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“A really wonderful holiday”

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Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 April 2010

We spent three glorious weeks here during February after spending a long time researching before we booked and then studying all relevant web sites and the reviews on here. We had a fantastic time and would recommend it it to anyone, but would urge you to do your homework on your room if you feel it's location is important.

I will try and give my opinions on other people's negative reviews as some did worry me before we went.

As other reviewers have said, Sandals should really look again at the titles for their rooms. We booked a Beachfront Honeymoon Suite with Butler Service and, despite it's name, was one of the rooms furthest away from the beach!!! Having said that the resort is long and narrow and no room is THAT far away which also means that some rooms are quite close to the busy road........we had read about the road noise on here before, but were shocked when we first arrived by how loud it was in our room. We however quickly adjusted or got into the Jamaica spirit and hardly noticed it. Some rooms do face, and are close to the road, so if this is important to you I would recommend you make sure you know where your rooms is. Ours was in the Palms Building and was clean, spacious and we loved it.

The beach is much narrower than the photographs in all the brochures would suggest which could be a disappointment to some, as when the tide is in, the beach all but disappears in places and the sun loungers can be a little huddled together.

There appeared to be plenty of sun loungers even though the butlers do reserve them but I think it's shade that is sometimes lacking - not enough brollies!! There is also the same old problem - people putting towels on first thing in the morning and then not using them. I also noticed there were a couple of large groups while we were there and one of the groups "reserved" the loungers each day - probably around twenty - and they were unused most of the time. This is a problem everywhere though - one of my pet hates too.

BUTLERS - what can I say. Basil and Theda - HELLO!!! Sorry this is late. These two went out of their way to make our holiday the best we have had. Upgrade to butler service if you can - it really does make all the difference. From the sun loungers in the mornings all laid out with towels and a cool box, drinks and food whenever and wherever you are on the resort, to tables in the restaurants covered in flower petals for dinner. Yes you really do get a mobile phone when you arrive and yes they will bring you anythng. Thank you Basil for the rose petal bath - what a surprise for Valentine's Day!

All the staff are so friendly and helpful and will always make sure you are happy. One day the sea was a little too choppy for the water sports so the boat boys came along to help the beach guys clear the weed that had been washed up. Not only did they do a good job with the weed they entertained us all by forming a "band" and using their shovels and rakes as makeshift instruments serenaded us with Bob Marley songs.
MAGICAL.!!

The rooms are kept spotlessly clean as is the whole of the hotel. Bathrooms in some of the rooms are getting a little tired, but OK. The food in all the restaurants is excellent - thoroughly recommend the buffet dinners if you like seafood. Kimonos is so much fun and the food delicious- we went four times, remember this is the only one you can book. As much to drink as you could wish for and top shelf brands too. I asked for a Drambuie which the Piano Bar did not have at the time. There was some the next day.

I was a little worried about venturing out of the hotel along the beach on my own and my partner "held my hand" the first time. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. Yes there are local traders and yes they do want you to buy something but if you say no they will leave you alone. Inevitably I bought a couple of things during our stay and at once became great friends with all of them. I felt very safe and I only blushed a little when the hedonists uncovered when they left the confines of the two Sandals hotels (where they are made to cover up).

You really can do as little or as much as you want. There was always something happening somewhere in the hotel if you want to join in but you are never hassled. All in all we had a great holiday, have fallen in love with Jamaica and her lovely people and would go back to Negril in a flash.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mrsketney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,888 - 3,892 of 5,365 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2010

I recently returned from a holiday to Jamaica at Sandals Negril and it is with great disappointment that I now find myself having to write this poor review.

Never before have I been so let down by a resort, but I can honestly say that Sandals Negril failed to meet my expectations on a colossal scale. Before I continue, allow me to say that my husband and I are extremely well-seasoned travellers and have holidayed all over the world and in particular have visited many parts of the Caribbean many times. We always stay in 4 or 5 star resorts so have a lot of experience of these. I, therefore, think of ourselves as experienced in foreign holidays and not at all naive.

