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“Beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sandy Haven Resort

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Sandy Haven Resort
Ranked #18 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
142 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2012

We visited this property on a recommendation from someone else. We will be looking for a quiet getaway next year without our kids and wanted to see this property. We found the owners quite accommodating to us. They really have done a lot to open this resort and the pride they take in it is obvious. I think it is great that they are there everyday to make sure things are flowing smoothly. I agree with everyone that the place looks beautiful. It has a different feel than many others. Even the colors give you this peaceful and relaxed feeling. We found the rooms spacious and decorated so pleasantly. My kids ran into the ocean upon arrival and loved the crystal clear water. Mobay has a lot of seagrass and fish. Thank you again Ann and Stephen for being so welcoming to us last week when we visited. The rain was unfortunate though.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank tamalePittsburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this review, 23 July 2012
Hello Tam…Thank you for your very refreshing review!! We really appreciate the time you took to write this lovely review of Sandy Haven Resort. We are thrilled that you enjoyed our intimate property, including the large expanse beach area (that was so loved by your children), which we must agree is the perfect addition to the beach side accommodations here is Negril. Our aim is to continually exceed our guests’ expectations each and every day. We are absolutely humbled to have provided you with such a wonderful vacation and look forward to your next visit to Sandy Haven Resort!!
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602 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2012

Let's start with the good...
The location can not be faltered. Having beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea at your backyard is simply heaven. The hotel is located in a gorgeous section of the 7 mile beach, pristine white sand and clear water everywhere you look. Every morning beach lounges were laid out with fresh towels and there were always plenty of lounges to go around. Most of them are in the shade under umbrellas or under shady trees, which is great given how harsh the sun is. There were 4 beautiful day beds off to the side but in our stay of 5 days we didn't see anyone using them. We laid on them to test them out but they were rather uncomfortable, felt rubbery and hot with hard pillows to match. But they certainly look pretty. 

We walked up and down the beach and this hotel is by far the nicest and the most modern looking hotel in the area. The hotel always has a security guard on duty on the beach, so no one crosses the hotel boundary to hassle you when you are relaxing on the lounges. Plenty of colourful locals walk up and down the beach selling all sorts of things but they never come up to you but you can approach them if you want something, good system. 

The beach side bar is a very cool little spot, prices of cocktails were reasonable at about $8-$10. There was always music coming from the bar from the morning, and the whole vibe felt very chilled and Jamaican. 

As for the staff, apart from one or two staff on the breakfast service (which I will get to later), they were all extremely polite, friendly and willing to help. 

We had a ocean view double room which was very modern and spacious. Bathroom was also very spacious with double vanities, and a nice dressing area. The shower and toilet had many shortcomings, see below for details. House keeping did a pretty good job most days, again read below for the negative aspects.

We used the hotel to organise transport for us from the airport and to other places we wanted to go to. The trip to/back from airport is $100 each way for two people, which sounds like a lot but the trip takes about an hour and a half from the hotel so I guess the price is ok given that. We also took taxis to Rick's cafe and another local eatery which was $20 for the round trip. The drivers were always on time and courteous. They drop you at your destination and give you a business card with their number, you get the bar/restaurant you are at to call the driver when you are ready to return and they come and collect you straight away. Very safe process.

We had dinner at Bongos restaurant once. Food was very good, not that cheap considering you are in Jamaica but  comparable with western prices.

Now for the not so good.....
I have to agree with all the bad reviews on here about the poor breakfast service and the general attitude of the owners.

Breakfast was without a doubt an extremely frustrating start to each of our five morning. The staff at breakfast service was so poorly trained and SO slow at everything, we wanted to go without breakfast some mornings. I understand all about island time, I was born in a tropical island myself but when each morning your toast takes nearly an hour to arrive there's something very unacceptable about that! The continental "champagne" breakfast that is included with the room rate is barely enough, you get tea/coffee, a small fruit plate, a tiny muffin and an even tinier glass of juice. We never once got offered the champagne, we always had to ask for it and then wait another 15 minutes for it to arrive. When we asked why our toast was taking more than 45 minutes, the very uninterested waitress would simply shrug and say a large group had ordered before us and the chef was busy with that order still. What the hell??? How hard is it to pop some bread in the toaster and since when does it require a "chef" to make toast?!! Needless to say this is unacceptable service. 

