The Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals Negril!

We’ve written extensively about how the Montego Bay, Jamaica area can be the perfect spot for a Caribbean getaway.

With resorts like Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean only a few minutes from the airport, you can lounge on a Jamaican beach less than four hours after taking off from most airports in the Southeast.

But, what if you’re ready to venture further into Jamaica and past the Montego Bay area?

We recommend that you consider Sandals Negril, first.

This is the fifth in our series of short guides to Sandals resorts, and while it stands all on its own, if you’re new to Sandals and to the all-inclusive concept, you may want to read our introductory guide to Sandals:

The Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals!

You can find out even more by checking out our other guides:

The Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals Montego Bay!
The Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals Royal Caribbean!
The Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals Carlyle!

We’ll be adding more soon, so don’t hesitate to let us know when you’re ready to start that Caribbean vacation – we’ll make sure your planning goes smoothly!

Where is Sandals Negril?

Compared with Montego Bay, Negril is a relatively small beachside town on the far western end of Jamaica.

slide-54-634With a location along Jamaica’s west coast, sunsets in Negril are perfect!

Sandals Negril is about an hour and 20 minute drive from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, along the north end of Negril’s famous Seven-Mile Beach, just off Jamaica’s highway A1.

A quick note on flying into Jamaica: When headed to Royal Caribbean, you’ll be flying into the Sangster International Airport. Sangster is one of the largest and busiest airports in the Caribbean and getting through customs and immigration can be a bear – we always use and we HIGHLY recommend that all our clients utilize the services of Club Mobay.

Club Mobay is an arrival and departure club/service whose representatives will meet you at your arrival gate, see you safely through customs and immigration, and settle you into their arrival lounge for a drink or two before they connect you with your ground transportation.

They’ll do the same thing in reverse when it’s time for you to (sadly) leave Jamaica. Club Mobay’s parent company, VIP Attractions, also operates a similar service at Kingston’s airport, known as Club Kingston. 

Sandals’ own private arrival lounge is right beside the Club Mobay arrival lounge at Sangster so you’ll be right where you need to be.

If you are using Club Mobay for your arrival, you can pretty easily enjoy both lounges!

This would be a good time to mention the Sandals’ arrival lounge at Sangster.

It’s a cozy spot to enjoy those first few minutes of your all-inclusive experience. The lounge provides a comfortable wait for your transfer to Negril.

You’ll have places to sit, relax, and enjoy a beer and maybe some rum punch (all are included). Make sure to pick up a copy of the Gleaner – the nearly 200 year-old Jamaican newspaper – and see what’s happening around the island.

You’ll be alerted when your ride is ready and in another hour or so you’ll be pulling up at Sandals Negril.

slide-01-634The beach at Sandals Negril!

Let’s get started with a little of what Sandals Negril says about itself (from the official Sandals website):

With its blissful ambience of laid-back cool and uninhibited revelry, Sandals Negril epitomizes the free-spirited personality that has long made Negril the exotic playground of choice for fun-loving pleasure seekers. Here on sands of pure white kissed by a sea of aquamarine, this decadently carefree resort is nestled within lushly landscaped acres along the island’s legendary Seven-Mile Beach, putting you closer to the water than anywhere else in Negril. A love for Mother Nature ensures that Jamaica’s hippest resort is also its most green – awarded an EarthCheck Double Platinum Certification for an unwavering commitment to environmental excellence for over a decade. Come let your love blossom amidst the barefoot elegance and chill-out vibe that is uniquely Sandals Negril.

Negril is one of the most beach-centric of the Sandals resorts with nearly the entire resort just a few steps from water’s edge.

Sandals also lists the following features at Negril:

On the longest stretch of Negril’s Seven-Mile Beach
Every room just steps from the beach
Beachfront Walkout Club Level Rooms
Swim-up Suites
24-hour room service
Butler Service in select categories
Unlimited fine dining at 7 restaurants
5 full-service bars
Unlimited premium brand drinks
Unlimited Mondavi® wines
Unlimited Scuba Diving
Unlimited Land and Water Sports
3 pools and 3 whirlpools
Red Lane® Spa (services extra)
Free non-stop round trip airport transfers
Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas.

Notice that nearly everything in the list above is included. Sandals is one of the originators of all-inclusive and we believe they do it extremely well.

Few Thoughts on All-Inclusive: If you haven’t already, read our Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals.

