My wife and I have traveled extensively about the world, and we have had the good fortune of including Jamaica every year for the last 30 years. We actually took our first trip together to Negril when we met and fell in love with each other and the town. We have stayed in such hotels as the Carleton Cannes in France and Savoy in London the Ritz in Barcelona etc. We have stayed at Round Hill near Montego Bay which is where Ralph Lauren has two homes and has had such guests as JFK and Paul McCartney etc. We have stayed at the Jamaica Inn at Ochos Rio’s which has hosted Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and Errol Flynn. These hotels are quite luxurious and quite expensive.
Now let’s talk about Negril, having stayed in Negril at practically every up market hotel, we consider ourselves to be extremely knowledgeable about this wonderful town. First and foremost this is truly third world! There are no Holiday Inns and there are no chains, except for some all-inclusive properties which are not our style at all, even though we have stayed at some of the best. To us Negril is about the beach, the food, and the music.
Regarding Sandy Haven, this is a GIANT leap for a boutique hotel in Negril. We stayed on the third floor ocean front room with a spectacular view of the Caribbean. The King bed (with a super soft pad) was as good as any bed we have ever slept in. The air conditioning was perfect the water pressure in both the shower and the soaking tub were perfect. The owners Stephan and Anna are true visionaries. What they are attempting to do in Negril has never been done before with one possible exception with one property on the cliffs however, a cliff vacation in Negril is entirely different than a beach vacation and my wife and I prefer the beach. They have paid attention to every detail, the grounds are beautiful, the beach is perfectly kept and the rooms are beautifully designed. This is not to say that Sandy Haven is not a work in progress, I would say it is about 90% there. Yes there are traveling safes, but on the 1st day my wife placed our passports and cash in the main safe, so it didn’t actually matter that we didn’t have one in our room. Refrigerator/wine rack was already in the room, along with a clock and a phone and everything else that they listed. As to the champagne breakfast, it was marvelous, I thought the fruit was plentiful the muffins definitely homemade and the French press coffee was out of this world. On a couple of occasions my wife and I ordered a side dish of ackee and bacon which we would spit for $6 dollars! You received a plate of fruit, champagne, French press coffee and a delicious homemade muffin and ackee and bacon (if you haven’t tried it you must, it’s delicious) for $3 per person which you cannot be beat. As to the food, the quality level is EXCELLENT; the prices for Negril are a bit on the expensive side. Steven and Anna are members of the Chain de Rotisserie which is the world’s oldest food and wine society and have set their sights very very high. The big question is whether or not Negril is ready for that level of dining; I know that my wife and I are. During our stay we noticed that Stephen and Anna went from table to table every morning during breakfast chatting with EVERYONE and couldn’t have been more charming!
The only change I would make would be temporary, and it would be that until the kitchen, (and don’t get me wrong because the food if VERY good), reaches Stevens expectations they should discount the dinner menu to hotel guest by 10% when the Chain de Rotisserie plaques go up then they should discontinue the discount. To sum it up our stay was EXTRAORDINARY! My wife said she received the best massage EVER and since we love to dine out at least 3 other Negril restaurants on every trip it was a perfect stay another, trip to paradise.
- 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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