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“We'll be back -- but we learned a couple of things”
Review of The Caves

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The Caves
Ranked #5 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
St. Louis, MO
Level 5 Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“We'll be back -- but we learned a couple of things”
Reviewed 6 October 2009

There are loads and loads of glowing reviews for The Caves, and they are frankly spot on -- it is a one of a kind property, and you will likely fall in love with it the moment you arrive. I have never been to a resort where "make yourself at home" can be taken so literally. The staff is fantastic and are as much a part of the Caves experience as the gorgeous surroundings and the quirky, cozy cottages.

I do feel compelled to point out something regarding the lack of air conditioning -- to each their own, but if you routinely set your thermostat at a number that starts with a 7 or below, you can expect to be uncomfortably warm at some point during your stay if you are in a room without a/c. With no common areas with a/c either, we found that a bit frustrating, because if it happens to be unusually warm, you really have nowhere to go to get relief. Fans help, and we had no problems at night at all, but at 1:30 pm in the tropics, it's just plain hot.

There are those that like it a little warmer and will have no problems with this at all. For us, however, we'll be staying in a cottage with a/c when we come back. At this price point, "rustic" or no, you shouldn't have moments where you are that uncomfortable without a way to do anything about it. I actually considered docking it a star for this, but I'm still going to go with 5 stars with an asterisk, because it was essentially our own fault for not trusting our gut on this.

Many have spoken about the "combo" option at mealtime, but I'm going to take it a step further -- unless one of the options is wholly unappealing to you, you are officially an idiot is you don't opt for the combo at every opportunity. The food is truly outstanding, and we loved trying all of the different dishes. By all-inclusive standards, the food at the Caves is in a class by itself. By any standard, every dish I had (save one outlier) ranged between very good and exceptional.

Anything else I could add by way of review would be duplicative of the scores of awesome reviews of the place, so I'll just say "ditto." I will, however, be posting a Caves FAQ thread to the forums, since there are a number of bits of info that we learned and would like to pass along, but which aren't really in the manner of a review -- please check that out if you plan on going!

ONE LOVE...

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
20 Thank sirtoasty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Plainfield CT
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 September 2009

My husband and I stayed at this resort for our honeymoon. You couldn't have asked for a better place to stay.

We had the "Blue Dolphin" room. Truly amazing! We loved sitting on the patio and just enjoying the sound of the ocean. The room was comfortable and we spent many hours just relaxing and enjoying the CDs provided.

This is not a resort for a couple looking for activities. The atmosphere is relaxing and romantic. We did however, venture out a little. Of course we had to take a walk down to Rick's cafe which was an experience. Be warned that you will be approached but just be courtesy and keep walking. They mean no harm :-)

We also scheduled a jet ski rental through The Caves. This was a lot of fun but a bit expensive. We also arranged for a dune buggy ride through a company called Chuka. Highly recommended!!!!!! The dune buggy tour was definitely something we will remember. We got to see some history and interior of the island.

Snorkeling with Paul is also highly recommended. Paul is the best. He pointed out stingrays and starfish. We even got to dive under a cave and come out the other side.

The food is just awesome! Try everything! The Caves uses canned carnation milk as creamer for coffee. It was different but we got used to it.

The only thing we had trouble with is tipping. We didn't know what was appropriate as it is an all-inclusive resort. We did tip our waiter the night we had dinner in the caves and we did tip Paul. He went way above and beyond.

Make sure you book the private jacuzzi for sunset. Nothing beats this.

We hated to leave and will definitely go back for an anniversary.

One word describes this place, well maybe two......Heavan and romantic!!!!

We were told by more than one native that The Caves is the most expensive place on the cliffs but in my opinion it was well worth every penny.

I LOVE THE CAVES

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank tlaflesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2009

The Caves is a really special and beautiful place with kind, authentic people who make you feel like part of the family. This is the place for romance and peace. My husband became addicted to jumping off the cliffs while I enjoyed lowering myself into the gorgeous water.

We stayed in Moonshadow which is lovely. It is a 2 bedroom cottage with a water view and balcony and an outdoor shower. FYI-The rate for this for 2 people is the same as the rate for a one bedroom. No A/C was fine - we put the fan inside the mosquito netting and it was great.

This place is eclectic, rustic, luxury. The beach is a short taxi away if you want. We went to the beach for a day only because we wanted to return to The Caves.

Things you must do here:

-Cave Dinner in Cave #1- so romantic
-Massage in Cave #2 with the waves crashing
-Sunset hot tub
-Snorkel trip with Paul
-Rum and Cigar Bar in one of the caves (open weds-sat)
-Drinks at The Sands (the bar on the property)
-Chat with Patrick from the Spa and Avery the chef - both amazing people
-Hang out on the Hammocks
-Request the "red table" for dinner
-Visit Seven mile beach if you have never been

This place is all inclusive which is to say that all drinks and meals etc are included.
They have a coupe of options only for lunch and dinner but are great about filling requests. Things like the romantic cave dinner or private dinner set up at a table that is away from the rest of the tables are also included in the cost! Wine, champagne, etc. The only additional cost was the massage and that was reasonably priced.

We loved it here and there were a lot of honeymooners. It is a very peaceful place with the occational "jumper". Bliss. Go here.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank pastular18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2009

I will save time and space. All of the reviews on here are spot on and I appreciate everyone's feedback. The Caves is definitely a resort where you just sit back and unwind from all of the hustle n' bustle. If you like an action packed super resort this is not the one for you. If you are looking for the super lush rooms and amenities this is not a place for you either. I have stayed at several large commericalized resorts and they were all nice but this is definitely a step back from all of those super resorts. I enjoyed that the Caves was a different experience and it wasn't your cookie cutter resort. The food at the Caves was the best that I've had at any resort. The staff are happy to serve and you can even serve yourself if you want to. My recommendations are to read the journals in your room and to try everything so you can experience the Caves just like everyone else has. What I like the most about the Caves was the seclusion from everything and that you may only see 3 or 4 couples at the most while you are staying. You can just really soak up the fun and the sun while sipping cocktails and enjoying fabulous food. You can meet some amazing people including the staff. Take the time to get to know each one of them and you will definitely feel like family while you stay.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank globetrotting_golfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2009

If you're looking for things to do all the time or nightlife this is not the resort for you. It is mainly a resort to bring a good book or two or three and relax on the cliffs. There are activities but if you constantly need something to do look elsewhere. The Caves is the place to relax and not be crowded with a lot of other tourists or screaming children. When we were here we didn't see very many other people and didn't have any problems 'securing' a spot to sunbathe, but that may have been due the time we traveled (late August). We didn't find the resort to be claustrophobic but an extended stay would have been boring. Most of the rooms do not have air conditioning so it does make it for a hot night but with fans running and the windows open it wasn't uncomfortable. I also heard they were installing more rooms with air conditioning when they are shutting down next week. There are bugs but this is a tropical climate so it's to be expected. We didn't run into one cockroach in our room but were bitten by mosquitoes. Bring repellent if this bothers you.

The staff here is very friendly. Elvis guided us around the hotel and he was very informative, very professional, and very friendly. I don't think we ran into one person that was rude. Someone fixed us a snack when the lunch hour was over but dinner didn't start for another couple of hours. We stayed in the Stardust, which is a little off the resort but it was very romantic, secluded and private. There is a little bit of music between 3-7PM when the Sands opens to the public but after 7PM the music cuts off. The Stardust also comes with a private balcony overlooking the sea, very romantic and great view! There are some tourists that come up by the cliff to the left of the balcony but that is during the day.

The food seemed very authentic and definitely above average but far from 5-stars that other people claim it is. My husband and I eat out 5-6 times a week and we have had many meals that we would rate 5 stars. The closest I think you'll come to have a 5-star dining experience is the surf n' turf experience in the caves. If there was anything to be disappointed about the resort it would be that we chose this resort based on the reviews of the food. We definitely expected something different. We by no means had a bad meal during our stay here but I wouldn't go so far to say that the dining experience is a 3 star Michelin restaurant. I had banana pancakes every morning and they even made my husband's hash browns extra spicy since he loves spicy food. You always get a salad at lunch and a choice of two entrees. Shabba the chef for breakfast and lunch was very nice to talk to you and even explained some of the fishing practices around the island. He's also been working on the resort for 15 years! Dinner comes with an appetizer and a salad or soup and choice of two entrees. Like previous reviewers you can combo the dinner and get as little or as much food as you want. The desserts were ok, nothing special.

