My wife of 23 years and our 17 & 14 year-old sons stayed at Legends Resort Negril from March 28 until April 4th.
The following are my observations, evaluations and recommendations.
First up- The room: Beach side, ground floor, 307.
This is a budget hotel, which we knew going in, so we weren’t shocked by the room not looking like one you’d find at Sandals. The beds are comfortable, but a little small. The full size mattresses sit on Queen sized platforms, which make them seem even smaller. Upon request, the housekeeper brought us a hide-away bed for extra sleeping space. There’s a small dresser and wardrobe with hangers & shelves, which were big enough for the job at hand. The cable TV has adequate choices (cartoon network, CNN, STARZ, BBC news). The bathroom is small (5X7ft), but always had plenty of hot water. As you’ve probably already read elsewhere, there is hotel-sized bar soap supplied, but no shampoo. We bring our own shampoo anyway, so no problem. No cup in the BR, so I grabbed a few plastic ones from the bar. You’re supplied with bath towels, washcloths, & a foot towel. A housekeeper comes at around 9 every morning to collect dirty towels. You’re returned fresh towels later when your room is cleaned. The housekeepers do a good job of cleaning, although about half of our days we told the housekeeper not to worry about cleaning our room. You do need to bring beach towels, or buy them upon arrival, as the hotel does not supply them. “Hassle-free Harry” (from Mumbai!) sells towels 3 for $25 just 100 feet down the beach. There was no chair in the room, so I borrowed one from the restaurant for the duration of our stay (it doesn’t exactly require a rocket scientist to solve most of these problems). I love classic reggae, but I couldn’t find a decent classic Reggae radio station. I found BBC news, and two stations that played kind of a hip-hop reggae/dancehall mix, but the radio DJs would never shut up enough for me to hear the tunes. If you want room tunes bring a CD or MP3 player. There’s a LCD clock on the telephone, but it’s impossible to read when it’s dark. Bring a battery operated travel clock if you really want to know what the time is. I’m happy to report that the only insect we found in the room was a cricket one evening, which was easily shooed out the door. The AC and ceiling fan were a little loud, but worked well, which is all that really mattered. I’d probably rate this room a ‘C’ anywhere else; but in Jamaica, where this room was 50ft from the pool, 75ft from the bar restaurant, & 125ft from the beach: a solid ‘A’.
Second category-The food:
This was our first non all-inclusive stay on Jamaica. My teenagers have reached the age where they’re charged full AI price, so the price difference was fairly staggering: Apple vacations quoted us an extra $85 per person per day for AI. Upon arrival, we were offered a rate of $65 pp/pd to upgrade, but we figured we could eat pretty well for $260 ($22,600 Jamaican) per day, and we did. A polite inquiry and our housekeeper produced a cooler that had been orphaned by a previous guest. The ‘Time ‘N’ Again’ mini-mart next to the Times Square Mall across the street kept us well supplied. The Time ‘N’ Again is run by an incredibly nice guy named Norris. And the prices were very fair: a 10 lb. bag of ice for our cooler ran 200J$ (~$2.25 US), 2 liters of Coke zero were 150J$ (~$1.70), and the variety of packaged chips, cakes & cookies was excellent.
As for restaurant meals, we spread the wealth around. The breakfast buffet at Legends ($8.50 pp) was always good, as well as convenient. The lunch buffet at Legends runs $10, and 14.50 for dinner. I would recommend an inspection of the choices before committing. The Thursday night Jamaican Buffet was excellent. Several times my sons ordered grilled cheese or burgers & fries off the menu (~$8) and they were good. And one evening ‘Momma’, the main chef, made a strip steak (~$17) for my wife that was good.
For dinner our first night we ate very good burgers & fries (~$8.50) at the Bar-B-Barn three properties down the beach. For several lunches we bought patties (100-200J$): the Hammond Bakery by the rotary has good beef & cheese patties, patties from the Manley Blvd vendors were good, but the patties we bought from Nevil (he sells patties on the beach from a cooler mounted on his bike) were a disappointment. We did allow our teenagers to eat lunch one afternoon at the Burger King at the Rotary, which they enjoyed completely.
Our best dinners were the ones we enjoyed at Angela’s, upstairs at the Bar-B-Barn. I would gladly eat there every night, and we did consume three of our seven dinners there. We probably would have eaten there more if we hadn’t waited to try them until our third night. I can highly recommend both the Fettuccini Alfredo with Bacon and the Chicken Parmesan. But if you only have one chance to eat there, get the pizza, it is to die for. The atmosphere of Angela’s is wonderful, as are the servers, Robert in particular.