The owners were around pretty much all the time but it was very obvious that they pick their favourites and spend all their time and energy sucking up to them to get these patrons to spend more money at the hotel. The groups that received the undivided attention of the owners were nearly always large family groups who they can obviously convince to spend more money.  Young couples and other young groups of friends etc went completely ignored, we were lucky to even receive a hello from these owners. It goes without saying that I was not impressed with this one bit. 

And then there is a whole host of other problems we had that made this stay lot more frustrating than it needed to be:
1. Our toilet was not working and we had to get someone to come and fix it 4 times in the 5 days we were there. If you are going to charge $US250 per night for a hotel room please provide functioning toilets!!!
2. The bathroom door has no door handle and no lock! I don't know whether this was a fault in our room or if they all come with this stupid design fault. We were two friends travelling together and needless to say this was very frustrating and  we had to drag something against the door each time one of us wanted to shower or go to the toilet. 
3. Requested a hair dryer on our first morning and it took 25 minutes and three phone calls to arrive.
4. Wifi didn't work AT ALL from inside the room. We had to go out into our balcony and lean over the railing to get a signal. So frustrating. Wifi only works well in the reception area and the restaurant. It doesn't work at all from the breakfast/lunch areas and the beach loungers. 
5. On our second last day our room was not serviced till 6pm! Even then we had to call and wait 45 minutes for house keeping to get to us. And even after all that they didn't clean the bathroom  at all.
6. We were not given shower gel or any soap till our last day.
7. Our shower drained very poorly as did one of the two sinks in the bathroom.
8. The quality of bed linen and towels was average to say the least.

Loved Jamaica but have very mixed feelings about this hotel. It definitely felt as if the owners think that the pretty facade of the hotel is enough to hide all the negative aspects of the hotel. These negative aspects can no longer be dismissed as teething issue given the hotel has now been open for at least 4 months. The owners also really need to take into account what's been said in all these reviews and stop playing such uncomfortably obvious favourite games.

Would I stay here again? Probably not, I'm certain I can get better value for my money elsewhere! 

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank RachSydney2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jefferson, Georgia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2012

My husband and I recently spent a few days at Sandy Haven. The hotel itself is a lovely property. They have really captured the boutique feel. The rooms were spacious and nicely done. The beach front area was always clean and well kept. The beach bar and the restaurant were a little on the pricey side for us. But there are plenty of restaurants close by to choose from. Definitely try Best in the West jerk shack across the street for some authentic jerk chicken! Steven and Ann (property owners) were welcoming and friendly as was the entire staff. We would definitely recommend this property to anyone looking for a small boutique feel centrally located on the beaches of Negril.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear Amy, it was truly a pleasure hosting you and your husband at Sandy Haven Resort. We welcome and appreciate your warm and lovely review of our property. We are truly delighted that you both had such a wonderful time and even more delighted that you loved the hotel and its amenities. We look forward to hosting you again!!
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Arlington, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2012 via mobile

My girlfriend and I stayed at Sandy Haven recently while we visited Negril for the first time. The hotel was very nice and I would say at a glance that it ranks up there with the best in Negril in terms of style and modern appointments. The rooms were nice and has great air conditioning, however our bed was rock hard. That may be a personal preference, but I found the bed to be difficult to get comfortable in. That is my one complaint about the room as the rest of it was great.

The more serious misstep of the hotel however was the level of service by the waitstaff at the beach and deck area. While certain staff members were very attentive and friendly, others were rather inconsistent. For instance, the very last day we were there, my girlfriend placed an order with one of the staff for breakfast which she never got after over an hour of waiting, which wasn't the only time something like that happened during our stay. By the time we realized how long we had waited, it was too late and we had to pack up in order to catch our ride to the airport. It was a little bit off putting as the family who owns the resort were sitting on the deck being catered to, while a paying guest couldn't even get an order of French toast! I'm not a picky person or a particularly critical one at that, but even though the example I gave may seem minor, our feeling was that the place was very nice, but definetey missing something. Sandy Haven has a lot of potential, just hope they can work all the kinks out before the peak season starts.

