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“A truly Jamaican experience, in Jamaica”

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Negril Escape Resort & Spa
Ranked #13 of 46 Negril B&B and Inns
Reviewed 9 February 2014

My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of spending a week with the fine folks at Negril Escape. We only wish we had stayed a bit longer. The following review is from our perspective - in the “we” form.

If you’re the type of American traveller that expects an American experience where ever you travel, I’d advise you to give Negril Escape a chance, but you may be disappointed if your expectations are set to have an entirely American experience. You’re not in America, after all. I mention this because several reviews I’ve read about Negril Escape (here and elsewhere) seem to be coming from an American set of expectations kind of perspective.

Whenever I travel, I want an authentic experience. I enjoy trying native food, and like to experience what locals experience every day. My very favorite thing is going into markets/grocery stores. It’s a great way to experience a culture, find unique foods, and observe how locals interact with one another.

My number one observation and the resounding theme to reviews I’ve read: expectations are everything. Jamaica will be a different experience than the United States or other, more developed countries because it is a different country. It is a developing country.

- The Staff -
Engage staff members in conversation. Everyone is so friendly and accommodating. I can’t stress this enough. Just hang out in the bar/eating area one night and you’ll have an opportunity to speak with several staff members, as well as the owners themselves. In my travels, this is somewhat rare. I believe it speaks volumes about Jamaican culture, and the uniqueness of Negril Escape.

Vanisha (Vanny for short) was the first staff member we spoke at length to. Vanny and Sophia can be found working the bar. Both are incredibly friendly and helpful.

Andre and Chris are the cooks in the kitchen. Andre can be seen helping out in the bar when needed. Leroy is also very helpful.

Charmaine was our maid and we couldn’t have been happier with our room service. If we wanted something extra - like an extra pillow, we simply asked. Charmaine and Vanny also did something very special for our anniversary. While speaking with Vanny, we told her, just as an aside, that Monday was our anniversary. That kind of thoughtfulness is a wonderful thing. We were shocked and overwhelmed with joy. Thank you Vanny, Charmaine and everyone at Negril Escape for making our anniversary that much more special.

The owners, Mr David and his wife Janet really made us feel appreciated, and we hope they felt appreciated too. Their resort is beautiful, and their staff makes the entire experience that much better.

- The Experience -
We will be coming back to Negril Escape for several reasons. We’re not beach people, but love that we can easily get to the beach whenever we want. We enjoy the quietness of the cliffs, the culture that resides here, and close proximity to authentic food. We loved being able to walk out of the resort, turn left or right, and stumble upon a great restaurant or food cart within a few minutes walk.

Again, the staff won us over immediately. We believe that our experience staying on the cliffs over the beach allowed us to experience what it’s like to live in Jamaica. We loved every second.

- Explore The Grounds Of The Resort
We spent a lot of time investigating all the mounds of dead coral surrounding the main walkout cliffs area - right off the patio/bar/eatery/observatory. If you’re comfortable climbing around big coral chunks and volcanic rock, I suggest you explore the mini ecosystems to be found. There are incredible photo opportunities all around the resort.

- Water Is Not Recycled in Jamaica -
You may see negative reviews about water shortage; limited hot water while showering, or toilets not always re-filling/flushing the way they should (like back home). This is because Jamaica does not recycle water; have limited access to water, and the mega resorts have a tight hold on the majority of water available. As a result, Jamaica can’t keep up with a typical westerner’s water consumption demand. Keep this in mind when you’re staying in Jamaica. Expectations are everything.

- Power Is Limited And Conserved Whenever Possible -
During the day, Negril Escape collects solar energy to provide power throughout the resort. At night they’ll use backup generators after the solar energy is used up. You may find your power out during the day - however, shame on you for staying in your room when you should be out experiencing Jamaica and all the West End has to offer :) . There is so much to see and do, you’re missing out if you stay in your room. If your power is out and you need to use power, simply ask a staff member and they will likely turn the generator on for you.

