Citronella was everything I had envisioned based on my internet research and more. We stayed in the Cave House, and within the first minutes of being on the property we agreed this would be a yearly ritual.
First, there's the beautiful property itself. Words and pictures do not do justice to the experience of standing on your PRIVATE front porch and realizing that your 180 degree view is the turquoise blue ocean. It IS your front yard at the Cave House. The gardens throughout the entire property are filled with gorgeous flowers, plants, birds, lizards, etc. Everything is simply beautiful.
Then there's the staff. Trevor provided top notch guest services from running out to refill our supply of Red Stripe for us when we didn't want to leave the property to getting us charcoal and starting our fire so we could grill the king mackerel we caught that day while fishing with Duke, a local fisherman (check out Winter Fresh Fishing) and his helper Alex, a local spear fisherman. He checked in daily, but was never a burden. Claudette cooked us amazing breakfast every morning at the Main House. She was very sweet and her cooking was delicious. Millie and Ann Marie (I believe that was her name) were so friendly and nice when they came to clean our house each day.
Outside of Citronella you will face dealing with the locals trying to sell you souveneirs, fruit, etc., which can be a pain. The best thing to do is kindly say no thank you and keep walking if you're not interested. I considered this a very minor inconvenience as part of the entire experience.
LTU Pub right next door had this awesome soup (I think it was pumpkin?). The food was good and fairly priced and the staff was friendly. We checked out Rick's Café and it was not a place I will ever visit again. Too Americanized, service was horrible, food was not good and way overpriced. Some might enjoy it, but it was not for me.
We did find an unexpected place to eat/drink that I will go back to faithfully called Murphy's. Leniel was simply the best. We were the only customers and we sat and chatted with him for hours like we had all known each other forever. He taught us how to braid hammocks, and I bought one from him as well. We had jerk chicken to go one night and I regret not trying it on the first night as I'm pretty sure we would've eaten every night. Another night he made us some custom fish and shrimp dinners which were simply amazing. I cannot say enough about our experience at Murphy's thanks to Leniel. We will be back soon!
Most days went like this: wake up around 7am (and trust me I am not a morning person), eat breakfast at the Main House around 8am. Relax on our porch for a few hours taking in the beautiful ocean view reading a book or lazing in the hammock. Maybe even slip in a few Red Stripes...Spend the afternoon cliff jumping/swimming/snorkeling. Hang out on the porch some more or explore the West End. Decide on plans for dinner then eat, drink, & be merry. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset and nod off to sleep listening to the ocean waves crashing into the cliffs. Wake up, start all over wishing it would never end.
I look forward to visiting Negril for years to come, and Citronella will always be our place. I have no desire to check out any other "resort". Hands down, the Citronella experience the way to enjoy an authentic Jamaican vacation.