You’ll learn more about what all-inclusive means at Sandals. You’ll be pleased. At Sandals (unlike some other all-inclusive resorts) all-inclusive means that nearly every thing really is included in the price of your stay.

All your food and drink will be included. We don’t mean just well-brand liquors either. Everything at the bar is included. The only exception we know of is that some Sandals restaurants will offer more exclusive wines at an extra charge, but we have experienced no pressure to purchase.

We have checked out from a week’s stay at Sandals with absolutely no additional charges and you can, too.

Tips are not allowed unless you are in a butler suite – and even then they are not necessary, but you will likely want to reward the amazing service you will receive. Off-resort you’ll want to be prepared to tip as you would anywhere (we’ve noticed some serious pressure to tip in the airport).

Off-resort excursions do cost extra as do a few other things. Let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll give you all the details.

Accommodations!

What are the rooms like at Sandals Negril?

The resort has three major room categories, while Sandals occasionally changes the names, the categories include a standard range, club-level, and rooms that are served by Sandals’ famous butler service.

Right now, they’re simply known as:

Luxury Level
Club Level
Butler Level

Each category includes a variety of specific room types that vary in exact amenities and in location around the resort.

As of January 2016, the Caribbean Deluxe is the most affordable room at Sandals Negril, and the Millionaire Honeymoon One Bedroom Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary is the most extravagant.

That extravagant description begs the question, what exactly is a private pool sanctuary?

The top of the line class at Negril features a small pool nestled into a private alcove just outside the room.

Check out these photos:

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Just drop us a line and we’ll detail all the room features in between.

Oh, and make sure to ask us about the swim up rooms!

We have found the rooms at Sandals to be extremely comfortable and well appointed.

Depending on the class of room, you may find a fully stocked bar, whirlpool tubs, mini-fridges full of beer, wine, and soft drinks and beds as comfortable as any we know.

Sandals is also known for being generous with room upgrades – especially in the off-season. We’ve experienced it ourselves and while nothing is guaranteed (and please don’t expect it), don’t be surprised if it happens! Of course, if you are upgraded to club or butler level, it will just be for the room and it won’t come with gratis butler service!

Everyone wants to know about the butler service. All we can say it that it’s amazing, and if you haven’t already, check out the video below from Sandals’ own butler, Rorey down in Antigua.

If you have seen it scroll on down.

Food & Drink!

Now for our favorite part of Sandals travel – the food and the drink!

Sandals Negril includes seven restaurants and bars where all the food is included for guests. Each spans a variety of styles, and has a particular atmosphere.

slide-46-634Barefoot by the Sea – Our Favorite Negril Restaurant!

Food and drink is the area that really sets Sandals apart from other all-inclusive resorts. Others will have a single restaurant that is included and only cheaper brands of drink. It’s all included at Sandals (with the wine exception we mentioned above), and every resort has multiple restaurants.

Before we jump in though, let’s talk dress codes and reservations.

Dress Codes 

The dress codes are not at all strict, but they do matter.

Resort casual includes dress shorts or jeans. Any swimwear must be covered and no bare feet.

Sandals considers resort evening to include elegant wear with dress trousers for men, no t-shirts or sleeveless shirts, and dress shoes. Again, the dress codes are enforced, especially resort evening. Men, watch that shoe requirement and make sure to bring a pair of decent shoes in addition to those flip flops and tennis shoes!

Reservations

Many of the popular restaurants can get rather busy at Sandals and we recommend planning what restaurants you would like to try before your travels. Make a list and meet with the concierge immediately upon your arrival to make reservations.

Don’t wait, especially when traveling during peak times.

We’ve listed Negril’s restaurants below with a description from the official website.

Bayside

With flavorsome, international cuisine, guests from near and far enjoy the decadence of Bayside by day for buffet-style breakfast and lunch. When the sun sets, bask in its outdoor essence and an exquisite a la carte French Brasserie experience. Bayside is the place to indulge your palate with ever-changing daily buffet themes and plenty of made-to-order options. Savor the flavors of a flagship restaurant and toast to the distinct character of this lively seaside eatery, nestled just a short distance from the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Bayside’s outdoor setting is charming, as guests can watch the sailboats passing,indulge in candlelit dinners, or watch Negril’s famed sunset. Indoor dining sets the tone for a more fanciful allure with French windows serving as the gateway to welcome in the refreshing sea breezes.