Cave dining was a private, romantic experience. The cave was lit with a lot of candles and provided a cozy feel. Our waiter was friendly and stayed out of the way for the most part. This experience was the only thing we would rate as a 5-star dining experience. We had the biggest lobster for our meal.

The couples massage was awesome. My husband had only one massage prior to this that left him wondering what the hoopla was about for massages. But he loved his massage this time around. Ann did a wonderful job. I had Patrick as my masseuse and he did an excellent job. I was left wanting a longer massage. The peppermint scalp rub was refreshing and left me feeling cool and smelling like peppermint the rest of the day.

Do book time to go snorkeling and kayaking with Paul. He is very friendly and knows his way around the ocean. We saw stingrays, jellyfish, lizardfish, fruit bats, parrot fish and picked up a starfish. He used to spear fish so he can point out all sorts of wildlife. If you do the kayaking don't wuss out and go half way try and stick out for the entire trip and you will arrive at a bat cave with an all sand shallow swimming area to relax in at the end. No one will offer this to you as a previous reviewer expected, book the time to do these activities with the front desk. Try out the cliff jumps. I only did the 30 foot jump once, and it will be the last time I do. My husband jumped numerous times.

Venturing off the resort isn't necessary unless you are looking for nightlife, shopping or something else to do. We would've been just as happy with our experience staying solely on the resort. When we did venture off the resort it was to get a little souvenir and then we came right back.

Overall the experience was unique and we would definitely come back with friends and family to an air conditioned room!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LeaBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2009

Honestly, since going to the Caves I have a new vision of Heaven. It is just THAT good. We spent the first half of our trip at Sandals and walking into the Caves was like walking into a cool, relaxing, gorgeous, "truly luxury included", oasis of perfection. We got there on a Sunday (and yes it is an AMAZING meal). When you first walk in, you are greeted with a drink while the 'front desk' staff introduces you to the place. Then you get a tour of the place while they deliver the bags. The tour was fantastic and helpful-pay attention! There are so many little beautiful things about this place-ie the rum bar and stone table-that you will want to remember over the course of your trip! We got there just in time for lunch and that was our first taste of what was to come... do NOT miss a meal at the Caves unless you are staying for a long time and it's a repeat. Later in the trip four of us rushed back from Sav-la-Mar on scooters just because we didn't want to miss the Caves delicious lunch!
We threw on some decent clothes and watched the sunset that first night. Had a few great drinks-dirty bananas, rum punch, cliffhanger (try em all!)-and headed up to a mouth-watering meal under the stars. It was just pure romance. Honestly it was like a dream-the candlelight, the stars, the waves crashing. This is what you WANT on your vacation. Every meal was as great and romantic. One night we swung on hammocks before the meal as a storm brewed. It got wild while we were eating and drinking our wine. Then, we went back to our room and watched the craziest lightning/thunderstorm from our little porch at Blue Dolphin.
Speaking of Blue Dolphin-it was great! Every room has it's pros and cons, but mostly they are pros. The best part was the huge tub, the stand-alone bed, and the front "porch". The location was fantastic as well, right between the main swimming locations and the dinner place. My husband would run out everyday at 4-5pm onto the wall in front of Blue Dolphin that was above the 2nd cave and watch the ScubaCaribe boat that went inside the cave. "Hey 'Bruce'!! Everybody say hi to 'Bruce!'" they would yell every day and all the tourists would say "HEYYY BRUCE!". My husbands name is Joe. TOO FUNNY!
You MUST do the snorkeling tour with Paul. I'm not into snorkeling so much and my husband had only been snorkeling in LI which is nothing like what snorkeling should be. We did the tour the first day, though, and were addicted! It may not be as colorful as the other islands I have been to but it sure was a lot of fun. Joe saw a massive stingray, I saw smaller ones, sea snakes, fish, jellyfish, moray eel, the deadly lionfish, even barracudas!
Get a massage from Patrick and Michelle. They are just professional and sweet at the same time. I've gotten numerous massages this year and the ones at the Caves blew all of them out of the water. I would actually do more if I were to go back and do it all over again.
THE JUMPS. Jumping off the medium ledge was my idea of a good time but I did brave the big one once. If you do it get in on video. I didn't do the Blue Hole but Joe did and his feet grazed the bottom. Wear water shoes.
TIPS: Bring lots of 1's and 5's. No need to spend JA money. We did just fine with American. If you are not afraid get a scooter and ride around the cliffs. So cool. Go way up the other end and see little hotels that were destroyed by Ivan and trying to rebuild.
Do the combo every single meal. Start drinking dirty bananas at 10. Snorkel. Jump. Walk to Rick's. Talk to other couples. Have dinner at the stone table, as well as the Cave Dinner in Cave#1 (although the other ones were great as well). The Hot Tub is just as good at night as it is at sunset. No matter what it will be one of the romantic experiences you could ever hope to have. Take pictures of everything. When you leave you are going to wish you took more. This place is heaven on earth. I cried the other night missing it. I did not miss Sandals.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank nickib983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans, LA
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2009

