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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

Herbie’s on the Beach in Negril Jamaica

February 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Negril Jamaica

Herbie’s on the beach in Jamaica review

Unlike some of my boring lodging and food reviews, Herbie’s is in a class of it’s own!  Yeah he offers camp sites and food but Herbie’s is more of an experience, a relaxing experience.   Last April I walked across the street from Jah B’s into what looked like an empty lot in order to cut through to the beach.  Right before I got to the beach, I noticed a little shack of a building with a few lawn chairs out front.  Looking a little to my right, I noticed a stump with a building behind it……flashback—a forum member on n.com posted a picture of him sleeping next to the stump a few months before my trip.  It hit me that this was the place and Herbie was the man that Smith was talking about!

Herbie's 1

So, there I am at the door step of the world famous Herbie’s on the beach in Negril and my only thought is ” how much for a beer?”.  Yeah, I’m a cheap son of a bitch and I’ll walk a mile to save a Jamaican dollar!  Since exchange rates change and many people don’t have a feel for what a Jamaican dollar is, let’s say the price was a 1.5 on a 1-10 scale, not the cheapest in the world but damn close.  “Bobo” the Bobo Rasta(dreadlocks wrapped up in cloth) was very friendly greeting me and if he vanished for a minute it was fine if I helped myself in the kitchen on the honor system.  At the end of each day/night ( I spent some time there) he would make sure that my count was the same as his.  After a couple of days feeling comfortable with Bobo’s vibe I felt that Herbie’s was my type of place…..like “Cheers” the show on TV.  It didn’t matter if I showed up at 6am, 9am,3pm, 9pm or midnight, Bobo was there to help me with what I needed!  A few nights I stayed there all night until the sunrise the next morning but that’s another story.

herbie's 2

After a couple of days a pair of farrin (foreign) women staying at Jah B’s were bitching about cheap places to go and with a soft spot in my heart I introduced them to Herbie’s.  Granted every local Jamaican man in a 300 yard radius ruled them out as being gay but for me it was more about introducing budget travelers to a cheap place to enjoy the beach.  It didn’t take long for them to figure out their Jamaica travel plans could be extended now that they could enjoy food and beverages for well less than what normal travelers pay.  Over the next few days they got use to “living” at Herbie’s and my special place in Negril was tainted…..so it goes.  Not tainted because they were there but rather because I was at the time the only tourist there.  If the percentage of tourists is over let’s say 1.5% then my ass is moving on.

herbie's 3

But…..I still went there for my morning swims, my afternoon swims, my evening swims and for all of my beach relaxing time!  Being able to walk up and throw down my camera gear ($$$$) along with my clothes knowing that everything would be there upon my return is priceless.  I didn’t matter if I used my camera or even my laptop if it was with me, once I went for a swim Bobo and Herbie had my back watching over my stuff.  One night I had a little “issue” with a local that got to the point where I felt the need to get out of my chair to deal with the local but before I could get up Bobo had him running away.  At first I laughed but then Bobo asked 100 questions which lead him to stand watch for the night.

herbie's 4

Fast forward 6 months and I bring 3 friends to Herbie’s……as soon as we round the corner Bobo and Herbie greet me like I was there yesterday—-ahh such a warm welcome!  I guess on my end it was even more welcoming since they knew who I was…..that could of been funny saying how the place was great and the owners looking at me like they didn’t know me.  If you are looking for a relaxing place on the beach in Negril with a local vibe, cheap beer and require a nice safe vibe be sure to check out Herbie’s.

herbie's 6

Location:  Mid beach, one spot north of Rooms on the Beach, a few stops south of Roots Bamboo, across the street from Jah B’s, a 10-15 minute walk from the round about (rotary) a 15 minute walk from Hedo….if you can’t find it with those directions get a taxi.

Jah B’s Food Review

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Jamaica Food, Negril Places to Eat

Jah B’s Food  Review:

Location: Jah B’s has a perfect mid beach location.  From any area on the beach road you are no further than a $1.00 route taxi ride or a 15 minute walk.   Even from the far ends of Negril, Jah B’s is only a cheap taxi ride away or a refreshing walk away.

Seating: The Seating at Jah B’s is under a roof in case it’s raining or you just want to get out of the sun.  But… if you want the sun they also have plenty of outdoor tables!

Time from seating until order is taken: It’s sort of like walking into your favorite local restaurant, you walk in and say hello to Miss Joyce and say what you want or look at the menu.  It’s not a “for the love of god does this define island time” type of place, the service is fast!

Time from seating until drinks are delivered: Less than a minute!

jah b's food sign

Time from seating until food was delivered: It really depends on what you order, everything is cooked to order so if rice takes 10-20 minutes at home it takes that long at Jah B’s.  ALL (in caps) of the food is fresh and it’s cooked to order= no heat lamps or cooked food sitting around.

Food quality: Excellent!  Generally I’ll ask for a bottle of hot sauce to spice up my food if it’s bland in taste and I never once added any to my food at Jah B’s!  While the food was not “hot in taste”, in was full of natural flavor.  Since I stayed there for 2 weeks I can attest to how fresh their produce was, it was delivered several times a week and as a guest I was able to buy it directly from the vendor.

Service quality: Relaxing!  Between Joyce (the owner) and Tim (the cook) they are both watching over you from a comfortable distance making sure your facial expressions show a love for the food and that you don’t need another drink.  Before you could even think of looking around for service, one of them will rush over to see what you need.

