Full Review: The Royalton All-Inclusive Resort – Negril, Jamaica 

Review: The Royalton All-Inclusive Resort – Negril, Jamaica

The most recently built hotel resort on the Negril resort strip. We have the inside review:


My fiancé and I watched this resort being built over the last few years while staying at the Riu ClubHotel on the opposite side of Bloody Bay. This was one of the main reasons we were intrigued to try the ultra modern “Royalton” experience. During our stay here, we wanted to indulge in everything this wonderful place has to offer. Though still under construction during our stay, heres what you need to know. 


Upon arrival, the entrance of the hotel is tucked off the main road with gated security – no one enters or leaves without checking with the guard. 


Walking into the lobby area is an experience all by itself. Immediately you feel as though you’ve stepped out of your taxi and straight on to the deck of one of the worlds best cruise ships with an unobstructed, open air view of the bay. 

We were greeted promptly by several staff members all of whom were very friendly and assertive. The bellman offered to take our bags while a host guided us to the front desk and asked if we would like anything to drink while we wait. Though no waiting was required, we graciously accepted the rum runner for starters. Check in was a breeze. Normally check in is at 3pm however, since we were already staying at another hotel in Negril we had no “travel time” per-say and arrived bright and early at 8am. Reception was more than accommodating with our early check in. 


The bellman guided us to our room. After just reaching, we noticed a noticeable odor in the room that was not suitable to stay in. Quickly our bellman called the front desk and we were moved to another room and upgraded oceanfront as to compensate for the inconvenience. We were greatly pleased with how efficient customer service stepped in to ensure our stay was flawless. 


The rooms are stunning. Being that the hotel was just built, we already anticipated a fresh modern design but this surpassed all of our expectations. Every detail was strategically set. From the over the bed recessed lighting to the his & hers shower to the smart tv that greets you with your name on screen. I’d say I spent a good 15 minutes pressing every light switch and button just for the thrill of it. 


Every room (including the standard) have a large jet powered jacuzzi bath tub. I was more than anxious to try it out but we decided to head out first and tour the breakfast options at the buffet. 


There are several dining options at this resort featuring international cuisines and even a steakhouse. These are available for lunch and dinner though the most popular option seemed to be the “Gourmet Marche” Main buffet. (breakfast is strictly at the main buffet dining room).


 Did I forget to mention 24hr room service? Thats right. Included. No extra charge. 


 We attempted to try the steakhouse for dinner but were met with a considerable wait and the staff seemed to be running a bit behind with table orders. 


Overall there are many different options available so even if you are restricted with special diets, you will still likely be able to find something that is suitable for your needs. There are several stations that offer cooked to order food available for breakfast lunch and dinner. Everything was very neat, tidy and well presented. The food in our opinion was decent but the quality was definitely not the best. This is probably the only so-so thing that I have to say about our entire experience. Some things as expected of course were better than others. Perhaps it was having prior experience with all inclusive, we found it hard not to critique and compare. I found myself not eager to go back for second helpings and felt like many items were pre-packaged and preserved instead of freshly prepared. The concept and the presentation of the offerings was good but in our opinion did not follow through with being more than standard cafeteria quality. Though not a total deal breaker, it is a large factor of our stay and for a striving 5-Star resort, we were expecting a bit better. Hands down, we still hold the Riu Club as our personal best overall for food. 


The property is fabulous. Strategically set on the point cliff of Bloody Bay. The view is fantastic. Based on what we saw, it appears that most rooms have a partial (if not full) ocean front view. We were surprised as to how large the resort actually spanned. 


There are 3 separate sections within the property. The regular Royalton (the largest part) and two smaller buildings – The Hideaway and Grand Lido (Nude) but all have access to the same ground amenities.

 The Grand Lido section was not yet opened while we were there but we did walk over to view the area. With all honesty, we did not see much difference in the Hideaway area (except for the price tag of course) vs the regular amenities. They have a small cove-like beach section and what should have been “exclusive” pool with swim up bar but they’ve not yet mastered the “exclusive” part as it seemed anyone could jump in without being questioned. Just as with the “Diamond Club” special areas, perhaps because everything is still new and they want you to experience ALL the features of the resort, there were no regulations that said you must stay out except for the teeny tiny little sign that says “Diamond”. Even in the future, if they do restrict the areas, you’re basically you’re paying a lot more for a little extra privacy and few extra bells and whistles that really aren’t any different from the ones you’ll find on the other side of the property. 


