One of my favorite things about going on a fabulous vacation is the food!!! Living in a small town, delicious, over the top food is one thing we lack in our every day lives. When we are on vacation, you best believe I live it up food-wise.
When we were planning out our Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos itinerary, when checking out all the sample menus online, we just had to check out Mario’s! Fine dining is my favorite and when I spotted lamb chops being the chef’s signature dish, I knew Mario’s Restaurant would end up being a favorite!
Mario’s is an enchanting Tuscan-Inspired restaurant located in the Italian Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos! Offering an elegant dining experience with a centrally located open show kitchen, stunning vaulted ceilings and beautiful ironwork it’s hard not to fall in love with Mario’s at first site!
At Mario’s you can savour authentic Italian dishes inspired by the flavors of Italy, with an emphasis on fare from Milan, including hand-rolled lasagna, signature pasta dishes, veil piccata and my favorite cutlets of lamb.
One of the best parts of dining at Mario’s just happens to be the extensive antipasto bar!!! That’s right, once you are seated and order your favorite glass of vino, you can dig into offering such as freshly roasted red peppers, grilled eggplant, olives, deli meats, cheeses and more! Just make sure not to over stuff yourself before your main course is served ;-)
And for the kiddos? If they aren’t a fan of over the top Italian deliciousness, options like chicken nuggets are there to save the day! Mom and dad can dine on the most delicious culinary creations while the kiddo digs in on every child’s favorite, nuggets!
Obviously I was totally obsessed with Mario’s! Mario’s was my favorite dinner out of all of our dinners the week we were at Beaches Turks & Caicos. I loved it so much I just had to write about it and share the deliciousness with y’all!!
Mario’s is one of the finer dining options at Beaches that is also 100% kid friendly! A huge plus in my book since we always travel with my daughter. We used Mario’s as our fancy family night out and dressed to impress for photos before our dinner.
My husband & I both had the lamb chops and they were everything we expected them to be! Cooked to perfection! My daughter had the chicken nuggets and she was just as pleased with her meal.
If you are like me and looking for a culinary, family-friendly experience while at Beaches, Mario’s is a must!!! You won’t be disappointed! However, if you’re looking for “American Italian” favorites, this will not be the spot for you. This is a restaurant with over the top cuts of meat and beyond delicious authentic Italian dishes, so do not expect Americanized Olive Garden.
Tip ~ 5:30pm seems to also be the perfect time to dine if you are trying to avoid crowds. We had an event to attend at 7:30, and the restaurant was pretty much empty when we arrived. By the time we left to head to our event, the place did start to fill up. So if you are dining with young children or you do not want to wait for a table, earlier you show up, the better.
What are your favorite Italian dishes?
Take me back!!! Seriously!!! My family and I have been back in the state’s for a little over a week now and Beaches is still all we can think about! We have been blessed to travel the world, and I totally see why Turks and Caicos is rated the worlds best beach! My pool obsessed, wants nothing to do with the ocean daughter is now team ocean! That crystal blue water won her over! Then add all the fabulous food and entertainment Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos offers?!?! Ahhhhhh!!!! Best trip EVER!!
One question I have been asked over and over however is about the rooms! There are different villages (tiers) and everyone wants the tea since prices are all over the place! I’m the #BoujeeOnABudget queen and my peeps want answers before splurging!
Well the fab news is, I do have a little bit of room tea to spill, so if you were one of my insta story “show me the room” gals, you’re welcome!
An all-inclusive family vacation in the French Village is like stepping into a lush garden at Versailles, only with a half-acre pool and a swim-up bar! And that French palace never had an expansive waterpark like the one you’ll find at Beaches. It’s all included in that per person fee, so you can have your cake (from the Café de Paris located right outside your room) and eat it too!!
