My husband Joe and I recently returned for a fabulous week’s vacation at Sandals Negril 11/13-11/20)! This was our second visit to this small, intimate couples-only resort, having honeymooned there 16 years ago. Once again, we can’t say enough wonderful things about the people who work at Sandals Negril. Their happy demeanors and friendly smiles are infectious and they give the warmest hugs. In short, they “made” our vacation and they do the same for all who visit with them.
From the moment we arrived at Sandals Negril, we were greeted in most welcoming and friendly ways by staff members we met at every turn. From those at the front desk to house and groundskeepers we passed every day on our way to and from our room – they all had warm smiles and friendly greetings to share with us. At the beginning of our stay when we were “new” guests, each time we went to a restaurant or activity, we were asked our names so that staff would become familiar with us. From that point on, each time we returned, our host(ess), servers and other staff would refer to us by our names, which made for a very personal feeling of belonging to their “family”. We found this to be true of so many of Sandals’ staff members, but most especially Kendra and Norman at Cucina Romana. They are the consummate hostess and host, respectively. Kendra’s smile and laugh are particularly infectious, and although Norman is a bit quieter, he is a most professional and graciously warm host, both of whom we enjoyed tremendously. Kudos and special thanks to Kendra and Norman. I brought along my usual travel buddy – a stuffed green frog named Philippe – and he was a “hit” with the entire staff, each one making special efforts to acknowledge and fawn over Philippe just as they did us . Our Cucina Romana servers Shernette and Jodi-Ann were both so pleasant, sweet and most attentive, and we also enjoyed server Christopher’s attention as well. While enjoying a lovely meal at the Cucina one evening, new chef Michel came and introduced himself to us and politely asked how we liked the cuisine. It was nice to know that he was interested in receiving feedback regarding the fare, especially since he advised us it was only his second day working there. We told him our meals were delicious, especially Joe’s lobster dish, which became a favorite throughout our stay. The Cucina Romana also has a fabulous daily lunch buffet which you can eat at the restaurant (right on the beach) or take it “to go” and enjoy it back at your shaded lounge chair on the beach.
We enjoyed the sumptuous breakfast buffet almost everyday at The Bayside and were always warmly greeted by Kendra, who knew exactly where we liked to sit and made sure that everything was to our liking. Natoya painstakingly cooked our eggs “just right” each morning and we received the devoted attention of Pauline, Jodi-Ann, Melisha, Philip and Floyd on a number of occasions, each one with their own warm smile and greeting.
Kimono’s chef Napolean is quite a character. He kept us amused and entertained throughout dinner with his juggling and hibachi preparation skills, all the while singing and telling jokes. Dinner that evening was even more memorable because the four other couples that we shared the table with really “clicked” and we enjoyed talking throughout the meal. Afterwards when we were ushered into another room for dessert, we pushed all of the individual couples’ tables together so that we could continue enjoying each other’s company. It was great to see these same couples over the next few days at various other locations and to catch up with them on their plans for the day and newest activities and adventures. The nicest people can be found at Sandals Negril.
Dining at The Barefoot was a real treat. Feeling the powdery soft sand under our feet was divine and made for a fun dining experience that we will not soon forget. Melisha, Sashelle and Faithlynn were favorite servers – always so joyful and willing to please. On one special evening, our server Jeffrey entertained us with his hidden talent – balancing objects on his head! First, he balanced a wine bottle atop his head while showing off his smooth dance moves. He even balanced and served me my bowl of soup from atop his head – what fun! Not to be outdone, Shavon joined in by challenging Jeffrey to top him as he balanced a wine bottle on his head while displaying his martial arts moves! These guys were a blast and made for a very memorable evening. A moonlight dining experience not to be missed! Likewise for the Cucina Romana.
Sandals Negril definitely provided the much-needed respite we were hoping for having recently “survived” the stress and drama of our only daughter’s wedding.
Although there are many activities to do and outside excursions in which to participate, our preference this trip was to enjoy many relaxing hours on the beach and in the ocean. Lois was always making the rounds with her pleasant greeting and smile while delivering cool and refreshing libations beachside. We admit to savoring many a Bob Marley (cool and refreshing) during our beachside chats with newfound friends.
