Spent 10 days in Beaches Negril in Mid April. All in all we had a fantastic time. We have 2 daughters (7 and 10) and Beaches certainly catered for all our needs.
Rooms: We loved it!! We were in a beach front suite. Had a very comfortable king sized bed and girls slept on pull outs from under the 2 sofas which they were delighted with. The room was really lovely. Spacious for 4 with a nice double sink and closet area and separate toilet / bath/shower room. We were in the 800 block on the ground floor. View of gardens and sea in front if them. The air conditioning worked a treat. There was always plenty of hot water and decent shower power and ample fresh heavy duty towels daily. The fridge was restocked on a daily basis and there was an Xbox (that was only turned on once as we were too busy!). The room was exceptionally clean. Eunice looked after us during the day and Patricia came in the evening to do a turn down, replace towels and general tidy. They were both wonderful. Extremely pleasant and accommodating about returning later when we were in the rooms. They did a really good job and are very deserving of our compliments.
While we were close enough to the couples resort to hear their music which went on until about 11 it did not bother us. It certainly didn't stop us from falling asleep and was a distraction from the incredibly loud crickets and other nocturnal animals that burst into song as soon as the sun went down. Seriously this noise has to be heard to be believed! Again it didn't stop us sleeping and we became almost immune after a day or two but what a surprise! The kids made recordings of it to take into school on their return to Ireland where nights in the country side are pretty silent.
Beach: gorgeous sand and beautiful warm turquoise water. Generally I hate getting into the sea. I hate the cold and I hate tip toeing across stones, shells etc. In Beaches I was in the sea every day. Loved the feel of the soft sand under my feet and the water was beautiful to bob about it. Could walk out a good 30 meters or so and still be able to stand comfortably. The water sports were excellent. No shortage of equipment. Kids had a ball. Kayaking and paddle boarding were great to do in the morning when the sea was generally flat as a pancake. Sailing the cats was best later in the day when the wind picked up. Knee boarding and water skiing were available in the mornings. We did knee boarding daily which was loads of fun. Afternoons had banana boad and wild cat (weather permitting- some times it rained in the afternoons despite gloriously sunny mornings, and water sports were suspended).
Be aware of age limits. You are asked the age of your children when signing up for the various pieces of equipment and the motor sports by Norman who is very efficient and one of my favourite staff members. You have to be 13 to ski, 8 to knee-board and 6 to banana boat. So keep that in mind to avoid disappointed kids. We never waited more than a few minutes for kayaks and paddle boards but be prepared to wait for water skiing / knee boarding depending on whether there are beginner skiers in front of you in the line. The trick is to beat the line by being there at 9am.
As others have mentioned there are people selling on the beach. In our experience they never once came near the deck chairs (though they would call to you to try and attract your attention) nor did they bother you when you were in the water. Once in no man's land between the chairs and the water you were likely to be invited to buy bracelets, shells, fruit, parasailing rides, braiding of the girls hair etc. We never had money with us in the beach ( as there really was no need) we always said no thank you and that was that. For me I would prefer if it didn't happen at all but it was a minor inconvenience.
Snorkelling and glass bottom boat: we snorkelled twice and did the glass bottom trip once. I really enjoyed the snorkelling as did my 10 year old. Lots to see including some very playful black and yellow striped fish who followed us about. My 7 year old was fearful of seeing a shark (which we didn't) so was happy to bob along next to me. My husband wears glasses. We assumed that they did not have prescription masks (we never asked) so the experience was a bit of a blur for him. The glass bottom boat trip was good. Saw lots of star fish and mor of the yellow and black guys.
Pools, slides and lazy river: all fantastic. The girls would have stayed in this area all day but we tended to leave it till after 11.30 in order to get the beach front activities completed before it started getting wavy. Also the beach is perfect for photos in the morning light. Slides were lots of fun and the lazy river which could b renamed the crazy river a big, big hit. Husband enjoyed the hot tub. There were always empty deck chairs in the lazy river area which doesn't open till 10. It's a bit noisey due to splash park area and you can get a little wet but you'll always find a seat. Be aware that the signs in this area speak the truth. Slippery when wet. So tell your kids to WALK! The girls loved the swim up bars in the pool and enjoyed hanging out with the bar tender sipping on their strawberry frozen drinks. The wonderful June also visits everyone in this general area to ensure they have a fresh drink. She was a star!! Remembered our favourite drinks and ensured we were never thirsty. Never have been treated so royally. Thank you June! The area in general was very clean so no complaints there. Like everyone else on trip advisor we struggled with beach towels. Even when we were down early (7.30am) the towel racks were empty. I think many of the towels go to people who have butlers. I was never clear when the towels were put out but I never saw the racks full. We didn't really go to the other pool (by the mill) but it looked beautiful.
