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“Perfect Retreat from the Hustle and Bustle of Negril”
Review of Westender Inn

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Westender Inn
Ranked #31 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2013

This was my ninth trip to Jamaica (but only third to the Negril area). I chose the Westender due to its high rating here on TripAdvisor and because of a recent Living Social deal. While I probably won't stay here again (ONLY because I rarely stay at the same place twice), I DO recommend it to anyone.

Grounds
The grounds here are lovely! All of the foliage was neatly trimmed/manicured. There were a sufficient amount of comfortable lounge chairs and plenty of other neat seating areas to sit and enjoy the views of the water. I was surprised that the sand area wasn't tidied up nightly. I accidentally left two Red Stripe bottles and a banana peel near my lounger one day and it was all still there the next day. Yes, it's my responsibility to clean up after myself (which I did as soon as I noticed the mess the next morning), but normally hotels/resorts in Jamaica are known for tidy beach areas. I didn't spend any time at the pool (which is across the street), but I did spend time at the fresh water pool that's tucked into the rocks. It's a lovely way to get even closer to the ocean. I even watched an employee (Jose - great guy) drain it, clean it, and fill it again. There's a bar area near the water, but it was only used during the Sunday bonfire (very cool!). Although the occupancy rate was very low while I was there, I wish they would've opened that water-side bar for the rest of the nights. I didn't feel like going across the street to the bar attached to the restaurant at night.

Rooms
Most of the rooms on the ocean side had a view of the water. I had to stay in Room 11 my first night; while comfortable, it had a view of the neighboring property's fence. But I then moved to Room 6 and loved it. It only had a queen sized bed while most of the rooms on the ground floor level had a king sized bed. I was a solo traveller, so the bed was fine for me. It was actually quite comfortable! The shower pressure in Room 11 wasn't very good, but it was perfect in Room 6.

Staff
I met the manager - Keith - several times. He was approachable and friendly. I appreciate his prompt responses to my many emails as I was considering purchasing the Living Social Deal. The shuttle driver - Jermaine - was professional and caring; he went above and beyond to make trips into town a positive experience. Jose (maintenance) and Kyneshia and Kemar in the restaurant were all friendly and pleasant. The chefs and housekeeping staff were also very pleasant. The night-time security guard (Raymond, maybe) made me feel even more secure than what I already felt. Although she wasn't an official staff member - Tara comes in to do massages and she was wonderful! Definitely book her!

So while I'm raving about the property, I chose to give it 4 rather than 5 stars. This was because of the Living Social deal. Two major things caused me to take away a star. The Living Social deal clearly stated that taxes would need to be paid on site - no problem, mon. So when I go to check in, the office employee hands me an invoice and told me the amount of taxes I had to pay right then and there (the amount wasn't a surprise, Keith told me in advance what it would be). Now I've stayed in dozens of hotels before and have never recalled having to settle my bill at the START of my stay. Again, no problem - I paid the taxes and received the key to my room and was on my way. But when I went to go check out 5 days later, the office employee (luckily the same one) asked me for the amount in taxes again! Huh? I couldn't believe that my account in the computer didn't show I paid 5 days prior. Luckily I paid in a unique way (a combination of Jamaican dollars and US dollars), so I was able to jog her memory. But I shudder to think what would have happened if, a) she didn't remember me paying, or b) another office employee would've been working that day (I saw a total of two of them working in the office while I was there). Simple errors like this should not happen.

Also, another couple with the most recent Living Social deal checked in a day before me. That couple and I decided to take the included 'Guided Tour' of the Blue Hole Mineral Springs together. I read the TripAdvisor reviews of the place before the trip, so I knew there is an entry fee. However, I wasn't with the couple when they made the final arrangements for the 3 of us to go. Unbeknownst to me, an office employee told them there wasn't an entry fee. So we get there and of course..it's $10/person to "use the facilities" (pool, lounge chairs, etc.). By that time, Jermaine (shuttle driver) already left. We used someone's phone to call the Westender and told them to send money with Jermaine when he came back later to get us. Whomever answered said the Living Social deal said it only included TRANSPORTATION to Blue Hole. I wasn't playing a semantics game and said it clearly stated "Guided Tour". They agreed and sent money with Jermaine. I'll give the Westender the benefit of the doubt - maybe they truly didn't know there's a charge for the Blue Hole. But that's something that should've been confirmed before including the excursion in the deal.

