Honeymooning at Beaches Turks & Caicos | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

There are so, so many reasons as to why we keep wanting to go back to Sandals Resorts and it’s not just because they’re constantly topping the charts as the best honeymoon and best luxury all inclusive in the world {for over seven years running}. And it’s not just because Grace Bay in the Turks & Caicos islands has been voted as the best beach in the world {!}. Although of course that certainly played a part. But I think the biggest reason is because we believe that these are truly the happiest places on earth and make for such a special honeymoon. This time around we were staying at Beaches Turks & Caicos, Sandals family version of their luxury all inclusive Caribbean resorts. We loved Emerald Bay in the Bahamas so much last time and kept hearing that the beaches in Turks and Caicos was most alike. Despite the fact that this resort is super family friendly and Sandals had set the bar stupidly high on our last trip, Beaches was better than Emerald Bay, and in fact better in more ways than we could imagine. So much so that any future trips will have a lot to live up to. If you’re considering this for your honeymoon then you really won’t regret it.

You know that cliche that marketing departments always use where ‘there’s something for everyone?’. Beaches is the only place I’ve ever known that be true. Whether you’re a couple who loves lots of activities and things going on, a family with children of any age, an older couple who want a complete chill out with really good food, whether you’re a big buzzy pool lover with swim up bars, or maybe you prefer something quieter, a beach lover, a water sports enthusiast, a diver, a theatre lover, I could go on and on. You can make Beaches totally your own trip. And ask for pretty much anything you like. Your wish is their command {especially if you have a Butler!}

The Turks & Caicos are a group of islands situated between the Bahamas and the Caribbean. The journey there was straightforward, we took BA flights from Gatwick direct to Providenciales with just an hour’s touchdown on the island of Antigua. You stay on the plane during this time so it doesn’t feel like an indirect flight. Or you can fly indirect via Miami. From Provo airport as it’s known by locals, it’s just a 10 minute drive to the resort which is included in your booking {a huge plus after a longish flight, some Caribbean resorts can be hours away from the airport on bumpy roads}. And then we had arrived in paradise!

I must admit, before visiting I was slightly overwhelmed by the size of the resort. We tend to opt for small boutiquey resorts, often without kids, this looked huge. Would we find it too big? There are twenty one restaurants and four ‘villages’ for a start. But actually now I feel that going back to smaller resorts will feel too restrictive. At Beaches, you’ve got the option of making it small scale if you prefer, sticking to one village, one pool, a few restaurants. But the beauty of being on a resort that at times feels like a small town is that you never get bored. And despite the amount of rooms, you never feel crowded. The resort was at near full capacity during our stay {we like many of others had been rescheduled after hurricane Irma hit in September closing the resort for 3 months whilst they refurbished everything – side note, it feels brand brand new now and return visitors said that it’s now better than before}. Yet we never had to wait to get into a restaurant and you could always have your pick of the beach or pool loungers with plenty of umbrellas and beach cabanas for all.

Our favourite pool areas were the quieter ones around the Key West village, some are adults only, but the best one looks out across the beach next to Bayside. There are four other much larger pools with swim-up bars but we found these a little too loud for the relaxation we wanted. But you have the choice to find a vibe that suits you. You can’t miss swimming in the ocean here though too.

The vibe is completely laid back and whilst you know you’re in Turks & Caicos you feel at times like you could be in America {which I personally love} because of that fun, relaxed feel. You can get dressed up for the restaurants in the evening, yet there aren’t stuffy strict dress codes like you have across much of the Indian Ocean for example. It’s laid back island luxury at its finest. Being an all inclusive and having a no tipping rule across all the staff {with the exception of butler service and the spa} helps keep things stress free too. Every single member of staff that we crossed during our stay couldn’t be have been more friendly, and the resort itself was pristine. The grounds so lush and beautiful with palm trees and tropical flowers dancing in the breeze. In the mornings and evenings the sky turned the prettiest shades of pink. I loved the beachy boardwalks.

