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“AMAZING”
Review of Sandy Haven Resort

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Sandy Haven Resort
Ranked #18 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 28, 2012

Ok, so from the second we pulled up we were greeted with a warm inviting welcome! We were seated in a beautiful open lobby for check in and offered a delicious rum punch. Pops took our luggage to our room and was extremely helpful in filling us in on the place and all it had to offer. He was very attentive and so friendly. It was extemely nice to have such a pleasurable arrival after traveling all day.

The rooms were beautifully decorated, very modern. They were a lot bigger than we had anticipated and it made packing and unpacking very easy because things weren't hidden or cluttered. Love, love, loved the bathroom and showers. A large mirror hung in the "closet" area which was excellent for dressing. The double vanity sinks got my husband and I in and out in a short amount of time. The balcony was also larger than expected. It was wonderful leaving the door open at night and feeling the ocean breeze. It was not loud and very relaxing.

The beach was AMAZING! Very well kept. The water was crystal clear! The vegitation on the property was great, tons of fruit trees, and things I had never heard of. This made the place so authentic to Jamaica. The beach front bar was great! You could grab a drink and lounge or sit at the bar. The bar had a slight over hang, so even during those afternoon showers you could still sit, relax, and enjoy! The bar tenders were so much fun to sit and talk to, they really made it a good time. Definately try the "Love 101" (Andrea's special), It was to die for!

Bongos, the restaurant in the hotel was very romantic! It had low lighting and candles on each table. The servers were great! They kept our drinks full and were also very pleasant to talk to. They could answer any question you had about the menu, and did it with a friendly smile. The food was delicious and also contained different fruits and vegetalbes that aren't native to the states. They had a cook out on the beach with live music, this was a blast. The beach was surrounded by tiki torches and looked super pleasing to the eye. The food was so fresh and so delicious! Some of the staff....you kow who you are ;), were excellent dancers and managed to get my husband to try out his horrible moves. Fun! Fun! Fun!

The owners, what can I say, wonderful people! They definitely made you feel as if you were a guest in their home. I was reading other reviews about how they played favorites and I would have to disagree! The owners spoke to everyone! When we first arrived, we were not aware that they were the owners. We saw them speaking to many of the guest staying at Sandy Haven and we simply thought they were guest themselves. They spoke to my husband a I a lot and made sure our stay was above and beyond expectation. They even went as far as to walk around the property with us and shared what the trees and plants were (we were amazed.) Upon leaving the property, they made sure we had a safe ride and and even called over the cab for us and told them where we needed to go. I hate that people would post anything negative about them because we saw up close and from a far how friendly and accomadating they were to everyone. I guess if you give off an "I don't want to be bothered" vibe, thats exactly what you'll get.

Overall, Sandy Haven was a wonderful vacation! So relaxing, so fun, so beautiful! I would definately recommend staying here with your family, as a couple, or even with friends! I really would like to thank all of the wonderful people that work at Sandy Haven. You really made the stay! I wish I could have you all over to my home and show you the same hospitality that you provided to my husband and myself.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank CoreyandAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2012

Hello Corey and Alex!
Thank you for taking the time to write this fabulous review of Sandy Haven Resort! It is indeed refreshing! We of course welcome these positive comments and feedback and are thrilled to learn of your experience with us. Our team is delighted that you enjoyed the atmosphere and warm hospitality. We both can agree that Sandy Haven is beautiful property and it is surely a new addition to the beach side luxury accommodations. We are extremely happy that you found the hospitality of the owners so warm and friendly. I’ll be sure to extend your warm regards to them as well as to the rest of the staff (Andre, Trece, pops) letting them know about the great time you had while vacationing with us. It is indeed our pleasure to ensure that you receive total satisfaction and that your needs are met promptly!! We are also pleased to learn that you loved the amenities in your room and that it suited your particular style and tasting. We are definitely looking forward to hosting you again here at Sandy Haven Resort!!!

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623 - 629 of 699 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2012

First the good -
This hotel is beautiful and the beach front location is great. This hotel definitely has the most appealing beach front and bar. We went using the Groupon so it was only $110 a night. Even that might have been a bit much.

We used Owen as our taxi driver to Rick's and he was the best!! Definitely use Owen for any of your driving needs.

