lunch - the butler cabanas are being served food all day so this was my solution! I made plates of cheese, crackers and fruite and then a plate of desserts to have at lunch. The breakfast buffet has a great selection! Memorable meals were Ribs at Arizona's (however service was not as good as other places and if you don't arrive for the first seating at 6pm, there will bea line at 6:30 that is an hour wait - this happened to us the first try). Steak at Schooners was AMAZING. Loved the Pasta bar at Giuseppes. Realy enjoyed the entertainment at Kimonons (you really do need to make your reservation the day you arrive - we did and got the Thursday night). Coffee at Cafe de Paris is great! I read that the coffee isn't good but I had a Cafe au lait every morning and it was great! I found Marios for dinner just soso. Barefoot for lunch was nice - food was soso - never got to have dinner there as weather makes this restaurant tough to dine in when winds are high and it is col as it is right on the beach with full exposure! I felt so sorry for those who paid for the romantic dinner for 2 on those nights - it was freezing and it appears you have to stick with it if you reserved. We did not do the adult restaurants - that will be on our next trip. KIds LOVED Bobby Dees, they were there at least once a day. One note about the restaurants and if you are travelling with little ones. They do not have plastic plates so your infant/toddler wil have to eat on a china plate and I can tell you we heard at least one hit the ceraminc floor every meal! Not sure why Beaches hasn't figured out that they sould get Sesame Street plastic plates for kids. I suggest bringing some plates for your little ones to share meals with.......

Internet and cell - when the weather is bad it seems they get poor service - we had one day where the internet was out all day. We never got service in our room the whole week - even using their ethernet cable, but it works fine from the lobby and other hot spots on property. You do have to pay the $39 even if you access from the lobby all week. My Rogers Cell phone worked fine all week for both calls and texts.

Activities - I kept all of the activities sheets that they leave in your room each night and it looks like it is the exact same every week so I wil gladly fax to those that are interested to see it. There isn't a ton for tweens and teens but they have the pools and waterpark. There is more going on for the little ones and while I will say they always looked well entertained I did observe one day where they took a group of about 20 5-7 year olds into a covered outdoor games area where there is a TV (about 27") mounted in the wall, and they ad the kids sit on a grosse floor (no towels or mats offered) to watch Are We There Yet one afternoon. I kept thinking how I would not want my child on that floor (bugs) and how my kids would not want to watch that movie for 90 minutes on a hard floor but they had no choice if mom and dad weren't around.

Bugs - No idea what bites you but your legs will get bitten - even with spray! This is why pants/capris aren't such a bad idea for evenings! Everyone, even babies, had bites on their ankles and legs. Other than those bite, I never saw a bug that was big or grosse (like a cockroach). They have to be there but I never saw them!!

Entertainment - The Sesame Street charatues walk around the pool at least twice a day for meet and greets. Being used to Disney, it was nice to not have to wait in a line for kids to hug and have photos with them! The Sesame street parade on Tues night is a great one - don't miss it! The shows on Wednesday and Thurday night are really funny and pretty good. Not as good as a cruise ship but still entertaining. The Wed night show is a celebrity tribute - and they use guests as the performers! If you want to be on stage as Spice Girls, Queen, or a Thriller backup dancer, find am emtertainment staff member and sign up early. I guess they only rehearse that day - pretty obvious there wasn't a ton of rehearsal but that's what makes if funny! The Thursday show is a tribute to broadway musicals - West Side Story, Chorus Line, Dirty Dancing - good dancing but the staff do not sing - it;s a track. The Friday night beach party was a dissappointment for us although little ones might like the sesame street show. The party is held Friday night at Treasure Beach which is besdie the carribbean village. Sand is covered in pine needles and you sit at picninc tables. Food was soso to not great so I might suggest going early to say you were there but then head to a restaurant for dinner. If you have teens, don't bother - ours did not like it at all.

