Neptunes at Key West Village overlooks the water and serves breakfast and dinner.
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa already had plenty going for it before the opening of the Key West Village this year. The family-friendly, all-inclusive resort (“It’s all about the kids,” says Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals, Beaches’ parent company) has the Caribbean, French and Italian villages, with accommodations ranging up to butler-serviced multi-bedroom beachfront suites, and high-end restaurants and bars to boot. It’s all a fun environment where grownups can relax with adult beverages and nightlife, while the kids are well taken care of. Even newborns are welcome, cared for by certified nannies who have met a minimum requirement of 2,000 hours of child-care service.
With lots going on throughout the sprawling resort, we found the new Key West Village added a relaxing haven to it all. It’s the former Veranda Resort, which is immediately next to Beaches’ Italian Village, and Sandals has completely rebooted the facilities so they’re brand-new inside and out.
Cleverly crafted cottage suites and villas are just steps away from open-air dining options that overlook the water. Bayside is a good option for families, and Neptunes, with its “Mediterranean Seafood Grill,” is lovely for adults (children are welcome as well) with its elegant table service. Sky Lounge was just a fun place to be; its roof-top location gives it a secret-hideaway feel.
Our one-bedroom suite had a kitchen, living room and a washer/dryer in addition to a separate bedroom, plus a front porch where we relaxed and read a book and watched the world go by. Good to know: Key West Village is the only Beaches locale with kitchens and laundry facilities. Both pools in Key West are intimate in size; one overlooks the water and is close to Bayside’s bar area, making it easy to chill out while the kids enjoy the new facilities crafted just for them. This includes a new Camp Sesame, designated for the youngest children at the resort. The larger, original version can be found in the Caribbean Village, complete with its own pool and more activities. There’s also a new Red Lane Spa here (the larger, original one is in the French Village), with mani/pedi facilities and treatment rooms for massages and facials.
The top digs at Key West Village are the beachfront, four-bedroom butler villas that sleep up to 10. These are private homes with pools, front yards, big kitchens, and master bedrooms. Butler service at Beaches can provide many things, such as packing and unpacking, but kids also get special treatment. We saw one butler setting up balloons at a table at a restaurant for one family; they’ll also typically arrive at a restaurant early to ensure proper seating is being provided.
Steps away from Key West is the Italian Village, with an enormous resort-style pool, plus plenty of shopping and dining options, including Mario’s, a wonderful Italian restaurant, which we recommend for a quiet adult lunch. All of the villages flow into one another and are easy to navigate. Throughout, you’ll find all of the activities Beaches is known for—think seaside scavenger hunts and a long roster of things to do, such as a variety of cruises (including one for teens only), jet-boat rides, deep-sea fishing, golfing in Providenciales, and private boat charters. Beaches takes its children’s activities seriously and divides age groups up in a sensitive manner. A typical introductory day for kids five- to seven-years-old includes an ice-breaker, where little ones get to know each other, an hour of kickball followed by pool time, then lunch. Not a bad way to spend the day, and it beats being parked in front of a video game. Tweens and teens have their own lounge, and evening activities include an “Imagination” Sesame Show (characters included), followed by a Kids Dance Party and a chocolate buffet. For adults, there’s cabaret music at Turtles Bar, karaoke at Cricketer’s, and a disco that goes on until 2 a.m. Nice Touch: Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters are readily accessible for photo opportunities. Note: The Xbox Play Lounge is another "must-see."
But back at the Key West Village, hammocks and thatch-roofed sun decks await adults and kids seeking a super-relaxing environment. This new add-on is a homerun, adding yet another dimension to an already successful resort.