Then the rest -
1. The owners - ABSOLUTELY listen to all the other reviews complaining about the favorites game. They play it HEAVILY and everyone (including the staff) sees it and talks about it openly.
2. The service - the girl at the front (Nickesha) is HORRIBLE. She asked for my confirmation when we checked in and made me try and use my cell phone for 20 minutes (racking up a $50 international roaming charge) before she let me use the lobby computer. Then she put a $200 charge on our card saying that it was in case we didn't want to use cash/card on the beach. Sounds like a good plan. Then we were checking out she tried to charge the $284 that we had spent. I told her that she had already charged $200 and it should only be $84 more. She said, "Oh I'm going to charge you $284 and give you $200 back." Pointless. Breakfast is a JOKE. Previous reviews were right. At LEAST an hour for four over ripe pieces of fruit and you will never be offered the mimosa... you have to ask or it won't happen and even then it's orange juice with a tiny splash of champagne. Stick to the 2 eggs or french toast. Anything requiring seasoning was awful.
3. The rooms - the rooms LOOK nice but lack details. The "ocean view" is a joke. Yes, you could technically see the ocean if you climbed up your balcony rails and leaned off. Do NOT pay extra for the ocean view. Get the ocean front. There is no garden so don't get fooled. There is the shack view or the pool view or ocean front. We forgot toothpaste and went to ask if they had any or if there was a gift shop or anything where we could purchase and Nickesha responded, "No." A suggestion would be nice. The previous reviews were correct, the beds are Flinstone tablets. It will take weeks for my chiropractor and masseuse to get me lined back up. The walls are paper thin. We had three girls staying in the room next to us and could hear literally every word that was said and were awakened at all hours of the night when they would come back from partying.
4. Pot shack - the bar right behind the cabanas is the beach pot shack. We got asked every 15-30 minutes while laying on the loungers if we wanted pot, hash, or brownies. They need to stop lacing it with other mess so they can remember who has already said no :)

All in all - if you were able to pay maybe $50 or so a night it would be worth it. Otherwise go elsewhere.

Room Tip: Pick the ocean front if you want any type of view other than pool or shack.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank Adelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2012

Dear Adelle:
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience while staying at Sandy Haven Resort. We appreciate when our guests give constructive reviews as we use this as a basis to improve our product. My information confirms that on check in you were requested to present your Groupon Voucher for verification, which you were unable to present, you then offered to show your copy which was on your iphone, the front desk agent graciously offered the use of the lobby computer, which you refused.
Our beds are firm and we offer our guests the option to add a memory foam topper should they so desire, this has been to the complete approval of our guests when requested.
Our wait staff on the Almond Tree Deck has under gone retraining and where necessary have been replaced as we are absolutely passionate about delivering high standards of service to our valued guests, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this training process may have caused.
With reference to favoritism of the owners among our guests, this comment is unfortunate; the owners with their usual warm hospitality make every effort to relate to all of our guests, while being mindful that some guests would prefer to be left alone. All our guests and their satisfaction at Sandy Haven Resort are very important to us, and as such we do regret that you felt otherwise.
It was our pleasure hosting you, and we do look forward to welcoming you once more in the near future.

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Reviewed July 22, 2012

We visited this property on a recommendation from someone else. We will be looking for a quiet getaway next year without our kids and wanted to see this property. We found the owners quite accommodating to us. They really have done a lot to open this resort and the pride they take in it is obvious. I think it is great that they are there everyday to make sure things are flowing smoothly. I agree with everyone that the place looks beautiful. It has a different feel than many others. Even the colors give you this peaceful and relaxed feeling. We found the rooms spacious and decorated so pleasantly. My kids ran into the ocean upon arrival and loved the crystal clear water. Mobay has a lot of seagrass and fish. Thank you again Ann and Stephen for being so welcoming to us last week when we visited. The rain was unfortunate though.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
Thank tamalePittsburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Hello Tam…Thank you for your very refreshing review!! We really appreciate the time you took to write this lovely review of Sandy Haven Resort. We are thrilled that you enjoyed our intimate property, including the large expanse beach area (that was so loved by your children), which we must agree is the perfect addition to the beach side accommodations here is Negril. Our aim is to continually exceed our guests’ expectations each and every day. We are absolutely humbled to have provided you with such a wonderful vacation and look forward to your next visit to Sandy Haven Resort!!

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Reviewed July 20, 2012

Let's start with the good...
The location can not be faltered. Having beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea at your backyard is simply heaven. The hotel is located in a gorgeous section of the 7 mile beach, pristine white sand and clear water everywhere you look. Every morning beach lounges were laid out with fresh towels and there were always plenty of lounges to go around. Most of them are in the shade under umbrellas or under shady trees, which is great given how harsh the sun is. There were 4 beautiful day beds off to the side but in our stay of 5 days we didn't see anyone using them. We laid on them to test them out but they were rather uncomfortable, felt rubbery and hot with hard pillows to match. But they certainly look pretty. 

