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Grand Opening: Beaches Turks & Caicos' Italian Village, WaterparkMay 15, 2009 By: John McMahon
John McMahon was on location with the family at Beaches Turks & Caicos resort, and reports on the three days of celebrating the latest property additions.
Beaches has outdone itself with the addition of the Italian Village and Waterpark to its Beaches Turks & Caicos resort, which just so happens to be situated on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. If you can peel yourself off the beach, the Village revolves around one of the largest pools in the Caribbean—it is heated as well. The fun doesn't stop there. Beaches added a lazy river ride, seven water slides, a surf simulator and a few water cannons to keep it interesting.
The grand-opening celebration kicked off with a beach party for a few hundred of Chairman Butch Stewart's top producers as well as his friends from Sesame Street. Local island dancers, singers and limbo experts kept the crowd on its feet, and I was told it is only going to get better.
Stay tuned for my Day Two report as my family gives this resort our own stress test. Trust me, a wife and four daughters all under the age of 12 will give Beaches Turks & Caicos quite a work out.
As the second day of celebrations began, the Sesame Street characters were up for breakfast and ready for a cruise on Beaches' Kitty Katt catamaran sail boat. All of the children enjoyed this up close and personal time with Elmo and friends, with hugs and all.
The biggest challenge is always deciding what to do first, and that is the best part of this resort. The many activities help the different types of travelers blend well and not feel overtaken by another.
In addition to family activities, their were several weddings going on, as well as many girl getaways. As Adam Stewart put it so well, "the expansion of the water park lets a thousand children congregate in the back of the resort while adults enjoy the front. It truly works."
My wife and I escaped to a wine tasting by Beringers while my kids enjoyed the lazy river and slides. Theevening was an upbeat one. Scratch DJ warmed the crowd up, followed by performances by The Electric Company, The Clique Girlz and DMC.
One of the highlights for tweens and teens is the Scatch DJ Academy. Each kid gets lessons from the best scatchers in the music industry. Try and find that in your local neighborhood. Day three is Grand Opening day and should be full of surprises and a ribbon cutting ceremony only Beaches could pull off. Stay tuned.
The stress test on the Beaches Italian Village is starting to wear on the McMahon family but not on Beaches Turks & Caicos. The day started out with a bang when we tried out the Ron Jon Surf School. How did they get the waves? Easily, by bringing in a surf simulator to do it for us. Although there are no future surfers in my family of girls, we had fun trying.
Moving on, we had better success with the Xbox 360 Game Garage. It's amazing how kids so young can take advantage of their parent's lack of eye-hand coordination. There was great success for the kids as they loved beating Mom and Dad.
As the festivities built up to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a Sesame Street Junkanoo Parade kicked off the evening. Just to let you know, everything I have described so far happens weekly so this Grand Celebration is just an average week for the staff at beaches.
Onto the festivities: No expense was spared as Prime Ministers and Tourism Ministers from all over the Caribbean and media from all over the world were on hand. In classic Beaches style, all guests were given a warm welcome when attending the speeches, fireworks and entertainment.
Butch Stewart wouldn't have it any other way as guests and dignitaries mingled to the wee hours of the morning in the hottest nightspot in the Caribbean, Club Liquid. The family didn't make it that late as we woke up to room service (included) and each child listed their top 10 things they liked about Beaches. As we know, these are the decision makers in the family.
Top 10 Things I Like About Beaches Turks & Caicos
Annie & Kate (12 & 10 years old)
1. Butler (Randy & Dacia)
2. Heated pool
4. Water slides
5. Bobby D's ice cream bar
6. xBox 360 Game Garage
7 Trenchtown (Gameroom)
8. Kitty Kat Cruise
10. SnapShots family photo shoot
Meagan & Claire (6 years old)
1. Breakfast with Sesame Street
2. Kitty Kat cruise with Sesame Street
3. Lazy River
4. Bobby D's for dinner
5. Kids Hot tub
6. Cotton candy machine
7. Bunk Beds in the room
8. Collecting shells on the beach
9. Water slides
10. Swim-up kids bar