Last month we were invited by Sandals to stay at their luxury all inclusive Beaches resort on the island of Turks and Caicos and oh my goodness was it an opportunity of a lifetime. We travel a lot as a family as you may already know but for this to be my first work press trip abroad I had to pinch myself a little to believe it!
Beaches is a baby born of Sandals resorts who if you don’t already know are the creme de la creme of couples luxury travel. If you’re booking a honeymoon Sandals is your place and they are known for their tropical destinations, incredible facilities and impeccable service. You’re treated like royalty from the minute that your toes hit the bright white sand and the best bit – no kids aloud. However, couples become families and with an aim to not let families miss out on all that Sandals has to offer – Beaches was created!
There are three Beaches destination, one in Turks and Caicos and two in Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril and they all give you that same sense of 5 star bliss whilst catering 100% to children of all ages. I can’t speak for the two Jamaica destinations as they’re still on my to-travel list but Turks and Caicos is located on the worlds number one beach as voted by Trip Advisor and is honestly the most stunning place I have ever been.
We flew from Gatwick airport with British Airways and we could not fault the service of the airline. Flying with children can be so stressful but with a long haul flight I knew I had to let go and just let the boys run free. The staff were more than happy for the kids to wander up and down the aisle and they even had food pouches, formula bottles and spare nappies and wipes on board should we have needed them! The entertainment system had plenty of new movies for Jasper to watch including Moana and Beauty and the Beast (which admittedly I watched and cried to) and the food was delicious. As Jenson is only 10 months old he obviously didn’t have his own seat but being his first long haul flight we were so pleased to have an aeroplane bassinet for him to lay down in. He had a really great sleep and it gave me and Pete a bit more flexibility to watch Jasper and really relax.
At the moment you can’t fly directly to Providentials Airport so we stopped off in Antigua for about an hour whilst the plane refuelled and any passengers who were getting off there left. We stayed on the plane and it was a nice chance to stretch our legs and as no one new got on the plane we got to spread out a bit. Oh and there was even a celeb on board – Matthew Wright from The Wright Stuff!
After only an hours flight from Antigua to Providentials we touched down and were welcomed by private transfers who labelled up our bags ready to pop in our rooms upon arrival at the resort. It was only about a 15 minute car journey before we were welcomed with cool flannels and rum punch to our home for the next few days.
Beaches Turks and Caicos is comprised of four different villages; each with their own pools, restaurants and beach spots but of course every guest can use each village. We stayed in the Caribbean village but there were also the French, Key West and Italian villages – each unique to the other but all oh so gorgeous!
The Caribbean village was made up of brightly coloured suites situated amongst tropical gardens with hammocks swinging in the Caribbean breeze. The suites were either ground floor with terraces leading out to the gardens or first floor with beautiful balconies – this means if you have kiddies you’ll never have to do more than one flight of stairs!
The suite itself was really large with a separate living room to the master bedroom. The living room had a huge sofa that pulled out to a double bed, a tv, kitchen and fully stocked all inclusive bar including water and all the labelled alcohol! The master bedroom had a large four poster mahogany bed, again a tv and then a big bath tub, separate shower and toilet. Each room has air con, a hair dryer, iron, cd/ clock radio, coffee maker and electronic in-room safe as standard and I loved that they came with full sized shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles from their spa! If you’re feeling particularly fancy than you can go for butler serviced rooms which would be incredible!
Grab a cuppa – this may take a while! Beaches Turks and Caicos has the ultimate list of facilities; I honestly think that we could have stayed for a month and not gotten bored with everything that they had to offer. Being there for only a few days we only got to experience a small fraction of it all and that was with a pretty packed schedule but I’ll try to fill you in on what else we could have done.
Pools – There are six pools and two kiddie pools across the whole resort, five of which with swim up bars! There are also two whirlpools, waterfall caves and complimentary Beaches lilos to lounge back on with your rum punch!
Waterpark – The 45,000 square foot pirate waterpark has two huge waterslides, a lazy river, the only surf simulator in the Caribbean and a huge pirate ship equip with water slides, canons and fountains! It’s safe to say that Jasper and Pete had a blast splashing around and Jenson loved bobbing around on the lazy river and crawling through the fountains!
