The waterpark and kids club can’t be beat
We recently visited Beaches Negril and we were some of the first to experience the new Beachfront Firesky Reserve Villas & Eventide Penthouse Collection. This new accommodation level is sprawling, and modernly designed, and it comes with a smiling butler to top it all off. The resort itself is just a 1.5-hour drive from Montego Bay, which offers direct flight options to plenty of U.S. destinations.
The Villas and Penthouses are perfect for big families who want to splurge
The Beachfront Firesky Reserve Villas & Eventide Penthouse Collection provides a great option for large families and multi-generational family travel. It’s also an option for 2-3 different families traveling together as friends who are keen to share accommodation. Some of the units can sleep up to 18, so there are several different options you can dream up to get your money’s worth staying in one of these penthouses or villas. And if you’re looking to cut back on cost, we expect the other accommodation options at Beaches Negril will be amenable, too.
The Beachfront Firesky Reserve Villas & Eventide Penthouse Collection are booking out fast, so if you’re looking to visit Beaches Negril this upcoming peak season you’ll need to move fast.
Location, location, location
The resort is on 7 Mile Beach, which is home to white sand, no seaweed, warm water, and some of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve seen in the Caribbean. The beach is safe for children as there are no waves, or high tides. It’s where you can go to wade about in the ocean for hours on end. You’ll see fish, rays and jellyfish (confirming run-ins with the latter may sting, but the pain is fleeting). Families can enjoy walks down the beach, or parents can drop off the children at the Kids Club and enjoy an adults-only stroll.
The Kids Club and Waterpark get 5-stars
The Kids Club was newly built in 2023 and is the most luxurious amenity on offer at Beaches Negril. The care providers make you feel welcomed and secure with strong eye contact, bright smiles, and a lot of kindness. It’s clear they run a tight ship, and while kids go here to let loose, the staff is very much in control. The infant room has bassinets and new toddler beds for those under 5s who want to catch some rest-eye on vacay. The decor is well balanced with bright colors and neutral wood finishings and even has an inside two-story “soft play” as the Brits would call it. It feels like Montessori meets DZ Discovery Zone in Paradise. They even have a room full of strollers to rent when needed, too!
The Pirate Islands Waterpark provides endless hours of fun and laughs for the children, and there are two additional water slides that offer extra thrills for both children and adults alike. The covered waterslide is a tad bit scary the first time, but the second time down it’s all smiles.
The Villas & Penthouses are expensive, but there are no additional hidden fees
The price you commit to paying upfront for your Beaches Negril holiday is the price you’ll pay—which feels like a luxury in this day and age. We sailed, snorkeled, and went paddling in a glass-bottom canoe and didn’t pay any additional fees. We recommend bringing cash if you want to buy any souvenirs on the beach or get the kids’ hair braided by the gal who hangs out with Big Dave just past the water activity station. It costs around $80 for a full head of braids for a person with long hair past shoulders. If anyone tells you a different price, feel free to use this review to support your negotiation!
Luxury touches for both adults and children
The room service menu has an in-room live cooking option, which lets you enjoy staying in while still feeling like you’re eating out. It’s an experience only those with a kitchen are lucky enough to enjoy so if you do go with the Beachfront Firesky Reserve Villas & Eventide Penthouse Collection, we say make the most of it.
There are adult and children-sized robes hung in the closets. We think these cozy robes are best worn while enjoying room service breakfast in the morning, or stargazing with your own telescope from the balcony at night. There are also board games in the closet, and we are happy when any destination encourages less screen time and more together time.
Sandals impresses with its philanthropic initiatives and inclusivity programming
Beaches is owned by Sandals. It’s a corporate giant. While visiting Beaches Negril, we were delighted to learn Sandals is seemingly a corporate giant with a lot of heart. It funds a school in the Negril community, invests in wildlife protection, and also has programming that caters specifically to children with autism.
