Last Fall, we were fortunate to be invited to Beaches Negril: an all-inclusive resort for the whole family, as part of the Social Media on the Sand Conference. While we were there on a reduced rate as part of the conference, we were still able to experience that magic that any other visiting family enjoys.
With 7 miles of white sand beaches, the bluest water I’ve ever seen in my life and activities that appeal to both the adventurous and those of us who like to sit and read books… Beaches Negril truly did feel magical!
In fact, my teens both went to bed every night saying “We are NOT sleeping in! Let’s wake up early and get out on the water!” Magic, guys. There’s no other explanation.
We were placed in a Caribbean Beachfront Concierge Family Suite, and our complaints about this room = 0!!
I know, I know… everyone says on vacations like this, you’re barely in your room so it isn’t that important. I agree to an extent, and am completely on-board that it’s worth it to visit Beaches Negril no matter what room you can afford. But I also think the right room can make your stay more enjoyable!
With 2 teens, this suite gave us plenty of space to spread out and NO arguments about who got the bed which night and a cot the next. They both had a daybed that was plenty large enough (even for my son who is 6’1″), and the extra-large double vanity was perfect for my daughter who tends to takeover the bathroom counters. Vacations without bickering are a blessing, and the accommodations can often make or break that.
We also loved the location of this room. A great ocean view off the balcony (where my husband and I spent many evenings with a bottle of wine that was delivered right to the room), and easy access to the main buffet and pool table for my kids. Side note: We literally bought them a pool table as their big Christmas gift because of Beaches Negril!
Repeat after me: YOU WILL NOT GO HUNGRY!!
Oh man, guys, if I wasn’t such a food nut, I’d have lots of pictures to show you of the amazing dining options. But instead, I start scarfing before my butt even hits the chair. It’s amazing.
There is a buffet like you’ve never seen- with a seafood night, pasta night and SO much local fruit! There’s a Mexican restaurant (the avocados at this place!!!), a BBQ joint (super close to the water park so plan accordingly), a hibachi restaurant, an upscale restaurant, brick pizza oven, a French cafe (warm crepes while you wait!) and just soooo much food!
We were never hungry and never disappointed with our meal. I will be honest and say that our hibachi experience wasn’t outstanding. The food was delicious, but the chef just wasn’t very interactive. He pretty much just stood there, chopped everything, served it and then disappeared. It was our kids’ 1st hibachi experience, so we were a bit disappointed. But delicious food makes up for it! 😉 And the chef at the station behind us seemed fantastic! Singing, tossing food and more! We spent most of our time turned in our seats just watching him!
Of course, I can’t talk about dining without talking about the unlimited drinks that are part of your stay! You’ll find full-service bars nearly everywhere you go on property. There are swim-up bars and waiters who serve you drinks while you’re on the beach.
My kids were obsessed with the virgin Chocolate Monkey and even grabbed one while we waited for our shuttle to leave on the last morning! But, the pina colada will always hold a special place in my heart!
The resort offers so many activities for nearly any age that you could try something different on each day of your vacation and still feel like you need more days!
My teens are waterbugs and LOVED the banana boat, paddleboards and even got a chance to try Snuba! It’s been about 8 months and my son still talks about! He woke up early every morning to head down toward the water sports section of the beach to get in as much time as he could.
They also spent an afternoon at the waterpark (which sits conveniently right beside the water with a gorgeous view!) to take advantage of the slides and lazy river. My husband and I liked that there was a hot tub attached to the waterpark for us to enjoy.
If your kids are younger, you must take advantage of Camp Sesame! Some of the other families at our conference had nothing but positive things to say about it and almost made me wish my kids were younger still! You’ll see the Sesame Street characters all over the property including during the parade and evening beach party.
There is just so much to do that can’t be covered in a short blog post section: family movie nights, yard games, Scratch DJ Academy, Xbox Play Lounge and more! Of course, sitting in a lounge chair on the beach is always my #1 choice of activity!
From the moment you arrived, you are greeted with a smile, a glass of rum punch and a wet towel to cool off with! I cannot say enough positive things about the staff. Over Thanksgiving, my in-laws asked my kids what was there favorite thing about their trip to Jamaica and without hesitating they said the people who worked there and their Reading Roadtrip with the Sandals Foundation (more on that soon). We even had a staff member teach us how to make these fruit sculptures!
But for 13 and 15 year olds to have access to water sports, a gorgeous beach and unlimited food… and still say the staff was their favorite part, speaks volumes to the kinds of people you will meet at a Beaches property. They were friendly, accommodating and so interactive! My son took a video of one of the staff members dancing at a beach party and he still watches it when he’s feeling nostalgic and wishing we were going back!
We even had a little girl not feeling so hot on our final night- the night we were hoping to celebrate her 13th birthday,which was the following week. Normally that would be pretty disappointing to feel crappy on that day, right?? But when we had to leave dinner early for her, the hostess quick called and had someone deliver balloons, a card and a cupcake to our room before we could even walk back across the resort!!
Honestly, the staff can make or break your vacation sometimes and they the Beaches staff went above and beyond to ensure we had a fabulous time!
If there is one drawback to vacationing at Beaches Negril, I would have to say it is the transportation side of it. It’s a small airport, on a small island, and the flights are limited. They just are. It’s not like flying to Orlando where flights seem to land every 5 minutes. You’re at the mercy of the flight times rather than being able to pick times that work best for your schedule.
Before you arrive, you should communicate with a Beaches staff member to let them know your flights arrival time. They will have a nice, air-conditioned shuttle waiting for you with cold bottles of water. It’s plush, it’s roomy and it’s all included as part of your all-inclusive rate.
That being said, it’s a good thing it’s plush, because you have an hour and half drive ahead of you. This is one of those things that is a plus disguised as a drawback. I’m not a fan of driving, or even being a passenger, so the thought of a 90 minute drive after getting off a long flight, is not appealing to me. However, and this is a BIG however, it was absolutely amazing to see the Jamaican countryside.
You will travel through small villages. You’ll see goats on the side of the road, people going about their daily lives, downtown store fronts, ocean views and so much more. It’s an experience you would absolutely not receive if your resort was a 10 minute drive from the airport. It was mesmerizing. It’s just long. ; )
Book Your Own Trip
In case I haven’t made it perfectly clear, we HIGHLY recommend a vacation to Beaches Negril!
I highly recommend using this affiliate link and booking directly through the Beaches/Sandals website. You’ll be able to see the most current specials, pictures of the rooms and have direct access to a customer service rep for any questions you might have. You’ll get the best value and the best care by booking through their main site!
I do earn a small commission if you book through this link, but your price doesn’t change at all, and I never recommend a vacation that I wouldn’t take my own family on! In fact, we’re hoping to go back soon if my kids have anything to say about it!
Please let me know if you have any questions! I could talk about Beaches Negril all day long!