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“Spa Retreat Hotel is as good as the reviews suggest”

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The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Spa Retreat Hotel is as good as the reviews suggest”
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We've been coming to the West End of Negril for more than 13 years and have always stayed at a very nice place (a more expensive place that was always, until recently, ranked above this hotel) so our expectations were high. When I first saw The Spa Retreat leap into 1st place in the ranking of hotels in Negril, I was surprised and even a little skeptical. How could this new place be receiving so many almost unanimously positive reviews in so little time? Were they paying people to write these reviews? Was there something fishy going on? Well after our first visit there during the last week in January (2014), I can tell you exactly why there are so many wonderful reviews. There are two reasons.

1). The resort and the owners and staff are as good as you have read they are. The grounds and buildings reflect the perfectionist craftsmen who built it. It was obviously NOT built by a corporate resort company concerned with maximizing its investment dollar. It was built by a family who wanted to create something of beauty and engaged the best people they could find to do it.
That "resort as work of art" factor (plus the wonderful food) is sufficient to explain why people like this place enough to give it a positive review when asked but it takes much more to get the average visitor to write a review. It doesn't take much to get someone to write a negative review when they have a bad experience as they want to vent and exact revenge but when people are pleased and get what they expected, they usually just enjoy their memories and that is that. So what motivates all of these positive reviews?

2) The guests immediately care for this resort and its owners and employees because they see how much the owners and employees care for this place, each other and their guests. You can be thrilled with your last stay at a Disney resort but probably aren't concerned about Disney's future. When you stay here and meet the employees and owner(s), you immediately become hopeful that this enormous investment will be successful and that is why so many people are taking the time to write reviews. The owners are taking a huge risk with this place and their efforts and the extent of their investment shows. But they could have spent ten times as much and it wouldn't be the same if they were not treating their guests like family, very fortunate family.

We cannot wait to return to The Spa Retreat Negril! Our only regret was that the water was never calm enough (until the morning of our departure naturally) for me to get to swim and have Rosa either swim to me or watch over me. Rosa, the resort dog, is clearly as invested in the safety and happiness of the guests as the owners and staff are. Dogs always manage to reflect the attributes of their owners. Don't take this "regret" as a complaint however, the water and weather, for which we do not hold any resort responsible, was absolutely spectacular.

Room Tip: Ocean front collages are worth the extra but if you don't want to spend the extra, don't, yo...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Matt D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
Thank you for your kind words and positive insight. We are thrilled that you recognized the authenticity of our operation and people. We truly care to offer a "home away from home" experience to all of our guests! The SPA Family looks forward to welcoming you back again one day, one love!
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (282)
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English first
Glenview, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Having just returned from the Spa Retreat, which I took my college student along during his spring break (March 8-14), I can only extend extreme praise of the entire experience. I specifically selected this resort because it was an adult only hotel and the amenities looked fabulous and relaxing. We weren't let down. The property was beautiful and clean with incredible scenic views from above the cliff, with multiple short stair access to the ocean for daily snorkeling or swimming (they supply the snorkeling equipment). The entire staff was extremely warm and friendly. We each had massages at the spa (I had the relaxation message and my son the deep sports massage) and they were fantastic as we felt the breeze from the ocean front. We didn't book any yoga class and would have preferred they were offered on a regular, scheduled basis rather than having to book a private class.

We decided not to opt for the meal plan and very happy we didn't, as it gave us an opportunity to venture around town to local establishments. However, we ate breakfast at the SPA whenever we had breakfast and every single lunch. The fish taco's were to die for!! We also had dinner there a couple of nights and the lobster was the best on the island. Having eaten at a variety of places, the SPA restaurant was by far the freshest and best in Negril.

For accommodations, we selected a garden room (5G) and it was quite comfortable and spacious with a private veranda overlooking the lush plantings. Occasionally the noise from conversations at the spa could be heard, but nothing too annoying or overly loud. We thought it wonderful that upon arrival, we were given a cell phone which contained numerous pre-programmed numbers for our convenience (taxi was used quite frequently). This proved very helpful and much needed to reach the US when wi-fi wouldn't work - free of charge!

All in all, I would definitely return to The SPA Retreat Hotel should we come back to Jamaica.

The only improvements that could be made to the SPA Retreat would be to add an exercise room (perhaps in the enclosed portion of the spa??) as we missed our workouts and there really wasn't anyplace to even walk for exercise. The roads on the cliff side of the island are extremely narrow so it's best to taxi to get around. Daily yoga classes (without needing to be booked) would also be great to add to the spa treatment.

As for Negril, this was our first time there. I had been to Ocho Rios about 20 years ago and stayed in a large, all inclusive resort. I didn't really venture around town for that reason. Negril is far more casual and laid back than Ocho Rios. As with many other countries, you immediately notice a sense of poverty (35% we were told) when away from any resort, so if you can't handle seeing this, don't come to Jamaica.

