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“What you see, is what you get!”
Review of Villas Sur Mer

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Villas Sur Mer
Ranked #6 of 48 Specialty Lodging in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Cary, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What you see, is what you get!”
Reviewed May 25, 2011

My wife and I can not say Thank You enough for the hospitality and inclusive energy the staff shared during our stay.

From the pickup at the Airport in Montego Bay, we were treated as two travelers that were sleeping over at a friend's home.

Upon meeting Richard, Magonna, and Janet upon arriving at the Villa Sur Mer they were genuine in their welcome and sharing all the different parts of the site. All the pictures that have been posted to TripAdvisor were exactly what was offered for our stay. The highlight of the initial visit was the tour of the infamous "Cave" which connects the villas directly with access to the ocean across the street. The scene at the end of the tunnel will leave you speechless..........

The hospitality, consideration, and connections that staff share about the events going on in the area is untouchable. This can be demonstrated with Magonna arranging a massage for my wife and I at the lip of the cave at with the sun setting in the horizon...

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank kelevo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Miami, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2011

Here’s the deal: I only write reviews if the experience was very bad or supremely good. In this case, it was supremely good. In Negril, we’ve stayed at Riu, Country Country, and Nirvana on the Beach. While we liked Country Country (stayed once, really liked it), Nirvana (stayed twice, loved it and should have reviewed it but forgot) and Riu (stayed once, yawn, did not live up to brand), I really, really LOVED Villas Sur Mer (VSM).

This makes VSM my first Negril review. This time it was just me and the kids (2 and 5) sans husband. With a husband off-island, I knew I’d get hassled more than normal on the beach, so I opted for the West-End. It was the best decision as I am not going to return to the Beach-End – I loved VSM too much!

Upon arrival, Richie was unstoppable in the best way possible. He helped me sort out kid beds (crib for the 2 yr old; blowup mattress for the 5 yr old), helped me order dinner from across the street at the very yum LTU Pub, and made sure everything was OK. He even delivered the dinner! He went above and beyond the call of duty. He later helped us secure a fun glass-bottomed boat ride with Vincent (don’t miss!) and whenever we saw Richie, he was friendly. Unlike many places where you feel like “Jamaica” is being shoved down your throat, at VSM it was about service, quality, seclusion, peace, and relaxation in a beautiful Jamaican environment. It is in places like VSM where one remembers why they love Jamaica. Love is never forced and VSM has just the right balance.

In our short three-night stay, we must have swum in the pool for hours. The kids loved it and as long as you are observant, the rocks around the pool are no problem for kids. The pool ledge is great for the littlest ones. The pool is GORGEOUS, the rocking lounge chairs are awesome, and Bartender Cliff was fun. (The old non-parent in me would have loved to just lounge / nap in those chairs and on the pool ledges soaking up the sun forever… next time!)

I agree with the previous reviewers that the pictures on the website do not do the place justice. The rooms are more awesome and the grounds/pool is more beautiful than the pictures suggest. The bed was comfy with just the right weight of sheets / comforter to balance out the self-controlled air-conditioning.

Even though VSM is more of a place for couples or groups of couples, I found the staff very welcoming. Sometimes at more couple-y places the staff can be quite rude, not at VSM! I loved that the one-bedroom (Villa 1A) had a living area and kitchen separate from the bedroom. I also loved that I could order (by phone or via Richie) my “adult” seafood dinner (including Red Stripe!) from LTU across the road while simultaneously cooking a “kid” dinner in the villa. (FYI, great gas stove, under-the-counter refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee-maker and plates / utensils / cooking gear).

I told the staff on check-out that I plan to return. And I meant it. I will return but with my husband and if we can scrounge up enough folks, maybe the super-gorgeous 6 bedroom across the street. We will swim again in the pool and likely also in the ocean. The underground cave walk was awesome and while the water was calm, I have limits with two kids. With my husband, I’d certainly take the kids into the ocean on a one-parent to one-child ratio. While my daughter (who is a fish) would have been fine, the cliff waves were not appropriate for a two-year old. But like I said, this property is not for parents who plan to be at the beach or parents who want to ignore their kids on vacation. It is largely a place for couples or for VERY LOW-KEY family time.

Finally, one tiny suggestion: The U.S. booking agent is Paradise Resorts Jamaica. The e-mail confirmation also said Paradise Resorts Jamaica and Paradise Lagoon Cottages. However, when I drove up to see if Villa Sur Mer Lagoon Cottages was the same place, security was initially confused. This not a security guard issue (by the way, loved them, friendly, helpful guards) but a communication issue. Not only is the VSM name nicer (and less cheesy) than the Paradise name, but I think the U.S. booking agent should have taken greater care to let me know I was looking for a “VSM" road sign. I think this may have also led a few persons to review this property under the Paradise name. It was those few reviews that I had previously read before reserving (all glowing), not even aware of the equally-glowing VSM reviews. Again, because this is likely a booking agent issue and not a direct VSM quality / service issue, it does not impact my 5* rating.

