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The Cliff Hotel Offers Guests a One-of-a-Kind Destination

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As authentic as it comes, Negril’s The Cliff Hotel is a mecca for the “real” Jamaica.

January 28th -31st, 2022

by Kevin Willse

Negril, located in the West end of Jamaica, provides some of the most gorgeous beaches and best views from its numerous cliffs. The Cliff Hotel puts you right in the center of the action, with its own cliffs and close proximity to various attractions in the city. The property is perfect for private events or just a zenful getaway. With the option of villas or suites, the resort offers something for every occasion.

 

When landing at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, adding Club Mobay VIP arrival service is a must. An agent will greet you outside your gate and help you maneuver through the airport. This service involves FastPass, an expedited entry through customs and immigration.  Not only does this save you the time and hassle of waiting in lines, but it also eliminates having to fumble through documents and travel questionnaires. After the check-in, you get private access to the VIP lounge where you can relax and enjoy an array of beverages as well as sandwiches and salads. The great food, service and atmosphere at Club Mobay will help get you ready for the next leg of the trip to Negril.

Antonio Tours picked us up from the airport and provided our transportation to the resort. Our friendly driver Antonio offered beverages during the hour-and-a-half journey along the northern coastline to The Cliff Hotel. He was always quick to point out interesting landmarks and important information about the history of each area we passed through. However, while he was very knowledgeable about the area, he was also very helpful when it came to matters of culture and currency exchanges. We were lucky enough to enjoy his great service for our entire trip as we experienced our daily excursions and sightseeing activities.

Arriving at The Cliff Hotel you’re instantly swept away by the grandeur of its open-air lobby and its tranquil sights all around it. One of the main missions of the hotel is to emphasize wellness during your stay. This mantra is what separates The Cliff Hotel from the other resorts in the area. You will see this theme in many locations of the property as well as in the activities. Everywhere you wander you’ll be immediately greeted by smiling staff and often being offered a signature Jamaican ginger and cucumber beverage.

The suite rooms are very modern and spacious, giving its occupants the opportunity for maximum relaxation. It also helps to meander over to your private balcony that overlooks the pool and gives a great view of the cliffs as well as the ocean. Yet, not only do the balconies make for a great view of the sunset, but they are also equipped with a hammock to give guests an authentic experience of relaxation.

The grounds of The Cliff Hotel are nothing short of spectacular themself. Just beyond the lobby leads out to an incredibly large pool area, which is broken off into different sections and layers. The top section of their pool drops down into a waterfall that leads to the lower level of the pool. Another section of the pool has a swim up bar for all your cocktails and refreshments. However, there’s even another nearby bar to enjoy drinks as you relax by the pool. For those a little more active, guests can also play water volleyball. The pool design is just incredible and the neighboring lounge areas are so inviting. All around the pool guests can find extremely comfortable chairs and take a break from the sun under the shade of large umbrellas.

The entire time at the pool you’ll have a great view of the cliffs and the endless ocean beyond. Furthermore, many of the lounge areas are sectioned off from the others so you can enjoy your pool experience in privacy. During the day, the pool is monitored with lifeguards, but remains open throughout the evening and night. Still, if the water isn’t your thing, there are areas with other activities such as billiards, darts and ping pong to keep you entertained.

Above everything you can do at the resort, relaxing by the cliffs is simply surreal. A small walk down a set of stairs leads from the pool to the cliff area. This is where you will be wowed. The rocky cliffs are landscaped into several different areas. Sections of the cliffs are cut out to make small pools that fill with the ocean water as the tides rise.

These are open for residents to enjoy swimming and soaking in the Caribbean saltwater. In another section you could jump off the cliffs and enjoy the open waters of the ocean, then climb up ladders to make returning to land very easy. During the day, there is a lifeguard on premise to make this experience as safe as possible. Similar to the pool area, there are several walkways that lead to secluded lounge areas with chairs and umbrellas. These areas make for great opportunities to enjoy the one-of-a-kind view as well as take in some sun. It’s also a perfect location to watch a sunset as the cliffs face the west. The location and ambiance are something out of a blissful dream, ideal for capturing that iconic photo.

