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“Not Quite All Inclusive”

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Beaches Negril Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Not Quite All Inclusive”
Reviewed June 4, 2005

We just returned from a 7 day trip to Beaches Negril. It was quite disappointing. The customer service was terrible, beginning with registration staff. Upon arrival we were told our rooms were not ready and to go have lunch. After lunch we checked back at the front desk and were told "don't come up here again it may be several hours before your room is ready and we don't need a bunch of people in the lobby". This was just the first experience with unfriendly staff. It took at least 15 minutes to get drinks from completely rude bartenders who were out of most mixers, most of the time. We had booked a King Premium room only to get a room with 2 doubles. We specifically had a King room listed on our confirmation, but were told beds were not reserved -false advertising on their web site. It took 2 days to get a room with a King bed. Meanwhile, we were in the 2 double bed room on the road and could hear traffic all through the night. We had also specifically requested not to be on or near the road at the advice from friends who had visited before. We requested early on to speak with a manager and were told one would call. After waiting in our room for several hours, we called again and were told a manager would call. Finally we went to the front desk and asked to speak with the manager. We waited in the lobby for 30 minutes and were then told there was not a manager available. The food was marginal. The wait staff were slow and did not seem to be really interested in working. The two positive qualities about this resort were the Kids Kamp and Water Sports. The staff were friendly and the kids had a great time. We truly believed the counselors enjoyed their jobs and wanted our kids to have a good time. There were plenty of options on Water Sports and the staff seemed to want to help you have a good time. If you are accustomed to excellent customer service and great accomodations, we would not recommend this resort.

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London, uk
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2005

Let me start by saying beaches negril is great! we loved it and so did our 16 month old daughter.

However, my wife and i are both seasoned scuba divers and booked the holiday as a way of spending time on land as a family and off land doing some diving. So i'd thought i'd post a message about diving as the other reviews go into a lot of detail about the entertainment, kids kamp and food, all of which i agree with and overall we had an excellent holiday and would recommend this hotel completely to families looking to spend time with (and occassionally without) their children.

Including scuba in the all inclusive is a nice touch. There is a dive school at the hotel which teaches PADI courses but you don't actually dive from the hotel - you transfer down to sandals which is only a five minute speed boat journey or via the hotel shuttle bus. We did have a few occassions when we were waiting half an hour for either, but this was Jamaica - so no reason to get stressed (unless you have to get back to your baby!).

Overall, the diving was ok. its good point was the convenience and beginners would find the reefs interesting and its good to get wet generally. Unfortunately if you have done any serious diving there are a few things that won't work for you. These are:
1:dives are only 30 minutes long. Yes - 30 minutes! doesn't matter what depth you go to that's their rule.
2: You dive as a group. Fine if you're a beginner but generally frustrating if you know what you're doing.
3: Afternoon dives are shallow. and i mean shallow! try 8.2m. It was more like a snorkel.
4. Hurricane Ivan wiped out a lot of the coral and the fish life is a little sparse

In all we thought the diving was worth doing for a few days but it's not going to suit the serious diver. We did on one dive get the company of three bottle nosed dolphins which was a wonderful experience, but the 30 minute dive time cut short what could have been one of the best dives ever. There were also a few turtles, rays and tiny eels, but these were all in very short supply (sorry, but i've dived the indian ocean and been spoiled a bit).

In all it was a slick operation and what we lost in diving excitement was more than made up for in terms of the fun we had with our daughter watching the sesame street chacters.

Hope this is of help to other divers.

  • Stayed May 2005
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24 Thank BrownjoeLondon_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 22, 2005

After reading some of the reviews posted on this site, I was a bit concerned about our reservation at Beaches Negril. As soon as we arrived at the "Sandals/Beaches" Lounge at the Montego Bay Airport, all my fears disappeared...

Arrival: After a half hour wait in immigration, we went to the resort's arrival lounge area (which had a very clean bathroom, cushy couches, beer and soda on tap and a hostess) and waited for our shuttle. We only waited ten minutes before we were in an air-conditioned, clean shuttle. Our driver, Perry, gave us an intro to Jamaica and periodically pointed out differenet sites on the 1 1/2 hour trip. At the resort, we were given wet washcloths and rum or fruit punch while the check in process took place.

Room: We chose the least expensive room and were not disppointed. The room had high speed internet for my husband, a tv with cable for the kids, and a small patio. It was cleaned twice a day and although I tried to leave a daily tip for Hillarie, she never took it.