In sum, I can’t wait to return. Or as my five-year old said tonight, “Mommy why couldn’t we have stayed ONE more night?” All good news from this end – see you again soon!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank GlobalGyal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2011

We got married there in November. We had the entire property. The grounds and the staff were amazing!! If you have the opportunity to stay in the 6 bedroom seaside villa, do it. We stayed in the house with 10 of our closest friends, and our family and friends stayed in the villas. Delicious food, service with a smile, beautiful views, words cannot do it justice.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank slickbrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersburg, AK
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2011

My husband and I have crazy work schedules, and were finally able to schedule a last minute trip to Jamaica. Searching for a place to stay for the whole two weeks we were there was harder then I expected because of the season, so when I stumbled upon the reviews for Villas Sur Mer on Tripadvisor and was able to book for the whole time, I was excited. We were so happy with our find!
I think one of the best things about Villas Sur Mer is the staff. Every single person that works there is absolutely amazing. Seriously. Magonna, the manager, is helpful with everything you could possibly need...from getting a cab, to booking a tour, to doing laundry, to buying concert tickets. Cliff, the bartender, is so much fun and made wonderful drinks and told us so many great stories. Richard, the driver/maintenance guy took us on a tour of the black river and waterfalls . The housekeepers, landscaper and a security guards were always so friendly and helpful...it felt like we were coming home whenever we would come back to the gate..just thinking about walking around talking to the staff puts a smile on my face :) You guys make the place what it is, and do such a wonderful job!
The property, pool, and grounds are beautiful. It feels almost like you are in a jungle as your walking through the winding little path that goes back to the pool. Most mornings, we would make coffee and sit in the hammocks and read for hours and cook breakfast. It would be nice if there was a serving or two of coffee in the villas for the first morning you arrive, but other that that it's easy to walk down the street to the little store and pick up coffee, eggs, fruit for the rest of the time. I do recommend that light sleepers bring earplugs...It is very quiet on the grounds, but the dogs that live next door get riled up at random hours so it's nice to have the earplugs as an option.
Most of the trip we spent in the private cave that Villa Sur Mer connects to. It is so perfect. When you walk through the cave and descend down the stairs it gets really quiet, and then all of a sudden opens up to the bright turquoise ocean and beautiful sunshine. My husband and I relaxed on the chairs for hours every day :) Magoona also let us hang out at the big house when it was empty (which was the second week we were there) which was so so so awesome. The house itself would be so great for a group of people, it's beautiful and has the best view. There is also a rock staircase the winds down to the ocean, where you can jump in and swim around. I always felt a little better jumping and swimming from the house cliff, rather then the cave, because of the surge that would go in and out of the cave can be a little strong.
All in all we loved Villas Sur Mer. It is a beautiful place with an amazing staff that felt like a family by the time we left..they even hugged us when we departed :) Love Villa's Sur Mer

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AlaskaGirlSE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2011

Our stay was 2 nights at Villa Sur Mer "now Paradise Lagoon" It is a very nice place, however it is kind of secluded and quiet. Staff was very friendly. Would recommmend this place for couples who want to get away from the beach scene in Negril for a couple nights. Maybe a little pricey!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Poitierman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 27, 2011

After working for years at Conde Nast in New York I have seen my fair share of beautiful hotels and heard of romantic getaways. I found Villas Sur Mer on this vary site and decided to go for it. What a clutch decision that was. My boyfriend Josh and I stayed for 4 nights and couldn't have had a better time. Mogonna was amazing and took care of anything we wanted to do or needed. The rooms were clean, the pool was amazing and the staff was always helpful and polite. I only wish we could go back sooner. Next time we plan on bring friends to stay with us in the HUGE house across the street from the hotel. Mogonna was nice enough to give us a tour and I fell in love. We hope to visit again soon!!!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KimmyK2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2010

I stayed at Villas Sur Mer w/my boyfriend to celebrate my 30th birthday and found the room to be exactly as amazing as the pictures showed it to be on the website. The room was really nice and very clean - mini kitchen w/coffee maker was great to have since the hotel is not all-inclusive. The grounds were gorgeous and very well kept - the property owners are obviously professionals and know how to run the place for the maximum comfort and enjoyment of their guests.

The staff was very helpful and very nice to us. We felt very safe inside the property despite the road it sits on being a little more rough and tumble than we had anticipated. Walking down the street to the convenience/grocery always meant a few encounters with locals selling weed, bracelets, chicken and other items. Or just flat out asking for money. That was initially a little unsettling for me, because I didn't expect it, but we got used to it and in the end I didn't feel unsafe. Though I wouldn't walk down the street by myself at night.

