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“Wonderful family vacation with young children”

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Idle Awhile The Villas
Annapolis, Maryland, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful family vacation with young children”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2012

I should have wrote this review months ago, as we visited MDV in late May - but never late than never. While there is an hour long drive from the airport, Moon Dance arranged a van for us, it is 100% worth the extra travel time to the gorgeous and quiet beaches of Negril over constant airplane traffic. We traveled with our two young children, 3 and 1, and our Nanny. We chose to go with the all-inclusive package so we could enjoy everything and anything at a whim. First, the accomadations are charming, very well appointed villas with every luxury you would need. Our Chef, Nathaniel, was AMAZING. Breakfast, lunch, dinner -snacks were all fantastic. His omlets are unbelievble and if you think you don't want soup because it's hot - think again. Some of the best soups I have ever had. My husband loved the curried goat - a specialty. Sasha was our "bartender" but she was so much more. She should really be called something else, she takes care of your every need. Plus she makes some amazing drinks and would come and find us at the beach or pool to bring us out drinks. Our little boys loved her virgin pina coladas and they had her wrapped in an hour. Actually, the staff at this resort made our trip. Rowan, Nate, Shasha, Winston, and Pete were all delightful. They were so kind to our boys and would let them pool and hot tub hop around if the other villas were not being used. Sasha and Nate became a part of the family and would have loved to bring them home with us. Several days Sasha even kept an eye on the baby while he napped so that everyone else could enjoy the sun - he took to her right away and that is not like him! The only negative about the trip were the "vendors" on the beach. If you want ANYTHING make sure you go through Rowan, Pete or Winston to avoid confrontation , there are literally people selling evertthing from coconut, chicken, jewlery, hats,etc. Also, if you want to do a water sport go through them too.....there were several vendors with Jet ski's right out front and my husband just walked over to discuss and it was a disaster - they will take advantage of you and literally fight for your business. We loved Moon Dance Villas and will be back. Even if we got a larger villa we would request Sasha and Nathaniel to come with us. The only thing that woud be better was to have gone with another family - the more that merrier in our minds.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tiny1216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2012

We love Negril and this was my eighth trip there. We like to start off on the beach and end our vacation on the cliffs for an entirely different experience. This year we began at Idle Awhile in a one-bedroom suite facing the ocean. We had an incredible five-day stay there before moving up the beach to Moon Dance Villas.

Let's begin with the good at Moon Dance. The property and accommodations are beautiful in appearance – a first-class destination. Villas are luxurious and tastefully appointed, clean and spacious and include everything one would need to be happy and comfortable away from home.

The villas are set back from the water so the beach area is deep and quite private. The lifeguard was friendly and attentive. The grounds are well kept and it seems there is always someone raking the fallen leaves no matter the time of day.

The bad: Management is very disappointing for the caliber of Moon Dance. The day we arrived and walked into the office with our bags, the manager Kerri and the other staff members (who all remained seated), just sat and stared at us. We actually thought we might be in the wrong place. After checking in the manager showed us to our villa while providing an informative overview of Moon Dance.

Inside the villa we discovered the Internet was not working on the provided computer. (Another reason we chose Moon Dance was in-room Internet access to allow us to get a bit of work done). After visits from two different staff members the Internet still never worked and we got tired of calling the office about it.

We prefer to have our meals at different little places up and down the beach without a schedule and thus elected not to use the services of our cook and bartender. (I had made this very clear with Miriam while booking our reservation along with confirming the cook and bartender would be paid regardless). We did decide to have them prepare our Friday night meal based on the great reviews we had read about the dining at Moon Dance.

Apparently Miriam neglected to relay the information to the manager (we later learned Miriam operates from the Chicago corporate office) so when we checked in at 3 p.m. on Thursday, the manager told us our dinner was being prepared. We cleared up the confusion by explaining again that we did not require the services of the cook and bartender – and were made to feel like the bad guys.

