On the 9 May we flew from Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic for 9 and a bit hours into Montego Bay Jamaica. The flight was good we managed to get 2 seats to themselves at the back. We spent the time watching some films and enjoying the free drinks.
Once we landed we went through customs and used the self immigration machines which were a bit confusing after a long flight after talking to other passengers we should have used Club Mobay this is a fast track service and is a less stressful way to get through.
We collected our luggage and made our way to the Sandals lounge where we waited for our transfer to our hotel. In the lounge was self serve drinks so I pulled me and Ross a beer to get the holiday started!
After a quick trip to the loo we were called and taken to the shuttle with another 2 couples.
The drive to the hotel was an hour and a half we sat back and listened to the reggae tunes and looked out the window to see Jamaica life as we went through towns and traveled along the coast.
We arrived at our hotel which we were to stay for the next 7 nights – Sandals Negril – and were swiftly taken to the Club Sandals lounge to proceed with check in. We checked in on an iPad and were given a cocktail.
Once checked in we were taken to our room – Paradise Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe club level room (HB) it was a good size had a lovely king size 4 poster bed, nice walk-in shower, a fully equipped mini bar and a fantastic balcony with an amazing view of the beach and the sea. It also had a good size safe, hairdryer, iron and board and some great smelling toiletries. We sat and watched the amazing sunset before we headed off to dinner.
Sandals Negril has 7 dining options – Barefoot by the sea (A la carte breakfast & dinner) Beach Bistro (lunch & late night snacks) Bella Napoli pizzeria (11am – 6pm) Cucina Romana (dinner – reservations required) Kimonos (dinner – reservations required) Sundowner (lunch & dinner) Bayside (breakfast & lunch buffet – A la carte dinner) Also available is room service for Club Sandals & Butler guests.
We decided to eat in the Sundowner for our first night this was a lovely air conditioned restaurant that serves Jamaican A la carte food we had a fantastic meal and headed off to bed as we were quite tired due to the long journey.
The 10th of May was my husband Ross’ birthday so he opened his birthday cards on the balcony. We had breakfast at the Bayside we were shown to a table outside by the lovely hostess and went to the buffet which had a large selection of food Ross had an omelette and I had smoked salmon and poached eggs.
We spent the day on the beach we found a lovely spot near the Sundowner restaurant where we had a great day relaxing and making the most of the sun and beach drinks service. This is where I had my first Dirty Banana (cocktail with fresh banana and rum cream) it tasted just like a banana milkshake. For lunch I went to Bella Napoli pizzeria and got us a pizza to share which we ate on our sunbeds. We then went to the self service ice cream dispenser and had an ice cream each this was just what was needed on a scorcher of a day.
One of the playmakers heard it was Ross’ birthday and got him up in front of everyone while the crowd sang happy birthday to him.
On the Thursday I decided to take a tour to look at the other room options at the hotel. I was shown the Caribbean Luxury Honeymoon room (LX) this was a deluxe category this was a good size room but didn’t feature a balcony. As a deluxe level room this had a fridge with soft drinks (no alcohol) and also no room service.
We also looked at the same room that I was staying in but on the ground floor so was a Walkout room. Next was Caribbean Beachfront Walkout Grande Luxe club level room with Tranquillity soaking tub (WGBT) this Club Sandals room was beautiful and had a tranquillity soaking tub on the patio & also a freestanding marble bathtub in the bathroom, this room would be perfect for a honeymoon.
The last room we looked at was the stunning butler level room – Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront 2 story 1 bedroom butler loft suite with tranquillity soaking tub (1B). This love nest suite had a spacious living area on the ground floor with a floating staircase which leads to the second floor with a king-size bed and a lavish bathroom. On the balcony was a tranquillity soaking tub for 2 where you could relax and admire the tropical views. I thought this room would be great for couples travelling to get married as the living room would give you the extra space for getting ready in your wedding dress.
Weddings were very popular here we saw a few while we were there and spoke to many guests who had come to get married from just the 2 travelling alone and having a small intimate wedding or some who had travelled with up to 50 family and friends and had a big party. Each newly married couple gushed at what a fantastic day they had and that everything exceeded their expectations and had the time of their lives.