The fabulous people at Beaches placed us in a French Village Luxury Room King! One king bed and a day bed that pulls out! Maximum capacity 4 people. For being what I assume is the cheapest room in the French Village (This
was a #BeachesMoms trip and I’m assuming they saved the suites and concierge rooms for boujee paying guests) I was satisfied. Rooms were super clean! We had a bath tub which is something I love in hotels. Drives me nuts when I stay somewhere fancy and it’s shower only! Vacation is about relaxation and there in nothing relaxing about a shower!
We also had a garden/pool view which was pretty sweet! The luxury king room was plenty roomy for two adults and one small child. If you have two small children, you would be just as cozy. 3-4 adults in this room? I wouldn’t recommend that one bit unless one of the adults was itty bitty and wanted to sleep on a day bed. Just book that second room!
Beaches also restocks the mini bar daily with beer and wine. When you check in the awesome people at the front desk will ask you what your beverage preferences are and will keep you nice and stocked with your favorites!
While there are over 21 restaurants at Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos, you will find several right outside your room in the French Village.
French Village Pool
The pool is honestly my favorite out of all of them! With 1/2 an acre to swim, a kiddie pool along the side and an awesome swim up bar with delicious pina coladas, the French Village Pool was top notch! I loved how spacious the French village pool was compared to the other villages. It also seemed to be the most low key out of all of the pools! I’m guessing due to location. Plenty of room & plenty of cabanas! We checked out the other pools and always ended up back at the French Village Pool due to low crowds.
Honestly, I was rather shocked that the French Village was actually nice! For being the “cheaper” village, nothing screamed cheap about it. Fabulous pool! Rooms comparable to every other high end all inclusive resort in the Caribbean, with plenty of eating and drinking options right outside our room door, it definitely passed the #BoujeeOnABudget test! Best value for your buck!
The only downfall is it is a hike to get to both the beach and Camp Sesame kids club. I think this is where the price comes in! You aren’t paying a low rate because the rooms aren’t nice, you are paying a low rate because you will be doing a lot of waking if you’re a family that takes advantage of the all inclusive baby sitting since the French Village is the furthest village from Camp Sesame AND the beach.
Would I stay in the French Village again?!? Hell yeah! Honestly, I do want to check out the Italian Village since it’s one of the newer villages and I love new hotel rooms, plus the beach is right there! But, if the opportunity came for me to stay in the French Village again, I wouldn’t even give it a second thought! Especially if the price was right! You know your girl loves a good travel deal! I don’t mind walking. Best way to burn off those all you can eat calories, so sign me up!
Have you been to a Beaches Resort? If so, which village did you stay in?
Finally!!! Let’s talk Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos #FoodPorn ! Y’all know when I travel eating the best is a must!!! I’m the biggest foodie ever and bomb food is a passion of mine!!! If I travel somewhere and I find out I didn’t have the best, I literally get depressed. We couldn’t let that happen on this trip! I just had to try it all!!
With over 22 restaurants at Beaches Turks & Caicos, it was a foodies paradise!! With less than a week to make sure we tried the best of the best, Hubby and I got to eating as soon as we arrived. Literally, we dropped our stuff off in our room and immediately hit up restaurant #1 minutes after arriving!
The funny thing was, we would keep trying all of this amazing food around the resort, but would end up eating lunch #2 ( yes a second lunch, it’s all inclusive so a second lunch is a must! ) at The Jerk Shack!
Only place I have ever dined on better Jerk Chicken is from hole in the wall restaurants in Jamaica itself!!!
Safe to say since we ended up at The Jerk Shack over and over, The Jerk Shack gets my #1 spot for Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos Lunch Spots!
Jerk Chicken, jerk pork, jerk fish!!!! It’s a jerk paradise!!! My absolute favorite was the pork!!! This was the first time I ever had jerk pork and honestly it’s my new obsession!!!!!
The best part of all? You can keep going up for more and more since Beaches is all inclusive! You can try everything all at once if you’re that motivated!!!
