The Negril I used to know was a quiet place. This was nearly 15 years ago. Oversized resorts didn’t crowd the beaches. If there was any traffic, stray goats were to blame. Nothing felt hurried or fake, the entire town espousing irie in every way. These days, of course, things are largely different. Negril is now one of the top touristy hotspots in the Caribbean complete with all the crowds, watered-down/overly-sweet drinks, and faux dreadlocks hats you might expect. In the midst of it all, though, small reminders of Negril’s glorious past persist; oases of Jamaican authenticity hiding in plain sight. Sunset At The Palms is one of them.
I spent a weekend here with the wife last summer for our annual romantic “no kids” trip. I thought it would be perfect as the resort also maintains a “no kids” policy. Almost immediately upon arrival, I found that I had made the right choice.
Welcome To The Jungle
The first thing that struck us about Sunset At The Palms is how insanely lush and green it is. Anywhere and everywhere you might roam on-property is like wandering through an enchanted, well-manicured tropical forest.
In line with the lush surroundings, accommodations at Sunset At The Palms are treehouse style. A mix of dark wood floors, Asian-inspired furnishings, crisp white linens, wispy drapes, and other elegant touches lent an exotic air of romance to our room. (Also standard were creature comforts like air conditioning and wi-fi)
Each tree house is elevated well off the ground and ensconced in all manner of greenery. This ups the exotic romance factor, of course, the nice privacy affording a closer association with nature than you might expect in other Negril hotels these days.
Just outside the property, the wild party scene typical of Negril these days raged on. Inside the Sunset At The Palms jungle, though, the revelry seemed a million miles away, an effect that only brought us closer together.
Your Own Private Beach
Also just outside the property: the white sand beach.
Indeed, Sunset At The Palms is not located directly on the beach. To get to the sand, you have to cross Norman Manley Blvd, the busy main road running north-south through Negril. Helpful and eminently charming resort crossing guards make the trip easy.
Once across the street, it’s just a short walk through some more ridiculously lush greenery…
…before you emerge on the very best section of Bloody Bay.
As elsewhere along the beaches in Negril, the water here is calm, cool, and clear. The big difference: no crowds.
This section of Bloody Bay is reserved strictly for guests of Sunset At The Palms. As the resort only has 85 rooms, it’s never super-crowded.
This is also where you’ll find Palm Breeze Beach Bar & Grill, one of six eateries on-property. There are LOTS of other restaurants to try for lunch in Negril, of course, but don’t be surprised if you stay anchored here during your visit. The food, particularly the jerk chicken, is seriously THAT good.
The Soul of Negril
Our treehouse love shack, jungle surrounds, private beach, and delicious eats were all great. In the end, though, the wife and I agreed that the best thing about Sunset At The Palms is its people.
Many of the staff we met had worked at the property for more than 15 years. To them, it seemed, Sunset At The Palms was their home; and we, their personal guests. We felt like family here in every positive sense of the word. It was a feeling I could recall from previous visits to Negril long ago; a feeling I thought might not exist here anymore.
Truly, the soul of Negril lives on at Sunset At The Palms.
The adults-only all-inclusive resort experience at Sunset At The Palms includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner (even via room service) plus beverages. Also included is the use of non-motorized water sports equipment, nightly entertainment, and a whole host of daytime activities. Tennis courts and a fairly expansive fitness center means you don’t have to skip any workouts here. And if you overdo it, the on-site Ginger Lily Garden Spa treatments offer an absolutely heavenly recovery.