Beaches Turks & Caicos. The perfect resort with the perfect amenities. See what I learned during my stay as part of Beaches Social Media on the Sand.Beaches Turks & Caicos review - the 10 most important things to know before you go

A week ago, I was enjoying paradise at Beaches Resorts in Turks and Caicos as part of the Beaches Social Media on the Sand Conference (where I received a discounted stay as part of my conference fee). I had an amazing time while there, but there are also some things I wish I’d known ahead of time to make my stay even more magical.

Personally, I can’t wait to go back for so many reasons, and I know I will. If you’re planning your own Beaches vacation, here are 10 things you need to know about the resort before you fly.

Ten Things To Know About Beaches Turks & Caicos

There are four different villages within the Beaches Resort at Turks & Caicos, with the Key West Village being the newest. Each village has a different feel to it, and they are all within walking distance of each other, but they aren’t nearby. I averaged over 20,000 steps per day at Beaches Resorts. If you are traveling with friends, make sure you’re staying in the same village. Each village has its own front desk concierge for check in, although any of them can assist you with any questions you may have. Given the size of the resort, check out the map provided at check in and gain your bearings before you start walking. Although there are plenty of sign posts throughout the resort, they don’t always include the specific location you may be trying to get to.

How to navigate Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches is an all inclusive resort, but there are a few things that aren’t included. All food and beverages are included, with the exception of some bottles of wine at a few restaurants. It is very clear from the menu presented before you order if you are stepping into an “extra” charge. The Red Lane Spa, of course, is not included, nor are the shops within the resort. There is a complimentary snorkeling excursion, but there is also a more extensive excursion for $25 per person. The Island Routes desk also arranges additional excursions for you from submarine tours under water to wildlife preserves and more, with the cost varying per excursion. If you have a C-card, your one and two tank dives are complimentary, but if you are new to diving and getting certified, there is a fee. That said, it is entirely possible to enjoy your stay doing new things nonstop and not spend a dime aside from your room charges.

The resort is cashless. When you check in, you will receive a room key and a second orange card that has your payment information on it. Neither has your name or room number listed on it in case you lose it. Around the resort, if you purchase anything from the shops or use the Red Lane Spa, for example, you present the orange card to pay and then can choose at checkout whether to pay the total amount in cash or via the credit card you left on file. Place your cash and credit cards in your room safe and forget about your money for awhile.

When they say no tipping, they really mean no tipping. You cannot tip waiters or your housekeepers or bartenders or anyone on the resort. It isn’t allowed, and offering to tip them puts them in an awkward position, so please don’t try. If you have received great service, you can instead let the resort management know who was simply outstanding by writing a note with the name of the people who gave you outstanding service and where they work, and that ensures they receive the recognition they deserve.

Bring a pair of pants for men. Although it is warm and tropical, there are some restaurants that require resort evening attire at night that includes pants for men and no t-shirts. We know some people who were turned away from eating there because they hadn’t brought any, but the restaurants that require resort attire are clearly marked within the restaurant information you can pick up when you check in. Currently, those restaurants include Club Liquid, Sopadillas, Turtles Bar, and Le Petit Chateau. There are plenty of other options that are resort casual, however, where you must cover up swimwear and wear shoes.

The only restaurant to require a reservation is Kimonos, a tepanyaki restaurant. You can make reservations only for the current day, but if you forget, they may have openings if you stop by for dinner. All other restaurants are first come, first served. We never had to wait to be seated, but in a more busy time, that is possible. With 20 dining options, you will find somewhere to eat!

You can’t eat everywhere in a four day vacation. But that’s ok, you can try. I hate wasting food, but I also want to try things that I don’t normally eat. Beaches gets that, and I was pleased to see that in general, the portions were fairly small, which meant you could try more foods. I don’t normally eat three or four course dinners, but I was able to order a small appetizer, a small salad, a small main course, and a small dessert and walk away not feeling stuffed. The food portions are designed for tastings. I may or may not have eaten at more than one restaurant in an attempt to experience as much as possible in the time I was there.

Food at Bayside Restaurant at Beaches Turks and Caicos

Yes, you can eat when you arrive late at night. And speaking of dining… there aren’t many flights into and out of Turks & Caicos. If you are on a later flight – currently the two major arrival times are clustered around 2pm and 8:30pm – you won’t arrive at Beaches until close to 9:30 or later. The airport won’t have any food available, and you will likely arrive hungry. The restaurants at Beaches aren’t open late by Chicago standards. Most close at 9:30pm, and the Cricketeer Pub may be open until 2am, but the kitchen closes at 10pm. Instead, head straight for Bobby Dee’s in the French village. It is open until 6am and serves diner food and makes a mean milkshake, too.

When making your flight reservations, do your best to fly in early in the day (that 2pm-ish flight) and leave later in the day. The 9am flight means a 6:30am shuttle to the airport from Beaches, and that’s not my favorite way to end a vacation. Later flights – those leaving from 2pm to 3:30pm have a shuttle at 12:30, which gives you plenty of time in the morning to have breakfast and enjoy the resort one last little bit before heading home and leaving your paradise.

Sunset at Beaches Turks and Caicos

Part of the fun of Beaches is all the included watersports. In the water park, there is a SurfStream surfing simulator that is fun for both kids and adults (more on that later), but there is also activities on the beach from Aqua Trikes to windsurfing to kayaking and more. If you are interested in doing the free snorkeling tour, you can sign up a day in advance. I would highly recommend you do so, as the snorkeling fills up. Additionally, if the water is rough or there are weather issues, for safety reasons, they may also cancel snorkeling (which they did when we were there) so signing up early in your trip so that you don’t miss out on snorkeling is a good idea.

