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Reviewed 6 April 2018

OVERVIEW: This will be an extensive review, so I'll give a brief overview first. We've also been to Turks & Caicos. The resort grounds and beach in Negril are spectacular, the staff is very friendly, the food and drinks are very good, the included water sports are impressive, and we had a wonderful time as a family of four. I would have given it 4.5 stars if possible - it's not quite a 5-star resort. There are pluses and minuses to Negril vs. Turks & Caicos. If you are a true beach person, the beach at Negril is better, and the resort is smaller, making it easier to keep track of smaller children. T&C is much larger, offering more restaurants, but less beach area and it's more work to keep track of smaller children (though you can always use the included Kids' Camp). Here are the details:

TRAVELING TO/FROM JAMAICA WITH MOBAY CLUB FAST TRACK. Think Disney Fast Pass. We purchased the MoBay Club fast track into/out of the country for about $300, and it was worth every penny. When we landed, we were met by our own reggae-singing friendly Jamaican man, and he swept us through the airport past the massive lines of people and through the confusion (it was mobbed and I would have been totally lost), and he had us checked in and at the Sandal's lounge in under 20 minutes. It would have taken us several hours otherwise. The Sandal's lounge sported lovely bathrooms, snacks, and serve-yourself beer, soda, and a bar with complimentary drinks as well. We had enough time for about a half a beer and a pit stop before we were called to our bus. The bus was itself was decent - comfortable with big windows. The ride itself was a slow 90 minutes, but I took the opportunity to try and see as much as I could off the resort. The countryside is poor, with many houses that appeared to have been started, but then construction abruptly ended, resulting in half-built properties. To the left I could see the land and the different houses, and to the right the ocean.

RESORT ARRIVAL/ACCOMMODATIONS: The resort is gorgeous! Even nicer than the photos. The landscaping was magnificent, and the indoor/outdoor feel of the walkways at the entrance was enchanting. The staff were friendly and really bent over backwards to make us comfortable and welcome. We sat down with a bunch of other families, signed in, and were offered drinks as we waited. The signature cocktail was The Mesmerizer, featuring rum and coconut. From there Krystal escorted us to our room. Located on the 2nd floor (of a 3-floor building), we had one room with a king-sized bed, bath, and private balcony, and the kids had an adjoining room with trundle beds and their own bath/balcony as well. And the view incredible. You could see the ocean and the lovely green and floral grounds from both balconies. We chose the beachfront concierge option, which meant our room was stocked with beer, wine, water, soda, juice, and any liquor we wanted. The Montpelier buildings in Calypso Cove have recently been renovated, and they are gorgeous.

POOL/BEACH: The beach access was really from anywhere in the resort - the beach is long and the resort lines up well with it. The water was mostly calm and incredibly clear. There's an enormous main pool that sits beside the main buffet restaurant called The Mill. Then there's a smaller pool with a swim-up bar right next to the water park. Also, the water park is directly beside the beach. So my husband and I could sit at the pool bar or sit on the beach, and the kids could easily run around the water park and still be in sight all the time.

DINING: Lunch options were limited. The Mill buffet spot is the main choice. There was only one sit-down option at lunch - Mariachi, the Mexican place. It was good, but if you wanted to order from a menu, that was it. There is a bbq place that you can go and order food from and then take it wherever you like. They sport things like jerk chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, etc. There is also Dino's, where you can get wood-fired pizza from 11 am - 6 pm right on the beach.

For breakfast the options are even more limited. There's The Mill buffet, which is good if you want fast, and Stewfish right on the beach. Stewfish sports picnic tables dressed up with fancy table clothes, glassware, and sea shells, and you order from a menu. I tried just about everything they had, since we ate there every morning. Eggs Benedict (classic or smoked salmon), breakfast burrito, pancake stacks with sugar cane in the middle and blueberry, maple syrup, and/or caramel sauce on the side, waffles with chocolate sauce, etc. My favorite was the local breakfast platter - spicy fish, sauteed kale, johnny cake, and fried plantains. Such a great combination of sweet and salty - we ordered a pastry basket, fruit plate, coffee and juice every day as well. They also had mimosas. And as it's right at the edge of the ocean, we watched the water sports set up each morning. The boats came in for the daily activities while we were there. The staff there are wonderful too - Asha, Trischel, Kerry-Ann. They made us feel so at home and welcome.

Dinner options were the best. Lots of different choices there. The Venetian offered fancy Italian fare, and we dressed up for that (get reservations for the nights/times you want after you check in). There was a hibachi place where we were entertained by our own chef. There's a sushi place with very good sushi. We ate at Stewfish twice at night as well, for their seafood. Lobster, snapper, lots of interesting desserts, and a chance to watch the sunset over the water while dining. There was a Jamaican beach party one night with steel drums, and it was like having a giant wedding reception right on the beach. Super fun!