We chose the Caves Resort as our honeymoon destination, because of the many reviews on Trip Advisor. Not only were the reviews positive, but the websit itself listed this resort as the #1 all-inclusive in the carribean!

Our room was the Sundancer. It was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath cottage that was overlooking the cliff and the main area of the Caves Resort. We were a little concerned when we were looking at dates, due to the heat being early June. I have to say that it did not bother us at all. We were hardly in the room during the day and at night the breeze coming off the water was relaxing and comfortable. Each room had nets around the beds to protect from bugs and they will provide you with extra fans upon request. They stock your fridge with drinks and also have alcohol for cocktail mixing.

The food was incredible!!!! The breakfast was great, because you have a choice between American or Jamaican. They serve fresh juice(ask for watermelon juice) and a fresh fruit plate that is amazing! Lunch was always refreshing and you have a salad and choice of 2 entrees or combo it! Dinner was simply to die for!!!! I am a very picky eater and I promised my husband that I would at least try everything...much to his suprise, I did! I have to say that it was absolutely the best cuisine that I have had on any vacation. We are from New Orleans, so we love flavor and spice. We were thrilled with the Jamaican food and wish we could have it on a regular basis! Each dinner had a starter, salad, soup, choice of entree(or combo it!) and then dessert. Please try to stay on a Sunday night...I won't ruin the suprise, but it is the BEST dinner!

It also was fun for us to be able to get behind the bar and make our own drinks. You basically will have free rain of their bars, so have fun! We even got to hang out with a lot of the staff at the Caves. It was great to be able to cut loose and get to know them. Ask for Ricardo. He is the best!

Last but not least....the property itself! WOW! It is so amazing to be able to wake up and see the crystal blue water and the sun popping up to say hi! We loved being able to get right into the ocean and float on rafts and relax. We highly recommend jumping off of the cliffs. It is gutwrenching to prepare to jump, but so worth it in the end. It is very liberating, but you definitely might need a drink after...or a couple! :) Ask for Paul, the water sports guru. He is an excellent snorkeling instructor and he will definitely talk you through jumping.

Ricardo, we know you read these reviews...these are your crazy New Orleans and Lafayette Louisiana gang! We had such a great time! Thanks for everything!!!!! By the way, we finally saw you on Bridgette's Sexiest Beaches!!! Woohooo!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mikeandheathe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Caves

Property: The Caves
Address: Light House Road | P.O. Box 3113, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#2 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#5 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#5 Spa Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Caves 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caves sits along the limestone cliffs of the West End of Negril, right next to the famous Negril Lighthouse in Jamaica. Although situated only a few miles away from the bustling town center, this private enclave is a world apart. Eleven handcrafted wood and stone thatched-roof cottages, plus a 4-bedroom fully self-contained luxury villa, are interwoven between ten acres of lush vegetation and naturally formed volcanic caves. Quaint stone pathways wind through the limestone cliffs dotted with palm, sea grape and dogwood trees overlooking the Caribbean Sea. An arrangement of coral stairs and walkways lead to sundecks with uninterrupted views of the sea and sky, and grottos with turquoise water pools and fossilized marine life. A tropical reef system comes right up to the edge of the cliff, perfect for snorkeling. Guests can climb down ladders into the sea or take a leap from several “jump points,” the highest of which is 30 feet! An intimate, private and unique resort, The Caves is perfect for romance and relaxation.The Caves generally does not accept children under 16 years old. Exceptions must be cleared with the hotel management. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Caves Hotel Negril
Caves Hotel Negril
The Caves Resort Negril
Caves Jamaica
Caves Negril

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