How to choose the best Beaches Resort, according to real travelers

Should you visit Beaches Turks and Caicos, Beaches Ocho Rios, or Beaches Negril? It depends what kind of vacation you want. Here's how to decide which property is right for you.
Beaches Resorts vacation aerial shot of Beaches Turks & Caicos
Beaches Turks and Caicos (Photo: Beaches Resorts)

I live in a place that gets dark at 4:00 p.m. in the winter. It’s so cold my teeth ache in the short sprint up the driveway to get the mail each day. So, it’s probably no surprise that I spend a lot of time dreaming about white sand beaches and poolside snacks. The only way for me to get through the winter blues is to have a trip planned on the calendar somewhere sunny and warm.

Now that I’ve got a toddler in tow, though, I can’t just pick any resort. As I’ve learned the hard way while vacationing with my toddler, the term “kid-friendly” can mean a whole lot of things, and not all of them relevant for little ones. I’m looking for more than basic accessibility features like stroller ramps and kids menus. I want a resort that truly caters to kids and families so that maybe I’ll get to actually relax and not just stare longingly at my beach chair. (Toddler parents, IYKYK.)

When I thought about where I wanted to take my family this winter, Beaches Resorts immediately came to mind. With Beaches Resorts located in Turks and CaicosOcho Rios, and Negril, Beaches is the Caribbean all-inclusive resort brand for families. With lovely beaches, free water sports, and endless views of the Caribbean Sea, each resort consistently wins awards in multiple categories (and they’re all favorites here at FamilyVacationist, too). 

The question is, how to choose the best Beaches Resort for your family? Here’s what you need to know about Beaches Turks and Caicos, Beaches Negril, and Beaches Ocho Rios in order to decide which one is the best fit for you.

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Beaches Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (Photo: Beaches Turks and Caicos)
Beaches Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (Photo: Beaches Turks and Caicos)

Choose Beaches Turks and Caicos for an all-out all-inclusive vacation

Best Beaches Resort for a luxury vacation with a little bit of everything

Beaches Turks and Caicos is the resort brand’s flagship location, and it’s huge. With 758 rooms situated across more than 95 acres, the resort is a city unto itself. You can choose from 20-plus different restaurants offering everything from classic Caribbean seafood to a hibachi grill and a 1950s diner. 

“What’s amazing about Turks and Caicos is that you can’t even scratch the surface of everything that’s there because there’s just so much to do,” says mom and Houston-based lifestyle content creator Meg Owen, who visited the resort when her youngest was just two months old. “What stood out to me was that most resorts have a requirement for kids club to be three years old and potty trained, but at Beaches, they have a trained staff that will take care of kids of all ages. It means everyone can enjoy the vacation.”

If you’re traveling with a group that has a million different interests, then Turks and Caicos is the place for you. Those who want to relax can hang out at Grace Bay Beach, consistently named one of the best beaches in the world. Those who want to go-go-go can choose from 10 different pools, a sprawling on-site waterpark, lazy river, and any activity you can think of from kayaking and sailing to tennis and a state-of-the-art XBox Play lounge for teens. Little ones can spend time baking cookies with Cookie Monster, Sesame Street bedtime character tuck-ins, or riding a resort-wide choo-choo train. 

With so many options to choose from, you can craft a vacation that suits each individual member of your family. “There’s always something going on. It’s almost like a cruise ship on land, it’s so fun,” says Owen.

aerial view of waterslides, pools, and layout of Beaches Ocho Rios Jamaica all-inclusive resort
Water slides, pools, and layout of Beaches Ocho Rios Jamaica all-inclusive resort (Photo: Beaches)

Choose Beaches Ocho Rios for a all-inclusive fun in a smaller setting

Best Beaches Resort for active families looking for the best of both small and large resorts

At 22 acres and 222 rooms, Beaches Ocho Rios is much smaller than the Turks and Caicos resort, giving you a more intimate vibe without sacrificing the perks you expect from a Beaches experience. While that means fewer on-site amenities, there’s still plenty to go around—the resort offers seven different restaurants, an on-site waterpark, and an award-winning 18-hole golf course.

Price is another factor in Ocho Rios’s favor. The resort has a boutique feel with a five-star experience, but it’s not as expensive as Turks and Caicos. “The resort layout includes Caribbean, French, and Greek villages where the decor and architecture evoke the place after which each village is named,” says FamilyVacationist contributor Nina Cohen. “The Caribbean Village surrounds the centerpiece pool, and one side is close to the resort’s water park.”

“My three kids loved the waterpark and the pools and we had the chance to do some incredible excursions,” adds Owen. “It felt like it was easy because they take care of everything for you, and since activities are broken up by age group, my whole family had something fun to look forward to each day.”

Lazy river at Beaches Negril (Photo: Beaches Resorts)
Lazy river at Beaches Negril (Photo: Beaches Resorts)

Choose Beaches Negril for a laidback all-inclusive experience

Best Beaches Resort for families looking to relax and be together

Beaches Negril is the smallest of the three properties at 20 acres and 197 rooms, perfect for families looking for the perks of all-inclusive stays without going overboard on the all-inclusive vibe. While there’s plenty of activities—including a lazy river, a gaming lounge, and nine restaurants—it’s a much better fit for those families looking for a low-key vacation or who want to spend as much time as possible at Negril’s gorgeous Seven Mile Beach.

“I’ve stayed at resorts where I keep getting lost until my departure day, but thankfully this didn’t happen at Beaches Negril,” says Alison Tibaldi, a FamilyVacationist contributor who visited Beaches Negril on a family vacation. “The straightforward layout makes it easy to get your bearings and the lush landscaping looks like a botanical garden. The wide beach is a beauty, too, with calm waters and a gentle slope for easy entry.”

A recent renovation means brand-new amenities and room options, like more house-like accommodations available that include fully equipped kitchens, rooftop terraces, grills, and private pools. “My family and I stayed in one of the Eventide Penthouse Collection’s six suites,” adds Tibaldi, who notes that the three- to four-bedroom accommodations “offer space and privacy in perfect proportion.”

Beaches Resorts vacation on the beach in Turks & Caicos
Grace Bay Beach at Beaches Turks and Caicos is one of the best beaches in the world (Photo: Beaches Resorts)

Beaches Turks and Caicos vs. Beaches Ocho Rios vs. Beaches Negril: Which to choose?

When it comes to choosing between Beaches Turks and Caicos, Beaches Ocho Rios, and Beaches Negril, you’ll need to ask yourself what you really out of your family vacation. Are you looking for a trip with lots of options (Turks and Caicos), just to relax (Negril), or a little bit of both (Ocho Rios)?

Bringing kids along doesn’t always say “relax,” but the staff at Beaches makes it possible with top-notch childcare at all three resorts. Says Owen, “My one piece of advice for a Beaches vacation is to not feel guilty about sending your kids to kids club, because they do it so well. My kids are still talking about how much fun they had, and then you get to relax, too.”

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Kayla Voigt
Always in search of adventure, Kayla Voigt hails from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the start of the Boston Marathon. You can usually find her at the summit of a mountain or digging into a big bowl of pasta.