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“Tropical heaven”
Review of Sea Grape Villas

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Sea Grape Villas
Certificate of Excellence
Broxbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Tropical heaven”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

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.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Helen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2013

If you're reading these reviews as research on possible places to stay in Jamaica (or anywhere else for that matter), then congratulations your search is over and get ready to book! I really can't begin to express how amazing this property is, we stayed there a couple of weeks ago (checked in 6/14) and are still gushing about the trip to anyone who'll listen. As you probably already know from other reviews, there are 3 villas on the property. We stayed at Wild Grape, which appears beautiful in the pictures but in person is actually drop dead gorgeous. I just love how the entire villa is designed for you bask in the ocean, which is closer to your doorstep than you can imagine and is essentially your backyard. To describe this as an oceanview or even oceanfront property is a ridiculous understatement, you're truly just steps away from the water and the ocean completely dominates your view from your huge back porch to the horizon. At any big hotel or resort, you're charged up to twice as much the standard rate for an "oceanview", which in many cases means you catch a mere glimpse of the water from your window or balcony, and it can be hundreds of yards away. SeaGrape is decorated like a luxury suite but at a fraction of the cost and you feel like you're on your very own tropical island. When you jump in the water from your private deck with nobody else for miles around, you feel like the ocean is yours and it's an incredible experience every time.

As for the service, by now you've probably already read about Juicy the onsite cook, Bentley the groundskeeper/security, Christine the housekeeper, and Blackie and Lucky the 2 greatest guard dogs ever. Each and every one of them works so hard to make sure you're having a great and safe time. Everything you've read about Juicy's food is true - absolutely fresh and delicious!!! Initially I had only intended on having him prepare 1 or 2 meals for us, since we wanted to try the many local food stands and restaurants in Negril. But after eating Juicy's first dinner we ended up eating his meals every single night! I'm still missing his Escovitch fish, and every morning he'd bring coffee and toast or some amazing homemade biscuits with butter and guava jam - YUM. Juicy even pre-arranged for our taxi pickup when we headed to Seven Mile Beach, he's just the all-around man.

With regards to the location, it was extremely convenient to have DJ's Grocery Shop directly across the street with everything you need from toiletries, to fruits and vegetables, to liquor and beer, and the woman who runs the place is very sweet. I think one tremendously overlooked and undermentioned point about SeaGrape's location is it's proximity to one of Jamaica's must see destinations, Rick's Cafe. For others staying at the big resorts in Negril and Montego Bay, going to Rick's is a day trip and you'll see busloads of guests arriving there all day. From SeaGrape you just turn right as you leave the property and it's a short walk down the street - how great is that?? Rather than having to make a day out of it you can just stop in for a bite and a drink, catch some of the famous cliff divers (or dive in yourself), and walk home. Plus along the walk you'll surely stop at one of the small shops/restaurants, including the famous Ras Rody stand serving Ital food (way before the vegan movement, the rastas already figured out how to make vegetarian/organic delicious), Shark's Seafood, and the Little Sandwich Hut where you can buy "specialty" cake and tea. Everyone you'll meet along the way is very friendly and enthusiastic, don't be afraid to stop in and just hang out. I even left my wallet at the Little Sandwich Hut, and later on in the night Bentley came by to our villa with one of the guys from there who was nice enough to return it! So essentially you have the best of both worlds - steps outside your front door are the shops, restaurants, and even a money exchange, and steps outside your back door is the ocean - what more can you ask for?

Finally, regarding logistics, this was probably the easiest trip I've ever booked. The property owners Marc and Lynn are a joy to deal with. After my initial inquiry on the property, they emailed me back right away with tons of useful information, and I sent my deposit and later on the balance via PayPal. They also arranged our airport transportation with a really great driver Donovan "the man with the plan" who happily took us to MegaMart to stock up on groceries and supplies and even to smaller stores for things like beer that he advised would be cheaper elsewhere. Every time I emailed a question to Marc he responded promptly with what I needed to know and more, and was extremely accommodating along every step of the way. As far as the check in process? We drove into the property, Donovan pulled right up to our villa with Juicy waiting there, they helped us unload our luggage and groceries into the villa, and that's it - we were officially on vacation. No waiting in line at some front desk, we just changed into our bathing suits and opened a Red Stripe... talk about a seamless, stress-free transition.

