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All reviewsbeach sidebedroom villaprivate hot tubboat barseven mile beachfull kitchengreat location on the beachsmall poolon site restaurantsweet spotthe security guardper daycoffee makerpattiesnegril beachceiling fanbeach vendors
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Reviewed 11 February 2013

Rondel Village was better than expected: the garden surrounding all of the property was truly lovely. Granted I did tour any other properties, but I can only imagine that Rondel has the market cornered in their perfectly groomed tropical garden (is that night Jasmine?). The kind gardeners are working the property all day long to keep it looking this good. New spa too, but I didn't try it.

The non-kitchenette rooms were fine--air conditioning, small fridges, cleaned early in the day by lovely staff, updated tvs, bright bathrooms, nice verandas although privacy is somewhat reduced when the hotel is full. I was more than happy to stay here versus some of the more questionable and crowded resorts up the beach. All in all, location and value far outweigh the less than five star rooms. I had no issues whatsoever with water.

About the food: what a pleasant surprise. The Jamaican breakfast was as good if not better than any of the great places along side the road (we tried Miss Sonia's and Cafe Goa for breakfast, both quite nice and the same price as Rondel). Coffee was endless at breakfast ($2 each person), and very nice Blue Mountain brew. Lunch was also a treat, Callaloo toastie? Lobster pizza? Yes please. I didn't try the dinner at Rondel, but the prices are far more reasonable than most of the beach side restaurants I saw, menu includes curries, fish, jerk dishes, pizza, etc. I did not experience any of the delayed service that some of the reviews mention.

About the pool: we tried the pool and hot tub on the beach side once, nice and refreshing and it is out of the sunlight in case you want a break from the sun. No complaints here about the pool, especially since the beach is so beautiful and easy to swim in (no rocks and none of the heavy waves you get in Mexico).

About the staff: thank you for kindly making change for us twice a day, giving us an excellent exchange rate with no fees, saying hello at every encounter. Johno is especially lovely, what a nice person to talk to several times a day as we passed in/out from the beach and roadside.

Tips for the tourists: try the breakfast here. At night, feel safe to walk up the road to grab jerk chicken from any of the numerous vendors, or get a bite at Montana's (good night spot, nice owner), Miss Sonia's (home cooked breakfast), or even further up the road to Cafe Goa (any meal all day long), The Hot Spot (drinks only) or Italian Cafe (lovely!). Just be careful crossing the road, and say no thank you if you don't want any of the numerous offerings of roadside jerk chicken. We walked the roadside each and every night and never felt unsafe, even walking as far up at Bourbon Beach/Kuyaba/Times Square perhaps half mile or more toward the west end. There is nightlife around Rondel, you just have to walk up the road to get there.

BE SURE TO TIP these lovely staff people at Rondel, including housekeeping and beach/road security. Although always leave your bar/restaurant tip in cash, as rumor is that tips charged to room don't get paid out to the servers.

Room Tip: We spent an extra approx. $30 per night for beach side room, well worth it. In case you want the most privacy possible, perhaps ask for one of the few third floor rooms set back a little on the beach side. We had a second floor room and the room across the sidewalk had direct view into our room and vice versa (it was unoccupied for the first half week). The verandas on the 2nd and 3rd floors are all fairly private, but first floor verandas that have kitchens line the sidewalk. All 2nd and 3rd floor verandas either look to the center of the property (i.e., gardens) or the neighboring housing (i.e., rooftops).
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lynn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2013

We just returned from another trip to Negril, with our second stay at Rondel. I thought it was great last year, but the changes this year are fantastic! We booked a beach side deluxe room, which is above the villas and only steps from the beach. There are no real 'beach views', but instead you get a little privacy and close proximity to the beach. Each room has a terrace or deck, two chairs and a small table. We were in Otheita Apple this year, in the second building on the second floor.

The restaurant is no longer leased but is instead managed and run by the hotel. That is a great idea, as we avoided it last year but ate there four times this last trip. Our first meal on the rock was at Rondel and it rocked! Their pizza is better than Chances, by the way, and the service is so much better!

Delroy at the bar is a wonderful man, thoughful and engaging, yet professional. Keep on, my man, and keep making the Delroy Special!

Donna, our housekeeper, took such good care of us- thank you, and sorry again about the pile of sand that fell out of my sneakers.

Carl and John-O- what can I say, but that these are two of the best security guards on the entire beach. I was often alone at the beach and never felt harassed, although I did make some time to buy fruit, juice and a patty from folks walking by.