Kids Camp: We have a seven and a four year old and the kid's program was one of the reasons we chose beaches. We ended up not using it very much. The older (8-12yrs) kids seemed to bond as a group, stay and play together all week and have an awesome time at the camp. The babies (0-2) were well cared for in the air-conditioned nursery. The staff for the 3-7 year olds were not very friendly or helpful to the parents. When I dropped my children off, I was made to feel that I was imposing on them. My kids had a good time doing arts and crafts and activities with the sesame characters, but I did not want to leave them there for more than an hour at a time. They do have a sign-in procedure and you are given a beeper, which made me feel that they were safe.

Meals: If you are looking for gourmet, go somewhere else. If you are looking for lots of options for children at meals (and all day long) this is the place. The food was mediocre, but you can't mess up a hot dog or cheeseburger. Pizza was available all afternoon and crepes and tea sandwiches at 4pm were delicious. We went to the Tappenyaki restaurant and waited a long time, but had a good meal.

Pools: Wading pool for toddlers (you get key from nursery to unlock gate), main pool with swim-up bar, and family pool with swim up bar. We primarily used the family pool. Seats are claimed early in the morning - so you need to get out there and put down a towel if you want a chair.

Water Park: The Lazy river (we called it the crazy river) was great. You did not even need a tube, just a flotation vest. We did it 50+ times and loved it! Our kids were not big enough for the water slides, but I tried them and they were fun. Sprinkler area also a blast for the little ones.

Beach: Fantastic! Several large covered areas for the fair-skinned. The water was beautiful. A few vendors from time to time. Women wanting to braid your hair, coffee vendors, etc. Just say no politlely and they leave you alone.

Water Sports: Snorkeling and scuba were fabulous. Sailing, sea kyaks, water bikes, all included.

Overall: The staff was friendly and courteous. We had a wonderful time together. No, it is not a luxury resort with gourmet food, but what it is , is a fabulous family resort that I would go back to over and over again.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
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37 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2005

Arrival and Check-in: Upon arrival at the airport, you can freshen up in the beautiful and clean Beaches lounge. The drive to Negril takes about an hour and 15 minutes. There were seatbelts in the air-conditioned vans that transported us there and back. The drivers were courteous and friendly. It was around 10 am when we arrived at the resort. The room wasn’t ready and it took about 4 hours before it became ready. So, it would have been nice if I had packed my sandals, bathing suits, suntan lotion… in an accessible way.

Room: Our room was not large, but spacious enough. We had a nice balcony with a beautiful view of the ocean and sunsets. This is a 3, not a 5, star resort. But, the rooms are still nice; and, the resort is beautiful. Our room was cleaned twice a day. There were no bugs or ants in our room. We kept no open food around. And the kind maid cleaned efficiently. There were plenty of clean fresh towels.

Grounds: The grounds were well kept, attractive and clean. If you get a chance, you may spot many wonderful plants and creatures such as crabs, salamanders or a nice size iguana. The ground maintenance crew members are friendly and polite. The size of the resort is big enough to provide a variety of activities and keep everyone happy and busy. But, it is not so big as to inconvenience. There are not long walks to where you need to go, unless you choose to take them. The property is well laid out so that everything is accessible. There are no long lines for food or drinks. Only a couple of times did I have to briefly wait for a drink, beach grill or water ski.

Beach: The beach is absolutely beautiful. The sunsets are just spectacular. The sand is baby powder soft and white. The water is clear enough to see all of the fishes and sting rays around your feet, big and small. The beach is not at all crowded. There are plenty of shaded chairs without the need for saving them. In some areas crabs and ants can be found in the sand. And, the ants have nasty bites.

Meals: There is nice selection of foods to choose from. The meals are prepared to satisfy many palates. There are also many vegetarian choices. The problem is with consistency. You can get a wonderful meal in a particular restaurant with great service, and the next night the food quality is extremely poor. The best type of available food is that which is closest to Jamaican cuisine. So, there is a nice selection of sea food, vegetables and fruits. (Bananas were available, but in short supply.) Desserts and breads are wonderful. Oriental and Tex-Mex cuisine will likely disappoint those accustomed to the originals.

Children are not running around wildly touching the food. Most of the food is not within a small child’s reach. There are many children there, but for those wanting grown up time, the children are not in the way. The Kid corner food area at the Mill, serves 3 warm serving pots for each meal within a child’s reach. Only one of these is especially made for kids. Some examples of this are chicken nugget (tough), beans, French fries, or pancakes. The other two are just the same thing as something available in the grown up pots.

