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White Sands Negril
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All reviewsbeach sideone bedroom apartmentdaily drink specialsprivate poolsun deckbudget hotelpattiesfull kitchensecond homefront officebeach barhome away from homemini fridgerooms are basiclaid backbeach securityseven mile beach
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644 - 649 of 954 reviews
Reviewed 5 May 2009

This was my husband and I's third trip to Negril and I couldn't have beep happier with the White Sands. The owners were very friendly and ALWAYS remembered our names. They made reservations for us during the day and would find us on the beach later to let us know what time to get ready. Only in Jamaica! The drinks were good, maybe the best in the area and not too expensive. Great Mud Slides and good deals on Red Stripes. The room was simple (we stayed on the beach side), but VERY clean - they changed our sheets every day!!!! There is nothing in the rooms as far as ammenities - no wash clothes, clocks, tv, radio, NOTHING, but the bed is comfy, the bathroom is clean and the balcony has a nice table and chairs to sit on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining because a person doesn't need anything more than the White Sands offers. Who needs a clock in Jamaica??? Oh, there was a great working fridge though and I suggest bringing your own wine because Negril has no good wine....I think Yellow Tail was the best I coud find and even that was hard to come by. My husband and I enjoyed evenings on our patio, drinking wine and listening to the tree frogs. The rooms close to the road might be a little noisy for some, but living in the city, we weren't bothered at all and usually slept with the patio door open so we could hear the frogs.
The security gaurd on the beach took very good care of our things. You could leave everything on your chair and he would watch over them all day. He would also take down and clean your chairs for you! The beach in front of the WS was very clean and quiet. The only "Jugglers" were fruit and juice sellers and the occational ganja peddler. There were a few locals who liked to hang out under the yellow deck, but they were really good guys and we actually had a super good time playing dominos with them!
My last two trips, I've stayed at Merrill's II and I like the White Sand's much better. The location is perfect and the price can't be beat! Pleae, don't come to the WS expecting something fancy. Come ready to enjoy Negril and everything she has to offer!!!! I will be back! Oh, and for a REALLY good margarita, go down to Kuyuba (spelling?). They make them with fresh lime juice and they are THE BEST!!!! One more thing...for the BEST patty in THE WORLD...go to Niah's Kitchen (his stand is inside the fenced in shopping area on the beach).. THE BEEEST EVER!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Krissy5252
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mrussell, Manager at White Sands Negril, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Thank you for your review.

We look forward to hosting you again on your next visit.

Cheers,
White Sands Negril

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2009

Overall, the White Sands is alright. It's relatively clean, cheap, has A/C and a and the owners are exceptionally nice. Also, the location is perfect for the best beach and swimming in Negril - which is just out of sight. It has security at the beach so you can leave your bags. Also, the drinks are very low-priced and it's walking distance to town or easy to hail a cab (although this was a downside, in the end). Lastly, if you are looking for budget meals, there are a wonderful array of $10 USD or less per/person eateries within 15 minutes walking distance. While many look like shacks, the food was exemplary. Be forewarned, they don't serve what's on their menus and the service is generally unsmiling. I'll get to restaurant reviews at the end.

On the downside, the hotel employees were not able to secure us a JUTA bus for our departure, despite 24 hour advance notice. So, instead of paying $40 USD to MoBay airport, we spent $60 (haggled down from $70). This felt like a scam. Generally, the staff was rude. They lied to us about the public transportation to try to get us to use their drivers! We found several random men standing in our room talking to our cleaning lady. The service couldn't have been much worse at the hotel restaurant (which was a bit pricey, although all of Negril is overpriced, for a third-world country... don't be fooled by assurances otherwise: Negril is filled with shanty towns and all of the problems poverty brings... similar to US Harlem, W. Hollywood or Oakland). There is NO security box in your room. The hotel is located across from a sewage treatment plant and smells like it. Nearby hotels had concerts going on that required me to sleep with earplugs. No wash cloths or shampoo were provided by the hotel. No overhead light. No bath. Water is hot, then cold, from the shower. No phone. No clock. No wakeup calls. No TV (obviously, but that was no issue). Beds were made once in a week. So, don't even think about "frills."

