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“Great Holiday Stay”

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Kuyaba Hotel & Restaurant - Negril
Ranked #43 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Reviewed 11 July 2013

My mother and I stayed at Kuyaba Negril during 4th of July holiday for a few days. Roshell (front desk representative and host), Shawn, and other staff were very pleasant and professional. The bed was comfortable, in my opinion, because I need more a firm bed for slight back issues. The mosquitos can be a bit much if you are not prepared. Roshell was nice enough to offer us coils you light to keep the Mosquitos at bay, which did help considerably. We also purchased a can of bug spray at the Times Square shopping center, store #10 (great store by the way and the owner is wonderful! he offers everything you need at better prices than the other stores).

One thing I will say is the rooms need to be upgraded...there are no phones and the doors are glass with a chain lock and regular turn lock on the knob. Although we were not concerned about our safety or being robbed, it would be nice if the doors were more secure from theft. We always locked our luggage in the morning before leaving the room every day. Can be a bit of a hassle, but worth it to avoid temptation of theft.

Every day we left a tip for the housekeeper...$3 to $5 US dollars. She never had much to do but clean the bathroom, because we left the beds neat and the room in general.

Also, please be aware that Legends hotel next door will not allow you to lounge on their beach chairs in front of their property. You have to lounge on the Kuyaba side. I had a HORRIFIC altercation with the "security guard" (non-uniformed mind you), Michael Brydston, for Legends. I will not go in to detail, but let's say that his actions were extremely traumatizing, unprofessional, and threatening. I had to make a police report against him. The manager, Ms. Marva, of Kuyaba spoke with him as well as an officer and that diffused the situation, but made the remainder of the stay uncomfortable, but not intolerable.

After that horrible incident, I/we would still consider returning for another vacation at Kuyaba, because the staff and the food, are wonderful. The rates are incomparable too!! Definitely worth a try and if you don't like it, don't return.

Cheers and blessings!

Room Tip: Bring your own beach towels...luckily we asked prior to arrival, because they charge $20 US/day for...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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165 - 171 of 335 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2013

Do yourself a favor and don't stay here. Like many others, one year I mistakenly booked Legends on the Beach, and forfeited my "all inclusive" package to dine/drink at Kuyaba.

Yes, Kuyaba looks like an idealized thatch hut boutique hotel on the beach. And that's about it.

From the moment you arrive, you are greeted with extreme disdain by ZELMA at the front desk. Zelma will ignore your group of six, including two children, until she's finished with her lengthy personal call. Then she will bark orders at you. "Whu u wan?"

An hour later, when she feels like checking you in, she will walk you to your "superior suite" and turn on the air conditioner and television for you. She will snap at you that you are not to touch the air conditioner. When the television won't turn on for her, she will snap at you and tell you that she will send someone for the inconvenience of you checking into a room with a non functional television.

An hour later, when you've tried to adjust the temperature of the air conditioner, and it stops working, if you dare tell the front desk (ZELMA) that your air conditioner doesn't work, she will yell at you for touching it, and insist that it is working. You'll have to come back and back to keep asking her to come look before she will bother.

However, when a local, well-known, Jamaican friend of yours for 24 years stops by, ZELMA is at your bungalo yelling in Patois (because she doesn't know you speak it) for your friend to leave immediately.

Excuse me?

Then when you tell Zelma her attitude is completely unwarranted and inappropriate and ask to speak to a manager, some tortured little woman who won't look you in the eye comes over to tell you she is powerless and Zelma is the only one who can call the owner. Zelma, of course, refuses to do this.

The beds are like concrete, the air conditioning is substandard, the front desk is the rudest woman in the world. Just do yourself a favor. Stop by for a drink and bask in the aesthetics of Kuyaba. That's all it's good for.

Not only will I never stay at Kuyaba again, I doubt I'll ever go to Jamaica again. Sad, because I've been going for 24 years, every year. I will always accept a certain amount of inconvenience from my beautiful Jamaica, but I won't pay money to be treated with disdain. I've never been treated so rudely in Jamaica. It's the straw that broke the camel's back.

Room Tip: If you're looking for a good room, don't look at this hotel.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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9  Thank JamaicaNice72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013 via mobile

I am so glad I took the previous reviews with a grain of salt. Kuyaba was perfectly suited for us. The location is prime. By far the best (and prettiest) budget hotel in the area. Times Square mall for ATM, souvenirs and crafts is right across the street. So convenient and within 10 mins. from everywhere you'd really want to be.

The grounds: reminiscent of a tropical jungle. A small labyrinth path dotted with exotic flowers and straw huts. Two parrots that greet you upon arrival. The reception area has a cute shop and the staff is very nice -- particularly the two receptionists who made it a joy!!

