There are two ways to stay and play in Negril – quietly on the cliffs (with lots of great restaurants and boutique hotels) or loudly on the beach (reggae shows, cheap hotels and luxury all inclusives). Dave and I always choose privacy and the cliffs.
This year, we tried a new property quite far away from all the action. Hide Awhile offers only four garden rooms and three larger villas – each with their own kitchens. The larger villas cost more (about $400 per night), but the incredible ocean/cliff view and private space to move around in made it worthwhile for us.
We stayed in the middle villa, and completely loved every moment. Again, the view and sound of the ocean to wake up to each morning made sure we were always relaxed and really in the moment. The freshwater pool is also right in front of the villas, and we spent two days right here on the property relaxing by (and in) the pool.
The bedroom upstairs was absolutely gorgeous. It is well designed with a high vaulted ceiling and large fan just above the bed. It never got too hot. Our favourite thing to do was to open up the sliding doors to the upstairs balcony and hang out on the king sized bed, feeling the cool ocean breeze and watching the ocean waves spray up onto the cliffs. It was wonderfully relaxing.
The bathroom and shower on the top floor are both very large, and gave us a lot of room (which I appreciate!). Gilchrest and Soames toiletries are provided, but a hairdryer isn’t (not that you need one really in this climate)! There is also a bathroom on the main floor with an outdoor shower.
The kitchen was small but useful. We love being self sufficient, and making our own breakfasts each morning, and having a fridge to store fruit and red stripe beer made it really feel like home. The downside was that our toaster was a bit old (and we needed to rig up a contraption to keep the button down so it would toast) and the coffee maker was also touchy. But, with a little patience (which you learn in the mellow Jamaican vibe) all was well.
The property can seem stark from the cliff-side, but there is actually a large garden area in behind the villas and by the garden rooms. It really is lovely. You can also find a couple of really nice cats roaming around in there, if you like that sort of thing!
For the times that we didn’t want to take care of ourselves, the hotel offers breakfast, lunch and dinner (which you can eat in your room our outside by the pool or open patio by the hotel kitchen). The food was wonderful and prepared with love (everything from a Jamaican take on eggs benedict, chicken parmesan and jerk chicken burger tasted great).
One of the selling features of this hotel for us was the sister properties on the beach called Idle Awhile and Couples Swept Away (more on those experiences in an upcoming post). The hotel offers free shuttle service to the beach at 11, and then back to the cliffs at 4. We did this four out of seven days and totally appreciated it.
The staff at Hide Awhile are very friendly and helpful, and we loved staying here. The only trouble we had was on our first two nights – Friday and Saturday. Hide Awhile is beside a larger property called Moon Dance Cliffs. We were unlucky enough to have a wedding next door on the weekend, with blaring music and squealing/partying guests. But, after that, it was incredibly quiet and private for the rest of our trip… just what we were looking for.