When searching for places to stay in Jamaica, Negril, specifically - it’s easy to miss. There seems to be an endless array of all inclusive, boutique, guest house and AirBNB type accommodations on the island. You might miss Rayon if you’re searching for luxury or all inclusive, but if what you’re really seeking is an authentic Jamaican vibe and experience, you won’t want to miss staying at Rayon.
Feels Like Home
Immediately upon walking into Rayon’s lobby, I knew that we were in for a treat. It felt like arriving to your long lost auntie’s home. Well taken care of, loved and homey. Because we were traveling during COVID, we immediately had our temperatures checked and were sanitized upon entry. The receptionist walked us to our room and gave us a brief tour of the property.
We walked up to the second floor and were instantly in awe of our “room” that felt more like a small apartment than a hotel room. The veranda was complete with table and chairs and beautiful views of the lush greenery that envelopes the property. We walked first into the kitchenette, complete with a fridge, stove, microwave and small dining table with two chairs. Bonus: we were pleasantly surprised to find two Watas and Red Stripes cooling in the refrigerator. We then walked into the amply sized bedroom, with a generous Queen bed, walk-in closet, decently sized bathroom and a balcony. As we settled into our room, I regretted that we were only staying for two nights. It’s definitely a place that I could see myself easily staying one week.
We arrived to Negril and Rayon at an awkward time, too late for lunch, too early for dinner, but I was starving (if you know me, you know that this is not an unusual sensation #alwayshungry). We decided to check out the hotel bar and restaurant and again, I was pleasantly surprised! I had the best fish sandwich and fries accompanied with a shot of JB rum and ginger beer for $10 USD. The young chef was also the waiter and he was helpful, humble and genuinely friendly.
Unfortunately for us, our first night at Rayon was a memorable one. The rain came fast and furiously and because we weren’t familiar with the area, we cancelled our dinner plans and ordered in from the hotel restaurant. My escovitch fish was perfectly prepared and while the mash potatoes were not to my liking, another shot of JB and June plum juice reconciled any disappointment I might’ve felt. We watched President Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris celebration rally on tv just in time for the stormy weather to take center stage of our evening. Heavy rain, wind and thunder shook our little hideaway, so much so that the power was knocked out right as we went to bed. Luckily, all of the windows and doors were screened and we were able to sleep through the night with minimal discomfort.
We awoke bright and early and were in awe that after such a violent storm, the sun made its first appearance in days. Our travel crew made our way back to the Rayon’s restaurant for breakfast, which is included in the cost of the room. Like the prior two dining experiences, breakfast was a 5 star experience. My husband may be the chef, but I am a seasoned breakfast connoisseur. I was able to order both a veggie omelette AND ackee saltfish and callaloo. My Blue Mountain coffee drowned with condensed milk completed my breakfast experience and I was ready to take full advantage of the glorious rays of the sun for a beach day.
Who drives all the way to Negril specifically for a beach weekend and forgets beach towels? This girl! Luckily, the hotel thinks of everything and despite not being an all inclusive property, complimentary beach towels were provided for us and we were pointed in the direction of free beach access across the street.
Rayon doesn’t actually sit on the beach so if you’re searching for a beachfront property, you’ll miss it in the results, but it is just a few steps away from one of my favorite beaches, home one that stretches from Hanover to Westmoreland, home to Dream Weekend, an international attraction and an all-around oasis of wonder, aka Seven Mile Beach.
All in all, Rayon was a wonderful experience that I look forward to enjoying again. We prioritize locally owned accommodations as part of our I Love Being Caribbean values so it’s no doubt that Rayon met our needs. It was a delight to meet the owner, Ms. Pansy, who lives on site. She was available when the power went out, greeted us on arrival and ensures that every inch of her property meets her Caribbean mother expectations (if you know, then you know). The Rayon Staff were all genuinely friendly, took pride in their work while creating a pleasant and safe environment for their guests.
If you’re a big box, all inclusive traveler, Rayon may not be for you…but, if you appreciate a natural oasis, authentic human connection, meaningful relationships and supporting local business we highly recommend that you check out and check into Rayon Hotel during your next visit to Negril. Let them know that I Love Being Caribbean sent you!