TRAVEL: Beaches Negril Resort & Spa – Part I

Yes a vacation in Jamaica is not a hard sell.  Situated on the famed Seven Mile Beach, Beaches Negril Resort & Spa is the definition of Paradise with sugar soft sand and water so clear you can see fishes swimming by, crabs crawling along the sea bottom and turtles just coasting along.  The beauty isn’t just skin deep.

What I love about Jamaicans is that they emulate the beauty of the island.  Their hospitality was abound and genuine.  I was shocked to be constantly rebutted every time I tried to tip them.  Yes, it’s the New Yorker in me that couldn’t believe that they were simply just that nice regularly.  This was just something I was not accustomed to.  Every where I turned, every time I crossed paths with the staff, they greeted my family with a smile, a “Good-day Ma’am”  “Hi-Five little man!” “Hello Princess!” By the end of our stay, they were calling the kids by their names. It was heartwarming.

What surprised me most was that there was never a moment when I handed my children (my most precious of cargo) over to them at the Kid Camp door, that I worried.  They just took to the children right away.  Even my extremely attached son found his person and clung to her his entire stay.  Each day it might be a new person he clung to, but he never forgot his old friends.  Yes there were occasional boughts of tears brought on by a nap-time gone and past but they never showed their wear.  I watched them woo and win my little guy over.  I watched him hide behind them as Sesame Street characters made their surprise visits and each time he dared to inch a little closer to the characters he loved so much on TV and slowly adjust his reality that they could be actually here in front of him.  I loved watching his face brighten every time we passed one of the counselors on the resort and they addressed him by name, often with a high-five!

My normally shy daughter took the open hands of a Kid Camp counselor as she invited “A” to join the Sesame Street Parade.  In fact, I was the nervous Nelly wondering where this person was taking my daughter on this unknown-to-me parade route.  I struggled to keep up with them but she was all smiles every time I spotted her in the Congo line.

My son LOVES Sesame Street (and so does my daughter) but characters in REAL life have always terrified him.  He would shriek… and cry… and scream.  He would hide behind us, climb us like Mount Everest, all the while trembling in fear.  It will always defy me how he can sing and dance with them on the TV screen but not be in completely awe at their version of a celebrity sighting and yet it simply was.

And yet this is how we ended our stay, with a character tuck-in by Elmo.  This was the activity I was most unsure about.  The idea sounded equally awesome and equally terrifying.  I knew it could go one of two ways – a complete meltdown or a complete love fest.  The latter won the toss!  There were hugs, kisses and snuggles.  A far cry from all the screaming and hiding behind anyone in reach when Elmo and his friends made their appearances early on the trip.

[box]TIP: If your little one is a little character shy (like my little guy), schedule the Character Tuck-In for your last nights stay.  Hopefully (s)he will have warmed up to them by then and you’ll have a memory that will last forever.[/box]

So while you’re enjoying this beautiful memorial day weekend, I’ll be working hard at the hospital and remembering that just last weekend, I was in the Paradise called Beaches Negril Resort & Spa  in Jamaica.

Stayed tuned!  Next week I’ll be talking about all those fun activities for kids at the beautiful Beaches Negril Resort & Spa .

Can’t wait?!  Check out my full Flickr set here.

{ disclaimer: I was invited to a Press Tour of Beaches Negril Resort & Spa.  A small portion of my travel expenses and (1) guest were subsidized by Sandals.  As always, all opinions expressed here are my very own. }