Before we booked the Negril Tree House (NTH) we read a year's worth of reviews on tripadvisor. So many guests spoke so highly about this small hotel even tho it is about 25 years old. It is not, as many said, a 4 or 5 star premise. So without preconceptions or expectations we booked it and crossed our fingers. We are SO very happy we went, and we will return again. I don't want to repeat everyone elses comments about breakfasts - very good, or other stuff but here is our take.
Rooms: We upgraded to an ocean view room (#6). You could see the ocean if you left your door open. It was on the 2nd floor. If you book an ocean view try to get room #5 or #4. We would not have liked the first floor ocean view rooms as they sit right off a well traveled walkway to the beach. Not a big minus, but we liked the privacy above. Also a plus is that since we were close to the lobby, most of the ocean view rooms received free wifi. The room was small with the King bed but comfortable and clean. There are no bath amenities like shampoo, conditioner, etc., and we recommend you bring those and your own hair dryer. Mattress great, pillows left us wanting. There is a key-locked safe in the room. The towels are a bit rough and have been around for some time (maybe years).
Beach and pool:
The beach is powder soft sand, albeit small in size. The chaise lounges are okay but not really comfortable. They needed pads. After a day or two one tends to ignore that because the sun is shining, the rum punches are flowing, the ambiance among guests is so warm and congenial. Oh and again, their rum punches are priced reasonably and are strong - YUM. Also Red Stripe beers are inexpensive too. There are massage tables on the beach and they were always busy. Also reasonably priced. The beach vendors are no big deal and easy to ignore. There is limited shade on the beach, so if you want an umbrella, get down there early (about 8 a.m.) and claim the appropriate chaises. On the beach is a shaded pavillion for snacks, lunch and dinner and drinks. I stayed in the sun all day, and my wife preferred partial shade. There are usually two security guys on the beach and Moses, one of them is a gem.
Just about 100 yards east of the hotel is a ("You want me to eat there?") little shack with a sign that said Aunties beachfront. We ate the jerk chicken and had their beef patties. Really inexpensive, and really good. They had fresh lobster that they would grill too. You have to ask for it and they pull a cage out of the ocean and you pick your choice of live lobster for them to grill...about $15. Also YUM. The hotel has jerked pork and chicken on the menu but it is about double the cost. At the shack, the jerk chicken was $6 p/p and at the hotel about double. However the hotel does serve you in comfort, with real plates and with rice and veggies, and a real napkin. The shack is just that and you are served on aluminum foil and need many paper napkins because it is eat with your finger type food.
Staff: As most everyone said the staff is fabulous, mostly attentive whether at the front desk or at the beach. Big kudos to front desk's Carlene, waitress Stacy, and bartender Patrick
Negril Restaurants. We will reveiw these separately however found some real pearls. Our favorite was a taxi ride away, the Rock House Pushcart restaurant. Nice live Jamaican music, casual atmosphere, good presentation, nice staff and no rush. Overlooks the cliffs to the water below. We also ate at The Rock House, supposedly an institution there. Rushed service and one of two entrees was good. Would not return. At restaurant Kuyaba we should have gone earlier for sunset, so we ate in candle lit darkness and could not enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant because it was too dark. Some people used mini flashlights to read the menus. Food was excellent. Right down the beach from NTH is the Wind Star restaurant and hotel. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they have a buffet, live entertainment and nice music. It cost $25 p/p and well worth it considering the food was plentiful and good, and the entertainment was enjoyable. Ivan's at Catch a Rising Star hotel was the Best restaurant we ate at. No question. The lodge at Tensing Pen resort had one waiter who was also the host, and one cook. With that said they tried so hard it was the best service we had. The jerk chicken was blah, but the snapper was fabulous.
We are used to the Ritz and Four Seasons for our holiday travel, but NTH will be the exception going forward. We will return and look to see the friends we made there on this trip as all of us agreed that we would return th the Tree House.
We spent 8 wonderful days at this hidden gem. Many people came down on a living social deal, and everyone agree it is a good offer. Suggest you add a few days onto the deal to make it a whole week's stay.
Side note, if you take a private car from Montego Airport it is $40 - $50 pp each way. If you take a shared mini-bus it is $18 - $$25 pp No brainer. We think JUTA is the lower cost and Kenny Tours is slightly the more expensive one. Let the hotel make the arrangements for you.
Bring many one dollar bills for tipping. And remember, most everything is negotiable.
A highlight: Coming back from one restaurant in a taxi at night we left our expensive camera in the back seat (maybe too many rum punches?). 30 minutes later our taxi driver chased us down deep into our hotel and returned it. Great values and kudos to Ziggy with Juta who was the taxi driver.
Down the beach a bit to the west is a nightclub, not the Margaritaville, but further away, and their music blares well into the wee hours of the morning. So many of us went to sleep to the beat of their bass thumping beat. Not much one can do about that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Laid-back family friendly property. Fabulous breakfast is included. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Negril Tree House Hotel Negril
- Negril Tree Hotel
- Negril Tree Resort
- Negril Tree House Resort Jamaica
- Jamaica Tree House Resort
- Negril Tree House Jamaica