1. You will be treated like royalty from the moment you arrive. Warm towels when you step off the shuttle. Rum punch as you check in. Personal tours on the way to your villa. Stocked fridge. Daily housekeeping, nightly turn-down. Surrounded by lush foliage, clean towels an arms-length away, cool drink in your hand– it will be easy to forget you aren’t members of the royal family. When you get home and back to reality, don’t be surprised if your kids wonder why there’s no towel sculptures on their (unmade) twin beds.
2. There truly is something for everyone. Beaches is a perfect place for multi-generational vacations because there is simply so much to do. In additon to Camp Sesame and the water sports, there’s also a pool for every mood. There’s the French pool which is super luxurious and relaxing, the Italian pool which is fun with music pumping, the Pirate waterpark with waterslides and a lazy river (we had to drag my kids away each time we went), and even the adult-only pool in the Key West Village. Plus about 7 more pools– they were everywhere, so lovely and relaxing! Teens and the young-at-heart can party at Club Liquid, they have an X-Box Lounge and Jungle Room with games too. Plus activities set up all around the resort at various times of the day for all ages, and parties at night–while we were there, a Sesame parade, Beach Party with fireworks, Chocolate Buffet...
3. Camp Sesame and the babysitters are AWESOME. Beaches is such a blessing! We dropped them off one morning at Camp Sesame, where they proceeded to forget all about us. Literally. We went to pick them up and it took 5 minutes before they even noticed we were there– can you blame them, when we were competing with this?
4. Put your money away: Really. Meals. Drinks. Camp Sesame. SCUBA. Snorkeling. Towels. Robes. Drinks. Dessert. Activities. Transportation. Did I mention drinks? It’s all included. At first we tried to tip but it’s simply not allowed. It was incredibly liberating not to worry about tips the entire time. Not for the concierge, the waiters, the cleaning staff, anyone. If you receive excellent service, you can show your appreciate with high survey scores when you return. You’ll start to recognize the staff and by the end don’t be surprised if you’re wishing people goodbye by their first name. The only extras to budget for are off-resort excursions, photo reprints, items from the gift stores, and add-ons like character breakfasts and nightly tuck-ins with the Sesame Characters. We opted not to do the character extras because the kids saw them all the time at Camp Sesame and around the resort, so there was no need for our family. Also babysitting, if you choose to have a private babysitter.
5. Time-Management: You can be as busy or as relaxed as you want. They have snorkeling, SCUBA, sailing, paddle boarding, surfing, and other water sports if you wish. The SCUBA trips are state-of-the-art with everything included. They even have a full day, two dive tour. FOR. FREE. Beaches has unique programs for kids too, getting them in the pool with gear as young as 8 years old in their innovative kids’ SCUBA programs. If those don’t rock your boat (ring your bell?) they also offer incredible off-resort excursions with their Island Routes program, one of the only things that’s not included in your package. This seems more like it’s for people who’ve been there before and are ready to kick it up a notch. On our one free day, we dropped the kids off at Camp Sesame and moved from beach to the French pool to the waterslides for some adult fun!
6. Meals: You can eat anywhere, as many times as you want, almost any time. The only restaurant you’ll need to make reservations for is Kimonos, so if you plan to do that make a reservation your first night to avoid disappointment. A few restaurants are adults only or have a dress code (not fancy, don’t worry!) so ask for a restaurant guide when you arrive. There is also a culinary concierge on hand to meet with and discuss special diet needs.
7. Safety: It felt very, very safe. We were not bothered once on the beach by vendors as we have been in other Caribbean destinations. There are security guards posted at all the beach entrances; not so much because they’re needed, I kind of felt like they were there so people from other resorts didn’t stroll in to take advantage of the amenities. There were security cameras facing out from the back of our villa towards the perimeter of the property– again, not because they felt needed but as a deterrent. You always need to cautious whether you’re on vacation or even at home, but I’ve never felt safer while traveling than when we were staying at Beaches Turks & Caicos.