Zimbali's Culinary Retreat (from US$450 dbl, all inclusive) offers visitors a comfortable way to experience the most idyllic life imaginable as a Rasta living in the hills of Westmoreland. The boutique property operates as an all-inclusive, integrated tour operator providing all food and transport for one-, three-, four-, five- and seven-night packages. The five double occupancy suites and a larger two-bedroom cottage that sleeps four are comfortably decorated with local wood and wicker furniture.
Negril has become Jamaica's foremost beach town, evolving over the past decade along with the changing nature of the tourists who come to bask in the sun and adopt the island's pace. Today, world-class restaurants and lodging provide an alternative to the low-key guesthouses and seafood stalls that became the norm during Negril's transition from fishing village to tourist boomtown in the 1970s. What was once Jamaica's secret paradise is today the heart of the island's diversified tourist economy.
Skylark Negril Beach Resort (from US$95/175 Low/High) is a modern, minimalist 28-room boutique hotel that wouldn't be out of place on Miami Beach, though it clearly draws creative inspiration from a deep appreciation of Jamaica and its singular culture and musical heritage. The beach club vibe begins in the airy lobby where leafy wallpaper and bamboo ceiling panels add organic elements that warm the white washed walls adorned with classic Jamaica posters.
Negril Beach Villa (US$1071.50 nightly, min. three nights) is a secluded three-bedroom villa with a private pool on 1.5 acres and 400-feet of beachfront facing Bloody Bay. Rooms have king beds, A/C and private bathrooms. The rental includes full staff and Internet.
Relax on Negril's West End in Style at this luxury 33-room resort hideaway
Idle Awhile Villas (USD 300/400 low/high per bedroom, plus 20% taxes and gratuity) were taken over by Jamaican hotelier Lee Issa and managed by his wife's boutique hotel group, both stellar operators who are never too far to be engaged in the day-to-day. The property was acquired in 2015 and underwent upgrades before being reopened gracing Seven-Mile beach with a top-notch villa offering. The villas come all the amenities of home, and then some, like king-size beds, wifi and a billiards table, butler, chef and housekeepers.
Home Sweet Home (US$99/169-US$139/259 low/high season) is a no-frills cliffside accommodation that has basically everything you need to be comfortable on Negril's West End: clean rooms with A/C and TV, balconies overlooking the Caribbean, a pool and a little restaurant with decent food. The location is also good, as it's one of the first hotels heading southwest on West End Road from the roundabout that marks the center of Negril, so it's quite proximate to Seven-Mile Beach. Wi-Fi is included.
The Caves is Negril's most vibesy upscale hotel. Thatch-roofed, contoured cottages are seamlessly integrated with the cliffs. The property is perfectly conducive to spiritual relaxation, with its sophisticated African motif, soft music floating on the breeze, and hot tubs carved into the cliffs like they belong there. At the same time, you're never far from the greatest adrenaline rush of your life, thanks to the many cliff-tops from which to vault into the crystal-clear waters--as much as 18 meters below.
Sandals Negril (Long Bay, US$818-2,454 per night) is a 222-room resort on Negril's famed Seven-Mile Beach. The resort offers exclusive butler service in its top room category, a Red Lane Spa, two-story loft suites with spiral staircases, a pro sports complex offering racketball, squash and tennis, two pools, two whirlpool tubs, and a scuba certification pool. Swim-up river suites have stairs descending from the veranda doors into a lazy river with views out to sea, and plantation suites have private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and private balconies.
Rockhouse is a favorite for hip New Yorker weekenders looking to get away in style. The hotel is always booked, testament to good marketing, quality service, well-maintained grounds, and competent management. The beautiful villas (US$295\350 low, US$355\425 high season) are perched on the cliffs with views out to sea. A total of 34 rooms include standards (US$125/160 low/high season) and studios (US$150/185 low/high season).
The Rockhouse Restaurant has a nice evening ambience. The coconut-battered shrimp is a recommendable starter.
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