- 6 years ago
I’ve been seeing over the past few months many bees wondering about destinations for their honeymoon or other travels, with Negril often being a strong contender. Since Fiance and I just came back from a 10 day vacation at Sandals Negril, I thought I would –as a seasoned traveller– give you my review of the resort.
First off, let me start by saying that is was both Fiance & I’s first time traveling to Jamaica. We’ve always wanted to go; however, given our “last-minute” nature, we’ve never been able to book any resorts on time, they were always full. We are not necessarily fans of the “all-inclusive” formula. In fact, we don’t drink that much (maybe a 2-3 drinks a day each on vacation) and we don’t eat that much (3 normal sized meals) so when we’ve travelled to all inclusives in the past, we’ve found ourselves somewhat out of place. So if you love all-inclusives, this review will probably not be reflective of your experience. That being said, we figured we would give it a shot since Sandals has a good reputation and there isn’t much else but all-inclusives in Negril. Sandals itself being an adult only (no children) resort appealed greatly to us because we we’re in search of a truly relaxing vacation. So let’s get right into it:
- Negril beach is beautiful. White sand for 7-miles surrounds the warm Caribbean water.
- The staff is wonderful, friendly and helpful. The premium rooms come with a “butler service”, basically they make reservations for you, set up your chairs on the beach, and arrange for anything else you could possibly want. Our butlers were wonderful and very attentive, yet they also gave us our privacy.
- You are not allowed to tip anyone (except for your buttler if you so choose) so you don’t need to carry around money.
- Scuba diving, when you are certified, is free and unlimited. Furthermore, you can get your PADI certification in a few days on the spot.
- As a guest of Sandals, you can go eat or spend the day at the Beaches resort (same company– family firendly version). However, nobody at the hotel told us this, we only knew because another couple told us.
- The food is OK. It’s not great. Although there are 5-6 different restaurants, none we’re particularily memorable.
- Other than walking on the beach and going on “packaged” exploration tours, I don’t feel like I was given the chance to explore Negril or Jamaica at all. You feel a little confined to your resort.
- Though everything is included, the staff is constantly trying to up-sell you on something. Fiance would joke that it’s just the Jamaican way! The truth is, I think Sandals trains their staff very carefully to sell you little extras whenever possible. This is always happening, at the water sports counter, at the spa, by taking pictures of you, at the gift shop, etc.
- You get what you pay for, insofar as accomodations. The first room we stayed in, which we thought was one of the better rooms was OK but seemed really dated. There was carpet on the floor and the bathroom was very small –compared to what we’ve been used to staying at other resorts. Thankfully, we had booked for a room switch for the latter half of our vacation and the room was far superior. As far as the room hierarchy on their website, it was just one notch above the previous room. However, I can’t stress enough how substantial the difference was. It was newer, there was flat screen TVs, the bathroom was enormous, etc. So in the end, it was certainly worth the extra money.
Overall, though our experience was positive, we do not think we would return to Sandals Negril. For half the money we spent at Sandals (since Jamaica is rather pricey as a destination), we would have been just as happy –if not happier– staying in some of the 4-5 star resorts in Mexico we’ve stayed at in years past –namely Secret Maroma near Playa Del Carmen (all-inclusive) or the Tides in Zihuatanejo (not all inclusive) . When it comes down to it: the weather is the same, the beaches are just as nice, the food is the same if not better, but the premuim rooms in Mexico are usually about 1/2 of the price as in Jamaica.
If you’re like us, and you like to get out and explore (not in a tour group), eat great food, and appreciate the comfort of your room at the end of a day of sun, I suggest that you do your research before coming to Negril. If, however, you want to just chill on the beach with your SO/FI/DH and have some drinks and take in some sun, you will most definately like this resort!
Anyways, that was my 2-cents.