More about Sunset at the Palms All Inclusive
Home away from home
What can I say - but we just got back from "Sunset" (it will always be Negril Cabins to us) for the fourth time and we miss it already. I've read some of the reviews here and some are getting it - some aren't. If you don't want ants (actaully they were worse this year than most, but hardly a nuisance and i DID find a green Gecko type lizard in one of the drawers, which I'm told is bad luck for those who believe in voodoo) and inpractical hair dryer (or curling iron) outlets, lack of night life, etc. - you need to go across the street to Rio where you'll be pampered and bludgeoned by "happy party hosts", three discos on site and limbo.
This is NOT why my wife and I got to Sunset/Negril Cabins. We go because it's remote, quiet, clean places in town, with some of the friendliest - and yes, sarcastic - hosts around (I actually like the sarcasm). The rooms are supposed to be rustic, they're on stilts and in a rainforest area (though the drought in Jamaica over the past year has paid a toll on the greenery) which is extremely private (remember to ask to be away from the road and the dining area). We thought we wouldn't like the fact the place was now "all inclusive" - which frankly only includes food - water sports are another issue - but it was great all day long and I probably gained 5 pounds. The great thing about their buffets is they're huge with lots of choices, so if you dont' like one thing, you're not stuck.
As usual, the place was full of Italians and Germans (one of the things we like about the place) and if you have kids - be warned - the Italian ladies do like their topless moments on the beach - but it's fun and harmless. As for selling pot - we've seen the same guys out there on the beach for years and know them by now, so we just laugh at them, because we don't "imbibe".
It's hard to recommend this place objectively because we've grown to love it so - it's tranquil, fun, quiet and frankly - a place to go into slow motion. My wife and I have franctic lives and we don't go here to party. So if you go - relax mon - grab a beer, mixed drink or cappucino in the late afternoon at their beautiful pool, lay out on their beach, have some jerk chicken for lunch and enjoy.
HOWEVER - with the new owners there's changes ahead and it's too early to tell what's coming. I'm told the following:
1 - at least 40 new rooms will be built across the street on the beach
2 - There will finally be a pedestrian bridge across General Manley Blvd - which gets scarier to cross to the beach every year
3 - A new spa will be built onsite
4 - the Rooms will be updated with more muted colors and maybe - cross your fingers - new furniture.
A warning - construction is slated for Winter 2004-05 so plan accordingly.
Bottom line - we'll be back next year....our home away from home. Anyone with specific questions is welcome to e-mail me about Sunset or Negril in general.
Beautiful resort, friendly people
The resort was very nice - really beautiful grounds and amazing food. We didn't have one bad meal. My husband LOVED the fact that all the meals were buffet style and the food was so delicious and there was quite a variety with lots of Jamaican dishes mixed in. The staff was so friendly - not only would they say hi, but they'd stop and introduce themselves, especially the first day we were there (our pale skin was a dead giveaway that we'd just arrived I guess!). We weren't quite prepared for the assault (not literally) of marijuana sellers (starting with our bus driver who brought us to the resort) every time we stepped foot on the beach, but they usually were not too pushy and would only bug you once a day!
The only complaints we had were with the lack of ANY nightlife and the bathroom in the room. The room was beautiful, but the bathrooms need to be updated I think. Aside from the fact that we had to brush tiny little ants off the toilet just to use it (they were everywhere) until I thought to spray Off on the toilet, the lighting was poor, the shower pressure was usually bad (not a big deal) and there was no electric outlet anywhere close to a mirror in the room. There is a wall mounted hairdryer in the bathroom (near a mirror) but it is very old and took forever to actually dry hair. And the nightlife - we didn't go on vacation to party the night away but SOME nightlife would have been nice - even if they'd just turned off the TV at the bar (where they played mostly WWF or action movies on Spike TV) and turned on some music it would have been a huge improvement. They did take a trip one night to a local nightclub, but since they didn't leave until 10PM and the place was called The Jungle, we were a little scared of that :), so we didn't go.
Overall, a wonderfully relaxing trip, especially when you leave small children at home :).
Visited Negril Cabins in July 2003 -- loved it!!!
My wife and I stayed at Negril Cabins with our 2-year old son in July 2003, before it changed its name. We absolutely LOVED this place. Our cabin was immaculate, the grounds were unspeakably gorgeous, the beach and water were perfect and the staff was friendly, helpful and efficient. Nothing but good things to say.
