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“Beaches vs. Club Med”

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Beaches Negril Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beaches vs. Club Med”
Reviewed December 23, 2011

We just spent the last 8 days at Beaches Negril with my husband and 3 children (girls ages 4, 5 &7). We have been to Club Med Ixtapa with the family 2 times in the past. We like the idea of an all inclusive family vacation so we wanted to try Beaches. Here is my review.

FOOD: Advantage Club Med!!!!!
The food at Beaches Negril was not very good. We were told by numerous travel agents that Beaches was a 'step-up' in quality over Club Med. NOT TRUE. Club Med has much better food. In Beaches, the breakfast was the best they had to offer. Good omelettes. But, the dinners were horrible. The restaurants were SLOW. For expample, we had 6:45 reservations for Kimonos and arrived on time. We didn't even get seated until 7:30. No food until 8. We tried all the restaurants and were not impressed with any of them. Club Med food is much much better.

ROOMS: Close, but, advantage Club Med.
The rooms in Beaches Negril are decorated nicely and they were clean. We had a suite with concierge service (worth it). But, all 5 of us were in the same room. So, no privacy. For a suite at Club Med you get a door to separate you and the kids. The rooms in Club Med probably aren't as fancy, but, that door sure was nice. So, I give the advantage to Club Med.

ACTIVITIES: Club Med by a landslide.
The activities at Club Med are amazing. They are on time and taught by instructors who enjoy working with kids/adults and make the whole experience FUN. Our experience at Beaches was not like this at all.
- Watersports: Beaches watersports guys were rude, late and their gear didn't work well. They did have stand-up paddle boards, but, noone can use them yet. (why? I don't know)
They had 1 sailboard with a 3.5 sail. The other sails were too big for the boards. So, that meant 1 windsurfer for the whole hotel?!?!? There was noone around to give instruction. So, there was always someone getting stuck way down the beach. The waterski boat would have to go rescue them.
The waterskiing was a similar problem. The boat for Beaches Negril wasn't working well enough to pull a slalom skier. So, they wanted you to just knee board or use two skis. Well, that's boring if you know how to ski!!!! So, there was always a bunch of ticked-off skiers. The whole experience was very frustrating. Not luxurious, not good customer service. Beaches Negril REALLY needs to do something about how poorly run the watersports is at this hotel!!!!

Doing water sports at Club Med was always a fun experience with knowledgeable, helpful instructors. The gear would work.

- Scuba: Beaches Negril did seem to do the scuba well. Everyone seemed pleased and the instructors seemed knowledgeable.

- Snorkeling: Beaches Negril did do snorkeling well. The boats worked and they were on time, friendly.

KIDS CLUB: Advantage Club Med!!
At Club Med the Kids Club is full of kids. They learn hip-hop dances that they perform on stage after dinner. They meet lots of friends and the kids have tons of fun.

At Beaches Negril there aren't that many kids that go to the kids club during the day (however more do go at night in Negril). So, the kids didn't have fun in the Club. Further, the instrucor in the 5-7 age group from Dec. 15-18 was not energetic or fun to be around. The schedule showed 'hula hoop contest' at 2:30. My 7 yr old loves to hula hoop. So, we all left the beach and went to the kids club for the hula hoop contest and my kids were the only ones there. The Kids Klub instructor handed the kids some hula hoop and went back to playing with her phone. Not fun.

BOTTOM LINE: We were all much more impressed with the quality of all of the services at Club Med.

However, I do want to note that we liked Jamaica. The beach was gorgeous. The water was lovely. The island was beautiful. The airport was easy. The cab drivers were kind and funny. We left the resort to go to watch the cliff divers at Rick's Cafe in Negril. This was super fun. Our 5 and 7 yr old even jumped off the cliff into the deep water. Kind of crazy but a fun and memorable experience.

