My boyfriend and I visited Little Bay using the Living Social Voucher in April of 2012 (we are Americans living in Boston, ages 27 and 30). While I write this, I feel like shouting: "LISTEN TO ME, NOT THE NEGATIVE NANCY'S!'" I'm so sad to see unflattering reviews, because as a young world traveling couple, Little Bay Cabins was a lovely experience with unparalleled relaxation. We rarely go to the same place/country twice, but we WILL be back to Little Bay.
I'll start from the top and address some concerns I've seen. Little Bay is a far distance by car from the airport, over an hour. But, it is an eye-opening journey through the hills of Jamaica. Our driver (Eggy) stopped along the way to purchase us Red Stripes and and jerk chicken from a great roadside stand. Honestly, the drive didn't bother us one bit, we enjoyed the gentle acclimation to the new culture. We felt safe, and happy, the whole way there. FYI, don't buy anything from the driver but beer and food - the other stuff you want, will be flowing like water once you reach Little Bay ;-)
As far as the cabins, some are right on the beach - and those are the ones you want. We stayed in Marley House (attached to another cabin, so if you go w/ another couple choose this one). Pick cabins 1-5 if you want a beach view. There is no air conditioning, but we went in April and had no problem with being hot, the fans were totally fine. We had hot water off and on, but it wasn't a big deal, it was never COLD, just not steaming hot. The cabin was always clean and our bathroom was big and beautiful. There are no TVs. I had cell service. It is secluded!
The beach is small but PERFECT. I love to snorkel and woke up early every morning to snorkel out to the coral reef, which takes about fifteen minutes of light swimming to reach. Once you get to the coral, the water gets shallow, 3-4 feet and you can stand, which is nice in case you need a breather. Lots of marine life to be seen, I saw a huge sting ray, a sand dollar that was about one foot across, sea eels, held a starfish, and hundreds of fish. And this is all in your front yard basically, it was a real treat. There are also sea turtles in the bay, but I didn't see any. The water is warm, and gentle, so no need to worry about waves. Bring water shoes, there are a lot of urchins.
Budget and mark-ups. We decided to do the meal plan, which was $30 a day per person. I found the food sufficient, with some meals better than others, it was all edible, and some days I would say: "Can you just make me a tuna melt?" And they did!. But you don't really have another choice, since you are so remote. Definitely do the meal plan, and bring snacks. We did all of the day excursions, including Blue Hole, the Bat Cave, Bob Marley's house, and Bob Marley's swimming hole. We paid extra for these, but nothing major, $5 or $15. We also got a car one day with another couple and took a trip to YS Falls, which was AWESOME. I mention all of the stuff we did because at the end of the trip (with hotel, souvenirs, meals, day trips, transit to airport, alcohol) we ended up spending $675 for our entire bill, not bad at all for a 5 day all-inclusive trip.
A few other fun things:
1.The success of your stay some what depends on the rest of the guests. It is a small place, and you eat your meals together, etc. Our trip was made better by the smiling faces we got to know while there. One day it rained, ruining our plans - so we sat under the palapa with the other 10 guests and staff, drinking, listening to reggae, and playing dominoes. It was my favorite day there! That said, if you end up at Little Bay with boring guests, your trip might be less thrilling.
2. Bonfires by the sea, 3 of the 5 nights we were there.
3. Amazing photography, if you have a fancy camera - bring it.
4. While sitting on the beach, they will chop a coconut straight from the tree and stick a straw in it for you - and you can grab some rum to pour in it as well!
5. There IS nightlife, we went to a local party one night and danced away.
6. If you go to the Blue Hole, opt to take a motorcycle, it's fun. BUT, be careful jumping in, ouch.
7. The staff is beyond friendly, and silly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Immediately upon arriving at Little Bay Cabins you will be warmly greeted to share in a true Jamaican cultural experience. Little Bay feels undisturbed by time in the countryside of Jamaica and yet we are only 10 miles from Negril. Little Bay Cabins is a cottage and villa style seaside resort located on three private beautifully landscaped acres nestled in the heart of Little Bay, Jamaica. Our property is rustic by design and has often been described as "Eden by the sea". Little Bay is a place so special that Bob Marley himself built his beach house here. We invite you to come and discover the pristine beauty and authentic Jamaican vibe found at Little Bay Cabins. ... more less
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