Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to revisit Beaches Negril, a resort I first experienced during my inaugural trip to Jamaica in 2013. This time, instead of traveling with a bunch of other agents, I was with my husband (a/k/a Mr. B) and our 4 year old daughter. That’s right folks – I was on a legitimate vacation! (Even though I still snuck in some site inspections during my stay; I can’t help it). This is my updated review of my time at Beaches Negril, since my stay was much longer (6 nights) and we were now traveling with a child. It definitely impacts your experience!
Staff: First, and most impressively, the staff at Beaches Negril is top notch. The acting GM, Mr. Isaacs, came out to meet us upon check-in and was incredibly engaging and warm every time we saw him during our stay. The warmth trickled down from the management to the bartenders to the wait staff to housekeeping. Everyone was amazing and pleasant.
Accommodations: Our first night, we were placed in a standard Negril Deluxe Room, which is the entry level room category at the resort. This is a very standard hotel room; double beds, an en suite bathroom, and a balcony overlooking the gardens. From our particular location (room 220), you could also see Norman Manley Blvd, the main road into Negril. This room would be ideal for someone who is budget-conscious and just wants to be at the resort, as it is a very no frills type of accommodation.
After that first night, we were moved to a Caribbean Beachfront Concierge Suite (room 308). This was a much larger room, which comes with a king size bed, two sofas with trundle beds underneath, a larger en suite bathroom with double sinks and a walkout patio that leads right to the beach. This room can sleep up to 6 guests. In addition, the room comes with access to Concierge services at the resort; private check-in at the Concierge lounge, access to the lounge itself, and personalized help with reservations and tours. There was also a connecting door to the next room, which can be opened if a larger family group is booking together and needs adjacent rooms.
Our room was traditional in appearance with lots of mahogany and colorful textiles, and we didn’t have great wifi access from our location. (there is free wifi all over the resort). While in a great location, our room felt dark. I took part in a resort tour during my stay and had the opportunity to see some of the updated rooms, which have much brighter furnishings, textiles and feel more modernized. The building where we stayed (Santa Cruz) is expected to get the same updates this August, which is great news!
Dining: There are 9 restaurants at Beaches Negril, with two of them (Kimonos and The Venetian) requiring reservations. We at at 7 of the restaurants during our stay; we didn’t make it to The Venetian or Stewfish. (Sandals and Beaches loyalists are SICK with me right now over that statement, lol). Due to traveling with a toddler, a sit down meal wasn’t as practical as finding something quick. As a result, we had quite a few meals at Dino’s Pizzeria, BBQ Park, and breakfast daily at The Mill (buffet). There is no bad eating at Beaches Negril; everything we consumed was delicious and even my daughter tries a few new things.
YoYo’s Frozen Yogurt Bar was a very popular location at the property and right by our room. Here, you could grab a quick cone or make a whole sundae with a variety of toppings.
Room Service is only offered to guests in Butler level accommodations, which is unique to Beaches Negril. Typically, guests at other Sandals/Beaches resorts can get room service if in Concierge or Club level rooms.
The drinks and beverages were all wonderful as well. If you’re looking for something stronger, ask them to make your cocktails with Appleton Reserve or Signature (it gets the job done).
Pools: Beaches Negril has two main pools and Pirate’s Island Waterpark. Each pool offers games and activities throughout the day, and they both have swim up bars. The waterpark boasts two slides, a lazy river, and a splash park for the kiddos. Although the resort was at 92% capacity, we never really felt it at the pools or anywhere else for that matter – we could always find a chair.
Although we say wait service at the pool, we mostly got our drinks from the swim up bar :).
Beach: Beaches Negril is situated directly on Seven Mile Beach and it’s gorgeous. It boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see. The water was comfortable and relatively shallow all the way out to the safety line; it came to my chest at its deepest (I’m 5’9″). There are floating rings in the water where you can lounge and relax.
We never had a problem finding a beach chair, however we didn’t get out there until late morning or early afternoon. Beaches has lifeguards available to help you find a chair, and we found a really nice one that even got us a clamshell structure for shade. There is beach bar service as well; we were approached regularly by Beaches wait staff offering to refill our drinks from the bar or collecting empty cups.
Seven Mile Beach is a public beach, so you will see people walking down the beach from other resorts and you WILL be approached by vendors. They weren’t too aggressive; a polite “no thank you” was enough to keep them moving. They were selling items from handmade jewelry to carvings to parasailing experiences to ganja (yep..the weed).
For the kids: Beaches Negril has a Kids Camp available for children ages 0-14, as well as private nanny/babysitting services. The camp is open from 9a-9p and is divided by age; my daughter was in Camp Sesame in the 3-4 age group. The counselors were warm and friendly, and my daughter took well to them (which is a tall order). They had a day full of activities, from pizza making to dance class to crafts to time in the wading pool. We utilized the kids camp 3 days while we were there. The camp takes a daily break from either 5-6pm or 3-4pm, at which time you either collect your child or pay for a nanny. Due to these breaks, we weren’t able to go on the mommy-daddy trip to Rick’s Cafe that we wanted to take. It’s okay though; we’ll be back.
Most of the restaurants had a kids menu available, or were at least able to get kid friendly food from the BBQ park (hot dogs, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, etc). This was a great option since we have a very picky eater.
Spa: Hubby and I booked a couples massage, Scents of Love, during one of the days our daughter was at the kids camp. It was a very relaxing experience and both massage therapists did a great job.
And the rest: Here is a little known secret that became news to me: adult guests staying at Beaches Negril have access to the restaurants and amenities at Sandals Negril, which is a 20 minute walk down Seven Mile Beach or a 5 minute taxi ride. Although we didn’t take advantage of this exchange privilege, that is REALLY good to know for guests looking to stay at this property.
We didn’t book any excursions during our stay, mainly due to our daughter’s young age. Had she been a little older, we may have found something to do (she isn’t into dolphins and that seemed to be one of the few age-appropriate excursions).
I learned that Beaches Negril will be expanding in 2020, adding 250 new rooms built from the ground up, 4 new restaurants and a new (possibly adults only?) pool. I’m really excited to see what is added. Although we really enjoyed the resort, we could feel its age a bit; it was built in 1997. A little refresh and some new amenities may be exactly what is needed, so I was really happy to hear that there is more to come!