Now let’s talk sides!!!! You definitely do not want to forget about those!!! The grilled corn was literally to die for & the sweet potato fries were so yum!!!
The Jerk Shack Rum Bar
Are you really eating lunch in paradise without a delicious cocktail in hand?!?! I was hooked on The Mama Shack! I’m not usually a liquor drinker, but when I do decide to sip on a cocktail instead of my beloved champagne, I love me some coconut run and this cocktail was full of it!!! A total girly drink with a huge kick since it taste like juice, but will have you laughing like a school girl when you walk away since it’s definitely boozy!!!
Irie Grill ~ Honorable Mention
On our very last day in Turks & Caicos, while swimming at the Caribbean Pool at Beaches, we discovered Irie Grill! If you’re obsessed with The Jerk Shack, you will be just as obsessed with Irie Grill build your own Jerk Tacos! That’s right, delicious Jerk on a tortilla poolside!!! I was so sad I didn’t discover this delicious hidden jem sooner, since Jerk and tacos combined might actually be one of my new favorite foods!!!
Have you been to a Beaches Resort? Have you dined at the Jerk Shack?
Beaches Social Media on the Sand was literally a dream moment for me!!! It’s nice to get that pat on the back and told you’re an internet badass and to keep on doing you since it can be easy to lose yourself in this industry.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit we all get paranoid that we aren’t pretty enough in front of the camera. We don’t have enough likes! We don’t have the best equipment! We can’t spell, so will that effect our chances of landing dream opportunities (ok that one might be for me lol) But really, the list goes on!!!
So to have such a fab and glam company such as Beaches Resorts invite me to such a prestigious event?!? Ahhhh!!!! I needed that reassurance that’s for sure.
Since all my fellow boss babes have been blowing up my Instagram inbox with questions, I figured I would share the most popular ones here!!!
1. What Is Social Media On The Sand?
#SMOTS #BeachesMoms for short is an invite only social media conference for influencers, content creators, marketers, media, and blogging professionals held at Beaches Resort Turks & Caicos. A total #bossbabe event where Beaches Resorts invites incredible business insiders such as Daymond John (FUBU/Shark Tank), Rebecca Minkoff(fashion designer), Jamie Kern Lima (founder It’s Cosmetics) to spill all their secrets!!
Definitely an event for professionals! Regardless of how big you may think you are, I guarantee there will be someone twice your size sitting right next to you. Be prepared to be in awe the whole time!
2. How To Get Invited?
The question that still pops up in my inbox!! How did I get invited? Honestly, I wish I had the answer, but after experiencing #SMOTS , I think I have a little direction for those wanting to attend in the future!
We all need to keep in mind that these types of partnerships need to benefit EVERYONE! We all want to be invited on a tropical vacation, but will your brand help the Beaches brand?! Think about that one!
“Eat, Well, Look Fab, Travel Often” is my sites motto! BUT luxury travel deals is my specialty when it comes to travel! The hashtag #BoujeeOnABudget is what I’m known for and an all inclusive resort screams #BoujeeOnABudget !
Then add the fact that Beaches is a Sesame Street partner and my child is Sesame Street obsessed! Boom!
The cherry on top? Beaches is the #1 resort in the world for special needs families. IBCCES Certified baby!!! My child is high functioning autistic! I use all of those special needs services especially their Camp Sesame & after hours babysitting!
It’s safe to say Beaches and I are a match made in heaven and my readers will be intrigued with everything I share when it comes to Beaches since they live a similar lifestyle to my own family.
Can your brand offer the same return? Beaches gives you a luxury vacation with a conference day full of entrepreneur leaders giving brand changing advice. Can you give them something valuable back in return? That my friends I feel is the secret to the invite! Not likes! Not follows! Your online community and what you and your community offer the Beaches brand.