When you leave your room for extended periods of time, turn off your plugged in appliances.

- Breakfast Is Free Every Morning -
Negril Escape offers buffet breakfast (starting around 8am or 9am) that typically consists of eggs, toast or french toast, fresh fruit, bacon, and callaloo. We often ate before the buffet was served/ready (around 8am or a bit earlier). We simply sat down and spoke with Vanny or Sophia about breakfast options. If you prefer a more American-like breakfast, you can have that.

If you want more than what is offered on the standard buffet, just ask. The negative reviews about the free breakfast are likely because those individuals never asked for anything else. The staff and the resort as a whole, could’t be more accommodating. One morning we needed to eat around 7am, Andre and Vanny made it happen and it wasn’t a problem.

We always preferred a Jamaican breakfast - and we simply spoke to the cooks and they got to know what we liked. Every morning we enjoyed Blue Mountain coffee, a fresh fruit plate (Jamaican apples, Papaya, Pineapple), eggs (scrambled or fried - or however preferred), toast, french toast or fried dumplings, fried plantain, and callaloo. The breakfast was always the perfect amount of food. If you want more, I’d suggest re-assessing your portion intake/expectations. This is a free breakfast and I’ve honestly never experienced a better, more-consistent, free breakfast at any hotel/resort.

- Explore And Explore Often -
We walked the streets of the west end every day, and have many fond memories of conversations with locals. Some of our favorite restaurants (all within walking distance of the resort) included: Ras Rody’s Organic, Pablo Restaurant (our favorite), Archway Pizza, Hungry Lion, Just Natural, and AhhhBees. As vegetarians we had no problem finding food to eat. Speak with the owners/servers of the restaurants you visit - learn about them and ask questions about Jamaican culture. You're in for a great experience and memorable conversation.

We found Negril Escape, and the West End in general to be very safe
Like anywhere, use common sense and you’ll be fine. If you walk around after dark, have a flashlight on-hand, or take a local taxi. It’s also a good idea to not walk alone after dark - again, common sense. We never felt threatened during our time in Jamaica, and found everyone to be incredibly friendly. Remember that Jamaica is a tourist-driven country. Locals are used to tourists and rely on tourism to live.

- Bus Shuttle To The Beach Every Day -
While we were staying, a yoga group of 12 people or so were also staying. We found ourselves tagging along a few days on the bus shuttle to the beach - typically around 12:15. The bus would drop us off at the beach, and pick everyone up at around 3:30 or whenever the group wanted to be picked up. This is definitely a nice service they provide. If you don’t want to take the shuttle, a local taxi from Negril Escape to the beach (downtown roundabout) should only cost you a few dollars per person.

- Age Groups -
During our stay we were the youngest people staying at the resort. We're in our early 30s and it seemed like everyone else was in their 50s-60s. I imagine younger couples are wowed by all the beach resorts have to offer, but my girlfriend and I are not beach people - appreciating the beach in small doses. We find the cliffs perfectly conducive to our ideal vacation experience. I mention the age group observation only if it's in any way helpful to someone's resort decision-making process.

- Regarding Comments About The Resort Needing Maintenance -
There are areas of the resort that need a bit of maintenance - walls/ deck railings need to be stripped and painted, the main overlook/patio area could be worked on too. But overall, I have no complaints. However, we are the type of people that don’t stay in our room much. We pretty much used our room as a place to sleep, and occasionally watch Jamaican TV or wind down after a long day out and about.

The beds are very comfortable, and our air conditioning worked whenever we needed it. We had to manually fill our toilet’s water tank if we flushed twice within a short time period - but this has more to do with the country's water supply than the resort itself. See my comments on water above. I feel it's unfair to fault the resort for lack of water supply.

- Bottom-line -
We loved our stay at Negril Escape and hope you will too. The staff are some of the friendliest and most accommodating people you will ever meet.

