Beaches Turks and Caicos
Avg. Customer Review (4.0 Palms):
True 1 4 4.0 Palms
Number of Reviews: 1

Review Type: Resort
Location: 45 Lower Bight Road The Bight Settlement TKCA 1ZZ
Dedicated GF: No
Phone: (649) 946-8000


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Family Fun in the Turks and Caicos,
March 12, 2008
Reviewer: from South Riding, VA

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Overall, this is a good place to go if you're following a gluten- free diet and looking for a family-friendly resort that will please adults and kids of all ages -- infant through teen. (For those of you who don't know, Beaches is the division of the adults-only Sandals resorts, but it's geared to families.) I spoke to the Executive Chef once before booking our trip and again a few weeks before the trip. He assured me they handle gluten-free requests all the time. Once I contacted him upon arrival, we arranged a time to meet, and he guided me toward safe food choices for our four-year-old son. Breakfasts are pretty easy if you stick to eggs, bacon, fruit and yogurt. (The fruit selection was plentiful and varied at each of our breakfasts.) We did bring some of our own food, including our favorite gluten-free pancake mix, and the chef was happy to prepare our son's favorite morning treat: chocolate-chip pancakes! Lunch buffets were a bit more challenging, and it often involved finding a chef who was well-versed in g-f foods and preparation (some were, and some weren't, and that was probably one of the biggest challenges during our stay.) Dinner was better, since we almost always opted for table-service restaurants, and we typically notified the Executive Chef or Sous Chef where we'd be dining. To give you a lay of the land, Beaches Turks and Caicos is one of Beaches' two "high-end" properties, and it has 7 full-service restaurants, along with a sushi bar, bakery cafe, and 24-hour diner that serves things like burgers, hot dogs, fries, ice cream and sodas. The French bakery usually had fruit and g-f Yoplait yogurt, and the pastry chef was even kind enough to make a special batch of gluten-free coconut macaroons for us (they were so good, we all fought over them!). And at Kimonos, the Japanese steakhouse, they even had g-f soy sauce and could prepare our son's entire tepanyaki-style meal gluten-free. The food and experience were great overall, with only a few downsides. While the chefs were eager to please, you need to be patient and constantly ask questions (even reading labels), because only the top chefs seemed to have a working knowledge of gluten-free foods and ways of avoiding cross- contamination. I had to do some educating in order to have some meals safely prepared. (The Executive Chef has since informed me that they have made big strides recently in this area.) Secondly, you should plan ahead and talk to the Executive or Sous Chef before meals, especially dinner, so they know where you are going and can alert the chef at that restaurant. I found "chasing down" the busy chefs a bit time- consuming and inconvenient at times, and I found myself thinking that this had to be inefficient for them as well. Again, I understand they've made a concerted effort to improve the process since our visit, and I"d recommend a visit to this beautiful and family-friendly resort.

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Businesses marked with a Dedicated Gluten Free icon are DEDICATED GLUTEN FREE ESTABLISHMENTS.