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“Lovely beach area, but pretty average”

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Charela Inn / Le Vendome
Ranked #24 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 June 2011

I did a lot of research before choosing this hotel for my young family's week long stay in Negril, and wish to provide a balanced review that could be helpful to others looking for something similar.

Two aspects of this hotel convinced me to stay there - the beach area/location and the price of the family room.  These cannot be beaten from what we saw.  If these are your most important criteria, then Charela should make you happy.

Positives -

The beach area seemed to be the best on seven mile - lovely shade from the palms, generous space, shallow calm waters.  Never crowded.  And the location is great with some of our favourite bars and restaurants next door.

The family room offers two separate rooms with enough beds to sleep a family of five.  The price was excellent compared to other hotels I looked at.

Ruben was excellent.  He takes his job very seriously and looks after all the guests brilliantly.

More than enough room on the beach and sun lounges to accommodate the number of guests, so you don't feel packed in like sardines.  At the same time, the hotel is popular enough that you are not the only ones staying there in the low season (some hotels looked completely empty).

It was nice and quiet.  Even though the family room is closest to the road, noise was not a problem at all.

Free wireless internet.  I didn't think I would use this whilst on vacation, but it was really helpful to locate restaurants and the like whilst on vacation, rather than having to plan everything beforehand.

Negatives -

The bathroom stank horribly, there was a leak in the ceiling above the bedside desk which caused the clock and lamp to short out, and the room was overall very basic (which explains the price of course).

The staff were not really friendly like at other places where we ate. The regular beach guy was downright lazy. We found it hard to locate him to get or return towels and it was only one day when Ruben relieved him that we found out there were beach and water toys for the kids.  By the end of the week, we received a few smiles from the restaurant staff, but compared to all the other places we ate at, they were pretty surly.  One girl on the from desk was helpful, but the other bordered on rude.

The nearest ATM is miles away, so make sure you stock up on cash when you first arrive.  This is is only negative about the otherwise great location.

Drinks and food are expensive here and low quality.  We would walk up the beach to get lunch and cocktails that were better quality, cheaper and came with a smile.

No reggae.  We loved the reggae played continuously (and sometimes live) at Idle Awhile next door.

Summary -

We were happy that we chose this hotel for the beach and location and loved eating and drinking at the nearby Idle Awhile and Coco La Palms, which both had a much friendlier atmosphere.

Room Tip: Oceanfront rooms have a great view
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Grm69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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248 - 254 of 481 reviews

Reviewed 3 June 2011

I recently stayed at this hotel after having been invited to a destination wedding in Negril. I booked my trip in January of 2011, immediately upon receipt of the wedding invitation, as the bride encouraged us to book early. I made my hotel reservations directly through the hotel's website and printed the confirmation email I received from them. The day before the trip, I called the hotel, told the person that answered the telephone my name and that I had a reservation at the hotel for a stay beginning the following day and would be arriving the following evening from New York, but needed to arrange for a ride from the airport. The person that answered the telephone placed me on hold briefly, made the arrangements for the taxi and then told me where I would have to meet the driver the following evening.

The following day I flew to Jamaica and learned upon arrival that my luggage was left in the US. As a result, I met the driver a little later than planned; nonetheless, he was waiting for me as previously arranged through the hotel. En route to the hotel, we called the hotel to ask if I could order dinner in advance as the ride was about an hour and a half and I did not want to risk being too late to have something to eat. The person that answered the phone must have assumed that I wanted free food as she told the driver that I was "not on the meal plan" and ended the call. After I asked the driver if she realized that I intended to pay for whatever I ordered, he called back and I was allowed to talk to someone in the restaurant to make arrangements for dinner.

Upon my arrival at the hotel at around 10 p.m., I was informed that although I had proof of having made my reservations well in advance and having called the day before to inform them that I needed to arrange for a ride from the airport, they did not know that I was coming and that the only reason they had one room left was because the bride had recently emailed them to make sure that all of her guests had rooms. As a result, I was placed in a room on ground level and two beds contrary to my documented request for an above ground level room with a king sized bed. Honestly, I was more concerned about being on an above ground level than I was about the number or size of the beds in the room, as I was traveling alone (out of the wedding party, only knew the bride). I explained to the young woman at the front desk that I was concerned for my safety as the room was on ground level and the doors to the room were made predominantly of glass with flimsy doorknobs. As a single woman, I take the advice of many travel experts that encourage single female travelers not to stay in ground/beach level rooms. Interestingly, the woman at the front desk did not understand my concerns and kept repeating that they didn't know I was coming, although I had a printed confirmation received from their website, which I had presented to her as proof, and despite my having called the day before and not having been informed that they were not expecting me.

