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Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Toronto, Canada
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Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

We have been to Jamaica a few times, but always all-inclusive. We are very interested in doing Negril and staying in one of the small inns/hotels and then taking taxis or walking to restaurants, to get the real feel of Negril. But, will it end up costing us more than an all-inclusive? We are a couple around 50 who love good food, love Jamaica food and enjoying having some drinks before dinner and perhaps meeting some new people at the local bars. Thinking of Country Country for accommodations. Thanks so much!

Kingston, Canada
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1. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

You can expect to pay what you would at home for similar quality, quantity, venue and service. (i.e anything from $5 for a small snack upwards to $25 for an entree at a better quality restaurant). Drinks range from $2 to $7. I suggest that you budget about $120 per day per couple for meals, drinks, taxi fares, incidentals etc etc. Having a room with a fridge helps for beverages.

Edited: 31 July 2013, 03:22
Saskatoon, Canada
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2. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Stayed at cc twice last year and loved it. The included breakfast is awesome! I stopped at a store (Mega Mart in Mobay) on the way to Negril and bought coco mania rum (1000ml for ~ $11) to mix with fresh juices and ting, beer, rum cream, pop, coffee and some snacks for the room. Took thermos cups to mix drinks to take to the beach. Spent about $100 and had lots leftover at the end of the week.

With the big included breakfast, we often just had a patty ($1) on the beach and maybe some fruit for lunch and had an early dinner. Jerk pork on the beach is $5. Many jerk chicken stands are about $5. My teen and I averaged about $75 day for food, drinks, taxis, activities, bit of shopping. The most expensive meal we had was at Ivan's which included just one cocktail, no wine, $67. Ivan's offers free pickup and Kuyaba & Seastar also return you for free....there are a few others that provide transportation.

Last trip (April), I discovered Anny's, just north of cc. Very inexpensive, good local food. 2 chicken/pork dinners was about $10! Delivered, it was fresh, hot and delicious! They serve lunch as well, eat in, delivery or take out. Country Country serves great dinners, $20 ish entrees (not great desserts though).

Drinks at CC are on the pricey end, so I self served when on property. Had before and after dinner drinks on my balcony, when eating there. On the beach, always self served from my room fridge.

You'll find lots of threads regarding recommended restaurants and prices. Search for "Negril happy hours and entertainment list" to give you a good idea of places to stop by for good, cheap drinks.

Have a great time!

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Great advice above, however I would suggest you plan on seeing the same prices as back home. If you like to drink and eat whatever you want with random taxi rides thrown in I would plan for $200 a day for a couple. You can have a great time for $50 a day if that is your budget and you know where to go.

Country Country is not a bad spot and the included breakfast is a good value. I actually prefer this area of beach and usually start out around here on my beach days. If relaxation is your goal look at the boutique properties on the West End as well.

Marietta, Georgia
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4. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

good info all----try to get up to the cliffs for a few meals (other than Ivan's)---sometimes you can save a bit from the beach restaurants---check out 3 Dives, Sips and Bites, Ras Rody (incredible local veggie food like pumpkin soup, callalloo, rice and peas and veggie stews---)

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Thank you so much for all the info! Sounds perfect for us.

Dallas, Texas...
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for New York City
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6. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Right next to Country Country is a small place called Crystal Waters Villas. It's fairly affordable and you get your own housekeeper/cook. She will cook 2 meals a day for you. You buy the groceries, or she will do it if you ask (tip extra for that). Yes, she will cook you Jamaican food if that is you preference. You coordinate with her on you menu. Plus you'll get to make your own drinks, etc.

Of course, you can still go out for meals, but it's great not having to eat every single meal at a restaurant and it's great to be able to make your own drinks to sip on the beach.

CWV has a nicer beach setup than Country Country. CWV has a roomy beach with palapas for shade (but plenty of room for sunning as well) They do a good job of keeping beach vendors away.