The day we arrived at Moon Dance (Thursday) we noticed posters for a reggae show next door as we left the property to walk down the beach. The next day the place next door was erecting temporary fencing in preparation of the show the following day. On Saturday afternoon, just hours before the show, Kerri came to our room to tell us she had just heard about the show that evening and told us the music would likely be very loud. This was surprising to us as we had been aware of the show for three days by simply being aware of our environment. We would have thought the manager might have stayed in touch with the neighboring properties to stay informed of situations such as this.

Our second day (we stayed a total of 3 days), we tried repeatedly to make a local call without success. We had made several calls without a problem the day we arrived. I reluctantly went to the office to see whether the phones were out of order and was told by the manager, "Oh, we had a new system installed today. You now have to place local calls through the office." Too bad she didn't think to let her guests know.

We checked out and spent our last five nights at Rockhouse on the cliffs, which, like Idle Awhile, was a superior experience to Moon Dance even at half the price.

We are not complainers. We are gracious and forgiving and just want to relax on vacation. However, when incident after incident, clearly pointing to one source occurs, we begin to lose patience.

Moon Dance Villas is a lovely property that could be superior in all categories with competent management. The Moon Dance owners might want to stay a night or two at Idle Awhile or Rockhouse to see how excellent vacation properties are managed.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Green_Flash_Kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2012

Words really can't describe the sense of peacefulness, security and tranquility you will experience at Moon Dance Villas in Negril, Jamaica. The villas are top-down beautiful. Much thought was put into the decor, furniture, seating and layout. The architecture of the buildings is pure Caribbean luxury. Home away from home? Yes. Only on an incredible island. The staff have all been working at Moon Dance for many many years and will go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and that all your needs are taken care of. Want to have lobster every day? How about twice a day? Done. And - you can have your meal prepared in many different ways - grilled, jerk, or even thermidor - where they bake and stuff the seafood with cheese - delicious - a must-have. The beach is taken care of with diligent staff and attentive lifeguards & security. If you don't want to be bothered by the many wandering artisans and local Jamaicans - the staff will make sure that your privacy is respected. Walking up and down the 7-mile beach, this resort is BY FAR the most well taken care of and accommodating. If you are looking to have your whole family come vacation, and/or to have a Jamaican wedding - this is THE spot. With 1 - 4 bedroom villas - every size family can fit comfortably. And definitely ask for dinner on the beach for your final night. Tiki torches and a little frog sculptures will surround a white table clothed dinner while you soak up the sun in what can only be described as the ultimate paradise.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2012

Enormous and comfortable villas right on the beach with a tremendously helpful staff. Our food and drink tab was incredibly cheap as they charge grocery store prices with a very modest markup. The chef was also spectacular, cooking us fantastic breakfasts and selected lunches and dinners.

Room Tip: Bigger villas are a better value.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Alex K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alamo, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2012

We just returned from spending a week at MoonDance Villas and found the whole experience to be very special for our family. Our party of 12 went down for our annual reunion, and rented Azure Sky and Satin Sunrise. Our family has some history of living in Jamaica when Alpart (bauxite plant) was started back in the late 60's / early 70's, and Jamaican culture is very special to our family after all these years. Thus, we didn't want to stay at a large resort - we wanted to feel closer to the Jamaican culture...and we were not disappointed!
The Villas are all beautiful - the furnishings, the spacious rooms, comfortable beds and gorgeous grounds, not to mention the white sand beach which is completely private for the use of the Villas. The water front is public though, so it's quite entertaining to sit on your chairs and watch the scene! We had 5 'twenty-somethings' with us so the activity was great for them. (Also Margaritaville was just down the beach and made for a fun beach bar scene if anyone was interested.) There is a volleyball net which we used quite a bit right in front of Azure Sky, as well as a spa and pool right off the veranda. They also have a Kayak and water floats for use. The water was warm and crystal clear - pure white sand underneath - a dream!
We chose the all-inclusive meal plan so that we could eat/drink as much as possible and not worry about a bill - it's a little pricey, but we thought worth it after the week was over. The meals are incredible, especially if you want to eat Jamaican which we did! Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, Curried Shrimp, Curried Chicken, Lobster every single night and sometimes lunch too...Lobster Thermador and grilled lobster, plus lobster salad! Smoothies, rum punch, beer, the bars were all stocked - and the best part was the people....Mark and Nathaniel were our cooks - they were incredible! The # of different dishes they served at each meal was overwhelming...and we had a 21st birthday celebration one night dining out on the beach under the stars...Mark made a special bday cake for our birthday boy...very nice touch. Sasha and Christine were our 'bartenders' but they were way more than that...took care of everything we needed, came out to take our drink orders on the beach...and just really good people to get to know. I wanted to take them all home with us!
One very nice thing MoonDance did for our party was to make arrangements for our party to bus over to their sister property MoonDance Cliffs for dinner one night, and gave us access to one of the villas there if we chose to stay overnight. The reason for this was due to the bar next door had plans for a very large and LOUD party that night, and they knew it wouldn't be enjoyable for us. We had a wonderful evening at MoonDance Cliffs (great food, beautiful Villas too!) and returned to our Villa later that night to avoid most of the noisy evening (still had noise till 3 am but most of us slept through it). Other than those few hours of noise, the only other negative comment I'd make here is that the beach vendors are annoying....but we found them entertaining more than anything...a firm 'no' typically gets them to move on.
Overall - great place to stay and we'll certainly visit again!

