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“Good times at Xtabi”
Review of Xtabi Resort

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Xtabi Resort
Ranked #35 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 August 2008

My wife and I stayed at Xtabi for the first three nights of our eight night trip to Negril. This was our third trip to Negril, our previous two times on the cliffs being at the Rockhouse. Just to set the record straight there is a big difference in the feel between the two places but each has their own advantages. Xtabi is a budget place and should not be judged against the higher end properties. We stayed accross the road from the water in an air conditioned room on the second floor with a view of the ocean. The room had high cielings, was clean and comfortable with great water pressure in the shower. There's no tv, phone or clock but those are the things we are trying to get away from anyway. There is also no fridge but when I mentioned that fact to our housekeeper she immediately arranged for us to borrow a big cooler which we filled with ice daily to keep our drinks cold. The small pool was off to one side of our block of rooms and was pretty much unused during our stay.

As soon as you cross the road to the cliff side you enter the bar/restaurant In our experience this is the best, friendliest bar in Negril. No piped in reggae covers of bad American songs, good, reasonably priced drinks and great conversation. Donovan is such a great bartender that he would pretty much play any music we requested and even burned a copy of a cd for us before we left. We had some bad weather during our stay and spent a lot of time hanging out there with him, Andrew, Michael and a couple of the property managers (forgot their names). Had one dinner and two breakfasts there . Breakfast is good and reasonably priced but we thought dinner was a little pricey. It was good but $19.00 for the regular fish meals is high for the area. The view and the service provided by George was top notch. Also ate at Jus Natural, the Rockhouse and Sips n Bites. Jus Natural is a wonderful outdoor place where we met the owners whole family and had a great breakfast. Just a quick word on Sips n Bites: this is our favorite place to eat in Negril. It isn't much to look at but the food and atmosphere can't be beat. The owner, Rona is a true credit to the Jamaican people and her smile lights up the entire place.

Water access at Xtabi is the one thing that I wished was better. There are two places to sit by the water but there is no shade and the stairs leading down to them are a little hazardous. Not a big deal but a couple of umbrellas and some repairs to the railing would help.

Overall we enjoyed our stay and wished it was longer. For the price Xtabi delivers much much more than we expected. The staff members make it a true Jamaican experience which is not easy to find, especially at the beach area of Negril. If we choose to check out different lodgings on the cliffs in future visits we'll always stop back to visit these fine people.

Dave and Kate

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank dcon59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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384 - 390 of 482 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2008

The room was ok, I consider it budget lodging. It was not a luxury room but it was big and had a big balcony. The amenities were also somewhat budget but not bad. The pool is not on the beach side and neither are the rooms.

The resturaunt is right on the water. It was very good food (dinner). The breakfast was good. Lunch was ok too. The staff was friendly and helpful.


I don't recommend Jamaica but this place wasn't bad.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank cgreenburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2008

Second time there and it was great once again. We recommend xtabi to everyone. Love the laid back attitude and the native/local feel. We'll sureley return time and time again. The staff is great. Max & Sally

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mbpadw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2008

Xtabi Resort - Negril at the Cliffs
June18,2008
Writing from St. Sauveur, Quebec ( north of Montreal)
We just came back on the 17JUN08 from the most Romantic 7 day stay at the Xtabi Resort at the Cliffs in Negril. WE stayed in Cottage 2 and had the most wonderful view of the sea right from our King sized bed. The cottage was quaint no a/c we were pleasantly surprised that the ceiling fan kept us cool and managed excellent sleeps each night. The shower was outside which was so relaxing and refreshing. We had our own private terrace with table and chairs and 2 lounge chairs which made you feel totally private, you were able to sit back and take in the most amazing views of the cliffs and sea any time of the day and see the dolphins swim by and the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine. Although we were just married, Shawn and I were together 7 years and we just reconnected like when we were first dating. The rooms have fridges so you can stock up on wine or beer at the local minimart. The staff were truly amazing from our pick up at the airport by Kingsley , to The Manager Alan and the bar tenders/ waiters Omar (Bling - Bling )and Donavon to Andrew the activities guy. The food and drinks were just delicious and just to the left of the hotel you have a restaurant Just Natural where Theresa cooks you up a wonderful meal for 2 including your beers for $20 US and to the right you have 3 Dives best Jerk anything from Chicken to Fish just mouth watering.

The spectacular colours of the water and snorkelling were fantastic. There was no need to go out too far to see the sea life it was just a jump off the ledge and the fish were there. Andrew , would guide you to all the spots in the water.