Room Tip: If an ocean view is important to you, pay the extra amount for an ocean view. We didn't see the...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank joetower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 - 66 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 31 January 2014

I do not like to write bad reviews, most of the time I would just not write if I dont have something nice to say. But this place is beyound BAD!!!
The staff made the stay worth it. But the rooms and the food not so much.
We were not looking for a five star hotel, but we did at least want what was advertised.
We asked for a 2 room suite to sleep five LOL, not so much, we had 2beds in the main area and on bed in what looked to be an old closet with a bed thrown on the floor. It was as clean as it could be I will say that but it sure didnt feel clean.
Again I will say the staff were very friendly and tried to keep the place up with what they have. Im not sure how drunk you have to be to say this place is the wonderful but maybe I just wasnt drunk enough.
Im sorry but the owner needs to clean up this hotel and if you have guests make sure there is enough food to feed them, chicken fingers should be available if on the menu:( disappointed in the lack of maint, the people were great, but wont stay again

Room Tip: stay in a villa not a hotel
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank DMKManassasVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca R, Guest Relations Manager at Negril Escape Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

I am so sorry that you had a bad experience with us.

We are working hard to improve the hotel in every area. As I type this (February 3, 2014) we are painting the buildings. We will have a staff meeting to discuss the issues you raised wit the bed, menu etc.

On the plus side, thank you so much for your positive comments about our staff. Thank you for staying with us.

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Reviewed 28 January 2014

I really wanted to like this resort, but . . .

I am a long time traveller to Negril and have stayed at a variety of different resorts. I don't expect luxury however I do expect to have a shower that functions properly with hot water available. I also expect that a flush toilet will actually flush. Even though we complained to management about these issues nothing was ever done to correct these issues in the 5 days we were there.

On the positive side, we did have a comfortable bed and the air conditioner worked as expected. The staff were excellent and tried hard to please. This hotel (I have a hard time calling this place a resort) needs a lot of refurnishment and a general cleanup of the grounds.

It has the potential to be a lovely place.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank justchuckfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca R, Guest Relations Manager at Negril Escape Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Thanks for your review. We're sorry about the problems you encountered with us.

Hot water is an issue at many hotels in Negril, not just ours. Jamaica is a developing country and sometimes, despite our best efforts, things don't work well because of poor infrastructure. However, we do take responsibility for your plumbing issues. We will inspect our bathrooms and fix these problems.

On the positive side, we appreciate your comments about our staff. We also thank you for staying with us.

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Reviewed 19 January 2014

Great value and amazing cliff view. The rooms could use some upgrades but if your looking for newly renovated you should stay somewhere else. The breakfast buffet is shabby and not a lot options. I actually asked for more bacon and plantains two different day and was told no. Not sure I would stay here again but it served its purpose and the beds were really comfortable. I was by myself and felt very safe staying here.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank shanarenee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca R, Guest Relations Manager at Negril Escape Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

We're glad that you had a positive experience with us overall.

We're sorry that you weren't 100% satisfied with our buffet. I will discuss your problem with our kitchen staff.

We're happy that as a solo traveler, you felt secure at Negril Escape. Thanks again for staying with us.

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Reviewed 16 January 2014

My husband and I spent three nights here in January 2014. The hotel is in dire need of upgrades. A lot of what is advertised on their website is not how it is at the hotel. The "breakfast buffet" is a waiter bringing you eggs, a slice of toast and a slice of fruit. The free wifi rarely works and the pool was unusable as the filter/pump seemed to be broken. The shower had no hot water and the towels and bedding, while clean, were all very stained and dirty looking. Due to the hotel being solar powered we lost electricity for most of the first night meaning no air conditioning no tv and no lights. The good points - the staff are all fantastic and friendly. They go out of their way to help and answer any questions and to accommodate you in any way they can. The property is very quiet and relaxing and the bed was the most comfortable one we had ever slept on! Go for the quiet and the wonderful staff but be warned that if it's luxury you are seeking this is definitely not the place!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank gypsynik74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca R, Guest Relations Manager at Negril Escape Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

We're sorry that we didn't meet your expectations.
We were unaware that you were having WIFI problems. I will discuss this with members of the team today. We were having problems with the pool while you were here, but this has been fixed. We're sorry for the other problems you encountered. We will redouble our efforts to provide better facilities this year. Thank you for staying with us.