We were booked into a Honeymoon Grand Luxe Beachfront Concierge room and the only positive thing I can say about this is that the view was absolutely superb. The room, and particularly the bathroom, left an awful lot to be desired for a resort that advertises itself as 5 star. The whole room, in my opinion, can only be described as shabby. The bedside rugs were stained and worn and my husband found a loose floor tile underneath one of them. The mahogany furniture that is advertised was chipped and tatty and, in general, the whole room just looked tired.
Now onto the bathroom which is, without a doubt, the worst bathroom I have ever seen in a 5 star resort. It was absolutely disgusting. Again, it was very tired and shabby and filthy. There wasn’t even a plug for the sink when we checked in, just a chain where a plug had obviously once been. We had to ring the concierge just to get a plug for the sink, something that I would have assumed was just a basic requirement in a bathroom! Some of the tiles surrounding the bath had rust stains on them from where the screws in the grab-handle had rusted. Some of the other tiles round the bath had dried paint splashes and drips all over them from when the door frame had been painted but nobody had bothered to wipe the paint off. The toilet cistern never got wiped down in the 2 weeks that we were there and by the end of the holiday you could write your name in the layer of dust on it. When we checked in there was a long black hair on the floor in the corner of the bathroom behind the door, and it wasn’t from me (I’m blond) or my husband. I thought I would leave it, as an experiment, to see how long it would take to get cleaned up and would you believe it, it was there 14 days later when we checked out. This is just unacceptable from a 5 star resort.

Sandals advertising states, and I quote, “ an exceptional array of accommodations”. Exceptional means outstanding or brilliant or excellent. None of these words could be used to describe to room we stayed in.
Sandals advertising also states, quote “the concept of giving guests more than they expect is exemplified in Sandals rooms and suites - the most luxurious the Caribbean has to offer. There is no such thing as a standard room at Sandals - each of our private paradises feature a king-size bed and custom-detailed bathroom” unquote. I take it the paint splashes, rust stains and dust are the custom details in the bathrooms then?

Pools - yes there were 3, but one of them was out of bounds as it was reserved for the people in the River Suites. Something that the brochure fails to mention. Of the 2 pools available to the common people, one was quite small and the other was always noisy as that is where the entertainment was (pool volleyball etc).

The next fiasco was the sunbeds on the beach. In the brochure it does not mention that the beach resembles Benidorm in the high season. Row after row of sunbeds, not enough umbrella’s and in some places the beach no wider than the sunbed itself. The photo in the brochure must have been taken with the world’s largest wide angled lens because at no point is the beach as wide or spacious as the picture suggests. The brochure also fails to mention that butler’s will come down the night before and reserve beds/umbrella’s for their clients, leaving the common people (people who haven’t paid for butler service) little or no chance of getting a sunshade unless they get up at 5.30am! Not something you want to be doing when you are supposedly on a relaxing break. Whilst on holiday it shouldn’t be necessary to conduct a military operation in order to ensure you have a sunshade. We complained to our concierge about this and were told to leave our towels and some reading matter out the night before and the beds/shade would be ours the next day. This worked on a few occasions but one morning our things had been moved and the beds reserved by someone else. This prompted us to complain to the general manager of the resort, who was not aware of the problems with sunshades. His response was to erect a great big ugly tent on the beach to provide more shade. The top part of the beach was reserved for butler-service people so we couldn’t use that part of the beach. I understand people with butlers have paid extra for that service and I don’t have a problem with that, but what I do have a problem with is being made to feel like a second-class citizen because you haven’t got a butler, and this was experienced by a few people we talked to, not just ourselves. My husband and I could have afforded a butler if we wanted to, but we just wouldn’t have felt comfortable with it. That shouldn’t have resulted in us being deprived of places to sunbathe because of it.

