The service at Beaches family resort in Turks and Caicos is fantastic overall and the "no tipping" policy is the real deal. You can spend your days at the resort carrying nothing but your room key.
Beaches operates like its own little city and it takes a lot of workers to make it function. We're sure there are teams of workers who we'll never see, yet who somehow make the whole operation work. That said, here are some words about the lovely people our family has met:
Imagine standing in a small room in 90°F heat all day long while people ask you to make a rum punch, three daiquiris, and a pina colada...wait, a dirty banana...actually, a pina colada. That's the life of a tropical bartender. All the bartenders we've met at Beaches have been friendly and professional. Some are faster or more skilled than others, but the bar staff is great overall. They're happy to make you drinks with premium spirits (you have to ask, otherwise its speed-rack booze for you) and we're always impressed with how well they keep track of orders and who is next in line. When you give a bartender respect, you'll get respect back, so make sure to say please and thank you.
The restaurants at Beaches TCI resort are a split between buffets and seated dining. At a buffet, servers take drink orders and occasionally clear some dishes away. Drink service is pretty quick for things like water, wine, juice, coffee, etc. but you might wait a while for a cocktail. That's because servers have to walk to a neighboring bar if the restaurant doesn't have a bar within it. Our servers have always been kind, and for the most part, attentive. Our family had particularly good service while sitting at a table in the back of Mario's restaurant.
The seated-dining restaurants (where everything is brought to you by a server) are much slower than buffets. This is one of our only frustrations with Beaches, but usually, it's not the servers fault. The small kitchens are the bottleneck.
Most servers handle this delay professionally by refilling drinks and making sure that children's meals are served first. (Unfortunately, kids may finish eating before their parents begin!)
We've had impeccably good service at Le Petit Chateau and the service at the Bombay Club Indian restaurant was also spot-on. On the flip side, Sky (the rooftop restaurant) is the only restaurant were we had disappointing service two times in a row. Part of the trouble at Sky may be that guests switch tables (without asking) to get a better view of the sunset.
Friendliness: 5 of 5
Professionalism: 5 of 5
Attentiveness: 4 of 5
Speed: 2 of 5
Overall Rating: 4 of 5
Poolside and beachside drink service is available, but we rarely use it because it is slow.
We've loved every housekeeper that we've had at Beaches, especially because they were so good with children. Our rooms have always been clean, well-stocked with towels and bath products, and small details like nightly turndown service are a nice touch. The room staff adjusted their schedule to ours, which was convenient, because we didn't feel pressured to leave our room so they could clean it.
Beaches offers free childcare services in five age groups ranging from infants to 12-year olds and everything in between. That's a big draw for our family. It's a weird feeling the first time you let someone at a resort watch your kid. We had hesitations at first. Thankfully, our experience with Beaches' day camps (starting with Camp Sesame) has been great. Most of the staffers are women in their twenties or thirties and they have a motherly vibe that made drop-offs feel seamless and natural for our daughter (and for us parents!). The staff takes safety seriously and they will ask you to provide sunscreen and dry clothes if they are planning to take the children outdoors.
Children from ages 5 to 7 are known as Li'l Mateys and the ladies who supervise this age group act more like camp counselors than nannies. They seem stricter with the children, but not in a mean way. Our daughter loved getting her face painted and tie-dying a tee shirt.
Sometimes children cry or get upset and the staff does a good job of making kids feel better. (We saw this first hand when our family was dining a few tables away from day campers.) The staff also knows when a parent is needed. For example, our daughter was crying in camp one evening because she had pain in her ear. A counselor called us and we picked our daughter up. The next morning, we went to the nurse's station and learned that our daughter (who had been recovering from a cold) suffered a perforated ear drum.
Nurse and Doctor (paid for separately)
Nobody wants to get sick or hurt on vacation, but it happens. Our daughter had a head cold that bothered her on the flight to Turks and Caicos and ultimately led to an injured ear drum after she dunked her head below the water too many times.
We took her to the nurse's station (in the Caribbean Village) and met a lovely nurse and doctor there. The office visit cost $100 and the antibiotic prescribed to our daughter (and filled on site) cost $25. It was money well spent. The doctor gave us more time and attention than we expected and she made all of us feel calm, confident and informed.
Our family has been welcomed warmly every time we arrived at Beaches. During the check-in process, we were served fruit punch (with a shot of rum for the adults).
Concierge Service (available in certain rooms)
Concierge rooms (they cost more than basic rooms) include an in-room bar that is stocked daily with liquors, beers, juices, waters, sodas and wine. The bar is nice to have, but it certainly isn't necessary. Our bar was reliably stocked each day and we appreciated how the gentleman stocking our fridge noticed that we drank a lot of bottle water, then gave us extra bottles each day afterward.
We also used the concierge service to reserve a table at Kimonos hibachi restaurant (it's the only restaurant on the resort that requires a reservation). Everything went as planned.
During our stay at the Key West Village two years ago, a man came by our room to tell us that the building was going to be power washed. "Oh, no" we thought, but our fears were misplaced. The building looked brand-spanking-new two hours later. If only public service worked like that!
We've also met landscapers and gardeners during our stays. These guys (they're mostly men) are friendly and take pride in their work. The flowers they prune appear as decorations around the resort, and sometimes, in your room!
There are free excursions at Beaches, like scuba diving, snorkeling, party cruises and glass-bottom boat rides. The glass bottom boat is the only excursion that our family has taken (if you've been on one glass bottom boat, you've been on all glass bottom boats). The captain of the boat and the pier staff are friendly and entertaining, and perhaps most importantly, they help you get on and off the boat if you don't have "sea legs."
Butler and Spa Service (extra expense)
Beaches butler suites are way out of our price range. The folks who stay in these rooms have a dedicated butler who will serve them drinks and lunch at the beachside or poolside, stock a private poolside cabana with food and drinks or arrange room service dinners. The butlers we've met around the resort are kind and courteous despite looking quite busy.
Similarly, the Red Lane Spa workers we've met around the resort have all been friendly, though we've never used the spa. It's worth noting that Beaches no-tipping policy does not apply to butlers and spa workers. Tipping isn't mandatory of course, but it's something to be mindful of if these services interest your family.