Jan 21st
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Beaches Resorts - Jamaica

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A Trio of Beaches Resorts

    While floating in the warm turquoise blue waters at Beaches Sandy Bay resort in Negril, Jamaica, our two daughters asked, “Are there any beaches prettier than this?” My husband and I looked at each other and replied, “No, this is about as good as it gets.”       
    Negril is often touted as “one of the top ten beaches in the world” by many travel publications.     
    Having heard about
Beaches are some of the best resorts for family fun in Jamaica.the three all-inclusive and family-friendly Beaches resorts, we decided to spend a week exploring the island of Jamaica and visiting all three resorts.
     This trio of Beaches
resorts are included in the well-known Sandals Resorts, but these three are focused on families.
    In 2004, Beach
es partnered with Sesame Street to attract families of all ages.  Traveling with a 2-year-old and 12-year-old can be a challenge.  The Beaches Sandy Bay resort, where we first stayed, was ideal for both ages.  Our 2-year-old Katie’s eyes grew wide as Elmo and Zoe came by our table one day at lunch offering hugs and photo opportunities.  Don’t worry if you forget your camera in your room, a Beaches photographer is always nearby to snap a photo for your memory album.
    Our 12-year-old Lizzy enjoyed baking and eating cookies with Sesame Street’s Cookie monster.  
    We met a family from South Carolina who have vacationed at Beaches Sandy Bay for thirteen years.  They know most of the staff and they said, “It feels like a home away from home.”  The smallest of the three Beaches resorts, Sandy Bay’s beach offers soft white sand and clear blue water with an ideal temperature of 85 degrees.


Ideal Snorkeling

    Every morning after breakfast at Beaches Sandy Bay we signed up 2-year-old Katie in the Sesame Street Children’s Center for a morning of supervised fun.  Then we three boarded the ten o’clock snorkeling boat out to a coral reef filled with schools of yellow stripped fish, squirrel fish, needle fish, squid, and sea cucumbers the size of butternut squash. Our guides threw fresh pineapple into the water, so while snorkeling we were surrounded by hundreds of brilliantly colored fish.
  “Wow!” exclaimed Lizzy, our 12-year-old. It was an unforgettable experience.
    At lunch we picked up Katie and took the shuttle over to Beaches Negril.  Less than one mile away from Sandy Bay, this is a much larger Beaches resort.  There the kids flock to Pirates Island Water Park to slide down the water slides, float in the lazy river, and swim up to the pool bar to order non-alcoholic volcano and pina colada drinks.
       While Beaches Sandy Bay offers four restaurants guests also can shuttle over to Beaches Negril for an additional fiveOur family found lots of beach activities to keep us all very busy. options, including Japanese, Italian and Tex-Mex cuisine.
    After our three days at Beaches Negril, we took a three-hour shuttle over to Beaches Boscobel  located in Ocho Rios. We first were assigned an Oceanfront Terrace room, however, with threats of Hurricane Dean hitting the island the following day, all guests were moved to the main concrete building high above the beach.  After check-in we toured the resort and went swimming down at the beach.  
    Negril’s beach, we decided, was much prettier than Boscobel’s, however, the main pool at Beaches Boscobel is the resort’s hot spot.  The nearby entertainment stage offers reggae performers and the cast of Sesame Street characters making daily appearances.
    We found the food at Beaches Boscobel the best of the three Jamaican Beaches resorts that we visited. We mostly dined at Beaches Boscobel’s casual Bayside restaurant and we were pleasantly surprised by the extensive choice, freshness, and quality of the food. There is a special kids’ buffet at the Bayside with small tables and chairs for the little ones.


    For adults there is Caribbean cuisine dining at Eleanor’s and an upscale spa offering tropically inspired treatments.  Golf is available at the nearby Sandals Golf and Country Club.  In the evening Appleton’s bar offers cocktails and piano music.


    Beaches Boscobel resort offers a children’s pool with slides and also a larger water park.  Three different children’s centers here offer Sesame Street theme activities for the little ones. Our daughter Katie’s favorites were the Island Limbo show with Bert and Ernie, dance party with Zoe, and story time with Elmo.
    The best part of B
Lizzy found the hammock at Beaches a favorite pastime.eaches Boscobel’s resort was the staff, especially before, during, and after Hurricane Dean. The friendly staff kept all of the guests calm, comfortable, informed, well fed and entertained.  Plus, the day following the hurricane, we all received a letter from the founder of Sandals and Beaches, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart stating, “. . .it is our pleasure to honor our commitment for a full replacement vacation/holiday as advertised and promoted.
    Our Blue Chip Hurricane Gu
arantee ensures that your luxury vacation at Beaches is replaced.”  Every guest who booked a one-week vacation received a free, one-week trip within one year at any Beaches resort based on availability. For one day of inconveniences due to the weather, we felt this was an extremely generous offer.  
    When you’re ready for an exotic family-friendly vacation, be sure to browse Beaches resorts at
    Air Jamaica flies daily non-stop from Los Angeles to Montego Bay. Once in Jamaica, a Beaches representative awaits the flight with cool drinks and then collects your bags and whisks you and the kids off to one of the three resorts. It’s easy, affordable, and a vacation destination every family member will remember.

       -- by Jill Weinlein


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