|Grand Lido Negril||Debbie||Alberta, Canada|
We travelled to the Grand Lido Negril from Feb. 19-26th.
We earned this trip through our business and were very excited to travel to a hotel that had such rave reviews! We were not disappointed.
We travelled from Calgary to Montego Bay on board an Air Canada jet, through Air Canada Vacations, but I will add that as we were in a group of 36 people travelling together (we only met at the airport for the first time), we used a travel agency from Montreal, and had an associate from the travel agency awaiting our arrival at the airport, (he had been at the resort for over 24 hours when we arrived and had compiled a lot of information for us in advance, he stayed all week long and took care of any needs we had as well as booked all excursions, etc). His name was Jeremy Hall, from Merit Golf Tours. He was absolutely invaluable, and an amazing asset to our vacation.
The company who sponsored our trip, sent us matching "wild flowered shirts" to wear to the airport and on the plane to easily identify others in our group! If we wore these shirts to the airport and on the plane, all names were going to be entered into a draw the first day there and lucky us, we won! This was an amazing idea, as it immediately helped us to meet up and get acquainted! It also caused quite a sensation at the airport from other travellers! We were seriously the talk of the airport that day!
When we arrived at the airport in Montego Bay, we were shown to a room that was air conditioned, a lounge, for customers heading to GLN, Hedonism II and the Starfish Trelawny! In this room, we were asked to fill out a pre-registration form, with our credit card information, and these cards were collected by a staff member of the resort who would later accompany us on the bus! This room also held our luggage till we were ready to leave for the resort, and I will say that this was the only negative part of the whole week, it seemed like we were there forever, and then the process of having to go back in the room to identify our luggage to be sure it was going to be loaded on the bus. It seems if we had just taken our luggage out to the bus ourselves, and filled out these cards on the bus, things would have been smoother and quicker!
Once loaded on bus, it was an hour and 15 minute bus ride. It was Saturday night and there seemed to be a lot of local traffic in the towns we passed through on route to the GLN. Some very interesting things to see though! Local culture, outdoor church services, etc.
Once at the hotel, we were offered a cold drink and cold facecloths to wash up with.
We were then grouped in the lobby (which was beautiful) and then shown to our rooms in groups of 4 couples to a group.
The rooms were absolutely beautiful, clean, and welcoming! We were in room 2098. Our view wasn't great, but that was okay! The showers were immense, with 7 showerheads! They were amazing! The air conditioner was remote controlled. What a luxury to be able to change temperature settings from your bed! The entry had a mini bar, stocked everday, and it had tea and coffee, and some shelves to put things like glasses, keys, etc, to have easy access to when coming and going! It had a king size bed, TV, sunken living room with desk, couch and coffee table. Patio doors to a balcony, that overlooked the Hedonism II resort and a garden. We could catch a glimpse of the ocean, but not much. I believe this is the only building that does not have an ocean view! We spend so little time in our room, that this did not matter to us!
Close to our room, we had a bar called the Stonehouse Bar, and each bar has a hot tub as well! On the way to the main building there is the Timberhouse Bar!
We used the room service only on the first night as we arrived quite late to the resort, it took around 1 hour after being promised about 30-35 minutes, but we sat at the Stonehouse bar and watched for room service till they arrived and the wait did not seem very long at all! This bar had a drink menu for you to choose from, it was a very large book with lots of choices, it sure made it easy to try new drinks. I would recommend the Hummingbird, the No Problem, Purple Rain, and a Chocolate Monkey!! All delicious, and fun!
The beach was beautiful, clean, and calm (as it is set in a bay), with the most comfortable lounge chairs I have ever sat on! They had cushions at least 4 inches thick. Very nice! Also, they had float mattresses for both the pool and the beach, they were very relaxing and very easy to get used to. The beach towels were very nice and large, and did not have to be returned. They were just left wherever, and the staff picked them up and laundered them each night and then you were able to just get a clean one in the morning, without having to leave a deposit! Made me very lazy!
The nude beach was fairly secluded behind buildings, away from the main beach. There was some great snorkelling at the nude beach as well, but not lots of lounge chairs (only at the nude beach, lots of lounge chairs at the regular beach) to leave your things at while snorkelling. The wedding chapel was there as well, and it confused me why they would put the chapel there, where the nude bathers would be in the background for pictures, but it is a very nice chapel none the less!
The pool was small, but seemed to suffice for those who wanted to lounge there! The beach is in between the beach bar and the main bar(beside the pool) in the buffet! There was some beach service, staff walking along with ready made drinks, and bottled water. Occasionally, they did ask what you wanted, and retrieved drinks for you. But usually only in the morning! The beach seemed to clear out around 3 or so.
The food was incredible, morning, noon and night, it could not have been better! The buffet was open for breakfast, then the buffet and Scotch Bonnet was open for lunch, and then for supper two nights a week, the buffet was open! On Mondays it is the Beach Party, and on Fridays it was the General Managers Gala! Both had great entertainment as well. The other nights, there are 5 a la cartes for dinner, (no buffet). They were all superior! Our luck the night we ate at the Cafe Lido, the catch of the day was lobster! Then the Japanese called the Munasan, (reservations required) and then the French called the Piacere (reservations required), the Cafe Lido, no reservations required, the Scotch Bonnet, no reservations required and lastly the Italian called the Pasta. We did not eat at the Pasta, but I heard from others that it was great as well. The buffet for breakfast was very nice, and usually had musical entertainment, a piano player, or a duet playing very nice calming music. The buffet for lunch was superb as well. Try the Jerk Chicken, it was great!
The entertainment was fun, it usually included dancing and the audience participated well!
Watersports were great too! There was a snorkel trip twice daily at 9:30 and 1:30, and then a glass bottom boat trip as well at 11 and 3. Diving is included at this resort, and there is a very qualified diving team onsite! Very accommodating! Very helpful! There are Hobie cats, windsurfing, paddle boats, and kayaks. Beach volleyball and aerobics!
We went on the MY Zein one evening for a sunset cruise (3:30 -6:30). This is a three hour trip along the coast of the 7 mile beach! Also very entertaining as there is a band that plays as you are being taxied out to the yacht, and plays for the first hour or so of the journey. This is strictly a cocktail cruise and one should eat before going!
The spa is very nice and set in the middle of the resort. They offer free pedicures and manicures, and then most other treatments are charged a fee, there are massages, (on the beach in a hut), facials, wraps, etc. There are very nice lounge chairs for you to sit and wait for your turn.
Every night our beds were turned down, and sprinkled with flower petals, and our towels used before supper to shower were removed and replaced!
All in all, this was our best vacation ever!
Would we return, probably not as we always try to visit new places! Would we recommend this resort!! Absolutely! It was great!