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“Mini-Comparative Review (With White House)”

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Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Mini-Comparative Review (With White House)”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

While on vacation at Sandals White House in Jamaica, my wife and I arranged to stay one night and one day at Sandals Negril. This is a mini-review / comparison of the two resorts.

We arrived after dusk, to a beautifully lit entrance. Perhaps it was a day of driving, but the resort was a site for sore eyes. As usual, we were offered a rum-punch and wet towel. The foyer itself was quite small, but nicely finished. Because our room level at White House equated to concierge, we were taken upstairs to a smaller office where they again tempted us with drinks, and quickly processed us. One small, but nice thing was the need for a credit card imprint. Because we were only staying one night/day, they waived this. It's nice to see that in a corporate rule driven environment, they passed on this.

They did make a small mistake, and sent us to the wrong room, but that was sorted out quickly.

They had been nice enough to book us for the teppanyaki restaurant, so after we settled in we walked over for dinner. There was a delay in getting in, but they did what they could by bringing us drinks and seating us at a temporary table. There is not a lot to say about the food itself. It was very good, choice of meat (tenderloin), and a good time. The waitress was humorous and the cook was entertaining.

The resort itself sits on a fairly thin stretch of land, and as a result, it is quite close to the beach (good) and the road (not so good). After dark, there was very little noise from the road, so it was not an issue.

During the day, we could see that the resort itself was a little on the older side. Not offensively so, but clearly it had been around a while. We swam at the beach, which was a little nicer than that of White Sands, but very minor differences. One thing to note about the beach, because it's shared, there are a lot of locals walking up the beach looking to get you to rent a jet ski, or so sell you some "smoke". There are guards watching the beach, but it seems they do not overly concern themselves with these guys. We haggled a guy down to $40 for an hour on the jetski which seemed a good deal.

I also dove with the dive shop here, as I had heard that the diving was better than at White House. I have to agree, it was a little better (more interesting coral formations). But as I note in my White House review, the differences were not that large. Because of the rain that had been moving through the area, it was fairly murky. The boat and equipment were very good, and the staff ran things as well as any non-resort dive shop. I will also note, that they are very "by the book". My PADI card was poorly printed and as a result, my name was a little cut off/smudged. This gave them a little hesitation in letting me go (even although my picture was on the card).

We ate lunch at the waterside open air restaurant (might have been called barefoots). They were really really slow, disappointingly so. This frustrated us as we were on a tight time line, and were trapped waiting for a simple sandwich to come out. The food itself was just average.

So, in the end, I would have to give White House the gold star between the two. But note, we were only there a short time, and did not get to experience everything that the resort had to offer. Sandals Negril was a very nice place, and it did have a different feel to it. Negril felt more like Jamaica, and had a little more life to it. White House felt more European (by design), and more "sip a martini by the fire pit". White house is isolated, where as the Negril resort is located on a strip of beach with all sorts of resorts. In Negril, you can rent scooters, or go duty free shopping. None of this is available at White House (there is duty free shopping on the resort, but it's not as large of course). Negril had a full bar in the room, where as White house just had the mini-fridge. Negril's rooms were smaller/older, but somehow had a little more charm (but were also a little rough around the edges).

So, if you are considering which one to go to, I don't think it would make a lot of difference. Both are very nice. If you can make it work, go to both!

Room Tip: We had a walkout room. A very nice feature.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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9 Thank Larrabee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

My wife and i were at Sandals Negril from August 7th to 14th 2012 for our honeymoon. Here are my thoughts on the resort:

ROOM: We had originally booked a Honeymoon Concierge Beachfront Walkout Room, the room was nice for its proximity right on the beach however very small for the price point we were paying. Also, the first night we stayed there, you could hear room services carts going up and down the hall way (Very noisy). We asked concierge for a different room, they showed us several rooms, and we were upgraded to a junior deluxe suite. This room was very nice, and on the newer side of the resort next to the swim up suites. There was a mini-bar however the alcholol was definitely not premium in the mini-bar. They had guyanese rum and not appleton's which was a dissapointment. Fridge was stocked with waters, juice, coke, sprite, and red stripe beer. Some days they forgot to restock the bar but a quick call to concierge fixed that. Housekeeping was late some days but very pleasant and did a good job overall.

POOLS: One small pool next to the piano bar, and one larger one in the main lobby area. Pool volleyball everyday which was fun, and on occasion a bartender will come to you with a drink refill
They had activities around the pool, we only participated in one and we ended up winning a cabana lunch.

FOOD: Overall food was excellent, small portions but you could order more. Bayside restaurant was very good for breakfast, lunch and dinners were so-so. Pizza place was really good and nice for getting a quick snack. Beach grill was open till late and they had awesome jerk chicken and beef patties. Shout out to Michael at the beach bar!!!!! Room service came with the room and was pretty quick but food got boring after a while. Reservations were required at all the other restaurants. Sundowner had traditional carribean food and was pretty good. Dino's was ok food but beware of the mosquitoes, we got bitten alive! We were dissapointed to find Kimono's closed for renovations but they booked us at the beaches negril and that was a great time with great food.

