Beaches Resort - Turks and Caicos
The concertgoers are swaying to the music, clapping and crowding the stage so they can reach out and touch their favorite stars -- who happen to be giant furry characters named Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie.
That's why the four all-inclusive Beaches resorts here and in
In fact, this may be the only resort I've visited and chatting up guests where no one -- not one person -- had anything negative to say. "We've been here four days and we already booked for next year," said an enthusiastic
There are many resorts that offer amenities and activities for older children -- and this place has knockout facilities for tweens and teens too, including a
Even the new
And unlike cruise ships and other resorts the smoothies the kids crave at those swim-up bars, the camp activities -- even for the babies -- and the alcohol for the grown-ups are all part of the package. Even the mini bars are free, stocked with an assortment of juices, soft drinks, beer, wine and more. "You definitely get a lot for your money," says Leora Tiloccia back for her fifth visit from suburban
Vacation packages taking as much as 65 percent off the rack rate certainly help too, as does the drop-dead location -- the resort is spread over 60 acres spank in the middle of a marine sanctuary with a white-sand beach that stretches for miles.
Did I mention the 16 restaurants, huge fitness center and spa, seven pools -- five with swim-up bars (virgin pina colada anyone?) and complimentary diving daily? And though this is a huge resort (633 rooms) it doesn't seem that big because there are three clusters or "villages" each with its own check-in, lobby, shops, pools and more.
The day I visited there were nearly 500 children at the resort, most of them under seven. (On busy vacation weeks, there might be 1,500 kids here!) Some were busy doing "camp" activities like playing in the kid-sized pool at
Other families were happily building sand castles on the beach, lazing in the pools getting a burger at Bobby D's, the '50s-style diner, or helping themselves to pasta or fresh grilled chicken at another restaurant where high chairs and kids' menus are always at the ready.
But all of this doesn't come cheap -- a week even with discounts can cost a family of four upwards of
"They make it so easy," said
No worries either if you have a child with special needs or food issues. The resort welcomes special needs children into its programs -- as many as 10 a month, says
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(c) 2009 Eileen Ogintz
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