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Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

Los Angeles...
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Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

My boyfriend and I (both around 30) are thinking about doing a Jamaica vacation. We are looking for a resort with a good beach that has lots of watersports available, preferably snorkeling, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, tubing and catamaran tours. We also prefer a resort that has a new, modern feel and fun vibe. Hopefully a good pool with music, swim-up bar and crowd around our age.

From my research, it seems like the Couples and Sandals resorts are the best for watersports, but they look really old and outdated in the photos I've seen, and seem like they might be more for an older, quieter crowd. Iberostar Rose Hall Suites or Grand look really nice and fun, but don't seem to have very many watersports. Sandals Whitehouse seems like it might be a contender.

Any suggestions?

Connecticut
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1. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

Have a look at Jewel Paradise Cove. It has just completed months of top to bottom renovations, added a balcony or patio to the rooms, eateries rebuilt, new disco and a nice waterslide.

All watersports are an inclusive including the scuba resort course.

There is a "quiet zone" where gals can go topless if so desired; it is not a c/o zone. Zone has a pool, hottub, grill swim-up bar, large patio around pool, lots of shade if desired.

Several renovated a la carte eateries.

It is on the North coast: wikimapia.org/…b

Google away.

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2. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

valleygval

We are big water sports fanatics and prefer the calm clear seas of Negril. Negril overall wins for us for our final destination in JA for so many reasons.

Sandals Negril has newly renovated club level rooms which look very sleek in modern Caribbean design located in the Paradise block. We love SN, always have. For us it is the perfect place for an easy relaxing Caribbean beach vacation, a beach lovers paradise, long time loyal fans. Love the beachfront open air bars & restaurants, excellent service.

We were at SN last July at the start of the renos and will be returning this coming July so hoping to tour a room in the Paradise block if they are not at full occupancy. We prefer the Beachfront One Bedroom Crystal Lagoon Swim Up Butler Suites and will again be staying in this room category in July, we feel it is the nicest suite in JA, modern Caribbean design with added luxury by island standards . We have also stayed in the Paradise block before the major reno and loved the location on resort and close proximity to the sea.

Our other favorite resort in Negril while traveling as a couple in JA is Couples Swept Away. Every July we split a stay at CSA with SN, 7nts at each (sometimes we split CSA with a different Sandals Resort like SWH). Last year we did SN, CSA & SWH during our 3 week stay. Too many red flag days for us last year at SWH and during our past stays at SWH, which happens more often in the South Coast compared to Negril. For quality water sports & overall beach and sea conditions including a nice Sandy sea floor Sandals Negril wins for us over SWH.

I would not count Couples Swept Away out of your research equation. Newly renovated bathrooms but the room design remains the same, including huge verandahs which quickly become your living space blending with nature and gives a real Caribbean beachy feel, the rooms themselves have an understated elegance about them. You will really feel like you are in Jamaica here with a distinct island vibe. Meandering pathways lined with tropical foliage and singing tree frogs at night with the sounds of the sea and swaying palms. The Premeire Beachfront Suites are our favorite followed by the Beachfront Verandah Suites-truly beachfront. You may want to look at the Greathouse Jacquzzi Suites for a more modern feel.

It is a combination of many little things at CSA that are done right and well thought out by staff & management to enhance your beach vacation that really shine through and add up to a magical stay. The beach is amazing .... perfection.

Both SN & CSA offer many of the same inclusions of a true all inclusive such as included transfers, no tipping allowed, extensive water sports programs with modern equipment by island standards, both have great quality restaurant choices (at Couples the menus at all restaurants are switched up mid week for even more variety) and great staff. Couples includes wifi for all room categories (Sandals only.Club & Butler), an included sunset catamaran cruise and most importantly Couples provides an abundance of quality comfortable foam floaties for all guests with many left over even when the resort is at 100% occupancy (one for your lounger (so comfortable!) under your towel and one for you to take in the sea= luxury to me, it's the little things that all add up to a comfortable easy Caribbean beach vacation for us at CSA.

Enjoy your research and your time in JA!

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3. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

vallygval

As a side note we have stayed at Iberostar Suites as a family. Great service, great infinity pool beachfront with swim up pool bar, good number of palapas on the beach, dependable pool & beach drink service, very large balcony on our beachfront room with great sea views and the room itself was nice and modern.

Beach itself was fine but not the same powdery white sand found in Negril, sea entry not so much-disappointing. Overall beach & sea conditions at IRHS do not compare to Negril (as do none of the major resort areas IMO). Missed our convenient included variety of water sports that we have at Beaches, Sandals & Couples, missed Negril. Missed the Jamaican island feel (we knew this going in staying at a Spanish owned resort would not give us this) we are accoustomed to while on island.

Restaurant choices and tastes are subjective but for us lacking compared to Beaches, Sandals & Couples. Missed open air beachfront restaurants (all indoors) and bars (outdoor pool bar closes at 6pm).

Edited: 07 May 2014, 05:56
Nashville, Tennessee
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4. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

Loved your description of CSA, Negrilbeachlovergirl. Straight!

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

Thanks for the suggestions!

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

I looked into Jewel Paradise Cove and it seems almost perfect with the watersports and excursion inclusions, but I can't get past the disappointing cove beach. I watched some videos and the water seemed murky and not that great for swimming or long walks on the beach.

I'm thinking Riu Palace Tropical Bay might be the best option for us since it's in Negril and has a nice beach. The cheaper price would make it easy for us to do watersports and excursions with independent vendors since the resort doesn't include them. I just wish it was a little more luxurious. I was thinking maybe the new Azul Sensatori Negril since is seems more luxurious, but it is such a tiny hotel, I feel like we'd be bored. We tend to prefer bigger resorts with a bit more of a fun/party atmosphere and pool/beach games. Hedonism is out because we're not really into the nude scene.

Anyone have other thoughts/suggestions?

Roseville...
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7. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

Have you priced out the watersports and excursions you will have to pay for if you book the RIU? You might not save that much in the long run and both CSA and SN are much nicer properties.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

If you were interested in Jewel Paradise Cove check out Jewel Runaway Bay.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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9. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

<it's the little things that all add up to a comfortable easy Caribbean beach vacation for us at CSA.>

Great post, Negrilbeachlovergirl! I have been going to JA since the late 70s and we are headed back for our 36th or so stay in 4 weeks. When going AI, we choose Couples Swept Away as the overall experience is just about perfect for us. We have stayed at a wide range of AIs and non AIs on the island and since we are beach and ocean lovers, Negril wins for us hands down. We also enjoy the vibe of Negril more so than the other tourist areas.

RIU Tropical Bay does have a nice beach. Personally, I am not a RIU fan and would not stay there but the beach is nice.

Sensatori looks lovely and we are going to check it out next month. Small, boutique resorts are our preference and we have experienced most of the other resorts in that chain and find them to be very high quality. For us, a social scene is the last thing we look for though.

Edited: 05 June 2014, 10:47
10. Re: Best Jamaica resort for watersports that is modern/updated?

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