I just returned from a quick trip to Negril, Jamaica, and i wanted to share an absolute traveler's gem with anyone interested.
My girlfriend and i stayed at the Grand Pineapple Resort, which was quite nice, and we had airport transfers included in our price. What we didn't have was ground transportation to any excursion destination. We are independant world travellers, and we don't often rely on the big excursion companies affiliated with the resorts. We prefer the more private, customized, and affordable offerings to be found in most communities.
When we arrived we relied on good faith alone to find us a driver - we didn't spend any time researching before our trip - and as i mentioned earlier, we found an excellent driver who i think many people would be overjoyed to work with. Our driver and tour coordinator is a man named Ashton and his company is Art Concept Enterprise. He is the sole proprietor owner-operator of a comfortable van, and he is available to take people anywhere they want to go in Jamaica for about half the price of the "big guys."
I could not give Ashton a higher recommendation. Actually, after travelling all around the world, this is my first review/posting and his good service is what inspired this sharing. He really is one of the best-kept secrets in Negril. My friend and i met with him the night before, we talked over a price, and the next day he picked us up first thing in the morning and drove us on an eight-hour excursion to Nine Mile, hometown and final resting place of Bob Marley. Ashton will pick you up and take you any place you desire - airport transfers, tourist destinations, even around town.
Ashton's van is comfortable but is not a luxury liner. His prices are also around half of what you'd expect to pay from the hotel excursion companies, and he is also more inexpensive than the couple of small independant drivers we found in Negril. What you get instead of luxury is dollars saved, complete and total flexibility, a safe ride amongst the crazy Jamaicans on the road, and a Jamaican tour guide that you want to keep as a friend forever.
Ashton is like the Jamaican big brother/father all tourists should have! My travel companion and i are single women in our thirties, and having Ashton along as a guide was wonderful! He is very knowledgable, helped negotiate with the locals, and ensured our safety every minute. He even went so far as to wait outside of our hotel on his own dime for two hours for us to get cleaned up after we arrived back from our excursion in order to drive us safely to the night club we were going to spend the evening at! Such a truly kind soul!
I just had to share our experiences. I am in no way affiliated or related to Ashton or Art Concept Enterprise - just a fellow traveller who knows something good when they see it!
(876) 376-2174 (Jamaican number)
Tell him Julia and Denise from Washington, DC sent you!