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Resort or doing it yourself?

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New York City, New...
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Resort or doing it yourself?

Hi everyone, my boyfriend and I are graduate students, and we are looking to get away this January. After some research, I've decided on Negril, the beach looks amazing.

My question is, I have never done an all-inclusive/group type vacation, I've always been a very independent traveler, studying the local language before I go, renting a car, doing it all myself, etc etc. But this winter both my boyfriend and I need to study. So, our plan is to hit the books, just on the beach.

First of all - is this a reasonable plan? Second of all, should we just do an all-inclusive resort, so that we won't have to plan anything, save time, etc? I was looking into Couples Swept Away, which sounds appealing, but it also looks like there's a lot of cheap hotels on the beach. All we really want to do is get a chair on the beach and stay there all day, reading (perhaps with headphones). Do the benefits of the all-inclusive outweigh simply getting a hotel? We won't be doing too many activities.

What would people recommend? Thanks!

Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

In my opinion.... All-inclusive is the way to go if you plan on drinking... a lot.

Plenty of inexpensive hotels and lots of dining options.

Good Luck!

Chambersburg...
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2. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

If you do not feel you will be utilizing the advantages of an AI it may not be economical for you to chose an AI. When my husband and I went to Sandals we made a point of doing enough activities, dinners, drinks and entertainment to get out monies worth and figured we saved approx $25 a day in comparison to paying for each thing we did. But if you think you are only eating/drinking minimal and pretty much just parking on a beach for a week, the perhaps it would be most cost effective for you to not chose an AI

The benefits of an AI like Sandals and Couples is only beneficial if you plan on taking advantage of it.

Bodega, California
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3. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

I'm a DIY girl myself. If you've never done an AI and prefer a more cultural and "real" experience (while at the same time resting on the cliff and beach and studying) I'd stick to what you know - there are hundreds of small non-AI properties in Negril - have at it!

Milwaukee, WI.
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4. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

A quieter section of 7 mile is Bloody Bay. Lots less foot traffic and hustlers.

For peace and quiet at an a/I, I'd recommend Sunset at the Palms.

Apache Junction...
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for Montego Bay
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5. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

AI's are nice. But they aren't for everyone or every vacation. For what you say you are planning on doing, find a nice, inexpensive hotel, possibly with a kitchenette and go for it.

The only thing I would recommend "doing yourself" is driving (unless you have a lot of experience driving outside the US..) . Hire a driver to take you to your hotel.

Deadwood, South...
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6. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

Your plan sounds reasonable. AI's are so expensive, and IMO only worth it if you drink a lot or have kids that eat a lot. It doesn't sound like you'll be drinking a lot, and by your description, you don't really sound like the AI type. Most places on beach and cliffs are within walking distance to great places to eat. I don't have much experience with staying on the cliffs, but the north end of Long Beach is more quiet. Maybe look at Country, Country, Negril Tree House, Seasand or Crystal Waters Villas. Bloody Bay has some larger AI's but is a great location. I liked staying at Our Past Time Villas. I know it very busy this time of the year, so hopefully you'll find something. Good luck!

Edited: 2:53 pm, December 10, 2013
Kingston, Canada
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7. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

Have a look at www.negrilonestop.com for ideas and check the map in www.negrilinfo.com to see all of the resorts. BTW, do NOT rent a car.

United States
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11,074 posts
115 reviews
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8. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

"First of all - is this a reasonable plan?"

Yes.

"All we really want to do is get a chair on the beach and stay there all day, reading (perhaps with headphones)."

There are many hotels on the beach where you can do this.

"Do the benefits of the all-inclusive outweigh simply getting a hotel?"

It all depends on what you want to do at an all inclusive resort.

"We won't be doing too many activities."

If you do not want to do many activities and do not want to drink a lot (especially premium brands of liquor) then avoid the all inclusive resorts. At an all inclusive you pay for the activities and the open bar even if you do not use the features.

"What would people recommend?"

The first place I might look is Rooms Negril. It has a good beach, a pool, a micro sized gym, and a small restaurant/bar (breakfast is included in the room price but other meals and drink are extra cost). For a very low cost option look at Secrets Cabins which only offers rooms (but at very low price) and the beach.

Lakeland, Florida
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9. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

Couples is one of the more expensive a/i's. You could still do an a/i, and not do one that expensive. There is something really extremely RELAXING about not worrying about where you are going out to eat tonight, not worrying about figuring how much to tip, whether you're going to have dessert or not, or another drink, somewhat based on how much it costs. There is something really nice about not even having to carry a wallet with you to meals. If you're going to VACATION and you want to enjoy the people and the countryside and the experience of being in another country and having those experiences, you can do it on your own. If you really, REALLY want to concentrate on just studying, but being able to do it on a glorious beach, an a/i may be for you.

Apache Junction...
Destination Expert
for Montego Bay
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10,635 posts
13 reviews
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10. Re: Resort or doing it yourself?

If you really want to just grab a chair and study all day without being bothered, maybe consider somewhere on the cliffs.