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“Second year visitor” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Whistling Bird Resort

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Whistling Bird Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 89 Hotels in Negril
Brooksville, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Second year visitor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My first experience with this hotel was in 2011. I was staying next door to Whistling Bird at Fun Holiday (not a good choice) & spent more time at Whistling Bird then my actual hotel. Fell in love! This year a girlfriend & I went to spend the week, September 1st - 8th. We had a one bedroom, one bath cabin towards the middle of the property. Very cute & plenty of room for the two of us. There was no AC in this cabin, but the hotel does offer certain cabins with AC (if requested) During the day the cabins with no AC can get a little warm, but it didn't bother us a bit. We didn't travel to Jamaica to sit in our hotel room all day. Each night we were more then comfortable/cool & needed a blanket to sleep with.

In the month of September it is off season in Jamaica so therefore certain items on the menu will be unavailable, at any hotel that is, so you can't rate your hotel visit according to the menu if you travel to Jamaica during off season. The people at Whistling Bird are very friendly & everyone there has been long term employees. The owner of the hotel stays right on the property & is available whenever you need him. This hotel offers all inclusive & regular packages to fit anyone's budget. Great location on the beach, always an amazing meal, no matter what you order & always a beautiful sunset!

One down fall to this hotel is.... it is directly across the street from the Jungle night club. Every Saturday & Thursday nights they have a big party & unlike it is in other locations of the world, this night club is able to stay open until 4:00 & sometimes 5:00am. If you're adventurous & would like something like that then the music won't bother you because you will be a part of the party, but if you're looking for pure relaxation & quiet, beware of Saturday & Thursday nights.

Like I say in every review that I write, Jamaica is a third world country. It's very beautiful & has amazing sites to see, places to go & people to meet, but if you're a perfectionist then you may as well stay at one of the fantsy froo froo hotels on the beach. If you're looking to get a nice, rustic, Jamaican feel to your vacation, as you should since you're traveling all the way to JAMAICA then the smaller end hotels is the place to be.

PS - Short walk to Margaritaville.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
jmcm13
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

Solo, you can't be more wrong, and I find it disappointing that you travel to a third world country and expect to be treated like Paris Hilton. Jamaica is not like the U.S. and the culture is completely different. I would suggest reading up on the culture of Jamaicans, as many things can be interpreted incorrectly. I too, stayed at the Whistling Bird for a whole 3 months as a single female.
The employees of the Resort can be very protective of their guests, especially if you let them know you are uncomfortable. The staff treat repeat customers and the like just as though you are part of a big family. But they also give space to those who are looking for relaxation or romantic time. I wouldn't misinterpret their lack of involvement- as many people come there to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle. This is the only resort on the 7 mile beach that stays true to it's Jamaican roots. All the vegetables served in the restaurant are grown in their garden. This resort is one of the original resorts of the 7 mile beach, so they know exactly where to get the best quality food, who to trust for taxi services, snorkeling, boat rides, and transportation to the waterfalls. If you go anywhere else, you may pay less, but I guarantee you will take a chance being given an incorrect amount of change for your US dollar and recommendations for taxi services can be dangerous. That happened to me several times whenever I explored other restaurants and resorts. I even went by an "American" resort and was shocked that their showers were made of white, broken concrete. The rooms were tiny. The Whistling Bird is truly unique in design and decor. The bugs you speak of are minor. This is a tropical island. You are lucky you didn't travel elsewhere with tarantulas, snakes, and scorpions. Sugar ants, small lizards and bug mites (on the beach at dawn/dusk) are the only little creatures you will come across. I suggest wearing pants in the early mornings and washing your feet at night after walking on the beach.

The bathrooms are gorgeous at the Whistling Bird and have wooden shutters. Some back home would not be comfortable with that, but at this resort, it is completely isolated and protected by trees. There would be no one to look through them and that behavior wouldn't be tolerated anyway. The staff are respectable people who feel honored to work for the Bird. I thought it made for a very romantic and exotic atmosphere.

The sheets that are left out to dry is simply for efficiency. They do use dryers, however, the electricity in Jamaica performs at such a low frequency, it takes a very long time to get things dry. Same goes with the water pressure. It is a little less powerful than what you find in the states, but I never noticed it to be a problem. I've had more issues with Motel 8's than I did at the Bird. If you would like A/C, ask for it. They have units with A/C. As for the food, you can almost order anything you like because they shop specifically for what you need. That said, a lot of items are pretty impossible to find in the city, due to the low electricity frequency and therefore refrigeration issues. Cheese, beef and chocolate are a few examples; lobster is sold according to whether a fisherman has caught any that day. Like I said, its not the U.S. where you can go buy anything you want. You will find more variety in the fall and winter seasons at the peak of tourist season. I was always impressed with the red snapper, which is decadent! They always have snapper, fresh exotic fruits, gourmet coffee and homegrown vegetables.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novi, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

First trip to Negril. The staff at the WB are somewhat nice. But, they are busy with work and when their not busy with work they were not trying to serve you. The bar was the reception desk. So, if your sitting at the bar staff should ask you if you need anything like lunch or a drink. I saw the owners on grounds during my entire stay. Why didn't they ask me if I was enjoying my stay at the WB or if I needed anything? Thats what I would do if I wanted to run a successful business! I really don't think they care.
The shower room is beautiful and spacious. However, water pressure was low, hot water was sporadic and sometimes the water stop coming out completely. Also, people could see me nude in the shower because there was not a curtain covering the window. I had night time guests (Newts, Red Ants, Black Ants and Mosquitos). If the owners are living on grounds who do you think has the best room. I bet they have a vanity curtain, AC and TV. The safe box didn't work.
I stayed five nights at the WB so all drinks and food were put on a weekly grid or tab system that the WB made up. So, I had know idea what they charged me for drinks or what I was spending during my stay. I received one bill at the end of my stay. I like to keep copious notes of my daily spending. Food was good. However, the menu was limited and meals were redundant.
The WB is not a resort or luxurious. My critique is based solely on the WB and not on Negril beach or the Jamaicans. I would not recommend the WB to couples or families. Only, to those who are on a tight budget. The grounds is like a botanical garden---nice! But, they dried linens on clothes lines on the grounds---ghetto! The location on the beach is fantastic. But, if I were you I would give the WB a pass. Try the Charela($$$), Rockhouse($$$), Kuyaba($$$) or Rondel Village($$).

