Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Families on the beach and Sesame Street characters
Featuring elegant furnishings and bright colors, the lobby at Beaches Ocho Rios is open-air and very spacious, with a large front desk right by the entrance and an open door to the lobby with plenty of colorful armchairs and sofas. The garden grounds are nicely landscaped with tall palm trees and flowering bushes. Navigate your way through the resort via mostly outdoor paved and covered pathways.
Don't be surprised to see walking Elmos and Cookie Monsters throughout your stay. They're on-hand to greet guests on arrival and pose for fun photo ops on the beach and by the pool. The scene here is hyper focused on families and little ones, though there are plenty of activities and grown-up options to keep mom and dad happy. Couples without kids may want to look for an adults-only all-inclusive like Couples Swept Away Negril.
Located in a quiet section of Negril’s Seven Mile Beach
While Beaches Negril is still located on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach, it’s a bit farther down the strip and tucked away from the long line of hotels in the middle of the beach. There are still resorts on either side of the property. Gardens and plants help provide extra privacy, but rooms on the edge could still experience noise from neighboring hotels. For guests who want to explore the area, the town center of Negril is just a short drive away, with a variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, boutiques, and craft markets. And walking along the beach provides access to a number of vendors and musicians, as well as activities and other hotels. Note that it can take anywhere from one to two hours to arrive at the hotel from Sangster International Airport, depending on traffic and weather.
White powdery sand and clear clean water -- with vendors and touts
The resort is built on world famous Seven Mile Beach, known for its powdery white sand and calm blue water, but it is open to the public which means guests are often approached by vendors selling everything from jewelry to parasail rides to marijuana. There is a lifeguard and the resort provides free blue sun chairs with sun hoods and towels. Palapa topped cabana beds can be rented for an extra fee. Fun (and free) beach activities for guests include kayaks, banana boat rides, standup paddle-boards and more. Glass bottom boat rides and snorkel trips also depart from the beach. Lines can get long and waterskiing costs extra. There's also a palapa on the beach for hair braiding.
Elegant and refined suites as well as standard rooms
With a wide variety of suites, penthouses, and deluxe rooms, Beaches Negril is designed to accommodate any type of guest or group, with the largest three-bedroom option sleeping up to 12 guests. While a number of smaller rooms are available, most rooms are ideal for three or four people, and are spacious and sophisticated, decorated in soft, beach-themed colors with elegant touches. All rooms include air-conditioning, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, microwaves, amenities kits, and patios or balconies, and most have pull-out sofas. Concierge suites are also available for guests who want extra help booking tours and making reservations, and include extras like champagne on arrival, guest orientation, stocked mini-fridges, and a weekly private reception event. And for true luxury, large butler suites are available with on-call private butlers and terraces, with room for up to 12 guests. Many rooms can experience noise; central rooms hear activity from the pools and restaurants, while outlying rooms can get noise from neighboring properties; guests who prefer a quieter room should ask for upper-level accommodations. Ocean front rooms have the best views of the water as ocean facing views may actually offer only a bit of blue and garden views include the street.
A wide variety of ways to unwind for kids, adults, and the whole family
Beaches Negril is an expansive property, with lots of activities and plenty to do. Separate events are available for kids and adults, and there's also plenty of opportunities to get the whole family together for bonding time. Fun events include bonfires on the beach, talent shows, and karaoke. There's a mini-golf course and billiards table, plus a foosball table and air hockey. Tennis courts host day or night play outdoors. The Red Lane Spa does treatments in their facility as well as outside, and a fitness center is available for adults.
Beaches, the resort shop, sells loads of gifts, snacks, and souvenirs. Cell phones rentals are available and there are full laundry services.
Sesame Street, teen's nightclub, XBOX Lounge, DJ Academy, nanny services -- and more
Breakfast with Sesame Street characters is wildly popular at this resort. For true fanatics (and an extra fee) kids can bake with Cookie Monster or listen to stories read by Elmo. Little kids can spend the day with certified nannies in the nursery while slightly older kids can participate in Cuda Kid's Club. There's an XBOX Lounge, Scratch DJ Academy, and Trenchtown for teens, along with an alcohol-free nightclub, Liquid. In-room babysitting is available by the hour. Restaurants have kid's menus and there's self-service ice cream and soda throughout the property. Pirate's Island Water Park is good for kids of all ages with everything from an Elmo slide to 200 foot-long water tunnels.
Seven restaurants and six bars with varying hours and dress codes
You may have to stop by the concierge desk to ask for assistance in wading through the mind boggling options of all-inclusive restaurants and bars at the resort. Each has different hours and dress codes, and some require reservations. Room service, two swim-up bars, and romantic candlelit dining are fun vacation options. Dino's Pizzeria does wood-oven pies while Stewfish offers Jamaican style seafood on the beach. The Venetian is probably the fanciest restaurant here, though it's still family-friendly with a large selection of Italian dishes. Beringer wines are served at all restaurants and there's no additional charge for premium liquor or cocktails. Note that restaurants and bars don't stay open very late so there isn't much in the way of nightlife at this family-oriented resort.
No-hassle weddings, but the family-friendly focus of the resort means you may have Elmo crashing your beach ceremony
Weddings at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa are a bit cookie cutter -- and they're performed every day on the hour, so it's hard to add a personal touch -- but this makes planning the big day easy, and this Sesame-Street-focused resort can be a great option for families. Just note that if any of your guests choose not to stay at the hotel -- or at the nearby Sandals Negril, an adult-only couples resort -- you'll have to pay an extra fee just so that they can access the property. Weddings can be held on the beach, on the lawn, in the garden, or under a gazebo. None of the options are very private and the ceremony will be in clear view of other resort guests. Wedding packages, fees, and add-ons can be confusing to navigate depending on the size of your wedding party and personal tastes, so it's a good thing the resort has a personal wedding consultant.
Three swimming pools, three whirlpools, and Pirates Island Outdoor Waterpark
The numerous pools and water park at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa are major draws for families. Because there are three pools, plus a beach and water park, there isn't the usual fight for free sun loungers and umbrellas. Two of the pools have swim-up bars and cocktail service. The 1,800-square-foot Pirates Island is a great perk at the resort; it includes everything from a lazy river to a plunge pool to long and winding water slides -- plus another swim-up bar for mom and dad.
Designed for families with kids and teens, Beaches Negril Resort & Spa is a beautiful property with a wide variety of activities, classes, and events. With a water park, kid's camp, teen hangouts and specialty activities, children have plenty to keep them busy, and adults can enjoy the spa or candlelit dining for two. Contemporary rooms have ocean views and the biggest one sleeps up to 12 people. The location, right on Negril’s Seven Mile Beach, puts the resort a short drive away from the town center and a number of shops, boutiques, and craft markets, as well as restaurants and bars. Since the majority of guests are families, the resort can get noisy, but the hotel is so large that there are many areas to explore and activities to enjoy for those who prefer a quieter vacation. Couples may be happier at the adults-only Sandals Carlyle Inn -- Beaches' all-inclusive sister property in Montego Bay.