Room Tip: Can't really go wrong with any room!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank karen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thank you for your review. We are happy to learn that you felt The Blue Mahoe Restaurant at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel was "by far the freshest and best in Negril". Our team takes great pride in offering exciting presentations and attention to detail. Whether your desire is traditional Jamaican or International cuisine, our chefs will cater to your every wish, using the freshest and finest ingredients to create a unique “farm to table” dining experience. We appreciate your feedback as we aim to constantly evolve our growing resort. While we are working to improve our onsite offerings, our Front Desk can source high end gym facilities in the Negril area for guests to visit upon request. We look forward to your return, soon come!
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Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014 via mobile

I can not rate this hotel highly enough. The location is perfect, the hotel is perfect and the service is perfect. Swimming In the pool drinking a cocktail is the best way to see the sun go down. We spent many of nights at the bar talking to duwayne and Richmond who provided impeccable service. I have to say that although it's a wonderful place I do think that Duwayne and Richmond made it amazing. The restaurant has great food...try the fish tacos and the burger. The Canadian owners were lovely and friendly and rosa (their dog) gave us a dog away from home, providing life guard duties, foot napping services and protection from boats (she doesn't like boats). Thanks for our 6am wake up call...we didn't set our alarm properly and if it wasn't for the concerned security guards who knew we were leaving early we would of missed our flight. Thanks again guys it was an amazing holiday!!!

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank thinkingoutloud121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thank you, we are honored that you consider your time at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel to have been "perfect"! It is our utmost concern to ensure our guests receive a seamless experience from the instant your flight touches ground in Jamaica to the moment of take off. Until next time, one love!
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Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

We went for 7 nights and it was nothing short of amazing, we booked the seaside cottage it was very clean and very comfortable the views from our cottage was great ,the sunsets ,the pool , and the sea. You are instantly relaxed . The location is great you are close to attractions that are only a cab drive away. The service is top notch from Christine and Shane making sure every minute of your stay is the best it can be. Richmond and Duwayne at the bar, those boys are like family also the cab drivers Ardly and Donovan will look after you and take you anywhere you might want to go, then Gregory super friendly and ready to help with anything you might need .The food at the Blue Mahoe was excellent always fresh, many nights people from other resorts came to eat, that tells you how good it is service by Oudette,Delroy and Paul to name a few, very friendly service. The spas offers many treatments, Winsom and Kerry Anne those girls have magic fingers. In short there are only good things to say, we felt like family and miss the retreat already, we have travelled to many Caribbean destinations but this one was the most memorable and last but not forgotten Jamie for booking the trip flawlessly.
Louise + Troy
Respect

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank capelgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thank you for your review and kind words. It was a pleasure assisting you with planning your Caribbean escape! The entire SPA family had a wonderful time getting to know you and will look forward to welcoming you back "home" again soon. One love!
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Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

My wife and I visited The SPA Retreat for 4 days and 3 nights, from March 13-16. My notes follow:
* Food - best quality we've experienced on the island of Jamaica - and this is our 9th visit to the island in the past 15 years.
* Service - best service we've experienced on the island. Friendly, low-key, sincere people.
* Accommodations - we opted for the seaside cottage (#1 - closest to restaurant). Some have commented that it can be noisy close to the restaurant and the nearly adjacent disco club. We sleep with a white-noise machine so any ambient sounds didn't affect us..but if you sleep without noise, do opt for cottage #5, 6 or 7. Very unique layout with terrific ocean views. With only queen beds (due to size and layout of cottage), not the best sleep for us as we are quite used to a king bed. Ceiling fan and air conditioner work keep too at perfect temperature. A few too many walls block some views and also don't allow for easy and immediate access to ocean. I'm sure it's a safety thing, but I'd remove some of the retaining walls and open the view and access paths a bit.
* Pool and ocean - pool is naturally fed with salt water from the ocean every couple hours and has tremendous ocean views from the pool.
* Spa - we tried a 60 minute deep tissue massage ($125/each) and a 90 minute swedish massage ($125/each). We both commented that the 90 minute massage was the possibly the best massage we'd ever experienced! Jacqueline and Winsome provide a tremendous 90 minute massage - it was beyond expectations.
Value - we opted for the meal plan (all-inclusive). I'm told few guests opt for this plan and instead reserve their room and pay cash for food and drinks. The menus are very good and the meal plan includes everything on the menu (ie. surf-n-turf, lobster tail, etc). Because it is a meal plan and some opt out, each trip to the bar or a meal generates a bill, which must be signed. Tips are encouraged here. Personally, I prefer an all-inclusive to mean I do not have to bring cash anywhere.
Activities - the resort is small, with maybe 18 rooms. There is no room for jogging or workouts. That said, we got creative and did 30 minute workouts on the patio of our room, which faced the ocean. I think the resort would benefit from an open air workout area with some equipment, as another phase in the buildout of the property.

