10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"It was our honeymoon and we have never been to the caribbean, but the Caves was the perfect place for us.
It is secluded and romantic with luxury but no crowd.
We only stayed 3 nights due to the price but it was worth every penny. I can not decribe the feeling of relaxation and peace there. The staff were all great and the food was simply amazing. we were in the sea turtle and the tub was huge and the views are all beautiful. We want to go back soon.
We also stayed at sandal's montego bay and it was like summer camp for adults and not very nice at all. I read many reviews before our trip and one said if you stay at more than one place stay here last and it is right you will not enjoy the rest of your trip nearly as much if you stay there first. we did and we missed it every day being pamperd and evrything was perfect. a note to all you staying on 7 mile beach beware or all the annoying locals comming up to you on the beach and bothering you for money or to buy things, we hated it and it ruined the middle part or our trip when we stayed on the beach. that is why we loved the caves. If you want secluded romantic, relaxation without the crowds and vendors to bother you this is the place for you. I can not say how much we loved the caves. Go snokeling, get a massage, have a dinner in the cave, reserve the cliffside hottub for a night and enjoy the local cusuine with a hommingbird or dirty banana to sip on and take in the surreal sunsets. We are in our mid 20's but we talked to a few other couples up to their 60's it is for all ages unless you seek the spring break atmosphere. You get to know the staff and other guests and everyone was so nice. I am done rambling now but i recommend this place 100%."
- Travel date: Mon 6th of February 2006
Like nowhere else!
"We've just returned from our honeymoon at the Caves from Dec.13-21st. We split our vacation between Couples Negril (3 nights) and The Caves (5 nights). Let me first say that we LOVED Couples Negril also, but The Caves is on a whole different level. We honestly do not know how to put into words how truly unbelievable The Caves is, but we will try. Now we understand why The Caves was voted #1 in the Caribbean on tripadvisor. We both agree that The Caves is one of the most special places on earth, and we couldn't be happier that we chose this for our honeymoon location. We both love traveling and normally would not return to the same place twice, but the Caves is an exception, and we will most definitely come back as often as possible! Here is some more general info that we think may help you make your decision:
Property: No matter how many pictures you see of the property before you go, you will still be blown away by its beauty. Views and layout of The Caves truly sets it apart from other hotels in the area. 3 bars (self serve at night), 2 dining areas (but you can request to eat anywhere you want to on the property), cave dining (private ... highly recommend), private jacuzzi in cliff, many private sunbathing "grottos" in the cliffs, outside showers ... they've thought of everything and done it in the most artistic way.
Our Room: We stayed in the Butterfly. Talk about a room with a view! It is a second floor unit that is literally 5 feet from the edge of the cliff, so as you wake up in the morning and look out your window, all you see is the beautiful Caribbean. King size bed, kitchenette with fridge, dining table, large bath with Aveda products, sitting area/den perfect for reading and relaxing, cd player with provided "sensual" cds. We couldn't have been happier in the Butterfly, but as other reviews have said it is not for everyone ... most rooms do not have a/c, this was fine with us as we slept with windows open and it was a cool 75 degrees at night when we were there, the bugs were not a huge problem in dec., but we do suggest bringing bug spray along because we woke up with a couple of bites every morning. The bathroom is no Ritz Carlton. There's a large bathtub/rain shower, but it's by no means "fancy". It was perfect for us, however.
Food: The meals at the Caves are incredible ... 5 star quality dining. Three out of the five nights we were there we had lobster. They usually have a choice of two or three things at dinner, but usually we got a combination of everything! As far as meals go, you name it, they'll get it!
Staff: The best way to describe the staff is that they are "always there yet never there." They understand that you are there for privacy, but they offer 5 star service. We enjoyed meeting each staff member and left feeling like we were leaving friends. One of our most memorable moments was drinking beers and getting to know one of the many amazing staff members.
