I stayed at the Westender in March. I have spent years traveling international and stayed at hotels mainly 3-star international to 5-star stateside. My first time in Jamaica, I stayed in an all-inclusive in Montego Bay. Due to increasing prices, economic turmoil, and a great deal from Living Social, I decided to forego the all-inclusive and stay “off the beaten path”.
And off the beaten path it definitely was! Traveling to the Westender will leave you tired, so you will be grateful for the relaxation upon arrival. I traveled with a “friend” (wink, wink), which really helped to enjoy the quiet solitude of the Westender. I almost always travel by myself, and I cannot say I would have come to the Westender had I not been with someone else. It’s just too quiet, and there is nothing immediately close by. I feel uncomfortable always depending on a taxi or the hotel shuttle. And it wasn’t super convenient to leave the hotel to go into town. So, bringing a travel partner to the Westender made this trip the best I’ve ever had in all my years of traveling!
March is a great time to travel, and Negril is the perfect place anytime! You can get a great price and not have to worry about Spring Break travelers. It’s quiet in all the areas and the perfect place to relax with zero worries. The weather is perfect. It rained once for about 10 minutes, even though there were dark gray clouds every day.
As I mentioned, traveling to the Westender is an excursion in itself. I booked through Clive’s Transportation. I’ll review Clive’s separately. However, it was 90 minutes from the airport to the hotel on windy roads. The Westender is *far*...far...far...lol. First there is Negril, then the 7-mile beach, then the cliffs...and then the Westender Inn. We arrived at night, and the gracious receptionist Renee was waiting for us. It almost felt like she was a sister worried because we hadn’t come home yet. Very welcoming, and we were ready to relax as soon as we walked on the hotel grounds. We were given a nice room on the first floor, which was very nice and very fixed up...but I asked for the room on the second floor because even though it was smaller, and the bed was a Queen, it had a hammock and the view was better. A queen bed is not the end of the world. Honestly, any room on the grounds was great.
The room had free wifi, private bath, drawer and closet space, and a small television with (drumroll) DirecTV. The room is very simple, but clean and refreshing. The staff cleans and sprays, so no bugs to worry about. There’s an outside balcony with a hammock to swing. The room has it’s own background music--that is, the sounds of the waves crashing on the cliffs. Very soothing, and most days we turned off the television to be able to hear the waves better. The grounds are nicely kept. Nothing fancy, just nice and simple, not “manufactured” like the all-inclusive resorts. There are two freshwater pools, and the huge ocean of course. Folks went scuba diving and even swimming in the choppy waters. There is a restaurant close by, and it was nice walking over there to chat with Kenesha, Kemar, and Sheldon. Just a wonderful relaxing time. Breakfast every day was delicious. Pancakes for me, with a side of fruit. Most days we didn’t even leave the hotel for lunch, and just ate again at the restaurant. The prices of the restaurant were more on the higher side. Better prices could be found along the cliffs and beaches, if you’re up to venturing out. However, all the food anywhere we went to was great. I have a vegetarian pallet, so it was harder to find unique dishes without meat. Most of the time I had the rice and peas and some callaloo or other veggies.
The staff was pretty nice. Laid back and unpretentious. From the reception, to the restaurant, to the shuttle (Jermaine), every was nice, relaxed and just friendly. I was happy to be there and didn’t want to leave.
Negril overall is the best place, and I realized I enjoyed hanging out at the cliffs way more than any beach. I just love the water and watching the sunset was the best part of most days. We found ourselves rushing to a restaurant just to catch the sunset. Highlights of our days.
More great things about the stay at the Westender Inn was the local massage therapist who visited the hotel occasionally to give massages right outside. Tara was an excellent masseuse, and I had the best massage ever.
This is an awesome place to relax and just chill out. Once again, I wouldn’t travel to this hotel by myself since it’s so far and so quiet, but with the right companion, it’s a great visit.