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  • Tara

    great tips! totally agree on not being able to try all the restaurants in one trip, but I look forward to trying the others next time 🙂

    • Michelle

      Thanks, Tara! We did our best to trying as many of them as possible (and a post to come just on restaurants), but 20 restaurants is impressive for a single resort!

  • Excited Mom

    Thank you for your wonderful info. We are going to Beaches next week for Spring Break. I know it will be crowded. But just happy to get away form the snow! I am just curious….Is this one of those resorts where you need to get up at the crack of dawn to save a beach chair? Can you reserve chairs and umbrellas the night before? We are staying in Key West Grande. Traveling with two teens daughters. If you have any other advise I would love to hear.
    Thank you so much!

    • Michelle

      Thanks – I appreciate the feedback. I still need to post about all the dining options and recommendations. Hoping actually to get that up this week. Maybe! When I was there, there were always a TON of chairs. We never had any issues, but it wasn’t truly high season. That said, I know people who have been during high season and not had issues. You can’t reserve chairs the night before, as the staff goes through and cleans everything at night once the pools close down (and set up the cutest little towel displays in the cabanas – make sure you check them out each day). The beach with the chairs and such there were less used even than the pools. You’ll have a blast – wish I were going again, too! Have fun 🙂

  • Sherry

    Great job! Straightforward and a perfect primer & planning tool. I think you will have many new eyes looking at this with the recent emails this week. Hope to see you there in October-I’ll have one of those drinks in your photo, please!

    • Michelle

      Awww, thank you, Sherry! I hope to catch you there again in October. The drinks were great – and I loved how they made the straw sculptures with so many of them. That just made them taste better!

  • tiffany

    Hi Michelle,

    My fiance and I have our hopes set high to visit Turks and Caicos this year most likely in October/Novemeber. Just wondering if the weather is nice then and about what temperatures should we expect? Also, since you’ve walked possibly the whole resort from your comments in your blog, what village did you think was the nicest one to wish to stay at? Im sure they are all beautiful, but which one was more ideal for young couples, closest to activities and restaurants and the water ofcourse?

    • Michelle

      I was there near the end of October, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Not unbearably hot at all but definitely beach weather. I have definitely walked the entire resort. Repeatedly! The villages all have slightly different personalities. The Key West Village is the one we stayed in. It’s probably the quietest village and the one on the far “west” of the resort. The Italian Village and the Carribbean Village are the closest to the water and pools, meaning also the water activities. The restaurants are spread throughout the resort, so you’re always close to one, no matter where you stay. The French Village is set furthest back but has an awesome pool near it and some of the more fun restaurants like Roy’s and such are at the convergence of the last three villages. I would probably recommend the Carribbean Village, with the Italian Village as an almost tied choice. No matter where you stay, you won’t regret it! I hope that helps 🙂

  • Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

    Great tips! My husband and I were just talking about a winter family vaca here!

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

    • Michelle

      Thanks – have a GREAT time (and definitely book it if you can!). It’s paradise. I can’t wait to go back 🙂

  • Lori

    Great tips and very informative. My husband and I are going there the first week of November for our honeymoon. Anything we should know about the weather, ect in November for Turks?

    • Michelle

      So funny you asked this when you did. I was actually just there again WHILE you wrote this. It’s still hot and humid – but in a good way. It was a little rainy while we were there this year (more so than last year where rain would blow in and out like typical tropical 20 minute storms), but only on a couple days. That said, the water has made the mosquitoes more prevalent where we got bit this year but not last. There are golf umbrellas in each room, but I still brought my own umbrella, which was helpful leaving the airport and just because it’s smaller. Pack less than you think you’ll need and enjoy everything you can. I actually have a whole series of posts I need to write based on my last trip. Have a great time – and congrats on your marriage!

  • Stacey

    Thanks for the great info. We are going soon and have never been. About how long time-wise is the walk from the Key West Village to the main pool. We are staying in the Key West Village, that is why I’m asking…..thanks. Oh and which was your favorite restaurant??

    • Michelle

      The fun is that there isn’t a “main pool” as each village has a pool. The French Village pool is one of the larger ones and one where I hung out a lot. My personal favorite restaurant is Soy. It’s amazing there – if you like sushi. I went a second time and need to add a post or two about restaurants and some of the other fun there. Enjoy!!

  • Kishor

    Hi We are just going there next week. Could you please recommend top 5 best restaurants within the resort. My wife is vegetarian. Is there a good options for vegetarians ? Do you have to reserve for restaurants in advance in busy season ? We are staying in Caribbean village. Is it fairly new or looks old like needed renovation ? We are staying for 4 nights. Do you think we will have time to do things outside resort ? Any recommendation for must do things outside resort ?

    • Michelle

      My apologies for the delay in response – I’ve been out of town! If you like dinner and a show, the hibachi dinner at Kimono’s is great (the only restaurant where you need reservations – you can make them the night before), and they do well with vegetarian meals. I’d also recommend Sapodillas, which is super quiet and adults only. Schooners is another of my favorites. It is a seafood restaurant (the crab risotto, yum!), but they have great vegetarian options. Soy is my all time favorite at the resort – the sushi restaurant – which again has vegetarian options. If you can make it there, do! Le Petit Chateau is the French restaurant on site and again does a great job with various dietary needs. The beet (not beef!) carpaccio is fantastic! You really can’t go wrong anywhere, and much of it depends on your personal taste. With regards to outside the resort? There is SO much to do, you won’t need to leave the resort for four days and still won’t experience it all. Take a sailing lesson the Hobie Cats. Kayak, snorkel, swim, relax, etc. If you want to do an excursion, go to Iguana Island. It was the most fascinating place I’ve ever seen! The Caribbean Village will be just fine. I stayed there my last visit, and it was beautiful. Have a wonderful vacation!

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