We stayed in Big Grape when visiting Negril from the UK for a wedding. The other guests went to a big resort, but we sought a more authentic experience and Big Grape fitted the bill perfectly. The owner (Marc) was extremely helpful in providing us with information and responded to my email enquiries very quickly.
The villas are in a beautiful spot, surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife (some of which makes its way into the rooms, but only the mozzies were bothersome!) We got bitten to death at first and deet repellents were not effective, but we bought a local insecticide (Bop) and by spraying our rooms with that and burning coils (which you can get very cheaply from the friendly shop across the road) we were able to reduce the little critters. There is also a mosquito net over the bed on the mezzanine floor, which is effective.
The private jetty shared by the three villas is a lovely place from which to relax and watch the sunset, provided there is not a party going on at Negril Escape next door. On the night of our arrival (a Wednesday) there was a loud karaoke evening with truly diabolical singing going on until midnight, but luckily that was a one-off and music from then on was sporadic and mainly during the day. I found the waters around the jetty too rough to swim in, but my husband and eldest son went in every day. There wasn’t much to see apart from jelly fish, which thankfully didn’t seem to sting (although we did see a huge ray in the shallow waters of 7 mile beach!)
The staff at Sea Grape do a great job. Bentley keeps the grounds safe and beautiful, while Juicy is not only a fantastic cook but was also really helpful, offering to change our money for us, booking us a taxi to the wedding and even getting us some aloe vera from the garden to rub on our insect bites. Christine was quite surly but always kept the villa clean and lovely. Although the guide suggests that laundry services are included as part of daily housekeeping, she seemed reluctant to do my small bag of washing, eventually agreeing to do it the day after next if I bought detergent and gave her an extra tip, in addition to the recommended US$5-US$10 per staff member per day. Bear in mind when budgeting for Jamaica that you will be asked for tips constantly wherever you go, and this really adds up!
We could not afford to have Juicy cook for us more than once, but we found a great little restaurant down the road near the lighthouse called Murphy’s. The meals there were cheap and delicious and the staff so friendly that we ate there several times. Canoe Bar, in the other direction, is also good value and excellent.
- Also Known As:
- Sea Grape Villas Hotel Negril