Beaches is the all-inclusive Sandals brand that wants the family travel trade so badly it licensed Sesame Street. Yes, your smaller children can go on a beach vacation with Big Bird and Elmo (I shudder to think how hot it must be in those costumes). Still, kind of cool how they incorporate the Muppets into the kid’s program—science with Super Grover, bird watching with Big Bird. Older kids will appreciate the teens-only game room; the water slides, lazy river, and swim-up soda bar at Pirates Island waterpark right on Seven Mile Beach; self-serve soft-serve ice cream bar; and the Xbox lounge.
Adults, you say? Well, there’s a spa, non-motorized water sports (plus waterskiing and others for a fee), free scuba diving (two dives per day for certified divers; resort course for a small fee if you want to learn), and premium brand drinks are covered at the half-dozen bars (two of them swim-ups in the pools). All this and nice rooms renovated in 2012 mixing Jamaican mahogany poster beds with soft, home-like contemporary furnishings and marble-topped sinks in low, colorful building amid the palms and flower-filled landscaping.
- Reid Bramblett