The writer with Cookie Monster and Ernie // © 2014 Nila Do Simon
It’s funny how a visit from Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Count Dracula can transform even the most serious adult into a wide-eyed child. That’s exactly what I saw during my recent visit to the brand-new Key West Luxury Village at Beaches Turks and Caicos. The latest addition to Beaches’ all-inclusive resort, the Key West Luxury Village continues the brand’s mission of providing a luxury family experience. And if that means a rendezvous with Big Bird himself, so be it.
I found out quickly that Beaches is not just kid- friendly, the resort is the very definition of family-oriented. Beaches offers countless land and water activities geared toward all ages, cuisine that’s adult- and kid-approved and accommodations that can comfortably fit an entire family.
The resort is part theme park and part arcade. The new SkySlide and Surf Simulator were all the rage with the kids, and a lazy river and swim-up bar complete the resort’s waterpark. Then there’s the Xbox Play Lounge, filled with dozens of consoles and the latest games — pretty much the definition of heaven to my 13-year-old nephew.
Opened on May 22, the Key West Luxury Village joins three other villages at Beaches Turks and Caicos. More than 150 rooms were added, including studios, multi-bedroom suites and spacious villas. Every room in the new village is concierge level or higher, meaning you only need to pick up the phone to request anything, from spa appointments to a tour booking. Twenty rooms in the villas and suites have butler service (the villas include an attached private pool as well).
Kids Come First
I admit, it’s pretty great to see every 2-year-old’s math idol, Count Dracula, strolling the Beaches grounds. “Sesame Street” is in its 10th year of partnering with Beaches to provide the exclusive “Caribbean Adventure With Sesame Street” experience, where kids can enjoy quality time with Big Bird and the gang.
The property also features a teen-only nightclub (no adults allowed, the sign says) and age-specific kid camps. Certified nannies are on site (including those who have experience with special-needs children) to provide personalized attention.
Upon my arrival, I asked a staff member which of the three on-site restaurants I should try first.
He politely smiled, and then kindly corrected me, saying, “Pardon, do you mean which of the 19 restaurants should you try?”
The property features 19 all-inclusive restaurants with their own distinct menus, three of which are found right at Key West Luxury Village. International cuisine options include the teppanyaki-style restaurant Kimonos, the adults-only Le Petit Chateau and kid-approved Bobby Dee. For adults, the entire Beaches property serves premium wines and spirits.
Location, Location, Location
Beyond Beaches’ accommodations and signature service, perhaps its finest feature is its location. Nestled against Grace Bay, the resort has hit a jackpot of pristine water and white sand — the water is a majestic turquoise-green that gets prettier with every glance.
Considered one of the top diving sites in the world, Turks and Caicos has a wide range of reefs and caves. And the best part? All your dive equipment is included in the price.
“All we’re trying to do is connect families,” said Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Beaches. “So we build facilities that bring people together.”
And at Beaches Turks and Caicos, all guests are indeed able to come together — after hanging out with Big Bird first of course.