We stayed at Rondel Village in July, 2014. I travel weekly for work and frequently one or another member of my family accompanies me. As “road warriors” we tend to look for several things – cleanliness, accommodating attitude, reasonable pricing.
Lobby/Public Rooms: The lobby and public rooms of the Rondel Village were welcoming, clean, orderly and spacious. The lobby has an internet room adjacent, but we did not use it.
Grounds/Security/Parking – We were impressed at the security and parking was ample. It was a bit strange that one of our rooms was located on the other side of the road and the kids had to cross the road to get to the villa, not something that ws made clear when we booked.
Front Desk – Rondel Village still utilizes the paper folio and you have to request it at check out. A Wi-Fi fee of 5.00 per day and safe rental fee of 5.00 per day seems a bit gouging. Charges were correct, so the whole process is just the way we like it – no hassle. We found the service at the front desk courteous and helpful, but were flabbergasted that they wanted us to sign a blank credit card slip imprinted with our number (tantamount to signing a “blank check”) in this day and age of security breaches and privacy concerns. We politely refused and the clerk advised that they would charge an additional $100.00 fee for “incidentals”. They never did charge this fee, band after paying the whole $2,700.00 charge for a two-room villa up front, We thought this was a bit much. We have no problem leaving a credit card on file, but a blank slip is a blatant invitation for trouble. Bear in mind that that these are, after all, ‘Mom & Pop” beach hotels, not the major chains with huge cash flow and credit lines that we’re used to in the state, hence they are understandably more cautious. They are reasonable about this and will work with you to make you comfortable. One caveat - We called and asked the clerk for a recomenadation for a pizza place and she told us to look it up on the internet! When we pressed her, we were told she did not know – she was new to the area and the job. I’d expect that there would be some reference material in the room or at least at the front desk–nothing. And a clerk who was so unhelpful, leaving us to figure it out on our own was not appreciated.
Room Service/Food – There is no room service, however we did use the beach restaurant. We found the wait staff attentive and accommodating. We ordered lunch for three and it was the best service we received in our entire stay in Jamaica. We chose to leave 20% gratuity. Lunch for three was 54.00 USD – reasonable considering its Negril and we had 1 breakfast and 2 lunch entrees.
Atmosphere – we found the staffs amiable and constantly offering assistance. Throughout the stay, service was prompt and non-intrusive.
Bell Staff/Valet/Security – Very helpful with transportation, directions, getting ice and luggage. Each guest gets a green armband which clashed with all my outfits, but we liked the idea they are so watchful and security conscious.
Villa: We rented a one bedroom villa on the beach located with a garden view close to the pool. The location was steps from the beach, quiet and we liked that we could keep an eye on the girls while they swam during our dinner preparation.
A. Main room: We found the living room/kitchen area to be clean and spacious, especially if you move your dining table out to the porch. We opted to bring ours in after 2 days since we could use it for our laptop when not eating meals. Also, it was a bit tight on the porch with the table for 4 people and on humid days it was unbearable to eat out there. We were mystified that there was no desk for laptop use in the living room area and that the living room furniture was upholstered in plastic since it’s hot and you tend to stick to it. The floors are tile, the porch and steps as well - very slippery when wet, which they frequently were from the pool and frequent cleaning. We finally just asked for towels to be left outside several days which saved us slipping and sliding part of the time.
B. Kitchen: The kitchen part of the villa was disappointing, considering that we paid so much money because we wanted to be able to cook meals. It was “lacking the rudimentary necessities for cooking” to put it nicely. Kitchen pots and pans were something I’d pitch in the trash – Teflon coating scraped off the bottom of the one medium pan (clearly they have not learned that Teflon scratched and peeling is a health hazard) loose handle on the small pot we used to heat hot water. Our maid did take the largest pan out to be scrubbed up, but it was not a great pan to start with so cooking was a hardship. One cabinet for dish storage left you with no place to store food. We left some food on the countertop out of necessity the first night, but the next morning there was a suspicious bite out of the spiced bread. So we spent time washing the shelves, moving the plates and replacing them with our food. The kitchen space is large enough that it can accommodate a separate cabinet on the wall for food storage, so it seems parsimonious that there’s nothing to store food, so your counter space is crowded with food stored and in the way when trying to prepare a meal all week long. Since we removed the plates and put in the food, we had to wash every plate before and after we used it, which was an unnecessary hassle – we were religious about cleaning up after every meal because we did not want to attract any more visitors. The blender and toaster oven were filthy, so we had to give them a good scrub and both were obviously worn past efficacy. The pitcher was nicked and looked dirty –when we asked for another one, we got an ice bucket!! We tended to eat out as the days went on more and more since there was not an adequate kitchen. The refrigerator was small for food for 4 people staying ten days and this necessitated us having to make multiple trips to the market, wasting precious vacation time grocery shopping. Next time we’ll buy paper plates, prepared food, bring a cooler, and skip renting the villa to get the kitchen and save 800.00.
