> Destinations > Turks & Caicos Islands > Trip Reports > Trip Report
Hi all..thought you might want to hear about our pleasures and travails at
Beaches in Turks & Caicos. We just got back from a two week vacation
there..two adults and two teenage boys.
1. The grounds--Its a beautiful property, well maintained, landscaped,
swept, etc. The island is typical desert, pretty flat and arid..the water
supply is mostly cistern and reverse osmosis. Beaches is in two parts, the
older, more expensive sections by the beach, and the French Village which is
set back from the beach a ways. All the buildings are well designed and in
good repair from what we could see.
2. Teen activities--the boys were in teen heaven. It was a terrific
vacation for them, and we saw them only when we were able to pry them away
from their friends and activities there. Beaches has a Sega center with
oodles of machines and games, pool tables, a teen disco, a teen diner
hangout, plus all the rest of the entertainment stuff. There are pools
coming out of your ears. We were a little afraid that the staff wouldn't be
as gracious to them as they would be to adults, but the kids were fine.
They dined alone with absolutely no problem, made reservations, etc.
3. Accommodations--we were in two rooms that were billed as
ocean-view..among the most expensive rooms available. The tiny slice of
ocean we were able to see was NOT worth the extra money. I looked at the
other ocean view rooms after we got there, and none of them was any better.
The room itself was okay, nothing special. The kingsize bed was really a
queen turned sideways, and had a marshmellow mattress that gave both my
husband and myself a backache.
4. Service--very, very uneven. Some of the staff are imports from the
Jamaican Sandals or Beaches, and they were great..many others are less than
adequate. Of the restaurants, only Schooners was consistently wonderful in
terms of service (and food, by the way); the rest deteriorated whenever
things got busy. The front desk personnel were not particularly helpful,
and everyone seemed to have a different idea of what the rules were. The
folks at the beach in charge of the boats, windsurfers, etc., were simply
lazy, and did everything they could to avoid having to teach beginners what
to do. They are mostly kids, with an attitude, and just not into working
very hard apparently. The equipment was okay, but there were not enough
windsurfers and boats to go around, and many of them were in disrepair. When
something broke or needed a replacement part, the staff were inclined to
just beach the item or let it go out again with the broken piece still
there. We didn't dive, but heard from others who did that the diving was
great and the equipment was excellent. I think that the resort's resources
must go into the diving program, with much less attention paid to the other
aspect of water sports.
5. Miscellaneous--some really stupid rules, which would be okay I suppose
if you weren't paying such an enormous amount of money for the vacation.
Checkout time is 11 a.m...if you take the charter flight provided in the
Beaches package, the plane doesn't leave until 5p.m. In our case, the
flight was delayed so we had 7 hours of being essentially homeless. The
resort provides a room to shower in but you are not allowed to "hang out"
Towel policy..you have to hand in a beach towel before they'll give you
another one. What do they think..that you've come this far to steal their
towels? Its fairly ridiculous.
Reservations...the people who do the reservations for Beaches and
Sandals seem to be unable to do anything right. I spent literally hours on
the phone with them trying to get our tickets, vouchers, etc.straightened
out. It got so bad that the lady I was dealing with said she'd write and
make sure we could have a free room upgrade to make up for our
inconvenience. BUT, of course, it was subject to availability and guess
what? there wasn't anything available until just before we were going to
leave..at that point it didn't seem worthwhile to move. Maybe I'm just the
suspicious type, but I must say I didn't totally believe it when they said
nothing was available. We had a very hard time getting a straight story,
and that was typical of our dealings with the front desk people.
General ambiance--we've never gone to a big resort before, having always
preferred renting a villa to anything more formal. So, we came into the
all-inclusive Beaches without anything to compare it with. Even with the
problems that I outlined above, its a pretty spectacular vacation. We
gorged in the restaurants, drank all the liquor we wanted, used the
facilities that we liked, and of course could have used them all. We're not
much for things like games and talent shows, or for late nights in general,
but for those that were, there were things going on every day and night.
>From what I could see, they were fun, and geared to the appropriate age
groups. I'd recommend it with the reservations noted above. Being
inexperienced, I can't really speak to whether it compares well to less
expensive all inclusives that cater to children. I spoke to parents who had
younger children and some seemed happy with the services and some not so
Thanks to Karen for this trip report ...