My boyfriend and I stayed in Xtabi for 3 weeks in December and January. We first booked the garden cottage 21 for 12 days, and we planned to spend the rest of the trip on the 7 Mile Beach. But we liked our cottage 21 so much that after a week we just booked the rest of the trip in Xtabi.
The cottage is cute, wooden, has cooling fans in a living room and in the bedroom. They are a bit loud, but they are efficient, we certainly liked them. The cottage was clean, and even cleaner on many occasions when the wonderful cleaning ladies (Sharon, Cherry) cleaned it. They always did a great job, and they were always very kind. They often changed flowers in the vases with fresh ones as well.
The cooking equipment was modest, but useful and enough for us (2 burner stove, a tea pot, 2 frying pans, 2 cooking pans, a couple of cups, glasses, whole set of plates and silver). We are sure that in case we would ask for more, if needed, we would get it. We often made for ourselves fried plantains, rice with beans, cooked veggies, salads, fried potatoes, etc. (Almost on a daily basis we bought fresh veggies and fruits at a little shop which you find if you go walk 5-7 minutes towards the 7 Mile Beach).
We loved the garden around the cottage (Devon, George and Paul were amazing gardeners, and Ricki was amazing maintainer, and they were always friendly, and if you needed an advice, you could always turn to them). The landscape was really beautiful.
We loved our cottage. We often just sat around reading books or simply getting amazed by different birds, butterflies, flowers. It was like a paradise. (Only at nights it was sometimes difficult to sleep, since they let a dog running and playing around - making noises - , sometimes even hitting the wooden walls of our cottage. And at some point at night the water starts havily running from the wall close to the cottage, but it stops after 10-15 minutes. But when you just fall asleep and that wakes you up, it seems like eternity).
And to get to the sea, we just walked through the garden, crossed the road, and, hop, we were on the cliff, jumping into a crystal clear blue water, snorkeling (if you don't have your snorkels or flippers, you can rent them for the day from Xtabi), sunbathing on the terrace, or just having a cocktail. We recommend the Dirty Banana! The bartenders Omar and Dwight were perfect, we just loved them!
Often in the morning we would pick up coffee from the restaurant, and they prepared it on the tray, with milk and sugar so we could take it to our room. Sometimes we even picked up wonderful breakfasts and took them to our cottage. There was never any issue with any of that. They never declined our request. They were always cool about it. We really appreciated that, since a lot of hotels get all nervous if you only ask for taking the glass to your room.
We had only few meals at Xtabi restaurant, since we cooked quite some in the cottage. But every time we had the food there, it was superb! And so the waiter George was superb, and all of the other restaurant staff was great too! The only downside of the food was its price. It was quite expensive. For this reason, when not cooking at home, we went to walk to other restaurants in West End Negril. We found most of them within walking distance from Xtabi, so it was never an issue to find a good restaurant (or you just talk to one of the taxi drivers who are always sitting in front of the Xtabi entrance, offering rides for good prices).
There is not enough good things we can say about the cliff area at Xtabi. Sometimes we felt like the main swimming area was our private wild swimming pool. Xtabi is not a big hotel, so the sea is never too crowded. I would say that the biggest crowd was when there were 10 people in the water (and that happened maybe twice in 3 weeks). So you can imagine how much peace you can have on your own. It's really wonderful. Can never compare it to the 7 Miles Beach. Once we saw it, we knew we would hate it there. Too much crowd. While Xtabi on the other side is such a nice, peaceful, feeling-like-home place, just that it's not home, it's a PARADISE! :) We often went for a swim also at night. Around 9-10pm. Just for the last swim of the day. And it was sooo romantic and perfect! There are few lights on the cliff to lighten up the bay area. And it's really incredible to swim on your own, in the blue sea, lightened up by the lights from the cliffs. Not to forget the feeling when you swim flat on your back, watching the stars (there you can see A LOT of them, since the light pollution hasn't crawled over that sky yet), and (on Tuesdays) listening to live reaggae being played at Three Dives restaurant, which is just on the next cliff. Really an out-of-body experience!
