Cheap Beach Rooms in Negril

December 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Jamaica Hotels, Negril Jamaica

A review of Miss Norma’s Rooms for Rent in Negril Jamaica

Location: Miss Norma’s Rooms for Rent is located in the “mid beach” area of  Negril.  With the ocean only a hundred yards or so away and the morass (wildlife area) only a stones throw from your room, it offers the best of both worlds.  Most of Negril’s nightlife (Roots Bamboo, Alfred’s, The Jungle and others) are all within a 5 minute walk.  All of this for just $25 a night!

miss norma

Booking a room at Miss Norma’s Rooms for Rent: A simple call, email or Facebook message to Barbara (she handles the bookings) and you are good to go.

miss norma's rooms in negril jamaica

Checking in at Miss Norma’s Rooms for Rent: Very quick and easy!  I got a quick tour of the property and my room and I was checked in.  After I unpacked, I met Miss Norma (the owner), her son Delmar that offers tours of Negril and all over the island and Miss Norma’s family out front that sells cold beer and  food.

miss normas rooms

Room quality: A simple modern room with a bed, dresser, counter, tv, table, bathroom and such.  Not the Ritz, but very clean and an excellent room in my opinion for budget travelers or extended stay travelers.  Even though the other room for rent is next door, the walls (concrete) are sound proof along with all of the trees that provided sound proofing from the late night bars and in most cases the street traffic.

room pic miss norma

Staff: Since Miss Norma’s is a family run place there are not staff like you would expect at run of the mill resorts.  But….if you need something you just walk a few steps and Miss Norma, her family or Barbara will take care of your needs.

kids at miss norma's

Food: If you give Miss Norma a little notice she can cook you meals or snacks.  I found the food prices below average considering the meal size plus the quality was so good I would of paid twice the price and I’m cheap!  Just remember to give her a heads up if you would like her to cook you a meal.

Food at miss Norma's in Negril

Security: I felt 100% safe.  Miss Norma’s family has been around as long as Negril has been on the map and they are all around her place.  Nobody is going to mess with hers rooms for rent or her guests.

hummingbird at miss normas

Overall Rating of Miss Norma’s Rooms for Rent: I would give it a 9.8 on a 1-10 scale for staying in a local “yawd/yard” type of lodging (you will be staying in a family type of setting (kids running around and such).  This is the type of lodging I SEARCH for since I love the feeling of living in Jamaica instead of staying in a hotel if that makes any sense.  Even though your  stay will be in a family yard, your room is private and you can do whatever you want in there without interruptions.

One of the real benefits for me is being able to explore the nature area (morass) all around my room.  The hummingbirds, flowers, trees, sights, smells and sounds gave me hours of great images to capture with my camera.  Another benefit was the great conversations with Barbara, Miss Norma and “Thunder” who roasts fresh Blue Mountain Coffee on the property. And another….the beach is slow close….warm water and white sandy beaches!  And yet another….the nightlife as I said is within walking distance and a $1-3US taxi fare takes you anywhere else in town if you wish to explore.

coffee roasting in negril jamaica

Contact Information for Miss Norma’s Rooms for Rent:
Website: http://miss-normas-rooms-for-rent-negril.blogspot.com/

Book by phone:  Contact Barbara @ 305-904-7624(US phone number)  876-451-7099 (Jamaica phone number)

Book by E-mail: barbarayehmon@yahoo.com

Mango Tree Negril Review

May 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Jamaica Hotels, Negril Jamaica

Location: The Mango Tree Resort is located between the middle of Negril (rotary) and the cliff area on Negril Jamaica.  Everything you need from food to groceries to nightlife is only a 5-30 minute walk away or a $1.00 taxi ride away. The Mango Tree Resort is located at the end of a road off of the West End road so while it’s just a 2 minute walk to the main road, it’s like being in a private jungle way from the noise and street traffic.

mango1

Booking a room at The Mango Tree Resort: Like many of the other places that I stay at in Jamaica, the booking process is casual but they treat a booking like a piece of gold so don’t worry about the casual part.

Checking in at Mango Tree: Simple!  Here’s my reservation details, here’s my cash, show me my room.  Since the resort only has a few rooms I did a self tour of the lodging area and the really nice garden areas that makeup 90+% of the property.