3. Was It Worth It?
Regardless of all the brand deals, sponsors, things content creators get for “free”, the truth is nothing is exactly free! Everything in life costs $$$$! You can’t just show up places, especially conferences. You have to pay for this that and the other thing and those extras all add up! I keep on getting asked if as a content creator, was this trip worth everything I put into It?
For my brand yes! As I mentioned before, luxury travel is what I specialize in on my “Travel Often” section of my site. You will never see me stay somewhere below a 4 star rating. Beaches is 100% my niche and the conference definitely sharpened this mama’s business skills!
You definitely get out what you put in when it comes to an experience like this. If your brand isn’t an exact match, I would not recommend such a trip because your readers would not want such content from you. It would be a waste of time & money! I have so much content from this week long trip that I’m trying to figure out what makes the final cut! Best decision I’ve made in a very long time was to attend #SMOTS
However, I was chatting with another boss babe and she felt the opposite. Her kids are tweens. She felt like she was leaving with a hotel review and that’s it since her kids were not interested in shooting pics at anything Sesame and would rather text via WiFi the day away instead of hitting the water slides. Long story short, this all depends on YOUR family and brand! I can only hope I get invited again next year. My daughter has a few years of that sesame obsession left!!!
4. The Other Content Creators
This was actually another very popular question! Influencers aren’t exactly known for being the nicest bunch. There are definitely mean girls and my fellow boss babes all wanted to know if this was a mean girl event. Honestly, I didn’t encounter one mean girl situation. I actually feel like a lot of people were on their best behavior and this socially awkward content creator was very thankful for that!
However, this is definitely an event for those going places in this industry. No itty bitty nobodies! This is an invite only event after all. So do expect a little ego, but that’s expected when you get a group of badass captains together at an event.
I know I was in awe the whole time when people would tell me what they contribute to on a national level. Instead of being intimated, use this to your advantage. Make friends and chat business!! We can all learn from each other.
5. Did You Feel Safe?
Another question I was frequently asked. As a world traveler, I definitely get why people may be frightened at the idea of heading to an island out of the country for a week. I swear all that drama in the DR still has people freaked out thinking every island is unsafe.
My answer however is I did feel 100% safe. I wandered the resort many times solo! Even at night to grab a midnight snack and never once was creeped out or scared. I never did leave the resort besides airport transfers, so I can’t speak about exploring the island outside of Beaches, but if you stay on property as I did, nothing to worry about!
6. Who Should You Take With You?
So many have asked if this is something to attend solo or is this for real a family affair? While you can do anything in life solo if you choose, this is a week long event families are welcome to with open arms. You will definitely be in the minority if you were to attend solo!
I do NOT attend events that you cannot bring your family. Like if it’s a day event? No big deal! Over night however, nah! I’m still a mom to a little one. Maybe I will feel differently when she’s a tween/teen and I can send her off to friends and family. That’s why #SMOTS was a dream come true. An event for content creators AND my family gets to attend?!? Score!!!
7. Would You Attend Again?
Heck yeah!!! A content creator that loves to write all things high end travel & a mother to a Sesame Street obsessed special needs child, Beaches Resort is my family’s paradise. Mom gets to network with professionals and boss babes while my hubby and kiddo get to enjoy a high end vacation that charters to special needs kids! Only other resort that goes out of the way for autistic children is Sesame Place, so it was very relaxing for us to not feel obligated to explain my daughters diagnosis over and over to staff. The staff at Beaches already know how to deal with special needs kids and are trained not be obnoxious! If only there were Beaches Resorts everywhere in the world because we felt right at home! Fingers crossed an invite to #SMOTS lands in my inbox next year!!!
Have you even been to a Beaches Resort?
As most of you know, I just walked in my front door this afternoon after spending a fabulous week in Turks & Caicos thanks to Beaches Resorts! For the past 5 years Beaches Resorts has hosted an event called “Social Media On The Sand” (SMOTS) where they invite top parent influencers to their resort for a week of sharpening business skills beachside with our families! That’s right, the awesome people at Beaches let the kids and hubby’s tag along for all the fun. Not very often brands include family too!!!
