Culture fest, wellness retreat and irie vibes in the Capital of Casual. The week-long event in Negril showcases some of Jamaica's top contemporary roots artists and selectors spinning reggae and house. Big names on the ticket include Chris Blackwell, Protoje, Yardcore, Gabre Selassie, Nick Monaco, David Marston and Toddla T. 7-day pass: USD 299 / USD 449 VIP.
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.
Marine Life Divers is a dependable dive shop offering certification courses and equipment rental for PADI-certified divers. The one-dive discover scuba intro course costs US$80; PADI certified divers with their own equipment can rent full tanks (US$42 one dive, from shore - 9am-10:30am, US$85 for two by boat 9am-1:30pm) or tanks and equipment (US$50/100). Transport is included from all Negril accommodations.
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.
Zest Restaurant (7am-10pm daily), located at The Cliff, is a welcome addition to Negril's food scene, showcasing the creative hand of internationally acclaimed executive chef Cindy Hutson. Try singular starters like the shrimp ceviche with fried plantain and bean dip or mains like sauteed snapper with a side of cashew and jackfruit spiced rice. The dining area is split between a chic interior and clifftop al fresco, with crashing waves as a soundtrack. Reservations are required for guests not staying on property.
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.
Negril's annual weed fest features quality musicians and activities to keep cannabis enthusiasts entertained for two days as they blaze the sacramental herb. US$25/50, regular/VIP.
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