Before You Book: 6 Things to Know About Beaches Resorts Vacations

Here's the inside scoop on what a Beaches Resorts vacation is really like.
Beaches Resorts vacation aerial shot of Beaches Turks & Caicos
(Photo: Beaches Resorts/Sandals)

With all-inclusive resorts all over the Caribbean to choose from, what makes Beaches Resorts different? Here’s the scoop on what to expect when you book a Beaches Resort vacation. 

Owned by Sandals, Beaches Resorts are all-inclusive family-friendly (but certainly not exclusively for families) vacation resorts in Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica; and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. All three Caribbean resorts are designed around different themed “villages”,  have water parks and many activities built into the all-inclusive price, and feature options for special events like reunions and weddings. The Jamaica properties are slightly smaller than Beaches Turks and Caicos, which is the newest of the three (for scale, it has a whopping 21 restaurants for guests). Here are six key things to know before booking a Beaches Resorts vacation: 

You Choose Your Own Resort-within-a-Resort

a village at a Beaches Resort
(Photo: Beaches Resorts/Sandals)

Each Beaches Resort has a wide variety of lodging accommodations set in “villages,” groupings of buildings united by a theme that give personality to the different areas within these large resorts. For instance: 

  • The layout of Beaches Ocho Rios, Jamaica, includes Caribbean, French, and Greek villages where the decor and architecture evoke the place after which each village is named. The Caribbean Village surrounds the centerpiece pool, and one side is close to the Water Park and ideal for families. The French and Greek oceanfront villages have immediate access to the beach, with the French offering the quietest setting.
  • All-Jamaican themed villages make up the map at Beaches Negril, Jamaica, and guests will find Reggaeville to be the most lively as it fronts the extensive lazy river. The quietest area is Calypso Village; note there is no pool attached at Calypso, but it does have an expansive beachfront.
  • The layout of Beaches Turks & Caicos includes the peaceful chateau-inspired French Village, with its two restaurants near the pool; the bustling Italian village that’s packed with music, games, and evening entertainment. The Caribbean and Key West villages bookend the resort. Guests traveling without kids might like the Key West Village, as it’s closest to the adult-only pool and adult-only Sky Restaurant. And families should note that the Caribbean Village is close to both the water park and the Kids Camp. 

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Prior to booking, decide what experience you are hoping to have and inquire about the appropriate village. 

All-Inclusive Truly Means All-Inclusive

SCUBA lessons in the pool on a Beaches Resorts vacation
(Photo: Beaches Resorts/Sandals)

Meals at on-site restaurants, most drinks, childcare, all pools, the 40,000-square-foot waterpark, game rooms, most water sports, beach access and chairs—everything you need to enjoy the resort is included at Beaches. 

You could easily spend an entire vacation at a Beaches resort without spending a single extra dollar beyond what you paid for meals and accommodations. You can play, relax, eat and drink to your heart’s content without any extra expense. Even tips are already accounted for and built into the cost of your stay, so there is really no tipping at Beaches (with the exception of Butler service). 

If you are keen to “dial it up” a bit, you can purchase higher-end wines, spa treatments, family photo sessions, private dinners on the beach, and off-property excursions for an extra fee.

Beaches Resorts Cater to Everyone 

Beaches resorts do a good job catering to all traveler types, including bachelorette parties, friend groups, multigenerational families, couples, and reunions. While its parent company, Sandals, hosts couples only, Beaches really is for everyone. Here are a few examples that I saw on my trip: 

  • For active travelers: Beaches’ full menu of included activities will keep active adventurers busy with SCUBA trips, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and catamaran cruises (plus off-site trips for an additional fee). 
  • For couples: Couples, including newlyweds and couples celebrating anniversaries, can reserve sunset dinner in the sand, find a quiet hammock for relaxing with a book, hit a game of golf (in Ocho Rios), or tuck into a beachside cabana (poolside cabanas are for Butler service only). 
  • For family groups: Multigenerational families traveling together can enjoy board games, various restaurants for all dietary needs (7 in Ocho Rios, 10 in Negril, and 21 in Turks and Caicos), kids clubs, great photo ops, and choices, choices, choices for what to do, including organized games by the Activities staff. 

Customer Service Is Prioritized

Excellent customer service is a core part of the Beaches experience. On arrival, guests are greeted with an arrival cocktail and cool washcloth. The lobby areas are dotted with relaxing seating areas and snack trays so if you have to wait, you do so comfortably. At the activities desks, the boat house, bars and restaurants across the resort, staff work hard to meet your needs and accommodate your requests. 

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In my experience at Beaches Turks & Caicos, this attention to customer service was always apparent. I had positive and helpful interactions with every single employee I encountered. One Beaches employee told me that Beaches offers its staff myriad opportunities for professional and personal development, and I could see the resulting high job satisfaction and engagement. Of course, there are thousands of employees working at the larger resorts, so inevitably a guest might encounter an occasional issue. In talking to other guests about their experiences, I heard stories that supported the idea that, when there is an error or issue, Beaches staff makes a significant and immediate attempt to fix the situation, often going above and beyond. 

Water Lovers Have Plenty of Options

With sea and sand as the stars of the show, it’s hard not to be drawn to the Caribbean, lapping waves and year-round warm temperatures that are the hallmarks of Beaches Resorts. Many adults head to Beaches because of the SCUBA and snorkeling; and depending on the resort, you can also find watersports like aqua trikes, hobie cats, kneeboarding, and windsurfing in addition to kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. So whether you plan to relax in the sea (anchored floating rings with cup holders are a hit at Turks & Caicos) or swim and splash, Beaches delivers.

Beaches Resorts Pirate Island Waterpark
(Photo: Beaches Resorts/Sandals)

Beyond the beach, find aqua options like swim-up bars, relaxing hot tubs, and pristine pools. All Beaches resorts have plenty of pool options including adult-only pools, pools with rafts, pools with fountains, small and private hot tubs, and enormous pools for play. 

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For kids, the Pirates Island Waterpark is THE first stop. Depending on the resort, guests young and old might find a surf-training pool, Aqua Play area, 11+ slides of all lengths and speeds, a lazy river, and splash pads galore. Kids will also enjoy the gentle entry at all of the pools, the blow-up rafts available at most pools, and the chance to try sea sports with comfortable life vests. 

Seasonality Determines Pricing 

Like all resorts, pricing varies based on visitor demand and season. You’ll find lower prices and more availability and incentives during the traditional June through November hurricane season, but Beaches also offers deals throughout the year. Keep an eye on its website for up to 65% off discounts, fairly regular 7% off offers, bonuses like free Make a Memory photoshoots, credits toward spa services, and always included post-Covid, Beaches/Sandals Vacation Assurance. 

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Nina Cohen
Nina Cohen is a teacher, parent, traveler, and writer. She’s lived around the world and is an expert on travel to France, Hawaii, and the Boston-DC corridor.

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