Rondel has added a spa across the road- it's great and I highly recommend a massage by Paula!
In all another wonderful trip and we're looking forward to our next reach!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MissDiaz-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

We arrived at the Rondel on 1/19/2013 very late in the evening, so we did not officially check in until the morning. We were taken to our rooms, and the staff made sure all was in order there. They next day Sydeen (spelling???) took extremely great care of us with all of the questions that we asked. We stayed on the Garden side in Jackfruit, which is a one bedroom unit on the 3rd floor. Bev our maid kept our room very clean. My negatives of the room were no clock or coffee pot, both of which I did bring. The pool was great. We only used the garden pool. The street can get busy at times and most of the time there was a crossing guard to stop the traffic for us.That was nice. The bartender took good care of us. We only ate breakfast at the resturaunt, which was only ok. The view was awesome though. I had a massage with Dianna which was so relaxing.
The pictures on their website are exactly was you are getting, we were pleased about this.
This was our first time to Jamaica. 2 couples stayed here and 4 couples stayed at the Gatehouse, a few minutes walk away. Some resturaunts I would recommend: Three Dives, the lobster is awesome and well priced, not much to look at and need to drive there. Alfreds, about 7 minutes walk gave you a pile of bacon for breakfast and had hashbrowns with a great price. Yellowbird had 2 for 1 dirty monkeys...yum yum.

Room Tip: More people in Garden area pool. We are 48 years old, 3rd floor not hard to do. The room below us was exactly the same as ours
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Brenda E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

We were originally going to stay at the GP in Negril, but after being put-off by some dismal reviews of that place, we decided to stay at the Rondel Village hotel instead because we were impressed by the good reviews it had and looked forward to adding to those (before we stayed here).

Make sure you bring $100USD or £100GBP or $1700JMD per person, because this was the deposit that was sprung on us upon arrival and demanded in cash (unbeknownst to our travel agent). We were told that this will get reimbursed to us when we check-out, just in case of 'damages'.

Receptionist staff were unfriendly from the moment we arrived until the moment we left this 'hotel'. They were never in-your-face-rude, but never greeted us, and never cared to use a kind tone of speech, and were ignorant.

On our first night, there was a helpful security guard who kindly took our luggage up to our rooms with ease and was kind enough to give us 5 a nice tour of the whole hotel area. :-)

The place lacked entertainment.

Music at the bar was usually played at a level only audible enough for the barman to only hear despite having customers sitting there.

However, the music at The Jungle night club was well audible from where we (tried to) sleep!

The hairdryer in our room was faulty and did not work, so my friend had to use her own hairdryer.

We asked the cleaner not to leave us any flowers on our beds (as we are hayfever sufferers), but she did it everyday, regardless.

Couldn't trust the cleaners – especially after they tried to charge my friend next door for a 'dirty flannel' in her bathroom that was only 'dirty' from the sand that came from her feet off the 7 mile beach (which my friend easily managed to wash clean herself anyway)!

We padlocked our belongings everytime we needed something out of the suitcases just in case...

After an evening of asking the barman for cups (which were tiny) of hot water, he himself showed me where to obtain the hot water from so that he did not have to go all the way across the dining area each time to fill up the little cup! The following day went to get some from the very same place I was was shown to, and the next thing we know the staff told us we are not allowed to get our own! The machine happens to be near the kitchen, where we often heard offensive Patois mutterings (which unbeknownst to them, we understood, as some of us have Jamaican parents)...

Our holiday package booking (should have) included breakfast.
From our first morning at the hotel we were told that we could only order up to $9USD per person, and we have to pay extra for anything that exceeds the $9USD budget. I have never heard of having to have a limited budget breakfast for a holiday (where we each paid £10 extra per day when booking) for inclusive breakfast!!!! This was especially unfair on our vegetarian friend, for whom a seafood omelette costs $10USD alone! But we stuck with their plan.
Each morning an invoice book of our orders was kept for each of our 2 rooms between us.

The breakfast took 1 hour (on average) to be prepared each morning.
7 days out of 10 it was just us having breakfast there;
The other 3 days out of 10 times there were some other people, but not more than 5 others to be served. So we often wondered among ourselves how the kitchen would cope IF they'd had more guests waiting for breakfast too! OR if they had to cook MORE than just omelettes, 'johnny cakes' & muffins! Apparently that is how 'low-season' (Sept-Oct) service goes.

As well as the breakfast always being LATE, it was always COLD.

Half-way through our holiday, one of us decided to phone to order breakfast so that we could get dressed by the time they prepare it (instead of waiting for 1 hr). Next thing we know, the kitchen staff told us that our breakfast budget is now $7USD per day – which is barely a good breakfast!!!

We soon complained about the sudden change in our 'breakfast budget' and informed our travel agent & our holiday representative, who helped us win our case and get our money back from all the breakfast overpayments that we had been charged daily, because (as I mentioned before) we had already paid for a holiday package that included breakfast! It was a good thing we retained invoices.

We couldn't believe that on the day our representative came, the hotel staff had the cheek to produce a (freshly printed) paper with what appeared to be a “set breakfast menu” to her!
It had NO prices on it, spelling errors and -most imortantly - it NEVER EXISTED at breakfast before, though that was their false claim! I felt embarrassed for them!

We were charged $2USD for an extra muffin...only to find out that sometimes there was no extra muffin to have after waiting (rather than being told at the time of ordering that no more were available)!! We were told they were baked fresh to order and take 20mins to make...
On the penultimate day shopping in the 'DownTown' Hi-Lo supermarket, lo & behold, I found a packet of ready-made cornbread muffin mix that turned out to produce exactly the same muffin within 20minutes, except this pack was able to produce half a dozen muffins and in total only costed $89JMD (less than $1USD for SIX muffins)!! Sure, they need to make profit, but that is a rip-off.

