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“Hide Awhile”

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Idle Awhile The Beach
Ranked #25 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Hide Awhile”
Reviewed February 26, 2012

We recently returned from "Hide Awhile" resort on the Negril cliffs. (companion of "Idle Awhile" resort on beach) Wonderful experience. Very nice staff, helpful, accommodating and very focus on the clients needs. The shuttle transports to "idle awhile" on the beach every day; so you get to enjoy the beach while enjoying the serenity and tranquility of the old Negril.......

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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5 Thank skibum77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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389 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2012

We've been looking for a home on the beach for several years now and I think we've found it. The rooms are spacious and clean, beds comfortable, staff pleasant and helpful, centrally located on the beach, friendly guests (still trying to figure out who's who below), good food and drinks, and reasonably priced. Does Chill Awhile have the best breakfast on the beach, maybe not but it's not bad at all. We will definitely be going back next year.

Room Tip: Don't worry about beach view vs garden view, they are both wonderful.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Caught2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2012

This was our 10th Stay at Idle Awhile it never disappoints us. The staff is wonderful, always welcoming us "home" when we arrive. In total it's our 23rd year in Negril. We found Idle Awhile by walking the beach just being noisy. We've never stayed anywhere else since finding it. I'll probably regret writing this review, because of they only have 16 total rooms and it's getting a bit difficult to get a reservation. But we love this place. We prefer an upper room, but when you're in paradise any of the rooms are great. We spend most of our time on the beach anyway.

After reading a few of the reviews below I must comment on the food at Chill Awhile. I have food allergies so it's always a tricky going on vacation. The food was delicious, and not boring old porridge. So thank you to the Chefs for making my stay so pleasant. The beers are cold, the drinks are delicious, try a vodka and lemonade. My husband loves them. The pot of coffee on the beach is one of our favorite things to do. It just starts the day off right.

We're early risers so we'd take a morning walk on beach, it's a different view early in the morning. The locals are friendly, and we have our favorite vendors that stop by daily. Hardis with the fruits, she's a wonderful woman and very talented at making you feel as if you've known her forever. It's amazing to see what she carries on the beach for hours in the hot sun, at least three 50 lb bags of fruit. One on her head, and one on each arm. She'll cut the fruit open for you and peal it, she has quite a system, and makes you part of the show.

We just arrived home last night, and am already longing for next years visit.

Thank you to all of the Idle Awhile family, it's because of you that we come back.

Room Tip: Preference is an upper level, but lower levels are exactly the same rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Yooperchick1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingsport, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2012

Celebrated my 60th birthday at Idle Awhile. We were there from Jan 14-24. Was my second stay at IA and my wife's 3rd (she'd done a girl's trip w/o me). Words simply can not describe the sensuality of our suite. My wife's choice of words.

Our every need was catered to. The staff is 1st rate and so very friendly. The same staff has been there for many years.
Sharon was our housekeeper and she is the best .. fresh flowers every day.
Aaron remembers how many chairs you need and where you want them situated re sun/shade. Gumby keeps the grounds spotless.
Jenny mainly took care of us at IA's restaurant, Chill Awhile, and she did such a wonderful job. We miss her smile. Food was very good. The shrimp rundown is to die for and all of their curry dishes are great.
In front office Nathefa is the very best. She gave us best recommendation for dinner our last night - The Lodge at Tensing Pen.
If Nathefa is not there Karim will do all he can to assist you in any way.

I just do not understand how the below reviewer "worse breakfast in negril" can justify giving IA a 'terrible' rating. Anyone reading IA reviews should see that consistently the resort rates excellent.

Idle Awhile is Negril best kept secret. Didn't want to review for that reason but just could not let someone trash IA based on their breakfast experience.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank JahCruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2012

We stayed here in the past and the beachside restaurant has gone downhill. in the past you got a small pot of coffee with your breakfast. Now you get a 6oz cup and refills are $2.50US each. 24 ounces of coffee, two small burnt croissants, and a fruit plate was $21US for one breakfast.

