Gorgeous Jamaica



I had never been to the Caribbean and not imagined that the chance would come my way. But Jamaica, beautiful, stunning Jamaica, took my breath away, and now I crave the chance to go back. Hopefully one day, I will.


If that sounds a bit over the top, well, it's justified. Jessica and I were only in Jamaica, in the Negril resort, for four days in mid December. However, despite the rainy British weather since our return, we can still feel the recuperative effects.

But let me take you back to the wonderful day (seriously!) when Jessica and I were invited to the Beaches Resort. The idea, of course, was that we lucky people would sample the delights of this special place and then report back. I have to admit that it wasn't the most onerous task I have ever been given.

The resort had just been voted top hotel for families in the Caribbean in Tripadvisor's Traveller's Choice Awards as well as being put in the top 25 all-inclusive resorts in the world. We had never stayed in an all-inclusive resort and were extremely curious about what to expect. Could it really be as good as all that?





We flew from Gatwick to Montego Bay which took 10 hours, the longest flight Jessica has ever taken. But even that didn't seem to matter. I genuinely think it was worth it, and of course, even more so if you are staying for longer.

You can watch Jessica's video for details of some of the many things we did there, but please read below for more detail.

Beaches Negril is around an hour and a half from Montego Bay (transfers are included). There is something strange about flying to a different country and hardly seeing any of it - most people who come to Beaches spend their time in the resort, which has more than enough to entertain the whole family - so I was pleased that we did get out a little, to visit a school. But more of that fascinating trip in another post.

Firstly I need to tell you about the resort. It is stunning, located on the widest stretch of Negril's seven mile white sand beach. The sea is glorious, clear, blue, and warm. We even saw fish darting around our feet when we took a swim.


Inside the huge resort (12 acres on the Long Bay Beach front, and eight on the garden side) there are two lovely swimming pools, a lazy river (such fun) and pirate water slides, plus an incredible array of restaurants, from buffet style and Tex Mex to Italian (you can slimb out of the pool, order your pizza and garlic bread and be buzzed when they are ready) and fine dining. We particularly enjoyed Kimonos, the Japanese restaurant, where your food is cooked in front of you, and the Parisian cafe, where I had rather too many rum truffles.

We were completely overwhelmed by the fact that all of this was included, as were the drinks. You don't have to carry any money with you - you just ask whatever you want and it's given to you. On one evening there was also an amazing chocolate buffet, with fondue, chocolate martinis and more. Honestly, it's a bit like magic.

Jessica threw herself into all of this with gusto, especially when it came to the (non-alcoholic) cocktails. I have never been to a place where you finish your drink, are immediately offered another, and it seems really stupid to refuse!


Beaches is set up for families, so there is a Kids club, which operates all day, and a nursery with qualified staff. There is even a programme for teens and I have to say that everyone I saw there looked happy - I don't think you could get bored here.


Kids of all ages (um, and adults) will love the (supervised) Xbox Lounge. It's probably the first one of these I've ever seen which has enough screens for everyone. Mind you, I enjoyed the basketball game outside even more (and you can see me playing it in our video, above), and I also loved playing crazy golf (probably because I won).

The resort has a tie-up with Sesame Street, and there are activities and even parades with Sesame Street characters. This will obviously suit young children more, but even we could see that it was great fun.

We had "mommy and me" facials, and I felt obliged to try out a massage, which was absolutely brilliant. Due to my always painful shoulders and neck, I have a high standard when it comes to these. I wasn't disappointed.

The spa offers treatments for mums, dads and kids!
We loved swimming, the sun (of course there are more than enough sun loungers, as well as balls to play with in the pools) and the excursions. We saw and held starfish and sea urchins when we went on a glass bottom boat, and Jess swam in a cave when she went on a fabulous catamaran cruise.



We were also blown away by the Silver Birds steel band which entertained us one evening. The music - which included a Michael Jackson tribute among a huge range of songs - and dancing were fabulous. Who knew a steel band could be so entertaining?


I feel like I'm making you jealous, and I'm not trying to. In fact, each time we mention Jamaica in our house, Robert tells us to stop (he would have loved it, and I feel awful about that), and my husband laughs. You see, it was just sensational.

The only negatives of course are nothing at all to do with the resort, or what we did (the staff couldn't have been friendlier, the place more enjoyable). But I know you will want to know how much it cost, and it's not cheap. A friend of mine asked me if I thought it was worth it, but that's an impossible question to answer. If you have this kind of money and want to spend it on a holiday where you can relax and the whole family are guaranteed to enjoy themselves, then yes it is. And blimey, I am desperate to return!

Jessica and I stayed in a Negril Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Concierge Room

Disclosure note: this post was brought to you with assistance from Beaches, who offered us this holiday as part of a bloggers' trip. The opinions, photos, videos and everything else are all ours!

