Negril..Caves? Swept Away? Help!

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Apr 19th, 2004, 11:51 AM
  #1
cat
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Negril..Caves? Swept Away? Help!

Hi everyone. We are spending 8 nights in Jamaica in June (8-16). We are flying into MoBay and then taking a puddle jumper to Ocho to spend 4 nights with friends in a private villa on the beach (great to have friends with villas). We plan to do some sightseeing around that area of the island while there.

Then, we are taking another puddle jumper to Negril for the last 4 nights. Here's where I'm having trouble. Can't decide whether to spend a relaxing time on the beach at an AI or do something funkier like staying on the cliffs. We would like to be near some nightlife that we can preferably, walk to. Some choices I have been considering are Moon Dance Villas (1st choice but they don't seem to have the dates avail.), Swept Away, Caves, Idle Awhile, Tensing Pen. They all look enticing for different reasons. Does anyone have any preferences? Why? Also, is lack of AC at the Caves in June a recipe for disaster?
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Apr 19th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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We are going to Negril in May & staying on the beach. The cliffs sound nice but then you need a ride to most other places & the beach, I believe. Too bad Moon Dance isn't available. Did you check into CocoLaPalm? I got a brochure from them & it looked good. It has gotten good reviews & so has Negril Beach Club Condos. AC is important if you're not used to heat & humidity. We're from the south but still made sure our hotel had it.
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Apr 19th, 2004, 06:47 PM
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Have only stayed on the beach, but I understand that on the cliffs there is more breeze and a/c is less important, regardless of the time of year. I want to do the cliffs one day....been looking at Rockhouse, but the Caves are supposedly splendiferous.....where the stars stay!

There are several upscale places on the beach which are not a/i. Best bet is to ask the question in the Westside Wanderings forum on www.jamaicans.com

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Apr 19th, 2004, 08:43 PM
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Tough choice between the cliffs and the beach. I have stayed at Swept Away twice and it is on a wonderful beach and is perfect for vegging - even if they do have a great sports facility. I stayed at Coco La Palm last year and I also loved it, but it is not nearly as luxurious as Swept Away. I toured Idle Awhile and would probably choose it over the others you mentioned on the beach. I think Tensing Pen looks great but I would need a pool for my daughter in case the water gets rough.
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Apr 20th, 2004, 01:41 PM
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My husband and I stayed at Swept Away in November and had a fabulous time. Like you, we were considering Swept Away vs. The Caves and chose Swept Away for its fitness complex/tennis/golf because we are both very into sports. Additionally, I liked the idea of being on Seven Mile Beach with sand and not on cliffs. That said, however, we really didn't like the food at Swept Away (although we chose SA, in part, because of the raves about the food). We thought it was just a step above your standard AI fare. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great to us. I've heard much better things about the food at the Caves. We wanted to go all inclusive because we weren't sure about getting around in Negril and where else we would eat, but as lots of posters on Fodors can tell you, there are lots of places to eat in Negril and you don't have to go AI. In retrospect, we probably would have stayed at Idle Awhile because you get to use SA's sports complex for free, but it's not all inclusive so we would have spent a lot less money and we would have been able to eat authentic Jamaican food, instead of buffet-style stuff and Gato Negro wine (the Gato Negro was served at the "nice" restaurant!). The Caves also seems much more luxurious and upscale than Swept Away. I have some pictures of the beach and the rooms at SA if you would like me to send them to you. Do a search for "The Caves." There have been some very nice posts about that resort. There are also great reviews about all of the resorts you mentioned at tripadvisor.com
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Apr 20th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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FWIW, complaints about the food at Swept Away are few and far between. The whole week we were there, the only complaint I heard from any of the other guests was one time when one of the wives complained it was too rich.
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Apr 21st, 2004, 02:38 AM
  #7
cat
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. This really is helping. Right now I am leaning toward Idle Awhile.

Beachgirl - I would love to see your pics of Swept Away. Are they posted on the web or do you want me to send you my e-mail? I am particularly interested in the rooms. I have heard good and bad things about them. I also understand that they have new rooms. I saw some pics of those on another site and I'm tending to think that the old ones look more interesting.
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Apr 21st, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Go ahead and email me your address and I'll email you my pictures--they're not on the web.

