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"Great holiday where we all had the best time. Children…"
Great holiday where we all had the best time. Children (2 and 4) made lots of friends and there was never dull moment. Staff really friendly and beach was beautiful and clean. We did not travel around as taxi fares were ridiculously high but then there was not much need to leave the resort as all we needed was there (waterpark, watersports, children's programme, children's food and kidsclubs). Food was mostly good to excellent. Plenty of heathly options for all. Virgin airline was the biggest disappointment. Lots of waiting and no or little facilities onboard for the toddlers. Don't recommend them.Read moreLess
"We decided on an all inclusive family holiday in the…"
We decided on an all inclusive family holiday in the Caribbean and Beaches Negril seemed to offer everything we were looking for. October is out of season so the prices do drop (it's the back end of hurricane season) and Virgin offer direct flights from London to Montego Bay which (9 hours and then 1 hr 30 mins transfer). Although we arrived to a tropical rain-storm, we found the weather to be perfect the week we were there - the odd rainstorm which ocurred in the afternoon was welcome as it was really hot all week. Although we never fully recovered from the time-difference, we found we'd wake up really early, were on the beach by 8.30 and then really tired and ready for bed by 10pm each evening, but that suited us as it meant we had really lovely long days.
Beaches is the family version of the all inclusive 'Sandals' resort. They have 3 resorts in Jamaica, we plumped for Negril cos I was told it has the best sunsets in Jamaica and the kids were excited by the prospect of the waterpark. We're convinced we made the right choice. Beaches is set on Negril's famous 7 mile beach - a stretch of white sand. The sea is warm and shallow and the Beaches section of the beach is kept spotlessly clean. We were lucky enough to have a butler for the week (ask for Conrad if you decide to go that route). Conrad booked us a cabana - a wooden bed with straw roof on the beach. This was our spot for the week and became a perfect base to spend the days lazing around and watching the sun set whilst the kids went off to the waterpark and to their various activities.
There was so much for the kids to do. There is an organised kids club which ran pretty much all day and evening if you wanted. My kids visited once but it was really quiet (we were out of season) and being used more for toddlers than older children so they preferred to do their own thing. Despite this they were never short of activities. There was waterski-ing (or knee ski-ing for younger kids) every morning, 2 boat trips daily out to a nearby reef for snorkelling, kayaking, banana boat trips as well as the 2 pools, fantastic waterslides, swim up bars, tabletennis and X-Box Garage (great for an hour out of the mid-day heat). For younger kids there was lots of Sesame Street stuff going off - a daily show, Sesame Street Breakfasts and you'd often bump into Elmo or Big Bird as you walked through the resort. The weekly Sesame Street parade was very exciting with brass band and all the little kids joining in. The evening entertainment was varied but my kids particularly enjoyed the 2 discos (though as I said, we were pretty wiped out by 10pm each evening so missed out on the later stuff).
The dining options were varied - we tried pretty much all the restaurants from the fab buffet, Teriyaki Japanese, Mexican to the Italian and enjoyed them all - probably the least impressive was the Italian. The main buffet area offered fantastic breakfasts with a range of american style breakfasts to Jamaican ackee salt-fish and rice and peas which was surprisingly good for breakfast. Our accommodation consisted of one family room which was plenty big enough for the 5 of us. The whole place was being decorated whilst we were there. It isn't incredibly flash but comfortable and extremely well stocked and kept very clean. Our cleaner visited twice a day (once to set the beds up for the night) and her array of animals she made from the towels each eve was very impressive!
Jamaica has a reputation for being unfriendly and I was wondering whether we'd feel threatened at all off-site, but this wasn't the case at all. The staff at Beaches were incredibly welcoming, helpful and friendly and all were lovely with the kids. We went off site a couple of times - both trips offered by Beaches - and found the same off-site. A visit to Rick's Cafe is a must if you're staying at Beaches Negril - watch the sunset and Rastas jumping from trees 100 ft up in the air into a lagoon. It was a fantastic evening out. We also went 'Swimming with Dolphins' at the brand new DolphinCove in Lucee, about 40 mins from Negril which was great fun - an amazing experience for the children and def worth a visit.
All in all an amazing family trip - we loved jamaica for everything it had to offer but most of all because we were made to feel so welcome. The beaches-Negril resort is well-laid out and and incredibly laid-back. It isn't stuffy and kids and adults are made to feel welcome and you really are able to chill out.. and who could complain when you're doing this on a cabana on 7 miles of white sand looking out at the most beautiful sunset with a chilled glass of champagne? Would absolutely recommend to all for a special family holiday.Read moreLess
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