Departure Day - unless you are a butler suite, you will have to be out of your room by 11am and your luggage gets held at the departure lounge until you are ready to go. They give you a schedule of when to be at the departure lounge (about 2 hours before your flight) and tell you to call them when your luggage is ready. They had instructed to leave your bags outside the room in the hall to be picked up - I wasn't comfortable with this so I left them in the room and when we got to the departure lounge our bags were not there - still in our room! So they went and got the bags for us so we could change and get ready to go to the airport. There is cold drinks for you and a change room with showers so they are accommodating - it's not a very happy place when everyone is leaving paradise! So we load into the shuttle and off to the airport - a 15 minute ride. Once at the airport we imediatley saw a line of about 500 people wrapped outsaide the airport waiting to go in. We thought it was the line for American travellers given the heightened securiy - NOPE! This was security for all guests. The have one body scanner for all travellers. We stood in line for 90 minutes (very hot) outside waiting to get into the airport to go to our gate - our flight was delayed or we would have had to board the minute we got through. I hear Saturdays are like this. The dpearture are of this airport is VERY SMALL. One room, one bar with some chips and chocolate bars, a duty free shop for some bottles, and 2 other shops. It was very conjested and warm. I also want to mention that we prepaid for our seats together on WestJet. I tried going to the resort concierge to print my boarding passes but they said they couldn't so I had to do it at the airport. Well, by the time we got there, our seats were LONG GONE and we were separated! So my $40 for preseat return flights was a huge waste!! Don't bother doing this! The staff are not even West Jet employees and had no idea about policies and processes with WestJet (one man wanted to make sure he was credited his points and they didn't have a clue how to do this). It took them 20 minutes just to find me a seat with my daughters together and it wasn't a full flight! Maybe I had a rookie agent (he looked more like a ground crew with an orange vest on). So depature day was stressful a bit - oh and WestJet had run out of food on the flight - no sandwiches, no pringles - should have had Beaches wrap up some cheese and crackers, pizza and cookies for us to travel with!!

So I am finally coming to a close.......yesterday I awoke to 80 degrees, sunshine and the view of clear blue waters on a powdery beach. Today I am looking at snow and minus 15........Beaches TCI is a wonderful holiday - pricey for sure and I don't think I would have been satisfied with my vacation in the FV but the IV made the difference fo me. We know we will go back in 2011!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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11  Thank palmickey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2010

For us this was a shot in the dark - we did not know anyone who had been there but the TripAdvisor site had many many accolades - so we gave it a shot. We were not disappointed. It is a GREAT resort - all inclusive, including SCUBA diving which was important for our family. it has a wonderful water park that is great for adults, teens and kids. With 16 restaurants you will not lack for places to eat and most are very good.

Once you have book your trip - they take care of everything from that point out. They pick you up at the airport - your luggage is delivered directly to your room and leaving is done the same way - they pick up your luggage and delivery you to the airport in plenty of time for your flight.

SCUBA Diving - this may sound bizarre but we were lucky because they were having "bad" weather. OK, so their version of "bad" weather was that the winds were making the sea choppy in Grace Bay where they usually dive so they took us to the south side of the island by taxi and we boarded their boats that they moved there and took us to West Caicos - one of the top wall diving spots in the Caribbean. We found the wind to be very mild and extremely pleasant when we were on the beach but we were not complaining about them taking us to West Caicos!

One of our boy's girlfriends wanted to get PADI Certified so we enrolled her in a course right at the resort. Being Master SCUBA Divers, my wife and I monitored the class - it was nothing short of Excellent. Kabul who was the dive instructor did an excellent job of teaching and training her to relax and maintain neutral buoyancy. I would highly recommend the certification program at Beaches.

Bottomline - wonderful resort and a great vacation for all.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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11  Thank incognitoDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2010

We chose Beaches at Turks over Jamaica. My husband and I love Jamaica, especially 7 mile beach. We would love that experience for our kids. However, the accommodations for a family of five at T&C were more comfortable. We had the bunk bed with trundle for our kids. The mattresses were very comfortable and the kids loved them. Jamaica would have provided pullouts and roll aways. This, along with the written reviews and guest's photos on Trip Advisor, sealed the deal for us! It was beautiful, clean, spacious, fun and relaxing - with great food options. They still need a little fine tuning of (some) their customer service. We didn't hit every restuarant but we had our favorites. Along with the food, we loved the people/service at Mario's, Arizona and Schooners. We had great lunches at Bella Napoli Pizzeria-very laid back. Dinner the first night was at Barefoot by the Sea. We sat a while waiting to be greeted, sat a little longer to place our order, sat longer still waiting for the food that came out overdone and overall not good. We had coffee outside the Cafe de Paris, on a warm Caribbean morning in Dec, listening to "... the weather outside is frightful..." - quite satisfying when you are from Philly! Bobby D's was GREAT for our kids (8, 12, 13.) They had something from there just about every day. Most often they would go without us. Breakfast was good all around.