I spoke to the hotel owner, Daniel Grizzle, the following morning. After initially being told that they did not have any above ground level rooms, I INSISTED that they provide me with the above ground level room that I had learned would be available that day, upon another guest's departure. Later that day, my request was granted and I was moved.

Starting the trip without my luggage, which obviously had nothing to do with the hotel, and then being told that the hotel did not know that I was coming, made me wish that I had never left home. However, after I was finally moved, I had a reasonably good time. The hotel staff is very friendly, and with the exception of the front desk staff, was more than willing to make sure that I was comfortable. I think the front desk staff needs more training as although they were polite, they clearly mishandled the above described situation.

I was particularly impressed with Shane, the manager in the restaurant, Nicola, one of the servers in the restaurant, Ruben and Clive in security (on the beach) and the bartender, whose name I unfortunately cannot remember. These individuals should all be commended on their professionalism and hospitality.

Room Tip: Do not rely on the hotel's website.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Allie365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2011

Charela Inn, still the peaceful beautiful place we fell in love with over 27yrs ago...The owner takes great pride in making sure things run as they should. The staff are freindly and professional. You feel welcomed.
The food and drink are the best. Fresh, made to order. Forget the large resorts, get the real Jamaica here!!!
Clean rooms and no bugs....... :-)

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sunmon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2011

Welcoming staff, great service [Treasha is the best- restaurant], romantic room. We had a deluxe oceanfront- room 200, although I wouldn't recommend to light sleepers, as it is over the kitchen. We liked the sounds- part of the experience. Good bed and pillows, the A/C worked quietly and efficiently, with a private shaded balcony to watch sunsets. Lovely beach, and the attendant kept the vendors down by the water. 7 Mile Beach is great for strolls; you will be frequently approached to but various items. A smile and a polite "no, thank you" will suffice- sometimes a handshake is expected for "respect". Wireless internet service is spotty at times, but really, who needs it?

Room Tip: Oceanfront room- worth every penny
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank pjd190
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2011

My daughter (26) and I just returned from five nights at Charela and we had an awesome stay! The second floor seaview room had a great view. The rooms aren't fancy but they are nice and clean with mini-fridge. Staff was nice. We walked a lot of 7 mile beach and thought Charela had the best beach area- wide with lots of shade trees, someone there all day so you could buy from vendors but not be hassled if not interested. (Get oj from the juice guy and pineapple from the fruit lady! Bring tip money for the serenades from beach musicians. Most of the vendors are really nice folks! ) The water all along 7 mile is unbelievable- calm, clear, warm. Great location-you can see lots by just walking down beach or hopping on a route taxi. Never thought to check ahead of time but power went out one night and charela does have a back up generator.
As others have noted- the beds are hard but after a full day in the water and on the beach I had no trouble sleeping. My daughter had trouble picking up the wifi signal (got a stronger signal from idle and coco) but I would have been happy if the whole island was without it- she actually talked to me instead of texting.

Room Tip: garden is pretty and those rooms a good value
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  • Stayed: April 2011
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1  Thank bluewaterdreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2011

