Beaches Negril, Jamaica: COVID Edition
In November, I had a fantastic opportunity to visit the ahhh-mazing Beaches Negril Resort in Jamaica with my kiddos! I was gratefully selected by the Travel Leaders Network to experience what travel looks like right now to this beautiful island and the Beaches and Sandals Resorts. Spoiler: It’s still just as wonderful as ever.
Before visiting Jamaica, I took a COVID-19 test. The Jamaica Tourism Board has a list of authorized testing centers in the US on their website that you can use to find a center close to you. I also filled out a Travel Authorization Form on their website that asked some health related questions. The process wasn’t difficult but allowed me to feel sound that Jamaica is taking necessary precautions.
You’ll need both the COVID-19 test results and your approved travel authorization form when it's time to travel.
Getting to Jamaica
My airport experiences here in the US were all smooth. Airports are taking similar precautions to what you might expect at stores and restaurants with plexiglass between you and staff, frequent sanitizing stations, distancing markers, and masks required.
We flew American Airlines, and we were given a bag upon boarding with a drink, snack, and sanitizing wipe. American Airlines is no longer blocking middle seats, but they will notify you via email before your flight if the flight is getting full so that you can change if you'd like to.
Upon arrival in Jamaica, staff took our temperatures, checked our entry documents, and asked some health related questions. The process was thorough but straightforward and painless. With the kids along, we were fortunate to use the fast line (guess the kids are nice to have along sometimes, right? 😉) Jamaica also offers a fabulous service called ‘Club Mobay’ that you can book in advance. You’ll be greeted by staff as soon as you step off the plane and whisked through the fast track line at immigration, which saves tons of time and is a relaxing way to begin your vacation.
Beaches Negril Resort
The Beaches Resort is located in Negril about 1.5 hours from the airport -- but don’t let the distance scare you off, because man the beach is gorgeous and worth the drive! Seven Mile Beach is the best in Jamaica and consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.
Beaches is a family friendly, all inclusive resort owned by Sandals. There were lots of other young families at the resort and tons to do for both kids and grownups.
Rooms are spacious and comfortable. Our room had a king bed and a daybed with trundle, perfect for a family of four. There was plenty of space for a crib. We also had a balcony with lovely views of the resort. Other room types are available with multiple bedrooms and living areas to fit your family’s specific needs. Some rooms offer butler service, where every detail of your stay will be taken care of so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.
With an all inclusive resort, everything is included! There are 9 dining options at Beaches ranging from casual poolside pizza to evening sushi and hibachi to a frozen yogurt bar. Everything we ate was delicious. For those with food allergies or dietary restrictions, a culinary consultant will meet with you when you arrive to make sure that your needs are met throughout your stay.
Like I mentioned, the beach here is stunning. All water sports are included in your stay, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass bottom boat rides.
There are two large pools and a waterpark with slides for different ages, plus a smaller enclosed baby pool that my toddlers loved.
The kids club was awesome and available for ages 0+. This was a huge perk for me with little ones, as most resort kids clubs aren’t available to join until age 3 or 4. The kids club took our temperatures each time we entered and left and closed at select times through the day for sanitizing. Beaches has a partnership with Sesame Street, so some of the unique activities that my kids enjoyed included story time with Elmo and making cookies with Cookie Monster. The cast of Sesame Street was also available for a character breakfast during our stay and even to tuck the kids into bed with a story.
The resorts here are all taking tons of precautions to keep you safe without detracting from your vacation experience. Beaches had sanitizing stations throughout the resort, staff wore masks, and food was served by staff at the buffet to minimize touching. All in all, the resort did a wonderful job keeping everyone comfortable while still allowing you to feel normal on your vacation.
For adults traveling with couples or as friends, there are four incredible Sandals Resorts to choose from in Jamaica, each offering something a little unique.
If you have not yet experienced the amazingness of a stay at Sandals, then we need to talk right now!
All Sandals Resorts offer the ultimate in an all inclusive stay, with tons of gourmet dining options, unlimited premium drinks, and every land and water sport included, including golfing and scuba diving.
I visited Sandals Negril, which shares the same gorgeous Seven Mile Beach. There are several great room options to choose from here, including some with private tubs on your balcony, water views, and swim out rooms with direct access to the pool. Other Sandals properties in Jamaica even have those postcard overwater bungalows, which is amazing for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Things to Do in Jamaica
Although most of the all inclusive resorts in Jamaica offer a ton to do without ever leaving, there’s so many other great things to do here as well.
Of course, the beaches are a big draw of the Caribbean. To get out into the beautiful water, you can enjoy boat trips, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and glass bottom rides.
On land, some of the best activities unique to Jamaica include:
Experiencing the waterfalls, including YS Falls (an area home to seven waterfalls and natural pools) and Dunn’s River Falls
Visiting the Roaring River Park and Cave
Zip lining or ATV tours through the jungle
Horseback riding on the beach
Kicking back at Margaritaville or Rick’s Cafe
If you are thinking of a relaxing, easy, and safe getaway, then Jamaica might be a great choice for you. I'm here to answer any questions that you might have about traveling and plan everything that you'll need for an incredible trip.
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