We just returned from a 9 day destination wedding/honeymoon/vacation at Sandals Negril. I'm writing this review from both a bride's perspective and as a general manager of a beach hotel in the states. We did some serious research before deciding on Sandals Negril, as neither of us had been to a Sandals property, nor had we experienced the "all-inclusive" style of resort. I found difficulty in obtaining many reviews on their weddings, prior to our trip down, so I hope this helps any brides-to-be in selecting this location! My now husband and I spent 8 nights from May 24-Jun1 at Sandals Negril.
The bus ride from Montego Bay is really NOT bad; I'm annoyed at the reviews that find this to be an issue. Sure, there are shanty towns along the way, sure some of it is depressing to see, but overall the views are beautiful as well as the people! I'd venture to say if you're uptight, or used to serious luxury, you may be put off by the bus ride. But really, who cares!
Our room was a Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout. Initially, we were disappointed because it was on the 3rd floor and I really did not feel like climbing stairs all week, but after further consideration we decided we would have more privacy and decided to stay - we loved it! Sandals did offer to move us to a 1st floor room the following day, so they were more than accommodating. We had concierge service so there was a stocked bar in the room - we didn't drink much from it, but it was nice to have these items handy. I would recommend at least a Concierge room. Some of our guests had the Negril Premium or Tropical Deluxe rooms (which are the cheapest), but they were not able to benefit from the 24 HR room service and mini-bar in the room. It's totally worth the few extra bucks for concierge!
As far as the wedding goes: we had a relatively large destination wedding of 40 people! We prepared "Welcome Bags", which we gave to the front desk after we checked in and asked that they hand these out to our guests. Our guests arrived over the next 48 hours, and each one of them was given one of our special Welcome Bags when they checked in. They were so helpful with this task.
Our rehearsal dinner was Saturday evening at 6pm and set up on the Palms Lawns (which is behind one of the wedding gazebos), under a beautiful tree. The service was impeccable, the food was amazing, and the night was so much fun! The following day was the wedding. It was postponed about 40 minutes due to an afternoon rain shower, which we were more than accepting of due to the heat. The rain helped cool things off a bit. The wedding staff: Shermaine, Gawayne, Nastassia, T-Bone, Kino, Vinton, and crew were absolutely amazing. I seriously could write a review JUST on the staff here. They make sure everything goes off without a hitch, and because of them, I never had a worry in the world. Truly, I can say I was never stressed out, never nervous, never worried about what things would look like, or what would happen if we were rained out. No worries mon! Even with the rain delay. They were so calm and assuring that everything was fine, I really did not pay any attention to the rain or what the backup plan was (and they DO have a backup location if needed). Myself, and my 5 bridesmaids got our hair done in the Red Lane Spa (about $90 per person + spa fees). WELL WORTH IT! My hair looked the best it EVER has, I could not have been more thrilled about it. And I have difficult hair! It was gorgeous, and I got so many compliments about it! The ladies in the spa were so helpful and accommodating, and brought us mimosas all morning while we were pampered!
We got married in the gardens which are absolutely breath taking! We live close to the beach at home, so we didn't necessarily feel the need to get married ON the beach. I'm so glad we chose the gardens - it was more than I could have hoped for, and like I said, absolutely stunning! The flowers were in bloom and the area was very well manicured. The ceremony lasted maybe 20 minutes at the most. We actually requested ahead of time to change some of the wording in the ceremony outline, and also to add a few more words. They had no problem accepting these changes, and everything went perfectly! After the ceremony we had a 1 hour cocktail hour (which is where you do the cake cutting, champagne toasts, and first dance). We also took pictures around this time, dodging the rain back and forth (again, not a problem at all). We proceeded to the 2 hour sit-down dinner (with a DJ), which we also arranged to have in the gardens. I was absolutely blown away with the setting (and we got the FREE beautiful beginnings package, so it was nothing elaborate)! We did purchase string lights, which I would highly recommend. They were beautiful! My husband even had a slide show projector set up as a surprise gift to me! Gawayne, the wedding captain, delivered each meal to me on HIS HEAD while he danced, which I loved! The food was great, the setting was great, the bar was open, the wedding captain and DJ kept the spirit alive, and encouraged dancing at the end. It was truly an unforgettable experience and there is nothing I would change and nothing more that I could have wanted or hoped for. And let me remind you, we had over 40 people in attendance, and each one of them felt the same way!
