Here is a description and pictures of my 3 night stay at Sandals Negril, Jamaica.
After a 5:45am departure from Memphis, we arrived in Montego Bay about 2pm. We were greeted by a Club MoBay representative to escort us through immigrations. Since I have traveled to St. Lucia and Mexico in the last six weeks, I had to clear their health screening. I have never had to do that before! It was just a few questions and we were again going through immigrations. I use Club MoBay every time, I have gone to Jamaica for the last four or five years. Each time they have improved their process. This time, they had a Club MoBay “Fast Track” through customs. It had never been a problem before, but this time the lines were longer, so a “Fast Track” through customs saved us some time. Then we were off to the Sandals Lounge. Our bags were tagged and we were told the transfer to Negril would leave in about 15 minutes. Just enough time to use the restroom and get a Red Stripe. Once all the people going to Sandals Negril congregated around the porter with our luggage, we proceeded as a group to our transportation and we were off. FYI, while Sandals does not allow tipping (except for Butlers), the airport porters work for tips. I tip $1 per bag. The shuttle is a contracted Jamaican taxi. Here too, I tip at least $1 per bag. Some times they provide a narrative of Jamaica and the areas, you travel through, so I tip a little more. After about an hour and fifteen minutes, we pulled into Sandals Negril, where we were escorted to the Club Sandals lounge.
Once we got settled into our Ocean View Club Level room, we walked from one end of the resort to the other. Sandals Negril is a relatively small resort, so it did not take long. We decided to have dinner at Barefoot by the Sea. It was on the beach, so they encouraged us to take our shoes off and wiggle our toes in the sand. I had Shrimp Bisque and Coconut Shrimp for my appetizer. The Shrimp Bisque was rather bland. The Coconut Shrimp had a kick of heat that was very good. My husband had the seafood Ceviche, which he really enjoyed. For my entrée, I had Steamed Black Mussels. I normally have a few mussels and that is enough for me, but these mussels were delicious! I could have eaten more. But I had to save room for desert. My husband had the grilled Mahi Mahi with Teriyaki Glaze. I decided to have the Kahlua Coffee Coco Cream Cake. It was multi-layer cheese cake that reminded me of Tiramisu, while my husband had Lemon Pie with Coconut cream. All in all, we both really enjoyed our first meal at Sandals Negril.
Our first evening was overcast with a cool breeze. If you have ever been to Jamaica, a cool breeze is always welcome. We woke up on our first full day to sunny skies. After a buffet breakfast, we found lounge chairs on the beach. We spent the morning in the shade of a palapa alternating with swimming in the ocean. From the floats in the designated swimming area, we watched people water ski, wake board and get bounced around in the big inflatable tube. I guess because of the size of the resort these activities were more visible. They took off and returned right next to the designated swimming area. In the morning the clouds built up and it looked like it was going to rain, but by lunch time the dark clouds had passed and the sun was back out. We had lunch at Sundowner. Lunch was served on the veranda. Both my husband and I had fried calamari and a Cobb salad. I could have had a double portion of both. The calamari was wonderful, but a small portion. The Cobb salad was also good, but still a small portion. One good thing about Sandals, there is always some where to get something to eat. Because our lunch portions were small, we decided to have a pizza. The pizza was good and would have been adequate for one person, but since we had already eaten lunch, it was perfect for snacking. After lunch, we went to the Culinary desk and made reservation for Kimonos. Then the rest of the afternoon consisted of returning to the beach and getting into the ocean.
Our dinner reservation was at six, so after a shower and getting dressed (resort casual is the dress code), we walked the short distance to Kimonos for a Teppanyaki style dinner. We enjoyed the Emperor’s feast consisting of stir-fried vegetables, fried rice, fried noodles, steak, chicken, fish, shrimp and scallops. The Teppanyaki chef entertained us with Bob Marley tunes as he demonstrated his utensil skills preparing our dinner. We enjoyed the dinner and entertainment.
Barefoot by the Sea is open at 8am for breakfast. It is quieter than the more popular buffet breakfast at Bayside. My recommendation would be Eggs Benedict.
After breakfast, we went back to the beach for more relaxing and watching those adventurous people trying to water ski, wake board, paddle board and ride Great Big Mable pulled behind the speed boat.
We had lunch at the Beach Bistro. I thought the service was a little slow, but the butlers would come and get their orders for their guests, in addition to those of us sitting waiting for our lunch. The burgers were very popular. For our last night, we had dinner at Cucina Romana. I was looking forward to our dinner, since the Italian restart at Sandals Halcyon was my favorite meal. I had looked at the sample menu before making our reservation, I knew I was having Saltimboca, even though it was pork and not veal. We were the first ones to be seated after, the restaurant opened at 6pm. We had an attentive waiter, but the food was slow in arriving. The kitchen is open, so we saw the kitchen staff preparing their cuisine. I got the feeling, that the food was prepared earlier and just warmed up. So our food was served luke warm. My Saltimboca was tasty, just not as warm as I would have liked. Our last night ended with a leisurely stroll along the beach. Negril sunsets are beautiful, but with clouds along the horizon, it was not as spectacular as I had hoped.
All and all, I liked Sandals Negril. This resort is very popular and sometimes availability is very limited. The beach is wonderful, as is the service. After my short stay, I would recommend Sandals Negril even for a 3 or 4 night stay.
The return shuttle to the airport left on time. After checking in with our airline, we proceeded to Club MoBay for their “Fast Track” through security and on to their departure lounge, where we relaxed, checked email, enjoyed their snack buffet and beverages. As our plane departed Montego Bay, we said farewell to Jamaica until next time.