Go next door to the CocoLaPalm and you get unlimited coffee, eggs, meat, juice for two people for the same price. The breakfast was twice the price and half the quality of any other beach restaurant.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DogsRunWild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2012

We stayed at Idle Awhile from Jan 22 to the 28th. This was our 5th trip to Jamaica. We have been to St. Martin, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Antiqua and Puerto Rico. Husband has gone to Mexico, Thailand and Costa Rica. Once we visited Jamaica we have not strayed. We stayed at Couples Swept Away twice, visited Couples Negril, stayed at Couples Sans Souci and rented a villa in Silver Sands in Duncan. Food was good at the all inclusives, but not enough Jamaican food. We love Jamaican food. The meals at the villa were fabulous, prepared for us by a wonderful in house cook. But we missed Negril. We love the beach, the water, that there are no tall buildings and that you can walk forever.
Couples resorts are wonderful. But we realized we were paying for many things that we never would do, like golf, scuba diving, water skiing, and not into the gym on vacation. Don’t drink fruity drinks. The glass bottom boat and catamaran cruise were nice, but twice was enough of that. The airfare from NJ to Jamaica is cheap. We paid $248 roundtrip this time. Fifteen years ago we spent $500 roundtrip to get to Antiqua. We would love to visit St John’s, Turks and Caicos, Barbados and St Croix, but with the prices you just can’t beat Jamaica. When we went to St. Martin 20 years ago it was $500 a night for the room and a continental breakfast. This year considering all of the above we decided it was time to do a non-all inclusive in Negril. We loved the villa but we went with two other couples, on our own it was too costly.
We felt that the $585 a night at SA was not worth it for us considering that in the end we don’t do all those activities don’t eat that much and though we do drink we don’t drink enough to warrant the cost of all inclusive. The drinks are cheap anywhere in Negril. Especially when compared to here at home, let alone other islands.
We were familiar with places along the beach and cliffs from our two previous trips. Beach setting is paramount. There are plenty of places that might be ok to stay but the beach front is marred by fencing, not deep enough, buildings too close to the water line and so on. Looking on line many of the rooms appear to be much too basic for us. Feeling comfortable with the Couples brand, knowing Idle Awhile is owned by the same family and liking the look of the resort from the water we booked.
Since the flights from NJ don’t get you to Negril until after 6 we decided to leave a day earlier and stay at a hotel by the airport so we could get up and head to Negril on Sunday morning. Idle Awhile arranged everything and Anthony arrived on time, was pleasant and got us there in no time. We checked in, left our bags in the lobby and headed to the beach. Our vacation in Negril was off to a great start!
Resort/Beach: Small, which we loved! Set between two wide resorts, making our spot so quiet. Our spot on the beach was chosen and set up by wonderful staff and each day upon arrival to the beach, everything was ready for us. No scrambling for chairs. SA is the worst place I have ever seen for the early setting out of a towel to save a chair that always seems to remain vacant for the remainder of the day. There is plenty of shade. But we enjoyed being able to sit closer to the water under the umbrella. These were the nicest umbrellas I have ever seen. They dig them in and even the fiercest breeze would have no effect on them. Going to use this technique for our Jersey shore trips! Neither the trees nor the umbrellas will keep you from getting a burn so sunscreen is a must, all day. We love that the sun sets in front of you so you get plenty of light until the sun disappears. We averaged 9 hours a day on the beach. We had our coffee and espressos brought to our table on the beach. They will serve you meals there as well. We loved the size of the resort. The beach is what it is all about in Negril and this resort is on a prime location along the shore. It was like a microcosm of Swept Away. When we ventured down along the beach to SA we felt no remorse that we were not there.
Check in/Front desk: We arrived hours before check in time. The gracious staff was accommodating and helpful. They made all taxi arrangements and reservations for us during our stay. Everything was no problem.
Rooms: We had a garden view, reserved back in June. Since there are only 8 of these rooms and 6 suites the earlier the better to get an ocean view. We would have loved to have seen a bit of the beautiful sea from our veranda, but we were ok with the second floor view of the tree tops. Since every resort is along Norman Manley Blvd. you could hear some road noise. But compared to our two other stays in Negril we felt that the road was less travelled, drivers seem to have slowed down and cut back on the honking! We had no problem crossing the street for Best in the West.
Our room was clean and bright. Loved the high ceilings, which is why we chose the second floor. The bathroom was large and it was fine for the two of us to get set for a night out in. I don’t understand the whole no shower door being a problem. I love an open shower. The whole place is tiled and it is water, dries in no time. And the shutters make the room bright and airy, as close to an outdoor shower as you can get. I love that the room is open to the ceiling. But then my husband and I have known each other since I was 17 and we are in our 50’s now.
The bed is the same as SA and comfortable. The fridge had a hard time keeping the red stripes cold, but we asked at the bar for a pitcher and filled it with ice around a bottle and rotated. Nothing in Jamaica is cold enough, only had a few martinis as a result. We loved the veranda, the couch and great chair. We positioned the great TV so we could watch the Giants win the final play-off game to get to the Super Bowl on the veranda. Though I can see where some people might think that the room is too colorless we love the white and wood. I purchased a dress and beach bag that added color hanging on the many hooks until it was time to take the souvenirs home.
