Beaches also touts a "European Spa." Deb had a swedish massage, but reports that it was fairly superficial. She says she's had much better ones back home.
Turks and Caicos
British West Indies
...a visitor's review
by Carl Wozniak
My family had the opportunity to visit Beaches Resort on the Island of Providenciales ("Provo") in the Turks and Caicos Islands at the end of January, 2001. Beaches is owned by the folks who run Sandals and, unlike the adult-only nature of Sandals, Beaches accomodates and welcomes children.
Throughout this narrative you'll find thumbnail images. Click on any image to see an enlarged version of the picture. Use the "back" button on your browser to return to this page.
We live in the frozen wasteland of northern Michigan, on the shores of Lake Superior. Summer is beautiful here, but winter can get a little long. It's nice to take a warm-weather vacation once a year to break the monotony of the snow.
Deb and I stayed at Sandals Negril a few years back and had an enjoyable time. Beaches is run by the same people, and their website indicated a fair number of kid-friendly ammenities. I'm also a scuba diver, and had heard that the Turks offered some of the best diving in the world.
So we popped the multiple grand for the trip, drove to Chicago (a seven hour ride), and caught a Miami Air flight to Provo.
Provo is a small island with a limited and bumpy road infrastructure. The island is not classically pretty. There are low-lying hills covered with low (10 ft.) impenetratable leafy plants and cacti. The soil is rocky and poor, and rainfall is minimal. All in all, the island reminds me a bit of Aruba.
There is a steady easterly trade wind that blows across the island, making the 80+ degree heat bearable. Most of the resorts are located in the sheltered Grace Bay area on the north side of Provo.
The beaches of Provo are beautiful... covered in soft white sand, and the water is a lovely turquiose. Coral reefs come near shore in many places, and an underwater snorkeling trail is a short walk down the beach from the resort.
People on the island are very friendly and crime is minimal. There are none of the "higglers" so common to the beaches of Jamaica, so you're not being constantly bombarded to buy things. Poverty is certainly evident, but not to the degree found in many of the Caribbean islands.
Beaches is very kid friendly. Our two loved the gameroom. While Ben is an avid Nintendo player back home, he wasn't all that interested in the large Sega Center at the resort. I guess there are better things to do when the weather is beautiful.
The resort has full days of activities for kids from toddlers through teens. Ben and Erica are a bit independent, so they didn't take part in those activities, but a lot of other kids seemed to be enjoying themselves.
And the Answer is....
The kids have voted to go back again next year. Deb wouldn't mind it either. I'm not so sure... I guess I'd like to see all the Caribbean islands before I settle on just one. But I can say that it was a pleasant stay. We were treated very well and the people are friendly. If you're expecting a more typical adults-only Sandals environment, however, be forewarned: there are a lot of kids here.
Still, I had a good time. The diving was fantastic, and the ocean and beach are beautiful. I'd rate it:
8.5 out of 10.