Skip it!

Room Tip: Book your stay directly through the owner and not a third party(i.e expedia).
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Champlain, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

I did not stay at this hotel, but did check it out. The rooms are roomy. It location on the beach is right about the middle of the seven mile beach. It is set back from beach a bit and is serounded by trees and gardens. The resturant is closer to the water ,and under the trees.We ate there at lease four days durning our stay in Negril. One egg, one toast, and one cup of coffee for $4.00. We had scramble eggs each day, they were very fluffy and homemade toast. Great breakfast for the value. I will eat there on my next visit too. Maybe check in there to stay too!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2012

My boyfriend and I would escape our gross hotel to dine in the beautiful ambiance of this one. We ate at the whistling bird restaurant four or five times during our week long stay in Negril and wished we had also booked a room here. The garden is amazing and they dont have a public washroom for restaurant guests so allowed us to venture in to a vacant cabin. It was gorgeous! And a mile higher than the place we stayed at (see my other reviews please). We each had chicken dishes during our restaurant visits. My ultimate favourite was the coconut chicken, your mouth will explode in happiness. The chef even came out to accept our thanks and blushed non stop from the praise. The best part was the beautiful ladies who were serving us. They were always smiling, always kind and made us feel right at home with their loving natures.

If we ever return to Negril, I hope we stay here and I hope those ladies are still there!!! Great place, even if you just want to relax and have a beer while sitting amongst a beautiful sanctuary of greenery. It definitely helps you escape the crowds of the beaches and feel more at peace. Kudos to the owner for running such a great operation and for keeping such wonderful staff.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

On the evening of 1/16/12 , my girlfriend and I had dinner at the Whistling Bird. We both ordered the coconut shrimp which was the special that day. I aso ordered the pumpkin soup and a Red Stripe. My girlfriend had a non-alcohol Pina Colada. Everything was very good, but I was surprised to be billed $84.15. The website menu [ referenced later] lists the coconut shrimp at $21.00, which I would consider reasonable.

I felt that I was taken advantage of.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avon, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

The beach in Negril is easily one of the best in the world. It fulfills all of our criteria: warm, clean water, the gentlest surf, abundant shade, consistent and stunning sunsets, gentle manta rays gliding along but NO sharks. The Whistling Bird is a resort with location, location, location. Centered right on the beach among an unbelievably beautiful jungle-like garden setting, the cottages nestle into the environment. The feeling is instantly exotic. We have stayed many times over the years - for several important reasons.

Lily is instant Sunshine, Miss G is gracious, Ryan is diligent and they are the true HEART of the place and a great example of hard-working Jamaicans. They bring their knowledge of the culture in a way which is rare in resorts these days. They go above and beyond. Milton provides great at security, Chef Annette is a terrific Jamaican cook, Assistant Manager Chris will jump through any hoop for you and Dennis gives you a glimpse of the next generation's views of Jamaica and the world.

We have been traveling the world for ten years and have rarely experienced such openness, kindness and generosity of spirit. In addition, there are a variety of characters who drop in. They each have fascinating stories of survival: the Cake Lady who makes amazing German Chocolate and Banana Cakes, the highly-proficient artist and the skilled craftsman jeweler. Take time to get to know these people -(even if you just want to relax.) You will have a richness of a world experience far beyond the standard resorts.

That said, prepare for a variety of Challenges. First, the beach requires an Attitude. There are lots and lots of people trying to sell a variety of things. A simple "No" usually works, but luckily the staff watches the grounds to keep them off the property. The beach vendors are not threatening, just irritating. When you walk the long, gorgeous beach - put your game face on. (Don't be shy from walking this beautiful beach - just don't naively engage in conversation.) Also, many visitors come for the nightlife, so bring really good earplugs. It is loud on many nights - Jamaica is known for their music. Luckily, one important appliance in the cottages is the white noise machine; ask for it if you aren't a late-nighter. The Whistling Bird is NOT a luxury accommodation - the sheets are FAR from a 500 count, the hot water varies and air-conditioning/television is only in some cottages. They do have fair wifi throughout the property. Despite all of these challenges- it's charming and addictive. We consider it a RETREAT in a beautiful garden right on the beach.

Over the years, this place occupies some of our great memories. It is a photographer's dream, a beach-lover's mecca, a musical journey and a traveler's reality.

Room Tip: Tell them how you feel about your need for a quiet cabin - they will work to accommodate you. Usual...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whistling Bird Resort

Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#33 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Whistling Bird Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beach cottages in a unique enclave. Totally immersed in nature, intensively landscaped. The cottages can be large or small, simple or deluxe. Whistling Bird offers amenities, several are unique. It's a small family business - an UNhotel, yet we have a pretty full slate of service to offer. We can do food and drink, a simple breakfast or dinner for example. What we really like to do is show off fine dining with our five course meal plan of refined Jamaican dishes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whistling Bird Hotel Negril
Whistling Bird Negril

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