Room quality: Basic….very basic.  Since I’m use to having nicer rooms when I review a resort and the Mango Tree Resort has really nice rooms, I was sort of put off by getting a 6×9 prison cell to review when the other rooms were empty.  I can’t really say much about the room other than it was maybe 10′ wide by 15′ long with a bed, a table, a fan, a light and that’s about it.  For me and other budget travelers the room is perfect, but the resort offers really nice rooms that I can’t review in this review since I did not see them.   A note to resorts that have travel agents or random people like me who blog about our travels, put people that do on-line reviews that will show up on page #1 of Google in your best rooms!

mango2

The bathroom is was a 30′ walk away from my room and the shower was a 200′ walk away in the other direction but the walks didn’t bother me.  The shower area, bathroom area and my bedroom were all nice and clean so no complaints on my end.

Staff: Hedley, the on site groundskeeper, security, house keeping, and a dozen other titles did an excellent job doing all of his tasks.  Hedley’s personality and charm was without a doubt one of the only reasons why I would return to the resort.

Food: N/A, since one of my favorite places to eat in Negril (Miyard) was only 200 yards away I went there for most of my meals.  I’m not even sure if the Mango Tree offers meals but I give thanks to Hedley for letting me use his refrig to keep my beer and mixer cold!

mango3

Security: I felt about 95% safe since Hedley was always around and I was staying in one of the lowest room types in the country.

Overall Rating of The Mango Tree Resort: ” A nice budget place that has so much potential”.  While the grounds are really well kept, little stuff like an empty swimming pool and unfinished projects (dreams that were never finished) keep me from suggesting the resort to anyone except budget travelers that can strike a good deal with the resort.  Without Hedley being there I would of left when I checked in, nothing negative but then again nothing really positive to say.

mango 4

Contact Information for The Mango Tree Resort:
Website: Mango Tree Resort

Facebook Page: The Mango Tree Resort on Facebook

Other Contact Info:  Email: Allan Fitzgerald afitzgerald@sympatico.ca Ed Rebane pirate_hideaway@yahoo.com 876 872 6260 In Jamaica, Call Hedly…876 275-6617

Added note Nov 2011, due to the comments here and on facebook by the current owner of the Mango tree Resort, I will not suggest it to anyone.  You can draw you own conclusions…book if you wish but I can not currently say it’s a place I would recommend.   In the same area Miyard and several other places offer cheap lodging and their owners have a professional image on the internet.  If and when the Mango Tree Resort is sold (hopefully soon) I will edit this listing.  Check out www.miyard.com for cheap rooms, great vibes, excellent food and a place that I’ve enjoyed for years.

Coral Cottage Review

May 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Jamaica Hotels

Coral Cottage Oceanfront Villa in Little Bay Jamaica

Location: Coral Cottage is located about 25 minutes south of Negril Jamaica and a little under 2 hours from the Montego Bay international airport.  Set back about 100 yards from the ocean in a tropical garden, it’s truly defines the word paradise.

Coral Cottage 2

Booking a room at Coral Cottage: Booking a room was very easy, I sent an e-mail and within hours my stay at Coral Cottages was booked.  They also have a reservations page on their website but since I had talked to them back and forth by e-mail it was an easy solution for me.

Coral Cottage 1

Checking in at Coral Cottage: The check in process was quick and easy.  I got a 10 or so minute tour of the grounds, the common areas (giant full kitchen and dining area) and my room.  Once I paid for my  room  and deposit for the room key  I was checked in.  Generally I’m in favor of a really quick check in but in this case a brief tour was needed or I would of been lost not knowing everything the resort offers.

Coral Cottage 3

Room quality: Without a doubt, Coral Cottages is the nicest place I have stayed at in Jamaica and I’ve stayed at many places!  Everything from the fancy furniture to the lovely decorations is right in line with what a luxury resort should offer.  This is the type of place that I would suggest to picky travelers that want to get away from the big resorts.

Coral Cottage 4

Staff: Richie and Teresa were both very nice.  Since I wanted to eat the local food, explore Little Bay and do my own thing they didn’t see much of me.

Coral Cottage 5

Food: N/A, I didn’t eat there.

Security: Everyone in the village knows each other and nobody is out to mess with tourists or Richie’s guest so I was not concerned about my own safety or securing my belongings.  The same goes for the village, I walked all over the place exchanging greetings and small talk with people and EVERYONE was extremely friendly.

