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Negril vs Montego Bay...which is best resort area

Negril vs Montego Bay...which is best resort area

Old Jan 18th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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Negril vs Montego Bay...which is best resort area

We are vacation planning and have narrowed it down to Jamaica- now we are debating between Negril and Montego Bay and then Sandals all inclusive or another all inclusive (any suggestions) or skip the all inclusive all together?

I like the idea of everything paid in advance- but I don't want to go cheesy. Excursions are important to us and with both areas I've seen plenty available.

What do you guys think, we will be booking in the next week or so, so I want to be sure and then focus on area attractions of the place we decide on.

Thanks! Recap:

1. Negril vs Montego Bay

2. Sandals vs another all inclusive

3. Somewhere else in Jamaica- non inclusive(suggestion please)

4. Night life? What is it like? We are late 20's but want to have a good time!
This website has been a Godsend!
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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1. Negril! Seven mile white sand beach, small boutique hotels, reggae clubs on the beach, great for late 20-year-olds.

2. NO AI because food is pretty cheap and good, and you can watch gorgeous sunsets as you eat at some of the restaurants on the cliffs ( West End). Although one of our favorites in the area, CHICKEN LAVISH, is on the non-scenic side of the road.

3. Lots of music on the beach at night. Check ALFREDS, DA BUS, and a few others for offerings.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Thanks Weadles!

Okay, if we skip the All Inclusive resorts, where do we stay that will give us a great suite. I lean towards resorts because I really like a nice suite?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Oh and if we do not stay at a resort, how will we do our excursions?
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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There are small "resort" hotels all along the beach. We usually stay at Coco La Palm in one of the upper floor junior suites, which is a huge room with a terrace overlooking the pool/beach. If you decide to book there, make sure to ask for a junior suite that is away from the bar!! Coco is smack in the middle of Negril's beach, so it's a particularly beautiful spot.

You can also look at: IDLE AWHILE, which has one-bedroom suites ( although living room is not air conditioned) with small kitchenettes and is next door to Coco, Charela Inn, which is a few blocks down the beach toward town, Rondel Village, and/ or a few properties on the cliffs like RockHouse, which has freestanding cottages with ladders that lead down to the water.

Please keep in mind that none of these hotels are fancy American style-places, but they are clean, affordable, usually with good AC and OK to good beds.

Coco fills up quickly, especially during spring break or other vacation times, so if you're interested, I'd e-mail them right away.

As mentioned above, RockHouse is on the cliffs, so you have more privacy, but would have to take a longish walk or cab ride to the beach. If you aren't staying there, try to at least visit for drinks at sunset. It's a spectacular setting!

All of the hotels will be able to arrange day tours for you. No problem, mon!
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Just had to add that you're worrying me a little bit with the "great suite" requirement. If you're thinking of Sandals, Marriott, Hilton, that kind of thing, you will be disappointed unless you spend $$$$$ and stay at a plush resort like Round Hill, which I would find deathly boring. Especially if I was only in my late 20s! Negril has a more laid back vibe, and while the rooms are fine, most of the ones we've stayed in don't have that "wow" factor. But then again, when we go down there, we don't care about that! If you do, you may want to look elsewhere?
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 05:41 AM
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We have done AI in Negril and Ocho Rios. For the type of accomendations you are looking for Montego Bay will offer the best variety. Check out the Iberostars and Secrets.

We stayed at the Jewel Dunn's River in Ocho Rios and loved it.

Also look at Couples in Negril and Ocho Rios and Sunset at the Palms in Negril.

Most any hotel will offer an excursion desk or help your set up tours. JTL Tours is the main hotel tour operator for all 3 areas. http://www.jamaicatoursltd.com/ You can book on-line or at your respective hotel. You can also hire a private driver. We used A-Z Jamaica tours. If you look back at prior Jamaica posts there are many recommendations for private drivers.

Personally, I don't feel comfortable just walking off a resort in Jamaica. I would rather be on a guided tour, in a taxi or a private driver.

Many people have had good expereince with the small boutique hotels in Negril, but we prefer AI. The Sandals resorts in Jamaica are some of the very first. I really don't think you will get your money's worth. The Whitehouse is probably the most popular, but it sits in the middle of nowhere outside of Negril.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 07:58 AM
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Thanks, you guys have really opened my eyes Now I am kind of disappointed and think maybe Jamaica might not be the place afterall...I know that I love a great suite just for comfort when I am relaxing after being out all day and into the late evening,and I really don't want to sacrifice that too much...*sigh* I am more confused than ever. I guess it is back to the drawing board...

I am going to look at some other posts about other islands and resorts so I can try to find a place Iam sold on.

What about Puerto Rico? lol
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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I think both places offer what you seek. I'm a huge fan of Negril and the places Weadles mentions myself. But I'm worried they are not enough upscale for what you're might be looking for. Negril is incredibly gorgeous and laid-back.

In Montego Bay I'd definitely book an AI. In Negril you really don't need to if you want to eat out around town at all the great casual restaurants available there. Same for nightlife. In MoBay you'd look more to your own resort, in Negril you can go out to any of many beach bars or parties around.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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A lux AI resort at a reasonalbe price with things to do off property and nightlife, I would go with Riveria Maya.

Look at the Royal Playa del Carmen, any of the Secrects Resorts, The Grand Vela, The Iberostar Grand Parasio or the El Dorado Maroma Beach.

5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen has tons of restuarants, bars, shopping, clubs and entertainment. The Royal is a 5 minute walk down the street. The others you can take a taxi and some resorts offer a shuttle.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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If you really want a gorgeous suite, I'd highly recommend the Aqua Suites at Live Aqua in Cancun. We just got back last Friday, and those suites definitely have the "great suite" and "wow" factor that you seem to be looking for. Live Aqua just turned AI last year, and it is more than decent for that kind of thing. It has a beautiful wide beachfront, eight pools, excellent spa/ health club, and some of the best service generally we've had in many years of traveling. I didn't mention it before because you seemed set on Jamaica, which is a totally different experience. Only downside to Live Aqua is not much entertainment at night, but you have all of Cancun to make up for that. I found a great deal online through Hotels.com. Maybe you can find something similar. And JetBlue offers non-stops to Cancun from JFK. Just don't go spring break!!!
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I'm hearing that excursions, nightlife and having a good time are important to you. So, if you're choosing another island, you may want to look at Barbados. All kinds of shopping, sightseeing and nightlife. And the food is delicious! It is more of a cosmopolitan island, but not commercial like Aruba. Lots of places to choose to stay. We love the executive floor at the Hilton. Two bathrooms, a bedroom and a living room. Nice pool area, huge beach and close to the gap area.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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This information is golden! I am going to spend sometime this evening going over all the suggestions. I mean i am not trying to have a suite suitable for the rich & famous (because that- we are not, lol) but for us, that is what vacation is for, lol to escape a bit

Thanks again, I am glad to know that most hotels will offer an excursion desk, so I can check that off the list assuming where we end up will suit our needs just fine
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 09:18 AM
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Hey! Personally, I love Negril. Everything about it! And I'd lean against AI, but again that's cause the food is affordable, and it's DELICIOUS!! Check out www.negrilonestop.com There you can look at all the hotels (on the beach or cliffs) with tons of pictures. I always stay on the cliffs, but again, I love having the hotel's private cliff jumping spot right into the ocean!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 07:11 PM
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The food is the best in the world. DRESS down though. Be wise. Best info we agree is link for you: http://www.negrilonestop.com Have fun!
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