Beautiful, Bountiful Beaches

Di-Andra Brown, Candiece Knight, Gabrielle McDowell

Tuesday, April 08, 2014    

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TeenAGE Observer revelled in a weekend at the recently renovated Beaches, Ocho Rios (formerly known as Beaches Boscobel). For the duration of the stay, the experience at the resort consistently surpassed expectations.

The resort boasts several new and improved features. These include: themed villages each with their own appropriate restaurants, bars, renovated suites and a new boardwalk. Beaches Ocho Rios is also home to Jamaica's largest hotel-operated water park. This ultra-inclusive family resort has undergone a lot of changes to ensure that its customers — from toddlers to adults — have the best experience possible. There is a broad scope of things to do. Lounge by one of the five pools, or build sandcastles on the beach during the day. Treat yourself at the spa and work out in the fully equipped fitness centre. Dine with the family at one of the several restaurants located on site. Perhaps your family would enjoy one of the many land/water sports available. They also host themed events and tours of the island courtesy of Island Routes. The Kids Kamp is the ideal place for tots to pre-teens, given the variety of activities offered that change on a daily basis. Liquid by Beaches also offers teens and pre-teens a place to hang out from 10 pm to 11 pm and for adults from 11 pm to 2 am.

The weekend-filled with food, fun, and adventure. It began with a brief tour of the resort and the rooms, then pizza at Bella Napoli. To our surprise, we happened to arrive just in time for the Sesame Street Beach Party. Characters such as Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Abby Cadabby and Zoe performed for the children, and the young at heart. Throughout the weekend, we savoured meals at The Bayside Restaurant, Josephine's Creperie, Neptune's, Eleanor's and The Venetian. This was paired with visits to Pirates Island Water Park, Trench Town, Xbox game rooms, the spa and the beach. We were also afforded the opportunity to meet a few Sesame Street characters.

teenAGE had a chat with two members of administration. This is what they had to say:

General manager, Ramel Sobrino shared that millions of dollars were spent to enhance the family resort. Instead of just one main area, now it boasts four distinctly themed villages. They are as follows: Caribbean, Italian, French and Greek. There is a new Opa Bar and Josephine's Creperie. They upgraded the beach, the bedrooms and expanded the Bayside dining room. He also shared that it brings him great pleasure to be involved in making the children happy.

Former Kids Club manager, now current animations manager, Mrs Danielle Grant-Buchannan explained some of the programmes that are offered to the young visitors. "They are arranged by the appropriate ages... We have a hang-out spot called Trench Town for the teens. They don't have to be a part of the teens' programme to enjoy it. We have pool parties for the children, arts and crafts, tie and dye, all kinds of activities." She shared that each day she looks forward to "creating smiles for the kids". For her, "it's an awesome feeling when the kids see their favourite Sesame Street characters, they just have a different smile..." She also expressed that Elmo tends to be a favourite among the kids. As such, the staff will walk around with him and hold various interactive exercises involving him and his little fans.

Both expressed that working with their teams makes their experience awesome. Together they are able to overcome a number of difficulties. Their family-like working environment aids in making their personal experiences — regardless of occasional hardships — not only bearable, but worthwhile.

The renovations made to the resort have not only managed to improve the appeal of the facilities, but also the experience of the guests. We certainly had a great time.

— Di-Andra Brown, Candiece Knight, Gabrielle McDowell





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