The Mill restaurant has nice service and the largest variety of food for all meals. The oriental food night was the one to definitely miss there. The Beach Grill is perfect for lunches and child selections. The service there is nice during lunch and excellent during dinner. They also served fresh and soft cinnamon roll with a smile in the mornings. The Teppanyaki desperately needs air-conditioning. It is enclosed, and if you are dressed up then you will be dripping sweat. The service there is hit or miss. The food is plentiful but not the Japanese I am used to. The Seville is the grown up’s only choice with great service. Men must wear closed toe shoes and comply with dress code. Even nice sandals are not acceptable. Reservations are easily obtained the same day so long as made in the morning.

Pools: The pools are not the place to be. They are there and are large enough to accommodate everyone comfortably. There are plenty of chairs and towels throughout the day. The children are mostly in the children’s pool because that is close to the water park, beach grill, and beach. The grown ups can enjoy the big pool with only a few little ones here and there. Both pools have an open swim up bar, which is very nice. The pools are cleaned each morning and look great. But as the day goes on, the pools look less and less inviting. The main pool had only a few little leaves and tree particles floating around. The family pool was too cloudy for my taste. I got in once, and got right out.

Water Park: There is 48 inch requirement which is strictly enforced. You climb 42 stairs to the top, and get an awesome view. There are 2 slides to choose from. One is short, fast, partly completely dark, and exciting. The other is a bit slower, open, and fun. The lazy river requires everyone to wear a vest. Neither was crowded.

Activities: Snorkeling requires same day sign-ups. Children may go as young as 6; but, participants must be swimmers. The boat takes you out to Sandy Key Reef for 15-20 minutes. The best time to go is the earliest, or 9:30 a.m.. You may bring watermelon or bananas as food for the fish which will follow you around and eat right out of your hand. Do not bring bread as that bloats the fish. I found a plastic bag there that was just floating around. Please take care that your containers don’t get away from you.
One of the Scuba destinations is Shark Reef. As with snorkeling, some trips may be better than others. But, there is definitely life there to be seen. These activities are great for beginners.

Banana Boat and Ski is definitely a blast! Children must be 6 for the banana boat, 8 for knee boarding, and 12 to ski (unless they already know how). Kayak, water cycle, sailing and other water activities are available.

The land activities are too many to mention. The fitness room is adequate and clean. There are scheduled activities throughout the day from which anyone can pick something out to keep busy. They have the tennis, table tennis, lawn chess….

Kid’s Kamp: The kid’s camp could be better. There are about 3 really wonderful staff members working at the kid’s camp. The best counselor leads the older children’s group(s). There are many really fun activities planned for the kids. But, most of the kid’s camp counselors are unwelcoming and unfriendly. The worst counselors care for the infants and youngest groups. If you have young children, I would strongly recommend you choose Beaches Sandy Bay, and not Beaches Negril. Both of my children are friendly and like to attend camps. The one that is just an extreme extrovert, attended the camp for 1-2 hours per day. After that he wanted out. My younger child refused to stay. And, I can’t say that I blame him. I felt uncomfortable there as well.

Sesame Street Characters: The Sesame Characters make about 2-4 appearances per day. Many of the scheduled appearances are cancelled because of rain or other reasons. If you are planning your day around that, this may be a little annoying. Since the appearances are extremely short and not always on schedule, there is some waiting around involved. The Character shows are also very short. (It must be extremely hot in those things.) But the kids love it! I always carried a camera with me on property to ensure that I don’t miss a photo opportunity. Sometimes, there are Characters just walking around.

Entertainment: There was adequate evening entertainment that is enjoyable for adults and children.

Staff: Most of the staff is very friendly and create a party atmosphere. Some don’t want to make friends and keep to themselves. A couple were abrasive, and I quickly learned to avoid them.

Themes: Mon - Family Fun Fest; Tue - Rhythms; Wed - All Star Showcase; Thur - Jamaica Jamboree (and also the day to taste many Jamaican foods at the Mill); Fri - Island Fantasy Beach Party (with Sesame Street Character Parade); Sat - Caribbean Fiesta; Sun - Mello Moods. There is no Pirate night anymore.

Overall: It would be difficult not to have a great time. There is something there for everyone. The weather we had was just perfect. The mornings were clear and beautiful. There were quick showers in the afternoons that cooled things down just a little bit. After they passed we were back on track to the most spectacular sunsets each night.

Stayed May 2005
Helpful?
39 Thank toes2sand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2005

We visited Beaches Negril on 2 day trips while staying at Beaches Sandy Bay with our 1 and 3 year old children from April 10-17, 2005.

One beautiful morning we walked for about 30 minutes along the beach from Sandy Bay to Negril. It was a lovely walk and we enjoyed the natural beach and vegitation.