Seven nights staying at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, on a Luxury Included® (all-inclusive) basis costs from £1,989 per adult and £1,075 per child. A family of four costs from £6,129. Return flights, resort transfers, tips, gourmet speciality dining, premium branded alcohol and soft drinks, and watersports are all included in the price. For further information or to make a booking, contact your local travel agent, call Beaches Resorts on 0800 597 0002 or email sales@beachesresorts.co.uk. Excursions on the island are bookable through Island Routes Caribbean Adventures (www.islandroutes.co.uk). Price is based on travel on selected dates in May/June 2014. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BEACHES RESORTS AND PARTICULARLY BEACHES NEGRIL, PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.

If you liked this video, please take a look at our (rather shaky) video of our trip to Paris!

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Family Travel Times: Gorgeous Jamaica

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Gorgeous Jamaica



I had never been to the Caribbean and not imagined that the chance would come my way. But Jamaica, beautiful, stunning Jamaica, took my breath away, and now I crave the chance to go back. Hopefully one day, I will.


If that sounds a bit over the top, well, it's justified. Jessica and I were only in Jamaica, in the Negril resort, for four days in mid December. However, despite the rainy British weather since our return, we can still feel the recuperative effects.

But let me take you back to the wonderful day (seriously!) when Jessica and I were invited to the Beaches Resort. The idea, of course, was that we lucky people would sample the delights of this special place and then report back. I have to admit that it wasn't the most onerous task I have ever been given.

The resort had just been voted top hotel for families in the Caribbean in Tripadvisor's Traveller's Choice Awards as well as being put in the top 25 all-inclusive resorts in the world. We had never stayed in an all-inclusive resort and were extremely curious about what to expect. Could it really be as good as all that?





We flew from Gatwick to Montego Bay which took 10 hours, the longest flight Jessica has ever taken. But even that didn't seem to matter. I genuinely think it was worth it, and of course, even more so if you are staying for longer.

You can watch Jessica's video for details of some of the many things we did there, but please read below for more detail.

Beaches Negril is around an hour and a half from Montego Bay (transfers are included). There is something strange about flying to a different country and hardly seeing any of it - most people who come to Beaches spend their time in the resort, which has more than enough to entertain the whole family - so I was pleased that we did get out a little, to visit a school. But more of that fascinating trip in another post.

Firstly I need to tell you about the resort. It is stunning, located on the widest stretch of Negril's seven mile white sand beach. The sea is glorious, clear, blue, and warm. We even saw fish darting around our feet when we took a swim.


Inside the huge resort (12 acres on the Long Bay Beach front, and eight on the garden side) there are two lovely swimming pools, a lazy river (such fun) and pirate water slides, plus an incredible array of restaurants, from buffet style and Tex Mex to Italian (you can slimb out of the pool, order your pizza and garlic bread and be buzzed when they are ready) and fine dining. We particularly enjoyed Kimonos, the Japanese restaurant, where your food is cooked in front of you, and the Parisian cafe, where I had rather too many rum truffles.

We were completely overwhelmed by the fact that all of this was included, as were the drinks. You don't have to carry any money with you - you just ask whatever you want and it's given to you. On one evening there was also an amazing chocolate buffet, with fondue, chocolate martinis and more. Honestly, it's a bit like magic.

Jessica threw herself into all of this with gusto, especially when it came to the (non-alcoholic) cocktails. I have never been to a place where you finish your drink, are immediately offered another, and it seems really stupid to refuse!


Beaches is set up for families, so there is a Kids club, which operates all day, and a nursery with qualified staff. There is even a programme for teens and I have to say that everyone I saw there looked happy - I don't think you could get bored here.


Kids of all ages (um, and adults) will love the (supervised) Xbox Lounge. It's probably the first one of these I've ever seen which has enough screens for everyone. Mind you, I enjoyed the basketball game outside even more (and you can see me playing it in our video, above), and I also loved playing crazy golf (probably because I won).

The resort has a tie-up with Sesame Street, and there are activities and even parades with Sesame Street characters. This will obviously suit young children more, but even we could see that it was great fun.

We had "mommy and me" facials, and I felt obliged to try out a massage, which was absolutely brilliant. Due to my always painful shoulders and neck, I have a high standard when it comes to these. I wasn't disappointed.

The spa offers treatments for mums, dads and kids!
We loved swimming, the sun (of course there are more than enough sun loungers, as well as balls to play with in the pools) and the excursions. We saw and held starfish and sea urchins when we went on a glass bottom boat, and Jess swam in a cave when she went on a fabulous catamaran cruise.



We were also blown away by the Silver Birds steel band which entertained us one evening. The music - which included a Michael Jackson tribute among a huge range of songs - and dancing were fabulous. Who knew a steel band could be so entertaining?


I feel like I'm making you jealous, and I'm not trying to. In fact, each time we mention Jamaica in our house, Robert tells us to stop (he would have loved it, and I feel awful about that), and my husband laughs. You see, it was just sensational.

The only negatives of course are nothing at all to do with the resort, or what we did (the staff couldn't have been friendlier, the place more enjoyable). But I know you will want to know how much it cost, and it's not cheap. A friend of mine asked me if I thought it was worth it, but that's an impossible question to answer. If you have this kind of money and want to spend it on a holiday where you can relax and the whole family are guaranteed to enjoy themselves, then yes it is. And blimey, I am desperate to return!