I love the Charela Inn. We did all inclusive and didn't regret it. This was my sixth time to Jamaica, and my favorite so far. The beach was absolutely perfect, the best I've ever seen!!! Their spot on the seven mile beach was one of the largest and a great location.. Beach chairs always available.. The food was wonderful and exciting! I tried so many things I never thought I would of and loved them. The Chef was amazing. The staff was friendly and relaxed. Ask Shane for a Hummingbird, he makes them the best! The rooms were unique and accommodating. Bathroom was fine. Mattresses were rock hard. Luckily from experience in other Jamaica resorts I brought extra pillows and slept on those over the mattress, worked good. Maid service was excellent. Our balcony gave us a beautiful view of the pool and garden. There were many different flowers and the grounds were well kept. Harley Davidson is across the street, and duty free shopping right down the street. You will have to walk the seven mile beach for any action after 10 pm if thats what your looking for, Just follow the loud music to the party location of the night. This seems to be the case at any resort. We went on an island picinic catamaran tour to Booby Cay, snorkeling and sunset cruise, loved it. We also went on a countryside tour with our driver Juseph from Talk of the Town Tours, priceless. We visited the Jungle for the night life, young crowd. We also Roots Bamboo for the live Reggae Party, fun too. Stay away from the Triple XXX, it is what it sounds but the unimaginable will happen right before your eyes if you stay long enough. The Reggae show at Alfred's was good too. There was a huge craft market right down on the beach one day. The locals travel the beach selling fresh juice, fruit, and anything else you might want. There were a view acoustic bands that would walk up and down and play music, and play longer for a small tip... it was like living a dream. I LOVE JAMAICA!!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank JanelleKorinek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2011

We have been to Jamaica over a dozen times in as many years...Our Spring Break 2011 Charela Inn, Negril, Jamaica vacation was perfect! The beach is divine with turquoise blue water, healthy palm trees for shade and silky sand well maintained by Clive and Ruben.

After being picked up and driven by Jervis, we were kindly greeted by Nadine and Carolyn at the front desk. Manil helped us to our 2nd floor sea view room and showed us around.

We needed to change rooms briefly while the air conditioning was fixed in our original room and would like to thank Sabrina, Manil and Orville for their patient assistance.

We considered the full meal/drink plan in the Charela Inn’s Le Vendome restaurant but after dinner the first night we decided not to because the snapper with coconut sauce was so incredible we wanted to be able to have it again and again (which we did!) After venturing out one night to a restaurant further down the beach and being surprisingly disappointed, we enjoyed the remainder of our meals at Le Vendome. Treasha, Shirley, Nicole, Shane, DelRoy and Tamara were our delightful servers and bartenders…we greatly appreciate each of them and the entire staff at Le Vendome. We sent several compliments to the chef(s) whom we never met but if we had, we would say “Merci, excellent à chaque fois!” To future guests…it is ALL GOOD, but we especially enjoyed the homemade bread, escargot, seafood crepe and the aforementioned snapper…and for dessert, the raspberry sorbet!

The massage ladies on the beach are truly gifted and if massages are your thing, we highly recommend them (thanks especially to Mureen and Sandra).

Keith was our fun and capable driver to YS Falls and the Black River Safari (roads are rugged, but swimming in the Falls was really special).

Wayne was another one of our wonderful drivers (to the Scotia bank where we were able to get US dollars - use the ATM on the Left).

The only downside for us was the beds were firmer than we are used to, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying many restful nights and naps.

We will be back. The rooms are clean and lovely, the hotel is charming, the beach extraordinary and the people are now family.

Room Tip: 2nd Floor Sea View - worth extra cost
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank kvosk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Charela Inn / Le Vendome

Address: Norman Manley Blvd. | P.O. Box 3033, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Negril
#15 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
Price Range: £98 - £206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Charela Inn / Le Vendome 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charela Inn the discreet charm of peace & tranquility, good company and fine food. Nothing more ... Nothing less. CHARELA INN resort sits elegantly on the famous Negril Beach, by the Caribbean Sea. Its fifty rooms and beach stretches 250 feet in width and 150 feet in depth of pure white sand sprinkled with coconut trees to afford natural shade to our guests. Beyond the sand lies a lawn and two large patios to dine "Al fresco" or simply sip cocktails while watching the sunset. All 47 rooms are built around an inner court yard in an Hacienda style with a round fresh water swimming pool in the centre of the yard, and a lush tropical garden with hibiscus, night jasmine, bougainvilleas etc. As well as many birds including our national doctor bird. The feeling is one of being far from the crowds -- yet a few steps away from the world of water sports and many attractions on the seven mile beach. All buildings are of two floors. Each room has either a private patio or a private balcony. All public access at Charela Inn are designed to accommodate the physically impaired, along with three dedicated ground floor rooms. Charela Inn is renowned for the friendliness and caring of its long standing staff, many being with the resort for over 15 years. Charel's longstanding repeat guests of many nationalities brings with them a true feeling of friendship and are cherished by both management and staff. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Charela Inn / Le Vendome Hotel Negril
Charela Hotel Negril

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