Help picking the perfect for us resort

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Aug 6th, 2013, 12:18 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Help picking the perfect for us resort

I am looking for your expert advice on helping pick the perfect for us Jamaican resort for our 17th anniversary

About us
We are in our 40s
Budget of $2200(including airfare) give or take a few $$$
AI resort

I 'think' Ive narrowed down our destination to Jamaica-Montego Bay or Negril areas(T&C keeps popping its head up though)

I'm more of an R&R type of girl,powdery sand ,beach lounging with fruity drink in my hands,low key,low maintenance,love visiting with locals,meeting new people and I'm decisionally challenged

My husband while low key and a whole lot more reserved in the people department will not be content sitting in a beach lounger with a fruity drink in hand for seven days. He doesn't need to go go go either but would like some choice in activities.

I'm more sand and surf, he's more cliff/rain forest/deep sea fishing,caves, cool historical stuff.... adventurous, ok he's adventurous

I'd like to try snorkeling but I'm not sure I'm coordinated enough and I'm serious my husband would love it.

I think since this is our first trip to the Caribbean that an AI will be the way to go for us.
We are looking for a comfortable AI resort,with a variety of decent food options,good drinks and some activities during the day/evening.I don't need to party into the wee hours but I don't want lights out at 10pm either. The AI doesn't have to be huge or extreme LUX, Im looking for clean, and if I can get an oceanfront room with patio close to the beach at a less expensive AI resort, I'll take it.

In the past 3 years I have buried my Mom,Dad,Grandmother and 2 close friends, so when I say I'm coming for the view,the sound of the ocean and to live on "Island time" I'm serious.

Transfers I'm a little confused about this, will we need to hire a local company,also customs and the airport what can we expect(Never traveled outside of the US) Tips/Advice?

I read somewhere on here about a boat excursion that was like 2-3hrs off resort with apps and drinks for around $20-30,not even sure if it was for Jamaica. Help if it is, I'd like to include that.

Is there a good site/travel agency that you like that allows payment plans or should I just book now with CC (Booking with payment plan options websites) I've been checking bookit.com

I'm looking at traveling March 14-20 from Tulsa,Ok. I know this is spring break season and while I like children, there is a reason I'm leaving my 3 teens at home. I don't need an adults only AI the option of an adult only area is appealing.

I read someones trip report here on Negril and the Grand Pineapple(she even found her relatives while on Vacation) they split their time between GP and then moved to the cliffs, I remember going AHHH the View AHHH the beach Ahhh.... I think that one trip report via her blog sold me on Negril.

I have read,read and re-read this forum looked at so many resorts that they are all running together now and I can't remember what was what!

So I thought I'd come here, tell you a little about ourselves and have you help me pick the place for us because the "Decisionally Challenged" part of me isn't making choosing a resort very easy.

Thank you so much for your help and advice

Georgie
georgienba is offline  
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:06 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I love Negril and that's where I would suggest if you want to go to Jamaica.
The best forum to use for that is:
www.negrilonestop.com
Go to their map of the Cliffs and of the Beach and you can click on each of the hotels.

Trip Advisor also has a very active and helpful Negril forum. I recommend these resources because there are only a couple Negril people here on Fodor's (who hopefully will chime in too).
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:08 PM
  #3
 
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Oh as far as the airport arrival... you WILL feel you are in a foreign country. There is usually a pretty long wait to get thru immigration, just depending on if more than 1 flight lands at the same time. Could take 1 hr or more.

I used Clives as my transportation. In theory it is a shared shuttle, but if there's no one else within 20 mins. of you arrival, they take you anyway. It is a 90 mins. (very beautiful) ride out to Negril. I think I paid $30 each way. I arranged it online in advance. They are waiting for you right at the exit. You can also hire a private driver if that feels more comfortable and you don't mind additional expense. Depending what kind of resort or hotel you choose, they may also have arrangements.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:23 PM
  #4
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Thank you both. I have just posted on TA and will look into Clives
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:33 PM
  #5
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I think your budget is going to be very tough during peak spring break season. Did you check airfares? Those alone could eat up more of your budget than you may realize. IF you can go out of season- roughly end of April until mid December- you will get much more for your money in the Caribbean.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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Turks & Caicos would be way over your budget. If you want to check rates the only 2 AI's are Club Med(older, dated) and Beaches--lots of families and very high regarding prices.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 03:29 PM
  #7
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I could do a trip the first part of June if you think rates would better
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Aug 6th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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Rates are better in June.

