Why I Chose Westender Inn:
After 3 months of working a lot and not being home, it was my goal to whisk my hubby off somewhere for some relaxation. As a bit of background, we are in our early 30s and travel quite a bit. However, usually when we travel for leisure, we end up participating in lots of various activities as it is our attempt to truly immerse ourselves in the culture. This time, I wanted something more laid back where our primary goal would be to just enjoy each other – however, being realistic, I knew we’d want to experience one or two things. Negril, Jamaica was on our “must do” list and so behind hubby’s back, I went to town searching Google to find the perfect hotel with the ambience I felt we needed. After hours of research, I stumbled upon Westender Inn on Trip Advisor and what made me decide to book with them was: (1) all of the trip advisor reviews were consistently positive but most importantly, there were tons of folks who appeared to be repeat visitors so obviously, this place MUST be great and (2) their website was very informative and well put together so I was impressed. The bonus happened to be the special they are running through November with 40% off all of their rooms.
The service we experienced really is “all that and a bag of chips” when you read the many reviews here. Before I made the reservation, Keith, Faith, and I talked numerously through email. They were very prompt in returning and answering all of my questions. Faith made it very clear that if we wanted them to arrange stuff for us to do, they could and if we wanted to be absolutely left alone, they could do that as well. Once I made flight arrangements, I emailed them our itinerary and requested that they arrange transportation. Although it took us awhile to get through customs, it was a bit crazy outside of the airport considering there were lots of folks arriving the same time we did on a Thursday and there were a lot of wedding parties so there were signs everywhere. A day or two before we left, Faith called me to let me know Richie would be picking us up and would be out front. Since we didn’t see a sign for us, I called the office and Keith gave me Richie’s number. Turns out that as we were calling him, he was actually right in front of us, just with his back to us, lol. Richie had on a Westender Inn shirt and immediately smiled once we found each other. He loaded our bags into the van and as we made our trek (about 1.5 hours because of traffic with school letting out, etc.) he pointed out many things along our drive. Once we got to the inn, Kamar greeted us and off we went to the office. We were supposed to be in Room 5 according to the check-in list, however once we went over there, it was clear by the clothes on the front porch that someone else was already checked into that room. No worries! Kamar went back to the office to grab the keys for Room 10 and he stated (since we arrived at night) that if we didn’t like the room, they could move us in the morning. We were told dinner ends at 9pm so we put our stuff down and headed over to grab a bite to eat. My husband does not eat seafood, so he went to order some beef or pork. The chef’s response made me feel like he could do no wrong! Anyways, the beef he had left was a couple of days old and the chef communicated to us that he didn’t feel comfortable cooking it. Now, neither of us had a problem with that cause to us, it showed ethic and character for his culinary talent. That night, we enjoyed some jerk chicken! All of the staff was very friendly and while most folks say “well that’s what they should do”, the customer service vibe was really like we were all family. It was that type of hospitality – and not the “I’m doing this cause I’m getting paid to”. Lastly, the next day, I met Faith face to face and picked out a trip to Black River (hubby loves crocodiles) and parasailing. Keith and Faith also arranged a romantic dinner overlooking the cliffs for our last night. Faith had me write down what I wanted served and they took care of everything with hubby being none the wiser. By the way, they kitchen made sure to have fresh meat delivered so hubby could experience the Portland-style Jerk Pork. Needless to say, his mouth was very happy Sunday night! And the setting was beyond what I imagined with candles, etc. (I’ll include some pics).
You hear a lot about Room 5 in these reviews, but I think Room 10 would give Room 5 some friendly competition, for sure. I will be uploading some pics for this as well. While the website contains plenty of pictures that you can piece together what your room may look like, I thought it would be nice to have a full collection including the interior of one room. Although now I realized I forgot to take a picture of the bathroom and closet. No worries! I liked the room. I felt it was spacious enough that I didn’t feel claustrophobic. The walk-in closet area was huge. The bathroom was pretty standard. I liked that there were signs requesting folks conserve energy when not in use. I believe when we checked in, there were 1 or 2 other rooms that also had folks in there at the same time. So when we got up for breakfast on Friday, the water pressure just for the shower was light. For the rest of our trip, the water pressure was fine as we were the only ones in the building. The room also had a ceiling fan as well as air conditioner. There was one time on Friday that the power went out for an extended amount of time but you could open the door (or windows that had screens) and the breeze from outside made the interior pleasant. Additionally (and I hear it is not like this at even the big resorts), the property has back-up generators. So overall, the power wasn’t out that long and I don’t believe it was ever off on both sides of the property. The room had satellite cable so we enjoyed a couple of movies we had yet to see (Quantum Solace). My favorite part of the room was really the hammock outside. It was big enough for two people; however, hubby enjoyed the rocking chair setup outside the room. So I was able to have the hammock all to myself with a book I borrowed from their library. O yeah, and the bed was comfortable - I would classify it as "medium" in terms of firmness cause my hubby like hard beds and I like extra soft. Neither one of us woke up with back problems.