Coral Cottage 6

Overall Rating of the Coral Cottage: Too nice!  This is the type of place I would go for a honeymoon or to impress a special person.  This is also the only place that I have ever stayed at in Jamaica that is “finished”, as in all of the construction is done, the check lists are complete and everything is fine tuned.  It’s really shocking that the Coral Cottage can deliver so much for very inexpensive room rates.  Their commitment to being “green” was impressive as well, from the dual flush toilets and other plumbing to the use of natural products, they really get a thumbs up in my book of being green!

Another cool thing about the resort is that it’s located off the beaten path and their are all sorts of cool things to see around it.  A few minutes down the road you can swim in Bob Marley’s mineral water bath or view what remains of his summer home.  A 5 minute walk will bring you to a bat cave that is so large you could park a good sized plane in it.  A 10 minute route taxi drive away is the Blue Hole which offers diving and swimming in a 25′ deep hole in the earth or in their heated mineral water above ground pool.  A 10 minute taxi drive in the other direction will bring you Farmer Debbie’s farm where you can take a tour.  I can go on and on….. better yet, go and enjoy the Coral Cottage and all that the town of Little Bay has to offer.

Coral Cottage 7

Contact Information for Coral Cottage:
Website: Coral Cottage Little Bay Jamaica <– click to view the Coral Cottage Website.

Facebook:  Coral Cottage on Facebook

Phone contact:

806-898-3826 – Marsha – USA
876-420-4722 – Richie – Jamaica

Prince Valley Guest House Review

May 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Jamaica Blue Mountains, Jamaica Hotels

Prince Valley Guest House in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica

Location: Prince Valley Guest House is a little over an hour above Kingston in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. While it’s in a remote location, bars and places to eat are well within walking distance (2-5 minutes) and the city is only a cheap $2 route taxi fare (each way) away. It’s sort of the best of both worlds, you get the feeling that you are in the middle of nowhere but everything you need is at your fingertips.

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica

Booking a room at Prince Valley: It was a pretty easy process, I contacted them through either Facebook or their website and got a response the same day.

Checking in at Prince Valley: Casual! It was more like staying with family, here’s your room, here’s your key and the check in process is complete. After experiencing less than pleasant check in experiences at other places (Rooms on the Beach Ochi) I love casual check in’s that doesn’t take days to complete.

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica 2

Room quality: The rooms are very nice in my opinion, while not fancy they are not in need of any repairs or updates. When I say “not fancy”, I don’t mean the are plain and boring! Jackie and Bobby have painted and decorated the rooms in a fashion that would let a blind person know that the hands of an artist has touched the place. Currently, the two rooms have 3 beds, a couch, a hammock and a shared bathroom. Note- the rooms are attached (you have to walk through the room with the small bed to get into the larger bedroom).

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica 4

Staff: While everyone of my reviews rates the “staff”, the term really doesn’t apply to my experiences at Prince Valley. Bobby, one of the owners is quick to size up how much you want to interact with him. If you want to be left alone you will hardly see him, if you want someone to chat with or someone to show you around he will be there. I guess this sort of defines a “guest house” and not a motel, hotel or Holiday Inn.

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica 5

Food: Prince Valley wants their guests to explore the village of Settlement (2-5 minute walk up the road) and RedLight (20 minute walk) for their food and bar needs so they don’t formally offer either on site. In a way it’s more of a meet the culture type of lodging experience than a never leave the compound experience like at the jails….I mean all inclusive resorts. With that said, Bobbie cooked a great dinner that he shared with me!

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica 6

Security: I felt 100% safe both at the guest house and in the village. When I left the guesthouse to explore I didn’t feel the need to hide my stuff or even lock my door.

Prince valley 11101

Overall Rating of the Prince Valley Guest House: I was really impressed with the interior art decorations and the flower gardens that are all over the place. Everything was in perfect working order and I would stay there even if the price was double it’s current rate (way too cheap in my opinion). The people in the community around the guest house are really warm and welcoming, everyone will exchange greetings with you, chat if they have the time and they don’t treat you like a tourist in a resort town (that’s a good thing if you have never been to the island)!