We enjoyed kayaking on a few occasions, observing the many sea stars and other underwater life as we glided along the beautiful, clear ocean. Although there was some seaweed in certain areas of the water (close to the shore ) which seemed to be a favorite hiding place for sea urchins, much of the underwater footing is on sand. I would recommend wearing water shoes in any tropical waters in order to avoid stepping on sea urchins and other sea life that might cause painful stinging. We also took a glass bottom boat ride and I went on the big red tube ride twice. The staff members who provided these safe and fun excursions were most pleasant and the guys on the glass bottom boat shared some funny stories too. They even dove in the waters and brought up a large sea star for all to see and hold up close and personal. Paddle boarding was not something I’d ever done, but Robert and Big Papa showed me how and I felt confident to give it a shot. Boy was it fun! Try it – you’ll like it! The best part is that I didn’t fall off and enjoyed it so much that I paddle boarded almost every day. Also, you can’t beat the view of the sea life below. Hobie Cat sailing was not something we’d ever done before but it looked like something we would like to do, so Robert took us out on a lovely adventure around Booby Island, providing us with instructions should we decide to take it out on our own. Some other water sports available included wind surfing, water skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving. For an additional fee, you can take scuba lessons and even get certified in scuba!
If you’re concerned about safety issues, Sandals has security officers patrolling the beach every day, although we never felt any uneasiness or harm during our entire stay. For a nominal fee, there’s even a van transport available every day that will take you door-to-door from Sandals to Rick’s Café, a tourist favorite, to watch the cliff divers and enjoy the beautiful sunsets, which we did during our stay. You can also book excursions to Rick’s on a catamaran. Local vendors, approved by Sandals, set up their wares along the walkways so that you can purchase jewelry, carved figurines, etc. without having to leave the premises if you so desire. Purchasing gifts from these locals craftsmen helps support the Jamaican economy. However, there is also a local craft market just outside the premises that several guests visited with no security problems.
We utilized the Concierge services and found Paige to be especially helpful in making dining reservations for us and answering our questions. Nateana at the front desk made our check out quick and easy, and Tayshian (Soon Come Back) was pleasant and well informed during our transaction with her. In fact, she helped us book our next trip to Jamaica – Sandals Grande Riviera in 2014. We can’t wait to come back to Jamaica and its lovely people.
The Zinc Reggae Band and Reggae DJ provided some truly fun music one evening on the beach. The young staff members who attended were a joy to watch as they danced to the music. They made the evening so much fun for all by encouraging guests to get up and dance with them. They were so gracious and sweet and were wonderful teachers who were patient and kind in showing guests how to catch on to many new line dances and dance moves so that we could have fun too. And dance I did! I was feeling the music and the desire to join in the fun so much that I removed my sandals and danced the night away, barefoot in the sand. Of course, I “paid for it” the following morning when I awoke with two nasty blisters on the bottom of both big toes – soooo worth the fun though!
Our housekeeper did a fantastic job of keeping our room clean, leaving pretty towel animals and rose petals on our bed every day, and ensuring that an ample supply of clean towels was always in our room. Constant efforts were made by staff members to keep the grounds clean and the property well maintained. Aside from the obvious renovations that were going on while we were there, we took note of painters who painted roofs and outside closet doors, and the groundskeepers who were constantly raking the sand, sweeping the walkways, cleaning the outdoor showers, washing floors, as well as Sandals on-site photographers who were always watching out for special moments to catch on film, etc. These hard working people often greeted us with smiles and pleasantries as we passed by. We were even serenaded by several staff members on our transport van as we were getting ready to leave for our ride to the airport. Such a treat! We miss them all already.
Sandals Negril -- You’ll fall in love with the people…………. “Soon Come Back”
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on Negril's pristine 7-mile white sand beach•Phenomenal bedroom oceanfront suites set upon a relaxing crystal lagoon•Ultra luxurious one-bedroom millionaire honeymoon suites with private plunge pool•Seven exquisite dining options•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa “Jamaica's Leading Hotel” (2nd consecutive year)•Five Star Diamond Resort, American Academy of Hospitality Science ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Negril Beach Hotel Negril
- Sandals Negril Beach Resort And Spa
- Sandals Jamaica
- Sandals Negril Jamaica
- Sandals Resort