Bayside’s dress code is Resort Casual (see the dress code descriptions below) and reservations are not required. Currently listed hours (which are subject to change) are:

Breakfast – 7:30 am – 10:15 am
Lunch – 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Supper – 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

You have to check out this video from Sandals filmed at Bayside:

Oh, and check out a sample menu.

Cucina Romana

Discover Italy. An idyllic open-air restaurant with magnificent views, Cucina Romana has a culinary legacy stretching back to ancient Roman times. Only the finest ingredients are used in the special Italian meals prepared at Cucina Romana, where the chef skillfully creates inspiring Italian favorites from Rome and its home region of Lazio. From antipasti and salads, to favorites like Spaghetti Bolognese, our chef uses fresh basil grown in our very own garden, along with locally-grown tomatoes, in every signature dish. Cucina Romana creates the ideal dining experience for those who seek to broaden their appreciation of fine wine and authentic Italian cuisine. Your mouth will be watering in anticipation of authentic, Italian cuisine served al fresco, as the tantalizing aromas of fresh ingredients and spices waft through the air.

The dress code is Resort Casual and reservations are required. Currently listed hours (subject to change) are:

Dinner – 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Check out a sample menu.

Sundowner

Discover Tropical Opulence. Set along Jamaica’s west coast, Negril is home to one of the most breathtaking sunsets in all of the Caribbean. Noted for its bright orange, yellow and red hues, the sunset has been said to have calming and relaxing properties, with the power to ease the mind, body and soul. Many have traveled from far and wide to bask in the Negril sunshine, and to see the smooth waves that roll across the stunning, Jamaican shoreline. Sundowner, offers the perfect setting to take in the majestic Negril sunset while savoring the best Jamaican fare the island has to offer, including a tasty a la carte breakfast. With white-glove service and signature dishes such as Smoked Marlin and Roasted Pineapple Salad and Curried Lamb, Sundowner provides delicious food on an authentic island veranda that’s been faithfully preserved throughout the decades.

The dress code is Resort Evening attire. This is the fanciest it gets at Sandals, so don’t be afraid to get dressed up! Reservations, however, are not required.

Currently listed hours (subject to change) are:

Lunch – 12:00pm – 2:30pm

Dinner – 6:30pm – 10:00pm

Check out a sample menu.

Kimonos

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Kimonos is a Negril favorite. Sandals describes it as:

Discover the Perfect Balance. Follow the tantalizing aroma of exotic spices and perfectly grilled delights to the majestic extravagance of Kimonos, a vibrant restaurant that serves up the exotic cuisines of the Far East in a most interactive and impressive way. The mid-1940 Teppanyaki cooking style used here is one indication to guests that they’re in for a truly memorable experience. With dim lighting, red accents, and Asian-inspired mahogany windows modeled after the fascinating Shoji sliding screens of East Asia, the décor of Kimonos is ever so slightly exotic and mysterious, yet comforting at the same time. Despite the lively atmosphere, there is also a Zen quality that seems to thrive in the midst of it all, as the uncluttered area and undressed walls maintain an open, flowing sensibility. Kimonos boasts mouthwatering cuisine prepared by skillful chefs who entertain with tricks while cooking on an iron, flat surface grill, as guests await their exotic fare.

The dress code is Resort Evening attire, and reservations are required.

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Currently listed hours (subject to change) are:

Dinner – 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Check out a sample menu.

The Beach Bistro

Discover A Beachfront Paradise. The Beach Bistro bears the name of one of the Caribbean’s most noteworthy attributes—its sandy, picturesque beaches. At this oceanfront paradise, guests bask in the warmth of the sun, sand, and sea, relaxing and enjoying the tranquility of a quaint seaside eatery. And while you’re visiting Sandals Negril, you’ll surely take pleasure in the laidback charm and good eats of this delightful restaurant. International and island delights such as nachos, burgers and Jamaican patties, embody the true spirit of Negril. Relax and unwind as you listen to the soothing waves of the sea lapping ashore…all while enjoying the appetizing diversity of local and international fare. After a calming laze on the beach, sailing or scuba diving, the Beach Bistro is an idyllic spot to enjoy the free-spirited vibe and signature rum punch.

The dress code is Resort Casual and reservations are not required. Currently listed hours (subject to change) are:

Lunch – 11:00am – 6:00pm

Dinner – 11:00pm – 6:00am

Check out a sample menu.