As for the standard bells and whistles, they all suited us quite nicely. 

There are plenty of cozy areas if you want privacy or if you are looking for the higher energy party crowd, you’ll find it over by the infinity pool. There you’ll also find the pool bar and swim up bar combined in one and music that runs pretty much all day time hours. 


The liquor selection was pretty good compared to most all inclusive where they serve only basic off brand bottles. Here you’ll find a few name brands of better quality but you MUST ask specifically for it when you order any drink otherwise you will get the basic. 


For children, the kiddie pool area appeared quite nice. Equipped with little slides and a giant tipping water bucket – it looked like a playground in pool. While entertaining for the little ones, older kids and tweens would likely end up in the infinity pool. The resort also has separate kids and teen hangout club zone areas planned but they we still a work in progress while we were there. 


The spa and gym facilities are located on the same level as the lobby and in no way are they lacking a “The Royal Standard”. The spa offers all amenities you would typically expect for Men and Women – ranging from mani pedis, massages, hair treatments and much more. My favorite part, beyond pretty much every detail, was the tucked away pool where both sides of the His and Hers spa meet for an ultra luxurious oasis of pampering. 


The gym offers a good solid selection of weights and strength training equipment. Upstairs was a nice open aired design looking down below to the weight area featuring several treadmills and elliptical machines. The yoga/dance studio was located right down the hall in its own private room.  

At this time, there is security everywhere. Every corner, hallway, entrance, exit, down, around and upside down. Due to the fact that there is still a good amount of construction in progress, this is likely the reason. However, if they keep even a fraction of guard staff for the long run – this would be by far one of the most well protected All Inclusive resorts in Negril. 


And there you have it, The Royalton in a nutshell. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here with only the exception of the ongoing construction. This factor aside, everything from the time we stepped in was near flawless. 


Happy Travels!

-GG 

Sheila 

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Review: Mike’s Glass Bottom Boat Tour – Salt Creek Negril, Jamaica

It’s been almost a year since we went out for a boat ride with Captain Mike while staying at the Coco La Palm Resort here in Negril. You can read our review here as to why we recommend him as our favorite boat to tour with. So the other day, a mellow irie Monday, we decided to set sail again. This time, a journey north to Salt Creek River. 
Captain Mike and his first mate “Birdie” picked us up midway down the shoreline on 7-Mile Beach. We hopped in and headed out just a little after 11am. 


“Birdie” pictured above. 

Our previous times out, we have always headed down towards West End (the southernmost point of Westmoreland, Negril) but this time my fiancé Gary and I agreed that we wanted to try something a bit different. We had asked Mike a few days ago about going up the river near the fishing village in downtown Negril but he told us that there was a risk of getting stuck and had something better in mind. 

We sailed past Sandals and around into Bloody Bay grasping an up close view of the new Royalton All Inclusive Resort on the cliff point. I will be posting our detailed review on that ultra modern resort soon. 


The Royalton All-Inclusive pictured above 

Past Bloody Bay we followed the cliffside around taking notice of the beautifully colored villas on the peak – we were met soon met with a bridge connecting Green Island and Negril. 


The trip up creek was very quiet and peaceful. If I hadn’t known better, I felt as though I was back in South Florida somewhere lost in the everglades. (Minus the alligators of course). We even spotted a few white heron birds to fit right in. 


 Mike informed us that most of the land was government owned and deemed wetlands but we still passed some sugar can fields and semi inhabited river banks. 


We went as far as we could (until we reached a crossing bridge that was too low for the boat to pass) where we knew it was time for us to turn around. 

The wind started to pick up on the way back and we knew what was coming next. Negril has a tendency to bring on afternoon rain showers this time of year but we didn’t mind. Captain Mike timed it just right and we made it back just in time before the rain set in for the afternoon.  

It seems as though time passed rather quickly on our nearly 3hr excursion but what else would you expect with great company, good conversation and smooth sailing.
Next time you’re in Negril and looking for a boat ride, Don’t hesitate to give Mike a call – and tell ’em who sent you. 

876-847-7699

Until next time…happy travels!

-GG 

Sheila 

Review: Lover’s Leap – St. Elizabeth, Jamaica 

Review: Lover’s Leap – St. Elizabeth, Jamaica 


Theres a few reasons why I adore this famous historical lookout spot – it could be the romantic tale of how two enslaved lovers who couldn’t be together in this life decided to leap to their death at 1700ft – it could be the light headed, heart pounding, breath taking look out across the ocean with nothing but a straight drop directly below you – It could be the fact that the love of my life, my soulmate and forever after dropped to one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him or – It could be the beautiful truth of when I without hesitation said yes as the clouds floated by me in a state of euphoric ecstasy. 

Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above as to why this remote landmark in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica is and will always be one of my favorite places at the edge of the earth. This is Lover’s Leap. 


Pictures do no justice to describe the feeling. 

A little over a 2hr journey from where we are currently staying in Negril, it is well worth the trip up into the Jamaican countryside. We hired a private driver for the day to take us around vs going with a tour because as expected, we like to make stops along the way….many, many stops. 

We started at 7am in Negril – drove our way through Sav-La-Mar, Black River, stopped at a local hang out for breakfast “under the ackee tree” in St. Elizabeth where we made some new friends with locals and continued to work our way up the Santa Cruz mountains. With very few signs or directions leading the way, we already had a general idea of direction from our previous trips to the country. At last, we reached the gate of entrance. Cost per person is $300JMD or about $2.50USD – 

A guide happily greets you at the entrance and gives a detailed history of the landmark – a tour around the property is offered though with all honesty, it is the view that we came for. 

The lighthouse, according to the information on provided, is said to be one of the tallest in the western hemisphere. I would have gladly made my way to the top but unfortunately its not open to the public. 


Following the sidewalk pathway from the entrance, there are two pavilion pagodas for weddings and events. As you walk through the building out to the railing, there are two levels you can view from (I highly recommend the second level up as you are able to see in full view the ocean and shoreline below) 

And after that, its as far as the eye can see- nothing but an unobstructed view of the wide open sea. I’m not quite sure how to describe it any further as its something you have to feel. The air feels lighter. Your breath feels shorter. It is so quiet you can hear the waves crash beneath you if you listen closely. For me there was a small bit of fear coupled with the excitement of looking down. The blood rushes through your veins and for a moment you feel like Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic and you wonder if this is what it feels like to fly like a butterfly or soar like an eagle with your arms open wide….

And this my friends is Lovers Leap. 

-GG

Sheila

Negril, the capital of casual as the welcome sign reads when entering the resort town – by no means is casual an exaggeration. You will see things in Negril that you have most certainly never seen before and a very promising chance that you will never be able to un-see them. (We are speaking from personal experiences) But, all visual imaginations aside, the most important thing about this beachy seaside sector of paradise is that you have a fun filled vacation you won’t soon forget. To all you beach lovers, party goers, peace one love rainbow, and 420 crowds alike – We are talking to you. 

For all of these titles, we are prejudiced against none and neither is Negril. This is the one place whoever you are, however you like to unwind and let loose – you’ll me someone who thinks exactly the same way you do. Go ahead and wear what you want, show off those tattoos you cover up at work, drink a Red Stripe with breakfast – you won’t be judged. This is one of the big reasons why I fell in love with Jamaica as a whole. People who live here have a different perspective on life. Of course they face the same hardships and struggles as you would in the US or Britain or anywhere in the world- but its how they handle those issue that separates Jamaican lifestyle differently from all of us. We stress ourselves out about every single thing under the sun and then ask why we come down with sickness and health ailments before we even reach 30 years old. Instead of planning for the future, worrying about things you can’t change – while on vacation here, whether you have a week or two or just a few days- you’ll experience what it feels like to just wake up and live. Enjoy waking up to the sunrise, taking a long walk on the beach -breath a sigh of relief and let yourself take in the meaning of living without restrictions. 

This is Jamaica. For many locals here, this is life everyday. For some of us, this is how we escape from a fast paced reality we are accustomed to. And for a select few, there is a good lesson to be learnt about life. 

A wise man once told me: Enjoy yourself, its later than you think. 

Peace, love and blessings, 

-GG 

Sheila

Review: Jake’s Place Resort – Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Although we have never stayed here, Gary and I stop here every time we drive through Treasure Beach purely to take a quick look at the view from this hidden spot. Just the other day on our trip up to the “country”, we stopped in for a minute to walk through this hillside oasis. We aren’t able to give you a full review on Jake’s Place but a picture can speak a thousand words. So here are a few photos to give you just a small preview of this cliffside resort nestled in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. 


