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Sandals, Negril -site inspection Part 1

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#1 JenniferSS



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    Posted 28 December 2007 - 10:34 PM

    This is a great resort for those who want a stunning beach and enjoy a laid back fun atmosphere! When you first arrive your provided a cool scented towel and a glass of champagne while the check in formalities are being taken care of. A couple of note worthy points- if you have butler service you are whisked off to a private check- in, in your room! This is great especially if you’ve had a long flight and just want to relax and start your vacation! The second noteworthy option is if you are using a Certified Sandals Specialist they will have your paperwork already filled out with a pre check in, again this makes your arrival a little less stressful and relaxing!

    The lobby (and all of the public areas) are open air- a feature that I love! The lobby itself is fairly small but with Sandals policy of getting everyone checked in quickly it shouldn't ever be much of an inconvienance. The furnishings are all comfortable and very “Caribbean”. I enjoyed people watching while I gentle swung on the padded swing chairs in the lobby.

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    I was able to see four room categories on my visit- the resort was booked solid! These rooms were actually waiting for guests to arrive so they shuttled us in & out pretty quick as they certainly weren't going to have guests waitng on us! I saw a deluxe, premium, 1 bedroom loft honeymoon oceanfront suite and a Swim up Suite.

    The general feel of the resort is relaxed fun. Everyone looked like they were doing exactly as they wanted- laughing and talking with staff or other guests, floating in the ocean, reading a book in the shade, playing pool, hanging out at the swim up bar, eating lunch at the buffet while a reggae group played or hanging out with a snack at the beach grill. There are a lot of organized activities at the resort also. If anyone is interested i took a photo of the days activities!

    As you stroll along the beach path one of the first things you’ll notice is that the buildings in each section have their own flair and look. Add that to the rule that no building in Negril is to be built higher than the tallest palm tree and the resort just looks tucked in and unique- no mega resort, sterile feeling here!

    Farthest along towards the dive shop and water sports area you’ll see the tropical hued buildings that house the deluxe & premium rooms (these rooms are on the two lowest floors facing the garden, premiums add vanity areas and thus are a little larger.) At this time they still have the regular large televisions but will soon be upgraded to flat screen tv’s which will really open the rooms up! The rooms have the trademark king sized mahogany bed, island wood d©cor and the soft goods and walls are still decorated in bright Caribbean colors. Once the rooms have been fully renovated the colors will be muted and brought more to a modern luxury look. These rooms do not have a balcony nor patio.
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    The coral pink buildings house the adorable 1 bedroom Loft Oceanfront Honeymoon Suites ( Sandals always gives their rooms such looong names). These suites have an upscale Caribbean cottage-y feel to them. You enter a large living area complete with wet bar, flat screen television, stocked fridge, a couple of comfy couches and an amazing view of the Caribbean through French doors! The balcony has a table and two chairs. Perfect for some alone time in the evenings to gaze at the stars or to sit and sip cocktails while watching the sunset! For you morning birds you can order room service and your butler will set it up on the balcony for your enjoyment and pampering.
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    To reach the second floor and bedroom you ascend a spiral staircase. The second floor is quite large and has another television, a four poster mahogany king size bed, a full bath and for additional light a set of square windows along the far wall. I fell in love with these rooms because they were so unique and just oozed romance! we’ll talk a bit more about the butler service later!
    Click the image to open in full size.

    TA Jennifer

    #2 JenniferSS



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      Posted 29 December 2007 - 03:40 PM

      More about the rooms-

      In a separate building, luxury rooms showcase balconies facing the garden.
      Rooms on the beach draw top dollar and provide either patios or balconies. Villa suites are all beachfront and feature wet bars, stocked minibars, four-poster beds surrounded by surprisingly romantic mosquito nets, large marble baths, robes and spiral staircases to sleeping lofts. Some units are a long walk from the central areas, but these offer extra privacy. All concierge rooms and suites enjoy round-the-clock room service, and honeymoon suites provide personal butlers. Keep in mind that this resort is not a top notch luxury facility- it is however a great value when you add in all of the inclusions (water sports galore including water skiiing and tubing), fantastic food, great staff and the unbelievable beach front!

