Upon arriving in 1494, Christopher Columbus called Jamaica “the fairest isle that eyes ever beheld.” When Negril developed as a resort location centuries later in the late 1950s, ferries were required to drop off passengers in Negril Bay, where they would then wade to shore. Today, visitors arrive at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, where they are whisked in air-conditioned shuttle buses to resorts down the coast.
About an hour from the airport on beautiful Seven Mile Beach, Beaches Negril Resort & Spa offers calm, warm turquoise-colored water, soft powder-white sand, and every beach activity imaginable. This all-inclusive resort is an ideal getaway that offers a combination of laid-back time, adventure time, and time to give of themselves if they choose.
Built in an open plantation-style common in the Caribbean, this 186-room resort is a tropical paradise. Families can choose from 10 room and suite categories, including three-bedroom suites that sleep up to twelve. Rooms are air-conditioned and well appointed with mahogany furnishings, flat-screen TVs, ceiling fans, a balcony or patio, and modern marble bathrooms. Mini fridges come stocked with various types of beverages and you can request more beverages from housekeeping. The resort is crisscrossed with pathways that lead to the beach, pools, restaurants and inviting spaces to lay in a hammock while watching the sunset or stop for a game of shuffleboard or Ping Pong.
For younger children, Sesame Street characters invite little ones to play, while beach parties and music draw teens to a sandy dance floor.
The resort offers a variety of pools, a water park, and lazy river. Water sports include windsurfing, snorkeling, banana boating and paddle boarding. Your all-inclusive rate means that there’s no need to carry money around or sign charges to your room, whether you are helping yourself at the self-serve ice cream bar or dropping a child off at the children's camp. There are separate programs for babies (newborn to age 2), toddlers (ages 3 to 5), kids (age 5 to 12), and teens.
The resort also offers several volunteering opportunities. As the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, the Sandals Foundation plays a meaningful role in communities throughout the Caribbean, investing in projects that benefit education and the local environment. Prior to our visit to Jamaica, we contacted Pack With a Purpose and brought items to benefit a school and local teen mothers. We also visited a local school where we also participated in the Reading Road Trip program through the resort.
During our visit, we read books with students and worked on writing exercises, sang songs and talked about goals and the importance of education. Kids and parents from the resort were moved by the enthusiasm of the school kids and their thirst for improving their lives through learning. Throughout the year the Foundation leads environmental outings which partner resort guests with locals in an effort to clean up wetlands and beaches, educating people about invasive species and our global responsibility to care for the earth.
This all-season resort offers eight restaurants scattered across the property. From a multi-choice buffet to Mexican, Italian, sushi and more, families have an abundance of dining options. Highlights included a super yummy jerk chicken pizza al fresco, the late night chocolate buffet, and the warm and gooey caramel banana breakfast crepes.
Best rooms: Room types vary across the property. Noise can be a problem at night in some parts of the resort, so request quieter rooms closer to the pool areas, which are closed at night.
Best season: For the best weather, visit Jamaica between December and June, when you can expect mild temperatures and little rainfall. During hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, temperatures can average in the upper 80 degrees. The resort is busiest from January through April, especially during U.S. school vacation weeks, and this is also when the resort's activity programming is the most robust.
Visited: April 2016
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