Entertainment: beaches do a fine job of trying to cater for everyone in the family. My 7 year old really enjoyed the sesame street shows. She was a little old to do the breakfast or bed time story options but insisted we all had our seats in the big top for 7 o'clock big bird and co. show. These shows were very slick, well choreographed and perfect for the younger crew. The entertainment staff worked really hard to get everyone involved and were all great. Naoise and Shelly were wonderful with our girls and we all really enjoyed the boys doing their acrobatics. Can't remember all of their names but oshane, obrien, Omar, Kenton to name a few all did an outstanding job. My favourite shows of the week were the steel band (outstanding entertainment which would be hard to beat anywhere in the world) and the circus crew were also lots of fun. We were always in bed by 10 so I can't comment on the later activities but they seemed to be plentiful.
Food: we were generally very happy with the food. We had food from every restaurant in the resort. Had dinner once in Kimonos, twice in the Venician and once in Arizonas. The rest of the time we were in the Mill or at a beach party buffet in Stew Fish (when Mill was closed). I never had a bad meal. Kimonos was fun. Venician was lovely and the service second to none. The Mill had a huge variety of food, good salad options (that I didn't chose enough) and tried to mix up the menus most nights. Having dinner in Stew fish as the sun went down was very special. I'm so sorry I can't recall the names of the staff who really stood out in these restaurants- there were many. Vanessa was charming in Arizonas, all were fantastic in the Venician and there was a fabulous girl in Stew Fish. Breakfast we mostly had in the mill or in Stew Fish. Both were great. Loved the fresh fruit, omelettes. Pancakes and French toast a massive thumbs up in Stew Fish.
For Lunch I took our youngest to the pasta station in the Mill, whilst my husband waited with my daughter to get a Pizza at Dinos. They he and I met for Mexican in Arizonas where the nacho bar is perfect! All this took us a bit of time but we were in no hurry and it kept us out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
On top of all this there was serve yourself whipped ice-cream cones (a childhood fantasy of mine) and cookies at the pool and the cafe de Paris where my husbanded got his daily caffeine fix. On one night they had a chocolate buffet- heaven for our kids.
The only down side - unless you have fabulous self-control or enjoy torturing yourself be prepared for your clothes to feel tighter on the return home.
Gym: my husband is a keen runner and used the Gym daily. He was very impressed with the facilities and the air conditioning.
Concierge: we had a concierge room and availed of the concierge on arrival to book the cabana, snorkelling and restaurants for the week. All was done very smoothly. Had no cause to avail of their services after that.
Cabana: we took a cabana for one day as it had so often been recommended on trip advisor. It was nice but I wasn't tempted to do it again. Andre looked after us for the day and did a very good job. However as I've said already we preferred to move about from the beach to the pool area and to meander about over lunch. The cabana felt a bit restrictive and we didn't actually spend that much time in it. I think having a cabana or not is a very personal choice and just wasn't for us.
Other amenities: only discovered the Xbox room later in the holiday and had a blast there. There was a great guy in there helping with instructions or controls that weren't working properly. So we did not experience or observe any problem with not being able to pay a game you wanted to. There was a fun basketball shooting game outside the Xbox room and a couple of pool tables and a tale tennis table. My youngest did tennis with Coleman on one morning and really enjoyed it despite the heat. Coleman kept her in the shade as much as possible and was charming with her. We had planned to go back but the waterspouts were just too appealing.
Kids clubs; the girls tried the kids clubs a couple of times and really enjoyed it. The only problem was that the general activities were so good that whilst we were there most families kept their kids with them so the kids clubs were often too short on other kids for my pair to be interested in staying. From what I saw though they were very well run.
We did meet some wonderful other families on the property so the girls were able to make friends that way.
Photographs: like everyone else we did the sunset photos. The night ours were being done they had 12 families and three photographers. Nicolette was wonderful but was under fierce time pressure as the sun waits for no man or photographer. I would recommend not leaving your sunset shoot till your last night (as we did) just in case things don't work out as planned. We got some lovely shots from Nicoletta and Revon went back the next morning to catch a jump shot I was particularly looking for.
So in general. This is a superb family resort. They seem to have thought of everything. Negative reviews on trip advisor worried me before I left but I found them entirely unfounded (though the towels and beach seller stories are true). The drive from the airport was 80 minutes either way. We had absolutely no problem with the beaches arranged mini-bus and I cant imagine why you would pay for a private cab as suggested by one reviewer. I cannot recommend beaches Negril highly enough. It is more expensive than you average beach break but this is not an average beach experience.
We travelled from London to Montego Bay with Virgin Atlantic. 9.5 hours out but 8 back. Had never flown virgin before and was very impressed.
- 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