When we arrived at Beaches Negril we were amazed how large it was. It is a beautiful and lush property. Things are well maintained and tropical with a polynesian flair. The buildings are set back from the beach by low vegitation.

Waterpark - There are two large slides that only Mommy braved! The lazy river is actually a "raging" river with rapids! We loved it. We all wore life jackets (required) and spent many hours swimming/floating around. At times it was crowded but still lots of fun. There is also a sprinkler area that both toddlers loved and a nice hot tub with a gorgeous view of the sea.

Pools - there are two very large pools and they are deep and warm. They both have swim up bars. One is located near the main dining area and the other is in the waterpark. The water was a bit cloudy in the waterpark pool, but we prefered the beach anyway. A third kiddie pool is located outside the Kids Kamp and is covered by a thin awning. Our kids loved playing in the shallow water with all of the toys.

Beach - the beach is very large and gorgeous. Lots of chairs and space between sunbathers. The sea is shallow and calm. We didn't try any of the watersports but there is a glass bottom boat, a speed boat for waterskiing and banana boat rides and many sunfish sailboats. There are jet skis and parasailing availble from people not affiliated with Beaches.

Kids Kamp - our kids spent two afternoons in Kids Kamp and the staff was friendly and helpful. It is a large room with a sleeping area off to one side. They have ample videos and toys. We loved our quiet time while the kids were in Kamp. If you go to Beaches, be sure to use the Kamp.

Food - We ate breakfast and lunch in the large buffet area. It was very good with many fresh and delicious choices. It was a bit hectic with the number of people trying to serve themselves at the same time. We also had snacks and lunch in the waterpark grill area. It had great jerk chicken and many salad and dessert options. The kids loved the pizza from the Piazza and the soft ice-cream machine.

Overall, we saw many large extended families with children of varrying ages. The resort was a bit large for our family with small children. Definitely bring your stroller if you have kids who can't walk long distance. We saw many teenagers on their own and they looked like they were having a lot of fun. We prefered Sandy Bay for our young family but would definitely consider Negril when our kids are older!

Stayed April 2005
Helpful?
24 Thank coldinrochester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 11, 2005

We went to Beaches with an open mind, however reading all the prior reviews, I was a bit turned off. There was alot of negativity which lead me to believe that the resort was not that great.

I was so happy that I kept an open mind and left the judgement for myself and my family. We took the bus ride to Negril from the Montego Bay airport, this was around 1hr and half. We were greated with a friendly satff member and Jamaican fruit punch.

The Staff at this resort is great. The room was great as well. We only had the deluxe room and I have to say that the room was very clean. We left the maids a little gift of appreciation each day and in return they gave us above an beyond great service.

The water sports were perfect, the lazy river was perfect and the water slides were great. We travelled with my 9 year old and 5 year old. Unfortunately my 5 year old was one inch to short for the water slides. It was his 5th Bithday during our stay. The one thing that I have learned a nice smile and polite manner goes a long way. All we did was simply ask, our son's 5th Bithday, please may he go down once, that all it took and they allowed him to go twice. It totally made his day!!!!!

Please keep in mind, as long as you are nice people are nice back, go with an attitude and you will get it back in return.

This trip was a fantastic family vacation, My husband quoted that he would have paid double to do it all over again, as it was the best vacation ever.


We will be going back next year. We met great Jamaican friends!! and We love Jamaica.

YA MON

  • Stayed May 2005
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Helpful?
22 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 10, 2005

My husband and I took my teenage daughter and two of her friends for a weeks vacation to Beaches Negril. We have been there one other time as well as Beaches Turks & Caicos. My husband and I also have enjoyed serveral vacations at a few of the Sandals. We wanted to check out the new water park at Beaches Negril. We had a great time especially in the Lazy River. My daughter and her friends spent the entire time with another group of kids their ages doing the water sports activities, enjoying the water park and getting some sun. We were concern that the Beaches/Seasame St. Characters might prove to bring too much of a disney atmosphere but it didn't. As a matter of fact the few times we encounter them it was fun. We even had pictures taken with the frog. The staff are very nice and helpful. Food was good especially the night of the beach party. There was always plenty of towels for the beach and pool. We never had a problem finding a spot on the beach or pool. We did tend to stay on the beach - there was plenty of shade space available. The entertainment was not always that great and the fun pals did not seem to have the usual enthusiasm that we have experience in the past.

We would highly recommend Beaches Negril. It definitely is a resort for all ages.

  • Stayed April 2005
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Helpful?
15 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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:
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Beaches Hotel Negril
Negril Beaches Hotel

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