Jessica and I stayed in a Negril Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Concierge Room

Disclosure note: this post was brought to you with assistance from Beaches, who offered us this holiday as part of a bloggers' trip. The opinions, photos, videos and everything else are all ours!

Seven nights staying at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, on a Luxury Included® (all-inclusive) basis costs from £1,989 per adult and £1,075 per child. A family of four costs from £6,129. Return flights, resort transfers, tips, gourmet speciality dining, premium branded alcohol and soft drinks, and watersports are all included in the price. For further information or to make a booking, contact your local travel agent, call Beaches Resorts on 0800 597 0002 or email sales@beachesresorts.co.uk. Excursions on the island are bookable through Island Routes Caribbean Adventures (www.islandroutes.co.uk). Price is based on travel on selected dates in May/June 2014. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BEACHES RESORTS AND PARTICULARLY BEACHES NEGRIL, PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.

If you liked this video, please take a look at our (rather shaky) video of our trip to Paris!

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26 Comments:

At 6 January 2014 at 03:55 , Anonymous Mums do travel said...

Wow Sarah, what a fabulous trip, and how lovely to have some winter sun. I'm looking forward to reading about your trip to the school too.

 
At 6 January 2014 at 08:52 , Anonymous Mike said...

It looks wonderful !

 
At 6 January 2014 at 10:16 , Blogger Ella:) said...

Wow, it looks and sounds amazing! Love all the pictures, it looks beautiful :) And the video is brilliant too Jess xx

 
At 6 January 2014 at 10:25 , Blogger Trish Burgess said...

So pleased you had a great time. Video is fantastic :-)

 
At 6 January 2014 at 12:11 , Blogger Stephanie said...

Such a great write-up of what can only be described as a whirl wind of a trip! Somehow you managed to capture all the elements of BeachesNegril in one sweet post, and your video is wonderful!
Was great to meet you and hope our paths cross again soon!

 
At 6 January 2014 at 12:35 , Anonymous Sonia Zubri said...

Beaches Negril looks like a great place to holiday with the family. I especially like your video!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 04:44 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Thank you, it really was wonderful!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 04:44 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Hi Stephanie, yes, that would be lovely. And thank you so much for coming over here to comment!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 04:45 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

It really was great - and thanks for the comment on the video. All Jessica's hard work!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 04:45 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Thank you!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 04:45 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

It really was...

 
At 8 January 2014 at 04:45 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Yes, it was so lovely - a brilliant place. We are very lucky.

 
At 8 January 2014 at 05:41 , Anonymous Chris at Thinly Spread said...

WOW! How fab is that? I love the video and it all sounds such fun - a proper Holiday rather than just doing what you normally do at home but somewhere else (we always self cater when we are not sailing!), it sounds idyllic! Would vegetarians be well looked after do you think?

 
At 8 January 2014 at 06:00 , Blogger Jenography.net said...

This looks amazing. I keep hearing more and more about Jamaica and have heard a lot about Beaches. Maybe one for the next big long haul?

 
At 8 January 2014 at 06:31 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Yes, definitely. We don't eat meat anyway and I don't recall us eating very much fish, except at the Japanese restaurant. I think they are good at responding to dietary issues as well as being generally fab!!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 06:31 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Oh yes. We would def recommend!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 10:49 , Blogger Vicky Wombwell Kuhn said...

Oh my gosh this looks like heaven. The pool bar is amazing. I would so rather be here right now that wet and windy England. *drool*
Love Vicky
http://www.aroundandupsidedown.co.uk/

 
At 8 January 2014 at 11:22 , Blogger Hayley Warren said...

This sounds amazing, I'd love to visit!

 
At 8 January 2014 at 11:37 , Blogger Erika said...

Looks and sounds incredibly exciting! The pool bar in particularly caught my attention! Wonderful!

 
At 12 January 2014 at 07:53 , Blogger J said...

It really was such a lovely trip! Thank you for commenting

 
At 12 January 2014 at 07:54 , Blogger J said...

We would rather be back there too! It was so lovely.

 
At 12 January 2014 at 13:49 , Blogger Corinne Faulkner said...

Sounds like you all had such an amazing trip, my ex boyfriend years ago told me we were going on holiday to Falmouth so I packed winter clothes as I thought we were going to Cornwall but turns out it was Falmouth in Jamacia :) Great post I love reading travel ones

 
At 19 January 2014 at 14:01 , Anonymous Nilufar said...

Wow! Reading this transported me away from wintery London and a horrid cold to sunny Jamaican heaven! Sounds amazing. And fabulous video Jess xx

 
At 31 January 2014 at 08:52 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Yes, that pool bar WAS amazing. Never seen anything like it. In fact, I crave it now!!

 
At 31 January 2014 at 08:53 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Thank you. And wow to your Cornwall story - amazing!!

 
At 31 January 2014 at 08:53 , Blogger Sarah Ebner said...

Thank you. Would LOVE to go again! xxx

 

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