Activities: The Caves has many offsite activities for their guests, but honestly, my wife and I were so happy on the property that we never left! Most of our day was spent laying in the sun, drinking pina coladas (amazing!), snorkeling, reading,kayaking, swimming, watching sunsets from the jacuzzi, and jumping off the cliffs! Cliff jumping was perhaps the most fun activity at The Caves. They have various "jumping off" platforms (5 ft. to 35 ft.), and it was quite exhilarating to say the least (you better land right if you jump off the highest one!)
Lastly, if you are looking for a small, private, and unique resort this is the place for you. It is truly a place to relax ... no tv, no phone, no worries. We've taken many wonderful memories from The Caves, and we plan on making many more in the future."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of January 2006
SPECTACULAR, AMAZING, PERFECT setting for a destination wedding
"My sister and her new husband made the brilliant decision to have their wedding at the Caves on December 10, 2005. Thanks to the truly outstanding service and astoundingly beautiful setting, the wedding was absolutely magical, joyous, and fun beyond adequate description!!!
I am the bride's older sister/maid of honor, and I'm admittedly a travel snob (through work, I've become accustomed to 5 star quality travel) -- well, Wendy, Charlene, Patrick, Avery, and one other lovely lady (whose name is escaping me) provided a 10 star event! The set-up for the ceremony, the cocktail hour, the entertainment, the food, the flowers, the photographer -- literally every detail -- was absolutely beautiful, high-end, PERFECT (I do NOT use that term often). My sister was ecstatic! And they were so kind to her -- she is incredibly sweet and was not at all an annoying bride, but of course she was a bit nervous, and everyone was so calm, sweet and reassuring....The "Caves crew" is so accomplished that I think they were able to arrange the 10+ weather that day (after several days of clouds & intermittant thunderstorms)!?
The 52 guests cannot stop raving about how spectacularly fun, beautiful & truly memorable the wedding was. As I've viewed photos over the last few days, I cannot stop smiling and "oohing & aahing" over the mind-bogglingly awesome natural beauty of the place. But it is the people of the Caves who make it the world-class resort it is -- they provided my beloved sister & her husband (& their guests) with a completely joyous life memory: THANK YOU, gang! Our families and friends are forever indebted to you. I am not a tropical destination traveler normally, but I hope to return to the Caves someday - it is a world-class establishment. If you are looking for a destination wedding setting for a 50-ish size wedding -- this is perfection!"
- Travel date: Thu 15th of December 2005
It rocks! ;)
"This hotel was the best in Jamaica yet. I stayed in a lot of different hotels there and i was amazed after visiting this one. Go to it!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of November 2005
Echoing the "Bohemian Bliss" review!
"The reason my new husband and I chose the Caves for our honeymoon was strictly based on reviews from this website. Let me tell you...they were right on! This place is INCREDIBLE...there are not words to describe it, so I won't even really try. For photos, their website is great, islandoutpost.com. But I have to completely echo the review I just read from Bohemian Bliss. I could have wrote it myself! So, I won't waste your time writing more. I do want to note a few things to the lucky travelers who go to the Caves. First, we didn't have any difficulty getting
our transportation from the airport, there was a Jamaican man with a makeshift sign that said "CAVES." As we walked out to the car, a man approached us and offered us Red Stripe beer (which you will become addicted to during your trip!) and I'm naive and said yes! They only cost $4 for two, so not too bad. The ride is about an hour and a half, maybe, but you lose track of time quickly in Jamaica, as you become acclimated to "island time." I was shocked to see the extreme poverty...it was the strangest thing...and the strangest thing was that there was a unique beauty in all of the little shacks dotting the side of the road, many of them tiny businesses. We passed the Sandals resort on the way...all I could do was giggle to myself that we would be staying at a far different, and far more wonderful resort than any Sandals could strive to be.