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Negril Jamaica Vacations: Xtabi Negril – An In-Depth Hotel Review
Cliffs Hotel: Xtabi Negril
I’m becoming a frequent visitor to Negril, Jamaica. So finding a good hotel in Negril is something I’m always on the hunt for. So far I’ve stayed in five cliffs hotels: Xtabi, Citronella, Catch a Falling Star, Home Sweet Home and Blue Cave Castle. Here is a complete overview of Xtabi Negril.
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Location: Xtabi is located on the cliffs of Negril, in the popular West End area. If you’ve never been to this city in Jamaica, it’s divided geographically into two portions – the famous 7-mile beach area and the cliffs.
There’s a main road that winds its way from the flat of the beach area, on up into a cliffs area. The distances from 7-mile beach to the cliffs is only 4 to 4.5 miles – a 3-minute cab ride, or a 45 minute walk. I routinely walk/run it all the time.
The hotel has rooms on the ocean side of the street, and on the non-ocean side. I stayed in a room on the non-ocean side (cheaper), but, I could still see the ocean from my terrace. As it’s the cliffs of Negril, the elevation makes this possible.
Environment: As the virtual tour of Xtabi Jamaica illustrates, the hotel is set on lush grounds full of flowers and other tropical plants. Little stone pathways – flanked by tropical foliage on each side -- direct you to each room/cottage.
You feel like you’re in some kind of private garden. This Jamaican hotel doesn’t look like a hotel at all, in my opinion. It looks like it could be apartment buildings.
On the ocean side of the street, there’s the main restaurant/bar. As you’re right on the ocean, the view from every vantage point is breathtaking.
Amenities: This cliffs hotel has several amenities. Here’s a rundown of the one I stayed in.
Note: Every room is different. I was in the cheapest one, so this was my experience.
Wifi: This hotel in Negril had WiFi, which is extremely important to me as a freelance writer, for it meant I didn’t have to go anywhere to work. I actually took my laptop out on the terrace -- from where I could see the ocean – and worked undisturbed for hours.
Pool: I didn’t use it, as I mostly went to the beach. But there’s a very big pool. Kidney-shaped (or something akin to it), it was very clean and had plenty of seating around it. In fact, surrounding the pool is this big garden-like area where there’s seating. So if you just want to hang out and eat outdoors, this was a perfect spot to do it.
Parking: If you rent a car, this Jamaican hotel has a place to park it. A lot of hotels on the cliffs don’t have this amenity. It came in handy because I met a Rasta and he had a car, so parking wasn’t a problem.
AC: It gets hot, hot, hot in Jamaica, so this was welcome.
Full Bath: The room I stayed in had a tub/shower combo. Lots of rooms have just a shower, so this was a pleasant surprise.
Plenty of Storage: This particular room had a full-sized wardrobe and a dresser, so there was plenty of space to put stuff. There was also a safe (extra fee for this). I didn’t use it, but if you have valuables you want to store, it’s a comforting option.
Size of Room: The room was very large. It had a full-sized bed, two nightstands, a dresser, two chairs and a wicker sofa. It could easily have fit another full-sized bed. So very roomy; not cramped at all.
High Ceilings: This particular room had very high triangular, wood ceilings. Gorgeous when you’re laying in bed to look at.
Terrace: Every room at Xtabi Negril has either a patio or a terrace. In fact, every hotel I’ve stayed in in Negril has an outdoor space. I don’t know of it’s a cultural thing since Jamaica’s so hot and you need it for that. But, it’s a welcome retreat.
And, the terrace was very roomy and furnished with a table and two chairs; perfect for having a drink in the evenings as you watch the sun set; or to work, which is how I mostly used mine.
Security: Another feature of all the hotels on the cliffs is the security. At all times, there’s a guard on the gate. It’s comforting when you come in at night to see that, especially as a single female traveling alone.
Note: Most of the hotels on the cliffs have gates, guards and dogs. It doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe; I just think it gives tourists an extra measure of comfort.
Speaking of security, as a female travelling alone, I’ve never felt unsafe in Jamaica. And, I go everywhere – day and night – alone, on many occasions. From the beach during the early morning hours, to the bars and restaurants at night – I always feel safe.
Xtabi Negril: What I Liked About It
Price: I like the price of this hotel. When I stayed in September 2009, I paid $54/night. This is low season, so the rates tend to be lower.
Daily Maid Service: Always a plus!
Terrace, Setting, People: I also liked the terrace, the overall setting and the people. From the maids to the front desk, everyone was very nice.
Xtabi Negril: What I Didn’t Like About It
Dislikes: Just a few things.
No TV: This doesn’t bother me, but for a lot of people, the fact that there’s no TV in the room may be a dislike.
Iffy Hot Water: There was also an occasional problem with the hot water. Either there was none, or it ran out pretty quickly. As it’s so hot though, especially if you’re showering during the day, a cold shower may be just what the doctor ordered.
Restaurant Prices: This cliffs hotel has its own restaurant. And, the prices were a little steep for my taste. Like a chicken dinner was $14. While that’s not bad, if you’re there for three weeks and paying for every meal in the restaurant, it can quickly add up.
The first night I got there, some friends and I ate dinner in the restaurant and noticed a mouse behind the bar. The place was very clean, so I didn’t hold this against them; it’s the tropics, it happens.
All in all, I’d highly recommend Xtabi Negril if you're planning a Jamaican vacation. For a cliffs hotel, the rates are very good.
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