I attended Social Media on the Sand conference at Beaches Resort in Turks & Caicos from October 21-25, 2015. I paid an extremely reasonable fee to attend the conference and enjoy the resort, amenities included. The conference literally took place on the sand, in the Treasure beach area. We met in the morning and had most of the day left to enjoy the resort.
I met new digital influencers and reconnected with online friends. I also got to dine at different a la carte restaurants, plunge in the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean, and chill in the cabanas. An online entrepreneur’s job is never done so I also spent time catching up on work in my comfy room in the Caribbean Village. There was a good wifi connection all the way to the beach, so I also did some writing and social media from the shore.
I have been to all-inclusive resorts before where there are surprises when it comes to paying the bill. So I was thankful that I spent no money at all at the resort (this time around I did not shop for souvenirs!).
So whether you are planning on going to Beaches in Turks & Caicos for the next Social Media on the Sand conference or for a family vacation, here are some of the things I absolutely enjoyed about my stay there.
1.- No extra or hidden expenses.- Tipping is not allowed. So unless you buy souvenirs at the stores, book excursions outside the resort or get a spa treatment at Red Lane Spa, everything IS included. The service is friendly and helpful. The resort is so big that I frequently got lost and if I asked for directions I was usually escorted to my destination. You don’t need to carry a wallet or worry about anything other than enjoying yourself. The trip to and from the airport is taken care of with hotel shuttles.
2.- All inclusive a la carte dining.- There are 20 international cuisine restaurants on the grounds. Only one of them, Kimonos, the Japanese restaurant, requires reservations. I dined at several including that one. I ate alone and with peers on different occasions. Both experiences were grand. I remember eating by myself at the British Cricketers pub and oh, the fish and chips were delicious. The mix of British pub fare and Reggae music was great. I also recommend Schooners and Bayside. If you go to Kimonos, you will never forget the singing chefs and the delicious food.
3.- Four resorts to choose from.- My room with a four poster bed (my dream come true) was at Caribbean Village, but you can also stay at the Italian or French Village or the newer Key West area, which is more luxurious and laid back. However, no matter where you stay, you are free to use all the facilities. One day I hung out at Key West because I wanted peace and quiet. Another day I swam by the Pier in front of Caribbean Village. The cabanas there were just perfect.
4.- Something for everyone, really!- If you browse the amenities, every age is covered. From a wading pool for babies to a disco for teens and everything in between. There is a water park where kids just couldn’t get enough of the tall slides. Water sports and snorkeling are also included. You just need to book your activity or if there is low demand for it, pick up your gear at the water activity center and go enjoy your underwater adventures. For the older crowd, once again Key West is calm and serene!
5.- Beautiful without looking artificial.- The architecture, landscaping and beaches are all beautiful. Every resort has its own unique look and feel. Because they all embrace the setting of the Caribbean, there was a more authentic yet luxurious feel to them. It was not overwhelming in the sense of having service on top of you all the time. And yet, if you needed something, it was always readily available.
6.- Great destination wedding location.- I got married at the beach in Sarasota, Florida, where I live, but if I’d planned on a destination wedding, this would be one of my top picks. Why? Everyone attending would find something to enjoy! The backdrop of the pristine turquoise waters would be ideal. And we’d eat, drink and be merry without a care. The older kids would be free to roam the resort and I’d know they’re ok!
7.- In the end it’s all about the beach.- Not all beaches are the same. I live in Sarasota, and the beaches here are fabulous. But at the Turks & Caicos the beach was different.The sand was soft, the water had an appealing turquoise hue and the backdrop of palm trees on the beach reminded me I was not in Sarasota. Also being in an all inclusive resort where you don’t have to think of anything is incredibly liberating. You can just put on a bathing suit and take a walk on the uncrowded beach or go swimming. That’s what made me feel like I was in a real, worry-free destination.