Having been on two trips to Sandals previously (Royal Caribbean & Royal Bahamian), I was a little hesitant when the birth of our first child forced me to change my next trip from Sandals to Beaches. I don't mind kids, but my idea of a nice vacation doesn't involve hundreds of them screaming everywhere I go. Let me just say that Beaches has this figured out. It's a combination of the endless amount of activities for their guests of all ages and their staff who are literally paid to keep people engaged in activity and having fun that keeps this from being an issue at all. This trip actually blew my previous ones out of the water. People at work have asked me to rate the stay on the 1 to 10 scale and I've given it a 12. I've really never had a better time and I've already booked my next visit at the Beaches Negril Resort.
Let me say too that it's refreshing to be somewhere where the staff genuinely seems happy to see you and appears to really love what they do. I've never really liked the servant-like vibe of a quiet wait staff tending to my needs without making eye contact and that type of thing. This is waaay better. Everywhere we went, it was Beaches staff having fun AND taking care of their guests. Within minutes they knew us all by name and I couldn't go anywhere without one of them stopping and checking in one me like we'd known each other for years.
My son turned nine months old during our stay here and I wasn't sure how it would be with an infant on the trip. It was perfect, and this is once again due to the unbelievable Beaches team. From the bartenders making him fruit smoothies to the waiters brining him little bowls of mashed potatoes, it was so refreshing to see that he was never an afterthought, but rather another guest with his own set of needs that were consistently met. Team members all over the resort knew AJ by name and held him everywhere we went. I must have pictures of AJ with a dozen different staff members. The balance that they strike here can not be understated in my opinion. It's one thing to have a resort cater to children and accept the fact that you're an adult taking part in a kid's trip. It's another to drag a kid along to what is obviously an adult's excursion. This was remarkably different. Somehow it never felt like we were involved in one or the other. Rather we were both (adults and child) happy and entertained simultaneously and consistently. Looking back I'm still not sure how they pulled this off.
As for all of the basic stuff, five stars across the board. The resort was gorgeous. Amenities were perfect and easy to get to from anywhere. The food was amazing, whether it was the unbelievable breakfasts on the beach at Stewfish, some solid lounge food by the pool at the BBQ Grill, a quick run thru the buffet at The Mill, coffee and pastries at Cafe' d Paris, or a special meal at The Venetian or Kimonos. The room was great and so was our view, with direct lines of sight to the beach and the pool from our balcony. I've never seen a more beautiful stretch of beach in my life. To me, this blew the Sandals Royal Caribbean out of the water.
As you can probably tell though, it was the Beaches staff that pushed this above and beyond into the "Paradise" category for me. There are so many wonderful people there and I only wish I'd have taken the time to write their names down now so I could call them each out one by one. Every person at the pool bar who made specialty kid drinks for my son, every hostess and waiter at every restaurant who stopped by to see AJ while we ate, the wonderful lady at the Lazy River who became AJ's best friend in no time, the great team at the Soon Come Back Office, the wonderful House Cleaning team who made little animals out of towels on our bed that AJ loved, the guy who made special trips daily to restock our fridge with water to make sure we could make plenty of bottles for AJ, and on and on and on.
There is one name that I won't forget and that is Richard. Richard had the unfortunate task of seeing me in a less than desireable state on my first night in. I'd traveled all day and was pretty tired when lightning forced us out of the pool and I found my way to his bar. Let's just say that I probably had one too many while my wife and son napped in our room. Not only did Richard check on me the next morning, but he checked in on AJ at breakfast every day, got to be friends with my wife, and stood with us in the lobby to see us off when the shuttle came to pick us up on our last day. He wanted to make sure we had bottled water for the drive back to the airport and that we got off safely. I was amazed at how genuinely he cared about our safety and enjoyment during our time at Beaches. I've never had this experience at Sandals before. The company would do well to find as many more Richards as possible and you'd do well to find the only Richard at Beaches Negril once you get there. Just don't question the strength of his drinks if you catch him bartending and whatever you do, don't ask for the "wheelchair".
Thank you Beaches Negril. You gave me a week of pure bliss with my new son during which I forgot about work and all the stress of my life back home and just bonded with my son. You gave me the best week of my life and you can count on seeing me again!
- 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