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Charela Inn / Le Vendome
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Reviews (521)
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Reviewed April 14, 2013

Now I get what Seven Mile Beach is about... a beautiful white sand beach where you can walk 2 to 3 miles in either direction. A laid back atmosphere with small hotels, inns and cabins interspersed with cheap to more expensive restaurants. Local sellers of everything from jet ski rental, snorkeling, jewelry, coco bread, fruit, smokes, music, horseback riding, shells, wood craft, massage...

This was our first time in Jamaica and I chose the Charela Inn for our 7 day vacation after reviewing the comments here on Trip Advisor. I have no regrets. Charela is NOT a resort. So if you require fancy pools, a jacuzzi, food available 24/7, a fancy bathroom, chose Couples or Beaches down the way. However if you can set aside those needs you might just fall in love with the Charela Inn.

I booked this trip about 1 month in advance (through Orbits) and all that was left was a garden view room #215. I also booked the round trip bus ride (about 1.5 hours) with JTL Tours Limited. We decided not to go all inclusive because of the various food options along the beach. All of these ended up being good choices.

Our room was on the 2nd floor up a flight of stairs very close to the restaurant and an easy, short walk to the beach - so close I was pretty much barefoot the entire week. What I loved about the room is beautiful older pine woodwork and that we could keep our double doors and windows to the balcony open the entire time. We never used the air conditioning. No need with the ceiling fan. The view out to the garden is just beautiful. I didn't miss the ocean view. I relaxed just as easily looking at the flowers and birds in the garden.

The room was clean and the king-sized bed very comfortable. The TV is an old 19", but who is watching TV on vacation? Get over it. Yup, the bathroom is ordinary. But the toilet flushed fine, the shower worked with good pressure and I could drink the tap water. The only thing I wished we had was a coffee maker in the room. Even though the kitchen didn't open until 7:30AM, the wait staff was very accommodating when my husband would show up at 7AM requesting a large pot of coffee.

One thing I should mention is noise... we were next to the Idle Inn - a bar and 8 room Inn. We were also above the kitchen and near the restaurant opening to the beach. Sometimes people were loud walking through the garden back to their room. Also, if there was music down the beach you could hear that. Lastly, the smell - I think some of the smoking, cooking of meat goes on during the night. I often woke up to the smell of meat cooking. I believe any place you stay you will smell cookers.

Charela Inn has a really great beach front with very happy security folks that can give great ideas for services on the beach from snorkeling to sailing to massage, etc... And one of the only beaches with 'real' palm trees for shade! If you want to be away from the beach vendors, just pull your chairs back closer to the building.

Some of the services we took advantage of: Mike's Glass Bottom Boat. Mike is friendly and professional and he and his partner Jeffery took just the two of us to a snorkeling spot. Jeffery proceeded to jump into the water with us and took us around to the points of interest while we snorkeled until we were tired.

We also rented the sail boat that sits on the property. The gentleman that rents it will take you out first to show you how to sail and then you can go on your own or he will stay with you - what ever you chose.

I took advantage of a massage from Cindy. She charges about $1 per hour. I had a 1 hour massage and it was FABULOUS. The best part was that instead of having 'mood music' you have the waves crashing right there, AND, she hums / sings in a beautiful, soothing chanting voice the entire time. I walked out of there feeling like a million bucks!

A couple of opportunities for the staff: Having never been to Jamaica, it would have been great to have a short welcome package. The hours of operation - when meals are served. History of Charela Inn, important staff members, ideas for activities around the area, a map of the area.

I already wrote a review for Le Vendome Restaurant, but I'd like to add here that the wait staff is awesome, willing to please and always friendly. We walked past them several times a day going from the beach and back to the room, and they always warmly greeted us.

We had a terrific week at the Charela Inn, and after walking nearly all 7 miles of the beach I am sure we picked the right hotel for our stay in Negril.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cmclauss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

The Inn has more beach frontage than other hotels on the beach. It is not one of the mega all inclusive resorts which I do not like to stay in. Why go to Jamaica only to hide with other Americans in some guarded prison-like concrete buildings...the only plus being that they are on nice stretches of beach. Charela is a lovely place with trees for shade on the beach, a fantastic restaurant, an incredibly friendly helpful staff, more amenities than some of the less expensive hotels on the beach in Negril. Nicer furnishings, better bathrooms with tub if you happen to care about that, which I do. The Inn offered to rent a car for us. This is very expensive in Jamaica. Might as well rent at the airport...same price as in Negril. The hotel also has a driver who will take you places if you don't want to rent a car. Or you can just stay put on the beach and relax without a car and enjoy relaxing. I have stayed in several other places in Negril. The West End hotels are very nice too...but more cliff than sandy beaches. I will be returning to the Charela Inn as soon as I can. .