The only downfalls for me (and I'm only even mentioning these to help other brides who may be reading this): Steaming your dress on-site is expensive! Luckily, I didn't need it. I want to say it's around $160. Also, we wanted to send off Wish Lanters into the sky after the reception, but due to recent airline restriction it wasn't possible. We found out the day before the wedding.We were disappointed because this was extremely important to both of us, but it was not the end of the world, and definitely no fault of Sandals. Also, The initial lights that we ordered were chinese paper lanterns. During our on-site consultation, I was told the lanterns were hot pink, which I was NOT expecting; I thought they were white. This again was no fault of Sandals, and I believe more of a miscommunication with our original wedding planner. Shermaine in the wedding dept. quickly corrected this issue and exchanged our lights for the star lights which were GORGEOUS. So, I can honestly say I'm glad the original lights did not work out! Also, the order of events was a surprise to us. We were under the impression we would have the ceremony, then go to pictures while our guests enjoyed a 1 hour cocktail hour, and then on to dinner and dancing. However, immediately following the ceremony, we did take some pictures, but then went right to the cake cutting, first dances, and champagne toast (before dinner). This was surprise to us, but it did not make or break anything, just a different variation of doing things. Also, it was a bit TOO hot for our 3pm (4pm, once the rain cleared) wedding and because of the rain, the bugs were out more than usual. During the ceremony, I can honestly say the heat and bugs were slightly annoying but in the long run it's not something I'll remember, and definitely did not ruin anything! If I had to do it over, I would probably prefer 5pm as it does cool down some in the evening.
Overall - our entire experience was awesome! Destination weddings are the way to go, and if you want somewhere intimate, Sandals Negril is the place to be! If you are picky about dumb stuff like seaweed, narrow beaches, heat, or bugs, then this is not the place for you. If you are concerned with "dated" decor, this is not the place for you. If you want "luxury" in the sense that everything is dripping in gold and diamonds, this is not the place for you. However, If you know how to relax and enjoy a beautiful location, a beautiful , well-maintained, and well cared for resort, with the most amazing staff you'll probably EVER encounter, then Sandals is the place! And the resort truly is beautiful; I don't know what the negative reviews are all about the "dated" rooms and decor because I didn't think so at all! The all-inclusive part is the best of it all! We never had to carry a wallet, or money! Once we checked in, I did not TOUCH my purse or my cell phone for the rest of the trip. All you need with you during the day is your room key; that's it! Returning to reality was tough!
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS TO: Shermaine (she is so kind and accommodating), Gawayne and crew, T-Bone (photographer, he's hilarious and does an amazing job), Vinton (videographer, also amazing), Kenroy and Owana (playmakers extraordinaire!), and Nastassia the wedding intern (Sandals - keep her around!). Leighton at the pool bar makes AMAZING drinks also! I wish I remembered everyone else's name, because we developed relationships with so many people there I had a hard time keeping track!
Get married here, you won't regret it!! My husband and I are both 28 years old, and most of our friends are in their late 20's. Our parents, aunts, and uncles, and grandmother also attended. EVERYONE had the time of their life, and was so thankful we chose this resort!
Lots of Love Negril! We'll see you again!
-Amy & Jeff
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on Negril's pristine 7-mile white sand beach•Phenomenal bedroom oceanfront suites set upon a relaxing crystal lagoon•Ultra luxurious one-bedroom millionaire honeymoon suites with private plunge pool•Seven exquisite dining options•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa “Jamaica's Leading Hotel” (2nd consecutive year)•Five Star Diamond Resort, American Academy of Hospitality Science ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Negril Beach Resort And Spa
- Sandals Negril Beach Hotel Negril
- Sandals Jamaica
- Sandals Negril Jamaica
- Sandals Resort