Hi, my husband, 5 yr old son and I just got back from Beaches Negril (we were there from April 12th - 16th, 2008). Because of all the mixed reviews that are available on the internet about Jamaica as well as the resort, we weren't really sure of what to expect with the cleanliness of the resort, the people in Jamaica, the weather, the mosquitoes, the food etc etc. I will try to be as honest as possible in my review.
First of all, after an 8 hour flight from Calgary to Montego-Bay, we were pleasantly surprised to be directed to a Sandals/Beaches lounge at the Mo-Bay airport that was stocked with fresh fruit, drink and beer while the porters took our luggage to the bus. We were then driven to our resort Beaches Negril (1.5 hour drive from airport, but very scenic and comfortable in an air conditioned bus!). The check-in process was very efficient and we were upgraded to an ocean-view room (without even asking for it). The room had 2 twin beds, was quite spacious and well decorated. The bathroom was clean although not quite up to the standards that we see in Canada/America. No complaints though, as it was clean (I'm picky so I'd tell you if I wasn't happy!!).
The pool at Beaches Negril is beautiful although it isnt temperature controlled, so if you go in a cooler month then it might be a challenge to get in the water :) We were lucky to have great weather....29 degrees C and there was a wind blowing constantly so it was just right! The people at hte resort are EXTREMELY HOSPITABLE, so I'd rank it as a 3 or 4 star resort with 5 star (or 7 star) service! The restaurants are quite nice although you'd probably get bored with them after 3-4 days (we feasted on the spicy Jamaican food at the Mo-Bay airport on our way back to Canada as the resort food is more 'tourist friendly' :) The ITalian restaurant at Beaches Sandy Bay is really nice and we went there twice for dinner (5 minute bus ride, and there's a shuttle from Beaches Negril every 30 minutes).
My husband and I loved the snorkelling experience (our first time)....the ocean was so nice and warm and the brightest aqua/teal color possible! HEAVENLY! My husband took the resort scuba training $70 and went on the scuba dive (30 ft) the next day but he got very sick and his ears couldnt adjust to the pressure.....he says he'll never scuba dive again! :)
Our 5 yr old son LOVED the kids camp. They had different activitities every hour and some of them included splashing around in the kids pool, cooking with cookie monster, art and craft, aerobics, learning about alphabets etc etc. He loved camp, although one of the other parents was complaining that the staff aren't as careful as they need to be (her son walked out of camp towards the pool and no one noticed,,,,luckily she and her husband were right around the corner luckily to stop him from walking straight into the pool)!!! The staff members were very apologetic of course.
My son loved the Xbox garage....really nice and airconditioned with 20-30 Xbox consoles...each with a different game.
The spa was nice, although the hot stone pedi on the rocks was over-priced in my opinion. I paid $95 USD + $10 tip for something that woul;d've costed me $60 or so in Canada. I LOVED the West Indian Massage though.....they use a lot of stretches and overall I thought the massage was better than any massage I've received in Canada! Again over priced at $180!! If you want to get your hair done at the spa, NICOLE is excellent!
Most of the watersports (that are included) such as banana boat etc are not for kids under the age of 7 yrs, so my son couldnt really benefit from any of those. He just seemed to be really happy in the pool, making sand castles on the beach and at camp! They have a really nice swim-up bar in the pool and since we don't drink alcohol we enjoyed their milk shakes and fruit drinks (mostly made with fresh fruit such as pineapple, papaya, banana etc or fruit nectar if its off season). Very nice.
We had to purchase benedryl for our son's bug bite, as well as Advil and both were well priced at the gift shop..only $3 or so higher than Canada.
Every night there was a different show in the auditorium....circus, reggae dancing, sesame street characters etc....our son loved the shows.
During hte day, there was pool aerobics in the water, beach volleyball, billiards, table tennis etc etc - never a dull moment.
Overall, I LOVED my experience at Beaches Negril. I wasn't that impressed by Beaches Sandy Bay though as its a smaller resort so I'd highly recommend Negril instead.
Jet ski's etc - there were locals (not employed by Beaches) who were willing to make deals as low as $25 for 30 minutes on the jet skis! Also, we strolled outside the Beaches security gate on the beach and there were locals offering braiding services for $25 (as opposed to $80 in the spa) and even quick foot massages for $10-$15. They were harmless and we felt very safe, although I would't go there after dark.
If you have any further questions re Beaches Negril, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Located on the widest stretch of Negril's seven mile white sand beach•Stay at one, play at two with full exchange privileges with Beaches Sandy Bay including a choice of 11 dining options•“Pirates Island” Water Theme Park with 4 slides, meandering “lazy” river and splash deck•Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street themed activities with daily character appearances, parades and stage shows•Kids Kamp & Nursery with wide range of supervised activities•Interactive Teens Program with “Trench Town” Teen's Center and Teens' Coordinator to coordinate teen activities•Expansive Two & Three Bedroom Butler serviced suites•Supervised Xbox® Play Lounge with flat screen plasma TV's & Xbox® 360 game consoles•Beaches Resorts were voted “World's Leading Family All-Inclusive 14 years in a row•Five Star Diamond Award, American Academy of Hospitality Sciences•Six Star Diamond Award, Beaches Resorts – Keeping it Green•EarthCheck Platinum Certified ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beaches Negril Hotel Negril
- Beaches Hotel Negril
- Negril Beaches Hotel