The kitchen was behind our room. It made for getting ice and room service very convenient. They were very quiet and made no impact on our stay.
Since the resort is on a slice of land between two properties the privacy from the side was lacking, but it was quiet over there and if we wanted extra privacy we put down the roll shade. They really do have things in order for their guests.
The bar/restaurant: The staff was great. They were pleasant, helpful, quick and unobtrusive while still being attentive. Drinks were great. They did not seem to mind that we brought our own drinks to the beach much of the time. In fact when we were given our water bottles at check in the woman stated that this is for our filtered water or whatever else like rum, you want to use it for. We had room service for our first night. Both dinners were delicious. Shrimp Roundabout and Curried Lobster. Fab. We had not yet gone to the hi-low so we ordered wine for with dinner and we kept the glasses to use all week. We brought them filled to the beach for sunset. We had breakfast there the first morning. Had the eggs benedict, which I had read was great. It was the only disappointing meal of the week. Over poached, stingy on the sauce and out of English muffins they cut the bread into rounds. But the juice was good. So we just ordered room service for a pot of coffee for our getting ready for the beach and hailed the fruit lady, juice guy and bread guy the rest of the time for breakfast. And of course the juice was great for our rum drinks! We dined at Chill Awhile and we were the only people there. It was wonderful! Kind of like a private candlelit dinner on the beach that SA does for an extra cost! We went local and had curried goat and oxtail stew, delicious. With two glasses of wine the meal came to $40. What a bargain, really. And considering we were steps to the sea which shone with the moonlight it was such a wonderful evening with the entertainment from Cherela wafting through the air it was perfect! Since our last night was Friday and they have their reggae band that night we went elsewhere. Next time we will stay and enjoy the show.
Vendors: No problem! The folks selling their wares were far less aggressive than we remembered and very pleasant and nice to deal with. We loved getting our morning items. A tip of hand kept unwanted folks/items away. Truly felt that everyone was respectful in every way.
Miscellaneous:
The message hut between Idle Awhile and Charela offered a nice massage for a great price. The vendor had nice items. They were nice unobtrusive shop keepers. The resort brought in vendors as well.
We did not venture over to SA fitness area. Thought we might to use the hot tub. But the beach and ocean were enough for us!
We did venture over to Hide Awhile one day, free transportation. Lovely spot. But a bit too isolated for us with a very limited menu for lunch so we had them call a cab and we had lunch at Pushcart since the Rockhouse was closed. We enjoyed the pool and the drinks at Hide Awhile, but we are for sure beach people so we would not take time away from the beach in future trips.
We loved Best in the West jerk. It has an awkward bar so next time we would bring our food back to the resort.
We ate at Xtabi, Ivan’s and Kubaya. All great. Good food, great atmosphere. There are so many places to choose from that the idea of going back to Negril again and again you will not feel limited in dining choices. Aside from out dinner at Chill Awhile we had lobster and sea food for all our meals. The most expensive meal was at Ivan’s. We had a conch salad appetizer, Lobster Thermidor and Snapper in a Papaya Boat, two cocktails (a fabulous, huge Bloody Mary) and two cups of coffee, all for $81!
Niah’s patties were unbelievable! One is more than enough for two people. Not knowing that these patties were not the institutional variety we ordered three and enjoyed them the next day since they were so large, fresh and unbelievably delicious! We took all our leftovers with us and kept them in the fridge and would put them on calaloo bread the next day for lunch. Lobster Thermidor was fabulous as a sandwich!
We shopped at the duty free before our flight and picked up two bottles of Johnny Walker Black. On our first full day we taxied to the hi-low and bought a case of beer, three bottles of wine and a bottle of rum. So we were set for the week. Those two purchases came to under $200. Prices are comparable to here in NJ. We enjoyed spending time after dinner on our veranda enjoying our scotch.
We figure that we spent an average of $150 (probably less, I wanted to keep a strict accounting for comparison, but the minute we exited the plane that was forgotten) a day. Add that to the $220 for the room, and $250 for liquor purchases and taxis, we figure we spent an average of $154 less a day than our stay at SA would have been. We probably saved $1,000 over the 6 nights. Not a great savings, but it was a vacation more to our liking. We liked dining out at different restaurants better than at the all-inclusive resort. We liked the smaller resort. We liked the quiet.
We probably will head back to all inclusive should we vacation with others since they seem a better way to go for a group to vacation.
This was a trip to spend time by ourselves. We did not mingle much but the other guests were pleasant and a nice good morning greeting started our days. My husband left the day after we came back for a 10 week trip in Thailand. It was a great way to spend some time together, doing nothing but lounging on the beach, walking miles a day, door to door travel to wonderful restaurants and enjoying the wonderful water.
We will be back to Negril for sure. May venture to another resort, but for us this little spot was just the right mix that suited us just fine. Next year we will miss our winter get away to the islands as we will be heading to Italy twice to visit our college student son twice. So 2014 will be our next reach. Bet it will just keep getting better and better during our absence!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank jcjcnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2012

