A Caribbean beach resort vacation sounds like a dream come true, yet for many families with children on the spectrum, it sounds like a definite impossibility. However, it doesn’t have to be! Beaches®, award winning Luxury Included® resorts, were the first Autism-Friendly Resorts in the Caribbean. The kids camps are certified Autism Centers and all team members have the training and skills to work with children of all ages. Optional One-on-One Beaches Buddies are also available for familes who desire additional assistance. Beaches® is home to many Sesame Street® characters, including Julia who lets childen express themselves through art at Amazing Art with Julia in the Kids Camps.
Last fall, I had the opportunity to visit Beaches Negril and Beaches Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Arriving hot and tired, I started my stay at Beaches Negril by treating myself to the chocolate treats left in my club level room before heading down to the pool where I relaxed and cooled off floating in the lazy river. During my journey on the river, a little boy swam by and chatted with me about how much fun he was having on his vacation.
Sesame Street® friends and guests gathered in the front of the resort for a little dance party and face painting, before beginning the parade down to the beach for a giant beach party.
I am ashamed to admit I did not take photos of the tables and tables of food available for guests to enjoy, but I did manage to take a photo of the beautiful sky backdrop to the party! However, in regards to food, I must say that Beaches® knows how to do food right! And if you have special dietary requirements, a Culinary Concierge Desk works directly with the chefs and restaurant managers to ensure you have a worry-free dining experience on your vacation.
As the Beach Party wasn’t the only option for dinner, we made our way to The Venetian restaurant for some delicious Italian food and first class service. I am a tiramisu snob and very picky about my tiramisu. No worries here – it was as tasty as it looks!
While I did not have young children with me, I did find their accommodations for children smile-inducing and just kept thinking “too bad my children are too grown for this! What a fun place for a family vacation!” Maybe some day there will be grandchildren to share it with. (hint! hint! grown children of mine! haha)
At breakfast, I couldn’t help but smile at this little guest seated at his own child sized able, having gotten food from the child sized buffet line. The pool, is having an early morning rest, before laughing, squealing, happy guests join it shortly.
After saying goodbye, to a Sesame Street® friend at Beaches Negril, it was time to move on to a different area of Jamaica.
Beaches® Ochos Rios was very different from Beaches® Negril, and is also a wonderful destination for a family vacation. While my room at Beaches Negril was in a garden setting, my room at Beaches Ochos Rios walked out to the beach. Super convenient for my snorkeling excursion and sunbathing, not to mention the gorgeous view, especially of the sunrise on the morning of my departure. Sadly, my camera was not a fan of the humidity and would not cooperate with my attempts to capture its image. You’ll just have to go see for yourself.
Having spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach and snorkeling, we had a delicious seafood dinner. It was pouring rain yet we were outside under cover staying dry and enjoying the humorous banter with our server as we ate our yummy feast. After dinner, we strolled up to the main stage area where we enjoyed a cultural taste of Jamaica with Silver Birds and their steel drums. Afterwards, we sung karaoke – yes, even me…my deepest apologies to the others gathered for the fun!!
The Beaches resorts, with their beautiful beaches, bright blue sea and sky, luxury service and delicious food offer the best of both worlds for ALL families….a lovely mix of family activities and opportunities for couples time while children are well cared for and entertained in the Kids Camps!