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-   -   Would love some help planning a Jamaica honeymoon (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/would-love-some-help-planning-a-jamaica-honeymoon-631063/)

LiznJack Jul 15th, 2006 05:14 AM

Would love some help planning a Jamaica honeymoon
 
My fiancee and I are getting married in March 2007 -- folks on the Florida section of talk have been so helpful with that -- now we thought we would get some opinions on the honeymoon.

We'd like to go to Jamaica but have never been and we'd like to go to an all-inclusive resort. We're considering what I guess would be all the usual places: Sandals, Couples, Grand Lido.

We have a few basic questions. What is the difference between resorts in Negril and those in Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay. We've heard Negril has great beaches, and mosquitos, but don't really know the main pluses or minuses of the areas.

As far as a resort, we'd like something upscale. Our priority for this trip is to just relax and take it easy and have some fun. We like good food, drinks, fun people, a great beach, snorkeling. We're not looking to do any rock climbing or scuba diving or anything too ambitious.

We're also hoping to find a place with some nightlife. We've heard that this can be hard to find. A travel agent said that only Hedonism has nightlife. We don't want to do Hedonism for our honeymoon.

Finally -- sorry for the length of this -- we'd like a resort that offers some nude sunbathing. This isn't a requirement but a plus.

So, we're pretty much clueless about this. We've read some previous posts on the board about Sandals but we're hoping to get some general insights into location on Jamaica and a comparison of all-inclusives. We're also looking at tropictravelonline.com

Thanks so much for any help you can offer. This has been such a helpful spot for us so far. We really appreciate it.

Liz and Jack

tivertonhouse Jul 15th, 2006 09:44 AM

Nude sunbathing will limit your choices somewhat on island, even in the upscale category. Add good variety, good food,beach,snorkelling, nightlife, a
choice of interesting diversions outside in the countryside, and honeymoon once-in-a-lifetime style trip for most -- and the list of possibles becomes quite small. The obvious
suspects including Sandals, Couples, Grand Lido might not suit. Instead, would recommend looking at a private beach virtuallly-inclusive private villa in Negril like MOONDANCE (or similar in the complex of private villas
there) or THE CAVES -- both the ne plus ultra choices in Negril. Either offers
greater style, more privacy and a better pricepoint than the usual suspects.

LiznJack Jul 15th, 2006 02:23 PM

Thanks for those suggestions. We'll look into them.

I know we're looking for a lot of things that might not even exist or be affordable for us. But we'll keep looking for awhile before we make a decision. Thanks again!

clkbjk Jul 25th, 2006 11:00 AM

Grand Lido Braco
Couples Sans Souci
Couples Negril
***These really have all that you are looking for except "nightlife". Braco has theme parties or shows at night, Sans Souci and Couples Negril have resort shows...but other than that, nightlife is what you make of it.
Some suggestions for nightlife should you choose any of these:
Grand Lido Braco- Go to Yow's for dinner. Located very close to the property, get a ride from the hotel- excellent food- very casual atmosphere though. We had the whole place to ourselves one night, right on the beach/water, met the owner (Michael), had excellent coconut shrimp and curried lobster.
Sans Souci- Go to Coconuts for dinner. Located in the marina area of Ocho Rios- again not far from the resort. The restaurant will send a car for you. Had a few Terrific Mango Daquiris and excellent Lobster there. And from what I remember, there is a large nightclub in the marina area- for music, dancing etc....
Or also from the resort- take the excursion to the Luminous Lagoon. Take the Lagoon boat ride after dark, have drinks, dinner at the restuarant. Grilled Lobster was very good.
Can you tell that I love LOBSTER!
Couples Negril- Take the trip out to Rick's for drinks, to watch the cliff divers and take in the Sunset.

Negril has far better beaches and swimmable ocean than the Ocho Rios or Runaway Bay area resorts.
But the main beach at Sans Souci is quite nice and very swimmable.
Braco's beach is wide- and the ocean swimmable but can be rocky- so wear aqua shoes.

All of these resorts are considered upscale- but not by US standards- just remember that you are in the Carribean. Things will be a bit tattered around the edges- not the best beds, furniture, linens etc...and will be very laid back. You will see poverty off the resort properties and on my first trip it was a bit of a shock to see how some people live- and made me very aware that we are quite spoiled living in the US and should be very thankful for what we have.... But we love Jamaica and have been going there for the past 5 years. The local people that we have met have been very kind and gracious. And crazy as it sounds, I really think that some of the staff at the resorts we have stayed at, really do remember us from visit to visit. Example- at the Spa at Braco, we were walking out after a treatment and one of the other spa attendants looked up, saw my husband, called him by name and asked how he was etc.... (my husband does not have an average first name...she HAD to have truly remembered him). Another example- one of the MANY beach vendors also at Braco, remembers us every year- I even sent him a Christmas card last year!
Go to Jamaica~ Have fun! If you decide on Negril....take the flight from Mobay to Negril...the bus ride is looonggg. If you decide on Ocho Rios....take the flight from MoBay to Ochi....the bus ride is very loonggg.
The roads are getting better in Jamaica- but after every bad storm that passses through, seems it takes progress back to where it started..so heed my advice and take the inner island flights, you will save a lot of time, will get to fly over the coastline- will miss out on some of the local flaire along the way- but the excursions that you take off property during your stay will provide you with local flavor.

