Negril and the West

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Hanover and Westmoreland are Jamaica's westernmost parishes. Hanover wraps around from Montego Bay on its northeastern border to where Negril's large hotel strip overflows from Westmoreland at its western reaches. It's a picturesque parish with small mountains tapering down to the coast with rivers, lush valleys, and deep, navigable coves. Caves dot the landscape of some of Jamaica's most biologically diverse ecosystems, in the shadow of the Dolphin Head mountain range.

Negril, which straddles the Hanover\Westmoreland border, has become a mass-market destination popular among Jamaicans and foreign visitors alike. The Kingstonian phenomenon of a weekend escape to "country" often implies a trip west to kick back and adopt the beach life, which necessarily involves taking in spectacular sunsets and the enviable slow pace evoked in Tyrone Taylor's 1983 hit, "Cottage in Negril." A constant stream of new visitors also gives hustlers a chance to do their thing, and Negril has gained a reputation as a mecca for sinful indulgence as a result.

While Negril is the region's most well-known draw, there are several low-key communities farther east that are just as easily accessible from Montego Bay's international airport and worthy coastal destinations in themselves, namely Little Bay, Bluefields, Belmont, and Whitehouse. The Westmoreland interior consists of vast alluvial plains on either side of Cabarita River, still some of Jamaica's most productive sugarcane territory. The plains extend from the base of the Orange Hill, just east of Negril, to where the Roaring River rises out of the earth from its underground source in the hills above Blue Hole Garden.

Hanover exists as a parish since it was portioned off from Westmoreland in 1723 and given the name of English monarch George I of the House of Hanover. The Spanish first settled the area when New Seville was abandoned in 1534 and the capital moved to Spanish Town. Lucea became prosperous, with a busier port than Montego Bay in its heyday, which served 16 large sugar estates in the area. Remnants of many estate great houses dot the landscape to the east and west of Lucea, their abandoned ruins showing evidence of having been torched and destroyed during slave riots. Kennilworth, Barbican, and Tryall are a few of the old estates that have visible ruins; although they have been declared national heritage sites, they are not maintained.

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Patsy's Coffeeshop

Patsy’s Coffeeshop (US$1.50-US$18, 8am-10pm Mon.\Fri. 9am-10pm Sat.\Sun) serves coffee, breakfast, lunch, cocktails, and desserts and uses the famous Blue Mountain coffee bean, the Peaberry coffee bean, which is naturally sweeter and lower in caffeine than its counterparts. It's located on the side of One Love Drive on West End Road. Some of its specialties include tasty homemade waffle cones, shakes and ganja ice-cream. 

In: Cafés & Pastry Shops

Vinne's Colie Shop Bar N Grill

Vinne's Colie Shop Bar N Grill (US$6-US$30, 10am-10pm daily, Norman Manley Blvd, in front of Chance Restaurant) serves seafood dishes like grilled lobster, garlic conch and steamed fish along with Jamaican dishes for lunch and dinner with drinks. Vinne's also offers catering services, waiter service, dine out options, and group reservations.

In: Jamaican

The Belair Side Villa and Sunset Lounge

The Belair Side Villa and Sunset Lounge (US$75-US$120/2 ppl US$30/additional person) now has 3 rooms available, 2 suits equipt with double beds for 2 people and one standard room equipt with a King size bed large enough for 2; each room with its own bathroom. The Belair is located in Belmont, Westmoreland, across from the Peter Tosh Memorial in Bluefields, Jamaica. The perks of staying at Belair include a private beach area, an on site barbeque restaurant, and popular activities such as snorkeling, fishing and cycling, all at no extra cost.

In: Villas

Bluefields Bay Resort

Bluefields Bay Resort (US$25 nighly children rate/ US$100 nightly adult rate, Cave District, Westmoreland) otherwise known as Casa Mariner, took its name from the Bluefields area at the beginning of its operations in 1998. The property hosts 3 cottages, 2 self contained apartments, 6 standard rooms, 3 basic rooms and 3 bars(sports, beach, roof). Balcony rooms also allow guests to enjoy the view of the garden. Each room is equipped with a wardrobe and private bathroom and some rooms offer a sea view with added accomodations of air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.

In: Bed and Breakfasts

Little Negril Seafood

Little Negril Seafood (US$7-US$50, 10am-10pm daily) serves dishes in a cozy thatch covered, rustic, beach-front restaurant. The location is shared with Pimentoz Jerk restaurant, along with The Gallery Restaurant, Ital Island Restaurant and Beach House Sweet Eats(Devon House I-Scream) and within the Island Lux Beach Park. This is an ideal location to visit; varieties of food to try from different restaurants, fun activities to try at the Beach Park before and after eating, and great shopping experiences are just a few reasons.

In: Seafood

Pimentoz Jerk

Pimentoz Jerk (from JMD $200, 10am-11pm daily) is truly a great addition to the Island Lux Beach Park alongside Little Negril Seafood Restaurant. Its mantra, "Authentic Jamaican Jerk", speaks volumes about their pride in the quality of their unique jerked dishes which range from the familiar Jerk Chicken to Barbeque Jerk wings. It is a wheelchair accessible Jamaican beach bar that offers takeout, outdoor seating, wait staff and alcoholic beverages to customers.

In: Jerk

Val's Comfort Inn

Val's Comfort Inn (US$70 nightly) is an apartment space, with 1 bedroom, 1 bath, air conditioning and hot water, along with other basic facilities like an ironing board, TV set and blow dryer. Its 5 to 10 minute distance from beaches and popular shopping areas is an advatage, since guests can easily visit close attractions while on vacation. The location is perfect for relaxation since it's quiet and private, with seated patios and porches for having meals or observing nature. House rules dictate there should be no pets and no parties or events during your stay.

In: Bed and Breakfasts

Camp Cabarita Eco Resort Jamaica

Camp Cabarita Eco Resort Jamaica(US$135 nighlty) is named for its proximity to the Cabarita River, and is better described as an eco resort, blending luxury, Jamaican culture and nature. Adventures to waterfalls, caves and revitalized springs with wellness treatments are only some perks of staying at this eco resort. An on site garden is also something to see and you will be introduced to new natural treatments, remedies and ways of life here. 
 
In: Villas

Pure Garden Resort Negril

Pure Garden Resort Negril (US$55 nightly) is a cozy 31 room family friendly hotel with the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the warmth of Jamaica. Each Jamaican style room is complete with 2 beds and an en-suite bathroom along with wifi and cable tv, among other amenities. Tropical flowers, birds, lush gardens and the beach across the street create beautiful scenery and weather. Trying the amazing Italian restaurant on site is a must when visiting.

In: Hotels

Jah Freedom Guesthouse

Jah Freedom Gesthouse (from $US65 nightly) is a beautiful guesthouse located on Mountain Road - West End, Negril, conveniently,a 5 minute walk or 30 second drive from the center of Negril. This 3 story building's accomodations include 4 guestrooms, 1 bedroom, 3.5 bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and 2 recording studios. Guests have the option of preparing meals or making arrangements for food, and laundry services at a reasonable price.

In: Guesthouse