Our first time to Jamaica and I have to say a lot of research was done. We chose Banana Shout for the location, price, reviews on Trip Advisor as well as emailing past guests.
A Banana Shout Vacation is not a typical vacation for us, but it was chosen because we wanted to experience Jamaica and it's people first hand. We were not disappointed. Milo and Marianne the owners were very gracious hosts making our stay one that we will remember for a long time.
The staff at Banana Shout....Barbara, Nikki, Plug, Ashman and Jaround are ready to please the guests and they do. Thank you Ashman for the wooden Cat you carved for us! For anyone staying at Banana Shout make sure you put your order in early, he is very busy and extremely talented!
To stay at Banana Shout I would recommend either Dolphin View or Dolphin Bay. (If you want more privacy away from the common outdoor kitchen area book Dolphin View) Both are right on the edge of the cliffs with amazing views of the Dolphins, flying fish, Tuna and Barracudas, jumping out of the water, turtles, cliff divers, and of course the tourists in the boats from Negril going to and from Ricks Cafe to see the cliff divers and amazing sunsets. There was not a day that went by that we did not see Dolphins or schools of fish being chased by seagulls.
We did eat local as much as we could and here are our recommendations:
1) Eat at The Rockhouse Restaurant and ask for the Rockhouse table. It is no extra cost and the views are amazing...free shuttle to and from Banana Shout which Marianne will arrange for you. We booked the table before we left for vacation without any problem.
2) Eat at LTU's just past Ricks Cafe on the same side of the road as Banana Shout. The views are amazing and the food is just as amazing. You must try the snapper and curry veg.
3) Ras Rody which is just down the road to the left beside Abees. The food is the best we had while in Jamaica...we ate there twice! It is vegetarian only, but don't let that stop you. You can eat on the bench that may seat 4 or take it to go.
4) Just Natural is run by two sisters and is also Vegetarian, It is about a 20 minute walk past Ricks Cafe. The restaurant itself is one that you must not miss out on seeing, and the food is even better. We enjoyed the fruit smoothies where ever we went and they had the best ones by far.
5) Just before the restaurant Just Natural, is a bakery on the opposite side of the road. It has the meat and vegetable patties and the coco bread that are so popular in Jamaica. You may want to go early to get some...they are soo good they do not last! I believe you can get two patties for 7.00 dollars and call it lunch. I am still dreaming about the coco bread!
Jaround will take you to the grocery store in Negril. He was extremely attentive and very helpful. This is a good thing to do at least once, to stock up on water, snacks, and liquor. There is a smaller store across the road about a minute away for anything else you may need but it is a bit expensive and limited.
As for swimming while staying on the cliffs...it is not a recommendation for anyone that is not comfortable in the water. It is about 20 feet deep or more and you have to either jump in or go down the ladder and jump in. The water can be rough, but a few people did snorkel and said there was a lot to see. I think the water was the calmest in the morning. There is a life vest you can use if you wish.
We went to Negril Beach...7 Mile Beach one day. The water is shallow and the bottom is very sandy...beautiful. Many places to eat and stay so it is busy. A lot of visitors that go to Jamaica stay on the beach for a few days and then go to the cliffs for the remaining. If we go back that is what we will definitely do.
We took a water taxi...one of the many Glass Bottom boats that are moored on the edge of the beach for our trip back to the cliffs. We had them drop us off at Rick's and we walked back to Banana Shout. This we enjoyed very much..getting to see all the places to stay on the cliffs. You do not get to see much from the road as they are all hidden behind high walls and gated. Highly recommend it. We paid $70.00 US but it was around a 1 hour trip one way and well worth the money. Got great pics of Banana Shout from the water!!
Definitly take walking shoes. You must get out and see Jamaica while in Negril and to do that you need to walk. Everyone we met was very friendly...maybe it was the constant AROMA in the air??? I am not sure if there is any place on earth that you can go up to a fruit stand and purchase bananas, magic mushrooms, and brownies all at once.! LOL Only in Jamaica Mon!!
When walking, walk on the opposite side of the road and REMEMBER the pedestrian does not have any rights. Get out of the way of any vehicle...specially the guys on the motorcycles without helmets that are fearless. After about 5 minutes you get the hang of it.
When in Jamaica always have a backup plan. Book Jaround through Milo to pick you up at the airport..if not, there are many cabs available to take you. We paid $80.00 US for our one way trip. It is about an hour and a half...lots to see... so enjoy the ride.
There is no safe in the cottages...but you do have a key to lock the door. We have a lock we use for our luggage and locked up our money etc. (in a smaller suitcase) while not in the cottage or took it with us.
Our vacation was a wonderful adventure. We definitely recommend anyone to visit Jamaica at least once. Banana Shout is not too rustic in its appearance and ammenities that you cannot be comfortable. It is full of colorful people that make it what it is....a place you can either embrace with all that it has to offer while also having your quiet space to watch the ocean creatures visit you on your doorstep daily.
Thank you Jamaica!
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Shout Hotel Negril