My positive review starts about 5 months before I even arrived at the hotel. We had been to Charela previously (see other reviews) and I wanted to book a sea-front room. Shortly after going ahead, a job loss made booking this room too expensive so we asked to be moved to a less expensive room. The response was that they wanted us to enjoy our stay as repeat guests and gave us a reduced price on one of the sea front rooms - how is that for amazing service...
And it doesn't stop there. Not only does this property occupy some of the best beachfront on 7 Mile Beach and have one of the best hotel restaurants on the beach but it's the people who go out of their way to make you feel welcome and relaxed. The owners Daniel and Sophie live onsite and they and their staff make you feel like part of the family as soon as you arrive. Arriving after the hour drive from Negril, we were having our welcome drinks at the bar and were greeted warmly by a couple of the restaurant waitstaff (Francella and Debbie) who recognized us from our previous visit. We were also happy to hear that our favorite masseuse Janet who is as kind and she is gifted in massage was also onsite! Housekeeping (Cheryl) kept our room spotless and the lifeguard (Steve) helped us get our beach chairs set up every the morning. In short, we had to do VERY little - which was JUST fine by us.
Our room on the 2nd floor faced the ocean and was a perfect size for 2 adults. The King size bed is firm but comfortable and the shower had good water pressure. An outdoor balcony was comfortable for sitting later in the evening. It would be nice to have a few more options for hanging things in the room (hooks, extra hangars) so you're not draping clothing and wet towels on the furniture, but overall there was plenty of room to place things and plenty of outlets for the electronic we brought along. A new wing was recently added to the property and features another 6 sea-view rooms which are slightly larger than those in the original inn, but are done in similar style. The grounds are beautiful - an interior courtyard with a round pool, shade trees and gardens got little use while we were there, making it a perfect place to read a book in quiet in the afternoon.
The restaurant (separate review) is top notch and it is advisable to arrive with some patience and a cocktail - plan to enjoy a leisurely evening. There are options for meal plans including a breakfast plan ($27 for 2) which includes fruit, coffee, juice, breads and a main dish or full board (b'fast, lunch and dinner) for (ca. $120 for 2). You can also choose an all-inclusive option with drinks as well. The meal plans feature 4-course dinners that are available a la carte as well and range in price between $32 and $56 with a choice of entree. Twice a week there is outside entertainment - on Saturdays a Jamaican cultural evening with singing and on Thursdays live music.
On the beach there are several massage therapists who are all talented. As mentioned above we are partial to Janet - a very spiritual woman who gives massages with the purist of intent and excellent technique. There is also a rasta who sells jewelry, mobiles, wind chimes and other knickknacks near the massage shed. Vendors selling juice, cigarettes, fruit, lobster, patties etc...comb the beach all day long along with musicians and vendors selling boat rides, parasailing and horseback rides. It's a lively beach and the lifeguards and security will step in if you feel uncomfortable. Or simply pick a shade tree a bit further back from the beach if you don't want to be disturbed by the beach activity.
Most of the guests during our stay were European - German, Italian, Swedish - with a smattering of American guests. There were a few families with older children, but for the most part it was couples enjoying a quiet vacation. People were friendly and polite, but mostly kept to themselves. Charela is in the middle of the beach so an easy walk up to town or down to Cosmo's. It's a quick cab ride to the Cliffs if you want to enjoy some other restaurant options or sunset venues.
Overall this is a great place to recharge, relax, refresh and renew.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Charela Inn / Le Vendome Hotel Negril
- Charela Hotel Negril