The food can be a hit or miss, but there are indeed some definite hits
While food isn’t always the main attraction at all-inclusive destinations, we had high hopes because Beaches and Sandals market their 5-Star Global Gourmet Dining as the industry’s premier dining experience. But, the food at Beaches Negril can be a hit or miss. The new Peruvian restaurant is good. The sushi restaurant is not so good. The Jerk Shack is great, but it’s missing some sides on the menu. Mariachi is disappointing, yet its morning menu under the restaurant name Stew Fish is delicious.
Our Favorite dishes at the resort include Jamaican breakfast platter at Stew Fish, Jerk Chicken at The Jerk Shack, Tiradito Clasico ceviche and the Peruvian mac & cheese at Yaku, and triple chocolate frozen yogurt with chocolate cake crumbs and Rice Krispies as toppings from Yo Yo’s.
Also, on the room service menu, we recommend fried chicken with jerk sauce for a tasty late-night snack, and a fruit platter and jug of Blue Mountain coffee enjoyed in bed before the kids wake up.
The team at Beaches Negril has a few kinks to work out before peak season
The cellular network isn’t great at the resort and the butler can be hard to be reached by the phone provided. We spent the first 48 hours feeling like we were either trying to get ahold of the butler, or the butler was trying to get ahold of us. In the end, we found texting the butler was the best way to make plans, or ask questions.
Also, in full transparency, our penthouse accommodation wasn’t 100% guest-ready, but we are hopeful they’ll get it all sorted by the time peak season kicks off.
Silence is hard to come by during peak hours
Beaches Negril is all high fives, water slides, and frozen yogurt swirls. The programming and activities on offer make for nonstop entertainment and family fun. But, we must caveat, if you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing family getaway, then this spot may not be the right fit for you. Between the blasting music, determined parasailing and cannabis salesmen on the beach, and the joy-filled children running around the resort at their heart’s desire, silence is hard to come by throughout peak hours of the day and evening.
Beaches Negril may be the perfect one-stop-shop vacation for some (or even most) families. But for others who enjoy a balance between nesting, activity, and cultural immersion, we recommend possibly combining your Beaches Negril trip with a few nights elsewhere, or making a few off-site excursions.
Off-site Excursions to Consider
Visit Rick’s Bar, rated one of the best bars in the world, which is just a 15-minute drive from Beaches Negril. You can get the butler to organize a taxi there or Big Dave on the beach can take you there on his boat and make a snorkeling stop en route, too. For some incredibly legit local jerk BBQ, visit Push Cart (part of luxury boutique hotel Rockhouse). The food is delicious, the cocktails are made with white rum, and the sunset above the cliffs there is another beautiful one to experience while in Negril.
There’s a private cave dinner at The Caves Hotel just up from Rockhouse that’s also an option if you want to splurge on a meal outside of Beaches. It’s apparently Naomi Campbell’s favorite hotel, and you can enjoy a 5-course meal by candlelight in a cave for $175 per person, all drinks included. It’s expensive, but if you have a special occasion you’d like to celebrate without the children present, it makes for a good option.
Rockhouse also has a sister beach property called Skylark which is just a few properties down from Beaches Negril, which has authentic Jamaican decor and a hip crowd.
If you want to stay on property at Beaches Negril and still experience some “mom and dad” romance, you can organize a private meal for two on the beach. It comes with an up-charge, but guests love it.
Getting to Beaches Negril
Book the flight to Montego Bay, then let Beaches Negril do the rest from there! Whether you take a bus or private transfer, the resort will organize your arrival and departure, which makes for a low-stress start and end to your vacation.
We say book the flight, mon.
Beaches Negril is where you go to indulge in doing everything the Beaches Negril way. So we say “dive in,” and make the most of it. If you arrive with eyes wide open based on all we shared above, happy family memories are pretty much a guarantee at Beaches Negril!
Make sure to capture all the vacation fun—and share them with your family and friends near and far—with the Tinybeans app. The secure platform puts parents in total control of who sees and interacts with photos and videos of their kids.
Editor’s note: This trip was paid for by Beaches Negril but all opinions belong to the writer.