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“A true haven in Negril”
Review of Sandy Haven Resort

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Sandy Haven Resort
Ranked #18 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 14, 2013

I stayed at Sandy Haven from November 9 to 13 along with my two sisters and niece. This was my 7th trip to Negril and by far my most enjoyable hotel experience. From the second we arrived at Sandy Haven we felt welcome and comfortable. The lovely reception area was so inviting after a long day of travel. We were immediately checked into our rooms and given a cold beverage while doing so.

The staff was amazing, Pops ( who will hook you up with whatever activity you are interested in) Annemarie, Orlando and Linton just to mention a few, but all of which go above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable and carefree. Security is incredible and they take their jobs very seriously by prohibiting the beach vendors from becoming a nuisance to the guests.

The rooms are nicely appointed with large a balcony, mini-refrigerator, flat screen television and lovely toiletries. I have heard other reviewers mention the lack of hot water in the shower. I agree this is true, but this happens wherever you travel in the Caribbean, so this was not a deal breaker for us

Bongos restaurant was wonderful, so definitely give it a try. A dinner for four people was roughly $130.00 US. You can also get lunch, cocktails and snacks at the beach bar.

Finally, the location on Seven-Mile beach can not be beat. The beach is very wide at this location compared to hotels west of Sandy Haven. The hotel has a lot of beach lounges and fresh towels are put on them each morning. It was never a problem to find a chair. They also have lovely cabanas to rent.

If you need a taxi ask for Damian. His service is reasonably priced and very professional.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 1FlyersFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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462 - 468 of 687 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2013

My wife and I spent 4 nights at this wonderful boutique (31 room) hotel over the Halloween weekend. The hotel has a great location, centrally located in the middle of Negril’s 7 mile beach. Along the beach to the south of Sandy Haven were more small resorts; to the right, more of the mega-resorts such as Couples and Sandals. Small shops, beach restaurants, bars, and clubs fill in between the resorts.

THE HOTEL
We had a garden view room. The room was large, with a large dressing room with double sinks and separate shower/bathroom. Every room has a large balcony or porch with a table and chairs. The pool and hot tub were clean when we got there, and cleaned again while we were there. They are both open all night, and we found the hot tub was just right. An outside massage area was tucked out of the way in the hot tub area, with privacy curtains.
It was very nice that they had bathrooms accessible by the beach and an outdoor fresh water shower, very nice for a day on the beach!
The reception area was very welcoming, and the sitting area off the reception in the garden was peaceful and comfy. Bongo’s is a nice restaurant, the food was excellent. The security was outrageously awesome - more below.
Great, great drinks at the hotel: the rum punch and strawberry/mango rum smoothie at the beach bar, and Andre's “sweet” margarita from Bongo’s bar were all awesome.

THE PEOPLE
People made the difference! This is why we will go back:
Pops was a roaming concierge - great hookups on the beach with snorkeling (we did), the jet skis, the parasailing, etc. He knows who to trust and who will give you the best for the best price.
The staff, bartenders, waiters, etc. were also special including Orlando, Andre, Linton - they really showed great service, going above and beyond from the simplest questions from these first timers to making sure the drinks and the food were just right. Made us feel special. With Tamar at the front desk we were in good hands. Even the housekeeping staff was friendly and attentive.
Can’t leave this subject without mentioning Earla, one of the security guards. One of the most beautiful people on the planet, we were blessed to have met such a warm heart. Imagine your the dream kindergarden teacher working on the beach as your security guard. (The guards work for a private company and provide security at many of the resorts along the beach.)
This was a very welcoming resort - we did not feel at all like dollar signs, but the people were genuinely happy to see you and concerned about insuring you have a good experience.