Room Tip: Don't get a room closest to the Couples resort....it has a very loud bar. Check Google Maps be...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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21 Thank tresgirls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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waterloo ontario
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2011

it was quite some time ago that we last vacationed in Jamaica and I was concerned about the "Jamaica time" service and the persistent vendors. I can't say all hotels in Jamaica have solved these issues but Beaches Negril has. Staff were very friendly and attentive. The hotel was 95% booked and service delays were minimal. Yes there are vendors on the beach peddling shells, cigars, beads and music but generally they keep their position at the high tide mark and don't venture onto the main beach and "no thank you" was well understood to be no.Lots of variety in the food ,quality was very good. Theme restaurants were reserved day of so you didn't have to book the moment you arrived or get all 9pm sittings.No tiny glasses for beer or drinks so you didn't need to bring your thermos bottles! Room was clean, everything worked, maid serve was good.. We were there for a family function that included young people so the family resort format was a requirement even though our children are older. It was still a very good vacation and well run resort. However a word of caution...I originally booked the rooms directly...don't do that...customer service over the phone while polite was horribly inefficient..took 3 hours to make changes that could have been done in 5 minutes.. Thankfully, the resort staff had no such problems.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank mikebcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waitsfield, Vermont, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 22, 2011

Our first Caribbean experience could not have been better. We arrived in the evening to a beautiful sunset, clear turquoise water, and sandy beaches. Everything was made so easy and our three year old was treated with genuine kindness by everyone. The friendly smiling staff made us feel at ease and the grounds and rooms were very beautiful and peaceful. The food was very good and the bars on the beach were definitely enjoyed. We felt so comfortable our son stayed in Kids Camp while we went on a sunset cruise which was just amazing. We plan on returning in the next year or two and bringing our toddler and teen. This time we may explore a bit more but relaxing on the beach was fine with us.

Room Tip: Our beautiful room was on the far corner with a beachview and on the third floor. Very quiet, privat...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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1 Thank Stacy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Our best vacation yet. Yes, the beach, the food, the accomodations were fantastic, but it was the people at Beaches who made our trip increadible. Genuine hospitality. It was like visiting family. The kitchen staff, the wait staff, Butler Beach and Gym staff were amazing. Our kids loved the food options (pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, and the self serve ice cream bar), a kids paradise. For aduIt, food options were also amazing and delicious. Dinner on the beach, nice! Bravo Beaches. Thanks to Conray, Garfield, Novia, Vanessa. We look forward to our next visit! Pierre

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pierre F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stittsville
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2011

Dec 2011,

I have had the best vacation ever at Beaches Negril. I teach customer service so I see all kinds of service out there but this was exceptional.

I have an anaphylactic food allergy (sulphites – a preservative they use in a wide variety of foods like corn starch, baking powder, vinegars, lemon juice concentrate etc.). The Executive Chef and 2 of his sous chefs met with me the first day to discuss my “special” food needs. Conray (a sous – chef dedicated to help out with food allergies) went above and beyond to ensure my food was safe for me to eat. He stayed late and designed recipes which he then had typed up for me so I could have them at home.

At this resort they go one step further for service, as they asked me where I would be dining and brought my food to me so that my family and I could eat together. Thanks to Conray and all the other chefs, I felt safe to eat and really enjoyed my food.

If you are ever at beaches, Vanessa at the front desk will welcome you with open arms, treat you like you are part of her family. Nokia, Stacey-Ann, Monique, Vanessa, Susan and Samantha in the main dining room will treat you like gold and are so much fun when they deliver your food and drinks. When you go to the bar look for Terrance – he will take great, great care of you and he will remember what you drink whenever he sees you. When you are on the beach look for Denisa – she is so much fun and her service is fabulous! If you are interested in a butler service – Garfield is your man, he is really good at his job.

All in all, their service is fabulous and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this resort. It is so very clean, they have so many activities for the kids and they are so good with kids! It is genuine warmth you feel from the staff which makes it is a truly wonderful experience!

Thank you Beaches we loved our vacation – Sue & Family

Room Tip: rooms on the side away from the couples resort are quieter.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Sue F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2011

This was our fifth stay at Beaches Negril. I was there with my daughter (age 12) and son (age 10) November 28 to Dec 5. We usually go over March Break, but the kids and I needed a late fall getaway so it was back to Beaches.

Enjoyed the scenery from Montego Bay to Negril. The hour and half goes by quickly and allows us to ease back into the Jamaican way of life. Being a Monday, we saw a typical school and work day unfold.

We were greeted by familiar faces at Beaches and check-in was a breeze. Our room was in Savannah block on the third floor (by request) with a view of the beach and water over the palm trees. We like the Savannah block as it is close to everything - the Mill, big pool, water park, small pool, dive shop, Xbox garage and the other restaurants.