I wanted to experience Jamaican culture more than anything, having traveled a good deal, but found it was not for me. "Higglers" WERE aggressive, much more so than anywhere I've ever been, and I was touched on my shoulder often, which bothered me. Furthermore, I was accused of racism about 30 times in a week for not wanting to buy everything from marijuana to carved coconuts from the people constantly prowling the beach and roadsides. That's terrible for their tourism industry. I'm not technically white and found it all the more offensive. Worse, I couldn't walk more than 10 feet off of the property before being assailed every 20-50 feet. It wore me down until, after 5 days, I decided to stay in the hotel room. It helps to say "maybe tomorrow" in a cheerful voice. But several times, people were hostile to the point that a local once intervened.

Negotiate with cab drivers before getting in the cab. It should cost no more than 180J per person to get from White Sands to downtown. Some drivers will ask you for 1000J.

Shamrock market is much better than the Hi-Lo Market, which is the same as US prices. Jamaica is currently having a drought, so fruit stands are less prevalent.

Bring shampoo, wash cloths, and TAMPONS if you need them (10 were 8 USD...! Plus a cab ride). Careful of downtown Negril. It's fairly safe in the daytime, although West End is scary to walk in due to the blind traffic and no shoulder. Also, not mentioned: vicious little dogs.

I was disappointed to find out there were no reefs in Long Bay, thus we saw no fish and did not snorkel.

We did go to Half Bay Beach, which was a reprieve (it's semi-private and run by very nice people). Took a route taxi for 600J from White Sands.

Recommended restaurants (almost all budget, a few mid-price):

-Montana's - across from White Sands - some of the least expensive food we found and absolutely delicious. Loved their breakfasts. Particularly good was their egg sandwich with cheese and tomatoes (the lack of fresh produce started wearing on me).
-Selina's - about 15 min walk - for the budget traveler, this was unbeatable. The Jamaican Breakfast of Calalloo and Tomatoes and Wheat Toast with coffee is great. Run by a Canadian expat who will give you the rundown on local issues.
- Da Gino's - 5 minute walk - mid-price pasta place - a nice ambiance, try the cream of vegetable soup and ravioli (it's different but good, and they have about 15 different styles).
- LTU Pub - worth the cab ride to West End - mid-price but so very delicious! Prawn quesadillas with papaya black bean salsa and pumpkin soup were memorable, pleasant staff, gorgeous view of the sunset in a quirky little place.
- Miss Sonia's patties - budget - I don't care if it looks like a hole in the wall, Miss Sonia's is outstanding. For 400J, her fish patty was the best in Negril (and we had a lot of patties). 200J for a chicken patty that is pretty good as well. DO try them.
- White Sands - the restaurant is fine for lunch, although the menu is limited. However, I thought their jerk fish sandwich and escoveitch fish were really exceptional. About 700J each? Eat them on the beach with a book and a banana colada.

Didn't like Mi Yard, though it's popular. Food took 1 1/2 hours after ordering although we were the only people there. Just had some goat stew, rice and peas, and fried chicken. Cheap though. And everyone recommends it.

If I ever had to go back to Negril again, it wouldn't be by choice. If I did, I'd probably stay at the Mariposa hotel. Prices just a bit more than the White Sands, and I think this was attached to Da Gino's? I couldn't stay at an all-inclusive (waaay too touristy: I went for the culture).

Speaking of culture, the BEST time I had in Negril was taking a fishing boat up the Morass (just walk down to the bridge and they'll approach you... nice fisherman... way, way nicer than most of the people we met in Jamaica although beware: no English just heavy Patois)... about an hour for 3000J, to the Royal Palms. Wonderful experience. No you won't see a crocodile. Very quiet and peaceful with good company. For a bit more, you can keep hanging out with them and go fishing!

Oh, and don't change your money at the hotel (18%??). Change it at the bank downtown for 5%. And the front desk won't give you small bills. I finally changed 200 USD to Jamaican 50's for tips. Otherwise everyone "has no change."