If I had to nitpick, I would mention that the advertised "children's playground" on the beach is nothing more than a delapidated old jungle gym. They might as well just take it down, it's not really usable. Also, the man named "Sanjay" (nickname: Sam) who ran the little shop was a bit odd: he was overly ingratiating and hovered over you constantly while you were in his shop, asking lots of odd questions. He told us that the Italian guests are all thieves who rob him blind (most of the guests are German or Italian). We also paid him to mail a whole bunch of postcards for us -- I just wanted to buy stamps, but he insisted that we give him the cards and money and he would stamp & mail them. I can't say for sure that it was his fault, but none of the cards arrived at their destinations. OK, so much for Sanjay. My only other negative comment might be that I wish they had served more of the excellent local cuisine at the main restaurant -- they had European-themed menus more often than I would have liked).
When we had to go into town, as we did several times (AMAZING curried conch at Sweet Spice restaurant is highly recommended!), we caught a cab with a great guy named Fitzroy -- he was very friendly, reliable, and drove safely at a moderate speed -- very important when you are with a little one!
Our son loved going for walks on the gorgeous property, seeing all manner of flora as well as lots of lizards and hummingbirds. Feeding the fish in the little koi pond was a highlight of his after-dinner routine. The Disney channel in the room helped ease the transition to naptime.
We loved Negril Cabins and hope they keep the place the same under the new name & management -- if so, we definitely plan to come back!!
Be sure to get the better food!
We stayed at the Negril Cabins in January of 2004. We thought it was quiet, peaceful, and exotic. We enjoyed our time there and can't wait until they get the cabins done on the beach. The only thing we were disappointed about was the food. Although the buffet was really nice, I myself am not into all the jerk & exotic foods with all the different seasons. Unfortunately on our very last day, we saw the people at the next table getting steaks and lobsters. Were did all this come from I wondered? Well, I asked our waitress and to my disbelief found out the BEST kept secret at the cabins. They have a new menu everyday of foods you can order thru the chef. Steaks, burgers, shrimp, and lobster (an additional cost for the lobster), AND this is all included in the all-inclusive plan at NO extra charge. Needless to say I would have been much happier if I had known there was more to choose from than just the buffet. I guess you just have to live and learn, so guess who will be pigging out next time.
Sweet sweet Jamaica
It's been 27 days since we returned home and all we can think about is when can we return to Sunset at the Palms. We enjoyed the quiet laid back jungle atmosphere and loved the staff. Arlene, Sophia, Sammara, Claudia, Altheia, Excel, Kenroy, Wayne, Valbert, Greg, and Sharon. We remember their names because when we left the Island it was like leaving family. Half of the resort is still under renovation so since it was the slow season anyway we were treated like royalty. On our wedding anniversary they even brought us dinner on our balcony. We don't have kids around any more so the lack of activities was perfect for us. It's close enough to Negril that you can get to action if you need it but that wasn't our goal on this vacation. Watch out for Althea's "special" in the bar. I had one and slept for 2 hours. The food is excellent and other than the special dinner we ate from the buffets the entire time. I would recomend the trip to Mayfield Falls. It was quite an exercise for 50 somethings but it was so much fun I would do it again. The beach is great. The only noise other than jet skis and boats is the bass beats from the 2 RIU resorts flanking this one. If your on a budget this one is great. Small tips are greatly appreciated and they will work hard to please you. The only problem I had was my wife trying to "protect me from the few European women who sun bathed topless. Nothing lewd just a shock to a small town boy. The only thing that had us for a while was the fact that for 2 days we could only converse with the staff. Everyone else was Italian or German. By the end of the week we were all joking in broken sentences about our drinking habits and the afternoon thunder storms. We plan to return and would recomend it to anyone vacationing without children.
A classic crew! The best and friendly workers found anywhere!.
Sunset at the Palms
My wife Louisa and I arrived at Sunset at the Palms on Friday, July 30, 2004 for seven days/six nights. We rode through a tremendous storm in Montego Bay on our way to the best side of the island, Negril. When we arrived, it was absolutely beautiful!