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a Cliffhanger- oh, did I get hooked on those!!! One note, the Appleton Rum they use here, NEVER will give you a hangover. Trust me, I drank rum drinks from dawn til dusk, and never once awoke with a headache! We stayed in the Macka Tree, based on reviews here, that it was the perfect place for a honeymooning couple. And oh, it was! It is a second floor cottage, with an incredible view of the ocean! It's directly above the Blue Hole, which is an incredible opening to a cave below, where you can jump and land in the ocean. I DID IT!!! It looks terrifying, but have some rum drinks and JUMP! The cool thing about the Blue Hole is that you constantly hear the waves crashing...it's so beautiful to sleep to, and I miss that everpresent serenade. One thing I really want to mention to you ladies out there....pack light. I didn't, and it was a tremendous mistake. I packed all of my makeup, tons of outfits, all my hair-do stuff...And didn't touch a thing of it. I lived in a swimsuit, and never even considered makeup. If I am blessed to go back to the Caves, I will pack a tiny suitcase! And, the bathroom is cozy, but there's not a ton of light to even put on makeup. So if you're a gal that MUST wear makeup...give it up for a week :)
Also, it was a little hard on us without air conditioning...the fan and ocean breeze is wonderful, and you actually get used to it pretty quickly, but we were happy to get home and crank the air up. But I don't think the Caves should air in their cottages. They do such an amazing job of keeping this place natural and authentic, and AC would not fit here. The CDs in the room were awesome! Actually, all the music here is so cool. The breakfast area usually has cheery island tunes or Bob Marley, or fun American tunes. The dinner area usually had funky, clubby modern tunes. But the CDs in the room were played constantly, and I MISS that music! The bugs weren't too bad, you have to know if you travel to anywhere in the Caribean, you're gonna have little bug bites. It's not as bad as some reviewers make it out to be. But I did use the mosquito netting, which is actually really cool and romantic, and occasionally used bug spray.
The food....wow...incredible, enough said. I miss it, and could eat the food there every day of my life!! My husband, though, was dying for pizza and a burger :) We went kayaking, which was a blast! Did the hot tub, how romantic! And got a couples massage- which again, just fantastic. Everything there is Aveda, it was so amazing...Even my husband, who is a big man's man, and was skeptical, enjoyed it. I loved it! We didn't end up doing the Cave dining, as the weather was a little stormy, and the waves were wild down in the caves. But the staff, who yes, are the best in the whole world, tried their best to set it up, before the waves got crazy, and were so apologetic. My husband and I never left the resort...we didn't want to, we were too happy there. There's no sandy beach, but hey, we LOVED jumping off the cliffs. And of course, there are easy ways to get into the ocean and swim. I'll echo the other reviews when I say that if you constantly need to be entertained, you won't be happy here. But if you're madly in love and want to enjoy your love, stay here.
When we left, I actually cried a touch, knowing that my honeymoon was over, and I would have to go back to reality, from spending a week in paradise. I regret that I read the "guest book" right before we left, before I wrote our piece in there. I WISH I would have read it all along, there were some nice stories in it. When you do leave, DO NOT allow the driver to stop at a store so you can buy coffee and rum, cigars, etc. We asked our driver to stop, as we were not aware that they had these things at the airport- and even if we did know that, we would assume they'd be more expensive. Right? Wrong! We got HOSED at a little store. I swear our driver gets kickbacks from the Middle Eastern- not even Jamaican- store owner. He totally ripped us off. Wait until you get to the airport. The airport stores are cheap and even give you a sturdy box to put your goods in. We just got a plastic bag at the little store. One thing we never quite figured out was how to tip. We asked when we got there, about the tipping policy, and were told, tip if you like, or don't. You can tip all at the end too. But we still didn't know if it was expected or not. We kind of settled on, and this may or may not be correct, that the staff must get tipped inclusive of our price. They are so good, that there's no way that they'd work at the Caves, where there were only 3 couples when we were there, rather than a Sandals, where they can service hundreds of people. So, we think that they are paid fairly well, in order to have the calibre of people that they have. Truly Ritz Carlton quality. So, what we did was give a large "pool" tip at the end. The office will make sure it's split among the staff that worked while you were there.
Lastly...what you've read on these reviews is correct about the staff...We were treated like royalty or celebrities. They were so courteous and friendly, perfect service. They were helpful when you needed them, but disappeared when you didn't. I wanted to give them all hugs when we left.