Parked out front on the main roadside, Jakes Personalized Advertisment Car


Entrance of the property – something that makes you feel like you are about to enter The Secret Garden


To the leftside after entrance – landscaping consisist of several fruit trees and medicinal herbal plants 




Right side restaurant patio are, left pathway to bar and poolside sitting area


View directly after walking in on pathway – patio area to the right


Private entrance to cottage rooms


View from standing on dock extending out over water 

With only a few rooms at this resort, you’ll never have to worry about being over crowded. A nifty boutique hotel with an island twist. This is the ultimate place for peace and quite or if you’re looking for a tranquil setting to practice some yoga meditation. In my opinion a definite choice to keep in mind for 2 or 3 days of paradise soul searching. 

Thanks for checking in!
Happy Travels!

-GG

Sheila 

Review: Coco La Palm Seaside Resort Hotel Negril, Jamaica 


In September 2016 we were grateful to spend 2 very full weeks at this resort. After returning home, we both agreed that staying at the Coco left us feeling very restored and rejuvenated, more so than some of our other adventures. Heres our review

Things we enjoyed


• Easy Going Environment


For the most part, everyone keeps to themselves. You won’t find any outrageous beach parties, loud music at all hours of the day or otherwise. If you want just a quiet relaxing time at the beach, no chaos included – this is the place. 

• Security 

The security at this property in our opinion is outstanding. Here is one of the best that we have experienced without being an all inclusive resort. 24hr ground patrol. At many of the local hotels you can find yourself being pestered by beach vendors consistently all day long. When you just want to relax and be left alone, this can be at bit bothersome. Some also have part time security but leaving gaps during day or nighttime hours. At The Coco La Palm, guards stop all vendors and non-guest passerby’s from approaching you on the property. Several times while sitting out to soak up a bit of sun, anyone who tried to sell something, security came to stand next to me and told them to leave. If you are interested in purchasing some goods, the guards still stand close to make sure no funny business or harassment goes on. A+ all the way. 

• Landscaping 

From the minute you walk past the front reception area, you may as well be entering a tropical oasis. The ground areas are very well kept and the plants are neatly groomed while still feeling very natural and secluded. The hidden jacuzzi tub was one of my favorites especially if you are looking for some privacy with your significant other. For any of you who have ever visited Key West, the idea is very similar. The property also features two large pools, one in the center between the buildings and one on the upper deck overlooking the ocean. 

• Breakfast

Marley’s By The Sea

Continental breakfast is included. As stated in a previous post, this came come as a valuable bonus. The continental is fairly generous including a large basket of breads and pastries, coffee and fruit. Fruit can be exchanged for fresh juice if desired. If you’re looking for something a bit more hearty, for a small up charge, you can substitute the continental and order off the main breakfast menu. The Jamaica ackee breakfast and snapper were two of our favorites.

• Location 

About a 15 minute walk to Timesquare 

30-40 minutes to downtown Negril 

Best Of The West located conveniently across the street
Only a few hotels away from Margaritaville 
Overall, universally located in the middle of 7-Mile Beach Strip

• Monday Night Managers “Party” 

A nice evening including complementary hors d’overs, appetizers, beer, wine and a live mellow reggae music band. 

Things you should know:

• Accommodations

There are 2 different types of rooms on the property. The newly built/renovated section and the older rooms – bungallo suite family rooms. You can view pictures online to do the comparison but be sure to specify which you would prefer. Most rooms are very basic with the necessary essentials to make your stay reasonably comfortable. 

• Lack of socialites  

Unless you strike up a conversation with other neighboring guests, during our stay most of the staff didn’t socialize much. While happy to accommodate if you ask advice or are in need something, don’t expect to get too one on one friendly with the bartenders or waitresses. They are trained to do their job so this factor is mentionable but notably minor and understandable. 

• Quiet 

Again, this is a relatively a minor factor but for me was a bit more important. I don’t know about you but, when I go on vacation, I want to at least feel a little beat and rhythm from somewhere other than my workout playlist. I really enjoy listening to a little reggae and/or Jimmy Buffet to put me in the island mood. This was not the case here. Except for the Monday night 1hr cocktail party, expect quiet. Lots of peace and quiet….

For a clean, comfortable, safe, worry free vacation, overall we give Coco La Palm a very solid score on our list of Negril Beach Hotels.

Happy Travels!

-GG

Sheila 

Day 9 of our visit of Negril, Jamaica. Enjoying one love, life, beauty and laughter. Tell me, what else is there to live for? 

Stay tuned – much, much more travel insight and photos to come. If you haven’t been following, check back through our previous postings to share our journey with us.

– GG 

Sheila

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