I decided to split my stay between cliffs and beach this time. I haven’t stayed on the beach since my kids were pretty little so I figured it was time to give it a shot again.
Well, I still don’t really care for the beach, but Bar B Barn was excellent.
I got a nice deal via a friend who stays there regularly and booked through Denton. Denton is one of the office/reservations folks and he is just awesome. From booking to welcome to watching my stuff for me for a few hours after checkout, he just went above and beyond and always with a huge smile and a “no problem”. He reps that place very, very well.
In fact, I really loved all the staff I interacted with, from Doctor Mike the security/not sure what else guy to the ladies in the bar and restaurant and the cleaning staff, the place is well run and everyone is on top of their game. One night there was a Negril-wide blackout, the entire town was without power, and Angela’s (the restaurant upstairs at Bar B Barn) still cooked 8 of us a terrific meal by candlelight.
My room was very comfortable. I had the one closest to the beach and restaurant (as I requested), upstairs (121). Large bed, bathroom, fridge (which I didn’t expect), air conditioning with remote, fan, and close enough to the action to be convenient but not loud enough to bother me at all.
BBB includes a free breakfast and welcome drink, which is a nice touch. The breakfast is not a buffet but a menu from which you can order anything. With coffee and juice. Loved what I had.
|Beach bar view|
|Ackee and saltfish, coffee, juice – included breakfast.|
The day I switched hotels down to there I brought a group of my friends from CFSG with me as they hadn’t been to the beach yet either. They set up on loungers while I checked in, then we hung on the beach for awhile. BIG waves that day, we had a blast body surfing and jumping into them. Not typical calm Negril beach (got that later), but very fun. We laughed and screamed and SQUEALED with laughter out there, like little kids.
I have come to expect the beach hustler situation to be a PITA, but this time it wasn’t. I don’t know if it is the way I interact with them or what, but they left me alone completely. Often when I see one of the beach guys I will greet them first, as I am walking or doing whatever, and maybe that throws them off balance a bit? Or I just look like I’m not messing around…I don’t know but it was all good, up on the cliffs too. One on the beach called me “Bosslady” when he saw/heard me dealing with my friends (and apparently Jitters got called that too, we must be bossy!).
Of our large group a few people on the beach were bothered, honestly it was mainly guys, not the girls. I think (some) guys get into a little alpha male challenge thing with beach hustlers while women can be handle it better. I know when a beach gigolo/hustler/regular vendor tells me I look beautiful or they love my body or something, I just smile big and say “thank you!” and keep on doing what I’m doing. Possibly they interact differently with (some) men. Some of our group stayed up at Fun Holiday and felt like they could hardly walk the beach from there, even got hassled some sitting in their loungers. We did not have that experience at Bar B Barn.
|Out on the Bar B Barn beach|
|Working out a price on fruit with a beach vendor|
All that said, I still prefer the west end to the beach. I had a scooter for a few days and used it to hang out mostly up at CFSG or Llantrissant. My third morning at BBB I came down for breakfast and the waitress asked me if I was staying there…I was like “well, I have been sleeping here!”.
I can see how if I were solo (and frankly if I were I wouldn’t be in Negril) the beach might be nice, plenty going on, plenty of people watching. But my speed is a bit slower.
Again though, BBB would be a great choice for a future beach stay. Only one complaint: no beach shower. I really like being able to rinse off salt after swimming without trekking up to my room. Otherwise, terrific affordable spot.
|My friend doing her thing with devil sticks|
We enjoyed our dinner at Angela’s served (and cooked) by
candlelight (and headlamp, I know how to pack for Jamaica), during the
blackout. The staff was amazing in dealing with that and still serving a delicious meal.
Other than this afternoon we only spent one other on the main beach. We visited Aqua Villa where friends were staying. We swam, hung out, visited Fun Holiday’s pool next door and returned for a delicious dinner (that included this massive grouper) one night.
|The larger group I was with went out on a private catamaran tour one day.|
Thanks again to Nene, Jamie and Lisa for some of these photos.
Continue reading this series:
On the hustle and moving in Jamaica