We just returned from a family wedding at Sandals and Beaches Negril. Part of the family sans children stayed at Sandals Negril but ended up spending most of the day at Beaches because it was just more fun. More people, more to do, the water park, etc. We loved every aspect of it and I mainly wanted to comment about the kids program and traveling with a car seat for the baby. We traveled with our 4 month old and 4 year old girls and weren't sure what to expect for the baby. I didn't find much in the way of reviews here for the very little ones.
We were very pleased with the infant care she received at the program. The nursery was clean with new looking cribs and activity items. (Being in the industry, the cribs were Foundations commercial cribs, and were quite nice. Our crib in our room was also Foundations, but was older and could have used some tightening of the hardware.) Despite the resort being full, most times she was the only baby in there and we could drop her by any time they were open (9am-9pm, closed an hour for lunch and dinner). We took her usually in the afternoon for a nap and left a bottle for a feeding afterward. The ladies were always thrilled to see her and we never once found her out of someone's arms unless she was sleeping. They let our older daughter come in and visit if she wanted to also.
We used the nanny service twice ($10/hr) for the times when the kids camp was closed for our children. The nanny was wonderful and took the girls to get dinner and see one of the Sesame Street shows. She was part of the kids program and our older daughter already knew her. Our kids are pretty easy going so I don't think they gave the nanny much of a challenge but we were happy nonetheless.
The few times I did happen upon the kids of older age groups at the kids camp (5-6, 7-8ish), they seemed a little bored, with the staff doing most of the craft or activity work that they were supposed to be doing. Our 4 year old had a fabulous time though and wanted to go to pretty much every activity, every day. The Sesame Street theme was a big hit for her. Most of the Sesame activities at the camp were done in the 3-4 year age group only. The older kids had more pool time activities and other things planned that didn't revolve around Sesame Street.
I also couldn't decide on taking a stroller, carrier, car seat, etc, on the trip for the baby. We ended up taking a small convertible Britax Roundabout car seat and a Go Go Kidz Travelmate for the airports and checking our stroller as luggage. We were fortunate on one of our 6 flights to have an empty seat and be allowed to bring our car seat on board for the unticketed baby, otherwise we just gate checked it. That worked out pretty well for us. The best part was not having to hold her as we stood in endless security and customs lines, where we didn't have our checked stroller. We were able to use the car seat on both of the 1.5 hour bus rides to and from the airport. It depends on how many people arrive and depart that are going to the resort the same time you are, for what you get as a vehicle. We had a small bus-type vehicle the first trip and a large 50-passenger coach on the return. Most of the lap belts worked and we were able to finagle the car seat to fit in both vehicles. Again we were grateful not to have to hold her on the bus rides since we'd just spent about 8 hours flying and holding her.
We also took a soft front pack carrier that we used quite a bit instead of the stroller. The resort is accessible for the most part but there are no elevators. We did have a ground floor room with ramps and an enormous bathroom though. I'm not sure if it was luck of the draw or they saw we had a baby on our reservation, but we did not request it but are glad it's what we got. Hauling our big stroller up and down 3 flights of stairs would've been a total pain and we probably wouldn't have used it much. I'd just take an umbrella stroller next time. We only used the stroller mostly during restaurant trips since she couldn't sit up on her own yet in a high chair and we didn't want to hold her. Otherwise it was parked in our room and we used the soft carrier.
A note on the wi-fi, it's $42.99/wk which I thought was ridiculous since we just spent several thousand dollars on the room, but if you have friends in other rooms, only one of you has to pay for it. You can use the login code on multiple devices.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Located on the widest stretch of Negril's seven mile white sand beach•Stay at one, play at two with full exchange privileges with Beaches Sandy Bay including a choice of 11 dining options•“Pirates Island” Water Theme Park with 4 slides, meandering “lazy” river and splash deck•Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street themed activities with daily character appearances, parades and stage shows•Kids Kamp & Nursery with wide range of supervised activities•Interactive Teens Program with “Trench Town” Teen's Center and Teens' Coordinator to coordinate teen activities•Expansive Two & Three Bedroom Butler serviced suites•Supervised Xbox® Play Lounge with flat screen plasma TV's & Xbox® 360 game consoles•Beaches Resorts were voted “World's Leading Family All-Inclusive 14 years in a row•Five Star Diamond Award, American Academy of Hospitality Sciences•Six Star Diamond Award, Beaches Resorts – Keeping it Green•EarthCheck Platinum Certified ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beaches Negril Hotel Negril
- Beaches Hotel Negril
- Negril Beaches Hotel