Room Tip: Azure Sky (4 bdrm) is in the center of the property and is a great 'central house' if you ha...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank MJ G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2012

To begin, I must first say this was one of the best vacations of my life, if not the best vacation. Upon being picked up at the airport by a very friendly staff we were greeted with a wonderful attitude and Red Stripe. Just when you thought it could not get any better, we arrived at the Lilac Mist 1 bedroom villa....Amazing is just not a big enough word. Jerry, whom you simply must meet, is one of the most interesting and friendly people at the moondance, always giving advice and just hanging around, yet absent when necessary. Christine, our bartender, makes the best Mai Tai I have ever had, and is one of the nicest and sweetest people I have ever come into contact with, in regard to hospitality services. The beach was amazing, the food was even better. To be honest it is something you really cannot put into words, few things in life give pleasure in the sense that they were exactly or better than the way we imagined them, and that is the only way that I can describe this place. I wouldn't trade my memories there for any sum of money.

One thing should be said though, BE AWARE you are traveling to a sub-tropical nation...yes, there will be mosquitos and other bugs....people that complain about it I simply don't understand. We had problems with them maybe 1 or 2 nights, well to be honest I didn't really even feel it, but then again I am from florida. Yet the staff was more than willing to help, it really wasn't even an issue, because it is something you should know before you come here. they do everything they can to help and while there it was one of the worst mosquito seasons ever, so i take it with a grain of salt. After all, even paradise has a small price to pay, I would have gladly slept on nails and broken glass at night in trade for the days I spent there! Respect to Jerry and Christine and Rowan!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jordan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2012

Just returned from a week's stay with friends at The Moon Dance. The villa was perfect, there aren't many places where three couples can stay and each enjoy the comforts of a king sized bed and their own bathroom. Loved the location, which is literally right on the beach though there is enough of a buffer between you and the beach to maintain a degree of privacy and a sense that you have a 'front yard.' The staff were lovely and did a great job. If you want to come home well rested and decompressed The Moon Dance may be just your spot !

Room Tip: Some villas have their own private pool and hot tub. Some just the hot tub. There is a lovely shar...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wanderlust012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Idle Awhile The Villas

Property: Idle Awhile The Villas
Address: Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril, Jamaica (Formerly Moon Dance Villas)
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 48 Speciality Lodging in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Idle Awhile The Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idle Awhile Villas invites you to experience the finest rental accommodations in all of Negril, Jamaica. Beautifully situated on Negril's spectacular 7-Mile Beach, Idle Awhile Villas is actually six elegant and incredibly comfortable beach homes. Each offers you the services of its own devoted and delightfully attentive staff: chef, bartender, and housekeeper- all committed to making your Jamaican getaway a truly pleasurable adventure in paradise! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moon Dance Villas Hotel Negril

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