When planning a family vacation in the Caribbean, you may come across Beaches Resorts and wonder to yourself, “What are Beaches Resorts?” If you are familiar with cruises, where all of your meals and most on-ship activities are included, know that Beaches is similar — except you are in a beach hotel rather than on a ship and everything (even alcoholic drinks) is included. If you like to keep your feet on the ground (or splashing in the water) and your cash in your wallet on vacation, then Beaches is for you! (Psst ... just in time for your next vacation, your favorite frogs have special offers on Beaches and Sandals Resorts!)
Whether your kids are into sports, adventure, Sesame Street, water parks or gaming, they'll find something they love at Beaches. Parents will love the family time, as well as the opportunity to sneak away for some romantic moments or scuba dive while the kids are occupied.
What Are Beaches Family Resorts?
Beaches is the ultimate family all-inclusive luxury resort. What's included in a Beaches vacation? Everything is included.
It doesn’t matter if you have the biggest suite or the most budget-friendly room, all of your meals, drinks, airport transfers, Wi-Fi, water sports, land sports, water parks, kid programming and even daycare is included. One concept my husband, Leap, really loves is no tipping. You can leave your wallet in the safe because not only will you not be purchasing drinks, activities or snacks separately, you also cannot tip the employees for their good service (and BTW, the service is excellent).
Oh, and if you are looking to get married, or maybe renew some vows, you get a free wedding with stays three nights or longer! We are not naming names, but perhaps you've visited other all-inclusive resorts and were not impressed. Beaches is different and is a much higher quality all-inclusive than some other properties.
Where Are Beaches Resorts Located?
There are currently three Beaches Resorts: one in Turks and Caicos and two in Jamaica at Ocho Rios and Negril. All Beaches properties are located on beautiful white-sand beaches and have multiple pools and a water park. We have a whole post on how to choose a Beaches Resort to guide you in planning. Spoiler alert: there's no bad choice, but one resort may appeal to your family more than the others.
Have you heard the frogciting news? Beaches has announced two future Beaches properties! Beaches Runaway Bay will be a third Jamaica location, located between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. This resort will feature dedicated wellness areas and new activities such as skateboarding, bike trails, a climbable treehouse and have access to 18-hole championship Runaway Bay Golf Club. The other upcoming location is in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its 40 lush acres are hugged by the Caribbean Sea and nestled within a mountain range and neighboring rainforest. We are hopping with excitement to hear more details and future opening date.
What Activities Are Available at Beaches?
If you asked the tadpoles about their favorite part of Beaches, they’d tell you the Pirate Island water parks! And I have to say, it’s pretty relaxing to float around in a lazy river while in the Caribbean. Each Beaches Resort has waterslides, and Beaches Turks and Caicos has the only surf simulator in the Caribbean. The water slides have a height requirement of 42 inches (about 1 meter). But there are many included activities at Beaches.
If you love water sports, you have so many fun choices at Beaches, including scuba for certified divers, snorkeling, kayaks, aqua trikes, windsurfing, Hobie Cats and paddleboards. At Negril and Ocho Rios, you can enjoy motorized water sports, as well. You can go tubing, waterskiing, wakeboarding or kneeboarding. Some resorts offer glass-bottom boats so you can see the coral reefs and tropical fish without even getting wet! Each resort has multiple pools (and even swim-up bars). And, of course, Caribbean sea water is so beautiful and warm!
In terms of land sports, you can hop in a game of beach volleyball, shoot some hoops, play tennis, throw darts, land chess or even go miniature golfing at some resorts. The land sports do vary per resort. At the Jamaica locations, golf lovers can take a swing at the Sandals Golf & Country Club. Greens fees are included. Transfers are included at Ocho Rios (which is about a 30-minute drive) but are an additional cost from Negril (which is a three-hour drive). Caddies are mandatory and not included and carts are extra. Resorts also offer state-of-the-art fitness centers.
As far as entertainment during a family vacay at Beaches, think beach parties, live shows themed nights, piano bars, cocktail parties, nightclubs, Sesame Street parades, kid shows, bonfires, dive-in movies, live bands, talent shows and special events. There's no shortage of things to do on a Beaches family vacation! Gamers will hit play at the Xbox Play Lounge and teens will chill out at their own teen night club, with special activities just for them. Your smallest tadpoles can get into the Caribbean spirit with their Sesame Street pals, who appear in character parades, stage shows and other activities. Of course, you are welcome to relax on a lounge chair at a pool or on the gorgeous beach any time.
