This voracious Grace Bay behemoth just got bigger: By absorbing its neighbor, the Veranda resort (formerly a Grace Bay Club property), Beaches has added another 150 units to its already whopping 600-plus stable of rooms. Now you have the choice of staying in one of four themed "villages": Caribbean, French, Italian, or Key West, each with its own attendant restaurants, décor, and activities, and all of it on a 75-acre swath of prime Grace Bay oceanfront.
This all-inclusive is one of the top kid-friendly resorts in the region, and yes, it's a wonder it all runs as smoothly as it does. Let us tick off its numerous child-centric enticements: In addition to Grace Bay and watersports toys of every stripe, Beaches offers the massive Pirates Island Waterpark (with wave pool, water slides, and a lazy river); "Sesame Street" characters strolling the grounds for photo ops and friendly hugs; a Kids' Camp for children 6 to 12; an Xbox Play Lounge for older kids; Club Liquid for teens; and, for Mom and Dad, a full-service nursery overseen by accredited nannies. Your child's favorite food is here, somewhere, amid the resort's 19 restaurants. To add to the controlled chaos, someone is getting married on-site on an almost daily basis.
"All-inclusive" here includes all meals and drinks, unlimited use of most land and watersports equipment (scuba courses and other excursions are extra), and, blessedly, gratuities. Accommodations come in a range of categories and configurations—at Beaches, like elsewhere, you get what you pay for. Although all rooms and suites have king-size beds, higher-category suites are a little more elegant, a little more spacious. Premium rates buy you things like four-posters, bars and refrigerators stocked with customized goodies, and even 24-hr. butler service. For those craving more quiet and less chaos, the new Key West Luxury Village (formerly the Veranda) has a small-town neighborhood feel, with luxury rooms in pastel-hued clapboard houses ringed by picket fences.