The Cafe de Paris, which they also had in Turks, offers all-day fun coffees and crepes or little pastries. There's a case of small treats, like carrot cake cupcakes, mini chocolate cakes, mini cheesecakes, mini lemon bars, mini blueberry cakes, mini orange cakes, little red velvet cakes - you name it. I went and tried all the fun coffees after lunch with one of the small treats. I had a Cafe Italien one day (coffee with Amaretto), and Francais another (coffee with coffee liqueur, gran marnier, and whipped cream), and Irish Coffee with Baileys.

WATER SPORTS: The water sports that are included are pretty spectacular. There is a glass bottom boat ride that you sign up for the day before or sometimes you can get in the morning of - they usually run at 9 and 10 am when the water is nice and calm. We did that at 10 am early in the trip, and it was wonderful. I'm not a boat fan, but the water was calm, and the boys particularly loved being able to look through the glass at their feet and see all the huge starfish and interesting fish under the boat. Our guide, "Big Bear," was friendly and funny.

The snorkeling boat goes out several times a day, too, and you just sign up and then show up at your time. It's about an hour for that. If you want more adventure, you can SCUBA. If you're already certified, you just sign up and go. If you're not certified, you can pay $100 per person to have an instructor get in the pool with you and teach you, then you do a short, shallow (15-20 feet), instructor-led dive. If you want to get fully certified, you can do that too for $500 a person.

There's also water bike paddle boats, kayaks, banana boats, sail boats, and water skiing. All include. We did the banana boat and got tossed way out in the ocean, which terrified my son, so we swam to the boat and I asked if we could ride back on the boat. The boat drivers were kind and allowed us to do this.

The water park is very nice, too. There are two huge water slides which overlook the ocean, so the view from the top is worth the climb. There's a splash zone type area too with smaller slides, dumping buckets, and water spouts that they loved. My children met a bunch of other kids while playing, so that was nice for all of us.

We spent a lot of time in the ocean as well. Unlike other beaches we've been to, like Ocean City and Cape Hatteras, where the waves move you down the beach, you can just stand in the water and relax. You can rent fancy cabanas for the day for $150, but we didn't do that. I didn't want to feel like we had to stay in one place. If you walk up and down the beach for a few minutes, there's always a couple of chairs in the sun or the shade.

BARS: The drinks and the bars were all fantastic as well. Plenty of options for both the kids and the adults. The kids drank chocolate monkeys, virgin pina coladas, icee lemons, you name it. The featured liquor is rum, but they have lots of other options as well. There are two swim-up bars in the pools, a main bar off The Mill/lobby area (where there is entertainment nightly), and only one bar on the beach, but I didn't have trouble getting what I wanted when I wanted it. I brought a bottle of champagne from our room to the beach one day in an ice bucket and just lounged.

EXCURSIONS: We didn't do any, because there was so much to do right on the resort. But there's a dolphin swim, a trip to Rick's cafe, and a few other options that you can book easily at the excursion desk for an extra fee.

SHOPPING: You can buy gifts/necessities from the gift shops, and there are locals who walk the beach daily selling hand-made jewelry and other trinkets. There's a guy with brightly colored socks piled on his head we saw daily. I bought a beaded ankle bracelet from a lady in a beautiful turquoise dress named JaNice (Jah- NIECE), and she fitted it to my ankle right on the beach. I wore it the rest of the trip and it never came off. Looking forward to wearing it this summer as a conversation piece.

Overall, a fabulous vacation.

Room Tip: Montpelier in Calypso Cove are quietest and renovated recently
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

We were thrilled with the quality of the on site childcare. In theory, camps run from 9am-9pm daily, but organized activities don't begin until 9:30-10am. They close daily from 5pm-6pm, but on Friday the camp break was from 3pm-4:30pm. They take the children to lunch and dinner at 12pm and 6pm. Children are divided by age group, there is the 0-2 year old group that stays in a beautiful and very clean play room, then the 3-4 year old group, 5-7 year olds, and 8-10 year olds. There is a lovely private wading pool behind the childcare setting for water activities for the 0-4 year olds. The 5 -10 year olds are mostly all together for the same activities in the morning, and children 3 years and up mostly do the same activity between 6-9pm (dinner, a Sesame Street stage show, usually followed by some sort of "party" back at the Kid's Camp). I was more impressed by the activities for the 5-10 year olds (ie/ pizza making, reggae dancing, beach volcano science) than for the 3-4yo group, which had mostly Sesame Street themed activities (ie/ Number of the Day, Letter of the Day.) The next day's itinerary will be listed in the daily "Footprints" newspaper brought to your room each evening. We always felt that our children were in good hands, and there was a high staff to child ratio. In particular, PollyAnna, Patreena, Blossom, Kareen, Shalon, Monique, Janillene and Tanille kept wonderful care of our children throughout the week (ages 3 and 5.) The staff are also available as nannies for an hourly fee. Based upon the the quality of the childcare, friendliness of the resort staff, quality of the food and beautiful location, we can't wait to go back next year.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

We traveled from the United States (Florida and New York) for a 7 day vacation. We had 4 couples, and a total of 7 kids, and the resort exceeded our expectations! This place is ideal for kids!