All the staff were truly amazing and made our stay so welcoming. WE would definitely go back it truly is the meeting place of the Gods. You will never experience anything like Xtabi anywhere else in the Carribean.

You must check it out for yourself.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Happybride43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2008

My wife and I spent 5 nights at Xtabi and we WILL return as soon as possible. We stayed in cottage #4 and it was the best value for the money we have ever encountered.We had uncluttered views of the ocean and a very private balcony in which to enjoy each others company. If you need any transportation during your trip ask for Kingsley. He made our trip much more enjoyable and really took the time to make us understand Jamaican culture. His rates were always the best and when he couldn't accomodate us with a planned trip to Mayfield Falls, he got us a driver for the same price. Champion was great and he was as patient as Kingsley. Andrew was the activities director and all around scuba guru on site. He was amazing and he also arranged for a girl to come to the resort to braid my wifes hair. You can't miss him because he's very muscular with 0% body fat. The staff was great overall and I'm sad to say I heard several people say that Xtabi is for sale. Let's hope they don't change much...except the restaurant. The reason I did not take points away for the bar/restaurant is because there is a seperate category for that. Food portions were tiny and expensive and for a "fine dining" restaurant, the menu was un-imaginitive. The food was rarely cooked properly, but the service was great. I also noticed the bartenders mixing drinks without alcohol in them and then pouring rum down the straw. This gives the impression that you're getting a strong drink when in reality you're getting about 1/4 of the booze you are paying for. To be fair though, with the exception of Sun Beach on 7 mile beach, no place in Negril mixed a drink properly. I would suggest Three Dives for dinner, Sips and Bites for Lunch and Just Natural for breakfast. All are within walking distance from Xtabi and all are very reasonably priced. For cocktails my wife and I went to Seven Mile Beach and drank at Sun Beach. Dennis the Menace was a great bartender. My wife and I felt like we did when we first started dating and we owe Xtabi all the credit in the world for that.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank NYRGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2008

My friend and I just got back from Xtabi this week and I am already ready to go back!! Alfred picked us up at the airport in the middle of a crazy storm and even after a few road closures got us to the hotel safe and sound (even stopped for a few Red Stripe's along the way). From begininning to end the hotel's service was amazing!! We stayed in room 8 and had an amazing view. The hotel has wonderful food for every meal. However, I do recommend the Jamaican Breakfast for the morning. Each dinner comes with a different soup each night and make sure to ask what night is the pumpkin, and be sure not to miss it!! Colin is a night server, and there are two Omar's in the am, all of them especially "bling-bling' Omar will be sure to make your meal very enjoyable. Donovan is the bartender and makes the best drinks; go to Champion for any wood carvings you may want and ask for Andrew if you want to dive or snorkle. The entire staff makes you feel instantly welcome!! Xtabi is a different experience than if you stay on Seven Mile Beach in one of the all-inclusive's. Xtabi is much less touristy and definitely a better choice if you want a laid back and more of a 'real' Jamaica vacation.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
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4  Thank NewYorkJenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2008

But I have definitely found what I was looking for. I have been searching high and low through the Caribbean and Central America for a place to permanently vacation for about 7 years. And Negril… oh Negril. I just flew back into Toronto last night and I’m still left breathless from everything it had to offer.

Let me start off by saying I am easily impressed. I’m probably one of those reviewers that you can disregard as the top 10% that will be happy with anything. I’ve knocked a cockroach off my bed and immediately snuggled right into it, smiling after seeing a couple of sharks during a great dive in Costa Rica. I really don’t care that that much about where I am sleeping as long as there is great everything else. Another thing I should let you know is that I am extremely lucky so not everyone may have the same experience as me.

For this 7 night, 8 day vaca, my boyfriend, Marty, and I were going to stay in one of the air conditioned rooms at Xtabi on the cliffs, which were a ridiculously great value. That is, until Marty saw the pictures of the cliff-side cottages on negrilonestop, and there was no stopping him from staying at one of the two story cottages, a/c or not. Sure they cost over 100% more and hey we are totally on a budget but look at that water…They have a wicked off season package that includes airport transfers and full (amazing! Anything you order!) breakfast, including coffee and juice, at their restaurant. On top of that, there’s a further discount during the month of June that knocked off another 30% from the room, which we paid in cash. It ended up being about $820 for the week, but we saved probably $20 a day from the breakfasts (probably more because they made us full until dinner sometimes!) and $120 in airport transfers.