We walked up and down the beach and this hotel is by far the nicest and the most modern looking hotel in the area. The hotel always has a security guard on duty on the beach, so no one crosses the hotel boundary to hassle you when you are relaxing on the lounges. Plenty of colourful locals walk up and down the beach selling all sorts of things but they never come up to you but you can approach them if you want something, good system. 

The beach side bar is a very cool little spot, prices of cocktails were reasonable at about $8-$10. There was always music coming from the bar from the morning, and the whole vibe felt very chilled and Jamaican. 

As for the staff, apart from one or two staff on the breakfast service (which I will get to later), they were all extremely polite, friendly and willing to help. 

We had a ocean view double room which was very modern and spacious. Bathroom was also very spacious with double vanities, and a nice dressing area. The shower and toilet had many shortcomings, see below for details. House keeping did a pretty good job most days, again read below for the negative aspects.

We used the hotel to organise transport for us from the airport and to other places we wanted to go to. The trip to/back from airport is $100 each way for two people, which sounds like a lot but the trip takes about an hour and a half from the hotel so I guess the price is ok given that. We also took taxis to Rick's cafe and another local eatery which was $20 for the round trip. The drivers were always on time and courteous. They drop you at your destination and give you a business card with their number, you get the bar/restaurant you are at to call the driver when you are ready to return and they come and collect you straight away. Very safe process.

We had dinner at Bongos restaurant once. Food was very good, not that cheap considering you are in Jamaica but  comparable with western prices.

Now for the not so good.....
I have to agree with all the bad reviews on here about the poor breakfast service and the general attitude of the owners.

Breakfast was without a doubt an extremely frustrating start to each of our five morning. The staff at breakfast service was so poorly trained and SO slow at everything, we wanted to go without breakfast some mornings. I understand all about island time, I was born in a tropical island myself but when each morning your toast takes nearly an hour to arrive there's something very unacceptable about that! The continental "champagne" breakfast that is included with the room rate is barely enough, you get tea/coffee, a small fruit plate, a tiny muffin and an even tinier glass of juice. We never once got offered the champagne, we always had to ask for it and then wait another 15 minutes for it to arrive. When we asked why our toast was taking more than 45 minutes, the very uninterested waitress would simply shrug and say a large group had ordered before us and the chef was busy with that order still. What the hell??? How hard is it to pop some bread in the toaster and since when does it require a "chef" to make toast?!! Needless to say this is unacceptable service. 

The owners were around pretty much all the time but it was very obvious that they pick their favourites and spend all their time and energy sucking up to them to get these patrons to spend more money at the hotel. The groups that received the undivided attention of the owners were nearly always large family groups who they can obviously convince to spend more money.  Young couples and other young groups of friends etc went completely ignored, we were lucky to even receive a hello from these owners. It goes without saying that I was not impressed with this one bit. 

And then there is a whole host of other problems we had that made this stay lot more frustrating than it needed to be:
1. Our toilet was not working and we had to get someone to come and fix it 4 times in the 5 days we were there. If you are going to charge $US250 per night for a hotel room please provide functioning toilets!!!
2. The bathroom door has no door handle and no lock! I don't know whether this was a fault in our room or if they all come with this stupid design fault. We were two friends travelling together and needless to say this was very frustrating and  we had to drag something against the door each time one of us wanted to shower or go to the toilet. 
3. Requested a hair dryer on our first morning and it took 25 minutes and three phone calls to arrive.
4. Wifi didn't work AT ALL from inside the room. We had to go out into our balcony and lean over the railing to get a signal. So frustrating. Wifi only works well in the reception area and the restaurant. It doesn't work at all from the breakfast/lunch areas and the beach loungers. 
5. On our second last day our room was not serviced till 6pm! Even then we had to call and wait 45 minutes for house keeping to get to us. And even after all that they didn't clean the bathroom  at all.
6. We were not given shower gel or any soap till our last day.
7. Our shower drained very poorly as did one of the two sinks in the bathroom.
8. The quality of bed linen and towels was average to say the least.

Loved Jamaica but have very mixed feelings about this hotel. It definitely felt as if the owners think that the pretty facade of the hotel is enough to hide all the negative aspects of the hotel. These negative aspects can no longer be dismissed as teething issue given the hotel has now been open for at least 4 months. The owners also really need to take into account what's been said in all these reviews and stop playing such uncomfortably obvious favourite games.

Would I stay here again? Probably not, I'm certain I can get better value for my money elsewhere! 

