Author: Fran Falkin
Tags : Watersports
More than 25 years ago, Jamaica invented the "all-inclusive resort" and while singles and couples love the concept, surely guests with kids and grandkids need it most of all. We review the perks and facilities for all ages at Beaches Negril, one of Jamaica's favorite family all-inclusive resorts.
Why Beaches are Great Family Beach Resorts
Beaches is part of the Sandals group, which includes Jamaica's Beaches Ocho Rios (formerly Boscobel Beach), as well as one on the island of Provo in Turks & Caicos. Of note is the Sandals Foundation, a non-profit organization launched in 2009. Their mission is to fullfill the promise of the Caribbean community through investment in sustainable projects in education, environment and community which improves the people's lives and preserves the natural environment. Project include building and refurbishing schools, training teachers, donating books and computers, healthcare initiatives and environmental projects.
Since family resorts these days have thought of everything: convenient suites, kids-own restaurants, toddler pools, minigolf, trapeze, kids clubs, family-together games and crafts; it's time the multi-generational traveler took a closer look. Beaches Negril is an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica that will show a good time to both kids and grandparents and of course, the long-suffering parents in between.
Beaches is part of the Sandals group, which includes Jamaica's Beaches Ocho Rios (formerly Boscobel Beach), as well as one on the island of Provo in Turks & Caicos. Of note is the Sandals Foundation, a non-profit organization launced in 2009. Their mission is to fullfill the promise of the Caribbean community through investment in sustainable projects in education, environment and communicty which imporvdes the people's lives and preserves the nature environment. Project include building and refurbishing schools, training teachers, donating books and computers, healthcare initiatives, environmental projects
The resort is 81 km from the Montego Bay Airport, approximately a one-hour drive on a new road. Beaches Negril is located on Jamaica's famous Seven Mile Beach, which typically has calm water for snorkeling and scuba, even when the weather is choppy along the north coast.
Security is always a concern in Jamaica, but throngs of tourists take walks along the beach, especially in the early morning.
Beaches Negril is Family Welcoming & Does It Well
Beaches all-inclusive packages include room, all meals, beverages, alcohol, most land and watersports and all group childcare. Beaches Negril has an opulent Great Room, attractive grounds, and 215 rooms in low-rise buildings. Stylish suites feature four-poster beds, mahogany and rattan furniture with granite surfaces. Ranging in size from double rooms to three-bedroom oceanfront units, they sleep up to eight people, some with sofabeds and with bunk beds for the kids. More than 80% of the clientele is families, and a sizeable number are returning guests.
This all-inclusive resort handles big numbers, but does it well. Snorkeling trips, for example, depart promptly and frequently, and every step of the process is efficiently done. Be sure to sign up early, though.
Mealtimes can get crowded, too. Luckily the food choices are many, with six restaurants from big buffet (with kids' dining area) to poolside snackbar grill. There are a la carte venues serving Italian, Teppenyaki and Jamaican style seafood, as well as a fast and fun cafe for paninis and burgers. Kids will love the ice-cream stand.
And what about the beach, at Beaches? It's 1,400 feet of fine white sand. The resort also has an interesting connected-pool layout with three pools and a toddler pool.
Beaches Facilities for Great Multi-Generational Vacation
The complimentary daily Kids Camp serves all young guests from infants to teens; after hours care is available for a fee. Children with special needs are able to reserve one-on-one attention (for a fee) so they can participate in all activities. The Beaches Resorts' affiliation with "Sesame Street" enables them to have the show's cast of fuzzy creatures roaming the pathways; terrific toddler learning activities hosted by Elmo and Cookie Monster (among others); character breakfasts; and evening shows. Another zone of fun for the preschool set has a playground and a few holes of minigolf.
At the nursery, care is provided for newborns through 2-year-olds from 9am to 9pm. Nursery Attendants are child development specialists that have been trained and certified with accredited U.S. Universities. The Nannies provide safety and fun for your children, including diaper changing’s, bottle feedings (be sure to pack these extras with your child) and an unending list of activities. Lots of fun is in store for all kids in groups according to their ages.
Toddlers can enjoy their Beaches vacation with television friends Cookie Monster, Grover, Zoe, Bert, Ernie, Elmo and Abby Cadabby through Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street, featuring year-long activities and appearances by beloved Sesame Street characters. The jam-packed agenda of Sesame Street-themed fun includes programs such as Sesame Street Stage Shows, storytime with Elmo, and baking with Cookie Monster. Your kids can participate in a parade alongside the Sesame Street and Beaches characters with music, clowns, and costumes. At an additional charge, families can meet with the gang at a Character Breakfast (reservations a must!). The resorts also offer themed parties where Sesame Street friends wish your child a "Happy Birthday" during a festive celebration.
Beaches Negril features its own Pirate’s Island, a pirate-themed water park with rides and entertainment just for kids. Features inlclude a lazy river, water cannons, water slides, a swim-up bar and an ice cream machine. Kids of all ages and their parents (and maybe grandparents) love the Pirates Island waterpark.
Teens, meanwhile, have great features like free scuba and golf lessions, a teens only game room, their own XBox lounge, and the "Club Liquid" dance club." Teen outings and dinners are organized too.
General entertainment includes theme cuisine nights and a nightly show, with kids' talent, a dance contest, or other entertainment.
Off-property outings around the island can be booked for Black River and Y.S. Falls, mountain trail horseback riding, shopping trips, and more.
Top Points for Grandparents
This classy place is great at making all ages feel comfortable, so that's why we can recommend it for a special trip with the grandparents. The senior generation will especially enjoy -
- Morning walk along a seven-mile beach
- Negril shops and restaurants nearby
- Furniture with character
- Umbrellas and covered area by the pool for shade
- Eight rooms designed for the physically challenged
- Nature walk, daily aquacize, tennis lessons
- European Spa at nearby Sandals resort
From Beaches, visit YS Falls and underground caves, or heritage seaside towns, or mangrove swamps with crocodiles. Outings can be arranged from all local resorts, and feature Jamaican lunch and chance to meet local people, all at reasonable rates.
Beaches Negril Trip Planning Information
Check the Beaches main office at 888/BEACHES or Sandals Resorts at 888/SANDALS for promotions, including deep discounts for off-season travel found on the Beaches Resorts website.
Kids pay a fraction of the adult price, depending on their age. Family suites are also available at some of the Beaches Resorts, for a premium.