Contact Information for Prince Valley Guest House:
Website: Prince Valley Guest house

Facebook Page: Prince Valley Guest House on Facebook

Robert Williams –Owner
Jamaican Cell Phone:
1-876-892-2365

Email:
jaqdes@netstep.net

Prince Valley Guest House Jamaica 7

Review of Jah B’s Cottages

August 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Hotels

Review of Jah B’s Cottages Negril Jamaica

Location: An excellent mid beach location that is truly within walking distance of the most popular nightlife in Negril.  The beach is within 100-200 yards of all of the cottages and the morass (wetlands of sorts) is directly behind the cottages.  It’s almost like country living directly in the middle of the action.  You would only require public transport if you planned to stay for long periods of time and wanted to stock up at the grocery store downtown.

Jah B's Cottages 1

Booking a room at Jah B’s Cottages: This was actually a pleasant experience compared to other places in Jamaica.  To book a room I just e-mailed Joyce *   jahbsnegril@yahoo.com *  and she responded back within a day everytime.  We exchanged a few e-mails as I narrowed down my dates and we worked out a fair price for my two week stay.  

Checking in at Jah B’s Cottages: The check in process was a real joy since I arrived late at night and I just wanted to shower and hit the town. Clive Gordon my driver and owner of Clive’s Transport pulled up to the side door and Omar the night time security guard (amongst other titles) got in and directed us to my cottage.  After a brief here’s your key, there’s the bathroom type of tour I was given Omar’s phone number and my check in process was complete.  I didn’t have to sign any paperwork, stand in any lines, or even give them my credit card.   On my way to the street I stopped in the dining area to meet Joyce and was off to see the town.   It wasn’t until the next afternoon that Joyce asked if I liked the place and informed me that I could pay my bill when I was ready.  Where else will someone trust me to pay instead of sneaking out?

Room quality:  Jah B’s is rustic……very rustic!  I did my homework before booking at the resort so I knew exactly what I was getting and was very pleased with my cottage.  Everything was very clean and maintained in working order.  My cottage had two beds, a small kitchen and a full bathroom just like a normal hotel room but mine was nice and rustic :-)   Two things of note, #1 the room did not have things like soap or shampoo so bring some from home or you can pick some up at the market.  #2 the hot water takes a minute or two.  I didn’t know I had hot water for several days which didn’t bother me since the cold showers were rather refreshing.   Even after I found out about the hot water I never used it.

Staff: It’s hard to use the term “staff” to describe people that are more like family!  I couldn’t walk past the main building without Joyce or the cook engaging me in some small talk and nor did I want to pass without talking to them.  Omar (security guard/Motor bike rental guy/concierge/friend) was available 18 hours a day to answer my silly question or to cut open a coconut when I was in the mood.

Food: The food at Jah B’s was excellent!  The cook was able to cater to my veggie diet and he was also able to deliver my meal in a timely manner.  If I had a larger budget I would of eaten more meals there but my budget permitted mostly me preparing my own meals.

Security:  The security was a little different than what I am use to but it worked very well.  Jah B’s cottages are all on a lane about 100 yards long and many of the cottages have dogs that live under them.  The dogs know exactly where everyone is staying and will bark if a stranger walks down the lane.  Since I was at the end of the lane I had about a 40 second notice if a visitor was coming down the lane which worked out great if I was expecting someone.  It’s funny how after just a few days I could understand what the dogs meant when they were barking.  With the owners and Omar living on the lane I never worried about my own security or the security of my room when I was away.

Jah B's Cottages 2

Overall Rating of the Jah B’s Cottages:  I’d give it a 9.5 out of a 10 for what it is (rustic).  It’s an excellent place for guests that want cheap, clean rustic living but a horrible place for cheap people who want the Ritz for under $50 a night.  The only thing that held me back from giving it a 10/10 was a verbal battle with the lady who comes by to wash clothing and tries to overcharge tourists.  She over charged me $6 US and felt the need to run her mouth about me in Patois (Jamaica’s version of English) to the groundskeeper.  She did the same over charging thing to the people a few cottages up and we ended up boycotting her services……all over someone trying to pull an extra $6 from us.  If you see her please tell her I’m keeping my promise to screw her for more than she screwed me.