Country Country has prettier cottages and landscaping.

Oxford, Alabama
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7. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Don't miss Ltu Pub!! It will be your favorite meal in Negril!

Saskatoon, Canada
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8. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

I think Crystal Waters would be good to stay with family, I'm just not sure it's the best place for a Negril first-time couple. Within the last 1.5 yrs, I've been to Negril 3x, 2 of them next door at CC and I think I only saw a couple of people on CW beach once. It's really your preference, but I'm thinking it may not be social enough for you, particularly with no restaurant/bar on site...Margaritaville is right next door, but that doesnt provide the local charm. The beach is larger than CC's and the palapas are nice, but CC's beach is a good size for the number of guests, always some people on the loungers but never crowded. Plenty of umbrellas for shade and great security as well. And of course, you can mix your own drinks for your room, balcony, beach, I just wouldn't take them to the restaurant/bar.

Good points were raised regarding cost/budget vs an AI. It's really dependent on your spending style, drinking/partying style, budget and expectations. If you go eat and drink, ordering several drinks, wine, lobster etc at the higher end tourist restaurants/hotels every night, you could easily spend around the $150-$200/day/couple, or more if you really live it up and drink at the bars, this is including taxis etc. I can't imagine spending that much myself, but I'm a moderate drinker, like quality food, but am used to looking for good value and watch prices along with a bit of a splurge dinner once or twice during the week - I may have a couple of drinks at a bar, don't buy rounds etc.

As you say you enjoy local food, you'll find places that provide it very reasonably priced. Not fancy dining, but good food, such as Anny's that I mentioned earlier, by CC and other restaurants mentioned by other posters. Sweet Spice in the downtown area is good also and have read good things about Red Dragon in that area as well. Locals eat at these places, along with tourists. Alfred's and Sunbeach have good food on the beach, quite reasonably priced, although aimed at tourists. LTU (cliffs) is more mid-range pricing with some local clientele but moreso expats and tourists. Rockhouse, Ivan's and Kuyaba are among the higher priced more touristy places (although reasonably priced items are available too, similar to "home").

So the advice to budget as you would at home, is good. That should provide enough dollars to see you through at the more touristy places. However, $5-$10 in Negril at the local restaurants can get me much more satisfying quality than at home. I really suggest printing copies of the Negril beach & cliff maps as you plan and to take along. Make a few notes regarding recommended places. Before my first time, I came up with a pretty good idea of places on my short list before I left. Had phone numbers for pickup etc. I didn't plan it all, and of course didn't get to all of them, but it's nice to have some ideas and good recommendations as a base. I researched the route taxi system (and used it) and have come up with a list of recommended charter drivers for evening use. I enjoyed reading, learning and planning and it all contributed to great food, drinks and entertainment within my budget which = a great vacation.

Depending on the cost of AI's that you've stayed in for comparison and your style, some say they spend quite a bit less non AI, some about the same and some say more. My style, I spend less and enjoy the quality of what I want/spend non AI, but the biggest plus to me is the non AI experience. Love the personalized, homey feel at a small place like CC and the easy access to all kinds of local variety, food, drinks, music, beach, cliffs, etc. Just not the same at an AI and I don't think I'll ever stay at one in Negril. The $ options are available to suit everyone without compromising on quality, from little budgets to big ones. :)

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Thanks for all the great advise! I think we are very similar to you Genuine. We love good food and many of the all-inclusive places don't have the best food. And, we have only gone to 5 star. But we find the food unimaginative most of the time.

From what people say, I think the non all-inclusive will cost us a bit more, but it will be a better experience. We love Jamaica and have always wanted to try Negril.

Love all the food tips. Keep them coming!

Saskatoon, Canada
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10. Re: Restaurant prices if not going all-inclusive

Negrilonestop.com out of Toronto has free night specials for CC, depending on your dates. There are blackout periods over Xmas and most of February. They are great to work with.