THE BEACH
The sand on the 7 mile beach is soft, rock-free, clean, tan-colored, and never too hot to walk barefoot on (late October). The hotels groom their areas every morning.
The beach is awesome for people watching, too. We saw swimwear of all kinds on all kinds of people. Thongs are common and “no problem, mon”, but we asked at the hotel and found out only certain hotels have the requisite license for their guests to be topless. That goes for nude as well, and we did see one person in the buff farther up the beach. If you are textile-averse, we’d recommend a cute thong bikini for gals and guys. Men mostly did the board-short thing, and swim-boxers were popular, as well as the euro-speedo.
We ran on the beach 3 of the 4 mornings we were there (missed one due to hangover!), so we saw most of the properties along the beach. You will not find a finer beachfront than Sandy Haven along there unless you want to share it with all the other people at your mega-resort. Some of the other places on the beach have a very shallow beach space - their rooms, eating areas and bars were really close to the water. At Sandy Haven’s beach, we had a large deck where we ate breakfast every morning, a beach bar, cabanas, tree-shaded areas, three rows of lounge chairs on the sand, and still had a good 20 yards to the water. We never lacked for two chairs, a table and an umbrella between us. The cabanas also looked inviting, but they went unused, this was the slow season before more people start coming around USA Thanksgiving.
The hotel beach faces west, and the sun this time of year sets right in front of you as you look out at the Caribbean. The typical late-afternoon tropical showers insure plenty of clouds for a dramatic sunset. Rick’s Cafe and Ivan’s have their fun and ambiance to watch a sunset, but having a beach almost to yourself seeing the same sunset - totally awesome!
Even though this is a public beach and compliance is completely voluntary on the part of the local vendors, the hotel sets out a line of skinny potted palm trees to make an informal line between the “private property” and the public beach. Which means that for the most part, the vendors walking the beach stayed on their side and the hotel security enforced the line. We never felt bad about leaving our (non-valuable) stuff on tables and in a beach bag on our chairs and going down the beach or leaving the area for a couple of hours. The staff and security watched everything.
The fact that the vendors respected the line shows you that you have nothing to be concerned about the hawkers walking the beach. All we met were really friendly. They are truly just businessmen and women, and they reflected the warmth and inner peace of the Jamaicans. A simple, “No thank-you”, was all that was necessary if you weren’t interested. And, by the way, their wares are good stuff.

THE FOOD
The room came with continental breakfast which included four different fruits slices that changed each day, toasts and muffins (also changed each day), plus choice of fruit juice. The Jamaican coffee is also special - less acidic and lighter yet far tastier than the Columbian mud we drink in the USA. The locals are quite proud of it, seems like everyone knows it is “grown at 7,600 feet on a mountain”.
A good tip: wherever you eat, be sure to get what the locals eat (ask) and not what is on the menu for American diets. The food is better BY FAR.
We ate dinner one night at Ivan’s Restaurant which is at Catcha Falling Star Resort in the Negril West End (cliffs) area. We ate on the cliffs looking out at the sea and watched the stars come out. We had coconut-rubbed chicken and jerk snapper with a papaya sauce. Excellent.
We also ate one night at the CocoLaPalm’s restaurant next door to Sandy Haven, which was great (when we ordered the local cuisine).
Across the street from Sandy Haven is Best of the West, which has the best local jerk chicken we’re told. We had such good jerk chicken elsewhere, that I can’t even imagine what that would be like!

HOOK UPS
- The typical short, afternoon rain shower is a great opportunity to take a “liquid sunshine” walk along the beach!
- Damian was our cab driver a couple of nights to go into Negril. Ask for him at the front desk if you need a cab. He’s got an awesome brand new clean minivan and great service.
- Don’t rent a car, really. The hotel offers cab service from the Montego Bay Airport and the cabs at the hotel will drop you off and come back for you at a time. For airport transfer, we opted for a bit cheaper alternative in Jamaica Explorer. Leon was waiting for us at the airport and we had a fun ride to the hotel, but highly recommend Tony who gave us a lot of local history and Jamaican background on the way back.
- By the way, Jamaica has mosquitoes so think about a little bug spray for the trip.
- Ask Pops for Bill’s Glass Bottom Boat trip to the island and/or to go snorkeling. On the island a local proprietor is cooking fresh lobster right on the beach for your lunch! Then leave the island to go to the reef for snorkeling. The reef is only about 3 -15 feet deep, perfect for snorkelers and easy to swim in and around. The variety of fish and coral are spectacular.
- Be sure to ask Pops where the live entertainment or other events are that night. Turns out Thursday night was the big party night at Jungle and we missed it. But we more than made up for it the next night at Alfred’s club which is down the beach from Sandy Haven. Live Reggae band was seriously kickin’ it, we danced in the sand until the wee hours - and their jerk chicken was very good. So good that we found the jerk sauce they use at a little shop and brought some home!

