Negril, Jamaica – The “Capital of Casual” as it is sometimes called and by regulation, no buildings can be constructed above the highest palm tree!
Negril also faces into the western skyline which means residents & visitors take witness many evenings to some of the most amazing sunsets on the planet! The big orange ball in all its majesty dipping low into the horizon line is not just a time of day, but a true bucket-list life event witnessed and looked forward to by many on this stretch of Jamaica’s coastline.
Also available in Negril is the world famous Seven-Mile Beach. Powder white sand and blue water beckons visitors traveling up and down Norman Manley Boulevard where some of the greatest resorts in the area are located.
One resort in particular that we just visited stands high above the others with six Gourmet Inclusive® restaurants and two Gourmet Corners and a record 4 swim up bars literally a stones throw away from that powder white sand and blue water. Azul Beach Resort Negril by Karisma is located on the world famous Seven Mile Beach of Negril.
Featuring Karisma Resorts renowned Gourmet Inclusive® Experience, the 283 Ocean View rooms, showcases the recent addition of 147, well appointed suites in their Premium Section. The resort brings together spacious facilities with unlimited activities and services.
Another one of our favorite spots, is the Nesta Rasta Lounge inspired by the life and music of Bob Marley and features the widest selection of Rums on property along with a premium cocktail menu. Nightly live music can also be enjoyed here.
Azul Beach Resort Negril is a contemporary resort with a very noticeable laid-back Caribbean feel designed to allow couples, groups, wedding parties, families and friends from all generations to re-connect under the sun.
Speaking of bars, for many guests, The Bartender is one of the single most important people on the property because this is the person in many ways, sets the tone for the vacation. They play a critical role for beverage enthusiasts!
We had the opportunity to sit down (at the swim up bar of course!!) with one of Azul Beach Resort Negril’s top rated bartenders, Tracey-Ann Rhoden.
1. How long have you worked at Azul Beach Resort Negril?
Tracey-Ann: I have worked at Azul Beach Resort Negril for 5 years – I was here with the original owners until they sold the property to Karisma Resorts.
2. What Parish are you from originally in Jamaica?
Tracey-Ann: I am from the Parish of Hanover and specifically, the coastal town of Lucea.
3. What is your official title at Azul Beach Resort Negril?
Tracey-Ann: Bartender, sometimes I am a cocktail waitress and sometimes bartender.
4. Where can you normally be found on property and what are your day to day responsibilities?
Tracey-Ann: You can normally find me on the Beach or at the Building 8 or Building 11-12 Swim Up Pool Bars.
5. What’s your favorite / signature drink to make and what’s in it?
Tracey-Ann: One of my favorite drinks to recommend and make includes a Mango purée, lime juice, strawberry syrup, Appleton rum, spiced rum, orange slice, and cranberry. ice, in a shaker, strain in a glass, add ice….dark rum on top, garnish with an orange slice – I call my drink “KICK” because it gives you a kick!!
6. How would you define your approach to make the guests happy behind the bar?
Tracey-Ann: I love to socialize and get to know my customer. I also like to make special drinks for them. With so many potential choices, many guests are unsure what they want to try so I ask what kind of alcohol they like and I will make them something with that liquor in it.
I also remember my guests names and what their preferences are. Another point I like to be helpful with, is that if a guest has an issue, I can always help the guest to solve an issue even if its not my particular job area because customer service here is job number one!
7. Is it important for you to add your touch to the cocktails you create? If so, how do you go about doing so?
Tracey-Ann: I always try to make them like I would like them if I were on the other side of the bar, but I always customize to the guests preference.
8. What spirit or cocktail plays an underdog role at your bar (one that you wish people would order more of or ask more about)?
Tracey-Ann: No question or hesitation! Appleton Rum!! It is the true drink of Jamaica and you have to try it while down here.
9. Azul Beach Resort Jamaica sits in the heart of some of the best water & land based excursions in the area and you probably get questions from guests all the time about things to do. These days, many travelers are looking for unique & authentic experiences on and off the resort but what are some of the other things you recommend to guests that they should check out while in the Ocho Rios area?
Tracey-Ann: While down here, I recommend guests visit Ricks Cafe where they can see cliff divers and do some diving of their own as well. YS Falls is another great place to try zip lining and of course, the Bob Marley Museum.
10. Most peoples lives are very busy these days and when on vacation, sometimes people like to cut loose a bit and have fun. What’s the silliest / craziest thing you have seen at so far?
Tracey-Ann: I remember a time where we had a big group staying here and the guys were in the pool doing a twerking contest. That’s something you don’t see everyday but they were cutting up and having a great time of it!!
11. One thing we never have enough of, is quality time just being together with our families. What are some of the things that you see families enjoying together while on property at Azul Beach Resort Jamaica?
Tracey-Ann: We see families playing Ping pong, volleyball on the beach and just spending time together which is very nice.
12. What are some of your favorite times of the year down at Azul Beach Resort Jamaica and why?
Tracey-Ann: I enjoy summertime down here, even thought its busy. Dream Weekend in Jamaica is another fun time of the year. Note: This years Dream Weekend is the 10th anniversary of the 5 day event taking place at various locations in Negril. It’s a highly anticipated Summer music festival with daily themes & produced by Dream Entertainment Limited and considered to be one of the Caribbean’s largest party experiences. Dates are August 2-6, 2018.
13. What are a couple of your most memorable experiences working at Azul Beach Resort Negril?
Tracey-Ann: Working with the staff. We have very good people work here dedicated to taking care of the guests.
14. Why should someone who is considering a trip to Azul Beach Resort Negril, but not quite sure yet, come there?
Tracey-Ann: We have a excellent staff, a great beach and swim up pools that are second to none so why not? The food is great, the sun is shining. Its a chill zone and you can relax here. I cant wait to see all your guests come down so they can sit at my bar, exhale, relax and have a great time with me!
We couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks so much for sitting down with us Tracy-Ann! We cant wait to make it back down to see you.
Tracey-Ann: I look forward to your next visit too. Be sure to have your guests come and see me so I can take great care of them!
For more information and a free quote on Azul Beach Resort Negril, contact us today at 517-917-0510 or email at email@example.com