// Key West Village;

With the four villages to choose between accommodation wise, it can feel like four mini resorts but with the benefit of one large overarching one. It can be hard to choose where to stay. We stayed in the Italian village with a beach view concierge level suite and loved waking up to hear the ocean. It was mid placed for both the pools and beach. The Key West village {photos above} was my very favourite – especially design wise, I loved the pretty coloured buildings and Florida keys style vibe. This is the newest part of the resort and it’s quiet and feels very island appropriate and quiet. It’s furthest right as you look at the ocean but has 3 of our favourite restaurants in it.

I don’t think there’s a single bad location as the resort, pools and restaurants are all spread out across the four but if you like the beach, the French village is located furthest from this at the back {and is next to the water park} so maybe avoid that. The Caribbean part has some of the oldest rooms so I’d say to stick with either the Italian or Key West. The room levels vary in each village but there’s a great guide online here to see all of the different categories.

// The Caribbean village ;

// The French Village;

Some are butler serviced {we had a butler in both the previous Sandals resorts we stayed in which was amazing especially for organising dinner reservations at those resorts but since we didn’t need any here, we didn’t notice not having one on this trip}. It is cool alas seeing them cycling around with their phones and drink orders, and they set up beach or pool cabanas for you with coolers. I guess it depends on budget. It would make your honeymoon even more memorable but you’d be totally fine without one {and there are staff that come round the beaches and pools asking if you’d like a drink}.

The food & drink are a huge focus here as mentioned previously with the 21 restaurants and two food trucks {super fun new additions}. Sometimes all inclusive can get a bad rep but year after year the Sandals and Beaches group are consistently awarded for the best of the best in this field. The quality is sky high. The Caribbean isn’t always know for its food, or service, but at Beaches we found the food to be really, really good not just for Caribbean standards but top American/international. I could talk all day about the different dining options. Again, there’s something for everyone. Apart from the theatrical Teppanyaki restaurant there are no need to make reservations, keeping everything stress free, meaning you can go wherever you fancy. If you want sushi from Soy to start with then you can visit there then go to another restaurant. Or pick up take out from any of the restaurants. The options are endless and you can have a lot of fun trying a bit of everything both from the a la carte restaurants or the buffets. Our particular favourites were Sky up on the open air roof looking down onto the beach below – especially at sunset, the Jerk Shack for really authentic jerk chicken/fish {with sweet potato fries I’ve been craving ever since we left} eaten at picnic tables on the sand and Sapodilla’s for lobster. There are both fancy restaurants like Le Petit Chateau in the French Village and Taco/Smoothie stands by the beach {with the best bbq pulled pork}. We also loved the Barefoot restaurant where your feet are literally in the sand along with the private candlelit dinners on the beach you can arrange.

The hammock outside the jerk shack. Island life!

The breakfast view from Sky, an a la carte restaurant. There are around 5 different restaurants to pick just for breakfast!

Sunset at Sky.

Barefoot on the Beach restaurant.

Really, we couldn’t fault any food we had, everything so delicious and cooked to perfection. It was all super fresh and there was plenty of health in the form of fresh fruit, seafood and salad bars to mix in with visits to the Mac n Cheese truck { a whole menu devoted to Mac & Cheese!} or Cafe de Paris {the French patisserie and coffee shop}.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with all inclusive resorts or not. I think we’ve only ever been to one before which was Sandals Emerald Bay a couple of years back so it took us a day or so to actually compute that the mini bar is unlimited as is asking for bottles of fizz/wine at any bar, or trips to the ice cream place or breakfast at more than one restaurant. Allll completely unlimited. If you want pizza at 11am or 10 cocktails on the beach, you’ve got it! If you can’t go mad on your honeymoon then when can you? During our stay they added a frozen yogurt and milkshake vintage VW camper van which was, almost literally, the icing on the cake.

