3 Best 'Beaches' Caribbean All-Inclusive Holiday Resorts
If you want a five-star family holiday in the Caribbean, the three 'Beaches' resorts are worth a look.
The Beaches Resorts brand has two luxury beachside locations in Jamaica (Beaches Ochos Rios Resort and Beaches Negril Resort) and another on the Turks and Caicos Islands (imaginatively called Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort). Rather remarkably, the brand has won something called 'World's Leading All Inclusive Family Resort Brand' at the World Travel Awards every year from 1998 to 2019.
There is a fourth resort on the way, called Beaches Saint Vincent and the Grenadines but we don't have an opening date yet (as of 2021).
For your money, you get all the food you want at a big choice of restaurants. You also get access to several swimming pools, watersports, kids' clubs and other activities. If you can afford an upgrade, you can even have a butler.
We’ve attempted to rank the three Beaches Resorts in order after spending much time looking at customer reviews, value for money, awards, location, activities for grown ups and kids, weather and anything else we could find that was relevant.
So here's our ranking, from one to three:
1. Beaches Ochos Rios Resort and Golf Club, Jamaica - best value resort
It’s a close run thing, but we think Beaches Ochos Rios Resort offers the best value out of the three Beaches resorts in the Caribbean.
It’s the mid-sized resort of the three but is still considerably smaller than the busiest and most famous resort (Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort) with about 220 rooms.
So why is it our number one?
Well, Beaches Ochos Rios Resort is one of the easier resorts to reach from the UK with a flight time and transfer time totalling about 10 hours (about an hour quicker than the furthest of the three). You can fly out on several different days of the week, whereas flights from the UK to Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort are limited to a couple per week
Once you’re at the Resort, you get a choice of 6 swimming pools and 7 restaurants so you can pretty much visit one a day if you stay for a week.
There’s a large waterpark called Pirates Island and several watersports which are included in the cost of your stay such as snorkelling, windsurfing and paddleboarding. It also has about 10 landsports including volleyball and tennis.
There are kids' clubs for every age up to 17 as well as Sesame Street themed entertainment.
The beach is a secluded private cove and the weather is tropical all year round. If you struggle with humidity, I would avoid the rainy season which is during the UK summer months. Most people suggest visiting in the UK winter months when the heat is dry and peaks in the low 30s (celsius).
Customer reviews are very impressive, averaging 4.3/5 on Google Reviews and 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor.
Price: Beaches Ochos Rios Resort was the clear winner in our price comparison, offering the lowest price every time. We looked at five different dates for a week’s holiday for a family of four, including flights from the UK, activities, food and drink, accommodation and transfers.
During schools holidays 2020, the cheapest price for four people was: £10160 at Easter, £9147 in August and £9469 at Christmas. Outside of school holidays in 2020, the total price was: £6381 in early December and £5962 in mid-September.
Watch the promo video for Beaches Ochos Rios Resort here.
2. Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, Turks and Caicos Islands - largest resort
Beaches Turks and Caicos is a resort on a group of Islands called, er, Turks and Caicos.
It's the biggest and most famous of the three resorts and - to be honest - it’s probably the best resort if money is no object. However, we felt that Beaches Ochos Rios Resort offered nearly as much for quite a lot less money.
Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort has more than 750 rooms across four different themed villages.
There’s a massive choice of 24 restaurants (plus several bars) as well as 12 swimming pools. The waterpark is large and it’s on a stretch of Grace Bay which was voted the best beach in the world by TripAdvisor reviewers in 2018.
Customer reviews for the Resort are glowing, with an average of 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor and Google Reviews.
And, much like Beaches Ochos Rios Resort you get lots of inclusive things such as a choice of 12 landsports and a similar number of watersports.
It takes about an hour longer to reach the resort than Beaches Ochos Rios Resort, mostly because the flight is longer. When I checked, you could only fly out from the UK on Thursdays or Sundays.
The weather at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort is slightly cooler than the two Jamaican resorts and I personally would be more comfortable in the high 20s of the Turks and Caicos than in the low thirties at Beaches Ochos Rios Resort and Golf Club and Beaches Negril Resort and Spa. Most people prefer to visit in the UK's winter months, when the heat is dry and the temperature at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort is somewhere between 20 and 28 degrees on most days.
The main thing which marked Beaches Turks and Caicos down was that it was the most expensive option in most of our price comparisons. The range of restaurants and swimming pools is certainly more impressive than the other resorts, but the range of activities and kids clubs are similar. If you’re visiting for two weeks or struggle with heat then I’d go for Beaches Turks and Caicos. But if you’re just visiting for one week, perhaps save yourself some money or upgrade your accommodation.
Price: We looked for the all-inclusive price for a family of four for a week. During school holidays in 2020, the cheapest accommodation available was: £14,995 over Easter, £10,363 during early August and (take a deep breath) £28,617 over Christmas.
Outside of school holidays it was £7795 in mid-September and £7390 in early December.
You can watch videos about Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort here.
3. Beaches Negril Resort and Spa, Jamaica - smallest resort
Now don’t get me wrong, Beaches Negril Resort is a stunning resort but it doesn’t offer the big scale of Beaches Turks and Caicos or the value for money of Beaches Ochos Rios Resort in our comparison.
It’s another Jamaican resort, so it’s about 10 hours from the UK including the flight and transfer time. Customer reviews were averaging 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor and Google Reviews when we checked, putting it on a par with Beaches Turks and Caicos and marginally ahead of Beaches Ochos Rios Resort.
It’s the smallest of the three resorts with about 180 rooms. The choice of nine restaurants is a bit better than Beaches Ochos Rios Resort but there are only three swimming pools (including a kids' pool). However, it does have a waterpark and the same range of kids' clubs and Sesame Street activities that the other two resorts offer.
In terms of activities, it scores very well with a couple more landsports than the other two resorts. All three resorts offer a good range of watersports but Beaches Negril Resort is the only resort to offer waterskiing and tubing (where you get dragged along behind a boat on a rubber ring).
As with Beaches Ochos Rios Resort, the Jamaican weather is humid and very warm in the UK summer months. The UK winter months tend to be the most popular and most expensive time to visit as the heat is drier but the temperature is still tropical so you can pack your shorts.
The beach at Beaches Negril Resort was in the top 25 beaches in the world in TripAdvisor’s survey in 2018.
Price: Beaches Negril Resort was more expensive than the other Jamaican Beaches resort (Beaches Ochos Rios Resort) but was usually cheaper than Beaches Turks and Caicos.
We looked for an all-inclusive week for a family of four in 2020 and found that during school holidays the cheapest price was £13429 over Easter, £10,200 in early August and £12,505 at Christmas. Outside of school holidays it was £7397 in mid-September and £7397 in early December.
You can watch the official videos about Beaches Negril here.