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“3rd Time's a Charm (but so were Times 1 and 2)”

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Charela Inn / Le Vendome
Ranked #24 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“3rd Time's a Charm (but so were Times 1 and 2)”
Reviewed 22 March 2014

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.

Room Tip: Sea front rooms in the new wing and on the ground floor are slightly larger than the 2nd floor rooms...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank sailorgirlmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

I just returned from a five night stay at Charela Inn. This was my second stay at Charela Inn. I will return again in the future. It was an A-rated vacation for a variety of reasons.

Security: The security at this hotel is excellent. It includes men with trained dogs walking the perimeter of the property at night and security guards at several points around the property including both the entrance and on the beach. (The dogs are not allowed to roam the property unleashed. I also never heard them barking.) The guard on the beach during the day does an excellent job keeping the vendors away. The one vendor that did begin to bother me was quickly asked to leave by the diligent security member who I had never noticed until he appeared the very second I looked around to find someone. Very impressive.

Beautiful beach: The beach at this property is long and wide with an abundance of beautiful shade and places to sun. The sea floor has no rocks or grass and slopes gently as you wade out to swim. It is cleaned and raked daily with gorgeous white soft sand. Sandra at the beachfront massage hut is very good and inexpensive.

Rooms (Seaview Deluxe): I stayed in the newer section in an excellent room. The bathrooms are quite nice with white tile, excellent lighting, rainwater and hand held shower heads, and separate jetted tub. The room comes with a fridge and a coffee maker. There is also a nice large safe which could hold most laptops, if you have to take yours for work while vacationing. The beds are on the firm side with very nice linens. Very comfortable. No noise coming into the room keeping you up at night. Great balcony with beautiful close views of the ocean and the sunsets.

Food: Good. I particularly enjoyed the lamb chops and the grilled lobster. Some of the pasta dishes were a little heavy on the garlic for me - just a personal preference. The french toast at breakfast is delicious as are the homemade croissants which are available three days per week. The omelets are also great. I really loved the callalou (like spinach) and tomato omelet. Since one of the owners is french, the inn also has a lovely assortment of cheeses. The wine-by-the- glass selection is not stellar, but there are several excellent choices by the bottle including a dry but fruity white burgundy which I loved.

Staff and Service: The staff at this hotel is the best. All of the restaurant and bar servers are friendly and accommodating. The housekeepers keep the rooms spotless, supply plenty of towels (including two beach towels in the room each day) and they are honest. I bring up the honest part, because I left a pair of earrings in my room on departure day. The housekeeper quickly sent them down, before I left. I really appreciated her doing this, because these were some of my favorite earrings. It is clear that everyone on this property cares about their work. I have literally seen them things done timely.

Entertainment: I love the show on Thursday evenings. Otis Gayle who I have seen in Negril before and who is one of my favorites entertained on 3/6 along with two ladies who were also great singers. The show is lively, but it is not so lively that you cannot enjoy chatting with friends over dinner. Just a lovely evening with a supper club feel at their beautiful beachfront restaurant complete with a gorgeous fountain in the covered area, twinkling lights, and beautiful plants.

Charela Inn is my favorite inn on Long Bay and is reasonably priced for the quality of the rooms and the excellent service. Many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Grizzle, the owners, for creating such a special place in Negril on its extraordinarily beautiful beach. I have been to over a dozen islands in the Caribbean and this beach is to me the most beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank GinSha1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014 via mobile

I had last visited Negril in 1990 and back then I wished I had the money to stay at Charela where, at the time, I enjoyed a lovely dinner. Fast forward a quarter century and many many journeys later. We have stayed in and enjoyed some of the best hotels in the world in. And yet Charela Inn was utterly perfect for our week in February.

The welcome was warm. The service was friendly. Our first room, which, alas, was not available for the entire stay, was a ground floor ocean view which I would enthusiastically recommend. It was simply furnished. Maybe the furniture was even a little worn. The bathroom was clean and functional. It didn't matter to us that the towels were not thick. The setting of the hotel is wonderful. And that was what we went to Negril for. We wanted a low key hotel steps from the beach. And that is exactly what we got.
Our second room was a larger Family Room but with a courtyard view. The separate alcove room with bunk beds was fine for children but dim lighting was a bit of an issue. The small balcony was well protected from an afternoon downpour. The television in our second room looked quite old though we never turned it on. Another housekeeping issue - neither the wall mounted hair dryer nor the blow dryer worked. The WiFi, on the other hand, was excellent and we were able to use it in our room, the lounge and on the beach.

Breakfast service was lovely and we had the same waitress every day. Fresh baked goods changed daily and seasonal fruit plates were nicely presented. Papaya was in season and was delicious.
We found we needed to get out to the beach very early to get chairs in the shade under the coconut palms. We were there at a very busy time and the hotel was at full occupancy. The beach is a hub of activity but we never found the vendors particularly annoying or intrusive.
The Charela Inn is absolutely not for anyone who needs the cookie cutter comforts of a Ritz Carlton type hotel. But for anyone looking to get away from the cookie cutter luxury experience and far away from titans of industry, this is a great laid back hotel with a lot of personality. . I was so happy to see that after almost 25 years, it actually was worth coming back for.


Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Miss718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

I have stayed at the Charela Inn over a dozen times since 1989. Just returned for a week this February 2014. It continues to be the most beautiful space on the Negril beach. Owners Daniel (Jamaican) and Sophie (French) Grizzle and their family live in this beautiful 30+ room inn and have owned it since 1985. There's an inner courtyard with royal palms and a wonderful pool that is idyllic and a quiet spot when you want to escape from the beach. The rooms are wonderful. My two girlfriends and I shared the family room with a king bed and bunk beds. We're 65 and it worked perfectly. The food is incomparable - the lamb chops are the best I've ever had. Their lunch salads and lobster pizza, lobster salad, and lobster pasta are dreamy. Their beach is deep and protected by wonderful palm trees that they plant continuously. It's a very European group. The staff is friendly and attentive and fun and many have been there since I started going 25 years ago. Treat yourself. It's wonderful.

Room Tip: I've stayed in beach front rooms. If you can afford it it's wonderful to hear the waves. T...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Joan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Negril, Jamaica
Charela Inn

This little town of paradise has the hustle-and-bustle of a city and the calm tranquility of an island get-a-way. The sign at its entrance reading “Welcome to Casual Negril” pinpoints what the locals are all about; relaxation and enjoying life to the fullest.

Upon arrival at the small airport of Montego Bay, an hour away from Negril, the air is tropical and the smell of sugar cane is apparent throughout the streets. Friendly street vendors selling pineapples and unique fruits, children playing in fields with makeshift soccer balls, all with radiant smiles plastered on their faces.

My family of six and I, along with a few good friends, ventured to Negril, Jamaica on a mission trip to serve the less fortunate financially. Throughout the week, we fed up to fifty children, made simple but appreciated crafts, and played soccer and cricket. We were there to spread God’s love through a bible camp at Mary Gate of Heaven, a catholic church in the heart of Negril.

Although we were there for more missionary purposes, the locals and priest of the church did not fail to show us the luxuries and peacefulness the town holds within.

We stayed at the Charela Inn, the most inviting and blissful place I have ever been to. From the start, the welcoming workers, all local, greeted us friendlily (the Charela has a precedent that all its staff are from the local area; they need the work just as much if not more than anyone else!!). They eagerly took our bags and wished us a delightful stay and a delightful stay we had. The rooms were spacious, with the air conditioning and fans to cool us down from the hot tropical sun during the day and the warm and comfortable beds to ensure us a well-needed sleep The rooms also provided safes to put our valuables and money in, along with refrigerators and freezers to preserve food so we didn’t have to eat out each night. The breakfast the hotel provided was yummy and filling, and we could order food we may have eaten at home.

The scenery was of nothing I have ever experienced before. As you walk out of the room, the sound of laughter from the workers, who genuinely love and are grateful for their jobs, echo throughout the lobby. The lush vegetation consisting of vibrant flowers and fruit trees covered the outdoor area in the center of the hotel by the crystal clear pool.

However, the thing that touched me most about the Charela Inn was the view it had on the beach. As we walked out onto the beach on a calm night, we saw string rays swimming and dolphins diving near the horizon. The sun would begin to set and light the whole sky with radiant colors of orange and purple, a true masterpiece.

I would suggest staying at the Charela Inn for the unity and peacefulness it provided for my crazy family of six. Ire(peace) Mon!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lauren G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

This is a somewhat difficult review to write because I have mixed feelings. I really enjoyed the hotel and probably would return. The staff was so friendly and helpful, the beach absolutely beautiful and the grounds are lovely. I really enjoyed sitting on the terrace at breakfast and dinner time. The one caveat is the room - we had a garden room and it is stuck in a 1970's timewarp. The beds were rock hard and the lighting was very, very dark even in the daytime. The walls are 1970's dark wood paneling and the bathroom is in desperate need of an update. Perhaps an ocean front room is more updated and comfy.
I loved Jamaica, this was my first trip to the country. I felt very safe, someone is always attending the beach and it is true that people are walking along the beach trying to sell their wares. But they are not bothersome at all, I even enjoyed their melodious singing and some like the pineapple lady and bakery man have the best treats !!!
Probably the highlight of our trip tho was having Wayne drive us for the week. We connected thru the hotel - he picked us up at the airport and immediately we knew we wanted him for the rest of the week. Matter of fact, the next time I travel to Jamaica, I will without a doubt hire Wayne. He took such good care of us, because of Wayne we were able to travel off the beaten path and visit sites and restaurants that we never would have been able to. One day he took us to YS Falls - which is a must and also to All Natural Restaurant - which was amazing. Twice my son had to ATM and I saw Wayne constantly watching him - he never let him out of his sight. Thank you so much Wayne !!! The hotel can connect you with him. Jamaica is a beautiful country and I would return in a heartbeat. Actually I WILL return.... Oh yes, the food was delicious in the hotel and the staff are impeccable and extremely attentive.

Room Tip: I would ask for an ocean view and ask if they are updated
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank mjsamhest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
konz
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

The hotel's furnishings could probably do with a bit of updating but the rooms are spacious and staff are helpful and friendly. Visitors came mainly from Northern Europe. The Charela is on the lovely 7-mile beach in Negril.

There are many people wandering along the beach trying to sell pineapple, bracelets etc to tourists. If you do not want to be bothered by them, just lie in the second row of deck chairs.

Room Tip: don't book a standard room if you can afford it. Some of them (like ours) are very dark. Opt for...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank uwoodhouse
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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