Food & Drink prices: Fair to cheap!  On a 1-10 of prices in Negril I would give Jah B’s a 3.  I really can’t think of many other places on the beach road area of Negril that offer better prices and not many that can match the level of service.

Overall quality: Excellent!

jah b's food review

Overall price: Outstanding!  For me it’s more than price, being able to walk into the kitchen and talk to the cook while he prepares my meal is priceless!  Being able to throw my menu on another table and say “this is what I want” is priceless as well.

A Special Thanks: To Seveen, ExOchiGirl and several other members of a few on-line forums for suggesting Jah b’s to me!

A Review of Jah B’s Cottages: My review of Jah B’s Cottages <—-click there

Negril Wood Carvings

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Jamaica Arts, Negril Jamaica

Negril Jamaica is full of wood carvers and people selling carvings! From carvers selling their blood sweat and tears to the “carvers” selling cheap imports from China and other places around the globe. The prices range from a few dollars up to several hundred dollars depending on size, how complex the piece is and how willing the tourist is to pay for something they want on their mantle at home. Several of the “real” carvers are willing to do pieces that you dream up or something that is special to you instead of “stock art”. Others are willing to sell whatever they have in front of them for whatever you are willing to pay…..so long as they agree.

jah earllocks beach view

Last April I had the honor of meeting Jah Earllocks, a carver on the beach in Negril Jamaica. He sells original carvings along with a mix of touristy types of carvings. At first I was a little shy because I was afraid of the whole beach vendor pushy vibe but once I talked to him for a little bit I knew he was different. After several meetings, I exchanged “goods” for his art work. By “goods” I mean stuff that I brought to trade with instead of using money. Some of the beach vendors are willing to exchange things they need in exchange for things that you want. I traded a pair of new boots that never fit me, a snorkel set that I used for the week, a few golf polo shirts and some fishing line for 5-6 carvings that now adore my home. The $25 snorkel set (Target) can be rented for $10 or so a day or sold for $$ so that alone in the long run makes up for his exchanges.

jah earllocks wood carvings

Along with the wood carvings, I commissioned a few bracelets with a mix of bamboo and beads. After years of buying cheap bracelets that were made of cheap fishing line I wanted bracelets made of the “spider wire” that I brought to Jamaica. Spider wire is a threaded fishing line that has a breaking strength of around 80 pounds at the size of a 10 pound normal fishing line. Also, spider wire does not degrade in the sun like mono line! Generally a bracelet made of fishing line will last me 1-6 months but so far my spider wire bracelets have lasted me almost a year…..and I’m still counting! When I left Negril last April Jah Earllocks still had 100+ yards of my spider wire so there is plenty for you if you want bracelets or necklaces that will last for years!

jah earllocks wood carving

You can find Jah Earllocks in front of “Herbie’s” which is on the beach 50 yards north of Rooms on the Beach, across the beach from Jah B’s, 100 yards south of Roots Bamboo, a few hundred yards north of Alfreds…..if you can’t figure out where it is by now leave a message and I’ll give you directions from something you know! Also, you can find Jah Earllocks playing music at Roots Bamboo and several other venues around Jamaica.

jah earllocks singing

Contact info:

Jah Earllocks AKA birth name “Charles Nunes”

Business Name: The Roots Corner

Phone: 876-349-8834

Miss Sonia Food Review Negril

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Food, Negril Places to Eat

Miss Sonia a review on more than just great food!

Upon my arrival at Miss Sonia’s, I was greeted by Miss Sonia and her son Elton.  I told them that while I was hungry for some breakfast I really needed to find a Cambio (bank) so I could get some money to pay for breakfast. Note- it was my first morning in Negril and I had USD but no JMD on me. Elton offered to drive me to a Cambio about 5-10 minutes away!  Where else in the world can you find that type of service?

miss sonia food review

Miss Sonia Review

Location: A perfect mid beach location that is within walking distance of 90% of the resorts on the beach road.

Seating: Miss Sonia’s offers covered seating that provides a nice shady area to relax and people watch while you are enjoying your meal.

Time from seating until order is taken: Since I was the only person there, my order was taken instantly.

Time from seating until drinks are delivered: My first beer was delivered within a minute or two.  Miss Sonia sort of reminds me of my grandmother in that she offered to get my other beers or I could help myself to her kitchen.  I loved the idea of being able to walk into her kitchen and helping myself to the nice cold beers in her refrig!  Where else in the world can you walk into a kitchen and help yourself and then pay on the honor system?

Time from seating until food is delivered: About 15-20 minutes but I was in the kitchen talking to Elton most of the time while he cooked so my mind was being entertained.

Food quality: Excellent!

Service quality: Excellent, I loved the whole “we can serve you or you can help yourself” concept.  I really felt like I was eating with family instead of just being a number on a meal ticket.

Food & Drink prices: Cheap!

Overall quality: My overall dining experience was one that I will remember until the day that my memory fails me or I die.  never before have I enjoyed a meal in such a friendly trusting environment.

Overall price: For the experience I had, I feel like I underpaid Miss Sonia.  Since I like to eat at as many places as possible, I really felt bad not giving her more of my business.  Every time I walked by her place she was out front and we would exchange a few words…..as I said before, she really felt like a family member or friend more than just a business owner.

miss sonia 2

miss sonia 3

miss sonia 4

If you are heading to Negril be sure to eat a meal or two at Miss Sonia’s!

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