Shout out to Wayne Webb, our cab driver we met at the airport. Very nice guy who told us all about the island and was extremely punctual. Highly recommended if you are flying into Mo Bay and need to get somewhere. He can be reached at wyn_webb@yahoo.com

Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank MKE R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this review, 20 July 2012
Dear valued guest…
Thank you for your kind review! Each feedback given by our past guests’ gives us the opportunity to know what the experiences were like as it is also a means of ensuring that the Sandy Haven Management Team can position itself and implement corrective measures. We of course want to ensure that our quality standards are met and maintained in order to provide the best vacation possible. Let me offer my sincere apologies for the service you have received as well as the lengthy wait periods you endured. We are working assiduously to ensure that our guests’ needs are met promptly while offering the best service. We would be pleased to enhance your stay in the future by providing you with a mattress padding (usually available upon request) for a restful sleep. We are particularly pleased that you enjoyed your room as well as the hotel amenities. We do hope however that you will one day visit with us again.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2012

Our stay at Sandy Haven was delightful. Very attentive and accommodating wait staff, bartenders, and chefs; they're the essence of this resort. The food was great! I loved and miss the Jamaican breakfast! If you're accustomed to Caribbean spicy foods, ask the chef to prepare your meal "yardie style".... The steamed snapper was superb :)... Rooms were always attended to in a timely fashion, and the resort is attractive and very well kept. My only issue with Sandy Haven was the attitude of the owner. There was a discrepancy in the room that we were assigned, it did not match what we paid for. While the manager and other front desk personnel at Sandy Haven attempted to handle this matter in a most professional and hospitable manner, the owner intervened in a particularly condescending way. She was dismissive, unapologetic, and unquestionably rude to us. Needless to say, while both my boyfriend and I look forward to visiting Negril again, we will certainly be taking our business elsewhere.

Room Tip: Make sure you're assigned the room you paid for. Watch out for an arbitrary "upgrade!"...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Brownsugga51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this review, 3 August 2012
Hello Brownsugga….Thank you for your wonderful review. It was definitely a pleasure hosting you here at Sandy Haven Resort. We are pleased to learn that you had such a lovely experience with us and even more pleased that you absolutely enjoyed the services offered by our wonderful staff. I’ll be sure to pass on your regards to them so as to motivate them to continue to provide stellar and prompt service for our valued guests. We both can agree that the Jamaican breakfast is excellent!! We do hope that you will one day visit us again. All the best!!
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philadelphia, Pa USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2012

Recently, I spent several days at Sandy Haven for a quick getaway with my 2 kids. The hotel owners and staff were very accommodating, the location is central and perfect on Negril Beach, they've got excellent security and breakfasts on the terrace were wonderful! The rooms are modern and have great showers and good a/c which was wonderful to have in June. We will definitely revisit! Have a massage by the pool!

Room Tip: ground floor has very little privacy
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank foodgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this review, 13 July 2012
Dear hope, thank you for your lovely review!! It was really a pleasure hosting you here at Sandy Haven Resort with your children. We are elated that you had such a fantastic time and that you truly enjoyed the room and hotel facilities offered here on our beautiful property. On your next trip with us we will be sure to reserve a 2nd or 3rd floor room for you (hopefully soon). Looking forward to having you rejoin us.
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virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2012

Typically, we vacation at huge, all-inclusives. We wanted to try something different. It was a great change. The resort is so beautiful. The rooms are spacious and modern. The hotel is located perfectly on the beach. One day, while jet-skiing, we went up and down the beach and could not find a prettier resort.

Every morning, the lounge chairs (with towels) are laid out on the beach, under the umbrellas and the beautiful trees on site. Breakfast is served right on the deck overlooking the beach. The water at the beach is so clear that we watched a ray swim right behind our feet.

We ate dinner at the resort twice, but found better prices and better food down the beach. Try the Sun Beach right next door for better drink prices and more interesting, authentic food.

The owners were on site every day and we loved the feel of a smaller resort.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beebstx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this review, 8 July 2012
Thank you for your lovely review! It was a great pleasure having you as guest of Sandy Haven Resort. We are thrilled that you have enjoyed the features of your room as well as the hotel amenities. We are even more delighted that our beach area suited your specific style and that it was to your liking. We are continuously finding new ways on how to make your stay here with us a favorable and memorable one. We do look forward to hosting you again.
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Additional Information about Sandy Haven Resort

Property: Sandy Haven Resort
Address: Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandy Haven Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An exclusive boutique resort built in modern urban style set on the famous 7-miles white sand beach location of Negril with 35 units of luxury guest rooms and suites. The Sandy Haven Resort experience goes far beyond bricks and walls. The prevailing atmosphere is that of a meeting place for friends and colleagues to mingle. ... more   less 
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