      If you are looking for luxury, the newest rooms- the Sundowner River Suites will have you thinking that you died and went to heaven! The Swim up suites provide direct access to the lazy river and is literally just a few strokes from the beach! The rooms themselves are large, still have that new room smell and feature a large roman tub. The furnishings are Caribbean chic with island woods, the 4 poster king size bed that you’ll probably never want to get out of and a fully stocked wet bar. The Butlers for these suites get fabulous reviews and truly try to make a guests stay amazing!

      I love the beach in Negril! The water is amazingly clear and warm and the sand is like powder! The beach at Sandals Negril is located far enough from the town of Negril that it had fewer vendors than Couples Swept Away walking through trying to sell their wares. The vendors have to stay near the water so they are easy enough to ignore if you’d like. A couple of notes about the beach- towards the water sports area the beach is narrow but has quite a bit more shade so it tends to get a bit more crowded. Also If you book a Butler category suite your Butler will reserve your chairs, with umbrellas and float mats! This is a great perk as there are many folks that will get up early to reserve the chairs in the shade with a towel or book and not come back for hours!Honestly, this practice is beyond me- why lay on the beach if your staying in the shade? When I was done with the sun I’d go back to my air conditioned room to read or go to a bar and hang out! No flaming please –just my opinion!

      Anyways, the beach widens considerably after you pass the beach grill and there is a long expanse but little shade. Back towards the buildings and walkway there are palms and the elusive shade! Also down on this end, and in the shade, are the wedding gazebos!

      #3 CarrieRN

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        Posted 30 December 2007 - 06:05 PM

        Great review so far. Thanks Jennifer! Makes me want to start planning more vacations and we still have 10 months til our wedding trip.
        Philip at 1 yr old. Go Steelers!
        Soon I will get to post wedding pics, figure I should get some more Philip in first!


        #4 JenniferSS



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          Posted 30 December 2007 - 08:13 PM

          Hello MoWife!

          The Jamaica Tousism Board set up the appoinments and shuttled me around Negril, plus I did my day pass with my Sandals rep so I didn't need to present my IATA card. However I have great relationships with both entities and they know me well.

          In general, Sandals and many of the other suppliers are becoming quite a bit more strict regarding who they are allowing day passess and fam trips to, as their are quite a few scam's out there that promise the benefits of being a TA without being knowledgable nor liable. The old adage of " if it sounds too good to be true it probably is" rings very true with the scams!

          TA Jennifer

          #5 LindsayG

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            Posted 11 January 2008 - 11:34 AM

            Thanks for the info!
            We are honeymooning here, and decided to go all out and get the River Suites. Sounds like we made a good choice!
            Lindsay & Billy
            July 11, 2008
            Paradisus Punta Cana

            #6 ErinB


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              Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:45 PM

              Such a thorough review Jennifer! It is kinda making me re-think Couples SA but we are committed now!

              #7 JenniferSS



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                Posted 22 January 2008 - 11:51 AM

                I'm so glad that you all like the review!

                JamiacaBride- you'll really enjoy Swept Away- it's so laid back and just a beautiful property!

                TA Jennifer

                #8 georgiabeauty

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                  Posted 22 January 2008 - 04:58 PM

                  Oooh I love your review - thanks so much. I sent you a PM!


                  #9 LisaG

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                    Posted 18 February 2008 - 02:51 PM

                    Love this review!! We are thinking of this place for our 1 yr anniv. trip.

                    Jennifer - I sent you a PM asking for more info on Jamaica...

                    #10 Mrs.R2be

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                      Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:10 AM

                      I'm so happy, we booked Sandals Negril.... WOOT WOOT !!! I also booked the Loft Suite, I;ve never seen pictures of it until now... I'm so happy we made the RIGHT choice....
                      ~Mrs.R ~

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