This was our first trip to Jamaica. Upon first arrival we were greeted by hotel security, the hotel chef, and the housekeeping staff. It was a nice feeling to have such personal attention and to be welcomed by name. I loved how Ms, Purnell greeted us in her pink uniform...something you rarely get here in the states. We were immediately offered a room upgrade by Heather, the general manager, upon check in and gladly accepted it... with no additional charge. We stayed there for a week and had a blast. The rooms are represented exactly the way that they are on the website. We had a very clean room that smelled wonderfully and was always just the right temperature with an air conditioner that adequately chilled the entire room. In addition to air conditioning, the rooms are equipped with refrigerators and in-room safes which we used daily when we left the hotel and happily returned to all of our belongings right where we left them. You shouldn't have a computer in Jamaica but if you have anal employees or employers that demand that you take it with you (like I did), there is wireless internet access in the common areas of the hotel that is free of charge. There are no phones in the room but upon check in we were offered a mobile phone (free of charge) that was programmed with phone numbers for the hotel and hotel manager and staff that was also capable of international calls. We were able to use it all over the island from Negril to Ocho Rios with no problems.
My fiance is a chef so we made it a point to try a lot of different food from a lot of different places: The Rockhouse, Rick's Cafe, Idle Awhile, Sweet Spice, Margaritaville, local vendors, etc. but found the best food right at the hotel's restaurant. The food is authentic and cooked fresh. The chef takes his time to cook each order with care so it is advisable to order in advance. We often put in our order for dinner at breakfast before we left the hotel for the day and it would be ready by the time we returned. Compared to the prices of the other restaurants, there is nothing pricey about this menu.
I strongly encourage you to find a taxi driver when you get there and get their card so that you can call them whenever you want transportation to the beach, cliffs or other restaurants. That way, you can make sure that you are paying reasonable prices. Also, you can always ask Paulette (or any other staff member) who will tell you just how much you should pay for each trip to wherever you want to go. Another option is to rent a moped, if you are feeling adventurous, or a car. Our next door neighbors rented a moped and they loved it and parked it right on the hotel grounds with no problems or fear that it would be stolen.
I highly recommend that you take advantage of the perk of their sister resort, Idle Awhile, and utilize their part of 7 mile beach. It's wonderful and that way you don't have to worry about hanging out at Margaritaville all day. The food and drinks at Idle Awhile are excellent. I highly recommend a Mango Colada or a Dirty Banana! Also, make sure you get some jerk chicken and/or jerk lobster from the stand across the street from Idle Awhile. The stand is called The Best in the West. Best Jerk (other than the Jerk chicken at Khus Khus) that I have tasted.
I am appalled to read the reviews of some of the guests that did not enjoy their stay, especially the guest Deanna. I DO NOT agree with her assessment of the hotel nor with the notion that any of the hotel employees are thieves. We felt very safe in the hotel and always saw at least 2 security guards on the grounds at night; one patrolling and one at the front gate. During our stay, the hotel was filled with guests - families with children and couples. Everyone was having a great time there while we were there. Nobody seemed to miss their TV because there was too much to do! Even some of the high end hotels like the Rockhouse located in the Cliffs don't have TVs.
The staff is excellent. I love the manager Heather, Ms. Purnell who pampered our room each day, both the day and night hotel security guards, Marcia (hope she had that baby!) and of course Paulette who mixed up our drinks and happily served our food whether at the restaurant or in our room and NEVER short changed us. We paid every way we could: credit card, US dollars, JA dollars, and travelers cheques and always received the right change back. As a matter of fact, we often paid with big bills so that we could get US dollars back to use for cabs and tips. The hotel even used an exchange rate that was higher than Rick's and Margaritaville.
It was great to be in an atmosphere where everybody knew your name and could give you the juice on the local flavor and the happening spots.
We would definitely stay here again and loved our trip so much that we are planning our wedding there next July!! So we will see you again soon Heather! :)
Lana and Bobby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.