You might have noticed the blog has been a bit quiet in the last two weeks (actually, you probably haven’t noticed. Who do I think I am? Zoella?)
I’ve been away in the Caribbean, at the Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. I’m writing this a day after we returned home and I’m so so sad to have left the white sand and turquoise sea behind.
I’d never been to the Caribbean before, unless you count a day trip to the Bahamas when I was 10 (which I don’t) and I know I’ll be back. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to describe how fantastic a resort Beaches is – I went with fellow Space In Your Case family travel blogger Katie and as we walked around the resort, we discussed how magical it was and how hard it would be to put into words. It was such a perfect mix of family time and relaxation – hanging out with the four-year-old (and Katie’s two gorgeous girls Mads and LL) having fun in the sun.
I’ll be writing a full review of the resort but before I do, I wanted to focus on the elements that make it so special for parents.
1. The ahh-mazing activities for kids – seriously, there is so much to do that we didn’t fit everything into a week. From snorkelling to baking and from pool games to tie dying t-shirts, there is an incredible number of fun things for the smalls to do. Oh and there’s an actual water park on-site. This was definitely the four-year-old’s favourite thing of the holiday – she must have gone down the yellow slide with Mr P at least 20 times.
2. Sesame Street. The resort has an affiliation with Sesame Street which means there are regular stage shows by the characters and you often see them doing ‘walk arounds’ (times are available so you can make sure you don’t miss your favourites). There are also special extras you can book, like getting your child’s favourite character to tuck them into bed (we had Elmo tuck in the four-year-old and it was FAB!), going on a catamaran cruise with Elmo and Zoe, and a character breakfast where they all come around to meet you while you munch on pancakes and bacon. It’s so so special to see your kids get excited to meet their idols and the characters are very good at interacting with the kids. One little boy fell over near Elmo, and Elmo got up and went over to hug him better.
3. The free kids’ clubs. Under 5s go to Camp Sesame, where (yes, you guessed it) all of the activities are Sesame Street themed. The characters make a regular appearance there too, and get involved in activities like Bird Watching with Big Bird or cookie making with Cookie Monster. Older kids go to Pirate Island kids’ club while Tweens and teens have a cooler hangout club where they can play on an X Box and learn to DJ. You can drop them off for half an hour, an hour, a few hours, whatever you like! Brilliantly, the kids’ club is open until 10pm (they watch a movie and can fall asleep if they want to) meaning you can pop them in and head out for a grown up dinner. Or you can hire a nanny for $15 an hour.
We mostly drank strawberry daiquiris while the kids were in the kids’ club!
4. The adults only restaurants. Yes, once you’ve popped your child into a kids’ club of an evening, you can head off to one of the adults only restaurants. My top pick would be the Sky Lounge in the Key West village. We went there for breakfast twice (see the amazing omelette and hash brown below…) and it’s such a chic restaurant and overlooks the sea. Having some grown up time is so important and brilliantly, Beaches have thought about this when planning the resort.
5. The well designed rooms. With the exception of a few standard double rooms, most of the accommodation at Beaches, Turks and Caicos have separate sleeping areas/rooms for the kids. Our room (a sea view family suite in the Italian village) had a separate area with bunk beds (and trundle, in case you have three kids) and its own TV and X Box, with an all-important sliding door which separated it from the rest of the room. This means that when it’s the kids’ bedtime, you can tuck them in and still enjoy a glass of wine and hang out on your balcony, or just watch TV and read, without worrying about waking them up. So so important on a family holiday.
6. The range of activities for grown ups. Fancy a spa treatment? No problem. A work out in an air conditioned gym? A sunset catamaran cruise? How about learning to scuba dive? Or just hanging out by a fire pit with a glass of Californian wine? There are so many things adults can do here, once you drop your kids off at the kids’ club. We only used the kids’ club for a couple of hours on two days but it was enough to recharge the batteries.
Massive thanks to Beaches for inviting me to stay for the week, for the purpose of this post and others which will appear soon. For details on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.