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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11  Thank RachSydney2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

My husband and I recently spent a few days at Sandy Haven. The hotel itself is a lovely property. They have really captured the boutique feel. The rooms were spacious and nicely done. The beach front area was always clean and well kept. The beach bar and the restaurant were a little on the pricey side for us. But there are plenty of restaurants close by to choose from. Definitely try Best in the West jerk shack across the street for some authentic jerk chicken! Steven and Ann (property owners) were welcoming and friendly as was the entire staff. We would definitely recommend this property to anyone looking for a small boutique feel centrally located on the beaches of Negril.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank amyhZ3489MX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2012

Dear Amy, it was truly a pleasure hosting you and your husband at Sandy Haven Resort. We welcome and appreciate your warm and lovely review of our property. We are truly delighted that you both had such a wonderful time and even more delighted that you loved the hotel and its amenities. We look forward to hosting you again!!

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Reviewed July 15, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed at Sandy Haven recently while we visited Negril for the first time. The hotel was very nice and I would say at a glance that it ranks up there with the best in Negril in terms of style and modern appointments. The rooms were nice and has great air conditioning, however our bed was rock hard. That may be a personal preference, but I found the bed to be difficult to get comfortable in. That is my one complaint about the room as the rest of it was great.

The more serious misstep of the hotel however was the level of service by the waitstaff at the beach and deck area. While certain staff members were very attentive and friendly, others were rather inconsistent. For instance, the very last day we were there, my girlfriend placed an order with one of the staff for breakfast which she never got after over an hour of waiting, which wasn't the only time something like that happened during our stay. By the time we realized how long we had waited, it was too late and we had to pack up in order to catch our ride to the airport. It was a little bit off putting as the family who owns the resort were sitting on the deck being catered to, while a paying guest couldn't even get an order of French toast! I'm not a picky person or a particularly critical one at that, but even though the example I gave may seem minor, our feeling was that the place was very nice, but definetey missing something. Sandy Haven has a lot of potential, just hope they can work all the kinks out before the peak season starts.

Shout out to Wayne Webb, our cab driver we met at the airport. Very nice guy who told us all about the island and was extremely punctual. Highly recommended if you are flying into Mo Bay and need to get somewhere. He can be reached at wyn_webb@yahoo.com

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
6  Thank MKE R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2012

Dear valued guest…
Thank you for your kind review! Each feedback given by our past guests’ gives us the opportunity to know what the experiences were like as it is also a means of ensuring that the Sandy Haven Management Team can position itself and implement corrective measures. We of course want to ensure that our quality standards are met and maintained in order to provide the best vacation possible. Let me offer my sincere apologies for the service you have received as well as the lengthy wait periods you endured. We are working assiduously to ensure that our guests’ needs are met promptly while offering the best service. We would be pleased to enhance your stay in the future by providing you with a mattress padding (usually available upon request) for a restful sleep. We are particularly pleased that you enjoyed your room as well as the hotel amenities. We do hope however that you will one day visit with us again.

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Reviewed July 12, 2012

Our stay at Sandy Haven was delightful. Very attentive and accommodating wait staff, bartenders, and chefs; they're the essence of this resort. The food was great! I loved and miss the Jamaican breakfast! If you're accustomed to Caribbean spicy foods, ask the chef to prepare your meal "yardie style".... The steamed snapper was superb :)... Rooms were always attended to in a timely fashion, and the resort is attractive and very well kept. My only issue with Sandy Haven was the attitude of the owner. There was a discrepancy in the room that we were assigned, it did not match what we paid for. While the manager and other front desk personnel at Sandy Haven attempted to handle this matter in a most professional and hospitable manner, the owner intervened in a particularly condescending way. She was dismissive, unapologetic, and unquestionably rude to us. Needless to say, while both my boyfriend and I look forward to visiting Negril again, we will certainly be taking our business elsewhere.

Room Tip: Make sure you're assigned the room you paid for. Watch out for an arbitrary "upgrade!"...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Brownsugga51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHRsm, Manager at Sandy Haven Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2012

Hello Brownsugga….Thank you for your wonderful review. It was definitely a pleasure hosting you here at Sandy Haven Resort. We are pleased to learn that you had such a lovely experience with us and even more pleased that you absolutely enjoyed the services offered by our wonderful staff. I’ll be sure to pass on your regards to them so as to motivate them to continue to provide stellar and prompt service for our valued guests. We both can agree that the Jamaican breakfast is excellent!! We do hope that you will one day visit us again. All the best!!

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Additional Information about Sandy Haven Resort

Address: Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Price Range: $219 - $570 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandy Haven Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An exclusive boutique resort built in modern urban style set on the famous 7-miles white sand beach location of Negril with 35 units of luxury guest rooms and suites. The Sandy Haven Resort experience goes far beyond bricks and walls. The prevailing atmosphere is that of a meeting place for friends and colleagues to mingle. ... more   less 
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