On our last 2 nights we moved to the sea side cottages. We wanted to experience that part of Xtabi as well. And we didn't regret it. As much as it was difficult to say goodbye to our cottage 21 which was our home for nearly 3 weeks, we quickly got familiar with our sea side cottage. One night we were in cottage number 5. It's small, with no kitchenette, but it was very nice. It's close to the restaurant, but we didn't have a feeling that it would bother us. We barely heard the restaurant at all. In the morning we went for a swim from our access to the sea (the access to the sea was shared with cottage number 4).
And one night we stayed in cottage number 4. Well, THAT was something! We felt like being in a dream! Two story cottage, with kitchenette (although, the kitchenette could be better supplied - the garden cottage was better supplied than this cottage), with sea views all around, with a big terrace, table, chairs, ... Paradise, again.
There were 2 bathrooms! One downstairs and one upstairs by the bedroom. And there was even an outdoors shower to use it once you get out of the sea.
The waves were quite loud, much more than I could imagine. I had troubles sleeping. But probably just because I am not used to them. My boyfriend, who is a Californian loving waves, slept totally well. It's also true that (as most local people said), the waves and winds were unusual for this time of the year.
If I would change anything in the cottage, was just to fix the window shades. They were very rusty because of the sea water (this always happens when an estate is right next to the sea, I understand that) and it was impossible to either close or open them. OK, we stayed only one night and one day, but for a longer stay that might be an issue, since the sun is directed straight into the room, from many surrounding windows, and at night it would be difficult to block yourself a bit from the loud sea. The fans work perfectly though. Much better than in the garden cottage. They worked strongly and they weren't loud at all.
And I would also like to mention how safe the Xtabi was. We always left our stuff laying on the table outdoors, we left our towels, swimsuits, books, etc . (both, day and night). There was never any problem about it. I am sure we often forgot our phone or tablet as well, but they never disappeared (in cottage 5 we lost our mini SD card, we were sure we will never find it again, since it's so small and could be lost anywhere, but cleaning lady Cherry came next day to our cottage 4 and told us she found it on the floor, under the bed. We are still so thankful!)
Our beloved security guys took care of the peace and safety! Michael and Omar were our sweethearts! Always so nice, kind, friendly, helpful, anything you ask, they will help you. They take care of you. Some night my boyfriend couldn't sleep because of a headache. He went to sit in front of the garden cottage around 3.30am to get some air. Omar very soon came around to see who is moving around our cottage at 3.30am :). He wanted to make sure it wasn't someone un-invited. We felt really safe and looked over. It seemed like everything was promptly taken care of in a really perfect way.
It was our home. Our little paradise.
And so many friends that we got!!! Michael, the security guard, what a wonderful person! What a great character! Always greeting us, asking if we needed anything, always there to help. And always looking over us. Michael, we love you, we miss you! You made our vacation the best possible vacation ever!
It is a very long review indeed... but it is impossible to wrap up a review about Xtabi in few sentences. When you feel so welcome, when you feel so well taken care of ... When bartender Dwight while making cocktails can make you laugh for the millionth time with his jokes and his incredible open and funny spirit ... When Michael comes around, smiling and helping ... When all of these wonderful people take care of you on such a level ... it is impossible to leave a short evaluation. We have so many beautiful memories, we would want other people to know about this amazing place and its amazing crew!
We recommend staying in any of the cottages! We tried 3 different cottages and they were awesome!
Maybe the dog and the parrot in the garden by the pool could be less annoying, but you can't blame the trapped animal ... one on the leash all the time, another in the cage ...
But then ... well, then everything would be just too perfect. There must be a little thorn in the paradise as well, just to remind you that it's all true - you are in paradise, it's not a dream!
We are certainly coming back. We are already thinking of the dates in off season (when it's much cheaper), and we are thinking of bringing our families too. :)
Thank you, Xtabi crew! You ladies and misters are wonderful, without your dedicated and hard work, without your beautiful souls and without your eagerness to do anything for your guests, Xtabi inspite its natural beauty would never be for us what it was: a home in paradise that we want to return to again and again. If for nothing else, just to hug you all again and thank you for being such good, kind, amazing people! You are the rocks of Xtabi and we are so lucky that we had an opportunity to meet you and get new friends! Thank you endlessly! RESPECT!!! ONE LOVE!!!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Odigeo, Booking.com, Travel Republic (UK), Expedia, TripOnline SA, HotelsClick, Hotels.com, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your Xtabi Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Xtabi Hotel Negril
- Xtabi Resort Negril