We were greeted with cold tropical drinks as we waited to see our cabin. We got a security lock which is optional, $1.00 day, then we were whisked away to our cabin. I made two requests, a king size bed and a room away from the road. Although the requests were granted, no matter where you are on the resort road noise will be heard. NO PROBLEM-MON, though it will not keep you up at night. The cabin was spacious with a television, phone, iron, and many visiting ants. The air conditioner was supreme and kept us cool during many humid days and nights. The deck was cozy and intimate. During the day, the grounds are continuously worked upon to upkeep its beautiful greenery.
The front desk and management: Front desk personal was nice. Many problems though. Guests must continuously check back on any requests or questions in order to receive an answer. TERRIBLE!!! You must ask two and three times before finally receiving what was needed. TERRIBLE!!! Just for kicks, we actually wanted to see how much another night would cost us, and you guessed it; they never got back to us. TERRIBLE!!! As we departed from the hotel, we called the front desk to ask for help with carrying our bags. After waiting 15 – 30 minutes, our phone rings & the front desk asked, if we actually wanted assistance with our bags. Finally after waiting 30 minutes, someone came to help. TERRIBLE!!! Friendly Front Desk, but expect nothing!
The employees: They were well-groomed, polite, respectful, and down to earth. What can I say? Most Jamaicans are decent people, but this crew has personality. We were treated like a king and queen. They work for pennies a day and please be generous and tip those you like because they work extremely hard. Any tip that you give, will be greatly appreciated.
Desmond: A laid-back nice guy who will watch over you. One day, we left the beach to go back to our cabin and left our stuff on the beach. However, it started raining and we came running back only to find our stuff gone!! Desmond put our stuff in a dry area off the Beach so it wouldn’t get wet. He is a wonderful guy and it was a pleasure meeting him.
Valbert: The funniest guy on the grounds. He will make you laugh and entertain you continuously. This guy makes great drinks at the pool bar and will even make you his specialty Tequila drink. Ask for it.
Neil: A friendly and cool guy that always makes sure your glass is full at the pool bar. I had a special request and it was fulfilled – thanks MON! Also gave me some good Reggae CD’s. Appreciated.
Excel: A nice, sweet guy that gives 100% who works at the Dining-area. Get to know him because he will make you feel welcomed.
Greg: This guy is certainly entertaining. He will be dancing and singing as he makes your drinks on the beach. He is a cool dude and makes you feel very welcome.
Gerry: He will do anything to make your Beach visit more comfortable. We will always remember him because he found us floatation devices for really a cheap price. When we got on the Beach each day, he’d pull out our chairs and make sure we were comfortable. See what a few dollars gets you? Thanks again!
Vanessa: There are some people you meet and some you want to know forever. Vanessa is certainly the latter and we plan to keep in touch with her. She is respectful, kind, funny, personable, helpful, and loving. Vanessa works in the dining area, and will make sure you drinks and plates are full. Even though we had the opportunity to meet several wonderful people, she made us feel like we were the most important people on the resort. Thank you so much, Vanessa.
The beach: It is seven miles of clean white sand with sparkling blueish-green water. There is a grill as well as bar right on the beach which provides a better atmosphere. You can walk ten feet and have anything you want to eat or drink served with a smile as it open until 6 pm.
The Food & Drinks: The drinks are plentiful with freshly squeezed juices, coffee, tea, wine, hard liquor, and Red Stripe (beer). Do note although you can get drinks until closing (2 am), you are not allowed to take drinks back to your room (as found on most resorts). But once again, treat them good & they’ll treat you well right back. The food is unreal. My wife & I live near in Central PA and are blessed with some of the best food & restaurants in the US. The food at the Resort is simply the best. Beach food as noted before is great, but the dining room food is unbelievable. Yes, it’s mostly Buffet food, but it is items like fresh pasta, curry goat, lamb, ribs, chicken (served 10 ways), shrimp, desserts, casseroles, etc. But do not forget to ask for Filet Mignon & Shrimp. You have to ask for it during the day, but it will be ready promptly when you arrive to eat. The Filet was no tiny steak, about a 10 – 12 oz. All food is prepared by a renowned chef, who has won numerous awards for his cooking. Once again we hate Buffets, but this food was plentiful and was simply delicious.
Unfortunately, we will not be returning due to the ants. We live in the suburbs and are not comfortable with ants. But give it a whirl, it’s worth the money. Please give them all our best. Tell them Adam & Louisa said Hello. I am sure they’ll remember us as we will remember them for a very long time as well.
Open and wonderful!
Just got back and it was WONDERFUL. We were actually the first to check in by about 3 minutes. Personally, I am so happy we did not get moved to another resort-- Beaches/ Couples, etc, just would not have been the same and we had a blast.
But yes, there is still work to be done. But, you barely notice this work. Except for working in unfinished rooms during the day, most of the rest of the work is done at night. I did wake up and hear them sanding the lobby floor one night, but otherwise, no problem.
The staff was WONDERFUL and some of the old ones are back and you have some new.
ROOMS-- Well appointed. The new bathrooms are top rate-- showers even have 7 shower head or you can use just one. One word of warning-- if they are watering plants (early evening on), the water pressure is not as good as the morning when they are not watering plants. Other than figuring out this water pressure issue, we have no complaints.
BEACH-- the same bar and grill from last year are there. No the new ones are not complete. There are bathrooms and showers. One of the things I like about this resort over the others on bloody bay is that there is plenty of shade-- so if you are fair skinned like me, you can get in the shade and still enjoy the back easily.
FOOD-- was great. The first night, they had a lobster scampi that was AMAZING. We actually had all a la carte the first two nights until they had enough guests to go to buffet-- but even going to buffet, the food was still wonderful.
POOL-- Pool and bar are open. We had music hear each night during our stay. One note-- Jacuszzi is not open-- this was my only diappointment. On our last night, thre was a Manager's reception and a wedding. There was a wonderful band down at the beach.
LANDSCAPING-- According to the landscaper who is from SC and was friendly with some of the guests, The whole resort was dirt 2 months ago. His crew planed over 1400 plants in 1 day last week. Once he is planted, he will be back in June to start thinning-- it looks nice and manicured right now, but with tropical growth, it will be a jungle in a few months.
STAFF-- The staff was wonderful and bent over backward for anything we needed and wanted. Since there were so few of us, especially the first two days, they realy did know all of our names. I really can't say enough about the staff. Having worked in a Ritz Carlton, I have to say that the staff at Sunset was just as good if not better.
One of the women we met had been to the Cabins last year and our biggest concern at this point is that once they are finished, we won't be able to afford to come back.
We found a piece of paradise
We have to admit that we were nervous about whether or not they would be open in time for our March 10th arrival. They were certainly ready for us upon our arrival. We were officially designated their first guests and the general manager took our pictures. They made that determination because we were the first to book a reservation.
From the moment we got out of the van and arrived at Sunset at The Palms, we truly knew that we made the right decision. The place is incredibly beautiful. There were 3 people to welcome us, take our luggage, give us a beverage and make sure that we were seated comfortably.
Sharon is the front manager and she makes sure that all the needs of the guests are being met. She lives at the resort so she is there 24-7. She explained about some of the renovations, services available and general information about our stay. The exercise room was not completed yet but Sharon indicated that she would make arrangements with another resort in the event we wanted that service.
The grounds are lavishly landscaped and continues to be a work in progress. There are fountains, waterfalls and ponds in the process of being built. It was fun to check each day to find something new. We met the person in charge of the landscaping (Jeff) and another co-worker (Wesley). The landscaping plans are truly incredible. Both of these individuals come from the US and are very talented. We had lunch with them one day and enjoyed our visit.
The pool is nice and at the time we were there, the jacuzzi was not completed. We aren't fond of jacuzzi's anyway so it was not a disapointment to us.
The food was absolutely wonderful. The first two days we ate ala carte until a sufficient number of guests arrived to warrant a buffet. The staff in the dining room asked how we liked the buffet. Of course the food still was excellent. Our problem was that with a buffet you personally have to limit your portions. With ala carte, THEY control your portions---which is usually a good thing on vacation. The dining staff were so friendly and truly catered to your every need. To name a few, Monique, Vanessa, Travis (he can balance and serve a beverage on his head!!!), and Nardia. They knew us all by our first name. Incredibly nice people. Arlene, I believe was one of the dining room managers (she did everything and was there all the time). We have her e-mail address and intend to keep in touch with her so that she can send our wishes to the other staff. Dwayne is in charge of the dining room and many other areas. He was truly a delight to meet. He also always wanted to make sure that you were pleased and having a good time. Dwight was the bartender in the Bamboo Bar. He was very friendly and funny! Oh and Valbert aka John was the bartender at night in the pool area. We have a few cute pictures of him. He always remembered your drinks and always served them with a smile and of course a little dance! Ezra held down the pool bar during the day. He was a delight to meet and have a good conversation with! Allie has an incredible personality--he helps in the dining area and also bartends. Xavier aka Chris is a great cook and an unbelieveable dancer! Paula is also an outstanding cook and makes great omelets.