12 mile beach – It wasn’t voted the number one beach in the world for nothing; the white sand and crystal clear turquoise water is truly magnificent and the sunsets and sunrises – breathtaking!
Relax in a shaded beach cabana or take part in one of the many ALL INCLUSIVE water sports that are at your disposal. If you’re up for more of an action packed holiday then ocean kayaks, snorkelling, hydrobikes, windsurfing, scuba diving, paddle boarding, windsurfing and Hobie Cat (catamaran) rides are all there for you to do as many times as you wish! You can also go on a number of Island Routes tours including mermaid and Sesame Street cruises, reef fishing, submarine adventures and the one that we went on – the Kitty Katt cruise which took us to the most beautiful island only inhabited by iguanas!
Land games – If you’re more of a land lover than a sea dog then there’s a whole host of activities to keep you entertained (if you ever want to get up from your sun lounger) including pool tables, basketball, lawn chess, billiards, table tennis, beach volleyball, soccer, shuffleboards, croquet, tennis, board games and even a fitness centre!
Kids – The fun doesn’t stop at the pool or the beach; Turks and Caicos Beaches resort offers tailor made programs for kids of all ages from newborn up until tweens!
Babies from newborn – 24 months are cared for in a climate-controlled nursery equipped with cots, highchairs, strollers and rocking chairs by certifies Nannies.
Toddlers from three to five years of age can have a blast with activities such as shell collecting, face painting, treasure hunts, magic shows, sand castle building or simply splashing about in the designated toddler pool!
Pre-teens can enjoy sailing, snorkelling, beach soccer, volleyball, swimming, scavenger hunts, glass bottom boat rides, pizza making and reggae jam sessions!
Tweens have their own pizza and soda bars, nightclub with karaoke, boat cruises, water sports, pool olympics, tennis clinics, dance parties and talent shows!
Teens that are just too cool for school have the X-box Play Lounge, DJ Scratch Academy, Trench Town arcade and Club Liquid where no one over 21 is allowed (until later when it’s turned into a real nightclub and the kids are off to bed)!
There is also a Private nanny service at an additional cost which we would have definitely used to be able to have a date night or a bit of chill time by the pool had we stayed for longer. The camp staff and nannies are also trained to work with children with special needs including autism and are able to offer one-to-one support throughout the duration of your stay!
Beaches resorts also offer exclusive Sesame Street themed activities including character breakfasts, parades and stage shows. You can also sign up to sessions with different characters for example Puppet Making with Bert and Ernie, Surprise Tea with Elmo and Abby Cadabby, Baking with Cookie Monster and Bird Watching with Big Bird. You can even have the characters put your little ones to sleep – reading them a bedtime story and tucking them – isn’t that just the cutest!?
Food and drink – Beaches Turks and Caicos has a total of 20 restaurants and 15 bars so you will most certainly never get bored of your dining options! Restaurants are all open to turn up to as you wish except for one – Kimonos which needs to be booked in advance but let me tell you it is worth the phone call! Every restaurant and bar is all inclusive even the branded drinks and the food as well as the service is all 5 star quality! We only experienced a fraction what is on offer but on our break we had takeaway jerk chicken by the pool, local fish in the open air restaurant on the beach, a BBQ beach buffet, tea and cake in the Parisian cafe and even teppanyaki which is the funnest dining experience ever!
We had the best holiday ever with Beaches Turks and Caicos, so much so that we even tried to pay to stay longer but being as popular as it is there wasn’t any availability at the time. I feel like I can always find a fault in a holiday even if it’s something minor but I honestly couldn’t fault a single thing from arrival to departure. The staff are incredible and myself and Pete both commented that they act as though you’ve already tipped them a million dollars – so helpful, friendly and welcoming! We would love to go back to stay for longer as there’s so much we want to experience so we’re currently looking at all of the fab deals on offer over on their website – I even saw a two for one deal the other day which is just incredible!
I feel like I have SO MUCH more to say about our fantastic trip but I don’t want this post to be too long (I think it may already be – sorry!) so if there is anything about our trip that you’d like to know in more detail please do ask below in the comments and I can either answer there or write up another post!
Thank you for reading and of course thank you so so much to Beaches for sending us on the trip of a lifetime – Jasper asks every day when he can go back to Turks and Caicos so it clearly has a huge place in his heart!