Watersports: Only did the glass bottom boat tour, which was fun but pretty short. Captain smiley is entertaining.

Entertainment: This is where i found the resort to be lacking. The only time there was nightlight was one night at the piano bar and there was hardly anyone there. So if you are a younger couple like us, you find that you are bored most evenings. The tv in the room did not have many channels at all.

Shopping: Do not shop at the gift shop on the resort, which was really expensive. Take a walk to the vendors past the security checkpoint and you can bargain with them. I bought a couple of appleton bottles as gifts and they were 5-10 dollars cheaper than the resort.

Overall we had a very relaxing honeymoon but wished we only booked for five days as we started to get bored very quickly.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank desi_stud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Booked a seven day vacation at Sandals Negril in mid-October 2012 and cannot say enough about how pleased I am with the experience. We booked the walk-up pool suite that came with butler service. The room was great, our butlers Basil and Theda were outstanding, and the food and staff were wonderful. While the walk-up pool suite is more expensive than most other accomidations, the extras that come with it are well worth the extra cost. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!! We also booked the private car option. Again, well worth the cost. A driver in a three button suite picks up at the airport in a $90,000 Audi. In the car are treats and drinks to make your travel pleasurable and the drivers were very pleaseant, knowledgeable and accomidating. If you can find something to complain about at Negril then you are simply looking for fault. We had a great expereince and have booked a return trip in March 2013. .

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank h8993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We travelled to Negril Sept of 2012 for our 25 th wedding anniversary. We stayed in the beachfront room with concierge. I had emailed them saying it was our 25 th anniversary and when we got there , we were asked twice what we were celebrating. I thought maybe because it was a big milestone that they would maybe pamper us just a little. On the day of our anniversary , a plate with four chocolates was left on our bed. Maybe I was expecting too much but it seemed like they didn't care too much. On one day we did not get clean towels until the late evening. Next time we are going to celebrate something I will go else were.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jacqueline L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Sandals offers a great vacation opportunity. The resort is wonderfully located on one of the worlds greatest beaches and we had a great time. Fabulous food and plenty of activities to pass the time at this all-inclusive resort. Throughout the trip, natives continued to remind us that Jamaica has been hit hard by the global recession. Unfortunately, this theme tainted our experience. We were continually presented with opportunities to "spend more" for additional services. At the airport we were informed that we needed to tip the luggage handler. Arriving at 5p from a 1.5 hr car ride, there was no one to greet us for 15 mins. Check-in was followed by a litany of opportunities to purchase additional services. $40 for a round-trip cab to town (5 mins). $299 for a cd with 100 photos. $190 for a private dinner on the beach.

The resort is old and it shows. It is clean, but wood that has 5-7 coats of paint show age. Some rooms have been re-modeled -- ours wasn't. The furnishings were top-notch and room very clean. A/C leaked water. Bathroom was very small with an old bathtub and one sink.

Food options were excellent. One caution: you may want to skip the "Benihana" or find a group. We spent 2-1/2 hours having dinner with people we didn't know, trying to make small-talk.

The weather was great and every night had a beautiful sunset. Maybe we're getting old, but other all-inclusives have been better. For the price ~ $5k, we expected more.

Room Tip: Travel agent told us to ask for a room facing beach. We were denied. Perhaps you can pre-arrange...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mario5280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Went for my honeymoon it was AMAZING! We had two great butlers Kenrick and Jerry. Would definitly request them again! The only upseting thing was our pre-paid excursions, everyone was screwed up i.e. with time frames. When we were finally able to go on the excursions they were also amazing!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank hootmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 23, 2012

After Sandals Whitehouse our first impression of Negril was a little disappointing, but after meeting the super friendly staff and having our welcome drinks we were won over. We had many wonderful meals including a beach buffet and a chocolate feast (Yummy!) The pool is small but the beach is long with plenty of lounge chairs in the shade if you desire and drinks are delivered right to you! Everyone from management to housekeeping makes you feel welcome with their smiles. At the Sundowner restaurant we were treated to special deserts with 40th anniversary wishes written in chocolate! There are many fun water activities including water bikes, kayaks, and windsurfers to burn off all the calories from the food and drinks! The guys on the glassbottom boat are a lot of fun. Our concierge Cassandra checked on us every day and sent us cards when we left. We would return to this resort for another great stay.

Room Tip: Third floor room have the best view. Try to pick a room away from the main building if you want quie...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril 167, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Negril
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#8 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#8 Spa Hotel in Negril
#10 Family Hotel in Negril
#13 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Negril's pristine 7-mile white sand beach•Phenomenal bedroom oceanfront suites set upon a relaxing crystal lagoon•Ultra luxurious one-bedroom millionaire honeymoon suites with private plunge pool•Seven exquisite dining options•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa “Jamaica's Leading Hotel” (2nd consecutive year)•Five Star Diamond Resort, American Academy of Hospitality Science ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Negril Beach Hotel Negril
Sandals Negril Beach Resort And Spa
Sandals Jamaica
Sandals Negril Jamaica
Sandals Resort

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