Yes, Legends only has 100 feet of beach. So what-it’s enough. The sand is awesome. The water is warm with a very slowly descending sand bottom. If you want a beach chair or umbrella, get there early and/or talk to Michael the “Beach Boss”. If you walk the beach you’ll be offered Ganja or hair-braiding repeatedly, but a polite “no” is usually enough to dissuade the salesmen. The only things we purchased on the beach were some so-so patties from Nevil and 30 minutes of amazing jet skiing ($35US) from Sherlock. Other legal items for sale by wandering beach vendors included fresh fruits, fruit juices, cigarettes, wood carvings, and cooked lobster tails. The lobster tails were $7US for small and $10 for large, and were quite good according to a person I spoke with who purchased some.
The pools were clean and had plenty of chairs available. There is a good sized pool at the back of the garden side property that seems hardly used. We used the beachside pool, which was smaller, but never too small.
Samsara and snorkeling:
The water visibility for snorkeling off the Legend’s beach is superb, but there’s not much to see. I’m the only snorkeler in our group, so one morning I took the free shuttle to Legend’s sister property Samsara. There were swells, so the entry/exit from the water was a little tricky, but the snorkeling was extremely good. The resort itself seemed very nice, with great views and a constant breeze. The place seemed deserted during my brief stay there. Most of the guests must go on excursions during the day. After an hour of swimming & a half hour of lounging, I decided to head back to Legends. I didn’t feel like waiting several hours for the shuttle, & I couldn’t find a route taxi right away, so I just walked back to Legends, which was very interesting. I don’t recommend walking from Samsara to the downtown Negril rotary as the road is very narrow, and cars pass closely. The walk from the rotary north to Legends is flat and on a wide berm, which makes for a pleasant and leisurely walk, and one that I took almost daily.
And while I’m on the subject of walking: walking around Negril can be a bit of a challenge. If I had a dollar (US) for every time I was offered “Bob Marley smoke” or a taxi, I could retire to Negril today. These are poor folks offering something they know many tourists want to buy, and hope that you’re one of those. Usually, a polite “no” is enough, but not always. I stand 6’3” tall and weigh over 300 lbs, and I’m not easily intimidated. But I was amazed a few times at the chutzpah of some Ganja sellers. I was only physically accosted once, by a female meth head on the bridge over the Negril River at 6:30 one morning. She was straight out panhandling, though, not selling anything. She grabbed at me, and then cursed me when I easily sidestepped her and continued over the bridge. Oh well. I said a prayer for her. She was not typical of the Jamaicans I dealt with, who were wonderful and friendly.
All in all, we had a wonderful vacation at Legends. My pre-vacation worry about not going all inclusive was unfounded. The restaurant at Legends, with Momma the cook, Andrea, Fiona and many other wonderful workers is an excellent place to eat But there are plenty of other dining choices nearby, especially Angela’s, that you should patronize. And I must present a final compliment to the Legend’s manager, Mr. Paul Wilson, who was very helpful in making our stay a success.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Legends Beach Resort is a beachfront boutique hotel situated directly on the famous 7-mile white sand beach in Negril, Jamaica. This friendly and intimate resort commands breathtaking views of the shimmering turquoise Caribbean Sea embraced by miles of powdery white sandy beach. Legends is located in a prime section of Negril within walking distance of shops, water sports, entertainment and local restaurants. The resort comprises two sections, one on the beach and one lushly gardened section across the street. Within the garden section is a large pool surrounded by a spacious sundeck. The beachside section also contains a small pool. Other hotel facilities include free Wi-Fi, gift shop, safety boxes at reception, massage treatments, and tour desk. The resort's beach frontage on Seven Mile Beach provides access to shallow, sandy-bottom water that remains calm in nearly all weather conditions. Complimentary roundtrip shuttles transport guests mornings and afternoons to partner resort, Samsara Resort, on Negril's famed seaside cliffs, where reefs providing snorkeling and scuba-diving directly off shore. This Jamaica resort offers 50 guestrooms arrayed on the sea side of the street extending through Negril parallel to the beach and across the street in a lushly gardened section. Buildings feature exteriors of pastels and vibrant colors. Ceiling fans and wood-louvered windows provide an alternative to rooms' air conditioning. Decor features tile floors, tropical-wood furniture, and richly colored fabrics. Fresh blossoms strewn about rooms greet guests on arrival. Coconut palms and lounge chairs with soft red cushions line the resort's frontage on Seven Mile Beach. Water-sport rentals, including jet skiing and parasailing, are available. Vibrantly colored buildings, blooming tropical gardens, and an open-air restaurant and beach bar manifest a friendly oasis to meet new friends, enjoy reggae music and discover exotic cocktails. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Legends Hotel Negril
- Legends Jamaica
- Legends Beach Resort Jamaica
- Legends Negril
- Legend Beach Resort Negril