When I was younger my parents used to take us on vacations with character and I’m not talking about the Sesame Street variety. We lived in a rural town where it was easy to feel like the world was a small place. So my parents used vacations to show us that it wasn’t. We took a train ride from England to France and Italy where we saw the entire Countryside and slept on bunks in the sleeping cars. We drove over 20 hours through Utah and Wyoming in a rental car passing countless Indian Reservations and wild animals. We rode Mules into the Grand Canyon. We took a boat ride through the Venetian channels and waited patiently for Old Faithful to shoot from the ground after soaking in a natural hot spring. Once when we were in high school they decided to do something “different” and stay at a Club Med in Portugal. I don’t think any of us really knew what to do with ourselves. Tennis at 10am? Dance Party at 5? Why are they speaking English in Portugal? Why am I eating the same for dinner as I did in NY? Today, my husband and I share the same love for vacations with character – true, authentic experiences that enrich our kid’s lives and really show them how beautiful our world can be.
Walking into the Blue Haven Resort at the tip of Leeward Bay in Turks & Caicos is like walking onto the pages of a Travel + Leisure magazine. You couldn’t paint a picture more beautiful than this scene and no picture we took could do it enough justice…
Blue Haven embraces its surroundings by leaving everything open – the entrance, the front desk, the restaurants – so your eyes are never robbed of the beauty. This resort is luxury in every sense of the word including the rooms which were colossal and offered all the amenities you’d expect and more.
Our kids slept like champs in the ultra comfortable beds. Even the baby had a spacious crib waiting upon arrival. The furniture feels like an extension of your own home, the closet space was obscene, and they even had an en suite washing machine and dryer. (Had I known this I would have packed half of what I brought.) At one point my husband asked, “So, when do you wanna move in?”
Blue Haven just started offering an all-inclusive option but if you don’t go that route (you should go that route, kids eat free) the kitchens are fully equipped and The Market offers most of what you’d need to cook with (for a pretty penny.) The balcony was large and a great place to enjoy coffee in the mornings while the kids counted the colors in the sunrise and ate “Turks & Caico’s” oatmeal. Our second breakfast of the day was consumed on the same couch the kid’s picked out. It became a fun little routine and the kid’s actually ate!
Don’t expect planned events at Blue Haven, although the staff will gladly help you plan an excursion. It’s situated next to a Marina with plenty of water activities. We did the under water adventure boat and the kids loved it. They are still reciting facts from that ride. We even saw a Mermaid!
Next time we will try Iguana Island. Plan on spending most of your time at the ultra-private beach complete with hammocks and sun chairs.
There is an air-conditioned Kid’s Club with qualified staff that do group projects with the kids or let them relax with a movie. The kids met friends from all over the country in the club, the baby enjoyed a nice cool nap, and we got to sip on boat drinks at the swim-up bar over adult conversation. Later in the pool they met a family that had sailed in on their boat from Panama. Everyone spoke Spanish but that didn’t matter – give kids a pool and some fresh air and they have a way of getting along like old pals no matter what language is being spoken…
Make sure to bring your snorkel mask (or purchase one for $15 at The Market) because the ocean is as clear as ‘turquoise glass’, as my 6 year old called it. The resort features a trampoline a couple yards from the beach in the ocean, (which was the only “touristy” thing to speak of) and we loved have a family jump session every morning before breakfast.
It’s easy to feel like this resort is all yours. There was never a point when it was crowded. There was never a time when we had to say “excuse me, does this chair belong to you?” and there was never a time we said “Ok that’s enough vacation, time to leave.”
The Blue Haven is not a resort where you will find inflatable pool toys, fluorescent lights, and buffet tables. Rather, it offers luxurious accommodations in a beautiful untouched setting. It is truly a vacation with all of the Turks and Caico’s character and charm you could ask for.
- The Blue Haven Resort has two sister properties – The Alexander Resort and The Beach House. If you chose to do all inclusive your package will also include these resorts. A free shuttle takes you from location to location. The Alexander is very laid back family-friendly resort that offers a variety of water sports. The Beach House is a must-see but also more of an adult setting. (Not married yet? Have your wedding here! OhMaGawd.)
- Everything is imported which means everything is expensive on this island. Plan on all-inclusive and bring what you need (diapers – oops – googles, snorkel mask, etc.)
- The currency is the dollar and everyone speaks English. You need a passport to enter the country. The Providenciales airport is small but efficient – make sure to check out the upstairs if you are waiting around with kids.
- The only direct flights from the states are on Saturdays. The stop-over options are Charlotte and Miami. The Miami airport has an amazing kids play center in the D terminal, don’t miss it.
- The drinking water is fine.
- There are 2 restaurant options at Blue Haven (and more at the other resorts) – Salt Bar & Grill is casual and perfect for lunch (check out the giant chessboard and volleyball court in front and please say hi to my favorite bartended from Jamaica) and Fire & Ice, which is great for dinners and breakfasts. The seating is comfortable and casual but they do require clothes for dinner (sorry kids, no wet bathing suits!)
- The Blue Haven Marina is right next to the resort. Go look at the (gah-gah-gorgeous) yachts and stick around there at noon – the fishing boats feed the sharks and it’s fun to watch.
Blue Haven Resort
Turks and Caicos Island
British West Indies
Blue Haven is currently running a 40% special on an all inclusive vacation.
Kristin was a complimentary guest of the resort.