tivertonhouse Jul 26th, 2006 02:57 AM

It's a honeymoon. Sandals, Couples, Grand Lido are ok -- but you can do much better. The Royal Plantation
would work if intimate luxe is what
you seek. As would The Pavilion -- both
Ochie. They're destination-centric, pretty much self-contained and Ocho Rios is a strange combo of mass tourism, older villas and clubland. The Caves in Negril would
be my top-pick. Check tripadvisor for
rave reviews of first-timers honeymoon/weddings. And it gives you
more access to destinations outside
resortland, as well as Negril's 7 mile
beach (The Caves is on the cliffs and
does not have beaches but private
coves/caves/etc. with the beach accessible easily for daytrips if you
find you actually want to stir. It's set apart from the usual thrash of Negril, small, funky-boutiquey and with good food. Negril NIGHTLIFE is everywhere -- just stroll the beach.
Or check out The Jungle, esp late on
Thursdays, Ladies Night. Bring no-see-ums/mosquito repellent with you wherever you go in islands.

JAGIRL Jul 26th, 2006 07:45 AM

<font color="green">A travel agent said that only Hedonism has nightlife.</font>

What a laugh...clearly said travel agent has not been to Negril! :))

Nightlife in March in Negril will NOT be hard to come by. Isn't that ... spring break time?

I second the Caves if it fits your price range. But even if you stay at Lido you can still go off property in search of night life. As Tiverton said, nightlife in Negril is everywhere.

KeyGal Jul 26th, 2006 05:29 PM

I don't know why Grand Lido Negril wouldn't suit you just fine. The atmosphere is a little more classy than Sandals, there's some nightlife on site and certainly good nightlife in Negril, and they have a section for nude sunbathing. We didn't stay at Grand Lido but spent a day there checking it out as guests of one of the managers and I liked the atmosphere very much. Our favorite spot is Couples Swept Away, which to me has the most entrancing and romantic atmosphere, plus the healthiest options when it comes to food and activities. It's a popular honeymoon spot. However, there's only topless sunbathing there - never saw anyone nude, though you could be nude on your private verandah.

I disagree about Moondance being a good place to be nude - it's a family resort and there are kids around, plus it's on a public beach.

Carib_dreamn Jul 27th, 2006 04:58 AM

sigh - I went and toured all over the north coast of JA on our honeymoon and there is something special about beign in JA for you honeymoon - and that is the people...it is a breathtaking island with beautiful beaches esp. in Negril - but the people every where we went made such a lovely genuine fuss about us being newleyweds...it was lovely - have a ball! Congratulations!

LiznJack Aug 4th, 2006 12:33 PM

Hi all,

Sorry I haven't responded in awhile. Wedding details got in the way. Well, after a lot of looking and digging and reading notes on fodors and other boards we've finally made a decision: it's Grand Lido Negril for us.

Some of the places you all recommended here looked great. Some were out of our price range. Since a great beach was a high priority for us we chose Negril over the Ochos Rios area.

As for nightlife, we think there will be just plenty. We will be there over spring break so we're not too worried about it.

Anyone want to share there favorite place to have a drink and fun in Negril? Anything right on the beach?

Thanks all, you've been so great.

Liz

kfusto Aug 6th, 2006 09:56 AM

Grand Lido Negril fits the bill nicely. It is more upscale than Sandals, the food is better, the nude pool and beach are not an afterthought.

I have stayed there half a dozen times and the nightlife is limited. I like to go up to the cliffs for a cocktail. Rockhouse is a really neat place.

Cosmos Seafood Cafe is great for a local lunch out.

There are lots of bars along the beach and what is happening where depends on the night of the week.

Enjoy and you made a great choice!

LiznJack Aug 6th, 2006 11:26 AM

Hey kfusto - thanks for the tips. That all sounds great. Where are the caves? Sounds fun! Also, from GLN what is the best way to get around? Taxi?

Thanks!!

Liz

kfusto Aug 11th, 2006 10:56 AM

Taxi is really the only way. You can arrange to be taken to your destination and picked up at a certain time. They are $$$ so do not be surprised.

There is a Caves resort but I assume you are asking about actual caves. It has been years since I did that so sorry I cannot help you there.

Enjoy!

buckeye45 Aug 11th, 2006 01:40 PM

check out Swept Away in negril all inclusive and upscale

LiznJack Aug 13th, 2006 02:34 PM

Thanks for the info. Really appreciate it!!

Liz


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