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Reviewed 12 January 2014

I was surprised at the rough condition of this hotel for the price. I vary in my travels from budget to five star, I know the difference. I suppose the cost is for location, but still pealing paint, only slightly functional shower, bare fluorescent bulb as the cottage light source, much of the place in disrepair... Ocean views were nice, and access to some snorkeling from the cliffs was good fun.

ps. If you want snorkeling, access from Xtabi is supposed to be good.

Room Tip: away from the generator if noise keeps you up
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Loves_to_see_it_all
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca R, Guest Relations Manager at Negril Escape Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Thank you for your review.

It's true that during your stay some of the buildings needed to be repainted.
Today (February 3, 2014) we are repainting the hotel.

I'm sorry that your shower wasn't working properly, and that you were unhappy with some of the aesthetics of your room. We are working hard to upgrade our facilities. Thank you so much for choosing Negril Escape.

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

Negril Escape is a budget resort which is reflected in the the rates and the quality of the rooms. However, If you don't need a polished hotel but want cheap place to stay with an amazing ocean view, NE may be for you. Be forewarned - although the resorts offers many sought after amenities, don't expected them to always work. When we stayed there, the pool was green for a couple days and unusable. Sometimes the air conditioning in the room would go off when the power was diverted to other uses (like karaoke night). Some of the appliances in the kitchenette (e.g. stove) didn't work. In the first room we were assigned to the shower head was clogged and sprayed everywhere. The roof leaked during a heavy rain. There were some other minor maintenance issues like rusted fixtures around the room.

We also had an issue where the room we specifically reserved was unavailable (that particular building was gutted and under construction) and we were given a room that was unsatisfactory to us. Management resolved the issue the next day by upgrading us to one of their better rooms.

Overall the property is nice, with a decent restaurant/bar and excellent cliff access. I understand that they put on a fabulous wedding, and they may be where the bulk of their business comes from. However, as a guest in one of the cottages, you will notice where maintenance and upgrades would be needed.

The staff was very friendly and extremely helpful. There is a shuttle to the beach everyday, and on certain nights, the shuttle goes to the Jungle nightclub (and the driver will stay there with you).

Overall, if you are on a budget and you want a prime cliffside location but don't mind a resort that is a little worn, Negril Escape may be a good place for you.

Room Tip: Look closely at the room descriptions. About half of the rooms have excellent ocean views, while oth...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank anatalope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rebecca R, Guest Relations Manager at Negril Escape Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2014

Thank you for your honest opinion. During your stay, we had some trouble with the pump for the pool. We apologize that the water wasn't clean enough for swimming while you were staying with us. We've fixed this problem. We are also sorry about the problem with your air-conditioning- this no longer happens. We're working hard to improve the overall maintenance of the hotel and appreciate that out of all the hotels in negril, you chose to stay with us. Please contact us and we will do our best to make it up to you.

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Additional Information about Negril Escape Resort & Spa

Address: The Cliffs, West End Road, Negril, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 46 B&Bs / Inns in Negril
Price Range: £47 - £128 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Negril Escape Resort & Spa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique resort Located on the cliffs in Negril. Offers a natural, holistic environment. Gardens and paths winding through the limestone to the sea. Swim, snorkle, or scuba dive-(Negril Scuba Centre is located here!) enjoy a message in our spa on the edge of the cliff, or just relax by the pool. 10 cottages- each reflecting the rich,vibrant cultural heritage of Jamaica,from India to Africa, Asia to Europe. Service personalized to the guest's individual wishes. Come Escape, relax, and rejuvenate your body and soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Negril Escape Resort And Spa
Negril Escape Hotel Negril

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