The Kids club was by far the best part of the trip, as it allowed my wife and I (and friends) to have our own vacation. The staff in the club was incredible, and watched over my 16 month old son as if he was their own! They were as upset he was leaving as we were to leave as well! Special Thanks to the Kids Club Staff : Janilleve / Pollyanna / Tanille / Kareen / Patreena / Blossom / Monique / Sharon.

They were true professionals, and took care of my son most of the week! It was Fantastic!

My 4 year old daughter also took advantage of the club, and it really made the whole experience worth wild!

I'd recommend this resort to anyone, and we plan on returning in the future!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank jcolucci33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

My daughter asked this the first evening. And my answer was simply: "Not as much as you would think". And that's the truth! From time to time, Beaches have discounted prices and if you're lucky, like us, you will get an offer you just can't refuse.
We were 2 adults with 18 year old daughter and 12 year old son, and had a concierge suite, which is one big room. We were a little afraid that it was to small for us, but it was just big enough. You don't spend much time there anyway. and our seaview balcony was like an extra room (ground floor in the Santa Cruz buildings which also was perfect - close to the watersports :).
We stayed here for 8 nights, and had the time of our life. It was not our first AI, but surely the best ever. I actually don't believe it can get any better. July is low season and maybe that is a part of this. It never felt crowded, no problems to get sunbeds (beach or pools) and no waiting time no place. And not to forget: All of the staff was just fantastic!
And the food was fantastic. First of all Soy, the sushi resaturant! And my daughter who don't usually like texmex, loved the Mariachi. "Why can't we get this back home?"
I can go on forever, but no need to....you get the picture.
We went on three different private tours organized by Island Routes, which all of them also was excellent.
So, any cons? Only thing I can think of is the reception at the lounge at the airport - a little stressful. Many people inside the lounge that wants to help you, and you don't know who actually works there. Suddenly I had three hands stretching out from three different guys, all saying "ya mon"..... Bring a lot of onedollar bills :)

And don't wait to do watersports, time flies!

Wanna go back? Ya mon!

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank powderdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

We just returned on Saturday from a wonderful week at Beaches Negril. We truly adore this resort and not only because it is in paradise on the most perfect and beautiful beach but because the staff at Beaches! If this is your first time, take a few minutes to talk to staff where ever you are in the resort. They are truly wonderful people and will help make your stay even better. From Lindley the bellhop, to Randino in the Excursions Desk, the front staff are lovely! As soon as we arrived, we were befriended by Keela, one of the entertainment staff who gave us an idea of the schedule of activities for the week for my kids and immediately made my 7 year old daughter excited to participate.
We received a room in the exact location that we requested and it was central to all that the resort has to offer! We enjoyed a nice dinner at Stewfish that night on the beach. Perfection. Each day, we were greeted by wonderful staff from Jojo at the Beach Bar to Adrien and Dahlia serving drinks on the beach. We loved chatting with each of them and they made sure that we were smiling and our kids were entertained. We were thrilled to learn that both Jojo and Adrien were attending the yearly Prestige Awards due to their stellar work. We also truly appreciated the beach lifeguard Orlando. Such a nice guy who was always willing to help us find chairs on the beach and be resourceful! We also enjoyed getting to know Wayne in the gym. His morning walk turned into a fabulous workout because he customized it to fit our needs. Fantastic! Loved eating breakfast and sometimes dinner at Stewfish with Shane the waiter. We enjoyed chatting with him. Entertainment staff was great, we are very impressed with DJ Jarro and the way he can take entertainment to the next level. He is going to be the next Ryan Seacrest. Delano was awesome too, and a great dancer! We did the Catamaran Cruise for a third time and it was fun and relaxing as always. We like seeing the coastline and snorkeling. This time, they took us snorkeling near Rockhouse because the other area was choppy. We went parasailing through "Peter" who wears a yellow shirt on the beach and has helped us with different excursions throughout the year and it was so fun! Only took about an hour or so and was easy and such a cool vantage point to see the Negril area from the sky. My daughter always enjoys kids camp because it is truly a quality program with staff who really seems to care. Lastly the lifeguard staff at the water slides and spray park are so cool! They kept my kids laughing. And the water sports team were great, I loved paddle boarding. Overall it was a perfect vacation!

Room Tip: Building 5 is nice and central
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank DanetteBerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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