We just returned from a fabulous vacation at Sandals Negril. We were upgraded to the honeymoon loft suite with butler service because the resort was sold out and they needed to move people to some of the suites that would be otherwise under renovation. The good news obviously is that we received butler service (for a $250 upcharge for the week) in upgraded digs. The not so good news is that some of these suites really do need renovation.
Butler Service: While it is not really needed at Sandals resorts, it was a nice perk to never have to worry about getting chairs on the beach and to have someone always ready to bring you drinks or meals as requested. Butlers always get you into the restaurants. Our butler Donato was super-service oriented and made sure we had a wonderful time. He arranged for a private lunch for our party of four (two couples travel together).
Other service: The staff at Sandals is wonderful and individual staff members will go out of their way to ensure you are having a great time. However, food service leaves a lot to be desired.
Restaurants and Service: The food at Sandals Negril was good…not great…but believe me, there is no reason to ever go hungry. The only time of day one cannot get food is between 6:00 – 7:30 AM. This is odd to me as there are many early risers that would have appreciated early-morning breakfast as opposed to meal service between say, 4:30-6:00 AM. The issue we consistently had was service. Because of the slow service throughout our stay, you should plan to be in any given restaurant for at least 1.5 hours for each meal. The buffet is slightly more efficient as one get his/her own food, although you will wait (sometimes 20 minutes) for beverage service at the buffet as well. It is very difficult to catch the eye of a server. The quickest meals were the beach grill and pizza place. For all others, get into the Jamaican way of life and go with the flow.
Beach: Some reviewers complained of a sulfur smell in the water. This has greatly subsided and is a byproduct of buried/decomposing seaweed that was washed up from the hurricanes last season. While unpleasant, it is in no way a hindrance to relaxing on the beach. It is noticeable only when disturbing the ocean floor with one’s feet.
Rooms/Facility: Somehow, Sandals needs to upgrade this resort. Our son was married here three years ago and now, on our return trip, we noticed some needed updating and upkeep. There were cosmetic repairs going on while we were there, but the rooms and plumbing are in need of serious maintenance. Because Sandals Negril is so close to the highway and a nearby airport, road and air traffic were regular distractions throughout the day and evening hours. That said, we had a wonderful honeymoon loft with spiral staircase. The king sized beds were AWESOME with a firm mattress and great pillows. We had a nice shower with hot water, although some of our neighbors complained about uneven water availability.
Entertainment: I have visited Caribbean resorts a number of times now and note the relatively great entertainment that I have seen on this trip. The entertainment director works hard to provide variety and quality. We especially enjoyed Rory singing old standards, and the Silverbirds steel drum band. The French-inspired Moulin Rouge program was fairly well-done, although one of the dancers was noticeably out of place compared to the other three that were in far better shape and more talented. The chocolate buffet was not advertised in the daily activities sheet and I am sure many guests missed out on this event.
While I cannot give this resort 5 stars, we are die-hard Sandals fans and have already booked our next trip to Sandals Whitehouse.
Get a room on the third floor for the best view of the ocean and sunsets.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC