Sandals Negril Review: Sandals Negril
We spent Christmas – New Year’s Eve at Sandals Negril. Though this is our first time at this resort we are returning Sandals guests.
I will describe our stay as fairly good. This is due to various reasons described below.
The entire staff was very friendly and helpful. Most said hello to each guest and treated them as family even if they were first time visitors to the resort. There were a few instances where I have complaints and mainly for staff that was not seen during the entire week. This was for some management staff that I shall not name here directly but they are key management people to keep people happy, yet they were invisible the entire week with the exception of one or two occasions for each of them. Now I do not know if this was due to time off or something else but their lack of presence was clearly visible.
The staff even invited us over to see the finals of the resort cricket match (the servers won the entire tournament) which was interesting though few guests showed up.
This is a problem area for me for two reasons. Some food was excellent, some was plain, some was awful and some should not be served at all.
Bayside is where we went every day. The omelet station was ok, though incredibly slow. The pastries were average nothing great and cannot believe that they really don’t know how to make a good chocolate croissant. The fresh fruit was ok, but not really sweet. Overall breakfast was ok, but they can do better as do other resorts do in Jamaica.
We ate at Barefoot by the Sea where the sushi and sashimi were average at best. Service was incredibly slow compared to other places to eat in the resort. Bella Napoli Pizza needs to get lessons on how to make a pizza from the other pizzerias at Sandals. They are really not that great and the pizzas are far smaller than any of the other resorts. We never tried the buffet at Bayside though they did have some interesting items available on various days, but again the desert selection needs major help in the form of a really good pastry chef. The Beach Bistro is the best place for lunch. Nice choices for food. All freshly cooked. Excellent service.
Bayside had a decent dinner though the crepes were cold and not really that great. Cucina Romana was the worst meal ever for an Italian restaurant. Frozen lobster tails, cream sauces that are at best awfully over creamy. The tomato sauce for the Frutti Di Mare was good though. Not many choices. The deserts were frozen and again a good pastry chef will be very helpful. Also the welcome drink should be served with desert since it tastes too sweet to be a pre-dinner drink. The beach buffet for the beach party was ok, but many were not really happy with the minimal amount of choices that was more like a lunch choice at Bayside vs. a special dinner. Also no lobster during lobster season was not a great thing to have. The best meal of the entire stay was at Kimonos. The food was great; the service was excellent nothing bad can be said about this restaurant. This was dinner on Xmas night and indeed was wonderful for all of us sitting at the table.
Average and the chocolates are nothing really great. Other resorts do much better. Rory was not at the party to sing and actually the party was not much of a party rather people passing along saw the foods and picked up pieces. They could have done much better.
Welcome Back Dinner:
Nice dinner, though the steak was somewhat tough.
This is easy. Most of the shows at night were worth seeing or skipping. The kids who play the drums with the dancers are great. The steel drum band with the kids is wonderful. The steel drum band at the beach party is great especially the singer. The piano player at the piano bar is wonderful as always and we have seen him before in the Montego Bay area Sandals many times. The shows with the entertainment staff are rather boring and worth skipping. The only great person is the 82 year old man on the bike doing his tricks. The daytime activities if there are any are really childish and highly boring. Other resorts do a far better job of organized activities. You were lucky if you had 2 activities in any given day.
We stayed in the Sundowner building on the 2nd floor. The room was really nice and our only real complaint is due to the way the shower head faces the water spills out onto the floor in front of the shower.
The staff does a great job of keeping the grounds well groomed and beautiful.
Overall we like the resort, however there are issues that they really need to fix including having key staff around and having a better pastry chef as do other Sandals resorts have on the island. We may return but it will be a while. There is much better Sandals out there to visit in Jamaica and other islands that far exceed Negril in service and quality.