Lastly, we went to see the "dub parrot." It's there (although it was feeling quiet). Next to a cage of doves. One of the doves was dead and the other doves were eating it. It was kind of a horrible footnote to our trip!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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2  Thank girl_friday09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mrussell, Manager at White Sands Negril, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Thank you for your review.

We look forward to hosting you again on your next visit.

Cheers,
White Sands Negril

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2009

My best friend and I recently vacationed at the White Sands Negril. Before going any further, know this: if you're looking for luxury and top amenities, you're not going to find it here. If you're looking for a clean and safe hotel in a good location then this is the perfect place. The room was quite spacious (garden side) and had a great balcony, which is where we spent most of our time when we were actually at the hotel. No TV, no phone, no clock, but it doesn't really matter - you're not in Negril to hang around your hotel room. We brought our own clock radio and it worked fine.
Not a far walk to the beach, right across the road. Nice little bar/restaurant right on the beach. Very tasty drinks and delicious banana pancakes!! Beach chairs available, and a security guard that is there until 7pm. The beach is beautiful and you can walk either way to restaurants and small bars/clubs. Margaritaville to your right and others to your left. Try the Boat Bar - reasonable prices, good food, and relatively quick for Jamaican laid-back style. Speaking of which, food usually takes quite a while for food to come out most of the time, so get used to waiting. Alfred's is a fun place to eat or have drinks. The Jungle was fun, met some other tourists there, and Thursday is ladies night. There is a small market down the street to the left of the hotel, about a 5 minute walk, called Shamrock, where you can get snacks, drinks, rum, suntan lotion, etc. Overall you're within walking distance to a lot of other hotels, small bars and restaurants, and everything else you might need. You can walk on either the beach or the street, but be careful because the driving can be a bit crazy. When walking the locals can be somewhat aggressive, but they are very kind and a simple no thank you works fine.
The people that own and work the hotel were really great and let us use their cellphone when the phone lines were down for a couple of days. The staff is all very nice, especially Janet our housekeeper! We met a lot of friends and couples there that had been coming back to the hotel year after year, even one that got married on the sundeck there and goes back every year for their anniversary! I can definitely say that when, not if, we go back, we would definitely visit Negril and stay at this hotel - we had an amazing vacation!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank irie09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mrussell, Manager at White Sands Negril, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Thank you for your review.

We look forward to hosting you again on your next visit.

Cheers,
White Sands Negril

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2009

The bottom line is this: if you can afford Sandals or somewhere else nice then this is a great relaxing hotel. The amenities are VERY basic but the service, cleanliness, and location are phenomenal for a relaxing Carribean vacation.

We were situated between the two bigger party areas of seven-mile beach and the location away from the noise on a clean section of beach makes this a very valuable location. The breakfast is meager and the bar is minimal (no one hangs out there either) but the location and price are okay if you don't mind exploring.

Overall, the experience is pretty dressed down compared to the more bucks-up places but the nice location, the lush gardens, and the helpful service make this a great cheap hotel.

To make your trip risk free, just remember these restaurants: Kuyaba, Bar-b-Barn, and Cafe Irie.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
3  Thank IDunno19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mrussell, Manager at White Sands Negril, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Thank you for your review.

We look forward to hosting you again on your next visit.

Cheers,
White Sands Negril

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2009

Well, you get what you pay for...
We got a standard beachside room on the main floor , that did not look safe at all! Ask for one at the upper floor!
The room was really small , with very worn furniture and the bed wasn't comfortable. Rooms also lack the safe box ( which you can find at the office )
The location makes up for the rest because it is really wonderful , right on the Ocean. It is simply amazing!
I found the food waaaaaay overpriced ( I remember having a toasted cheese sandwich and a ham & cheese one with a handful of fries plus 2 orange juices for 16 USD ) . Crazy !
Drinks are cheap so , just take advantage!
Overall the place is alright , but don't expect too much!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Quarte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mrussell, Manager at White Sands Negril, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2014

Thank you for your review.

We look forward to hosting you again on your next visit.

Cheers,
White Sands Negril

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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