Last month my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary! We knew we wanted to take a trip to celebrate, and it just so happened that the Social Media on the Sand conference (also known as #BeachesMoms and #BeachesDads) was being held the week before our special day. AND it just so happened that I got a coveted invite! So the plan was set- fly to the Caribbean, attend the conference, and celebrate our anniversary in paradise!
The conference took place at the Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands, so we made sure our passports were in order (you need them to return to the US!), set up an elaborate system of babysitters, and jetted off on our adventure.
We arrived at the resort in the evening so we didn’t have much of a chance to explore until the next morning. We decided to have breakfast at Barefoot By The Sea, one of the 19 onsite restaurants.
Now if you didn’t already know, Beaches is “all-inclusive.” Yep, that means once you get there, all of your meals and most land and sea activities are free! You are not even allowed to tip. You can seriously arrive there and never touch your wallet until you are headed home. There are some premium activities such as scuba diving and spa services that cost extra, if you choose to add those. We chose to do a candlelight dinner on the beach, to celebrate our anniversary, but that deserves its own post, so more about that later!
Yep, we had breakfast with our feet in the sand, literally. We came back here on another night to have “second dinner.” Look, when it’s all inclusive, you eat as many meals as you can fit in!
One thing I noticed was that the restaurants don’t have huge menus. They generally offer 6-10 meal options at each location, but there are a wide range of cuisines to choose from. And any time we had a special request, it was generously granted.
Our favorite restaurants were Barefoot By The Sea (for the ability to eat with our feet in the sand), Reflections (for their huge breakfast buffet), Bella Napoli (for their delicious pizzas), and Sky (for the gorgeous sunset view). Shout out to Bobby Dee’s who always had delicious sugar cookies ready to grab-and-go at any hour!
On our first afternoon, we wanted to go sailing, but there was no wind! So instead we hit the beach. And just look at that beach…
The gorgeous turquoise waters you see in Beaches’ promo pictures are no exaggeration. The water is really that beautiful, the sand is really that soft, and the year-round temperature is perfect.
We had a great afternoon swimming in the water, sitting at the water’s edge letting the waves hit us, and reclining in the lounge chairs set up on the beach. There are so many activities to keep you busy at Beaches, but one of our favorites was just hanging out on the beach, soaking up the sun and the surf.
And although the beach was wonderful, we definitely wanted to hit some of the pools! The resort is divided into four villages: French, Italian, Caribbean, and Key West, and each village has elaborate pools with swim-up bars, hot tubs, and more. Our favorite pool was part of the Caribbean Village, which had a swim-thru cave and a bridge.
Twice we went swimming in this pool, then swam under the bridge to the swim-up bar, ordered drinks, and took them into the hot tub. Enjoying a delicious drink in a hot tub with my husband is one of those bucket list items that I’d like to check off again and again!
On a couple of other occasions, we stopped by one of the resort’s bars on the way back to our room and enjoyed our drinks on our patio! For the record, we don’t drink alcohol, so we were enjoying smoothies and sodas, but all drinks at the resort are free!
We spent some time just walking around the resort and taking in the sights. There are hammocks all over, so we spent some time sharing one and enjoying the sunshine!
You could spend all day exploring the resort and finding all the special spots. I love the gazebo below- perfect for a wedding, and we saw more than one happening while we were there!
The French Village was very picturesque, and a little quieter than the other villages. I loved the colorful buildings.
One morning we got up early for aqua aerobics at the French Village pool, complete with rainbow!
While walking in the French Village, we came upon one of the lawn chess sets and played a quick game. I took Daniel’s queen early on, but he ended up victorious (he destroyed me)!
Our room was in the Caribbean Village, and it was a very pretty room, with a four-poster King bed and a trundle bed (in the pic below) which could have slept two more people, but we mostly used it to store our luggage! There was also a small fridge that was kept stocked with water and sodas. Our room was plenty comfortable for us, but I would definitely be interested in upgrading on another visit, as some suites have full size kitchens and jacuzzi tubs!
On our second afternoon, the wind was on our side, and we were able to go sailing! The resort has several Hobie Cats (small sailboats) that you can take out with an instructor, or alone if you have experience. Luckily my husband has sailed much larger boats, so we were able to go out just the two of us.
I had never been sailing before, and I loved every second of it! Flying across the waves in the sunshine, with the beautiful surroundings…there’s just nothing like it.
We got to go sailing together twice, and Daniel went once on his own while I was in a conference session, and it was probably our favorite activity from the whole trip. I even took control once!
If you love the nightlife, Beaches has you covered there, too. Club Liquid is teens-only by day, and adults-only by night! It’s also where the conference hosted a fabulous 80’s party, and we tore up the dance floor!
They also have regular special events, like a beach party with a parade and a huge buffet, and a Halloween costume party, which was set up for the conference attendees and their families. Can you guess who we were? Don’t feel bad, nobody at the party got it either!
Now, if you are headed to Beaches for an anniversary, chances are that you won’t have kids with you. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic programs that Beaches has for the little ones! Camp Sesame provides child care and activities all day for the younger kids (included in your fee!), and there is an Xbox lounge and lots of scheduled activities and events for teenagers.
On our final evening, the conference had made special reservations for everyone at specific restaurants, and we were sent to Sky Lounge, the rooftop gourmet restaurant which Daniel had picked out as the restaurant he most wanted to eat at, before we even left home! The staff wished us a happy anniversary and guided us to a table with a flower bouquet and view of the ocean.
We watched the sunset as we ate, and then the staff surprised us with a special anniversary dessert!
And when we thought it couldn’t get any better, one of the ladies told us she made us a card and wrote something special she wanted to read to us. It was such a sweet speech about love and ended by saying, “Live life to the fullest with no regrets!” We will treasure that card and memory forever!
The sunset that night was beautiful, but it was also a little bit sad knowing that we had to head home the next day!
I know that we barely scratched the surface of the activities that were available at Beaches. They have snorkeling, aqua trikes, scuba diving, a party boat, shuffle board, billiards, the spa, and the list goes on. The toughest part of our vacation was deciding what to do next!
Now that we are home, we keep finding ourselves thinking about the awesome time we had at Beaches, and I know we’d both go back in a heartbeat! Until then, Beaches, we’ll be dreaming of sailing your turquoise waters and walking on your sandy shore!