C. Bedroom: The closet was ample, and a separate closet for luggage storage and ironing board was great. We found that room to be generally well kept – again tile floors were slippery when wet so we resorted to covering them with towels as we used them each day, Runners next to the bed were adequate. The king bed was very comfortable. There were no down/feather pillows, which we prefer, but we bought two at Basho. There are plenty of plugs conveniently accessible for all our electronic media; the night stand lamps are good.
D. Safe: The placement of the safe was in the main closet inconveniently behind all the hanging clothing, necessitating a “dive” into the closet every time you needed to retrieve something. We were angsted out to learn that the safe is so small – we specifically called and asked if it would accommodate a tablet/small laptop and were told “yes. Well it’s not large enough to store a tablet, let alone a laptop– you can count on perhaps 7”x 8” as nothing can sit against the edges or it won’t close. The keys are large and bulky so carrying them around on a lanyard was “interesting”. The safe was secure, but too small.
E. Bathroom: The shower is consistent with hot water and good pressure. We appreciate the large counter and extra towel racks – there are plenty of drawers for cosmetics but no makeup mirror or outlet in the main bathroom, which is inconvenient when trying to use a hair appliance. This made getting ready to go out a “moving process” - first a shower in the bathroom, then hair styling in the bedroom where you can plug into an outlet near a mirror and finally makeup application in the bathroom off the living room because it had the best light and a mirror you could get close enough to so as to efficiently and evenly apply eye makeup. The Jacuzzi was a treat, but we found the lack of railings of concern as all the controls were on the outside and required you to walk along the edge to reach them when entering from the bathroom. The door leading into the bathroom actually jammed leaving us stranded until other members of our party arrived to rescue us after an hour. We were careful not to close it when using it again- having the Jacuzzi is overkill since there’s one down in the main pool area just steps away– again, no railings so you can safely descend into the water is a detriment.
F. HVAC – we had issues with the AC not working well and so had to take time out of our vacation to stay there and let the maintenance guy come in and figure it out. We had water dripping in the kitchen and no AC in the bedroom. He works late each day, so getting him there when we were there was inconveneit. He’s a nice guy and genuinely tried to help. Turns out we were not working the control in the bedroom correctly so it was a quick fix. Some directions on how to operate would have been good.
G. Housekeeping – Unlike a great many hotels, whether we left a tip or not, the room was impeccably maintained - down to not moving things we asked to be left in place, the number of towels we requested and other special accommodations. In the villas, the maid prepares one meal per day for you if asked – we were not told this at booking and had Donna not mentioned it, we would not have known. She prepared two meals for us and was generally amiable, very helpful with the girls. We would want her on our next trip as well. Friendly, welcoming staffs and amenable to all requests.
Visitors – Visitors have to be registered to the room, they need to leave ID even when just stopping by, This was a hassle, but understandable since they are security conscious.
In summary, a great place to stay for a reasonable room rate if you’re just renting a room. If a villa is what you're looking for, and just want a living room, ok - consider other options if you truly want to cook meals in.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rondel Village is an exclusive beachfront resort on Negril's beautiful seven mile beach. This unique property offers privacy and tranquility in spacious, elegant accommodations, amidst lush tropical gardens. An enchanting paradise where service is personalized and the surroundings are comfortable and relaxing. Rondel Village has 56 rooms each named after individual Jamaican fruits. We have an Environmental Management System and our goals are to enhance the Environment and help to secure the long-term sustainability of the Tourism Industry and our Citizens. A prototype of indigenous Negril Architecture. Spacious, octagonal shaped beach villas with kitchens and private whirlpool spas. Beachfront and superior rooms on the beachside, garden rooms adjacent to the swimming pool and jacuzzi across the street from the beach. Services include Rondel Restaurant & Bar and The Village Spa, our full service spa and salon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rondel Village Negril
- Rondel Village Hotel Negril