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Updated by Colleen Lanin on Dec 01, 2016
Headline for Beaches Negril – An Array of Family-friendly Caribbean Fun
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Beaches Negril – An Array of Family-friendly Caribbean Fun

The array of relaxing and fun things to do at Beaches Negril Resort is almost overwhelming. Where do I even begin…the waterpark with lazy river and waterslides…the powdery beach and calm Caribbean waves…the Sesame Street character bedtime tuck-ins…the parades? Oh, I’ll just cover it all! Here’s what to expect at Beaches Negril.
The toddler splash area and lazy river are just part of the waterpark at Beaches Negril
Why Beaches Negril
A few months ago my 7-year-old daughter, Karissa, and I embarked on a mother



Why Beaches Negril

Why Beaches Negril

A few months ago my 7-year-old daughter, Karissa, and I embarked on a mother-daughter vacation at Beaches Negril, one of two all-inclusive Beaches resorts located on Jamaica. There’s another Beaches resort located on Turks and Caicos.My daughter keeps asking when we can return to this slice of family-friendly heaven with Daddy and her little brother. She has deemed this her reigning favorite vacation destination, and this girl is well-traveled.


Oh what a welcome!

Oh what a welcome!

After a long journey from San Diego that involved a red-eye flight, a several-hour layover, and a bus ride to the resort—Karissa and I were greeted with glasses of tropical juice served from a silver tray at check-in. The gleeful beat of an approaching Junkanoo parade lured us to the front of the resort where we found dancers, stilt-walkers, and Sesame Street characters marching to reggae rhythms. This sure perked up our jet-lagged bodies and set the tone for our vacation—one filled with surprises, excitement and all-out fun.We onlookers followed the parade to the center of the resort where the fun continued with a local youth marching band jamming out in the sand. Child guests joined Cookie Monster, Zoe, Grover and other familiar friendly monsters in a dance fest on a small stage.


All-inclusive dining options

All-inclusive dining options

Afterwards, Karissa and I dined at StewFish, a Jamaican-themed restaurant, with our toes in the sand as we watched the sun set over the ocean just steps away. Other resort restaurants include the Venetian with Italian cuisine, Arizona’s serving Tex-Mex, BBQ Park poolside quick fare, Dino’s Pizzeria, and Kimono’s teppanyaki. The Mill offers a buffet of options to please all members of the family. The only restaurant that accepts reservations is Kimono’s and this books up quickly.For an extra fee, you can sign up for a character meal with some up-close time and photo opps with the Sesame Street gang. The food is not the star at this resort but we always found something pleasant to eat and I especially enjoyed the Jamaican dishes. Leave your hurried and harried self at home; service here is done on island time. What do you have to rush off to anyway?


Bottomless beverages

Bottomless beverages

A memorable aspect our stay was the bottomless smoothie stations. Swimmers can belly up to the swim-up pool bars to select a tropical drink from the cartoon-bedecked boards that list beverages with tempting names like Pink Boots, Chocolate Monkey, and Superman. There was just something so indulgent and fun about quenching our thirst with these exotic concoctions whenever we wished at no extra charge. Grown-up beverages are available as well but everything is served sans alcohol unless you request it.

Water play

One of my favorite things in all the world is a fabulous hotel pool. If you are like me, Beaches Negril will tickle your pool-loving soul. There’s a lazy river, a toddler splash area, two large and winding waterslides, a huge whirlpool, and three pools.The on-site waterpark was so fabulous, in fact, that I had to beg Karissa to take a break from the pools so we could spend a bit of time in the ocean. There’s soft sand and mellow kid-friendly waves along this 7-mile beach—you know, your typical slice of paradise.


Kids’s club

Although most hotel kids’ club participants must be at least 4 or 5-years-old, even newborns can attend the Beaches’ kids camp. There are separate programs for babies, toddlers, pre-teens and teenagers—all included in the price of your room. An after-hours camp is available after 9 pm at an additional charge.


Character bedtime tuck-in

Character bedtime tuck-in

The absolute highlight of the trip was a Sesame Street character bedtime tuck-in for my daughter. Although at home my first-grader was a bit “too cool for school” about the Sesame Street resort theme, she warmed to Elmo and the gang the minute we arrived.There was no begging Karissa to get ready for bed this night; the minute we got back to our room she was in her pjs with teeth brushed and waiting under the covers for her special guest. Abby Cadabby and a friend arrived at a set tuck-in time to read a story, then they posed for pictures, sang her a lullaby, and presented Karissa with a plush Abby Cadabby doll to take home.

Adult activities

It’s not all just about the kids, either. Adults can relax with a facial, massage or body treatment at the Red Lane Spa. There’s also scuba-diving for both beginner and experienced divers. For late night fun, head to the on-site nightclub to dance till the wee hours of the morning.Beaches Negril Red Lane Spa

Budgeting for Beaches Negril

Beaches is a luxury vacation option but you can often take advantage of special discounts offered through their website. There is something reassuring about knowing just how much your vacation will cost when you book (plus a bit of spending money for souvenirs, spa treatments and such), which is partially why my husband and I booked our honeymoon years ago at a Sandals resort, the couples-only cousin of the Beaches brand.What’s included at ? Food, beverages (including alcohol), water sports (like kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing and even scuba-diving), land activities (such as miniature golf, a playground, tennis, and beach volley ball), as well as kids camp participation.


Island time

The best part of our trip was spending time—island time—as just my daughter and me. Looking back at these pictures, I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend together swimming, sipping smoothies, splashing in waves. Maybe I should take her advice and book another Beaches vacation for the whole family!A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to Beaches Negril for inviting us to experience your resort!All photos by Colleen Lanin unless otherwise noted.