The location has some rustic characteristics. The cliffs were beautiful. I could just watch the waves crashing in all day. While it is not directly on the beach, as you will see in the pictures, there is a garden like area with plenty of places to sit as well as a beach area if laying out for some sun is your thing. I thought it was neat they had a bench built that set just towards the edge such that you could sit there and get wet if the waves were big enough. For amenities, there is a pool. In the office area, there is another computer set up for guests to use. For us, it was great for flight check-in, otherwise, we did not use the internet or phone during our trip. They also had plenty of books/magazines you could borrow in the office. Since the property is actually two areas – condos and rooms, the side of the property where the restaurant is located has some wonderful floral plantings. Right next door is where you can go to get massages on the beach (I think it was called Jackie’s on the Reef). A quick ride will take you to Rick’s Café and maybe about 10-15 minutes, will have you on the beach. I forgot the name of that beach, but it was great for parasailing/water sports and souvenir shopping.
What I liked best:
The fact that you could relax at the hotel without much hoopla, but you weren’t so far away if you wanted to party on the beach, dance at the Jungle, etc. The extra care and consideration from all the staff. Lastly, the candlelight dinner they set up on the beach for us. No one else happened to be outside and it was just a perfect ending for our trip.
What I liked least:
I think the transportation costs could have been better communicated. On the website, there was a particular notation on airport transfers for about $14 a person using a taxi. So when I sent the email to the Inn with my arrival and departure itinerary for Air Jamaica, I was quoted $60 on the phone. I did not have a problem with this because doing the math, it worked out. However, when it was time to settle my account, we were actually charged $60 per trip to the airport. Similar communication happened for the trip to Black River. We were told the tour would cost $60 per person. No problem. But really, the $60 per person was just for the transportation. When we got there, it was $17 per person for the tour which I didn’t think was bad at all for a 45 minute ride and our guide was GREAT! But getting back to my other point, the total tour equated to $77 per person and if you look on the internet, there are lots of other places you could have had taken you there and it included more for less than $20 difference – i.e. $94 per person for a day trip from Negril where you are also served lunch, complimentary drink and visit YS Falls. In contrast, for parasailing, we were quoted $45 per person and when we got down the beach to pay, that was exactly the cost, $45 per person. Lastly, we had to wait 1.5 hrs to be picked up once our tour at Black River Safari was completed. In Richie’s defense, he said he was told by the operator to come back in 1 hr 15 minutes but our tour was actually 45 minutes. We were supposed to get a complimentary drink but when we asked, they appeared not to know what we were talking about. However, that is not the staff’s fault and Richie was very apologetic since he asked how long had we been waiting (I fell asleep at the bar, lol). Overall, we were on vacation and there was no need to be nasty. We just responded that the tour only took 45 minutes and we were glad he was there now :) By the time we got back to the hotel, we were starving and enjoyed another great dinner! Other than that, everything they told us via email was exactly as it was in person.
Will we return:
Most definitely. We were actually planning on taking our parents to Orlando next year but we are going to see if they would be up for a plane ride to Jamaica since everyone has their passports (finally).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westender Inn is a boutique hotel privately located on Negril's pristine West End. Since 1983, two generations of the Brewer family have slowly created a beautiful Jamaican oasis from what was once a raw piece of land known as Hog Heaven. Tucked away in a quiet cove on the Caribbean oceanfront, with the mountains as your backdrop, The Westender Inn offers seclusion when you want it and the active markets and nightlife within a few minutes. Experience the beautiful ocean views, the Caribbean Sea breeze, and the sound of the waves melting any worries away. At The Westender Inn, the owners, staff and managers are committed to having as small a carbon footprint as we possibly can, while still striving to attain our mission: to help our staff attain their highest potential through training and continuing education, to offer our customers fair value for their travel dollar and a genuine Jamaican experience, and to develop the best boutique hospitality product anywhere. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travel Republic (UK), TripOnline SA, HotelsClick, Expedia, Evoline ltd, Hotels.com, Cancelon and Ebookers so you can book your Westender Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Westender Hotel Negril