Daily Travel Tips
Weekly Column
Eileens Blog
Travel Diary
In the Media

Featured Savings

Daily Tips

NY Hotel Offers Babymoon Package for Expecting Moms

Apr 27, 2014
The W Hotels of New York have teamed up with pregnancy expert Julia Beck to offer expecting moms the ultimate Babymoon package. Available through October 31

Eileen's Favorites

Calendar of Events

Get out there and have some fun! See family friendly events happening all over the nation in our Calendar of Events.

Passports with Purpose

At the Beaches Turks and Caicos — kids everywhere, and that’s year-round

Kids art project using recycled materials at Beaches Turks and Caicos

Kids art project using recycled materials at Beaches Turks and Caicos

DAY 2 — (TURKS AND CAICOS) — So what if it’s not school vacation?  Beaches, Sandals Family Brand with morning-till night activities and day care for infants, is packed.

In fact, it’s at 100 per cent occupancy—that means some 3,000 guests spread among 783 rooms in the huge (93 acre) beach front complex’s four villages.  That includes 841 kids running, jumping, splashing and sliding down the water slides at the water play area.

There are some people here without kids—including a Michigan grandmother in her 80s who has brought her four adult children and their spouses.  “A wonderful gift,” said daughter-in-law Gwen Hgheys.

Even in early January, nearly a third of this resort’s guests are kids and it’s like that all year round.  Other Turks and Caicos resorts are more like The Somerset, where we’re staying—smaller, condo-type accommodations overlooking the spectacular 12-mile beach, Beaches is family vacation on steroids—all inclusive fun  from parades and shows with the Sesame Street characters .

“I’m having breakfast with Elmo,” three year old Kelly Kane told me excitedly.

Let’s count them: water slides, surf simulators, scuba and snorkeling, 19 restaurants, Pirate Island aqua playground with nine slides, lazy river, surf simulator, water cannons, X-BOX Play Lounge with the latest games, more than a dozen bars, weekly activities including wine and cheese tasting a spa (the West Indian signature massage was excellent) and more.

Key West Luxury Village at Beaches Turks and Caicos

Key West Luxury Village at Beaches Turks and Caicos

If money isn’t an object—I’m talking $30,000 or more a week—opt for a four bedroom villa in Beaches new Key West Village with its own plunge pool and butler who can get you anything you desire at any hour.

I don’t know what they paid but Greg and Lisa Vogel brought her parents and brother and sister in law and their two young kids back to Beaches for a second year, opting for one of the four bedroom units with butler service.

“So worth the money,” said Greg Vogel, from Baltimore.  The couple thought about renting a villa but Lisa Vogel pointed out that caring for two young kids is plenty of work—she didn’t want to be cooking, shopping, much less cleaning up.

“This is no stress,” said Lisa Vogel.  “You tell the butler what you want and they set it all up,” said Greg, playing in the sand with his young son while the baby napped, with grandpa babysitting.

Sure there is plenty of child care, but with six adults to two kids, they prefer to keep the kids with them “We’re on a family vacation,” Lisa Vogel explained.

“We’ve been all over the Caribbean and this is one of the best,” her husband added. “The food isn’t five star but the service is impeccable, down to having sparkling water for Lisa and organic milk for their son in the fridge when they arrived.  As long as you are OK with being around a lot of people…”

Of course all of these activities don’t come cheap.  Even for a family of four, a vacation here can easily top $10,000.

“It is pricey,” said Marcy Kane, three year old Kelly’s mom who is here from Chicago.  “I’m not going to eat or drink that much but the ambiance and the activities are the best.”

The Kanes aren’t even using the kids’ club, opting instead for family activities they can do together “We waited a long time to have Kelly,” Marcy explained.  “This is my time to be a mom… our time to be a family. I came here to see her have fun.  I wouldn’t be comfortable leaving her no matter how good the kids clubs are.”

The club here for the  toddlers is better equipped than many preschools with its own 18 inch pool and sand pit  Other young moms I met said the same thing.  Lujan Fontanella, here with her three kids ages 3, 7 and 11, said: ”We love that it is one price for everything,”  But the kids found the counselors “not so kind,” she said.  “They want to stay with mama.”

That’s the thing about all-inclusives—no matter how good the facilities—and Beaches are among the best—the kids might not want to participate.  “It’s a good vacation,” she said “but overpriced.”

“The beach is beautiful, the food is good for an all inclusive—I used to think I wouldn’t like an all inclusive said Amaya DiGiorgio, here from Toronto with her three year old.  “I have no complaints.”

Another Toronto mom said she wasn’t using the kids clubs either for her two young boys.  Instead they were playing at the water park and on the beach, which means though there is child care until 10 at night, she and her husband aren’t getting much alone time.  “Vacation has a different meaning with young kids,” she laughed.  “This is all for the kids.  It is expensive but you get a lot for your money.”

That’s assuming you use most of what the resort has to offer.

As we were going to dinner at the adults-only Le Petit Chateau, kids were lining up to be part of a show on stage just outside. 

The place — with parents and grandparents strolling everywhere with kids in hand and pushing strollers, lights over the pool, eating — feels a lot like Disneyworld.

Everyone was laughing.    Money well spent.

Beach Vacations, Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , | comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Twitter YouTube Follow us with RSS

Family Travel Guides for Every Season

eNewsletter Archives

Taking the Kids publishes two e-newsletters per month, filled with information and advice for families traveling with children as well as tips on destinations and special travel offers from sponsors.

Find your hotel at the best price
Compare booking sites with trivago!

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Comments:

  • Jamie: Thanks for sharing!
  • jeremiah740: This is great! Thanks for sharing, Eileen. I’m always searching for family travel tips, but tips from the kids? That’s a first for me! A...
  • Susan Symko: Would like to cruise first part of August with three teenagers, 14,16,18. Not a carnival cruise and not a carribean cruise. What are our options?
  • Arleen: I was just wondering about the water system in Riviera Maya. We have a vacation booked and am a little worried with drinking the water with children.
  • Shannon: Our family of 4 (including 2 smaller children) went to Cancun a couple years ago and went here (such a blast); http://www.xplor.travel/
  • Michelle: Can you recommend places to stay in Cancun and things to do? Thanks!
  • Sofia: Oh my god, I don’t like the sound of baby flying through the airplane cabin, thankfully though he/she’s not hurt. This is one of the reasons...