What would the lovely beach be without Greg at the bar? He is always singing, dancing and smiling when he serves you drinks. He really has an unbelieveable smile. He makes the beach a lot of fun.
The beach was absolutely incredible--soft powdery sand and the water was a beautiful turquoise. Bloody Bay has a soft sand bottom also with no rocks. The water is calm and really has only small rolling waves. You could not ask for a more perfect beach. The beach is across the street from the resort. There is a guard that stops traffic so that you can cross safely. They do like to drive very fast in Negril. It is a very short walk and is not an inconvenience at all.
The beach is public up to the high tide mark. You have occasional people who try to get your attention. If you appear to be annoyed, someone from the resort staff notices immediately and says something to the intruder. All the people who approached us (which were few in number) were polite and certainly understood "no". There are plenty of lounges and plenty of shade if that is what you need. Make sure that you bring plenty of suntan lotion.
They have a few water toys, sunfish, a couple of kayaks and paddle boats. We brought our own snorkel equipment so I do not know if they are available at this time. You must make sure that you get to the beach each evening for the incredible sunsets.
The only problems we had were low water pressure at certain times of the day--could have been the watering of the new plants. On 2 occasions we did not have hot water. Everytime we reported a problem, it was resolved.
This resort is still a work in progress. I believe most of their work is done in the evening. Our room was nicely furnished and as everyone talked about--the bathrooms are incredible. The maids turn down your bed around 5:30-6:00 every evening.
They have music every night in the bar at the swimming pool. They hire various groups and we found them all very entertaining. They usually stop playing around 9:45pm.
This resort is ideal for couples and romantics. There were probably 35-40 guests by the time we left on March 16th. There was a couple with one child who was six years old. She was a very well behaved child and really entertained herself. Currently the resort is still small and very quaint. They have plans to erect more cabins across the street where the beach is. I also understand that they will put in a lazy pool of some type. We just hope that they don't grow too big. The bath house is almost complete as well as the new bar. It is a definite plus with the addition of the bathrooms on the beach side.
We met some super guests on our vacation. We want to say hello to:
Jill, Nancy and Wendy; Joyce and Jim; Jon and Kristin and of course, the newly weds Rick and Diana and Paula and Steve. Rick and Diana got married there and was it ever romantic! The resort did a lovely job!
Till next year my friends! Thank you for a lovely vacation-mon!
We checked in on Sunday the 13th and out on the 19th. I traveled with my partner and we are absolutely in love with this resort. Like another person said, they are still working on some things, but you barely notice them. The rooms are great, the bathrooms are perfect, the grounds are unmatched, the lobby area is exotic and inviting, and the food was divine. I truly do not have any complaints.
I do have a couple of things to share that travelers may want to be aware of. First, get someone to show you how to work the air conditioner...this may sound kind of crazy, but they have this wall unit thing with a remote control. would be great if they printed instructions and put in the rooms. The AC works great, but is kind of complicated. The water pressure is not as good in the early evening, but is adequate. Bring your own soap and some with moisturizers in it as your skin will get dry even though it is humid and the soap in the rooms is not name brand and was very drying.
The staff are the best. Andre is the manager and was most personable and courteous. He was very helpful throughout the week and was fun to talk to about what will be happening at the place over the next months. Other incredible staff include:
Nordia - wait staff....just funny, personable and very on top of it.
Monique - we loved her...she too is funny and does an excellent job.
Esroy - hilarious bartender usually at the pool. Fun to talk to and very helpful.
Greg - bartender at the beach...too much fun. He sings, dances, and makes the best banana daquiris even though they did not have bananas until my last day there (the hurricane wiped out all the banana trees).
Folks, I honestly loved this place. I have traveled some, but not extensively. this was my sixth trip to the caribbean and by far my best. Go if you possibly can. I wanted to book for next year in advance but will have to wait until the resort takes reservations for next year...oh well....hope the price stays low. AWESOME PROPERTY, AWESOME PEOPLE.