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“Terrible management ruins an adorable quirky icon”
Review of Blue Cave Castle

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Blue Cave Castle
Ranked #52 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Reviewed 2 January 2017

I was horribly disappointed by my stay at the castle. I went with my husband and 14 yr old daughter. We stayed in the Penthouse.

Penthouse: As everyone says, it is amazing in that it has 3 very quirky levels, lots of private sunning spaces, very castle-like, 2 bathrooms, multiple bed options, many great views and is really quite fun, or has potential to be. I absolutely adored the building itself.

Bedding: Really quite musty and I wished I had brought something else to sleep on. I actually slept on the beach chair one night. It was much cleaner, had a soft cover, and it was also quite fun to sleep on the rampart under the stars as opposed to inside the funky smelling bedroom.

Waterfront and swimming: I don't know what else to say except that the owner must have lost her mind as regards swimming. The whole reason to stay on the cliffs is to swim off the cliffs. The castle does NOT have a pool or hot tub, it has a wonderful cliff-side ocean front with decent snorkeling right of the cliff. There are 2-3 different entrances into the sea, one through the cave. Apparently awhile before we arrived someone somewhere was injured/killed from a cliff and so the owner seems to have decided it is not 'safe' for anyone to swim. What this meant was that while everyone else along this shoreline resorts was happily diving in, huge locked gates barred our entrance to the sea. The waves were not even big. I'm not an idiot, I have been swimming and diving (and teaching others, and captaining a boat) all of my life and I know what is safe and what is not, and this was quite maddeningly safe. Each day we would go downstairs with the intent to have a great snorkel and we would find the gates locked and no amount of pleading to the VERY unfriendly guard (who seemed to have some relationship with the owner who appeared to live there) would unlock it. Just once we got one friendly guard to let us out for 10 minutes and then he got in trouble and we were admonished and brought back in. The water was SO nice for that 10 minutes, nice waves lapping against the rocks. It is SUCH as spectacular location.

Wifi: You have to sit in a window or go down to central area to use it. Good luck getting password if you arrive in the evening. We needed the wifi badly because we were forced to book tours each day since there was absolutely NOTHING to do at the castle without water access. Nothing. Not how we planned to spend our week.

Food: When we booked, it was billed as having a restaurant. It did not. You have to pay a taxi driver to take you downtown for food, or walk on the very very scary road getting propositioned every few feet, to a very unappealing local restaurant.

Amenities: Really there aren't any. The castle itself is one big amenity and it is sooo great, but with no water access it may as well be in Scotland as Jamaica.

The situation was so bad that we actually left early and booked at a Hilton for our last 3 days, so we could have some beach time. We loved the eclectic nature of the castle - the Hilton had no character - but really we didn't go to Jamaica to be locked out of the water for our own safety, when the waves were just little ripples and everyone else on the shore was swimming.

It took me almost a year to publish this review because I really don't like writing negative reviews but I owe this to the TripAdvisor community.

Room Tip: Penthouse is amazing, just don't count on swimming in the ocean
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank skypath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 5 January 2017

In response to the very well written review from skypath, Maine regarding certain issues at Blue Cave Castle.
Our housekeeping staff all have previous work experience in 5 star hotels. All references are thoroughly verified before our interview is conducted. All our housekeepers are long standing members to our team. Unoccupied rooms are aired out daily, cleaned and checked. Any issues including maintenance such as plumbing and electrical faults are addressed immediately. Occupied rooms are given special attention with emphasis on guests’ request.
Waterfront and Swimming laws are as stipulated by the Jamaica Tourist Board and the National Environment and Planning Agency. We employ a lifeguard certified by the Royal Lifeguard Saving Society serving Jamaica for over 50 years. It has focused on the training and certification of lifeguards. Besides the water rescue and lifeguard courses, training includes C.P.R. (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). It is the lifeguard who decides when it is not safe for anyone to swim. This has nothing to do with the size of the waves or the depth of the sea. This is determined by the lifeguards’ ability to safely get people out of the water if waves are lapping against the rocks.
Gates: The gates at the entrances to the sea were built at great expense for a variety of security reasons. If the gates are locked during the daytime and there is no lifeguard on duty he/she has deemed it too rough a sea for guests to safely exit.
Under normal conditions after 7pm all sea entrances are asked to be closed so that intruders do not have easy accessibility to the property.
Every property has their different safety measures.

