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First Trip to Negril

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Grand Rapids...
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First Trip to Negril

Planning my first trip to Negril, Jamaica in mid August 2013 (5 nights). We plan to experience different local food and drinks so we are leaning towards a non AI setup. I have read great reviews about the Idle Awhile hotel. Looking for a good balance between one on one time and party time.


Is it worth it to go for a cheaper AI just to cover drinks? We pan to almost always eat outside the resort.

If we go the non AI route, how much money should be budgeted for food and drink(2 people) per day?

Any recommended excursions?

Recommendations for travel around the island? I have read it will be a 1.5hr taxi ride from the airport.

Please offer any additional thoughts. Thanks!

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1. Re: First Trip to Negril

Would suggest non-AI is the way to go, so many good (and many inexpensive) restaurants to try. You can stock up on drinks (beer, rum etc) at the grocery store. We usually budget $100 per day each but that includes other spending - scooter rental, some shopping etc. For 2 people you can probably budget $100-$150 total per day for food and drink. There are places where good meals can be found for $25-$30 for two, breakfast closer to $10-$15. We have days we spend less than $100 for us both for food and drink (and we are not small eaters!)

It is approx. 1.5 hrs from airport.

You can check out some excursion options on www.negrilonestop.com

Happy to help out with any other questions you may have, feel free to send me a personal message.

United States
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2. Re: First Trip to Negril

"Any recommended excursions?"

For excursions see the following


"I have read it will be a 1.5hr taxi ride from the airport."

You have many options to get to/from the airport. See the following


NIagara Falls...
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3. Re: First Trip to Negril

You can't drink enough or eat enough to make all-inclusive a bargain. Unless you needed specialty frosted ice-cream or slurpie type drinks; buy bottles and mix and get some ice from the bar and enjoy youself on your patio or balcony. If you like the bar; have a couple of drinks there as well.

A Negril hotel owner told me that nobody wins on the all-inclusive option. He's buying his alcohol, beer, and food wholesale and the average labour costs in Negril are quite low.

There are so many really delicious things to experience. Go to the Juici Patti near the Round-a-bout and have lunch with the locals. A couple of beef, cheese, veg or other pattys with a box (carton) drink will cost you about 3 bucks North American money.

Most of the resorts either cliffs or beach will welcome lunch, breakfast or dinner customers and some will even provide transport from your hotel for free (tip).

Don't go all-inclusive unless you don't plan to leave the property or just don't want the hassle or a little effort at self-catering the drinks.

NIagara Falls...
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4. Re: First Trip to Negril

You are travelling in August and it's going to be hot; very hot.

Make sure you have a nice air conditioned room and air conditioned transport on your excursions.

We hired a trusted driver (Tony Smith) to take us through St. Elizabeth Parish where the emphasis is on farming and agriculture and the country is quite beautiful. In addition, Tony took us to Jakes in Treasure Beach for an ice cream and beverage stop, to a Rasta's farm where we sampled wonderful exotic produce like a star apple, jackfruit, fresh juices.

We also visited the Appleton Rum Factory on that journey and had the 15 dollar lunch there and it was great. So was the rum tasting.

I don't have Tony's number ( he also provides airport transfers) but you can reach him through Seastar Inn where he was the driver of choice until Seastar got their own bus.

Tony is a careful driver, and keeps his equippment in top condition and is quite reasonable.

But there are many drivers to choose from that are equally good.

Edited: 10:01 pm, March 16, 2013
Grand Rapids...
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5. Re: First Trip to Negril

Thank you all, very helpful info!

Fort Mitchell...
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6. Re: First Trip to Negril

If you have reservations at Idle Awhile I would use them. Wonderful experience from start to finish every time. Enjoy your time.


san francisco
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7. Re: First Trip to Negril

Wow. I am really amazed so many people said not to go AI. Historically this has been an AI leaning Forum. I agree completely. Go independently. It is much more interesting and there are so many places to stop and have a bite and drink why would you want to limit yourself because you have already paid??? Usually I stay at a place with a frige and buy bevs at stores to fill it up with so I can grab a cold red stripe or mix a rum drink when I want one. I also love the frozen rum drinks at Idle Awhile. They are yummy and pack a real punch. There are pattie places and jerk places all along the beach that are cheap and good. You can eat at places like Sips and Bites and Ras Rodys for very little and have authentic Jamaican home cooked meals. You can also splurge at some of the fancier places like Ivans and Rockhouse. I tend to do at least one or two splurges a trip and then eat roadside. It's all good.

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8. Re: First Trip to Negril

IA is the hotel on the beach that we go to every year, it's hard not to fall in love with it.

Nashville, Tennessee
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9. Re: First Trip to Negril

Franklinda is so right. It will be hot, hot, hot. AC will be a primary concern, if heat bothers you. It is always important to read descriptions of accommodations carefully, because some rooms are not air-conditioned. If there is AC, it will be mentioned in the description. All rooms at IA have AC. IA does not have a pool. But, it is on the best part of the beach. You will definitely want to be in the water often to stay cool. Will be at IA in 3 weeks.

Ormond Beach...
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10. Re: First Trip to Negril

Agree 100% re: air conditioning - a must-have IMHO. For taxi, we've used a driver named Biggs dozens of times. Great fellow - punctual, easygoing, excellent safe driver, etc... His # is 876-410-0536. Price is $60/couple each way from MoBay to Negril. You can call (him or anyone else) a week or 2 ahead of time to arrange to be met at the airport. With any driver you're not familiar with, ALWAYS agree on the price before getting into any cab. Enjoy!!