My husband and I went to The Caves in the beginning of May for our 5 year anniversary and as our first trip alone after having our daughter 13 months before. I was looking for a place that was the opposite of a “mega-resort” where we could relax, recharge, reconnect, eat, drink and SLEEP. After doing a lot of research on here (I would check for new reviews like checking for a new boyfriend’s emails!), The Caves looked like the perfect place for us. And it completely lived up to my expectations!
I won’t repeat everything that everyone always says. It’s all spot on. It’s a very, very special place. I will try and give some highlights, tips and my few criticisms. Hopefully they will be helpful.
- IT’S SMALL: Something that people don’t really talk about on here is the size of the resort. (Hey, TripAdvisor, you really should list how many rooms a hotel has AND when it was built/last renovated!). There are only 12, I think, rooms on the whole property! That means a max of 24 people (in our case it wasn’t full and I think only 16 or so were there.) This is sooooo wonderful. Being from a densely populated area, I love small resorts, but this one really took the cake. You could always find a spot where there was no one around.
- IT’s QUIET: Due to the size, the type of person who comes here, the classy staff and just the natural sounds of the waves on the rocks, it’s so nice and quiet. You almost want to whisper at dinner. People are very respectful and except for some screaming when you get the courage to do a jump, it’s pure peace.
- TIME STRETCHES FOREVER: I was worried that we were only going to have 4 nights there (it’s kind of a schlep from the airport too), but time passes so wonderfully slowly there. So if you can only go for a few days, it’ll be worth it and you’ll still feel renewed.
- PERFECT TEMP: Not too hot, not too cold. Not my normal experience in the Caribbean.
- SPECIAL STAFF: OK, people talk about the staff all the time so that’s nothing new. But they really are wonderful. Any time they walk by you get a “You good?” and they genuinely make you feel like they are glad you are there. And no one has a “that’s not my job” mentality. It’s like when they were hired the manager said, “OK, your job is X, but really, it’s to make guests happy.” In particular, Patrick (Hi Patrick! Xoxoxo), the lunch ladies (I never knew their names somehow!), Anna/Michelle in the spa, Paul. Just great people and they do a great job.
- Skip the sunset hot tub. It’s kind of lame and the view is much better from the pool.
- Make yourself do the jumps – if you only do one, do the blue hole and look back up. Amazing feeling.
- Float on a raft inside the blue hole just listening to the waves crash, watching the bats, and feeling like you are on another planet.
- Always, always, always get the combo for meals. (We loved all meals. If you are a very picky eater you may not like it here, but if you like food like we do, you’ll love it.)
- Ask Paul for signs (someone said that foamy water was a sign) and be on the lookout for tiny, almost invisible jelly fish. I got stung pretty bad and am still itching everywhere!
- Don’t leave the resort while you are there. Just enjoy all it has to offer.
- See if you can get Cave #2 for your cave dinner. It’s prettier and not as hot. This was like being on “THE MOST ROMANTIC ONE-ON-ONE DATE EVER” on the bachelor! HA! Really memorable.
- Have a specialty rum in the rum cave. If rum isn’t your thing, bring another drink down there. It’s a really cool place.
- Get a disposable underwater camera to take shots inside the blue hole, on the raft looking back at the resort, etc. I really regret this.
If I could have, I would've given the resort 4.5 stars for the below things that I do hope they work on. They didn’t really dampen our vacation though and I still wholeheartedly recommend this resort, but they are things I wish I was aware of, so here you go:
- ROOMS: I was prepared for the kitschy-ness (I normally like a much more modern aesthetic) and knew it would be rustic, but I wasn’t prepared for how much so. Our room, Blue Dolphin, really could use some work. The paint was chipped on the walls, ceiling and bathtub, the bathroom floor was sticky and was yellowed like there was a flood, and the toilet was stained and brown. Overall it didn't live up to the luxurious and well-cared for atmosphere throughout the rest of the resort. I was actually kind of upset about it at first, but once I got over it, I realized that beyond those things, the AC worked great, bed was comfy, towels plush and clean, and the tub, while chipped is gigantic and really fun to take a shower in! So just set your expectations and hopefully they’ll do some renovations soon…
- THE WINE: Oh, I was so sad about this. I love wine, my drink of choice always, but I’m actually not a wine snob. (It’s rare for me to meet a wine I don’t like!) But I thought both whites (sauvignon blanc and a chardonnay) were almost undrinkable and the reds (cabernet and a merlot) were only slightly better. I stuck to fruity drinks (very good, albeit weak, made always with fresh fruit!) in the day and just didn’t indulge that much with the reds at dinner (but maybe that was a good thing!)
- SELF SERVE BAR: While it was great that you could make yourself a drink whenever you wanted if there wasn't someone at the bar, I really would have liked someone staffing the bar more frequently (no one can make those tropical drinks quite like those guys could!) For example, one night during happy hour/sunset time, there was no one there. My husband tried to make a drink and failed miserably. ;-)
But as I said, everything else is wonderful. You’ll have a fantastic vacation. BOOK IT NOW! You won’t be sorry.
- 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