Best AI's in Jamaica: Negril or Ocho Rio

Aug 25th, 2003, 05:50 PM
  #1  
honeymooner14
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Best AI's in Jamaica: Negril or Ocho Rio

Hi,
Have checked into Sandals, but also interested in learning more about the other AI's in JA. We are looking into a possible honeymoon stay in either Negril or Ocho Rio after a Grand Cayman wedding next summer. Looking for a beautiful resort with nice, big pools on a great stretch of beach. Also would like good food, mix of Jamaican and American, and a nice, comfy room. I have heard good things about Grand Lido and Couples. Can anyone tell me about their experiences there? Also, would you suggest Negril or Ocho Rios? We are looking for a fun beach vacation with beautiful Jamaican scenery, authentic culture, and plenty to do when we head off the resort. Thanks! (Also, heard someone mention a Grand Lido San Souci, but couldn't find it on their website...does it still exist?)
 
Sep 1st, 2003, 10:44 AM
  #2  
honeymooner14
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PLEASE can I have some opinions? Thanks!
 
Sep 1st, 2003, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Hello Honeymooner - Here's my 2 cents. We have been to Couples Negril twice and would go back again. It offered everything we were looking for...nice quiet beach, pretty water, nice rooms, good food, lovely pool. We ventured off the resort on several occasions to the Black River and YS Falls areas. We went by private escort and spent the day touring about. Rented a small fishing boat at the Black River and had a guide take up way out to some remote areas. We had lunch at a little roadside stand along Bamboo Avenue and we also stopped at Bluefield Beach. Just a great experience. Also very much enjoyed the spa at Couples. There was a young lady there by the name of Althea who gave the best back massage! Very memorable vacation. Go and have fun.
gottagoagain is offline  
Sep 1st, 2003, 12:26 PM
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"beautiful Jamaican scenery, authentic culture, and plenty to do when we head off the resort"

You'll get the scenery and culture when you head off the resort.....if you stay at one of the large AIs (Sandals, Couples, Lido, etc) you won't get much of it there....except maybe a nice beach view.

If the idea of going to Jamaica is to get a different, more "real" feel than GC (as you said in your other post), I'd skip the big AI resorts myself.
liza is offline  
Sep 1st, 2003, 12:42 PM
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HIghly recommend Couples Swept Away Negril - been there twice and had great service, lush environment, beautiful, huge wide beach and spectacular blue water. PLenty to do offsite also - visit the cliffs, Mayfield falls, dance and walk for miles along the beach.
cartera45 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2003, 06:20 PM
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You cannot go wrong with either Couiples in Negril. There is plenty of Jamaica to "feel" by travelling off resort. I do not believe the 3Dives restaurant we ate at was any less authentic or friendly because we were staying at an all-inclusive.

I will agree, though, you got to travel "off-resort" to really get a feel for Jamaica.

Having said that, and having stayed at both Couples resorts in Negril, you can't go wrong there. Wonderful in most every way. The beaches, the food, the staff and the rooms were all very good and met all expectations. Their websites do not exaggerate anything about the resorts.
atticus is offline  
Sep 1st, 2003, 07:59 PM
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For our honeymoon in June, we spent some time in Negril (not at an AI, though) and then a week at Couples Ocho Rios. We really liked the Couples resort a lot and would go back. We, however, liked the Negril beach better than Ocho Rios. It was absolutely beautiful -- where as Ocho Rios beach was just okay. There were more activities to do at Couples Ocho Rio, though, than Couples Negril -- which is why we picked it. (ie. Dunn's River Falls, horseback riding, etc.)

I would suggest you look into Couples "Double Take" program -- depending on how long you're going to be there. It's where you spend part of your vacation at Couples Negril and the other half at Couples Ocho Rios. I think it would be the best of both worlds!

We looked into the Grand Lido resorts -- they seemed really fabulous, but were quite a bit more expensive than Couples. We chose Couples over Sandals because they just seemed a little less commercialized.

Hope that helps!
Cindy
cindyrob is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 07:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just a comment about Grand Lido Sans Souci -- it's no longer managed by Superclubs, so now the owners call it the Sans Souci Resort & Spa (or something like that).

We've been to GLN 2x, GLB 1x, & the former GLSS 2x. Our favorite, overall, is GLN. We really liked the food there & the rooms are nice (nicer now that they are redecorating the rooms & putting in jacuzzis in all the bathrooms). The pools are small & there are no swim-up bars in either one. The atmosphere is very relaxed there (w/ no blaring entertainment crew yelling into a microphone at the pool every day -- like at the 2 Sandals we've been to in St. Lucia!!). The beach is pretty nice; not the really white sand/turquoise water kind of beach, but very nice still.

For overall beauty, I would definitely pick the Sans Souci resort -- it's just a stunning property, starting at beach level & ending way up on a cliff.

GL Braco, which is half way between Mo Bay & Ocho Rios (about an hour from the airport & the closest Lido to the airport), has big pools (both w/ swim-up bars) & a little more activity around the pools during the day. The beach there is pretty rocky & , since it's right on the north coast of Jamaica, lots of waves (cutting down on the watersports on windy days).

Just in my opinion, I would definitely pick a Lido or Couples over a Sandals (based on our experiences at the 2 St. Lucia Sandals we've been to). The Lidos, overall, had a much classier atmosphere than Sandals & we liked the food alot better. Once again, just my opinion! Also, the Lidos offer 24 hr room service for ALL of their room categories (Sandals only offers it for the higher-end rooms & I'm not sure about Couples).

Good luck w/ your decision!
Jackie

JackieMRP is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 01:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Negril makes for a much nicer and complete honeymoon than Ocho Rios. You have 7 miles for those long beachwalks. A romantic dinner on the cliffs at Rick's Cafe at sunset.

Grand Lido may be the best resort on the island. Besides Couples and Sandals, look into Swept Away.
RichF is offline  
Sep 9th, 2003, 04:49 AM
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We've stayed many times at Sandals, Beaches (including several at Royal Plantation), many times at SuperClubs (including 9 times at Lidos) and also at Couples once and then some other a/i's in Jamaica and around the Caribbean. Each has its own personality.

Someone else mentioned that Sans Souci isn't a Lido anymore. True. The website is http://www.sanssoucijamaica.com. Most of the staff is still there, and not that much has changed. We enjoy the beauty there and the included spa treatments (though SHORT) and the French restaurant.

My favorite resort is Royal Plantation due to the fancy a la carte dining and the great rooms. It is smaller and not for everyone. My husband's favorite is Grand Lido Braco due to the 9 hole golf course on site and the great dining and activities. It is also only about an hour from the resort.

Couples (especially Ocho Rios) includes several sightseeing tours and offers a great choice for a first timer to the island. We haven't been in a while but are returning on October 5.

Although it isn't my favorite, you might try Sandals Dunns River because their pools are huge. We like smaller pools because we get cold if the pools aren't bathwater warm. We are probably the coldest people on the planet when it comes to water. That resort has a lovely spa and nice dining and a fun atmosphere if you want activity.

You can find authentic culture anywhere. People sometimes associate this with Negril, but you can chat with staff without leaving a property or go on tours or hire a driver-go see waterfalls or rivers, etc.

Different resorts are a better deal depending on their current promotions, so read some reviews and pay attention to the things that really are important to you and then check for deals. There are a lot of great choices.
DebbieH103 is offline  

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