Their plantain was overly ripe, greasy, and the MAXIMUM per person was...2 round pieces!!

They call their dumplings/festivals 'Johnny Cakes' and every time they were served, they appeared AND tasted completely different from the last time!! e.g. on Monday morning they were burnt and flat & sweet, yet when ordered later that evening, they appeared nice golden brown but were disappointingly flavourless – not even salty. Tuesday they were pale, twisted & salty. They were inconsistent throughout out the whole of our stay, and a waste of money.

The kitchen staff were rowdy and kept using offensive slang whilst they cooked meals.
Through the finely meshed window, I also saw one of the female chefs munching away whilst preparing food!!
I became ill overnight from a meal which contained mushy 'rice & peas' with hard peas in it!! It tasted like they'd been heated out of a tin for 5mins! I am glad I bought some diarrhoea relief capsules at the LGW airport on the way to MBJ...

The next morning, went to complain to the 'manager' but never got to see her for the whole of our stay. For all we know, she may have been at the reception, but it was never revealed to us!

We expressed our disgust at the bad meals to the good security officer.
So he told us about a local takeaway that served better food and for much less. We opted for takeaways to avoid the risk of being ill from Rondel again. Wished we had avoided their dinner from the start.

A day or two later, CCTV cameras had been installed above our usual dinner & breakfast dining spots...

The day before we had to leave, we found out that the good security officer had been SACKED!
It's the chef who was the root of the problems there in terms of dining, not the security guard.

The consequence of the good security officer being sacked was that the actual security of the premises became compromised.

On the day we were checking-out the only other security officer available on the premises had to abandon his post (where his duty was supposed to be watching out for the persistent beach vendors - as the mile beach leads right into the hotel) and he came to carry our heavy luggage from the top flights of stairs down to the reception, and he clearly was not as able-bodied as the sacked security officer as he was rather old & unfit.

If you are in need of exchanging currency...don't do it here!! Their exchange rate is abysmal!! You would be much better off using the foreign exchange services at the Montego Bay airport, or at the Cambios 'DownTown' in the West End shopping area to get more for your money.
I understand that the hotel wants to make some profit of it, but surely an establishment that has regular paying guests can allow for a better rate for their paying customers.

There were no public buses in the area. So get a taxi (red plate) for 100JMD to DownTown.
Best to go out and hail one yourself, as it costs more if the hotel calls one for you.

Internet connection on the hotel's PCs were very slow & provided limited access to some basic websites even. Better off DownTown for $100JMD for 30mins I think. Unless you need wi-fi.

Don't be mistaken by the date of my stay & the date you are reading this review;
because I can assure you I originally typed this review in OpenOfiice.org Writer from 10/10/12, so it is an accurate account of this place.

Bottom line: Rondel Village LOOKS great, BUT the experience here was NOT worth the hassle or the money (that they tried to con us out of). And hopefully for the sake of good holidaymakers the hotel got their TripAdvisor certificate revoked (unless they've printed it themselves)!

Room Tip: Watch out for monster crabs, as they used to live in the ground this hotel is built on. And bats like the fruit trees here.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank l8diva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2013

My husband and I spent two weeks in Jamaica in February 2012 starting with Rondel Village for the first week. This was the first time we ventured out of the all-inclusive resort style Caribbean vacations and we did not know what to expect.

The GREAT:
The beach and water in front of Rondel is surreal. Crystal clear water, not a rock in the water, and little crabs that would burrow in the sand and pop up periodically to say hello. You could see the odd stingray swim by as you waddled through the water and it was thoroughly enjoyed in the hot afternoon sun. The beach is public and there are plenty of vendors always selling fresh juice, rum bread, cigarettes, and jerk chicken. Security was pretty good in keeping them from becoming harrassing. "Groceries" are easily available on the beach and substantially cheaper than Canada - quality is good too.

The GOOD:
The rooms are clean and most of the staff are pretty good. The food at the restaurant is ok but I recommend trying the restaurants at some of the other resorts. The Italian restaurant up the beach has great pasta.

The OK: Service was not what we expected. I had heard about "Jamaica Time" before we arrived but this was a bit of a shock. Comparing it to a Mexican all inclusive is probably unfair. Drinks were slow to come and selection was not that great, food was slow to come, and this was everywhere (not just the resort). I can't emphasize this enough...do not expect fast service anywhere despite the amount of tips you leave because it just won't happen.

The BAD: Other than the Jungle NC, we found there is not much to do in Negril at night. Everything is closed by 10 or 11 and the beach bar at the resort was dead after 9. There is no entertainment at Rondel except socailizing with other guests and staff. The pool in the middle of the middle of the resort was barely used, was cold and shaded, hot tub was questionable...
Wandering down the beach was a bit of a nuissance particularly with the aggressive vendors - far worse than Mexico.

I would return to Rondel Village for the beach and the staff but scout out evening activities prior to booking.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mooneyes_Calgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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