Yes, the one downside are the mosquitos so be sure to bring plenty of bug spray or stock up at DJ's, but really with everything else being so perfect I think it's a small sacrifice to pay. Trust me, the bug bites will fade away much faster than the memories will. I'm already planning my next trip to SeaGrape... what are you waiting for??

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WWB33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013 via mobile

SeaGrape is a lovely place to stay in Negril! It has 3 villas to choose from, all which have their positive attributes. We had a group of 8 and rented two, giving us space to play and lots of rooms to choose from. The SeaGrape villa has a great view of the water and shares access with the Big grape which is set back in the trees and flowers. We didn't use Wild Grape but it looks idyllic with its own ocean access and very private set up. There was some noise of music and karaoke (wednesday night) coming from next door, but nothing that could get in the way of the amazing ocean view and the stars at night. Chef Juici cooks delicious local food and Bentley and Christine keep the place clean and safe. Negril is definitely a place to play, snorkel and enjoy the food and sunshine! Negril also has tons of Mosquitos all day and night so bring lots of insect repellant and anti-itch cream/spray!! the sun is so hot, too!! so lots of sunscreen!! We had a wonderful experience and would recommend the SeaGrape Villas to anyone looking for a place beyond the chain hotels!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cfgem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2013

I stayed with husband, son & his girlfriend here at the end of May. The situation is idyllic and the villa beautiful. The staff are really wonderful - Juicy could not be more attentive, caring and friendly - and he cooks well too! Christine is lovely and cleans the villa and Bentley makes you feel safe (though I never, for a minute, felt unsafe) by patrolling at night and waving as he passes down by the sparkling blue sea. The two dogs, Blackie and Lucky are delightful. They follow (if you want) and share the terrace & tidbits but never venture inside. We became very attached to them.
We were in Wild Grape - the newest of the 3 villas. (Sea Grape looks lovely too.) it is very private (staff ring a bell before they approach), surrounded by beautiful seagrape and bougainvillea. Birds, butterflies abound. The terrace is perfect for watching the Magnificent Frigate birds and the glorious sunsets - rum punch in hand.
The West End area of Negril still has charm, no pavements and minimal hassling. There is a friendly foodstore over the road - a windy LTU pub at the top of the hill to cool in and several local restaurants I'd recommend - Ivan's (our favourite) Rockhouse (best meal) & Pushcart (great rum punch in green coconuts!). All almost perfect.
Here's the non-perfect problem:
Next door at Negril Escape there was a very loud karaoke (more & more out of tune) till 1pm on our first night, We'd come from UK so were coping with jet-lag too.
On the Sat - enormous speakers by the fake windmill net door - pointing in our direction - heralded a Techno rave. We ate out but couldn't escape it. it went on till 2am - our walls shook, our beds shook, and our stomachs shook. Way above health & safety levels! You couldn't read, sleep, think. Son & I were on terrace, hugging each other at 1.30 am feeling as if we were being tortured - unable to hear each other speak. It wiped out Sunday for us.
Now - some people may like Techno - one group staying in Big Grape went over & joined in. That may be the only answer. Or to walk down the road until out of earshot and watch the sun come up...
The staff were really lovely and consoling next day and tried to find out why it had gone on so late but apparently the gig had obtained a permit. The owners were also great - Marc emailed, was kind & concerned & did his best to make things right by us.
It is not the fault of the villas and I know they will be trying to solve this problem - and I really hope they will. No-one else has mentioned this, so I can only assume that the enormous woofer speakers & late hours are new. If it hadn't been for this (not un-small problem for us) this would have been a 5 star review for sure.)
By the time you read this - things may have changed - but if you don't want anything to spoil your peace - bear this in mind. Having said that, I doubt anywhere on Negril is very quiet - especially at weekends -and on the Thurs, Fri, Sun, Mon, Tues - the peace was perfect...(though we never completely relaxed in case it happened again) So it still may be the most idyllic spot around.
End of May gave us beautiful mornings, snorkelling from our private ladder into the clear sea (watch for jellyfish in the evenings), with rain most afternoons (which was welcome) high humidity from time to time & lots of mozzies - but all to be expected & didn't spoil the hols. The storms at night made for a spectacular light show from our terrace. (Also fireflies!)
Son & girlfriend did an advanced diving course with the excellent Marine Life Divers (PADI)
we did - in spite of the neighbours - have a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: Wild Grape is gorgeous & private with sea view (but next to noise proble if it continues) Sea Gr...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travellinggirl014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
176 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2013

