I have been here 3 times. Back in the mid 90s, in 2005 and with the whole Wardein clan in 2006. There is a special laid back, rasta vibe here. You can stay in a nice resort and still experience the culture. I love it.
Top 5 Days
- Beach time - totally relaxing to lay on this lovely beach.
- Go where no locals go - My mom would get up and go into town to the early morning markets to help pick fresh fruits and seafood for dinner.
- Snorkel and scuba - The underwater magic of the entire Caribbean is here.
- Floyd's Pelican Bar - THE most UNIQUE bar in the world. You have to take a boat the get here and it is made of sticks in a sandy area. They only serve lobster and Red Stripe. Near Jakes.
- Go see a reggae show - The music makes this place all the cooler.
Top 5 High Style, Low Maintenance Hotels
- Round Hill - Privately owned villas and homes on a hill overlooking a private beach. I have rented a villa and a whole house with the family. What is special here is that it is all part of resort - so you have full service, water sports, a water trampoline, a kids club, restaurants, etc... We had full service meals in the house every night - we ate on the deck by the pool overlooking the bay. Near Montego Bay. Ralph Lauren has a place there and the style screams high style, low maintenance.
- Jakes - Part of the Outpost Island group, owned by Chris Blackwell, who owns Island Records. A chic, shabby group of villas on the sea. Defintely a bit rustic - expect lots of critters around. The beauty here is it is just locals around - not other tourist and resorts.
- Strawberry Hill - Another Outpost Island resort up in the mountains for a totally different feel.
- Rockhouse Hotel - On the water, but not on the beach in Negril.
- Rent a villa - I looked at tons of places for my family and there is a ton of stuff, though we loved Round Hill.
- Lobster Everything - I order it in everything.
- Jerk - Chickem, Steak, Pork. I love the flavor.
- The Caves - A really special spot in Negril right on the water.
- Negril Beach - There are tons of special spots right on the water with reggae music and cheap eats out in the sun.
- Red Beans and Rice - The local staple and a safe eat even from the side of the road.
Top 5 Misses
- Big Resorts - There are so many where you would never leave and see anything.
- Crime - You gotta watch it here. The nice places have a guard around.
- Airport - It is crazed with vendors and aggressive taxi drivers.
- Hurricanes - We followed one there with my family. Make sure not to go during hurricane season.
Top 5 Tips
- Great flight schedules - I think I have been 3 times because it is so much easier to get to than anywhere in the Caribbean.
- Bring your patience - It is rasta time, so don't expect that marg you ordered to be there in 3 minutes.
- Red Stripe - Drink the national beer. A lot of it.
- Build a good reggae mix for your iPod. There will be lots of relaxing time.