Our Security is licensed by the Private Security Regulation Authority as per Jamaica Tourist Board and Tourism Product Development Cooperation laws.

WIFI: There is construction steel in the structure of the buildings which impede wireless access from the bedrooms. Security has password codes to give out to the guests whatever time they arrive or whenever they request it.
Booking Tours: Our office will gladly book tours with no cost to the guest and sometimes are able to get discounts which are passed on to the guests.
The owner/developer/live-in manager has a relationship with each and every hardworking, long standing employee who works at Blue Cave Castle. She appreciates their valuable contributions and they are greatly appreciated by the numerous repeat guests who vacation with us from all over the world.
This week we have guests from Italy, Sweden, Germany and the USA swimming in calm, crystal clear waters and snorkeling into the Blue Cave. Everyone is thrilled to be here and eager to return for the kindness of our hardworking team and efficient management.

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Reviews (233)
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1 - 5 of 233 reviews

Reviewed 19 October 2016

Stayed here in... 2010, with a girl friend. Beautiful. Had the best time ever. Teddy served up great food and everyone were so friendly. Snorkled around the cliff. Started every day with a swim and a smile!

Returned 2,5 years ago. Don't know precisely how it is now, same crew etc. But it truly is a magical place. I mean - it's a blue castle, on a cliff and a cave... Thanks again!

Stayed: November 2015
Thank Majzet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2016

This place is exactly as billed - a quirky, beautiful place where you can literally take stairs right off your room and dive into the gorgeous turquoise blue waters. People are super friendly and helpful. If you are expecting elegance, go elsewhere as rooms are basic but for our family it was terrific.

Stayed: January 2016
3  Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2016 via mobile

My favorite place in Negril! Beautiful views and quirky rooms! The staff is so very kind and helpful and the owner Susan keeps a watchful eye on everything. The rooms each have a fridge to keep your drinks cold! Can't wait to return!
The seas kicked up quite a bit on our last visit and luckily there was a room in back open which they moved us too.
The other guests were so friendly, it just feels like home!

Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank kajah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2016

We have stayed at other places in Negril - other cliffside lodgings that kept raising their prices year after year to the point where we just could not take the sticker shock anymore. We have stayed at Blue Cave Castle (in 3 different rooms there) and been delighted every time. My advice:
Consider (seriously) the Blue Cave Castle if what you want is:
1) To amuse yourself and/or just sit and watch the ocean waves;
2) Relative peace and quiet (except for the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks and the wind blowing off the sea);
3) To be left alone and not have staff constantly knocking on your door or approaching you to check something or another or offering you drinks, etc.;
4) A beautiful, expansive, view of the sea and sky day or night; and
5) A budget-minded situation - about a third the cost of the more well known lodgings on the cliffs of Negril.
On the other hand, Skip Blue Cave Castle if what you want is:
1) An all-inclusive. Other than coffee in the morning, there is no food or drink offered on the premises. There are restaurants, bars, and convenience stores within a block or two along the main road, though, and the rooms come with small refrigerators.
2) To be entertained. Here, you make your time into whatever you want it to be.
3) To have local music as background noise. Blue Cave Castle is one of the quietest places in Negril. You won't find your music/party on the premises.
4) Spa or spa-like services. You may find those nearby, but not on site.
5) Super-luxurious rooms. The rooms are clean and functional but nothing palatial. Some have balconies almost as big as the room itself. In our experience, the rooms are well-maintained and comfortable if smallish by American standards. A few have cable TV but most do not. This is the wrong place to stay if you need TV to have a good vacation. We have stayed in two of the ground floor rooms and also in the upper tower.
6) A dog-free environment. The owners have a large but very friendly dog who does wander the public areas from time to time. She doesn't bark, and doesn't jump on anyone, but be forewarned if you are allergic.

Blue Cave Castle is a great fit for my husband and me, but we know some people would be bored out of their minds here.

Room Tip: The upper tower (room #6) is like living in the top of a lighthouse. Small, but windows all around...
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
4  Thank BVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blue Cave Castle

Address: Lighthouse Road, Negril, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
Price Range: ₹ 7,259 - ₹ 12,249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Blue Cave Castle 3*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
Blue Cave Castle Negril
Blue Cave Castle Hotel Negril

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