Bottom line: this resort is as you read about here from others who've reviewed the property. The food, service, views, and massage services overlooking the Caribbean Ocean are special and make this resort a must-do.

Room Tip: Seaside cottages are numbered 1 thru 7, with #1 (our room) closest to the restaurant. Further away...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank freckles67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thank you for your review. We are thrilled to learn that The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel experience lived up to your expectations and appreciate the constructive feedback as this will allow for us to continually improve! We look forward to your return where we hope your expectations will have grown in unison with our budding cliff side retreat! Soon come!
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2014

We went for a 4 day valentine’s weekend getaway and it was an unforgettable relaxing trip and we are sure to return soon!

-Atmosphere - feels like a quaint nearly private retreat on Jamaican cliffs with a beautiful ocean view - only 18 rooms and lots of different areas for lounge chairs
-Pool - beautiful pool overlooking the cliffs and ocean
-Ocean - 2 ladders into the ocean, easy to snorkel right near hotel
-Staff - incredibly friendly and eager to please ; regularly check to make sure they’re available to get you whatever you need
-Spa - overlooks the cliffs/ocean - open air tents for massages
-Food - great food, lots of Jamaican flare on the menu but also happy to do whatever you need
-Bar/Drinks - great location, nearby lounges, beautiful view, creative and yummy drinks ; great jerk popcorn in the afternoon, perfect snack after a day in the sun!
-Pickup at airport - easy to find and very friendly staff for the 1.5 hour drive to the resort
-Resort Owners - Shane and Christina are a Canadian couple, an architect and a seasoned spa owner who made the journey to Jamaica to open their first resort; they are very present at the resort and always ensuring their guests are well taken care of
-Rosa the dog - amazing, friendly, fun, will hang out and swim with you if you want!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BamRam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thank you for your review! We are proud to facilitate an environment that will enable guests to slip into an effortless state of relaxation. As time stands still on our expansive beach deck and our open air spa pavilion, we wish to connect you with an oasis of total well being and the ritual of renewed relaxation. One love!
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Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2014

The hotel is located on the cliffs, so there is no direct beach access. But if you enjoy snorkeling, you are in for a treat! You can just use the steps or jump in the water and start enjoying an amazing fish variety steps away from your room. If you really want sand between your toes, there is always a driver available at the hotel to take you to the beach, within 10 minutes. The sunsets in this location are amazing! You must meet at the bar for a sunset drink every night! Their wonderful stuff will make you feel welcome, always serving with a big smile.
The pool deck is all covered in stone with a few patches of sand. Beautiful work!
If you are planning on jumping in the pool or in the ocean, you will have the watchful eye of Rosa, the dog. She may even join you...
We stayed at the sea cottage. I would recommend staying on Sea Side Cottage 7, most private and adjacent to the Spa.
You also must try the outdoor showers in the spa area, great water pressure and views of blue sky or stars, whatever you prefer.
Food here was so good! Feel free to venture out, but you will always come back to their restaurant. Be sure to order the fish tacos.

Room Tip: We stayed at the sea cottage. I would recommend staying on Sea Side Cottage 7, most private and adja...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SandraLong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jamiekeeley, Public Relations Manager at The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, 19 March 2014
Thank you for your review! Our team is happy to learn that you enjoyed the rejuvenating experience at our cliff side property. We aim to create a welcoming and positive environment for our guests to relax and have fun, whether you are taking a dip in our fresh sea water pool while enjoying personalized bar service or finding reprieve under shaded cabanas for an afternoon siesta. One love!
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Additional Information about The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel

Property: The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel
Address: West End Cliffs | Westmoreland, Negril ., Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#1 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#1 Spa Hotel in Negril
#4 Business Hotel in Negril
#5 Family Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A true luxury escape located on the West End Cliffs of Negril, Jamaica and located on nearly 2 acres of oceanfront; this unique property extends from white sandy beach into exotic grey cliffs overlooking the vibrant turquoise hues of the Caribbean Sea. 18 Handcrafted stone cottages with spectacular tropical gardens and cliff side dining at the Blue Mahoe Restaurant will enhance your SPA escape. The SPA Retreat features an open-air day spa offering classic aesthetic treatments with a Jamaican flair. The adults only, SPA Retreat features a sea water pool, sandy beach deck, A/C, free Wi-Fi, in-room safe, yoga and specialty tours to enhance your experience. The devotion to quality and service familiar to The SPA’s Canadian locations continues to surpass guest expectations from the moment your flight touches down. We look forward to having you as our guest! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Spa Retreat Hotel Negril
Heart Beat Seaside Retreat Negril

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