One other 'shady' part of the Living Social deal - although the deal is for 2 people, only ONE massage is included. That didn't affect me, but the couple that was also there with the deal was surprised by this fact. The voucher did say "A" massage, but since the voucher also stated it was for "two people", it was slightly misleading.

None of those things soured my trip in even the slightest way. But, if you're going to run a special like this, you need to go through each component and make sure everyone is clear on the specifics.

Like I said before, I'd still recommend the Westender to anyone. If you read the reviews on here, you'll know that it's impossible to walk ANYWHERE from here. That wasn't a problem for me. I specifically wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle of Negril, but yet close enough to get there when I needed to. I left relaxed and thankful for 5 days in paradise!

Thank you, Westender!

Room Tip: Room 11 had NO view, but was still comfortable (but the shower's pressure was low). Rooms 6 and...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank zeephi04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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169 - 175 of 403 reviews

Reviewed 14 February 2013

We have been to Jamaica a few times and this is the 2nd time we stayed at the Westender, As always the drivers and the wait staff were all amazing, they went above and beyond to make your stay great, but beware of the office staff, booking your trip might be easy and you would think good, BEWARE! all of sudden at the end of your stay they add on all the extras you would not be told about or expecting,they charge 160.00 us Dollars for them to pick you up at the airport and then raise the price of your room to suit there needs, we were very disappointed in the office staff this year, i think the owner Dan should look at his management and do a better job of getting experienced people in there, and also some of the upper management treat there drivers and staff very bad and right in front of customers, now were rethinking our stay for next year, so sad Westender!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank cathy r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westie_Negril, General Manager at Westender Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 15 February 2013

I agree with you, the Westender Inn staff are doing an excellent job with guest service, local transportation, bar/restaurant and other areas. We consistently maintain a high quality product (98.7% approval rating) in a clean, safe and friendly environment and want all our first time and repeat guests to leave with an outstanding experience.

I am disappointed there was misunderstanding with regards to airport transportation cost but please see our website and note transportation page. The cost is $40 per person x 2 people minimum = $80 x two ways = 160 for guest staying less than 10 nights.

Two years ago, we provided free transportation for guest staying 7 nights or more. However, increase in gas price (5.70 per gallon in Jamaica) and 40% increase electric bills resulted in a change in our policy to free transportation for guest staying 10 nights or more. I am glad we had a chance to talk and clarify this issue before you left.

In terms of communication between managers and staff, 90% staff and managers live at the hotel so we are like a big family here. I directed managers and staff to be mindful of their communication volume while on property.

Thank you for your feedback. I sincerely hope you will come again.

Keith D. Duhaney
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2013

This was our first trip to Jamaica and getting the reservation all set up was a breeze. The staff was very helpful on answering any questions that we had. Had a good experience with the overall relaxing feeling that we were looking for. The rooms were cleaned on a daily basis and the maids were so friendly. Our shuttle driver went above and beyond to accomidate our requests to be driven around and even suggested some great places to eat.
But- beware and double check your final bill as they tried to put on additional "travel expenses- to and from airport" which were not included in the initial reservation set up. Always keep documentation available to prove that these charges were not mentioned, otherwise you'll find yourself paying more than what you bargained for.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jaxter711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westie_Negril, General Manager at Westender Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2013

The Westender Inn staff are doing an excellent job with guest service, transportation, bar/restaurant and front office operations. We consistently maintain a high quality product (98.7% approval rating) in a clean, safe and friendly environment and want all our first time and repeat guests to leave with an outstanding experience. I am disappointed that your checkout process was a bit bumpy but I am 100% certain it was an honest mistake and not intentional. I am glad we corrected the discrepancy before you left.

Thank you for your feedback. We will use it to improve our processes going forward.