And the actual cottage? I cried that night because I could not fathom staying in a more perfect place. We were in Cottage two for the first 2 days and moved to Cottage 4 for the last 5. I’m not going to knock cottage 2 at all because it was fantastic when we first got there but once we moved into 4, there was no comparison. Cottage 4 is really new and from what I had read, reviewers were saying the best ones were 4 and 1. We befriended the two couples that moved in and out of Cottage 1 so we were over there a couple of times and though they were very similar, I have to say I think that ours was better because of the stairs leading up to the loft. Cottage 1 has pretty much a ladder you have to climb. It did, however, have a bidet, which ours did not. There is no A/C in the cottages and last week it was HAWT, man, but the ceiling fans are so strong that we still didn’t miss the A/C, and sometimes at night we were even chilly! We had planned on cooking since we had that full kitchen and fridge but pretty soon we realized that buying the ingredients and cabbing to the Hi Lo would cost more than eating at some of the restaurants. Anyways, we ended up filling the fridge with redstripe so at least it got some use! The cottage was on an overhanging cliff above the crystal clear blue sea. We had two private decks. One of them is totally private and you could sunbathe nude if you wanted to and no one would see (unless you wanted them to, I suppose). That one is right outside the cottage and there’s sun loungers and a table. The other is lower and that one is full on sun, no shade available, but closer to the water. Oh and the outdoor shower = total sexification. At night you can lie down in a slightly drunken haze and stare at the stars for hours. We could, anyways. Neither of us could remember the last time we had seen stars, living downtown in a major city. The manager, a Scotsman named Alan, is SO cool. He is a member of the Negril Rotary club which made it super convenient when we were scratching our heads over what to do with the suitcase of puzzles and crayons and stuff we brought over. Tons of great stories and very very helpful.

The cliffs are where it is AT. People from the beach were taking glass bottom boat trips to Xtabi so they could snorkel there. Something we could jump right off our deck and do any time we pleased. I’m an advanced diver, but if I can see the same stuff from a safer depth snorkelling, I’m happier to do so. So from right off our deck, there’s a (mostly dead) reef. We saw moray eels, a sting ray, beautiful fish (angelfish too!), a bright orange crab, puffer fish, squirrel fish (my favourite cause they look like punk rock stars) and unfortunately one day, a ton of jellyfish. YIKES! Otherwise, the visibility is fantastic. Some other guests didn’t see anything but like I said earlier, I am extremely lucky. Another lucky thing that happened that I will take this moment to brag about was I saw dolphins almost every day from our deck or the restaurant. I thought this was just normal but I discussed it with some staff and they said it was definitely not an every day occurrence.

You can snorkel in and around the caves too, which are a spectacle in their own right. We walked in and around and explored those caves. SO COOL! Little crabs scattered around everywhere and you can throw chips and they’ll eat them. However, our last night, two guys were exploring the caves and one got bitten by something and had a wicked allergic reaction. We weren’t there but we were told he almost died and his face was swollen to unbelievable proportions. No one is sure what it was but word went around that it was a spider. So if you have death allergies to spider or other insect bites, don’t go climbing around dark caves, barefoot, that have lots of rocks in them where spiders and other insects thrive. Duh. The guy didn’t have an epi pen or anything and had to be rushed to Sav la Mar… It’s a whole other story. I suppose it’s possible he may not have known he was deathly allergic to insect bites.

If you have a chance, go and do a snorkel tour or fish with Famous Vincent. He takes his boat up and down the cliffs looking for customers and he is an honest and fantastic tour guide. He really cares about the reef which I found to be very refereshing. His rates are better than the other glass bottom boat tours that take off from the beach.

Have fun when you go, I'm super jealous!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Cynth_L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Xtabi Resort

Address: Lighthouse Road, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in Negril
#22 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
Price Range: £46 - £117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Xtabi Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Xtabi is a 25 Room Boutique Hotel, We are located on the West Cliffs of Negril, one + miles from the Negril Beach.XTABI offers a variety of different facilities such as economy and standard rooms, as well as one or two storey private cottages. Some of our accommodations are set in the lush tropical garden near the pool, others are on the impressive cliffside overlooking the Caribbean Sea.XTABI RESORT awaits you with a dramatic water front setting where spiral stairs are leading down through a cave to a sandy beach. Many grottos along the cliffs are to explore and the shallow reefs nearby ensure great snorkeling. The cliffside bar and restaurant welcomes you for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving good food in a friendly atmosphere with a breath-taking view and nice music. Xtabi will make you feel IRIE ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Xtabi Hotel Negril
Xtabi Resort Negril

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