Jah B's Cottages 3

Back to positive thoughts….. Waking up or going to bed if you party all night and seeing the sunrise over the mountains behind the cottages is priceless!  Walking 200 yards to the beach across the street to watch the sunset is equally priceless.  Staying on a lane of like minded guests is like walking down your own street at home and exchanging greetings with your neighbors and friends.  I just can’t get over how I felt like I was “at home” at Jah B’s, an experience that I have never felt in all of my years traveling.  When I return “home” you can find me at one of the cottages at Jah B’s, until then I’m vacationing 11+ months out of the year in New England.

A slide show of some of my pictures of Jah B’s.  If you like the music please support the artist who also sells wood carvings on the beach 50 yards north of Rooms on the Beach.  His name is Jah Earllocks and his contact number is 876-349-8834.

Hedonism 2 Review

January 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Hotels

A review of Hedonism 2, otherwise known as Hedo II in Negril, Jamaica.

For years I’ve been hearing about the Hedo resorts, so I decided to look into Hedo II in Negril and see what the hype is all about.  My search started on a Hedo forum which led me to about a half dozen other Hedo forums……people love to chat about Hedo but they leave out the juicy details!  After a while I decided that I wanted to see Hedo II to see what the hype was all about.  Since I already had a room booked for my stay in Negril I talked to their marketing department about a couple of day and night passes to review their property with a friend of mine who owns a tour company in Jamaica.

The beach at Hedonism 2 in Negril Jamaica

First off, Hedo II is a nude resort, but they do offer plenty of areas where you can wear clothes if you are shy.  Speaking of shy, nobody is shy at Hedo!  If you think you are too fat, too skinny, too young, too old……….don’t worry there are very few models running around the place!  The whole vibe at Hedo is all about being relaxed and enjoying yourself…… and maybe others if you are lucky :-)   If you want to relax and explore yourself book your next vacation at Hedo II.

hedo review 2

Booking a room at Hedo II:  SkyAuction, SkyAuction, SkyAuction (If you can’t tell, I think SkyAuction offers some excellent rates)!  You can book your rooms directly with Hedo or you can use about any on-line booking company that you can dream of.  As of the time that this was published, Hedo was offering a $570 savings coupon on their web site so be sure to check it first.

Checking in at the Hedo II: While hanging out in the Hedo lobby for awhile we witnessed a few people checking in and they seemed to get processed rather quickly.  The front desk is properly staffed with customer service agents who are waiting to serve you.

Room quality: A quote “People don’t go to Hedo for the rooms”.  I’ve heard that quote over and over again and think it’s a bunch of bullshit!  The rooms are very nice and exactly what I would expect from a top rated Super Club resort.  Take a look at my video at the end of this review to see some pictures of the rooms.

A room at Hedo 2 in Negril Jamaica

Staff: One word—–>  PROFESSIONAL.  During the course of our stay, we did not meet one staff member who was not happy and ready to help us with whatever we needed.  Even the bartenders who serve the free drinks and seldom see a tip had an excellent approach to customer service.  Thumbs up to whoever oversees the employee training programs at Hedo II.

Food: 3 words——> not overly seasoned.  Overall the food was very good but I’m used to food with tons of seasonings when I’m in Jamaica.  I guess it’s safer to serve bland food with the seasonings on the side so appeal to 100′s of people instead of the few (like me) who like every thing extra spicy.  Hedo offers a ton of places to eat and since we were only there for a couple of meals, we could only sample two of them.  When I return I would love to sample all of them :-)

pool at Hedo II

Security:  No concerns at all!

Location: Hedo II is secluded at the north end of Negril but it is only a few short minutes away from any of Negril’s attractions.  If you have a good pair of shoes you can walk “downtown” or you can take a route taxi (shared taxi) for about $1.00 (US).  A regular private taxi will run you between $5.00 and $20.00 (each way) depending on your negotiating skills.

I hate to say it since Negril offers so much to do, but I think once you settle in at Hedo II you will never leave. Here’s a short list of what they offer:  tennis courts, pools, rock-climbing wall, fitness area, spa, slot machines, water sports, swim-up bar, relaxing beach, hammocks, nightlife………I’m missing more than I listed!


hedo review 1

Overall Rating of  Hedo II:  A professional operation that is managed and staffed by professionals.  Think of the Ritz, take away the glitter, add some Jamaican charm and you have Hedo 2!

My slide show of pictures of Hedonism 2:


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