Please come again

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2013

We were married in Jamaica on the 29th and decided to spend a few days off the beaten path to get to know Jamaica before going to the hotel we were getting married at. We chose the Westender based on Tripadvisor and like every other review, we were taken back at first by the drive to the property. Once you've spent some time in Negril and experience the noise, intrusions, traffic and hetic pace, you'll begin to understand what makes the Westender a really cool place. Please read this next part carefully: If you have come to the Westender to get beach crazy and go nuts, go to the beach and get nuts. The rest of us came to the Westender to experience a non-spring break type vacation. If the food at the restaraunt was terrible, then maybe you might have a beef...but the food is just great. Breakfast was included in our booking and the meals at lunch and dinner were great. There was a guest chef the week we were there so we enjoyed a price fixe menu our 2nd night there, just out of the blue. I hear a rumor there might be $50 all you can eat lobster coming too!. Right next door is Jackies on the Reef, where I had an insane massage. Nightime at the Westender is laid back and chilled out. I can't say enough about Kaymar and the rest of the staff who just wonderful. It took us a few days to get into the Jamaican groove, and we were more than thrilled to have begun our new lives together at the Westender. Take a chance and get out to the country. Once you've stayed near the beach or the highway and then experience the quiet of a night at the Westender, you'll be sold. Don't stay there and then complain that it wasn't near anything. Thats its charm. You can be where ever you want to go in 10-20 minutes and they'll come bring you home. Meanwhile, you get the peace and quiet at night that you can't experience in the thick of it all. Much respect to the Westender and their staff.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank rswartz68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

Just got back from my second stay at the Westender. As on my first trip, the staff could not have been more friendly or helpful. And as before, the food was very good. My room faced the ocean and was cleaned regularly. I was fortunate enough to be there during the week that a guest chef/musician cooked a couple of outstanding meals and provided entertainment.

If you are looking to be close to the Negril action, or on a sandy beach, do not choose the Westender as you will be disappointed. However, if you want to spend your vacation in a laid back environment with gorgeous sunsets at your doorstep; you can't go wrong with the Westender. I went for regular walks on the area roads and never encountered panhandlers that can be a nuisance on Negril Beach. There is frequent (& reasonably priced) shuttle service to the beach and the resorts on the cliffs.

I hope to make this a regular trip.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2013

WOW! We just got back from our second vacation at the Westender Inn in Negril, Jamacia and we are ready to book again for next year, (January 16-26). The staff at the Westender were perfect hosts and went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. We had a great time! The rooms are comfortable and the view is great! Johnny Mo "The Singing Chef" was a blast and the food was amazing.Thank you to everyone at the Westender for some great memories....again!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Marty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2013

So i thought that after my first stay at the westender inn i would have a hard time topping that vacation. I WAS WRONG!! When we checked in on january 19th 2013...oh wait, when we got thru customs, the driver, Nelson, was there waiting for us with a big smile saying "hey mon" like we were just there yesterday. He remembered us and that our first stop had to be jerkys for some chicken and a red stripe!! When we got to the resort the entire staff was the same way. From The smallest detail to anything we wanted they came through. The rooms were clean. The food was even better than i remembered.( dont miss breakfast with kamar.) We still loved the remote location. It is located just outside downtown negril so you dont have to deal with the traffic and hustle and bustle of the city. Quiet nights, unless you dont like songbirds and roosters at daybreak with a gentle breeze...sunrises, sunsets, both incredible. My wife and i renewed our vows for our tenth anniversary and rene lined everything up. The pastor, the flowers and the photographer. All at a reasonable price i must say. Skip the big resorts and come to the westender to really be pampered. Another vacation i will never forget.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank mallardman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Westender Inn

Address: West End Rd, Negril 03277, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#12 Family Hotel in Negril
Price Range: £43 - £155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Westender Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ultimate Jamaican experience since 1983, The Westender Inn is a family-owned tropical oasis that blends island charm with laidback luxury. A boutique hotel that truly encompasses the island lifestyle, The Westender Inn is the ultimate getaway for relaxation and revitalization. Tucked away on the West End atop the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, The Westender Inn is your own peaceful hideaway in paradise. The perfect place to set the sun… ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westender Hotel Negril

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