Well, I hope those little tips help. This place is paradise, we had the best honeymoon ever! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at all that these reviews don't answer for you."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of October 2005
The Caves-perfect in every way
"I spent 3 months looking for a place to surprise my wife with to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and it took me 3 minutes to figure out I made the right choice. The Caves is everything it says it is and certainly deserving of the praise received here. I want to thank everyone who has posted and those who answered my e-mails. I will try not to ramble, but just hit the highlights...
My wife and I stayed in Moonshadow. We enjoyed the amazing views and its quaint rustic nature. The outdoor shower is something to experience for sure. It was a great cottage, but I really don't think you could go wrong in any of them.
As beautiful as this place is and as good as the food was, the staff is what really makes the Caves special. Gracious, accommodating, attentive. If you need anything, simply ask. A previous poster complained about not having Jamaican Patties on the menu. Out of morbid curiosity, I mentioned them at breakfast one morning to Norwin, one of the best people on staff and maker of the best Bloody Marys and Pina Coladas you will find. With a simple, "No Problem Mon", patties accompanied our lunch just a few hours later. Everyone there will do their best to make your trip something to remember-accept their kindness and reciprocate with your own. Gary, Alicia, Norwin, Brian, Shirley, Avery, Joy, Glenn, Laurenette, Bernardo and all the rest-thanks for an amazing time.
Finally, just a few thoughts:
-The moonlight Couples massage was amazing-I highly recommend it.
-There will be bugs. We were fine with Avon SSS with bug repellant during the day. You will need the mosquito net at night on your bed.
-We left the resort one day to go shopping. Take it or leave it. Just make sure anytime you get in a taxi, negotiate the price first.
-Make friends while you're there. I won't mention names here, but we met great couples from Chicago, Atlanta, and New York. Respect those who wish to remain aloof, but invest some time in those around you.
-Take your soulmate and rediscover each other. After 10 years of marriage and 4 year old twins, my wife and I figured out it just keeps getting better.
If anyone has any questions, I certainly welcome your e-mails. Lord knows everyone was a big help to me. Until the next vacation-everything is everything."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of October 2005
I want to live at the Caves
"I left the Caves just under a week ago and I can't stop thinking about it. From the AMAZING staff to the wonderful food to the serene atmosphere, I can't think of a more romantic place to spend time with your significant other. I am a meeting planner and stay in 4-5 star resorts all over the US & Canada--this one topped all of them by far. It has more of a bed & breakfast feel because all the different rooms and due to its quiet and cozy feel. If you love the big resorts where you are entertained 24/7 then don't stay here, but if you want to truly get away from it all and just spend time swimming, snorkeling, reading, sunning, eating, and enjoying someone special, you have to give this place a try."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of October 2005
"My brother and his wife recently got married at The Caves and brought the family along to witness their sacred union. I was so happy for them, but I have tell you, it was amazing for the rest of us as well.
This place is magnificent!!!! I can not say enough about the staff... they went out of their way to make us comfortable, the service was extraordinary...the food was incredible...did I mention how wonderful the ENTIRE staff was?!?
I have no complaints!!!!! If you are looking for a place to party...this place is not for you. But if you are looking for a relaxing get away ...The Caves is it!!!
Hopefully we can celebrate all their anniversaries there as well!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of October 2005
"My husband and I just love Jamaica. So, when were found ourselves faced with a long planned 10 day trip to europe which we were just too exhausted to deal with, we cancelled everything and opted for a week in Jamaica instead. It was just what we needed. We chose the Caves on the cliffs for 4 nights and Moondance Villas (see my other review) on the beach for 3 nights. Upon arriving at the Caves, I could immediately feel all of my east coast uptightness and stress melt away. The place is very exclusive and very private and is located in the most gogeous setting you can imagine.