Being the week after American Thanksgiving, the resort was quiet - which was nice. As a result, not all the restaurants were open every night as during the busier periods. Nonetheless, over the week we ate dinner at Kimonos (twice), Seville, Stew Fish, Arizona's and the Mill. The meals were tasty and the service friendly and entertaining as always. Dino's, the new pizzeria beside the main pool, was great for lunch and late afternoon. (It was being built during our last trip in March). The Thursday night Beach party was a blast - from the authentic Jamaican dinner to the lively entertainment and beach dancing.

We caught a few shows at the "Big Top" with the steel drum band being our favourite. After the show, the kids got to try the steel drums and are they cool.

The kids enjoyed the pools, the beach, the water slides, the lazy river, Xbox garage and trench town. Never heard the words "I'm bored". Thanks Naje and Judith!!

Scuba is the main distraction for me. The dive boat stayed moored two days due to strong winds and high waves. Not a big problem as I was recovering from a cold imported from Canada. When the winds and waves subsided, I got 5 dives in the last three days. The dives in Negril are fun and relaxing. With the viz being 100 feet plus and water temp 83 degrees, it is a treat. Not as much big stuff to see as in some other Caribbean spots, but if you go slow and look there is a lot of life on the reefs. Dove the Tugboat for the first time and it was a treat. Two big green morays have taken residence inside the hull. The dive shop team is top notch as always. Thanks Damion, Craig, Samuel, Karen, Norman, Julian, Marlon and Captain Desrick. And Macky, the high energy underwater photographer - tanks mon!!

Being a slow period, a number of blocks were being renovated and refurbished. It was no major inconvenience and based on the look and feel of our room a nice result. The fitness area has been completely redone and all new weight machines and cardio equipment installed. I kind of the miss the original open air fitness area - I liked the fresh Jamaican air, but the new equipment and space is top shelf.

Thanks to the all the staff - at reception, the Mill, the Photoshop, water sports, gift shop....You once again made us feel welcome and our stay that much more enjoyable and memorable.

We look forward to seeing you all again in March 2012.

Room Tip: Savannah is centrally located and close to everything - both pools, the restaurants, water park, XBo...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Wills029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lone Tree, Colorado
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2011

We had a group of 10. Our check in experience was terrible as it took us 3 hours to get into our room once we arrived. The room was nice. Luckily we were in one of the newly remodeled rooms overlooking the smaller pool. Not everything is all-inclusive though. They charge for Internet access, scuba classes, photos, renting a cabana on the beach, etc. food selection was average, and service at the restaurants was sometimes slow and confused. People are very nice and seem genuinely interested in the kids. The beach is great although the constant merchants trying to sell you something does get old. The pools are great and the drinks plentiful.
We took advantage of a massage just off the resort where they charge $20/half hour. We paid for a full hour couples massage and it was awesome.
We ere told a new GM was starting that week.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the new rooms, ESP in section 400, facing the water.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DiverLuv2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Beaches Negril Resort & Spa

Property: Beaches Negril Resort & Spa
Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Negril
#4 Family Hotel in Negril
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#7 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#8 Spa Hotel in Negril
#10 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Beaches Negril Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 215
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Located on the widest stretch of Negril's seven mile white sand beach•Stay at one, play at two with full exchange privileges with Beaches Sandy Bay including a choice of 11 dining options•“Pirates Island” Water Theme Park with 4 slides, meandering “lazy” river and splash deck•Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street themed activities with daily character appearances, parades and stage shows•Kids Kamp & Nursery with wide range of supervised activities•Interactive Teens Program with “Trench Town” Teen's Center and Teens' Coordinator to coordinate teen activities•Expansive Two & Three Bedroom Butler serviced suites•Supervised Xbox® Play Lounge with flat screen plasma TV's & Xbox® 360 game consoles•Beaches Resorts were voted “World's Leading Family All-Inclusive 14 years in a row•Five Star Diamond Award, American Academy of Hospitality Sciences•Six Star Diamond Award, Beaches Resorts – Keeping it Green•EarthCheck Platinum Certified ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beaches Negril Hotel Negril
Beaches Hotel Negril
Negril Beaches Hotel

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