|Point Village Resort||David ~ Milton, Ontario, Canada|
Arrival and Flight
Dec 2006 over new years
Our room was a clean enough, a little dated with 2 queen sized beds and a kitchenette. The room itself was comfortable for us despite the ants in the kitchen. The bathroom was small and badly needed a renovation but the water worked and it was clean. We did have a nice balcony with great big open doors (we slept with them open a few nights watching the moon). Despite the rooms appearance we didn’t expect a 5-star room and didn’t get one. We were happy with the room and slept soundly all 10 nights. I do understand in early 2008 the resort is undergoing some renovations so for future travellers your room (and hopefully those bathrooms) should be upgraded.
We ate only at the buffet or beach grill. The buffet food was good, but dinner got a little repetitive after 10 days. The staff were friendly in all the restaurants. Some of the sandwiches at the waterside grill were great (my mouth is watering thinking of them now) and sitting on the patio with the water on two sides was very nice watching out over the little beach. Overall for the resort I would rate the food as good, but not great.
We did have dinner on the beach one night and it was a nice change and as we were there for new years the bash was amazing with live music and several hundred friends with an open bar under the stars.
The bar staff was mostly friendly – if very busy while we were there. You could end up waiting a while at the beach bar during the day but when you finally got served could load up on up 6 drinks each (mmmm banana pineapple daiquiri’s) and take them back to your spot in the sun. Just remember everything there is on Jamaica time. No problem mon’ be patient and take a moment to relax
There is an on site small disco – we did go in one night and had fun. Close to the resort are a number of other disco’s for a cheap cab ride.
Beach and Pools
We enjoyed the jacuzzi a few nights – its a little small but at 4am on new years day it was perfect 🙂 The main swimming beach if very small but the sand continues up on shore giving lots of places to sit. Bring water shoes as once you get near the rocks there are lots of sea urchins (none in the sandy part). Easy to avoid when your snorkeling, but not so easy when walking around oblivious. The snorkeling was great – we didn’t have to go off the resort and often went in for a quick half hour snorkel 3 times a day (we brought our own equipment) and saw LOTS of stingrays, an octopus, lots of fish (of course), a barracuda and a lamprey eel.
My wife did brush a urchin with her hand and we used the on-site doctor who was polite and quick to help us out when we waited outside his office.
The grounds were beautiful – the rocky coast provides lots of great surf sounds as you wander around the grounds and away from the main beach over by the rocky point is a great spot to sit, soak up the sun and read (or watch the sunset). The grounds and surroundings are certainly what elevate this resort from just another 3* into something special and worth visiting.
Activities and Entertainment
At lunchtime and in the evening the resort provided various entertainment on a small stage. It was mostly amusing and would normally involve getting members of the audience on stage to do silly things. The resort is certainly small enough that if you stay there a week they’ll get you up as least once so bring a camera to capture the embarrasing moments. The band that played a couple nights was very good. The entertainment staff were everywhere during the day and very energetic and always smiling and trying to get people involved if you wanted (I didnt find them as pushy as some resorts).
Other activities include beach volleyball, tennis, morning exercises, and some boats to borrow ( We didn’t try any of those things so I can’t comment on them. We did take the free glass bottom boat ride with a few kids and enjoyed that tour of the bay and some of the sea life to watch for.
The vendors setup on the beach and in town can be negotiated with. We shopped for most of our souviners in Negril and barttered for some great deals.
There is a small ‘internet cafe’ (one computer) but it works and we used it a few times while there to check up on the folks back home. We snorkeled ourselves over to Booby Cay (the island just offshore) Keep your head up if you do for jetskis and other boats coming through to make sure they see you. The snorkeling around the island wasn’t great but we didnt stay on that side long. Some days there are locals setup selling BBQ’ed lobster on the small beach
Dunnes River Falls is highly recommend, worth the 3 hour drive over. Its a fantastic climb up a series of mini-waterfalls, once your in the park you can climb up as many times as you want and takes maybe 60 minutes bottom to top (we went twice). Another hint if you can get a local to buy your tickets into the park its about 1/3 of the cost for the natives (if you’re with a tour group from the resort it wont matter, we were driving ourselves around)
We also went over one night to Rick’s Cafe and wish I had my bathing suit while there. You can dive in yourself from various heights into the water (even some 10 year olds were jumping in and loving it). Lee and Mike above already described accurately the rest of what goes on there and its worth the short drive over for a look.
We took the cheap ($10? $20? I cant remember now) snorkeling tour from the resort out into Bloody bay (5 min boat ride at most) It was a nice swim around a reef including an underwater canon, more eels and lots of colourful fish the guide feeds bread to get them to gather around. It was short (maybe 45 min tops?) with my wife and I the last ones in the water (we could snorkel for hours)
There were lots of brochures and other tours offered – I’m sure something for everyone if that’s what you want to do.
Departure and Check Out
No problems – it went smoothly and was, a checkout.
Conclusion We certainly enjoyed our stay on the resort and had a blast. We are considering going back again or trying somewhere new (some others we went with have already been back once). The value for the money is great and we’re curious to see the renovations.
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|Point Village Resort||Lee & Mike ~ Sarnia, Ontario, Canada|
Because this is the first review of this resort on this site, we will attempt to give a good general description of the hotel & our experience there. If you are looking for a fancy resort with endless dining options, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for a very casual resort with good value for money, you may want to consider PV.