We didn't find the pool area with full bar and giant, bubbly hot tub in the back of the property until our second day, just because I went exploring behind our room, but the pool area is gorgeous and we spent two of our 3 evenings hanging out in the hot tub - very private and safe. Both nights we were the only people there. On our third day we discovered there is a tunnel from the main property on one side of the street, under the road to the other side, on the water - so Villas Sur Mer has it's own cave and really cool tunnel leading to it! Wish we knew about that on our second day so we could have avoided the public beach, which, despite offering amazingly delicious jerk chicken (Bourbon Beach), turned out to be more work than relaxation, fending off locals selling all kinds of things. And I still don't think we perfected our answers because a simple "no thanks" almost never suffices. We ended up leaving the beach after only an hour and a half to head back to the hotel and hang at the private pool. Had we known about the sunbathing area in the cave we definitely would have spent the rest of our day there! I will say the beach afforded a good gander at local flavor - literally and figuratively.

The manager, Magonna, was super nice and helpful, even going into town with us one day so we could hit up the ATM. We would have spent hours trying to get cash, because we ended up going to three different ATMs because the first two weren't working well. Magonna also set us up with several drivers while we were there, which was really helpful and felt far more secure and reliable than picking up a taxi on the road. Erdley, Franklin and Rich were dependable and friendly drivers. The security man at Villas Sur Mer was also very nice and made us feel safe inside the property. The staff also provide good direction and recommendations for where to eat around the hotel.

I will definitely go back, although I might recommend a new traveler stay at one of the all-inclusives in the same area. I thought "all inclusive" must mean a Beaches or one of those mega-resorts where you have cookie cutter rooms, screaming kids and you can't get a feel for the local flavor. We had a really good dinner at Ivan's at the Catcha Falling Start hotel nearby and the grounds and staff there seemed nice. We also had possibly the most amazing dinner of my life at The Caves on my birthday/Thanksgiving day. We managed to reserve one of the two private, candle-lit caves there, and it was pricey but totally worth it for the special occasion. On our first night we got dinner from the bar/restaurant across the street, LTU. LTU has amazing views of the sunset and a good little crowd - also nice that you can charge your bill to your room. This is the go-to, convenient eating/drinking establishment for Villas Sur Mer.

All in all, Villas Sur Mer was well kept, very clean, with beautiful grounds and friendly staff. It would be difficult to ask for much more! The pool area and the cave sunbathing area were the best parts. They can accommodate parties large and small (if I could scrounge up several other couples I would totally rent out the 6 bedroom house that sits on the water, which we heard comes with a private cave/diving point, private pool and hot tub, maid and chef!)

My only regret is not doing a little more exploring on the grounds when we first arrived, or just asking for a tour, and not trying any of the jerk chicken sold just on the street outside the property, because we heard it was delicious! Next time, mon!

Other bonuses: the property has wifi! And our room had an iPod docking station/radio w/speakers and auxilliary input. We definitely made use of that, watching a movie or two late at night in bed! We also loved the coffee maker and giant coffee cups in the room. We got some blue mountain coffee and made it fresh every morning!

Besides the initial shock of the panhandlers right outside the hotel, and not finding the cave and pool until a day or two into our trip, the only other negative comment I have is that Villas Sur Mer should fix the couple of broken plumbing devices - the kitchen sink faucet worked but had a piece broken off and one of the two sinks in the amazing, spacious) bathroom didn't really work - the water ran at barely a trickle. Also - there was no hot water later at night. So when we came back from the hot tub around midnight, we had lukewarm water in the shower.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank EmilyER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas Sur Mer

Property: Villas Sur Mer
Address: West End Road, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 48 Specialty Lodging in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villas Sur Mer 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the stunning cliffs of West end Negril, Villas Sur Mer offers luxurious accommodations that offer privacy, and tranquility. Villas Sur Mer is only steps away from the cliff divers of the famous Rick's café or a short drive to seven mile beach. We offer unforgettable guests experiences that will leave you wanting to return again and again. Our six bedroom seaside villa is truly the jewel of the cliffs of Negril. It offers a personal Chef and housekeeper and each bedroom has its own en suite bathroom. The breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea can be seen while sipping a red stripe at your own private bar, in the hot tub or lounging in our private pool, atop the private, most majestic Brazilian hardwood deck which will be yours for your stay. Across the road, we have several 1, 2, and 3 bedroom beautifully appointed villas nestled in a tropical garden setting. Each villa comes equipped with a kitchenette and each bedroom has an en suite bathroom. Sit on your private garden veranda and watch the hummingbirds flicker by.....or sip on a refreshing drink poolside at our cascading waterfall pool, with a super large Jacuzzi on another beautiful deck. Don't forget, we also have an underground cave walkway leading to an ocean deck that allows ocean access for swimming/snorkeling in the turquoise waters below. Enjoy a couple's massage on the deck in the am or pm, or yoga, or simply a sun worshipping experience like never before. A Villas Sur Mer vacation will give you long lasting memories that will have you missing Jamaica the moment you get back home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Sur Mer Hotel Negril

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