Rooms: Clean double queen room. Basic but nicely appointed. In-room safe. Outdoor balcony perfect for morning coffee and late-night cocktails. We had such fun on the hammock swing! The theme of Jamaican cottages is carried throughout in the smallest details.

Restaurant: LOVELY! There is a tower space where you can dine in dim light and get a birds' eye view of the ocean. Beautiful and the food is delicious. I ventured and tried local dishes such as Manish Wata and roadside jerk chicken, but the curry goat and ceviches (reasonably priced) were so good that we ordered it all 3 nights we spent at Kuyaba! The drinks are pretty good and the banana milkshakes are off the hook! Super fresh and refreshing. Other great nearby restaurants include Sweet Spice, Rockhouse, Juicy Lucy and roadside restaurants with homestyle Jamaican cuisine.

Beach: It's amazing with shallow crystal clear water. like everywhere on the 7-mile beach, you will undoubtedly be inundated by locals trying to sell their goods. One must understand that tourism is their #1 source of income. Kuyaba, though, has a 24-hour security guard on the beach, as well as on premise.

Sure, a valid caveat is the noise level of nearby clubs. But so what? You're in Jamaica. Let loose. I could hear loud music from all 3 hotels we stayed in at Negril -- even on the cliffs. You could always stay in a gated resort but I much prefer local color when traveling. At a resort I could be anywhere in the world such that the country you choose becomes arbitrary. IMHO. If you're staying on the 7-mile beach and are searching for a fab budget-friendly hotel, Kuyaba is the way to go!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank NaomiBishop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2013

We stayed at Legends next door but ate and drank regularly at Kuyaba. It has a patio on the beach, a bar with swing seats, parrots, cats, friendly staff, wonderful drinks, great food. What more can you ask? We fell in love with Buddy the parrot who was caged outside the restaurant. This is a romantic place, down home, not luxurious, not what you want if your looking for glitz, but we loved it.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tom w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2013

A beautiful, immaculately maintained hotel, at a great price, right on the beach.

Arrival - book the Kuyaba airport shuttle with your reservation:
Our plane was delayed, so by the time we cleared customs in MoBay airport our ride was gone. When you exit the airport doors, straight ahead of you is a holding pen for official taxi drivers (white shirts, badges). To your right is a second pen with hotel shuttle drivers. To your left is an Information booth. The gentleman at Information was kind enough to call the Kuyaba, and our driver to re-arrange our transport. We had been 'captured' by one of the taxi drivers, who insisted that $80 was the lowest rate he could offer for the drive. This made the $120 round trip cost of the Kuyaba seem reasonable - it is a 1.5 hour drive. Our driver, Pat, was a lovely woman in a brand new SUV who included a guided tour with our ride.

Check-in:
Our check-in was smooth & professional. Beware the $100 deposit they charge for a safe key - they run a pre-authorization and don't actually charge your card, but forewarned is forearmed.

Room:
We stayed in Room 10, on the second floor (better privacy). Good aircon, a ceiling fan, a lovely balcony where you can watch the flowering trees & hummingbirds & little tree lizards going about their business. We unhooked the hanging swing seat for more elbow room. There was no phone and no clock. We didn't care about the clock (vacation, yay!), but we have elderly parents, so the lack of a phone was a minus (email to the rescue - Kuyaba has good high speed wi-fi). The TV has a generous mix of cable stations. The beds are comfortable (firm is good). The housekeeping was excellent, and we always tipped our housekeeper $4 a day - like all the staff, she was wonderful.

Staff: Top-notch, uniformly gracious, friendly, considerate, warm-hearted. A testament to the management and owners (children of the founder, a local pillar of the community - read the History page on the Kuyaba website).

Grounds:
Unlike most of the other concrete, slab-lift hotels on 7 Mile Beach, the Kuyaba is beautifully designed in South Seas style, with winding paths through mature trees and shrubs, peaked thatch roofs, shade everywhere, all maintained with iron discipline by one of the hardest working groundskeepers I've ever seen. The website does not to the grounds justice - the landscape architect should have a prize for Kuyaba.

Beach:
Stunning. Silky soft sand without a trace of trash, gently sloping out to calm aquamarine water so clear at chin depth you can see grains of sand at your feet. And it's warm. I get teary-eyed thinking about it.
Every morning Paul, the security guard, would bring us beach chairs ($2 tip). Poor fellow suffers through his 12-hour shift in long black pants & a long-sleeved dark blue shirt. We didn't have to worry about our stuff when we went in the water.
All the hotels have security, but leave what you don't need in your room safe, and keep you wits about you if you walk the beach at night. We had no problems at all, but use common sense.

