“Mi come soon!”
Decided to activate my Walk into the Future and make my way back down to Negril, Jamaica in July.
I made a point to visit Negril on an annual basis prior to COVID-19 and this was my first trip back down since May 2019. I felt comfortable when I traveled out to Portland, Oregon for the NACE2022 conference back in June and got the urge to get down to Jamaica since COVID restrictions were scaled back.
I went back and forth on when to travel to Jamaica but decided to just look at hotel and air prices to determine the best time for me to travel. Found dates that were compatible with my work and life schedules and booked a trip to my favorite spot, Samsara, which sits on the cliffs on the West End of Negril. I found Samsara years ago and always stay at this resort when I’m in Jamaica. The location is great for snorkeling, catching sunsets and experiencing Jamaica in a more authentic manner than staying at a large resort and never leaving the property.
The staff at Samsara is great and most remember me when I return which makes me feel like a family member.
My overarching goal for this trip was to get down to Negril and relax. Yes, I could have found a spot closer to home to relax but the Irie vibes in Jamaica kept calling me. I made sure to pack my snorkel gear since I wanted to spend as much time in the water as possible on this trip—mission accomplished.
Arrived at Sanger International Airport after my 2-hour JetBlue flight from Orlando. Made my way through customs, got my luggage, and headed to the Jamaica Tours counter to catch my shuttle to Samsara. The airport is about an hour and a half away from Samsara, so I got a Red Stripe beer at the airport and got on the shuttle for my ride over to Negril.
Samsara has gone through a remodel since my last time down there. They added a couple new buildings, a new infinity pool and deck overlooking the water. These additions were a complete hit with me as they brought a new level of adventure to the resort.
My room was in the newest guest building and was steps away from the infinity pool. This view created some unique pictures for me with the sunsets bouncing off the pool and the ocean. I did not get in the pool but appreciated the addition and several other guests were regulars. Guess not everyone goes to Jamaica to get in the ocean. 😊
I did not book the all-inclusive packages since I wanted to explore and not have to be at the resort at a determined time for a meal. Also, there are other options close by and I like to experience different venues for my meals.
One of my regular spots on this trip was the 3 Dives Jerk Centre on the West End. This spot has some of the best jerk chicken on the island and the price is fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods but the seasoning they use is great and they provide the jerk sauce on the side so I can add more or not. Mostly, I don’t add sauce and just eat the jerk chicken with rice and peas.
I made another stop at the Rock House to get lunch and had the grilled snapper, peas and rice and plantain. The chef at the Rock House has an international reputation for great Jamaican dishes and I’m never disappointed when I dine there. The rum punch is pretty good too!
There was not as much live reggae available as past trips but believe this is because the island is still adjusting to having tourist back. Legends on 7 Mile Beach is a sister resort to Samsara and they host a live reggae band on Sunday nights. This is a new music spot from the last time I was in Negril and the band was good. The larger venues had DJ music which was fine but I’m a huge fan of live music so gravitated more to the bands/groups that were playing. Hoping the live music continues to come back since I’m already planning my next Negril trip.
This song was a surprise request for the band:
I was able to snorkel daily in the morning before leaving the resort for my food and music excursions. The water off the cliffs is calm in the mornings and provide a perfect place to float and see a wide variety of fish. There were no jelly fish this time, so this allowed me to stay in the water for extended periods of time. There were only a few other folks in the water, so it felt like I had the ocean to myself. 😊 Plan to get out to the reefs my next time down to explore a bit more.
I was able to get 4 full days during this trip and enjoyed every minute I was back in Negril. Hope the become a regular visitor again so I can enjoy the irie vibes, food, and great views.