We stayed at Couples Swept Away in Negril, and it was an absolutely wonderful place to experience the Caribbean for the first time. It was our first real stay at an All Inclusive (although we did 2 nights at an AI in Puerto Vallarta in 2009, but weren't there long enough to really take advantage), and it was a nice change of pace to be able to just leave your wallet in the room safe. Couples resorts don't even allow tipping, since they have an employee bonus system built into their room prices, so it was really a cash free resort.
The rooms weren't huge, but very clean and comfortable, with a great beachfront verandah.
This was our view from the verandah, and we were in close proximity to one of the beach bars.
The grounds were also beautiful, with lots of lush vegetation and winding paths to stroll while sipping morning coffee.
The resort had three nice (but on the small side) pools, but the one with the swim up bar was the only one we actually went in.
Because we were really there for the best part of the whole resort, the beach! The resort is spread along what travel sites say is one of the best stretches of 7 Mile Beach in Negril, giving you ample space to spread out and never feel too cramped or crowded next to other guests.
And the water really was as clear and blue as in all of the photos of the Caribbean I'd seen my whole life!
Since this was meant to be a relaxing beach trip without too many activities (per my husband's request), I had to make my own entertainment, because I get too bored sitting around all day. So most days I would take little safaris around the resort with my camera, trying to spot animals. Being on an island, there wasn't a huge abundance of wildlife, but I did get to see some cute crabs (and a whole lot of giant land crabs at night when I didn't have my camera on me!).
There were also starfish in the ponds running through the resort.
And every night little geckos would come hang out with us on the verandah, helping to keep the mosquito population down.
We also saw lots of seabirds during the day, but probably my favorite was seeing the friendly kitties that roamed the resort.
(Looking straight down from our verandah)
With many an afternoon here at the swim up bar.
Or cooling off in the pool with a lounge float.
Or playing games on the beach, since the resort had just about anything you could think of, volleyball, beach soccer, beach yoga...
And it was pretty hard work, living in cover ups or swimsuits all day (good thing I brought 5, since I hate putting on a wet suit and things didn't dry very quickly due to the humidity)!
Evenings were spent stuffing our faces with the (mostly) amazing food at the resort. While we enjoyed both of the beach grills during the day, we disappointed with the dinner buffet selection the few times we ate there. But both of the reservations-required fancy restaurants and the more casual restaurant (Patio's, our favorite) were always good, and changed their menus several times during our stay, to keep things interesting.
After dinner some nights we would check out the entertainment around the resort. They had everything from singers to acrobats to fire dancers.
The Silverbirds steel drum band was the best.
We also spent a couple of evenings at the piano bar (one of the few places with air conditioning at the resort, other than the rooms), which then turned into a dance club as the night went on. But most nights we just ended up back at our verandah after dinner. After all, with an included mini bar that was restocked daily, we didn't need much else.
(Solar powered string lights I'd brought to decorate our verandah)
Well, that about covers what we did the majority of the trip, a whole lot of not-too-much! But we did participate in a couple of activities, and since I've already shared so many photos in this post, I'm going to save them for another post tomorrow.
And since this photo doesn't really fit in anywhere else, I'll end with it. It might look like a dark sunset, but this was actually the moon setting. I'd never in my life seen such a bright orange moon as when I peeked out the window after getting up around 5am to use the bathroom, so I had to snap a photo!