Beach Vendors:
A steady stream of vendors passes by offering crafts, food, tours, cigarettes, massage, aloe, boat rides and ganja. A polite 'no, thank you' sends them on their way.
An older woman carrying an impossibly heavy basket of fruit on her head supplied us with delicious breakfasts - fruit picked ripe from the tree is incomparably richer tasting than the industrial stuff in our supermarkets. Try everything - you'll be delighted.
A long walk on the beach one day was constantly interrupted by vendors - a moving target must attract more interest than slabs of meat baking in the sun. A couple of them (a small minority) were pushy. Try not to get annoyed. Jamaica is a poor country and most of these people are simply trying to scrounge together a few dollars to get something to eat.

Kuyaba Restaurant (separately reviewed):
A wonderful, open-air place for a bite or a cold one, with lovely staff, a warm & jovial bartender, and a perfect view of the sun setting directly into the sea.

The birds:
Charlie, a large parrot, has resigned himself to life imprisonment in solitary confinement by uttering the occasional 'Hello' and biting his human captors when they get within reach. Buddy, the white cockatiel (?) has suffered the worse fate of mental collapse, and in in the nightmare of his derangement launches nocturnal binges of shrieking, like a baby abandoned. Sadly, these birds can live a long time.

Ambient noise:
Several reviewers complained about 'noise' from stages at nearby Alfred's or Bourbon Beach. It's music, not 'noise.' Jamaicans' love of music is possibly the highest expression of their culture. If you don't like music, take your vacation in a tomb somewhere. The loudest we experienced was a Saturday night, when in our room we were lulled to sleep by gently muffled Reggae Played live. By musicians. And we're not particularly fans of reggae.

Conclusion: The Kuyaba is a wonderful place for a romantic and inexpensive beach getaway.

Room Tip: Second floor has better privacy
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SteelCityCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2013

i first found Kuyaba last year looking for a different place to dine (was staying at a large hotel nearby). What i found was i think a non-commercialized version of Negril. If you are used to the RC and the like, this place is not for you. I love most all RC's and also love this place. Yes, this place has its shortcomings and if you think you are staying at a grand hotel for these prices, well you probably will be electing the next resident on PA Avenue. What one gets is a great value, good prices, caring staff (no, they are NOT attentive like in a fine hotel, but you are not paying for a Mercedes in this place. What you are paying for is a LA/LO that is hard to replace, a safe, reliable and trustworthy staff and a team of people who really seem to work well together. I have read some whiny A comments about cats, lack of service, etc. For the love of God, you are not paying $750 USD a night. You get what you are paying for. For me, i will be back again. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen and whine about somewhere where you really had to use your dough and didn't get your bang for the buck.

Kuyaba is an incredible value for the money. Had i wanted luxury, i personally have the common sense to know i cannot expect it for these prices....

Kuyaba is a special place in Negril, Jamaica and this part of the world...

Room Tip: try to stay as far away from the reggae club as possible, if not bring ear plugs
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank gllamay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2013

Amazing and affordable! We had the Honeymoon Room Nr. 5. It's a spectacular room nestled in the tree tops, offering private tranquility and exotic ambience; a chic tropical atmosphere. Clay-tiled floors, air conditioning, ceiling fans, television, King-sized bed. French doors open out to a large balcony in the treetops. A must for newlyweds or someone with discriminating tastes. Also great for a weekend getaway with your boo. It reminded me of a lush tropical African forest with palm trees and coconuts all around. For $85.00 per night, you'll think you're living in luxury.

The restaurant faces the beach and the bar offers the best cocktails I've had in Negril. They have an amazing breakfast. Go for the 'Jamaican Breakfast'.

If you're looking for beach, sand and waterspouts, Kuyaba has it all!!!! You won't be disappointed at $85.00 per night. I LOVE KUYABA.

Tips: Summer Rates are cheaper. If you're Jamaican, ask for the local rate and you'll save an extra 20%!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank fbfray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kuyaba Hotel & Restaurant - Negril

Address: PO Box 2635, Negril, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Negril
#28 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#32 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#34 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: £36 - £80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kuyaba Hotel & Restaurant - Negril 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Negril's famous & beautiful seven mile white sand beach, Kuyaba is a family owned & operated boutique, beach hotel with a tropical island vibe that you won't find anywhere else. Set on a lush, tropical property surrounded by exotic plants, flowers & different varieties of palm trees, Kuyaba gives the true feeling of an island vacation. Kuyaba's architecture looks rustic on the outside but has a clean & modern heartbeat within the rooms offering all the comforts of home & then some. Featuring an on-property, beachside, restaurant & bar with an outstanding view of the beautiful Caribbean Sea. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kuyaba Hotel Negril
Kuyaba Resort Negril

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