Barefoot by the Sea

Discover Aphrodisiacal Exhilaration. The sandy pathways of Barefoot By The Sea add to the ambiance of this charming restaurant where you can actually show up…barefoot. Dig your toes into the soft, white sand while enjoying delectable, create-your-own-dish fare. With the sparkling Sea just steps away, there’s no better way to dine Caribbean style. The cuisine here is just as enticing as the charming vibe, presenting distinctive seafood offerings full of savory flavor. Herb-Crusted Mahi Mahi, and Coconut-Fried Tiger Shrimp are just a few of the tantalizing options that grace Barefoot’s palatable menu. In addition to signature seafood favorites, aphrodisiacs such as conch simmered in a green curry sauce, oysters marinated in lemon and chili pepper, and chocolate bread pudding served with rum cream sauce invigorate the sumptuous and memorable Barefoot dining experience.

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The dress code is Resort Casual and reservations are not required. Currently listed hours (subject to change) are:

Breakfast – 8:00am – 10:30am

Dinner – 6:00pm – 9:30pm

Check out a sample menu.

Bella Napoli

Discover Brick Oven Goodness. Whether a made up recipe or a selection from the menu, a whole lot of thinking goes into deciding which delectable pizza combination will be the best choice. Nothing says comfort food better than a warm slice of brick-oven pizza made fresh with mozzarella cheese, homemade tomato sauce, and tasty herbs and toppings. Bella Napoli hits the spot anytime of day or night with oven-baked bread and choice toppings including, jerk chicken, black forest ham, seafood, and even ripe banana and dark chocolate toppings for the savory dessert pizza.

A spot to grab a pizza for lunch or during the late afternoon, Bella Napoli has no dress code and reservations are not required.

Currently listed hours (subject to change) are:

Lunch: 11:00am – 6:00pm

Check out a sample menu.

Activities (other than lounging on the beach, eating, and drinking)

Sometimes Sandals guests never get past the lounging on the beach stage, but when these photos should give you an idea of what to expect.

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Negril has a ton of offerings – and nearly all are included.

Here’s a summary:

On the water (and included) at Negril, you’ll find:

  • Kayaks
  • Sailboats
  • Snorkeling
  • Windsurfing
  • Waterskiing
  • Hydrobikes
  • Sailboards
  • Hobie Cats
  • Swim-up Pool Bars
  • 4 Pools, 3 Whirlpools

Like all Sandals resorts, Sandals Negril also includes Scuba Diving…with just a few limitations on what’s included.

If you’re a diver and have questions, let us now.

On land you’ll find:

  • Table Tennis
  • Shuffleboards
  • Day/Night Tennis
  • Board Games
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Pool/Billiards

There’s also a well appointed fitness center to help work off all the great food and drink you’ll be enjoying.

How about what’s not included?

Of course, once you leave the resort and venture into Negril, you’re back to the real world where everything is not included. While that’s always an option, we prefer to spend most of our time hanging out at the resort and relaxing.

There are, however, a few options you really should consider for an extra charge.

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Cabanas. At various points around Sandals Negril, are a number of extremely inviting covered spots to relax and enjoy the day. These come with an extra rental charge for a day’s use.

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Sandals Red Lane Spas are available at every resort. At Sandals Negril, you can enjoy a number of different treatments including private massages along the beach. Contact us for all the details.

Sandals features Island Routes for off-resort excursions. There are a ton of choices that – if you like – will let you spend time exploring even the interior of Jamaica, making it back to Negril for a relaxing evening. Some of your choices include:

  • Visiting Dunn’s River Falls
  • Taking an off-road 4×4 safari
  • Swimming with the dolphins
  • Segwaying around an estate
  • Taking a reggae cruise on one of those cool resort catamarans

Occasionally, Sandals will even offer a Catamaran cruise as a booking bonus, so reach out and we’ll give you all the details.

Let’s finish up with a few more shots of that amazing beach at Sandals Negril:

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Thanks so much for sticking with us this long, and please don’t hesitate to let us know what questions you have about Sandals Negril – we’ll be happy to arrange your trip to Jamaica today!

And a special thank you to Sandals for allowing us to use the great photos and videos in this post!

Never forget to:

Relax…you CAN get to Sandals Negril from here!

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