The Italian Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos

But as much as the new family suites are heavenly, the resort’s array of activities, dining options, kids’ camps and delightful surprises are just too tempting to while away the day in the room. A full-on exploration of the resort awaits….

hangin’ Or rather, when you’re with a 4-year-old, a detour straight to the newly expanded Pirates Island Waterpark is actually what’s in order. And this onsite 45,000-sq.-ft. waterpark is definitely not just for kids—this is hangout central for the whole family. Here, there are seven all-new slides, a 650-ft. lazy river, an area for the littlest ones—complete with water cannons, a beached Pirate ship, cranks and sprays—a SurfStream simulator, and more than enough lounge chairs for even multi-generational families to find a space for themselves. There’s even the Octopus swim-up pool bar ideal for tweens. Guests can spend the whole day here, especially when you consider the goodies surrounding the waterpark—there’s Bobby D’s Restaurant, with endless helpings of self-served pizza, hot dogs and ice cream, plus a whole lot more child-friendly food on the menu, not to mention ample servings of cotton candy; the new Trenchtown, with activities for teens and tweens such as laser hockey, foosball, electronic baseball, flat-screen TVs, and plenty of space to just lounge around and make new friends. There’s also the new Xbox 360 Game Garage, a maze of metallic kiosks featuring 26-inch plasma TVs and the latest games from Xbox 360. Also new—and overlooking the waterpark area—is Club Liquid, an under-21, aqua-themed dance club featuring cool blue lights, wave-adorned walls, ultra-modern blindingly white decor, a sunken dance floor, and—the best part—no parents.

Clients who are able to pry their children away from the waterpark area—or for parents with older kids who can get some time to themselves—should definitely make time to hang out by the new Italian Village pool. With its hot tub, swim-up bar with in-water tables, one of the largest zero-entry pool areas we’ve ever seen and the viewing tower lounge over the swim-up bar, recommend clients bask unreservedly in these surroundings. The best part, however, is that due to the pool and deck’s expansive spread, there’s never a feeling of overcrowdedness, adding to that sense of luxury.

And what’s a Caribbean vacation without spending an abundance of time at the beach—especially Grace Bay Beach, with its powder-fine-like sand and piercing turquoise waters that seem fashioned from a Crayola palette. In these crystal-clear waters—the stuff Caribbean vacation dreams are made of—there’s an endless number of watersports activities to choose from, including diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. And that’s all fine and dandy for the bigger kids in the family, but if clients really want to impress the littlest ones, tell them to take them on a kid-friendly morning catamaran ride through the surrounding waters with the Sesame Street crew (recommend those waterproof cameras).

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And if that’s not enough to curb their enthusiasm, there are always the character breakfasts with Zoe, Grover, Ernie, Bert and the rest of the muppets accompanied by a buffet spread with dancing, cheering, music, picture-taking, goodie bags, and a long conga line with newfound friends.

Beaches Turks & Caicos offers a truly infinite number of possibilities to keep every single member of the family cheerful and occupied until it’s time to go back to those Italian Village family suites for a restful night’s sleep…. In fact, Stewart sums it up nicely when he says, “While some resorts consider themselves family-friendly simply because they accept family bookings, Beaches Resorts is expressly designed for the way today’s family live and travel.”

Although, admittedly, the best review of the resort came from this editor’s 4-year-old tag-along “reporter” who, on the evening before departure, when told they were leaving the next morning, began simply to sob. If that’s not a green light for some family-friendly fun, we don’t know what is.

booking it WonderFALL Celebration, an annual fall travel program designed expressly for families with young children, returns this year. Throughout the fall season, Beaches Resorts will roll out the red carpet for tiny tots, complete with special treats and surprises. Families traveling to Beaches Resorts this WonderFALL will enjoy all new activities, including Halloween-themed activities such as a Fall-o-Ween Fun House, trick or treating, costume parties and the premiere of a Fall-o-Ween Stage Show; and even more Sesame Street fun, including the debut of everyone’s favorite number-loving muppet, The Count.