The property winds along a narrow strip of land right along the cliffs on the West End, is lushly landscaped and comprises several cottage type buildings which are nicely set apart and very private. Everywhere you look, there are interesting nooks and crannies to explore. Lots of private sunbathing ledges down close to the water with a ladder to get in and out of the soup and even two caves at water level that you can visit and even have dinner in. I highly reccommend the "cave dining" and suggest that you book as soon as you get there to make sure you have the opportunity to experince it while you are there. Also, be warned that it can get a little hot and stuffy in the cave during dinner. We wore our bathing suits which "suited" us just fine. In fact, we spent very little time wearing anything other than bathing suits, if anything at all, the whole time we were there. I also suggest a couples bath in the "hot tub" which is a large jacuzzi set into a private chamber in the rocks looking out over the sea. Book it at sunset and you'll fully understand why they call it the "hot tub" with a grin. In fact, I would dare say that just about everything at this place, from the rooms, to the setting, to the decor, lighting and faciltiies cater almost exclusively to lovers. If you have a hard time finding romance at this place with you lover, then you need a different one.
The rooms have different names. Our was called "Sea Turtle" and was a lovely first level unit with a huge bay window which opened up for a spectacular view of the sea. In fact, lying upon the bed, I would wake up in the morning and feel as if I was drifting in the sea becasuse the view is right at eye level from the bed and you just feel immersed in blue. Most of the furnishings and fixtures were somewhat rudimentary, but in a charming, native way. The building and most things were built out of solid formed concrete, even the HUGE bathtub in our room. Pretty much everything is alfresco, nothing is closed in, even the rooms. We did not shut or even think about locking our door the whole time we were there. Most of the time, we walked around the room in our birthday suits and just didn't care who saw what. It's just that kind of place.
The food is absolutely wonderful. Some of the best we've had in the Caribbean. Breakfast and lunch are served in an open air pavillion near the pool with lovely views of the water. Dinner is served either in one of the caves (reservation needed) or on the second level dining deck again overlooking the water and under the stars. All the lighting is soft and colorful and the mood of the entire place is just absolutely romantic. There were a few other couples there while we were. We preferred to keep to ourselves, so a friendly "hi" in passing sufficed and most of the time, we felt as though we had the place to ourselves.
As far as activities and nightlife go, the Caves itself is VERY quite, but the staff can arrange for just about any watersport, tour or other activity that you can think of. They have a sunset bar on the premises called the Sands which is also open to the public, Great to watch the sunset from there, but pretty quite by bar standards which was fine with us. If you want to party, Rick's on the cliffs is a short walk down the road and you could always hire a taxi for the 10 minute car ride to the beach area of Negril where you will find bars and nightclubs galore. We preferred the quite, sensual peacefulness of the Caves.
The only drawback is the fact that the rooms are not airconditioned, but they do provide you fans. Due to the breezes along the cliffs, I didn't mind at all but I know my husband was uncomfortable at times. Also, open windows and no airconditioning also means bugs galore. Bring your repellant. Other than that, we have no complaints. The staff is wonderful and will bend over backwards to accomodate you in any way. Hi to Alicia, Gary, Norwin, Laurenette (SP?) and Nike who all went out of their way to make sure our stay was a special.
In conclusion, if you can't find romance here, you haven't found your prince charming. Ya mon."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of October 2005
i wish i was there right now!
"The Caves was awesome! The pictures do not do this place justice. It is absolutely breathtaking. The food was magnificent. The lobster was definitely my favorite, not to mention the champagne. Also the French Toast is delicious, try that for breakfast. One tip I have is to ask for an air-conditioned room. We recommend the One-Drop. The al fresco shower is romantic. We even called our travel agent and stayed an extra night because we didnât want to leave. We will be going back most definitely. Make sure that when you book you reserve the cave for dinner. You can actually eat dinner in a cave by candelight with your own waiter and flowers strewn about. Also donât forget the hot-tub that looks over the sea, you have to book that also. Also go to Mayfield falls, it is beautiful. I canât imagine why anyone would give this place less than 5 stars. The only reason I could see was that there wasnât a lot of entertainment, no golf courses or noisey bars. But if you want to relax and enjoy your lover, this is the PERFECT getaway!"
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of August 2005