That evening we had reservations for the Cucina Romana this is a Italian a la carte restaurant looking over the beach and the sea. I had some lovely calamari for starters and the signature dish – Parmigiana di Pollo for my main and Tiramisu for desert. With my meal I had a glass of Pinot Grigio which was included in the all inclusive. Sandals use Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines and offer 6 complimentary wines white and red they also offer a further wine and champagne menu that you can pay extra for if you wish.
The following day we spent the day at the main pool where we relaxed and used the swim up bar where the friendly staff kept our glasses full with tasty cocktails. There was 3 swimming pools and 3 whirlpools to choose from, the pools were not the biggest I have seen in the Caribbean but with the beach being so fantastic we only went to the pool once as we preferred sitting and listening to the sea. In the afternoon we headed down to the water sports centre where the guys went through all the different activities they have on offer. All on the all inclusive included was water-skiing, paddleboards, snorkelling trips, kayaks, glass bottom boat trips and scuba diving (unlimited for certified divers they offered courses for beginners at an extra cost).
For dinner tonight we had reservations for the Kimonos this is a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant this was an experience we had done before on a previous trip to Sandals La Toc in Saint Lucia a couple of years ago but we both had such great memories of it we wanted to do it again. We were sat around the table with 3 other couples and had our starters then we were introduced to our chef . We had a great time interacting with the other guests and the chef as he cooked The Emperors Tasting menu this included various meats, stir fried vegetables and fried rice in front of us and was delicious. We passed on the dessert as we were full after the amazing food.
On the Saturday we decided to try room service for breakfast. We ordered from the menu in our room and was delivered to us within the time they advised. This was a lovely way to start the day we sat on the balcony and drank the lovely blue mountain coffee watching the beach life below us.
Dinner this evening was at Bayside which in the evening had a French brasserie menu. The staff here were very attentive and I had a wonderful Lamb shank and a really nice crème brulee.
On the Sunday the weather changed so we watched the football in the sports bar and then went to the pizza place for lunch which we took up to our room. Our afternoon was spent watching films on the tv. For dinner we again had reservations for the Italian restaurant which again didn’t disappoint.
The weather slightly improved on the Monday so we had breakfast at the buffet and then back to our fave spot on the beach. It really is a lovely beach the sand is soft under foot and the sea is clear there was a little bit of sea weed so it might be worth taking some water shoes. Sandals Negril is situated on 7 mile beach which is a public beach so you do get some locals walking along selling bits and bobs and local musicians playing music on their instruments but a no and they would pass by but we enjoyed talking to them as they were friendly.
If you wanted to walk down the beach you just needed to sign out with the security guard. A lot of people did this and walked down to Beaches resort this is Sandals sister property that is for families and said it was great fun using the facilities there as they have waterslides and some fantastic restaurants including Café De Paris where you could grab a latte and some cake. There were a lot of other excursions you could do if you wanted to leave the resort including catamaran cruises, Dunns river falls and Ricks Café where you can sit and watch the sunset as well as the cliff divers. We decided this trip not to do any excursions as we were enjoying the resort so much we didn’t want to leave.
Monday night was Carnival Beach Party night so there was an amazing buffet of different foods this was moved to The Bayside restaurant as there was a chance of rain. We had some amazing seafood and jerk chicken – this is a speciality in Jamaica and was a favourite of mine before we left as it was full of flavour. We sat and watched the entertainment and had a couple of red stripe beers. As this was our last night we went to the piano bar grabbed a couple of cocktails and sat under a tiki hut on the beach and listened to the reggae music playing in the bar area until the rain came so we headed back to our room.
Our last morning at Sandals Negril we had breakfast and then went to the Snap Shots shop to see the photos we had taken. There are dozens of photographers that go around the resort day and night and are on hand to take photos of those special moments which we found handy as being just the 2 of us the only photos we could take were selfies it was nice to purchase some lovely photos to take home with us. I didn’t think the costs were to bad as the quality of them were very high and you could have them as actual photos or on a disc.
We checked out and had a final walk around the resort saying goodbye to the staff who had helped us throughout the week and also to say goodbye to the 2 parrots that they have on the property which we had become quite fond of.
Please read my next blog post about my stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean – Montego Bay.