Tropical Paradise

Sunset at the Palms blends a social atmosphere with seclusion

By: Janeen Christoff

It didn’t matter that I was the only single person at the Sunset at the Palms resort, I still made plenty of friends. Tucked away in a lush tropical 10-acre garden in the laid-back coastal city of Negril, Jamaica, the resort offers an ideal balance between utter seclusion and social interaction. Communal areas offer the perfect setting for guests to gather, drink, meet up and mingle. And cabins, hidden among lush foliage and large trees in a jungle-like environment, are private and beautiful. While I was there, a vivacious group of couples, all of whom had met at the resort, were chatting poolside about their day’s activities, comparing and contrasting which excursions were the best and boasting about who was brave enough to make the notorious cliff jump at the Rick’s Cafe.

Within the last year, the 65 treehouse-style rooms of Sunset at the Palms, formerly known as the Negril Cabins, were completely renovated and updated. Although the same number of cabins still exists on the property, they were gutted and remodeled to be larger and offer up-to-date amenities. French doors open out onto a private balcony with a sitting area and a comfortable day bed, perfect for a relaxing afternoon. A dark wood interior is complemented by light, white linens on a king-size platform bed. Rooms are air-conditioned and also include a ceiling fan, satellite television and coffee and tea service. Bathrooms are equipped with hair-dryers, vanity mirrors and a multi-head shower.

The resort’s unique environment and secluded style will give visitors the impression that they are staying at a one-of-a-kind property, which they are, but it may come as a shock to some that all this luxury also comes with an all-inclusive price tag. After check-in, all meals, drinks, non-motorized watersports, access to the gym, tennis and the Internet are free of charge, and taxes and tips are included as well.

Clients can keep themselves busy during the day by walking to the beach, where they are escorted across the highway to a secluded, five-acre crescent of white sand lined with shady palms and trees, perfect for relaxing. On this side, there is the Palm Breeze Beach Bar and Grill, where clients can get food and beverages while they swim in the sea, lounge by the water or take advantage of the watersports. A sports center offers kayaks, windsurfing, snorkel masks, fins and more.

To keep clients extra busy, the resort also offers traditional island cooking classes, a bartending course and classic films in the evening, as well as regular nightly evening entertainment at the Bamboo Bar, located at the pool. Each night features a different style of music and while I visited I was transfixed by the hypnotic sounds of the steel drums and mellowed out to the sounds of a well-known Jamaican reggae band.

For such a small, intimate property, the choices in drinking or dining are seemingly limitless. For drinks, clients have their choice of the new Martini Lobby Bar, where they can try a martini made with Jamaican Appleton rum. In addition to the beach bar, there is also the Bamboo Bar at the pool, which serves as a central hub in the evenings, as well as a hot spot during the afternoon. Guests returning from excursions can relax at the pool’s swim-up bar and enjoy a couple of drinks while making plans for the night.

In addition to the beach grill, which serves food from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there are two other restaurants at the resort. The Palm Grove Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and serves a mix of continental and Jamaican fare in a buffet style. The Lotus Leaf restaurant offers a fusion of Jamaican and Asian fare served a la carte in an eclectic atmosphere. Clients can make reservations to the restaurant, which is open three to four nights each week.


Sunset at the Palms
Resort and Spa
Negril, Jamaica

In a world that is more and more environmentally conscious, it is noteworthy to mention that Sunset at the Palms was the first hotel in the world to receive Certification for Environmentally Sustainable Tourism by the U.K.’s Green Globe.