We’ve been wanting to do a big family vacation. Back in 2019, we decided to plan a trip to Turks & Caicos and go to the all-inclusive Beaches Resort. From everything we read, that particular resort was the most family-friendly of them all. That was a huge plus for us as we were also going along with my cousin and her family. We had originally planned to go in June 2020 but due to the coronavirus, we were unable to travel to Turks until 2021.
If you are planning on going, I decided to write a big blog to give you some insight on what to expect should you decide to do the same trip.
To travel to Turks & Caicos, we needed to have everybody over the age of ten take a COVID-19 test within five days of travel. From there, we had to upload our negative test, insurance information, passport to the Turks & Caicos portal and fill out a questionnaire for each person traveling.
Leading up to the trip, we did our best to quarantine and keep our distance. The last thing we wanted was a positive COVID-19 test to force us to postpone again. I remember how stressful it was awaiting the results. It’s probably the most stressful test I’ve awaited since the pregnancy test for my daughter.
Once we uploaded everything, we were told it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours to get an approval from the portal for travel. Our responses came back individually for each person and ranged anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours.
Starting January 26, you’ll need to have a negative COVID test to enter the country. That rule was not in effect when we traveled though.
Arriving at Turks & Caicos
We flew through American Airlines to get to Turks. Our flight was out of Kansas City because it was a significant amount of money saved flying out of MCI than ICT. The route was Kansas City to Miami and then Miami to Turks. The domestic portion of each flight was nearly full while the flights to and from Turks was wide open. Everybody could essentially sit where they wanted.
Upon arriving in Turks, there was a shuttle that took us directly to the resort which was a 10-15 minute ride.
Checking in was super easy. Our original plan was to stay in either the Caribbean village or the French village because it was one of the lower-priced ones. When we arrived, they upgraded our room to the Italian village which included a two-bedroom suite with a first floor walkout right to the main resort’s pool. The room also included concierge service which was great. The suite proved to be super hand and convenient as it was essentially in the middle of the resort with easy walking distance to everything including the beach.
This was essentially the view walking out of our room.
Safety and Cleanliness
After talking to many employees on the resort, I was told Beaches was operating at roughly 25% capacity. It was quite apparent with how empty many of the restaurants and activities were.
Regarding cleanliness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any type of establishment stay on top of things like Beaches did. Everybody was asked to wear masks when indoors. Employees stood at entrances of most places spraying people’s hands with sanitizer as you walked in. Nearly any place that was for kids, they had people walk into the restroom to clean your hands before entering.
Even games for kids had precautions. There was one activity involving a volleyball and tossing it. They sanitized the volleyball between turns. It was incredible.
Child Friendly Activities
One of the big draws was the mini-water resort they had complete with tube rides and slides. It was just a tad smaller than a Great Wolf Lodge. The water resort had a little area Surf Simulator that the adults and kids could try and surf or boogie board on.
Other amenities included a game room with ping pong, pool, shuffleboard and more. We spent a few nights with the kids here. I even ran into a family from Ohio whose name was the same as me. They were avid ping pong players and told me they were the best back at their home. Back in my prime, I thought I was pretty good so I challenged them to a game. I ended up winning two out of three which gave me a huge self-confidence booster. Come to find out my opponent was 11 years old but we won’t let that get in the way of a great story.
Aside from the game room, they also had an X-Box lounge which we didn’t check out along with a nightclub specifically for teens. But because of how slow the resort was, there weren’t many people there.
One amenity we used a few times was Camp Sesame which was a kids camp with certified nannies. If you wanted to do an excursion, grab an adults-only dinner, or do whatever, they were there from morning until evening to watch your kids and keep them engaged.
They even offered babysitting services which we used for two hours one night to go sing some karaoke and grab drinks.
One area that was lacking a little was the adult nightlife. Between the family-friendly resort and the 25% capacity, there just weren’t many adults out at night.
The employees certainly tried though. There were activities every night on the beach. They had a Family Feud night, a Sesame Street party we attended where Bert, Ernie and others danced to music and had contests like limbo, there was a Reggae party, a talent show and more.
A couple of nights, they had karaoke. After a few drinks, I gave in and sang a couple of songs with some staff members.
There was also a nightclub that was open for those who really wanted to stay up.
And the mojitos were amazing. I lost count of how many we had.
Most importantly, how was the beach? My god, it was amazing. The sand was powdery soft. I’ve been to a few resorts in my time and nothing was as soft as the sand in Turks.
The weather was in the 80’s most of the time which made for perfect weather.
The water was so clear as well. At one point we took a boat out to Iguana Island (where a ton of islands live) and it was crazy to see how many different colors of blue the water was. I’ve never seen anything like it; truly breathtaking.
Iguana Island itself was pretty cool. It was a paid excursion set up separate from the resort. From what we gathered, Iguana Island was a little habitat for plants and animals. Nobody lived on the island which was a 30-50 minute boat ride depending on the weather that day. We tried to go visit a ship wreck but were told it was too windy to boat out there.
If you wanted to do something besides just sit on the beach, they had plenty of water activities likes kayaks, windsurfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding that were all free and included.
One thing I have to add is the hospitality. Literally, every single staff member there was incredibly friendly. Anytime you would pass by an employee, they would look you in the eye and greet you. Sometimes, I was taken aback by how amazing the staff was.
There was a strict “no tipping” policy on the resort. I did try to tip multiple employees despite it was they all refused to take it.
Beaches was probably one of the nicest resorts, if not the nicest, we’ve stayed at. It was incredibly clean and professional from the moment we walked on to the moment we left. It’s definitely one of the more expensive Caribbean trips but definitely worth it if you can swing it.
Here’s a small little video I put together that included some drone footage I took.
We were in Turks for about a week. Our original plan was to stay on the resort for most of the time there and then spend it at a little villa off the resort for the final two days. Midway through the trip, we canceled those plans and extended our stay at Beaches until the end.
For more on Beaches, check out their website.
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