If you had to read only one review, please read this one. I never hold back. This was our honeymoon and our second international trip of the year. It was also our first trip to Jamaica. I am a fan of larger hotel chains because I enjoy the amenities of four and five star hotels. So, this was a departure from our normal trip routine.
Here are some facts.
1. Nirvana is smack dab in the middle of seven mile beach. That means that excellent restaurants, random beach snacks, souvenirs, clubs, bars and yes.... water and water sports are easy to find and surround you. The restaurants are so numerous. Whether you go into Negril and visit Sweet Spice, Rick's or Ivan's or walk out the front door and walk to Best in the West or Sweet Spot or walk up the beach and have the best waffles at Country Country or have the staff cook for you in your room, you're going to eat well. We sat on the beach every morning and waited for the bread man to bring us fresh coco bread or the patty guy in the afternoons with patties as good as Niah's. Then we swam or waded or floated. Nirvana supplies alot of water equipment and the security personnel know all of water sports locals. You can walk almost ¼ mile in the water toward the deep blue without having to swim. There are many souvenir shops and you will either learn to love bargaining or hate it, but it is a Jamaican national sport and they are very good at it. We even went to two clubs. I spent most of my TV time at Margaritaville, because of the multiple tv's and great drinks, but the Jungle was a good experience. Keep an open mind.
2. The staff is superb. I want to briefly discuss Zimroy, Sandra, Erroll, Leon and Leona. You will meet many Jamaicans during your stay but your staff is critical to your knowledge of the island and ability to be in the right place at the right time. The owners run this resort from the states but they gave Zimroy and staff enough leeway to make the right changes to make your stay impeccable. Zimroy is a born leader. Personable and runs his crew with precision. Sandra is the concierge or guest relations director. She met us when we arrived and was never more than a yell away all six days. It was wonderful but we wondered when she ever had time for herself. She was always there when we needed anything. Sandra recommended most of the restaurants we visited and without her we would not have stayed. We had an issue with our room on day one and they moved us to a wonderful room without haste. There are many security guards that you will meet but we truly enjoyed every dish, club or activity that Erroll suggested. Don’t let the slow and smooth talk fool you. He’s knowledgeable, into his job and knows what you want. Plus the beach locals don’t run all over him. Leon is the best taxi driver you could ask for. His first “yeah mon, no problem” was sincere and after asking him to stop like 7 times from the airport to the hotel he was still smiling. Leon should own his own fleet of taxis. You will meet many taxi drivers but none are haggle free like Leon and none know the island like he does. Lastly, Leona was our masseuse. She was fabulous and I get massages pretty regularly. She gave me an awesome deep tissue and gave my wife a perfect Swedish. Nice technique.
3. Nirvana's location and grounds are impeccable. Moses I and II and Otis keep that beach, your chairs and surrounding areas gorgeous. The resort is small. It is split into cottages. I think that there are 12. Some have air conditioning and some don’t. We chose a second floor room with AC after the bugs got to us on the first floor. And there was no tv in our room (either room). There was a full kitchen, king size bed and refrigerator though. We made the mistake of not bringing our Ipads or Computers, but after night one at Margaritaville (and the clubs on day two and three) we were thankful for the peace and quiet. Our Iphones and their wireless were just enough. We also went during the rainy season (hence the bugs), even though it only rained once during our 6 day stay. The grounds are very floral. It’s small, quaint and very personal. The staff are there but remain in the shadows.
4. You will be hounded to buy things. But keep an open mind. We found Jamaicans to be exceptionally pleasant but ever-present. It seems that you're always being asked to buy this or look at that. Most will leave you alone once you've said no once, but the line is long. I developed an easy "no" and most accepted that initial response as my final response. But even when floating, the jet skis kept coming to ask if we wanted to ride. After we rode, they left us alone too. If you do the glass bottom, ask Erroll, and go the rocks.
5. We didn’t bring enough cash. All the vendors work with cash. Don’t exchange money in the airport. It’s a ripoff. Learn the exchange rate and go to a bank once you get there. You’ll need cash for the ride from the airport in Montego Bay to the Hotel in Negril, cash for food like Jerk Chicken (I tried 6 different restaurants during my stay), cash for water sports, cash for souvenirs and cash for taxi’s.
6. Here's a list of things I wish I'd brought.
More cash, my computer, some type of water proof device to hold my money and id, more white shirts and a straw hat (bought one on town).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally located directly on Negril Beach,JAMAICA... Nirvana is not just another hotel, it is a special place where guests have space in an intimate & unique beachfront property with that famous old-style Negril ambiance, privacy & security making it the perfect choice for couples, singles, families or groups who have been searching for a special NEGRIL laid back un-commercial JAMAICAN beachfront vacation. We are a terrific value, you can rent one unit, several units or the whole property. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Nirvana On The Beach Hotel Negril
- Nirvana On The Beach Negril