What Is Beaches Daycare and Kids Camp?
Your tadpoles will think they are going to Kids Camp for them, but you know it’s for you. If you want to take a break from watching the kids in a pool or go for a dive or snorkel trip, you can leave your little ones (ages newborn and up) in the very capable hands of the nannies at daycare or Kids Camp. Looking for a romantic date night for you and your partner? Feed the tadpoles at a kid-friendly restaurant and drop them off at Kids Camp for entertainment just for them while you enjoy dinner at an adult restaurant. Send your teen off for some somewhat-supervised fun where they can meet other teens.
The Kids Club really sets Beaches apart from other hotels. It’s all included. Hours can vary per resort but may be available from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Program activities vary per age group, and your kids will be jumping to tell you about their adventures when you pick them up. Private childcare and a one-on-one Beaches Buddy (for children with special needs) are also available for a fee. We offer some tips for taking toddlers to Beaches (from our own experience).
What Is Dining Like at Beaches Resorts?
Each Beaches Resort has a number of restaurants to choose from. Turks & Caicos is the biggest with 24 restaurants, while Negril has nine and Ocho Rios has seven restaurants. You’ll find something for everyone in your family, picky eaters included. I think my tween, Tad, lived off unlimited pizza and french fries with some occasional ice cream and soda from the swim-up soda bar! There’s a variety of cuisines and meal choices. You can have all of the servings you want! You can even catch the food trucks at the Turks and Caicos water park.
Contact the resort at least a month in advance for special dietary restrictions or allergies. A few fine-dining restaurants may have evening dress codes, so bring some sundresses for the ladies and slacks and dress shirts (even a golf shirt will do) for men. No flip-flops are allowed in these dining experiences, but sandals are fine.
How Much Does Beaches Cost?
Beaches has a cost per person, per night. Adults cost more than children. A lot can affect your cost, such as the season you visit, the room type you choose and the resort you choose. The basic Luxury level room is the most affordable. Club-level rooms cost more and include concierge services. The most expensive accommodations are the Together Nest rooms with Butler Service. Note that kids 16 and up are charged the adult price. Ribbiting news! Your favorite Caribbean amphibians (that's us frogs!) have hopped into booking Beaches vacations so we can save you a lot of money on your trip! Ribbit! While the cost per trip may vary, one thing remains the same: A Beaches vacation is all-inclusive!
What Is Not Included at Beaches?
The only things that are optional and have an additional charge on a Beaches family vacation are excursions or spa treatments. There are some additional VIP Sesame Street experiences if you need some special one-on-one time outside the normal programming. Private childcare also has a separate fee. As mentioned, golf can add some minor fees. The only exception to the no tipping rule is if you have butler service with your room. You may tip butlers and spa therapists at your discretion. But that’s it. Other employees may not accept gratuities. If an add-on excites you, go for it. But you can have a frogtastic vacation without any add-ons.
Your Beaches vacation includes scuba diving. However, if you are not a certified diver, you will have to pay a $120 fee for a three-hour resort scuba course. Then all of your diving is free, though you will have shallower dives than the certified divers. You can also get scuba certified on your trip. You can sign up for these courses in advance before you travel. Certified divers should bring dive cards to access full diving benefits. All certified divers are required to do a scuba orientation on the day of arrival.
What If I Don’t Have Kids?
You do not need kids to have fun at Beaches, but if you want a quiet and romantic getaway, you might consider Sandals. Beaches’ sister resort is Sandals, which is an adults-only, couples-only, all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. It’s just for couples and that makes it a popular honeymoon destination. But if you aren’t in a relationship, Beaches is the right choice for all ages and makes a great getaway for anyone, including singles and people traveling with friends or extended family.
Do I Need a COVID Test?
Traveling during a pandemic calls for some extra precautions. Since the situation is rapidly changing, hop over to this COVID travel advisories link for the latest news from Beaches in terms of safety protocols and COVID testing, as well as requirements to enter Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, the United States and Canada.
Hopfully, we've answered your basic questions about Beaches. But if you still want to know more, please let us know in the comments section below. We are so hopping excited to be offering discounts on Beaches vacations!
Related: Insider Tips for a Frogtastically Good Time at Beaches Resorts