For your prices and wanting AIs, you really need to stick to Mexico and Dominican Republic.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 06:18 PM
  #9
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Thanks for your replies, they are appreciated! I will start pricing for June 5-12. I looked at cancun in Mexico and it just seems to busy and all the different 'playas' so confusing. With adding 3 more months to my departure time I can up my budget. I may have to forgo the AI but one way or another I will make it to Negril
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Aug 7th, 2013, 08:12 AM
  #10
 
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We know the feeling. Reading reviews is just that more confusing. Some will say awfull then next it wil say perfect. We got so annoind with it we almost decided to stop all together.
Now we stayed at the Grand Pallidium in Jamaica. We got our all inclusive with transportation to and from airport all the food and drinks for 880.00 dollars. Thats 8 days and 7 nights. We also got a few free tours to negril beach a shopping center and Ricks cafe. The resort is nice. It has lots of villas so it can be quit big. Id say there is 30 villas dont quote me. Theres Id say 7 different themed restraunts and several buffets. Restraunts require fancier clothes but buffets are quick and easy. They have nightly shows on the stage so its more convienant than going to the beach like some other resorts are. Rooms are nice. We had a ant problem in one room and he helpers came emmediatly to fix it. It was nice for us. location was kinda far from the cities so thats another story to tak about. If you are ok at staying at the resort than its perfect for you. If you want tours there offered like at any other resort. There owned all by the same people. Theres reefs right there at the resort to. Just hope in and start swimming. I can help you with that info. Theres 3 beaches and i think to are man made. dont know the facts on that either. Now how did we ge such a cheap deal? The normal prie is 1,880 dollars for 8 days 7 nights. We can help you with that too. Didnt want to blow up you post so reply and I can give you more info.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 08:47 AM
  #11
 
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sorry for the spelling. Im assuming most all inclusive resorts offer free transportation to the resorts? some else can chime in on that. I have lots of pictures on facebook if you have a account we can be friends there so you can get more famiiar with what we experienced. I drag my go pro camera on video throught my whole vacation. I always do.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 09:06 AM
  #12
 
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I'm not sure I understand this sentence. Playa just means "beach" in Spanish. Playa del Carmen is the town about 1 hr south of Cancun, where many of the AIs are located.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 11:10 AM
  #13
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Suze,
I just meant compared to Jamaica Mexico seems very overwhelming
Taylor, Thanks for your input and advice!

by moving my dates to June rates are much better, but now I have discovered Nirvana on vrbo and am thinking I may not need an AI at all. The prospect of 1 to 10 rooms/cottages on property is very appealing and yet close to walk to restaurants and bars...

DECISIONS DECISIONS! Just when you think you have it all figured out...

Thanks again
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Aug 7th, 2013, 02:56 PM
  #14
 
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LOL its hard to find the place. Most of us here only have a few chances a year to do this and hate to find out we made a mistake booking the wrong island or resort. Guess its half the adventure make what you can of it is my saying. Next time Id like to find a cottage unstead of the Ai's. Hard to experience the real lifestyle hiding in the resort having meals cooked and prepped in some fancy way. Our last problem was the resort was to far and the resort taxis costed to much. We ended up hitching in which i do not suggest. It was a blast though experienced sumfest 2013 also. Good luck. Find those timeshare presentations if its a resort. It saves lots of money. We saved over a grand by going to a club membership presentation this time.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 03:02 PM
  #15
 
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Sure, that makes sense, georgie. Jamaica is not that large of an island. Mexico is a HUGE entire country (and Spanish speaking).
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Aug 7th, 2013, 05:40 PM
  #16
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Suze,
yes, and Jamaica is calling my name...I am determined to get to Negril ok so an AI is out,and the more I read the more I realize I cant eat or drink an extra $300-500 in 5-7 days no biggie...I can still make it happened

I know the thrifty in me can find lodging, that is relaxing,small yet centered on 7 mile beach. I just want some RnR and to recoop from the past 3 yrs of burying my family members.

Suze, Mexico was OVERWHELMING to me when I started looking/researching and I just didnt get that laid back vibe when I was researching Mexico like I did in Jamaica...

Sometimes you are just drawn to a place...Negril is that place for me
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Aug 8th, 2013, 09:39 AM
  #17
WWK
 
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Just have to jump in here... One of the reasons rates are lower in the summer months is that the islands can have a lot of rain. Or not. Unknowable until you get there. We've had a few trips totally washed out, particularly in Jamaica during mid-late June.
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Aug 9th, 2013, 12:05 PM
  #18
 
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hey I love Negril (been 3x)

But I love Puerto Vallarta even more (20+x). For me when I am thinking "Mexico"... it is PV, not the entire country. So it's not overwhelming at all to plan and go there.

Have you looked at Wild Parrot beach cottages (in Negril)? I only know it from the website (last trip I stayed on the Cliffs) but I think it fits what you seek. For a budget if you get a place with a little frig, shop at the grocery store, eat at local inexpensive places, learn to use the "route taxi" system to get around... you should be able to have a nice trip on about about $50/day above lodging.
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