Room Tip: Beach view was great with balcony. But pricey. Garden view would have been just as nice. It is a quiet place except for birds and ocean.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank molly j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Talk about feeling right at home! From Caroline and Granville at the front desk to Francilla and Alice and Ashley in the dining room to Jean in housekeeping to Lifeguard Shamar on the beach... Charela was our home for 6 nights and it was wonderful from beginning to end! Need something? Simply ask and it's done.
HELPFUL TIPS:
1) Order the fresh red snapper with coconut sauce in the Charela dining room..yummy!
2) Use sunscreen every single minute on the beach,even while in the shade. That sun can scorch. Ouch!
3) Solicitors on the beach are not aggressive. State politely that you're not interested and they will move on. (Although their fresh fruits, juices, and lunch offerings are a good bargain).
4) Get hotel recommendation before signing up for water excursions. The Red Stripe Catamaran Sunset Cruise is a blast. Boat leaves from the Boat Bar right down the beach. Only $50 a person; a good value.
5) Take a cab and visit the Rockhouse Hotel for stunning views, spa treatments and authentic Jamaican food in the Pushcart Restaurant.
6) Rick's Cafe for sunset and cliff jumping (observe or participate.. a must!) Food is a little pricey and "chainy" but you can always eat elsewhere before or after.
7) Beach walking from Charela: if you're facing the water, head to the right; the left end is a little seedy, although interesting..!
8) Relax and enjoy Jamaica!

Room Tip: Room 200 (seaside) had water pressure problems and some noise from the beach at night, but usually not past 10pm. If they fix the shower, it's the perfect room!
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PJCline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

My husband and I just spent 29 days at the Charela Inn and loved every moment. The staff, from the front desk ladies to the resturant staff, to the beach attendents..well..they are the BEST ! We had a garden room which was lovely. The bathroom could use some updates. The pool was great to get into around 3 when we came up from the beach. Food was soo delicious, my husband loved the pasta. You have to try the chocolate cake...mmmm..I have been going to JA for 40 years and stayed at the Charela when they had only 10 rooms. We will sure stay there again, in fact dont want to stay anywhere elss. Its quiet and the guest are manly older ( we are 64 and 71 yrs old) The beach is beautiful, just as the Jamaican people. Its very safe there, no worries. The gardens are gorgeous with sounds of the birds and at nite the tree frogs and crickets. If you go to Negril..stay at the Charela...you will be happy you did !!!! The entertainment was great, and Friday nites the owner and staff put on a cocktail party with yummy food and drinks for all the quests. We will return !!!

Room Tip: The upper garden room is where we stayed, which was lovely. We would take that room again.There is a spiral staircase that u have to take, which might be hard for some ppl. Our room had a very quiet a/c, balcony was big with a view of the gardens and pool
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank DebbieandSandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay here! This charming hotel is right in the middle of the action on 7 mile Beach, and you don't have to deal with scores of annoying people at the all inclusives (unless you walk up that way). Charela was very charming, with very comfortable yet simple dwellings (the rooms have a/c, a safe, tv, and a hair dryer). We walked the beach and soon realized that Charela is definitely one of the nicer hotels along the beach (some of the competing hotels looked really ratty and beat up. We were relived to be staying at Charela!).

The hotel is right on the beach, so you don't need to have an ocean view room. Also, the ocean view rooms are closest to the restaurant, so you will hear more activity from dining patrons, musical guests, or anyone on the beach. We were very happy with our secluded garden view room, and just had a 30 second walk out to the beach when ever we liked.

Most guests come out in the morning and secure their beach chairs for the day, so it's good to get up early and do the same, then get some breakfast. The beach area has an attendant to help with chairs and watching over belongings (we met both Ruben and Shemare were super nice!!). You are also welcome to sit out in the chairs and watch the sunset too.

I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: I liked the garden view rooms because they were more quiet and private.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank LillyfromLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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