This is the 3rd year I have been blessed with a SMOTS invite and the first I was actually able to attend since there weren’t weather issues canceling the event! Yes, that really happened!!!! If you follow my travels, I swear hurricanes follow me everywhere and those hurricanes do not discriminate against SMOTS events lol.
Since all the business knowledge I picked up from incredible business minds like Jamie Kern Lima (Founder It Cosmetics) Daymond John (Shark Tank/FUBU) and Rebecca Minkoff is fresh on my mind, I figured I would share my takeaways before getting into all the why you need to go to Beaches NOW content! I’m sure all my fellow boss babes can use a tip or two and these business minds had a few fabulous ones I just need to share!!!
Don’t Let Copycats Intimidate You.
This is honestly the biggest thing I left Turks feeling better about. I may only be considered a macro-influencer, but other influencers love to copy me! People in my very own backyard don’t even hide the fact they copy everything down to what I eat, drink and say online! If I’m keeping it real with y’all it low-key makes me self conscious. Like how would other people know I was the original?! How would readers know I started that trend? Having your hard work and ideas ripped off is a horrible feeling to deal with.
Then I heard Jamie Kern Lima give a very inspirational pep talk about copycats! She created a billion dollar beauty business and had brands bigger than her steal her ideas and you know what? They eventually failed at what she was excelling at because people know when others are faking things.
The truth always comes out! My ideas and what I say are real online and will be the same real 10 years from now. I never plan on changing only growing as a person and brand! These copy cats can only copy for so long before they get burnt out and can’t keep up with the lie anymore! People will eventually see right through it all and click that unfollow button.
Long story short, all of us boss babes need to stay in our own lanes and keep on kicking ass ignoring those copycats. They will take themselves out eventually.
Numbers Do Not Matter
Long gone are the days where only youtubers with millions of subscribers are the only ones to make that cash! According to speakers from both google/YouTube and Facebook/IG, brands are looking for community these days. It’s the macro influencer time to shine!!!! Same with you micro influencers!
Have a strong community behind your blog/socials?
Share that in your pitches!!!
Likes/followers are a thing of the past and those shares/comments mean way more when it comes to cashing in and making your dream job of creating content for a living a reality!
Figure out your “secret sauce” for sharing on your insta stories! The good news is I tend to over share on my stories and I was pretty much told that I should keep on doing that! No such thing as over sharing since over half a billion people actively post to their stories daily!!! That’s right half a freaking billion since stories are an amazing tool to let your community into your life!
Blog about vacations?! Share how you find those amazing vacation deals on those stories!
Is makeup your jam?! Do your daily makeup on your stories!
People love to see the un edited version of your brand, so share it!
Not Balancing It All? You’re Normal!
One thing I have struggled with since the beginning of The Trophy WifeStyle is balancing it all! I may look like I have it all together online, but in real life? Hahahaha! If my family life is better than ever on insta stories, then the business side of my blog sucks! If I‘m pumping out bomb content 24/7, I’m probably neglecting my family more than I would like to admit! The worst part about all of this is that my business is built on my family! This is what I write about so how am I not able to balance it all and fit everything and everyone in perfectly?!?! I felt like I was failing in life since my work/family life balance is never even! What if I said this is normal and every last person feels this way!
Daymond John from Shark Tank/FUBU didn’t hide the fact that this was one of his biggest struggles. If a Shark can feel this way that has employees helping him on the daily, little ole me with zero employees feeling like I suck at balancing it all is ok.
We just have to figure out a rhythm that works for us and flow with it! We will never be 100% balanced and that’s ok and normal and we shouldn’t stress about it too much. My family doesn’t hate me and my blog is doing better than ever, so I must be doing something right! That balancing it all stress is a total time sucker we need to eliminate so we can use those extra minutes to better our families and/or businesses!
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.