Negril is the quintessential tropical paradise and the ideal Caribbean vacation destination. The perfect mixture of natural beauty, creature comforts, and nightlife–it has a little bit for everyone, no matter your taste. Home to the famed 7-mile beach, the longest in Jamaica (actually 4 miles but who’s counting when your too busy enjoying yourself?), it is arguably the premier destination on the island.
We like to stay away from the large all-inclusive resorts to the north end of 7-mile beach and instead hit up the smaller, boutique, family-owned places towards the south end. Past the southern extremity of the beach you’ll find the West End, home to the limestone cliffs where many of the coolest hangouts in Negril can be found. Among the best are the boutique hotels Tensing Pen–with rooms perched on cliffs feet from the water, and the incomparable Caves a little further down the coast–a hotel with rooms built into the limestone cliffs that line the coast and perhaps one of the best places on earth to catch a sunset.
For dining we love the Rock House and Puschart both found at the Rock House hotel. With excellent food and beautiful surroundings, you’d be hard pressed to find another Caribbean hotel that boasts dining this soulful. The best Jamaican patties (in flavors ranging from vegetable to lobster) for miles can be found at Miss Sonia’s right on the main beach road. For old school Jamaican dining, like red pea soup and escabeche fish, all to be eaten with your feet in the fine white sand, try Cosmos right at the southern tip of 7-mile beach.
Irie is the term that comes to mind when imagining a place as idyllic as Negril. Irie is a uniquely Jamaican word, with roots in the Rastafarian movement, it means alternatively to be at complete peace with oneself and one’s surroundings and also used to describe something that is cool in a natural and organic way. A common refrain you’ll hear from a Jamaican is “no worries mon, every’ting is irie.” And after a recent trip to Negril, every’ting at Onia is most definitely irie.