Never in my life have I wished a holiday away, but at Sandals I was on a daily countdown to the day we could get out of there. In terms of cost, the Sandals holiday is in our top 5 of most expensive holidays, but in terms of standards there is no competition, it is absolutely bottom. I have stayed in many true 5 star resorts in the Caribbean and paid a lot less for the holidays, and the standards of those resorts put Sandals Negril to shame. I don’t know how long the resort has been open but, apart from the millionaire suites and river suites, the whole resort could do with a serious refurbishment.

The advertising is very glossy and luxurious and suggests wonderful things about the resorts, but my observations of Sandals Negril is that the advertising is writing cheques that the resort just can’t cash. In other words, the advertising suggests something that is way beyond the standards the actual resort can deliver.

We had totally bought into the Sandals idea of “a luxury included holiday, aimed expressly at people in love. That at Sandals you can leave you worries behind” - Sandals words, not ours - and we were extremely disappointed with the real thing.

It was my first time at a Sandals resort and will absolutely be the last!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank pammie14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

Sandals Negril was so much more than we expected. We were invited to a destination wedding that was beyond charming. It took place in a gazebo on the beach officiated by a local reverend. He was wonderful. After the ceremony (that was backlit by an amazing setting sun), we were led to a lawn shaded by a huge tree with a 3-piece reggae band providing all the classic reggae tunes. We had a lovely cocktail hour and had ample opportunity to take amazing photographs. After that, (we were a party of 30) we sat at 3 tables of 10 right on the sand while a DJ played. We had a lovely dinner further lit by the sunset and later by tiki lights, strung overhead lights and chinese lanterns. Totally charming.

This location is not perfect...and surely it is not for everyone. We are very well-travelled and are expremely discriminating when it comes to comfort and service. Having said that, you would have to really work at having a bad time at this property. Everyone was so amazingly hospitable, polite and accommodating...it just put you in a good mood all the time. From housekeeping to shopkeepers to food servers...everyone was always smiling and friendly. This location should be very proud because they not only represent the Sandals brand in an amazing way, they represent all of Jamaica and an amazingly high level of Jamaican hospitality.

It is all-incluse so you can drink all you want. There are a number of choices when it comes to restaurants or you can eat in the main dining hall where you have a gorgeous view of the caribbean. Every night was another fascinating cultural show or very amusing shows where the guests participate. There are many beautiful places to sit with friends, relax, read quietly, or party, dance and even swim well into the night.

The best place for us was the Beach Grill where "Crane" is THE MAN! He was so much fun and you can have all the Jamaican yummies like jerk hamburgers and beef patties. He was so accommodating that when our party went on a fishing expedition and caught some nice tuna...he volunteered (we didn't have to ask) to prepare them for 30 people and he stayed to be sure they were served properly at a rehearsal dinner that night. All the while, he smiled, cracked jokes, made you feel welcome and was just a joy to be around.

I highly recommend Sandals Negril and intend to try their other locations.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank amldate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2010

My only complaint would be the room was small, (King Bed) but it was a nice room! The beach was beautiful, the pool was lovely, the food was great. The alcohol was plenty, the staff was wonderful, We only slept in the room, with so much going on at the resort we had no need to hang in the room. Wonderful weather, would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank jackAllentownPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2010

The resort and staff are just excellent.
The food you cannot fault and the staff were just so friendly and attentive.
The location is perfect and there is a long long sandy beach with a crystal clear sea.

We had a loft apartment about 10 metres from the beack.

All in all an excellent resort .

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank GwaliaSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril 167, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Negril
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#8 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#8 Spa Hotel in Negril
#10 Family Hotel in Negril
#13 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: ₹ 29,873 - ₹ 71,374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 223
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 Hotel Negril
Sandals Negril Beach Resort And Spa
Sandals Jamaica
Sandals Negril Jamaica
Sandals Resort

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