I briefly hesitated at doing a repeat review of this resort; I was waiting for some new adjectives to be invented to aptly describe yet another adventure in paradise! But given my love and sincere admiration for this property, it would be a crime not to, once again, give it the props it truly deserves. My mantra; 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and that also seems to be the brand and marketing strategy of this amazing treasure called CoCo LaPalm, the gem of Negril. Ok, I admit I am biased and more than partial; since 2000, this was my 7th trip to Jamaica, my 3rd trip to Negril (3 1/2 if you count the day trip from MoBay in 2000) and my 2nd stay at CoCo. I was scheduled for some surgery and needed a quick getaway and the selection of CoCo for a 4 day/3 night "quickie" was a no brainer. Having previously visited in 2004, my return to the property was more than the traditional Jamaican 'welcome home'. There is a feeling that embraces you once you go under the welcoming archway and it takes you in and holds onto you beyond checkout (and I have to warn you; checking out can be somewhat an emotional experience- I suggested they keep a box of kleenex at the front desk for those of us who actually do get a little verklempt at having to leave as this experience WILL have a profound, lifelong affect on you!) As an HR Manager in the hospitality industry, when I travel, I always zoom in on the employees of a resort because how the staff is treated by management and property owners is, in turn, reflected in how they treat their guests and in this case the standard and level of service at CCLP is exemplary and that by which all others should be measured. The overall feeling and experience is like being invited to the summer beach home of a dear and lifelong friend. There is nothing this staff will not do to make your stay more memorable and enjoyable. The grounds, the beach, the property are well maintained and are post card perfect. My room, #523 a deluxe king, was spacious, cleaned daily, always had hot water with great pressure and "arctic level" air conditioners! It was off the beaten path and had a private little patio perfect for, let's just say "enjoying some traditional Jamaican vegetation" (wink!) The food and beverage service both at the restaurant and at the beach bar was 'Jamaican style' :we will take care of you but it's on OUR time and I had 'no problem' with that! Case in point; you order a chef's salad at your typical restaurant and the chef goes to the walk in refrigerator, pulls out a date stamped bowl of greens probably produced the night before, slaps on a piece of ham, a morsel of cheese and calls it a day. Not at CCLP; when a guest placed her order at the beach bar, I observed the female chef (who's name escapes me) make a several trips to the refrigerator to hand cut each ingredient and arrange it perfectly in a bowl as if we were sitting in her kitchen at her own home! Now that's what CCLP is all about! A few shout outs to some key staff members who contributed to a wonderful time; GM Willam Vassell, Housekeeping Mgr, Miss B and Front Desk Agent Keriann; thanks for a wonderful Manager's Reception on the 4th of July (despite Debby the Drunk girl!); Thanks to Michelle at the beach bar, Kedora at Marleys, Tokeshia for the amazing beach massage, to Gibson and Dixon, the AM/PM beach security team (great conversation w/ Dixon!) and to Brent and TC, for the insanely fun "private" glass bottom boat ride...ya mon, dat was da bomb! Other highlights; the guests I met, especially renowned artist Waif Mullins and wife Beth from Chico, CA; the fish strips lunch special at Sunset Beach (ask for Sofia), Al's jerk chicken across the street at Best of the West...that name is not by accident! (I did had a less than pleasant dining experience at Ivan's@ Catch A Falling Star - see review- however, the management responded quickly stating the head chef had called out sick and offered complimentary drinks and dinner upon my return to Negril!) The ONLY negative on this trip was something totally out of CCLP's control; the construction noise from the property renovations next door, formerly For Real, soon to be Sandy Haven. CoCo LaPalm....thank you and MUCH RESPECT!!
And my advice to those reading this contemplating your first trip to Jamaica..GO, just GO and do not forget the strongest insect repellent possible - the morning/evening sand fleas are vicious! But most important, just remember one thing; don't be a tourist...be a GUEST...embrace the culture, embrace the people, embrace the laid back lifestyle...and it will embrace you right back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- CocoLaPalm Resort was established in 1994 and is the largest of the small hotels in Negril, Jamaica. We are a family resort located on a beautiful expanse of Negril's 7-Mile Beach, with non-motorized water sports, mouthwatering cuisine and exciting entertainments for the convenience of our guests. We invite you to come and claim your spot at CocoLaPalm, we'll keep you coming back for more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cocolapalm Hotel Negril
- Cocolapalm Resort Negril
- Coco Palm Negril
- Coco La Palm Resort
- Coco La Palm Jamaica
- Coco La Palm Negril