Negril or Punta Cana?

Dec 28th, 2005, 10:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3
Negril or Punta Cana?

Planning honeymoon for early June, 2006. I've heard good things about Secrets Excellence and Iberostar Bavaro in Punta Cana, but Negril has also been suggested. I've heard generally good things about the Couples resorts in Negril, but some have suggested Idle Awhile or Coco La Palm. Will staying at one of the smaller, non-AI resorts be harder on my budget? I'm looking at spending around $3000 including airfare from the midwest (for around 6 nights), which is why Jamaica and Domincan Republic are at the top of my list. If anyone has been to both Negril and Punta Cana and can offer some advice, it would be greatly appreciated. Any other suggestions or ideas not considered here are more than welcome too. Thanks a bunch.
nairblop1 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,594
Have you considered the Riviera Maya area of Mexico? Definitely would be good for your budget.

Some popular ones there are Riu Palace Mexico, Secrets Capri, and Iberostar Lindo.
mah1980 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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A word of advice...don't go to Couples in Negril! My hubby & I stayed at the Ochas Rios Couples a few years ago & had a great time, so went to Couples Negril last year expecting the same. Ochas Rios had fun beach parties, great food, etc. but Couples Negril's food was tasteless, plus the resort is listless and dull. No reggae music ever playing; everything's quiet after 9:00 p.m....except for one thing - jetskis are allowed right up to the roped off area of the water and vendors on jetskis are sure to disturb your Caribbean dreaming. We're going to try Punta Cana this May - trying to find the all-inclusive with the best food!
cattafish is offline  
Feb 10th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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The beach is better in Punta Cana. You can walk for miles. There were no drug dealers either. In Negril, you are accosted by dealers everywhere.

Negril has more of a little town that you can go through, but there really isn't too much there.

I'd go to Secrets. We went to Secrets Capri in Mexico and it was great!
greenie is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 134
We are heading to Couples Negril in April, we are doing 2 nights at the Coco la Palm first to experience a bit of both......

Everyone has an opinion, some of which may or may not match yours, I researched this trip for over a year, have made many friends through the Couples Message Board who have been numerous times, that resort does not get the number of repeat guests for no reason....... Go with your gut, Couples offers ALOT for the money, Sandals cannot come close to the price for all that is included. Take a look at Couples Swept Away as well, they are building a new infinity pool with a swim up bar due to complete in April. (will be their 3rd pool) along with other new construction due to complete in April. go on the message board and ask candid questions. My vote is for Couples.

mzambo is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,372
I have visited Punta Cana, however my Negril visit will be about the time as yours, therefore no firsthand info yet.

First - I admit that I am not a fan of all inclusive resorts, however we did take advantage of a deal to Punta Cana, my one and only. In Punta Cana I felt there was just one AI after another all along the beach. As I recall the beach was very pretty early in the morning and totally covered with bodies by mid day, elbow to elbow. I did walk past resorts and onto a beach vendor mall that was interesting. We did a tour of the countryside that was nice, we snorkled, etc. However - People talk about the beach vendors stopping and asking you to buy something in Negril, but in my opinion it couldn't be any worse than someone constantly asking you to play a game, dance, volleyball, snorkle, take a lesson, sign up for class, etc etc, I mean every time you turn a page you are telling someone that works at the hotel NO!

We stayed in a RIU property that was in my opinion HUGE - again I prefer small intimate locations! We had to eat when they told us to. Locked part of the property off at certain times. Could only do this or that at this time. I felt as if I were in prison. And I remembered one of the reasons why I do not like all inclusive resorts. Plus remember the drinking water is not good in Punta Cana, not even to brush your teeth, always remember to use the bottle water. Plus, my spanish gets me by in Central American countries, but in PC they couldn't understand a thing I said!. If I had been fluent in French or German then maybe I would have been ok, but English is like a 3rd language. Simply put Punta Cana is not for me.

So I am taking my 2 daughters to Negril. There will be 3 of us and all of our options have easily fell under $4000. Including air, hotel or villas, food budget, a couple of daytrips, transfers. So yes, I believe you can do Negril in June, on your budget and still have a very nice trip. We are staying 3 nights on the cliffs and 4 on the beach. I have found some incredibly romantic locations that would be perfect for you. Have no idea if you are new or an oldie to Fodor's, but you can click on my screen name to follow some of the suggestions that I have recieved.

As for the drugs, unfortunately they are everywhere - just say no thank you.

I have relied heavily on this forum, And

Just my opinion.
Have a great trip.
dfarmer is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,575
Both Negril and PC are highly touristed/resorted areas, but aside from hotels/tons of them, there's no senseof local life in PC as it's a hotel zone with workers bused in. Admittedly, I'm no fan of the DR (can't stand the place), but a less AI experience in Negril at Idle-A-While, Rockhouse, Tensing Pen or The Caves
(especially The Caves for a honeymoon)
might suit better.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 17
We love Couples Negril, and had a terrible experience in Punta Cana (Iberostar). We would never return to the DR. We have also been to AI's in Cancun (Palace) and the Riviera Maya (Sunscape Tulum). Negril is by far the best beach, and the other resorts did not compare to Couples.

I cannot comment on Couples OR, but I'm convinced that any of the Couples resorts would be superior to the other 2 locations mentioned. We fly from the Midwest also, and have had good luck with Apple Vacations packages.

I recommend taking a taxi to Seven Mile Beach for a day to enjoy the variety (if you can tear yourself away from Couples). We have never been "accosted" by drug dealers.
happypappy is offline  

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