Spread out over a lushly landscaped 20 acres, the all-inclusive Beaches Resorts Negril epitomizes paradise. We’re talking spectacular gardens beside the sea, a sprawling Pirates Island waterpark, and plenty of activities and amenities for the whole family. With its dramatic sunsets, silky white sands, clear turquoise waters, and spontaneous island spirit, Negril’s Seven-Mile Beach has been voted many times over as one of the best in the world. Want to make your all-inclusive family vacation even more special? Read on for our 11 VIP Tips for Beaches Resorts Negril.
All-Inclusive Beaches Resorts Negril
Our family has vacationed at a Beaches Resorts several times. But this fourth visit was our first at their Beaches Negril location in Jamaica. Even with twin preschool boys, the resort makes traveling internationally like a day at the beach (sandy pun intended!). How? Everything is taken care of from the moment you arrive.
Yes, everything is included, beginning with free transfers to the resort, a 90-minute bus ride through hilly terrain. But we learned some tips and tricks during our 6 day stay that we wish we knew on day one. So, if you’re headed to Beaches Resorts with your family, read on for our 11 VIP tips for Beaches Negril.
11 VIP Tips for Beaches Resorts Negril
1. Book Restaurant Reservations for Kimonos & The Venetian
There are only two restaurants at Beaches Negril resort that require a reservation: Kimonos, a Japanese hibachi restaurant,and The Venetian, their Northern Italian fine-dining eatery. Both fill up fast. So, our #1 VIP tip at Beaches Resorts Negril…when you arrive, first things first, go to the restaurant concierge and book a set time to dine at both restaurants.
Since our boys are barely four, the thought of them being so close to a hot surface had us nervous, so we decided our meal at Kimonos would be our date night out.
Traveling Mom Tip: When dining with just the adults, keep in mind that the kid camp closes at 9 p.m. We didn’t realize that when confirming an 8:15 p.m. hibachi reservation, so we had to leave the meal early. However, the staff kindly wrapped up our food to-go, so sweet!
2. Ask for a Table with Chef Lashaun at Kimonos
While all of the chefs sing songs during your meal, Lashaun came up with her own altered lyrics to popular songs that we all appreciated and could sing along.
3. Order an Italian Kiss at The Venetian
Believe me, you won’t regret it. It tastes like cake batter with alcohol. I ordered it on a whim and once my husband had a sip of mine, he promptly ordered one too.
4. Eat breakfast on the beach at Stew Fish
Most of our breakfasts were at The Mill, a convenient buffet restaurant with an omelet station with little tables and crayons for kids. But don’t miss at least one breakfast at Stew Fish. With tables literally on the white sandy beach, looking out at the ocean, you can enjoy steak and eggs and finer fare.
5. Sign up for a Glass Bottom Boat Sailing
Over at the dive shop, they have signup sheets for the different group boating activities available. Don’t leave this until the last day like we did! Our glass bottom boat adventure ended up being too rocky that morning for the ship, so the sail was moved to 12noon, which was the time of our transfer back to the airport and back to reality.
Traveling Mom Tip: Whatever your watersports fancy, sign up the day before. The morning snorkeling trips especially fill up quickly. My husband manged to snorkel twice during our stay.
6. Grab a Fancy Latte, Crepe, AND Gelato at Café de Paris
Don’t worry! Coffee is available at all the restaurants at the resort. But be sure to pick-up iced coffees and pastries at the Cafe de Paris, a Parisian-inspired coffee house. Great for your morning charge, afternoon pick-me-up or an after dinner treat, you are set! Unlike the Café’s at the other Beaches Resorts, this one boasts a large selection of flavored gelatos AND in the mornings makes the most amazing cooked to order crepes (go with the banana and Nutella crepe).
7. Treat the Kids to a Sesame Street Character Breakfast
Your family vacation is, after all, about the kids too, right? Treat the kiddos to a delicious buffet breakfast with Elmo and all his friends in a family-friendly dining environment. This is great for photo opps with the kiddos and gives them the chance to get up-close with every character. They also receive a little plush puppet and sippy cup too. It’s like a big birthday party with balloons, music, kids and Sesame Street. Price is just $12 per adult and $16 per child (under 2 are free though). Packages start at $49.99 for larger families and it comes with a photo and more.
8. Bake Cookies with Cookie Monster
This fun hands-on activity is available for FREE at Camp Sesame. Be sure and check their weekly schedule when you register your kids for the club.
Although we had already checked the boys out of the camp for the day, we returned at 3 p.m. just for this fun activity that took place out on the covered courtyard patio in front of the kids club. Great photo opportunity for parents. Our boys especially felt proud seeing us observe them mixing the dough and singing songs while wearing an apron and silly chef’s hat.
Afterward, a hungry Cookie Monster stopped by to visit the kids.
Taste yummy fresh-from-the-oven cookies baked by the kitchen staff. Apparently baked in a magic oven, because the cookies were ready within minutes.
9. Choose your Negril Resorts Beach location wisely
Late night music might make it difficult to settle the kids to sleep if your room is in the 900 block. Luckily, the music never lasted past 10 p.m. Our room was close to the music and we heard the bass, but we were on vacation. So we went to bed after nine anyway, so it wasn’t a nuisance for too long. Same goes for rooms near the waterpark and the music and sounds over there. Overall, we were happy in room 704 though, not much foot traffic and further from the music celebrations.
Traveling Mom Tip: Traveling with young children? Be aware of the rooms in the 900 block as they back up against the nearby Couples Resort, and the music might be distracting to little ones’ sleep patterns.
10. Upgrade to Club Mobay
During the checkout process at the front desk, we booked Club Mobay access for our return to Montego Bay airport. This allowed us to fast-track access through security and entrance to their airport lounge. Since recommended arrival time to the airport is three hours prior to departure, this add-on service was well worth it especially when flying with kids. The lounge offered a kids play area that kept them entertained before our flight home. Snacks and alcoholic drinks are included as well. Cost: $90 for our family of four. Priority Pass is accepted here too.
11. Go on a Reading Road Trip
The Sandals Foundation and Island Routes Caribbean Adventures teamed up to offer extraordinary voluntourism experiences for travelers through a Reading Road Trip. Visit a local school, where you’ll be paired with a small group of students, ages 3-10 years old, for a morning of ‘edu-tainment’ focused on improving their reading, listening and comprehension skills. This experience is only two hours out of your day, but you’ll take home humbling memories from the heart and leave behind a lasting impact on the lives of local children.
My trip took me to the Mount Airy school where I read a story to a very shy 5-year-old boy, who impressed me with his reading skills. When he finally smiled, it was beautiful. This experience was a humbling afternoon that I know not many people get to experience, thus the VIP part and a wonderful family activity for tweens and teens too. The cost is only $25.