I stayed with husband, son & his girlfriend here at the end of May. The situation is idyllic and the villa beautiful. The staff are really wonderful - Juicy could not be more attentive, caring and friendly - and he cooks well too! Christine is lovely and cleans the villa and Bentley makes you feel safe (though I never, for a minute, felt unsafe) by patrolling at night and waving as he passes down by the sparkling blue sea. The two dogs, Blackie and Lucky are delightful. They follow (if you want) and share the terrace & tidbits but never venture inside. We became very attached to them.
We were in Wild Grape - the newest of the 3 villas. (Sea Grape looks lovely too.) it is very private (staff ring a bell before they approach), surrounded by beautiful seagrape and bougainvillea. Birds, butterflies abound. The terrace is perfect for watching the Magnificent Frigate birds and the glorious sunsets - rum punch in hand.
The West End area of Negril still has charm, no pavements and minimal hassling. There is a friendly foodstore over the road - a windy LTU pub at the top of the hill to cool in and several local restaurants I'd recommend - Ivan's (our favourite) Rockhouse (best meal) & Pushcart (great rum punch in green coconuts!). All almost perfect.
Here's the non-perfect problem:
Next door at Negril Escape there was a very loud karaoke (more & more out of tune) till 1pm on our first night, We'd come from UK so were coping with jet-lag too.
On the Sat - enormous speakers by the fake windmill net door - pointing in our direction - heralded a Techno rave. We ate out but couldn't escape it. it went on till 2am - our walls shook, our beds shook, and our stomachs shook. Way above health & safety levels! You couldn't read, sleep, think. Son & I were on terrace, hugging each other at 1.30 am feeling as if we were being tortured - unable to hear each other speak. It wiped out Sunday for us.
Now - some people may like Techno - one group staying in Big Grape went over & joined in. That may be the only answer. Or to walk down the road until out of earshot and watch the sun come up...
The staff were really lovely and consoling next day and tried to find out why it had gone on so late but apparently the gig had obtained a permit. The owners were also great - Marc emailed, was kind & concerned & did his best to make things right by us.
It is not the fault of the villas and I know they will be trying to solve this problem - and I really hope they will. No-one else has mentioned this, so I can only assume that the enormous woofer speakers & late hours are new. If it hadn't been for this (not un-small problem for us) this would have been a 5 star review for sure.)
By the time you read this - things may have changed - but if you don't want anything to spoil your peace - bear this in mind. Having said that, I doubt anywhere on Negril is very quiet - especially at weekends -and on the Thurs, Fri, Sun, Mon, Tues - the peace was perfect...(though we never completely relaxed in case it happened again) So it still may be the most idyllic spot around.
End of May gave us beautiful mornings, snorkelling from our private ladder into the clear sea (watch for jellyfish in the evenings), with rain most afternoons (which was welcome) high humidity from time to time & lots of mozzies - but all to be expected & didn't spoil the hols. The storms at night made for a spectacular light show from our terrace. (Also fireflies!)
Son & girlfriend did an advanced diving course with the excellent Marine Life Divers (PADI)
we did - in spite of the neighbours - have a lovely holiday.