We needn’t have worried about the family friendly resort and having children running everywhere. They didn’t bother us at all. There’s enough space and adult only areas to make this a honeymoon resort and unlike other places that we’ve visited, you can’t not be happy here so there were no toddler tantrums. If you do have children it would of course make for an ideal familymoon. I wasn’t a huge fan of the water park or Xbox gaming lounge {although the occasional Sesame Street character wandering around made us laugh} but as I said you make this resort as you want it to be so you can just avoid these areas if you wish. I kept thinking though how if you had children they would never want to leave this place. Unlimited water park and ice cream? It’s like all their dreams have come true. I found there were a real mix of clientele during our trip, lots of families yes {often with grandparents attached which I thought was really sweet and in the future I could imagine coming back after a honeymoon here with your family} but also a lot of couples across all different age ranges. Some honeymooning, some just back here year after year. Beaches and Sandals really credit you for being a returning guest with their rewards program across all resorts.

We tended to start our days with a beach walk, Beaches is situated in the middle of the the famous Grace bay so you can walk for miles either way along the powder white sandy shore before choosing a restaurant for breakfast, an area of the beach before lunch and then a pool for the afternoon. The sea was the most turquoise and clear I’ve ever seen, it rivals even the Maldives. It was definitely the best beach we’ve ever visited, the awards are all true! The ocean seemed to get more blue & sparkly every single day, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. You have to visit just to walk on the powder, almost floury sand. It’s a honeymooners dream.

One afternoon we went snorkelling, there are both free boat trips or you can go straight from the beach and see turtles, barracudas and rays to name a few. Aside from a couple of mornings at the gym/some beach strolls we were happy doing very little aside from soaking it all up. But another morning we went out on a little laser sailing boat with a skipper {again all included} and a glass bottom boat. There’s even unlimited scuba diving included, the coral reefs just off the beach are known to host some of the best marine life in the world.

In the evenings you can choose to have romantic beach walks and quiet candlelit dinners, maybe stopping by the fire pits to listen to the live acoustic performances. Or you can go and watch an open air show like the Lion King or stop by the bonfire and marshmallow pit. On Friday’s there’s a big Beach Party, on Wednesday nights a traditional Caribbean Fish Fry. Beaches literally think of everything to make your dream trip.

As we were leaving the bellman asked if this has been our first trip to beaches? Yes we nodded, sad to be leaving this utopia behind. ‘It won’t be your last’ he said. And I’m pretty sure of that indeed.

I’ve talked before about wedding-moons in this post at another Sandals resort, the package has now been rebranded as Aisle to Isle and is better than ever. We saw a few weddings during our stay {one being filmed for an American tv show} that looked incredible, I was seriously impressed. It was like Pinterest had come to life. You can find out more about the weddings on offer here.

You can find more about all of the above and details to book at Beaches Turks & Caicos here.

// When to visit?

Year round really but the driest months without any hurricane risks are from December – August. February, March, April and May are particularly good times. You’ll get the best prices from September-November though although there is that hurricane risk.

// What to pack?

Resortwear aka beach cover ups/dresses to slip on for breakfast and lunch. We barely wore shoes for the whole week but pack some pretty sandals or wedges for dinner. Most restaurants are ‘resort casual’ which means men can wear shorts but a few require a collared shirt/polo or smarter and trousers. Although we found this to pretty lax. You’ll be given unlimited Red Lane body wash/shampoo/conditioner during your stay so only bring your favourites. And sun cream of course, the sun is super strong here. Perfect for tanning!

// Extra tips. Consider joining the ‘Beaches Turks & Caicos Fans Official’ page on Facebook. Very American in character but I really love how everybody feels so strongly about how much they love Beaches and they all offer advice on which room to pick or their favourite restaurants etc. It’s super helpful!

// A little video

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClT6lPqHOwE&w=560&h=315]

 

{I was a guest of Beaches Turks & Caicos but as ever, we really work hard to only pick the resorts that we truly love. All opinions are 100% my own}

No Comments

Leave a comment

You gotta do it so I know you\'re real! *