Overlooking the cliff lounge area is Zest Restaurant, a local taste with an international twist. The word Zest is one of the five-character strengths that contribute to life satisfaction and is a key contribution to the health and wellness focus of The Cliff Hotel. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant features a picturesque view of the cliffs and Caribbean waters.

You can start your day off right with a hot cup of Blue Mountain coffee or a freshly squeezed glass of juice. The main feature of the breakfast menu is the national dish of Jamaica, Ackee and Salt Fish. Salted cod is prepared with boiled ackee fruit along with a bed of onions, tomatoes and peppers with a slice of yellow yam and a boiled banana. The meal is topped off with a Johnny Cake, which is a Jamaican style fried dough. The meal is a must try for your authentic taste of Jamaica. The rest of the menu features more traditional breakfast dishes such as avocado toast, fruit smoothies and egg platters. You also have the option of building your own omelet with choices of all the meats, veggies and cheeses. We thoroughly enjoyed the jerk sausage omelet, more than once. The breakfast meal plan can be purchased or items can be ordered a la carte.

The dinner menu has a little bit of everything for every diet or taste. The soups rotate every night and are a great way to start off the meal. The first two nights we enjoyed Caribbean soup, a delicious blend of vegetables in a tomato broth. However, our last night the soup switched to a pumpkin pea, which was also excellent.

The Cliffs

The restaurant also boasts a very unique and diverse salad selection, which uses a great blend of local ingredients. The portion sizes are very large and can almost be substituted for an entree. Norma’s Terrace Salad was very filling and had a great blend of papaya, oranges, grapefruit on a wedge of iceberg lettuce. It is topped with feta cheese and delicious Caribbean spiced cashews. It is all brought together with a minted passion fruit vinaigrette. A portion of the proceeds from this salad go to the Norma Shirley Culinary Fund, which supports scholarships to culinary schools. Other appetizers include lobster cakes and Marlin Carpaccio.

The main feature of the entrees is the Appleton Rum Braised Oxtail. Oxtail is a very traditional dish in Jamaica and a favorite to many who visit. The meat is sauced with a delicious blend of butter bean and tomatoes. It is served on a bed of white rice with a side of Callaloo, which is a Jamaican green that is very similar to spinach. The oxtail is a must try if you are looking for authentic Jamaican cuisine along with the local dish, the Chop-Chop Jerk Chicken. The bone in jerk chicken comes with a choice of white or dark meat and is drizzled with homemade Jerk sauce. The sauce is sweet and has a spicy kick afterwards. It also comes with more sauce on the side to dip. The dish comes with a bowtie pasta Mac and Cheese with tomato bits as well as corn on the cob. This is another must try signature Jamaican dish. Zest also features lobster and other seafood dishes.

The desert section of the menu gives you many tasty choices. Our favorite was the Scotch Bonnet Cheesecake, which is drizzled with caramel. We liked it so much we ordered more later in the evening via room service. Another popular choice was the Key Lime Pie. It was a little bit different from the traditional ones I’m accustomed to stateside, but it was pretty tasty as well. It comes with an orange zest and topped with fresh whipped cream. Several flavors of homemade ice cream are available as well as Cherries Jubilee. All are excellent choices to finish off any delicious meal at Zest Restaurant.

With health and wellness being the main focus of The Cliff Hotel, many wellness activities and areas are available on the grounds. There is an in-house gym that is open from 6am-midnight with cardio equipment, free weights and a resistance tower available. Personal training classes are also available by appointment. Spa sessions are available by appointment too offering several top-quality massages while enjoying the magnificent view of the cliffs. KiYari Ritual body treatments are a great way to nourish your skin the natural and herbal way. These treatments are also available by appointment and include the great view of the cliffs. Yoga and other fitness activities are offered on a daily basis each morning. The schedule is posted outside the lobby and has a different focus each day. There is also a beauty salon offering hair care, nails and waxing services. Wellness packages are available if you are having trouble deciding which activities to participate in.

Those celebrating a special occasion can find solace in choosing The Cliff Hotel to be the host. Whether it’s a wedding, anniversary or a business occasion, the hotel can accommodate. With the uncanny backdrop and great hospitality, it will make any occasion more special. The health and wellness activities and services are a great way to spruce up any event and give guests a more satisfying experience. The Cliff Hotel specializes in all kinds of events and can accommodate up to 200 guests.

