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Basking in the sun.
Basking in the sun.
Famous Vincent's boat.
The Rockhouse Hotel.


Thursday, May 20, 2004
It is casual & beautiful, it shakes and sways to reggae with the island's longest, blindingly white beach... Welcome to Negril.

Since the 1970s, the west coast of Jamaica has become the country's fastest-growing destination for holidaymakers. The resort of Negril is about two hours from Montego Bay, and is casual and beautiful, with the island's longest, blindingly white beach.

4000 people live in Negril, which is divided by the South Negril River, making two areas — Long Bay on the north side of the river and West End on the south side.

Long Bay is 11km of palms and sea grapes, hotels, restaurants and tourism operators. The north end of Long Bay has the famous all-inclusive resorts, while the southern end of Long Bay has no hotels or restaurants and is popular for nude bathing.

West End, south of the river, has a couple of shopping centres, banks, houses and shacks. It is also call The Rock because of its rocky limestone plateau.

There is only one road, and while you can rent mopeds to get around, they aren't entirely safe. There are lots of people and potholes to contend with, and most tourists get around in taxis. There is a mountain bike touring company call Rusty's X-cellent Adventures, specialising in single track, off-road and extreme biking.

Errol's and Famous Vincent's are two local boats that go on sightseeing and snorkelling trips. You are taken about five km out, where you can swim among the coral and beautiful fish in crystal clear water. There is the challenge of catching blue marlin, mahi mahi and tuna, although the local waters have pretty much been fished out. There are tennis courts available, beach horseriding and a fine collection of golf courses.

Rockhouse Hotel was bought by three Australians in 1994. Up until that time the 14-room hotel was pretty rundown and in the 1970s attracted the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley.

Now, the refurbished property has 10 premium villas, 12 studios and six standard rooms, making it a small, intimate hotel. It has a new horizon pool, new restaurant, kitchen, new grounds and new office. The villas are on the cliff edge and have superb views. Four of them have a loft with extra double bed. The studios are slightly smaller than the villas, but each has a garden or ocean view. The furniture is made from local timbers.

The Rockhouse is the place to see the famous Caribbean sunsets. You can float on a lilo in the horizon pool, sip a cocktail and watch the sun slipping into the sea.

If reggae is your thing, there are countless bars in Negril with reggae shows. They are generally on the beach, which doubles as a dance floor. The clientele is a mix of tourists and locals and dreadlocked Rastafarians, all enjoying the music of Jamaica.


West coast of Jamaica.


Qantas flies daily to Los Angeles with codeshare connections to Montego Bay operated by American Airlines.
Caribbean Destinations has 5 night packages including return economy airfares to Montego Bay, transfers and twin share accommodation at the Rockhouse Hotel starting at around $3029 from Sydney, $3294 from Melbourne and Brisbane, $3324 from Adelaide and $3529 from Perth, per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Jamaica Tourist Board
Ph: 0011 1 876 929 9200

Caribbean Destinations
Ph: (03) 9614 7144 Fax: (03) 9618 1199

Ph: 0011 1 876 957 4373
Fax: 0011 1 876 957 0557

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