SUMMARY
Sandy Haven is a special place on the beach in Negril and we lacked nothing for a fun, relaxing, and refreshing Jamaican vacation. But it’s the people of Sandy Haven that make us want to come back. A little piece of me is sitting on the beach at Sandy Haven right now, sipping a rum punch, watching my wife apply suntan lotion, and listening to the waves hit the beach. Got to go back and find that guy.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PirateG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

Having been there only two days we can't say much, but you get clean room, splendid beach with excellent sea with protected swimming area, fairly secure environment.
The rooms have, finally, excellent beds with hard mattresses. We have read many complaints about it, people who does that have no idea of how better it is for the body to rest on a not-too-soft surface. Save healthcare money down the road...

As usual, everywhere you go in the country, they ask for too many tips, and offer too often illegal material.
The food is not great, much better to walk around the beach to find other places.
The sea is splendid, maybe the swimming area is too short, but this does not depends on the Hotel. The night barman is a master, Mango and Rum is a special one!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank EuropeanExplorers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

I really enjoyed my time here. The staff were super nice and professional. The facilities were clean and nice. Their beach bar has great music and piña coladas. The bed was a little hard, but that's about it.

A couple of great real Jamaican restaurants nearby. Best in the West and Sweet Spot.

Hired Damian for taxi/tour service. Great guy.

Enjoyed my time in Negril. Hope to be back.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank c0c0_pie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We had a few days of business elsewhere in Jamaica so we decided to top off the week with a weekend at Sandy Haven. It is exactly like the photos and the reviews (even the minor negative remarks). You will love the feeling of being personally cared about. The staff has been well trained; very professional and friendly. The view from the top floor facing the beach is the best, but it is three stories of stairs, be aware. Bongo's and also the beach grill are great. We only left for one meal and wish we had continued staying and eating at Beach Haven. Before we arrived, they prepared the bed with an extra pad and lovely soft pillows at our request. The minor problem which keeps me from rating it a #5, was the tub leaking and the water for bath and shower wasn't hot immediately. I must learn to be more relaxed and patient. The leaking tub was fixed in ten minutes...no problem, mon. The beach is truly heavenly...The sand is more like powder than even sugar...Very white and very fine. Great security. Watchman at night on the beach side... Staff was tops. I give each one 100%, A+. Check the rates all over and it is best to go in mid-October as we did...off season. There were very few others there. Felt like our private island...

Room Tip: Ask for extra padding if you like a soft bed...King sized bed was great. View from the beach side t...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Julaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Sandy Haven hosted us for the first 8 days of honeymoon in August. We loved the laid back vibe and the help was very accommodating. Demin, the bellboy, was our favorite and was fun and gave helpful tips/advice. Breakfast is good - the mimosa is free but they don't give it to you unless you ask so be sure to take advantage of that. We had an amazing top floor, ocean-view room that was beautiful. The one downside is the water in our shower was rarely hot and had little pressure, but wasn't a big deal because after laying in the sun for hours a cool shower felt great. We loved Sandy Haven and Negril (it was better than Ocho Rios, where we spent the last half of our trip) and hope to get back to Jamaica soon! One tip- Clive's Airport Shuttle is nice and way cheaper than most others, including the one the hotel will arrange for you.

Room Tip: If you do an ocean-view room, I'd prefer a second or third floor since breakfast is right outsid...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lindsay H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

First time at Sandy Haven and enjoyed our stay. We stayed in an ocean view room. Nicely decorated, large room, large patio, cold AC. Front desk and everyone else took care of us. Really enjoyed the couches in the lobby. Nice place to sit and read when it rained. Continental breakfast was good, a la carte menu items were good, drinks great and always taken care of by the bartenders.

Food prices are a little high but the food is good so up to you if you want go somewhere else to eat. Beds were a little firm for my taste but not enough to ruin the vacation. Water pressure can be an issue, like a lot of places, but again not enough to ruin my vacation.

We got a good deal on Travelocity for low season. I would stay again for around the same price

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank cubs2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 80 Hotels in Negril
Price Range: $262 - $669 (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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