In an attempt to avoid spam, my email address is, spelled out,

kolson at law dot uoregon dot edu
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Apr 21st, 2004, 04:05 PM
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Why not split your time between the beach and the cliffs??
I'm thinking about spending a night at Idle Awhile and a couple nights on the cliffs, either Rockhouse, Xtabi, etc.
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:48 AM
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We stayed at both The Caves and Moondance this December. The Caves has great food, service, funky accomodations and interesting people. Lack of A/C means lots of heat and bugs in the rooms. Some rooms have better breezes than others.
We got bored after a few days and missed the beach so we moved to Moondance ( they only had a 5BR but we talked them into giving it to us for the 1BR rate!). The accomodations are more modern than The Caves (A/C, satellite TV, DSL w/computer, private pool) and having the staff in the house is awesome (especially liked having a bartender.There is definitely more to do at the beach, you might want to check out Idle Awhile, not as deluxe as Moondance but a good value. I would not recommend AI except as done at The Caves or Moondance.
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:54 PM
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eyeski--as I recall, you stayed in Onedrop, which might explain why you had less of a breeze, since it's a ground floor A-Frame like unit (maybe)?. We stayed in Bird's Nest last March, which is a second floor unit, and never felt the need for AC. The breeze coming in through the huge picture window with the mural above,along with the ceiling fan, kept the air circulating at a perfect pace. Moreover, we preferred the organic almost bohemian luxury (how's that for an oxymoron) of the Caves, and AC just doesn't fit in that vision. I have to admit, I'm someone who complains about the heat sometimes, but I just let my body adjust and never had a problem. Then again, I'm sure that wouldn't be the case if I had to wear a suit or something, however at the Caves, you can go to dinner barefoot if you want (although we dressed up in some pseudo "island formal wear," just for the fun of it, and to add a dash of romance for the candlelit lobster dinner in the Cave). As for bugs, it was not an issue with us, perhaps because of our proximity to the water and the breeze (or maybe it was those devices that they plug in under your bed that are supposed to repel insects?). In any event, I can't compare it to Moondance, as I have never been there, but even after hearing about and researching the other places, we still wouldn't consider anywhere but the Caves. I realize that some people need to see the beach, but I've been going to a beach my whole life. How often do you stay on cliffs? We never missed the beach, and I found that, even in our decidedly unambitious state, there were more than enough diversionary activities to occupy the day and night...for example, snorkle about....kayak down the cliffs...come back and have the cliffside jacuzzi reserved with a pitcher of margaritas, rose petals, candles, and watch the sunset....then do the same thing the next day, but substitute the jacuzzi for the hot tub in the cave....next day jump through the Blue Hole or off the big cliff a few times...visit the spa, and then at night have the candlelit dinner in the cave....As I said before, we stayed there 5 nights and never felt the need, urge or slightest inkling to leave those gates. I realize that's just us, but it was and is and will be (going back May 21 to stay in Moonshadow with another couple) a truly unforgettable and incomparable experience.
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May 14th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Hi. I don't know if you guys are still checking this thread but I could use some advice. I am going on my honeymoon to the caves in August (thinking about spending a couple nights at moondance but it may not be worth moving) and I wanted to know which room you guys suggested we request? Nigel or Eyeski - you guys seem to have had different experiences with the breeze (although I heard there isn't much of a breeze in the summer). Which upper level should we request? Thanks so much!
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May 14th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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We did start at One-drop but moved to Moonshadow when it opened up a few days later (no extra charge!). The breezes (and everything else) were much better at moonshadow but I developed a heat rash anyway. I think if you are a strong swimmer and like jumping off cliffs you will enjoy the cliff location, I guess we are more into the beach scene.
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May 14th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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Hi Mooning. I also stayed at the Caves and we didn't have any problems with the lack of A/C. Our uppper unit was called the Butterfly and it was located right over the ocean basically. It was wonderful. Just an FYI, we have relatives visiting the Caves this month and the staff at the Caves said they will be installing A/C in the One Drop unit this month. This is the self contained A frame unit. So, this should solve your problem if you are really concerned about the lack of A/C. Maybe reserve this unit and you can always change once you get there. I can't imagine this place will book up in August. When we were there in January, there were only 2 or 3 other couples. Enjoy!
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May 14th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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After having returned from swept away and having left there mid-trip to stay at the Rockhouse, I can't believe anyone would enjoy the food at SA. I read over and over again that complaints are rare and am stunned. The Jam-Asian buffet was a joke, at the gourmet rest. my pork was served atop Lays chips and the wine as stated above Gato Negro in all spots. The beach is lovely but if you are looking to enjoy a meal, go elsewhere. We ended up eating out at Norma's on the beach a few nights and elsewhere in Negril. Some all inclusive...
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May 14th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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Well did ya ever think it could just be you?
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May 15th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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Thanks Ilove2travel that is great info. I am not usually so concerned about A/C and I am sure most of the year it is fine but August may be a bit hotter and I heard there isn't much of a breeze! I will for sure ask about OneDrop. Thanks so much.
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May 15th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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No problem. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. If you'd like, I could tell you how our relatives felt about the room when they get back. They are going over Memorial Day weekend. This is truly a special place and I couldn't think of a better place to spend your honeymoon. That was our first time to Negril and we really had planned on going to the beach and listening to some Reggae music etc. But, when we got there, we just couldn't believe our eyes and didn't want to leave the resort.
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May 15th, 2004, 02:50 PM
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Yeah if you could tell me their impressions that would be great. I am going to book this weekend. I am getting really excited! thanks so much.
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