This was our fourth visit to this resort so we knew what to expect. We visited from September 1st to September 8th because this is such a great location with an outstanding beach and the new owners were offering some great pricing. The resort was just sold to Sunwing Airlines in April and is being operated by their Blue Diamond Resorts subsidiary. The new owners have big plans to remodel and improve the rooms and other buildings to get the resort up to the level of the location. Be aware that this resort is divided into 2 sections with the cove section being clothing optional. The cove area has the quietest rooms as it is away from the busy road that runs very near many of the rooms on the main beach section but if nude people offend you this is not the place to be. The cove section has a very small pool and hot tub and a small beach as well as a bar and grill area next to the pool. The main beach area is wide with beautiful clear water and soft sand and is the gem of this resort. The main beach is walkable for about a mile or so and is great for a little morning exercise. in addition the the location, one of the high points of this resort is the friendly and helpful staff. We didn't find even one staff member that was not friendly. You will have a great time at this resort if you go with the right level of expectation. If you see a travel site that is touting this as a 4.5 or 5 star resort be assured that it is not. The common areas and restaurants have been reasonably maintained over the years but the guest rooms have not. You will find missing molding around the doors, cracked/chipped floor tiles, old outdated furniture and decor and generally no updating in many many years. The bed still had the same bedspread that was on the bed when we made our first visit in 2002 (at least it looked identical to our pictures from 2002). If you are looking for a fancy well appointed room you won't find it here right now. The rooms however are clean, the ac worked great, no bugs, and everything worked. The main pool is very small and rarely used. No swim up bar and the water always looked a little murky.
They have an evening buffet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The food quality is typical resort buffet food. Not special but not bad. Most people can find something to suit their taste. There are 4 other restaurants: the French restaurant ( decent food but nothing french), La Pasta (pizza, pasta and other Italian type dishes (actually pretty good), the Grand Cafe (same kind of food as the French restaurant without the pretense and the 2.5 hour process that you go through in the French) and the Japanese chop chop restaurant and sushi bar (good and also entertaining and surprisingly good sushi). Regardless of where you decide to eat I doubt if you will go home raving about the food but I don't think you will be overly disappointed either. Only the Japanese restaurant required a reservation so a last minute dining decision is always an option.
We have read a number of reviews by people complaining about the aggressive sales people trying to sell vacation club memberships. We weren't worried about it because if you are going to Negril you have to know how to say no however during our week stay we were never approached even once by anyone trying to sell us the vacation club.
Unless you are staying in a suite certain water sports are not included. Scuba and snorkeling trips are an extra cost for non suite level guests. Water sports have been outsourced to Scuba Caribe and these folks are not employees of the resort. They certainly don't have the friendly and helpful attitude that is demonstrated by the resort staff.
The new owners have major renovation and property improvement plans in place that are slated to start sometime near May of 2014. New pools, complete renovation of existing rooms, adding new rooms, and basically a general makeover. I received this news with mixed emotion. While there is no doubt that this resort needs updating, too much may destroy the charm that makes this place so relaxing and desirable not to mention jumping up the price.
We had a great vacation here and would certainly return however there is only one real complaint that I would like to see addressed (and from the disgusted looks on arriving guests faces I have to think that they would as well). The worst part of this resort is the check in process. Many guests often arrive at the same time on a bus from the airport. The first step in the check in process is that you are given an information sheet to complete providing your name, address, phone, email, etc. All of this is information that you already provided when you made your reservation. They then gather all of these sheets and ask the arriving guests to have a seat in the lobby area while they process these, assign rooms, etc. Depending on the size of the group this can be a 30 to 45 minute process. Once the rooms are assigned and all is done, they separate you into two groups based on which side of the resort you are going to. The entire group is then led by one staff member to the room furthest away from the lobby and that person is shown their room while all of the other guests are asked to wait outside while that quest has been settled. The process is repeated with each room working back to the room nearest the lobby. We were the first ones shown to our room so I have no idea how long this process took but I know that it took at least 5 minutes to finish in our room while the rest of the group waited outside (complaining greatly I would suspect). People on vacation do not want to wait this long and certainly don't appreciate being herded like cattle.
The check in process is the first opportunity that the resort has to make a good impression on the guests that have been traveling all day and are already tired and grumpy. Dear management: I can assure you that you are making a very poor impression with this process and have about 95% of your guests irritated before they even start their vacation. This process has been horrible every time that we have visited this resort and with all of the changes in management you would have thought that someone would have figured it out by now as it is not a small issue. It's not like you didn't know that we were coming! As a person that specializes in business process improvement I would certainly be happy to come down and help you with this area. Just put us up for a couple of weeks, provide a clean room, food, and as much Red Stripe as needed and I feel sure that we can get this handled!
As stated in the title, we had a great time and will certainly be back and if you come with the right expectations you will have a great time as well!
- Also Known As:
- Breezes Grand Resort & Spa Negril All Inclusive Hotel Negril
- Breezes Grand Resort & Spa Negril All Inclusive Hotel
- Breezes Grand Resort And Spa Negril All Inclusive
- Grand Lido Hotel Negril
- Grand Lido
- Grand Lido Jamaica
- Grand Lido Negril Hotel
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