I was ready for a change from the big, fancy all-inclusives, so after much research decided to choose Idle Awhile. Here's the good and not-so-good for my first trip to Negril:

1) Trip from Montego Bay airport: excellent! Booked Juta Negril for $36/person round trip. Only waited a few minutes for another family and then we were on our way. The driver was texting while driving which made me nervous, but he got us there safely. Ride back was in a brand new van...very nice, polite driver. Highly recommend this service...especially for one person.

2) Arrived late at the resort...it's very dark and hard to find your way around in the dark, but the front desk people (especially the guys) were very helpful. When I walked the resort for the first time, my first thought was: what am I going to do here for a whole week? It's very small! You could toss a water balloon across the beach area. However, there was always room to sit in the sun or shade. Speaking of shade, beware of the umbrellas...they are not sunproof...got a bad sunburn one day for not reapplying sunscreen thinking the umbrellas would keep off the sun...but they are very cheaply made.

3) Room is comfortable, but non-descript. I did like the bed...king sized and very comfortable. Bathroom is a bit sparse and that lack of shower door is just plain weird....had to keep sopping up the water that went everywhere. I'd suggest some paint in the rooms... Also, they should've blocked out the bathroom instead of leaving it open. No problem for me as a single, but uncomfortable I would think for anyone sharing a room. No hairdryers in the room...luckily, the front desk had a few to spare. There's no power in the bathrooms, so you need to shave/dry your hair in the bedroom...odd. Also, bring your own conditioner...they didn't have any. Wifi was good...and so was the flat-screen TV. Patio off the room is very nice and decorated well...wish they could bring some of that color into the room and bathroom. Housekeeping kept everything very clean.

4) Food is pretty good. I enjoyed the grilled fish and the jerk chicken wrap; chips and salsa were surpisingly delicious! The jerk chicken salad was delicious but tiny....not a meal for $10.50. Drinks were also good, including a California white wine I tried. Chill Awhile doesn't have much personality, is usually very quiet, and the bar stools are absolutely the worst I've ever had my butt in...many people complained about the cheap chairs. I went to "Best in the West" jerk across the street...excellent but difficult to eat there. It's good to order and bring back to your patio. Best food I ate was at the Rockhouse and Kuyaba seafood down the street...excellent grilled lobster for $23 at Kuyaba and they will pick you up for free.

5) Noise is fair. The first few nights were very noisy...i was in a "garden view" room...and the people in the next resort had some late-night, loud parties. Sounded like they were on my patio. Luckily, they left within a few days of my arrival. The crickets are annoyingly loud, but you get accustomed to them. I slept with my music/TV on throughout the night to help block out the street noise/neighbors/crickets.

6) Location is great. I walked to many bars, restaurants, shops, and the Couples Swept Away work-out facility from the street. EAsy to walk on the beach as well. Never felt unsafe walking...even at night. There's a convenience store right next to the Harley shop where I could get my snacks and Coke Zero...Also, a bigger mall is down the street for souvenirs...very nice called "Times Square".

7) Beach was tiny but fine...swimming area was quite large. Even though I thought there were no children under 16, I counted 6 of them one day. They were fine. The vendors on the beach were ok, except the drug dealing was irritating. I felt like I was in a Cheech and Chong movie somedays with the guests buying/smoking dope. Weird atmosphere for me.

8) Night life was great! I listened to Reggae almost every night. Alfreds is very fun for music, but cover charges for local "parties", including those at Roots Bamboo are costly...cheapest was $6 which was reasonable but $20 was just too much.... Try to catch the free music on the beach like nearby at Sunsets. Idle Awhile has Reggae music on Friday nights...very fun. I also went to the Jungle disco down the street...crazy busy on Thursday nights (free ladies night) but a great mix of locals and tourists. Beware of the pick-pockets...but security there is excellent...always was checking on me to make sure I felt safe.

All in all, many of the guests seemed perfectly happy to be staying there. It would be better probably for a weekend than a week, but I prefer either more luxury or more things to do. It wasn't much of a fit for me, but if you like the rustic, basic, clean but not fancy resort, this may work just fine for you.

Room Tip: Stay away from the rooms facing the street...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
8 Thank PamK91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Idle Awhile The Beach

Property: Idle Awhile The Beach
Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Idle Awhile The Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
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