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Negril....All Inclusive or Non Inclusive?

Old May 1st, 2013, 03:17 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 17
Negril....All Inclusive or Non Inclusive?

Hi all,
Just got back from st thomas and wanted to thank everyone for the great advice.

So now I'm looking at negril for me and wife and 3 kids(2,8,11). Just not sure if I should do AI or not. Not sure how safe Negril is.
AI I'd be looking at around $1500 pp. Non AI I'd be looking to rent a car and villa. We like to do more than sit on the beach as the kids will go crazy otherwise and I don't mind making meals so I really prefer villas. I'd appreciate any advice on the matter and open to other island suggestions if anyone has recommendations?
Thanks all so much
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Old May 1st, 2013, 03:21 PM
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I love Negril!! I'm not sure how to advise for a family though. also I'm not sure where "villas" would be located in relation to the *7 mile beach* or *the Cliffs* which are the two areas most people stay in. Driving in Negril and Jamaica generally is a bit hairy, so not sure that'd be anything I'd want to attempt myself. Negril is "safe" enuogh but it is a bit rough and rugged around the edges. It's more rustic than refined or "resorty". You may well be hassled by vendors to buy stuff, etc.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 05:34 PM
  #3  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Many people on this forum do not AI resorts especially in Negril, so you will get bias opinions with that regard. There are limited AI resorts in Negril anyway that allow children.

Here's a list of AI resorts in Jamaica:

http://www.caribbeanallinclusive.com...ve_resorts.cfm

Jamaica is not a destination that people will advise you to rent a car. It's best to either go with the resort's offered tours or hire a driver to take you sightseeing and shopping places. Mainly, so they can assist in keeping the aggressive locals at bay. However, we found the locals way more aggressive in Ocho Rios than Negril.

You might also look at accomendations at:

http://www.negrilonestop.com/
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Old May 1st, 2013, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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AI resorts are great in places where food is expensive or difficult to find restaurants outside the resort. In a place like Negril it is simply not necessary. There are so many places to eat it would be a shame to miss the atmosphere of Negril beach . If you need to eat & drink copious amounts, you will find AI better value. I'm unsure if Negril is the villa & cook yourself type of area. We took the advice not to rent a car but then we saw lots of people from our flight at the car rental desks and the roads were not as bad as some other islands. But for Americans I would not advise car rental because many are not used to driving even outside their own state & are even reluctant to drive in places like PR never mind Jamaica.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 04:01 AM
  #5  
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I have to agree w/ the posts above. Negril isn't really a villa kind of place. There are so many small boutique hotels right on the beach and restaurant prices are pretty reasonable, even cheap.

We have been taking our kids now 25 and 21 to Negril since they were babies, so I do consider it mostly safe. Like anywhere else, I'd use common sense about venturing alone into the hills beyond Negril, or walking on the beach at night in unlit areas. Other than that, you should be fine.

Two hotels that we like very much: COCO LA PALM, which is in the middle of the beach and IDLE AWHILE. COCO is less expensive and has larger rooms ( especially the jr. suites on the upper floors, though be careful of the one located near the bar). It is very popular with families of all ages since the prices are
moderate.

IDLE AWHILE is more upscale, smaller than COCO, and tends to cater to fewer families with kids.

You can also look at CHARELA INN, which is just a few blocks down the beach from both these properties.

Have fun!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Charela Inn looks very nice. I spent a day on the beach there because I was staying at their sister-property on the cliffs called Le Mirage. The restaurant on site is very good and (while I don't think it's technically an "all-inclusive") they do have meal plans.

If you're really set on the villa idea, I think a different destination would probably work better.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 01:53 PM
  #7  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Most of the AI resorts on are Bloody Bay Beach, which is down the way from 7 Mile Beach. There are AI's there because there is not much else around and getting to dining options is more difficult. If you don't want to go AI then staying on 7 Mile Beach or the Cliffs would be the better choice. The better AI options are actually in Montego Bay and not Negril.

I find Odin's comment regarding Americans and driving in other countries a bit demeaning. Read reviews and do your research, not many people, no matter what country they are from, rent cars in Jamaica. Even some the Fodor's moderators have made the same remark. Odin has a consist need to make jabs at my posts due to remarks I have made regarding his beloved Barbados and driving in St. Lucia that he didn't agree with, so making jabs at my comments instead of trying to actually help others with accurate information seems more of a priority to him.

To get you started, here a link regarding that issue so you can make your own decision:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Search?q=...eturnTo=__2F__
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 05:21 AM
  #8  
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ok so the villa option is out for negril haha....
I'm now thinking hotel non inclusive to enjoy local restaurants. here's my question.....seven mile beach or cliffs to stay? I'd like to know why you prefer one over the other to get hotel? I'm not going to rent a car so if I'm at the cliffs, hopefully taxi to seven mile area is pretty simple. And if I'm at seven mile, taxi to cliffs is easy.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Taxi around Negril is very easy. You want to use a licensed one. You can get a private ride back and forth between beach and cliffs for around $6-10usd. If you are willing to learn to use the shared taxi system (called "route taxis") then it is 100jmd (about $1usd) per person per ride.

Both the beach and the cliffs are lovely. I'm guessing with 3 younger kids probably the beach would win out. Look at the Charela Inn website just to give you an idea of one of the not-AI beachfront hotels with good low-key local ambiance
http://www.charela.com/

Then use the 'onestop 'website KVR gave you to look at all the rest!
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 07:33 PM
  #10  
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Since you're going with your kids, I'd choose the beach. The hotels I mentioned - Coco La Palm, Idle Awhile, Charela Inn- are all on the best and widest section of the beach. You'll have easy access to water sports etc., plus plenty of restaurants/bars within walking distance.

Cabs back and forth to the cliffs for a family of four were running between $15-20 EACH WAY about two years ago. Some restaurants (Rock House and maybe some others) were providing free roundtrip transfers. You just provide the tip.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 07:38 PM
  #11  
WWK
 
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Lastly, I would arrange airport pickup with a private transfer rather than a shared van which means you must wait for other passengers before leaving.

And when in Negril, I would be careful about flagging down any cab that you see on the road. Some of them do not carry insurance.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Having been to Negril twice (and very nearly a third time this year) we HIGHLY recommend Charela Inn. We stayed there our first trip and went there for half our meals the second trip. There ARE other options for meals along the beach, however, and you may want to try some of them. You also might want to have the concierge arrange a taxi to take you up to the cliffs for a day or a meal. Rock House was nice. When we were there, Charela had a boat and took everyone out for a sunset cruise so you could view the whole coastline of Negril -- cliffs, beaches and all. It became very obvious that Charela, CocoLa Palm and Idle Awhile (which are near to each other) are on the best stretch of beach. There is a pool, but the sea is so clear and the sand so clean, that you probably won't use the pool at all.
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