Negril Jamaica All Inclusive
Thinking of heading to Negril? Maybe one of the all inclusive resorts? Its sounds like a good plan but, is it really for you? I just came back from Negril and I stayed in an all inclusive so let me give you might insight. Maybe it can help you make an informed decision.
In this post I would like to talk a little about the area, what there is to do, and some other interesting things along the way.
What is All Inclusive?
Although some all inclusive resorts offer a little more or a little less, most of them have the same standards.
What do you get with an all inclusive resort
- Unlimited dining. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. With this option you don’t have to pay for any additional meals on your trip. The only time you would have to pay for food on your trip is if you eat anywhere outside the resort. Let’s face it, most of us are not eating every single meal there. You will find there are different locations at the resort to eat and some may be open on certain nights and some you need to make a reservation for. It’s all included and can make the experience better.
- Unlimited Alcohol. Drink all day and night if you want. This works the same way as the food. You can drink anywhere at the resort for free. Tipping is optional but I did find the bartenders
were much more responsive to you if you tipped them each drink. Be sure to specify what type of liquor you want for your drink or they will give you well liquor.
- Daily room cleanings and turn-down service. This works well if your out of you’re room in the morning and if you’re out for a few hours around dinner time. If you want to sleep in and take your time getting out the door, chances are your room isn’t getting cleaned.
- Free drinks and snacks. Some resorts like Sunset at the Palms, offer a mini fridge in the room that has soda, beer and water. This gets refilled daily. Some offer lite snacks in the room along with drinks. This can be a nice comfort feature.
- Non-motorized water sports. This can be cool if you want a some free adventure. Most resorts will offer, kayaks, paddle boats, paddle boards and other items like mini sail boats. FYI: If you don’t know how to sail, they may charge you a fee for a lesson before you can use sailboats.
What you won’t get with an All Inclusive resort
- Tours. When you book a vacation package to a destination like Negril Jamaica you will be paying extra for any tours. Most tours can be purchased with your trip at an additional charge.
These can be fun to do, you just need to budget them in. Make sure you read all the fine print on those “add-on’s.” Be sure to follow any instructions printed to avoid any hassles on your trip.
- Transportation. It is possible for some all inclusive resorts to have shuttle service to and from the airport. However, if you’re staying in Negril, it can take up to and hour and a half to get there from Montego Bay. Negril resorts will offer a private car or a shuttle, with the latter costing a bit less. Both of these options will be an additional fee and can be paid in U.S. currency.
Let’s Talk about Negril
Negril is a beautiful place on the west side of the Island. Besides being known as the quiet side of the island, it is also world famous for it’s sunsets. On a clear evening you can watch the sun set perfectly on the horizon. If you’re visiting as a couple, plan on going for a swim in the ocean right around sunset, you will be glad you did.
Summer is the off-season in Negril, Jamaica as a whole is off-season during the summer. If you go early summer it can be a very quite place. There are some guests but for a place with a handful of open bars, its a quiet place. If you’re more social it may be best to go during the season when many resorts have a lot more people. I spoke with a bunch of locals and they all said its gets much busier in the winter.
Negril is also known for it’s “7 Mile Beach.” This stretch of beach runs along Negril’s coast and is white sand and protected land. In fact, the west side of the island is government protected so it maintains it’s natural beauty.
Sunset at The Palms All Inclusive
For our stay in Negril we chose the Sunset At The Palms all inclusive resort. This resort is unique in that it’s rooms are actually like tree-house bungalows. The rooms each have their own small deck with nice doors that can open wide to bring the outside into the room.
Our room had a large king bed, a desk, bench and TV amour. When we arrived they had robes and slippers laid out with fresh flowers on them.
Besides being unique this resort comes equipped with 4 places to eat, multiple bars, a gift shop and concierge service. Two of the restaurants on the property are dining by reservation only. It’s a good idea to keep in mind what two nights you want to dine at these places and set those reservations upon arrival. These two restaurants are a nice change of pace from the beach grill and the main buffet.
Besides the food, if you drink alcohol, there is plenty of open bar time. Just go up to any bar on the resort property and order a drink, its all included. I did however find the bartenders to better when you tipped them for each drink. Tipping is optional, there are no tip jars or signs.
FYI: The beach at Sunset at The Palms is across the street and down a short, wide open path. The picture above was taken on the beach but the property where the rooms are is on the other side of the street. With this comes taxi drivers sitting out front and bothering you every time you walk by. You also have to give your room number to the guard at the gate every time you go in and out, over to the beach. The only reason it kind of works is because the rooms are like tree houses in the woods so being off the beach makes some sense.
Check Out Some Other All Inclusive Resorts
Now, it’s time to check out some other great all inclusive resorts in Negril Jamaica.
Below is a list of resorts, in no particular order, that offer all-inclusive stays in Negril.
• Hotel Riu Negril – 5 Star Resort
• Beaches Negril Resort & Spa – 4 Star Resort
• Couples Negril – 5 Star Resort
• Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa – 4 Star Resort
• Hedonism Resorts – 3 Star Resort
• Couples Swept Away – 4 Star Resort
• Royalton Negril Resort & Spa – 4 Star Resort
• Azul Sensatori Negril – 4 Star Resort
Shopping in Negril
One of the things we did on our trip was shop. We booked a “shopping tour” with our trip. This was nothing more than a taxi driver taking you to two different places to buy things. Now lets be clear, if you shop in these places then be prepared to be hassled.
Our first stop on the “shopping tour” was a market called Times Square. This place was modern, clean and most every shop seem to have similar items. You can get a Cuban cigar, or tourist treasures to take back home to friends and family.
The next stop on the “tour” was a local market that was like a flea market would be in the U.S. Remember, we were here at the start of the off-season so there were only a few other people in the marketplace. We were hounded from the second we got out of the car, with people asking us to come look at their stuff. It was a quick stop but we had a Red Stripe, looked at a bunch of small shops and headed back to the car with some treasure.
It’s fine to go shopping in Negril but you need to be ready to deal with harassment and haggling the whole time.
Rick’s Cafe Negril Jamaica
The famous Rick’s Cafe in Negril! You may have seen this place on the Travel Channel or maybe some countdown of the best beach bars in the world. Rick’s was voted one of the best beach bars by Travel Channel.
This is one of those things you should do if you make it to Negril. The entire place is right on the water, some would say “cliffs,” but its not that high. The idea is to go before sunset and watch the sunset while eating and drinking, its definitely a great place to do both.
The prices at Rick’s Cafe are not overly high for the atmosphere and being on an island. We had some hamburgers that were very tasty. They were around $13 USD each and they came with french fries. We were not there during lobster season so we missed out on that. If you want lobster get there between the start of July through late March.
You can take a look at Rick’s menu and more here.
Ricks menu includes lobster dishes, fried conk and other delicious eats. For two people with a few drinks plan on spending between $80 and $100 USD.
After the sun sets the place tends to clear out but there are some people around if you want to be social. They also offer a bottle service in a reserved area, a gift shop, a pool and live music.
Jamaica is a great place to visit. It has a unique character and charm. There are downsides, like people bothering you to shop but overall, the good outweighs the bad.
I would say the best time to visit Negril would be between October and March.
All Inclusive trips are a good idea to help keep you on budget. Eating and drinking at the resort is good.
I would like to end on this, for the pot heads out there;) So here’s the inside deal on smoking weed in Jamaica. It’s not technically legal but it is everywhere. The cops won’t bother you if you have it, just don’t be smoking in their face. One local told me you can have up to an ounce on you by law, I didn’t fact check that one. Just enjoy, don’t be a fool and you’ll be fine.