Tips I would give
1. Know, going in to your vacation, exactly what you should get with your package. A few days in, we met a family who were 8 year veterans of Beaches T&C. They gave us more info about what we should have been getting and doing than the concierge.
2. When you are not sure, ask a lot of questions of the employees and make sure you get a satisfying answer! We had a problem at the water sports desk and the employee's response was to delay us and not look at us. Very frustrating.
3. Add more days onto your trip. You'll be sorry when you get there if you don't!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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7  Thank Snowbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2010

I am an agent with Dream Makers Vacation Services and I traveled with the agency’s owner, Amy McHugh to the Sandals/Beaches STAR Awards from December 2, 2009 – December 5, 2009.
I had been hearing for years how beautiful Turks & Caicos is and how I must get there. That was a complete under statement!!! The Island was amazingly beautiful and peaceful. The resort, in a word, AMAZING!!! We were in a 2 room suite in the Italian Village and from the moment I arrived at the property I felt like a VIP.
The resort has 4 Villages, The Caribbean, French, Seaside and Italian Village. Each village had its own charm and appeal. The grounds are impeccably maintained and the vegetation is remarkably beautiful. I took a ton of photos of just the landscaping!!!
The beach, unbelievable. One afternoon we took a walk as the sun was setting and it was just breath taking. I also did some snorkeling while there and even the base of the ocean is beautiful white sand. hands down one of the best beaches in the world.
The Italian Village is the most “modern” village with the other three being what I would consider more “caribbeanish.” I took a tour of the property and was shown rooms in each village, they are all in great condition and well maintained.
I was only at the resort for 4 days so I didn’t get to try all of the restaurants on the property but each meal that I did have was very good. The buffets for breakfast provided a great variety to choose from and the food was always hot and fresh. I also tried Barefoot By The Sea on my final morning at the resort for a cooked to order breakfast and that was wonderful!!! Sitting with your feet in the sand while looking at the beautiful ocean…it doesn’t get any better than that.
The brick oven pizza (Bella Napoli Pizzeria) for lunch was fabulous and a great option if you want to grab something and bring it back to the pool with you.
One of my favorite meal options at this resort was the “cook to order pasta station.” You could choose your vegetables, chicken; shrimp etc… and then chose the type of noodle and sauce you wanted as well. This was available at both Giuseppe’s and Mario’s.
My children were not with me on this trip but I knew immediately that I needed to make plans for my husband and me to bring them to this AMAZING resort as soon as possible!!! There are so many things for kids of all ages to do at this resort. Who wouldn’t love being able to grab their own soft serve ice-cream at Bobby D’s whenever they want. Or float along the lazy river in the Pirate themed water park after sliding down the huge waterslides or taking a try on the surf simulator. And if it rains or you need a break from the sun there is the X-Box Garage with all the latest and greatest games to try out. There is a kids/teen disco as well.
And of course there is also the staff, very accommodating and very friendly.
Beaches Turks and Caicos is the perfect place for a vacation whether you are traveling with or without children.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled on business
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10  Thank ReReCharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2010

We travel several times a year, and this is by far the best family vacation spot! We traveled with our 18 month old son, and another couple with their 2 year old, and 5 month old. We reserved a 2 bedroom concierge room in the French Village, and were upgraded upon arrival to a Seaside Villa with Butler Service. AMAZING! The room itself was not very modern, but we were having such a wonderful time, we really could not complain. Our butler's Paul, and Sherriann anticipated our every need. They made the trip extraordinary! They arranged for us to have a cabana daily, dinner reservations nightly, and nannies in our room daily so we could enjoy the pool during nap time. The grounds were so clean my son could walk around barefoot.

What made it so relaxing was that not once did we get a look when one of our babies would cry, the staff seems to genuinely love kids! The food was so so, but the overall experience more than made up for it. The only drawback was that the adults in our group were getting bug bites. We were told they were caused by Beach Flies, so bring some repellent for when you hit the beach. We will definitely be going back!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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10  Thank erinangele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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