please share your recommendations for Negril, Jamaica
My fiancee and I will be in Negril in early Feb. 2012 for about a week. We'll be staying on the beach but are able easily to get to the cliffs. I have been to Negril many times, but not in 5 or 6 years. Please share your current favorites from your recent experience! Thanks in advance!
So we got back over the weekend and had a great time.
We stayed at the Club Hotel RIU Negril (there are two RIU resorts in Negril, this is the smaller of the two) which is all inclusive. On the property there are buffets available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At various times we ate at the buffets and they were better than I expected. They had your typical dumb-downed touristy fare but they also provided some local cusine at every meal (beef patties, curried goat, ackee and salt fish). For lunch there was a gentleman grilling up jerk chicken on the beach which was outstanding and our go-to spot for lunch daily (12-3 or until he runs out). On the property there are three reservation required restaruants: a steak house, a brazillian bbq and a "gourmet" spot. As we arrived late on a Sunday the earliest we could make reservations was on Monday morning at 8 am. Arrivng at 9 I was told that everything was sold out for Monday and Tuesday so I made reservations for the gourmet place for Wednesday evening (we ended up cancelling our reservation for the steak house on Thursday). While the food at the gourmet restaurant was not bad it was not worth the time either and we all were disappointed. The red snapper I had was tasty but a bit overcooked.
The alcohol selection at the RIU consists of Red Stripe beer, J Lohr wine, M&R vermouths, Campari, Appelton rums and Fernet Branca(!!). The rest of the offerings are your generic well selections.
On the advice of our taxi driver we had dinner at Kuyaba which was outdoor dining near the beach and had an outstanding meal. For apps we had the lentil dip, the conch bits (fried), the sauteed conch, and jerk chicken. For my main course I had the crab cakes which were good and had good amount of crab in each. My SO had the conch stew which was in a brown rich sauce that had a good amount of scotch bonnet peppers. Service was friendly however there was a lag between apps and mains and the place was on the slow side. One other note: there were many local stray cats that would wander around the dining room area. While our group didn't mind them others might.
One other evening we made the pilgrimage to Rick's Cafe to watch the sunset. The food was mostly regretable. We had the beef patties (dry and flavorless), sheddy shrimp (fried shrimp with cocktail sauce), jerk chicken skewers (best tasting item but chicken was dry and overcooked), the jerk pork taco and the fish taco both were underwelming. Sunset and cliff jumpers was great and drinks were reasonable for what they could be charging. Service was also very friendly and professional.
Our other night off the resort we went to Sweet Spice on the recommendations of our driver and had a great meal. We had a bit of everything between the four of us: jerk chicken, conch, curried goat. For my main course I enjoyed the spicy lobster which wasn't hot but had nice flavor. To drink I had a Ting soda as this restaurant is alcohol free. Please take care if you plan on paying by CC: all the prices are in Jamaican dollars but they convert it to USD for MC/Visa and the exchange rate they gave us did not seem to be the best. Otherwise a very good local restaruant.
Overall, a very good trip and I would recommend the RIU for the Fernet alone. :)
My husband and I just returned from Negril last week. I wish we were still there!
Some of the best food can be found at Cosmos (next to Beaches resort). They serve the best jerk chicken I had there and the curry is sooo good too. Great drinks. We ate there a whole bunch of times because it was so good.
Some of the best fine(er) dining can be found at Kuyaba and the Lobster House (at the Sunrise), both of which are at the on the opposite end of the beach from Cosmos, closer to the West End. Dining at Kuyaba takes awhile--it took forever to get our entrees both times we went--but it's definitely worth the wait. Great appetizers are the lentil dip, the fried camembert, and the chicken bamboo. For mains, we tried the seafood linguine, the Bird of Paradise, chicken in brown sauce, and the red snapper. The desserts were fabulous. We tried the bananas flambe and the peanut butter pie. The drinks here are also pretty killer. The Dirty Banana is like a dessert in itself.
The Lobster House is across the street, tucked inside the Sunrise Hotel. We had heard great things about this place, and it definitely lived up to the hype. The flatbreads and pizzas were outstanding and the lobster was great. The pasta was good too.
For breakfast, the best place we found was Cafe Goa (formerly Salina's--and all the locals still refer to it as Salina's), near the Times Square Mall. We loved the banana pancakes, the traditional Jamaican breakfast, the omelettes, and especially the coffee. After trying a few other places for breakfast, we ended up here every morning for the rest of our stay.
Ristorante da Gino (also closer to the West End part of the beach) is italian food and very good. We had the linguine with mushrooms and chicken, and the grilled king fish.
Enjoy your trip!