I am not an employee nor do I have any vested interest in Sea Grape. This review comes from the heart and when I say you will not find a more relaxing place to stay in Negril, Please take my word. This was my 10th trip to Negril and I have to stay the Sea Grape offers everything for a fraction of the price some of the bigger places offer. Our villa was spacious, clean and served our needs perfectly. I have eaten at my places in Negril over the past 10 visits and the best food I have eaten is made on premises. Remember this name. "JUICY"!! This fine gentlemen looks after he place and provides the type of customer service that one would expect. I purchased food for dinner and he cooked a masterpiece. Each morning blue mountain coffee and toast was brought to our villa.

Here are some tips:
1. Bring dog treat from Lucky and Blacky
2. Bring bug spray
3. Snorkle Gear

I can honestly say that Sea Grape will be the place I stay from now on.

Well Done Sea Grape.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Beachfinder66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, SC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2013

Private, pleasant, and the relaxed West End. Small and gated with a back to nature vibe. Chef on site..a treat. May...so a bit buggy at certain times.Love the ladder down to a personal swimming lagoon.

Room Tip: The Big Grape is lovely, but not right on the sea like the other 2. Gardens are lush and mr. Juicy t...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank thedocCharleston_SC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poncha Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2013

We stayed here late April 2013. We originally booked the Big Grape property. We arrived to a sunset on the sea, and to a very friendly greeting by the neighbors in the Sea Grape villa. The Big Grape was nice, with two air conditioned bedrooms. Beds were excellent. There are two outdoor seating areas. From the upstairs balcony, you can see the ocean. You don't really get the sea breeze due to the beautiful gardens and trees on the property. We had Juicy make my wife her birthday dinner. It was delicious and comparable to pricing at most restaurants in Negril. We moved to the Sea Grape after two nights simply because the view from it is amazing, whether on the front porches, or in the main living room. The living and cooking areas are covered but open air, with no screens FYI - windows have louvers that can be closed. But the air conditioned bedrooms are all screened and mostly bug proof. There are three villas nicely separated on the property, and only two were booked when we were there, leaving it delightfully empty and quiet. We jumped and dove from the nice concrete platform by the sea, which has a sturdy access ladder to get out of the water - it's super deep everywhere here - 30 feet minimum. Two of the villas share a sea entry, and the other property has its own. There are jelly fish - we got stung by a few that were only mildly irritating. Once we rented snorkel equipment and fins from Negril Escape (next door), we always checked the water and avoided them. Morning water is calmer, cleaner, with more fish activity and less jelly fish. We snorkeled up and down the coast here, there really is a bunch of fish and beautiful coral. The coral cliffs have caves and crevasses making the terrain interesting. Water was turbulent in areas by cliffs but use common sense and it is safe - the waves were always very minimal.
Another piece of useful information is that you are expected to tip the staff that is there. There are three - Juicy is the host, cook, and go-to man; Bentley is the gardener and security; Christine is the housekeeper. They are all great, I found the housekeeper a little surly though which I personally don't mind. The property owner suggests 10% of your total stay gratuity, or "$5-$15 per day per staff member". Something to keep in mind while budgeting these properties. I found Negril expensive compared to other mostly third world locations, and everyone in the tourist industry is ready to milk every last possible cent from every tourist. From our other interactions and other hotel stays in Jamaica, most places don't demand or even suggest a tip for the staff. Know what stuff costs and stand your ground.
I highly recommend this place if you like the quiet, and aren't looking for the party scene - the main 7 Mile Beach aka Long Bay is the place for chaos, lots of party people, sand, and alcohol.

Room Tip: The sea view from Sea Grape is worth the extra $, but Big Grape is great, too. Sea Grape has better...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank johnofark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sea Grape Villas

Property: Sea Grape Villas
Address: West End Road, Negril, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 49 Speciality Lodging in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Sea Grape Villas Hotel Negril

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