Point Village Resort is an older 180 room property at the beginning of the 7 mile stretch of white sandy beach in Negril and is located between Grand Lido and Hedonism resorts.
PV is in need of some sprucing up – new paint, etc. in the rooms. However, we found our room to be spacious and clean with a king-sized bed, table & 2 chairs, kitchenette, small bathroom with shower only and a small balcony. Reviews of this resort on another site mentioned problems with no hot water, but we had hot water at any time of day that we needed it. We found no problems with insects either in our room or outside during our stay.
PV is on a rocky outcrop with two decent sections of sandy beach (one of which we understood was man-made). You can access the long stretch of 7 mile beach by cutting through the adult section of beach (clothing optional) and across Hedonism’s beach (one section of which is clothing optional). You can walk past Sandals, Beaches and on further.
The grounds are fairly spacious and nicely landscaped, so there are places to walk. There is no gym at this resort.
The rocky sections at PV provided excellent snorkeling. If you swim to the right towards the “point”, there are caves and large coral formations. If you keep swimming around the point, there are huge brain coral, elk & staghorn coral and more caves to explore. Although we did not see any really large fish, there were lots of smaller ones and we did see some eels and a huge stingray resting on the bottom.
You can also get to Booby Cay (the island offshore in front of the hotel) by boat from the watersports shop ($5.00 per person) and there is some good snorkeling around the rock formation that you see sticking out of the water. You need your own snorkeling equipment to go to the island because resort equipment is not allowed there. Booby Cay itself is a garbage littered island (non-inhabited) where some of the local lobster fishermen land their boats. It does have a small sandy section of beach where you enter to snorkel.
Hotel dining options are limited, but we found the food to be good. The main buffet restaurant is open for all 3 meals. The selection was small, but we always found enough to eat.
The beach bar & grill serves burgers, sandwiches & fries during the day. This bar & grill turns into the Jamaican restaurant several nights a week and serves jerk chicken & pork (both great) with rice & veggies, and a very small salad bar.
The Paradise Garden café is open some nights also and serves pasta and Italian dishes. We did not try this restaurant, so we cannot comment.
Two special nights were announced, but did not happen for whatever reason. Wednesday nights are advertised as Jamaican night on the beach with fire dancers and Friday nights are “dining under the stars” where dinner is served out on the grounds with vendors & artisans selling their crafts.
There is evening entertainment and a disco, but we didn’t partake of either, so can’t attest to the quality. The disco goes from 10-2 a.m., so take ear plugs to drown out the noise if you are a light sleeper.
We did hear some rumblings about disorganized management, but all of our experiences with any of the staff from the front desk to the restaurants were very positive. We found all of the staff to be very friendly and helpful. A special thanks to Clovette & Rosetta in the main buffet restaurant!
The pool is small and was hardly used while we were there. The adjacent hot tub had murky looking water and we did not see anyone using it at all. The washrooms by the pool were out of order the entire time we were there and this has been reported to Signature vacations.
Daily activities were offered on the beach and are announced in the dining room at breakfast and also posted on a board in the dining room. We didn’t find these activities to be noisy or intrusive at all.
Vendors selling local crafts set up on the beach most days. Their prices seemed fair, and of course they are willing to bargain. There are two shops on the resort grounds that sell t-shirts, liquor, snacks, souvenirs and other items. There is a small duty-free store beside the buffet that sells liquor, cigars, jewellery and other items. Talk to Raj there. If you can’t find what you want, he & his family own one of the other stores on the resort and three others in the town of Negril and he can probably find what you are looking for. He was very accommodating to us and we did most of our shopping at his stores for that reason.
Tours are offered from the resort – a good variety and the prices were fair. We did two – the Mayfield Falls tour and the shuttle to Rick’s Café to see the cliff divers and watch the sunset. The Mayfield tour was a half day tour (9-2) that took us through the interior of the island to the river with a series of small waterfalls that you climb up (similar to, but on a smaller scale than Dunn’s River Falls). This tour was $60 U.S. per person and included lunch. A guide accompanies you up the falls, describing the various falls & swimming holes and provides assistance if needed to get over the rocks. A photographer also accompanies each group and takes both still & video photography. You have the option to purchase the DVD at the end of the tour ($65.00 but a word of caution – we were told that the DVD would be delivered to our lobby at 9 p.m. and we could pay at the hotel, but nobody showed up with it. If we had paid at the falls, we don’t know if this would have happened or not.)
The shuttle to Rick’s Café left at 4 p.m. and returned after sunset (we were back by 6:30) and was $15.00 per person. The cliff divers walk around and ask for tips from the guests and then they start diving off progressively higher platforms, doing calisthenics on the edges, and ending up diving/jumping 45 feet from a tree. Very entertaining. Then a reggae band played and everyone stood and watched the sun set. A great experience all round.
There are cats on this resort, but they usually come out at night and are quite skittish, so we were never able to get close to them. If you don’t like cats, then perhaps this isn’t the place for you either.
As we said earlier, this is a very casual resort. Shorts & t-shirts are acceptable at all restaurants, so no dressy clothing is required. We would definitely return despite a few “rough edges” at this resort.
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