Beyond the hotel, there are many excursions available in and around Negril to spend your day exploring the geography and culture. The Cliffs Hotel along with Antonio Tours do a great job of setting up and arranging transportation to the different attractions. They were always on time and did a great job of supplementing the experience at each location by touring very scenic routes and spotting various native animals. This is a great way to enhance your visit to Jamaica.

YS Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in Saint Elizabeth that makes for a great day of activities. This is a place the locals frequent in their free time as a place to enjoy the scenery and also swim in the water holes and pools. You can ascend up to get great views of the waterfalls as well as take a dip at the different levels of falls throughout  the journey. There are even several rope swings to take the adventure to another level. Each of the swimming areas are made safe with lifeguards and staff of YS Falls. For an extra charge there is a zipline where you can zip down the entire falls. However, when it’s time to relax there are also several picnic areas where guests can enjoy food in the midst of the beautiful scenery. On the way out there is a gift shop where visitors can leave with souvenirs.

The Mayfield Falls River Walk is a unique experience allowing you to jump in and explore the landscape of a river with waterfalls.

The hour-long guided tour takes you in and up the river traversing the drops and cavernous cuts of the river. We had a great guide that showed us different parts of the river and allowed us to take great photos and videos. He also showed us the different plants and fruits growing along the river. The tour lasted about an hour and a half from arrival and definitely exceeded our expectations. Mayfield Falls is about an hour drive from The Cliff Hotel.

Roaring River Park and Cave is located about an hour and a half away from The Cliff Hotel. The Roaring River travels hundreds of miles under the mountains of Jamaica and is the main source for many local communities drinking water. The park in Shrewsbury showcases a spring that leads into beautiful waterfalls which eventually go to the town’s water purification factory. Under the river are several miles of caves to explore.

Our guide did a great job of explaining the rock types and showing the deposits of limestone that have been created by the river. We even got to jump into a pool that was created by the river inside the caves. There was also a place where the famous musicians of Jamaica go to meditate while they create their art. Overall Roaring River Park is a great experience.

JamWest MotorSports and Adventure Park is not too far from The Cliff Hotel and offers fun adventurous outdoor activities for everyone. One of their biggest attractions is horseback riding into the ocean. This guided adventure gives you the opportunity to hop on a horse and ride it into the shallow waters of the ocean. Not only is this a fun and unique opportunity, it makes for a great photo opportunity. JamWest also offers ziplining, ATV, Safari tours as well as an opportunity to drive a race car on their track.

 

 

Blue Hole Mineral Spring is an adventure and sight to be seen. The Blue Hole is exactly what the name says. The 25-foot hole leads down to a mineral spring, rich with limestone and gorgeous blue water. The water is very therapeutic and a spa session can be purchased with limestone treatments. To enter the spring you can take the jump or use a ladder to reach the water. The 25 foot plunge is quite intimidating yet exhilarating once in the water. There are several nature trails also available to see the beauty of the area outside the spring.  There is a small bar with drinks and snacks outside the hole to supplement this great experience.

Pelican Bar is a bit of a trip from The Cliff Hotel but is a great experience to be had. The Pelican Bar itself is in the middle of the ocean and the only access to it is by boat. The 10-minute boat ride is a great way to get a great scenic view of the southwest coast of Jamaica. Once at the bar enjoy a drink or meal looking out towards the land. This location makes for a great view of the sunset. The bar also has a nice little gift shop to buy souvenirs.

Barneys Flower and Hummingbird Garden is located in the West end of Negril and is a very quick trip from The Cliff Hotel. The dense garden has a gorgeous and wide array of flowers and cacti that are native to Jamaica. The garden also features Jamaica’s national bird, the hummingbird. At Barneys you have the opportunity to see many hummingbirds, and if lucky can feed them out of a bottle. The sweet water from the feeding bottles attracts the birds and they will eat it right in front of you just as they would the nectar from a flower. The employees are very knowledgeable and are always able to assist and give directions in the gardens. Once you get started in the gardens you are free to roam and explore the numerous plants and find all the hummingbirds.

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  • Antonio Tours

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