Jamaican Hideaway: Nirvana on the Beach

Jamaican Hideaway: Nirvana on the Beach

Nirvana features charming beachfront cottages.

No neon signs or advertising will draw your attention to Nirvana on the Beach. You could walk right past the resort without noticing the unpretentious driveway that leads into a glorious tropical garden on Jamaica’s famed Negril Beach.

Palm fringed, with silky soft, powder-white sand, Negril Beach stretches for about 4 miles (6.4 km) on the western tip of this Caribbean island. Nirvana, in the center of Negril Beach, is caressed by warm turquoise waters.

Warm Caribbean waters caress Jamaica’s Negril Beach.
Warm Caribbean waters caress Jamaica’s Negril Beach.

Close your eyes and picture yourself surrounded by lush vegetation, fruit trees and a rainbow of flora, such as hibiscus, lilies, torch gingers, jade vines and orchids. The heady smells of the exotic gardens captivate you like a cool breeze on a hot day. You hear songbirds and the rhythm of the ocean waves.

My first morning at Nirvana, I woke up to the scent of night-blooming jasmine drifting in my window. The ceiling fan offered a refreshing breeze, and I picked up a different scent, sea air. My comfortable room featured neutral colors and a sense of relaxed privacy.

A rural New York couple, Lonnie and Stanley Gottlieb discovered Negril Beach decades ago when the free-spirited hippie generation appreciated the laidback lifestyle the Negril area offers. They built Nirvana on a 1.5 acre (6,070 m²) plot of beachfront jungle in the mid 1980s.

The eight-unit guest property is inspired by nature. Beachfront cottages have two or three bedrooms and spacious living/dining rooms. Furnishings are simple and unpretentious, yet charming, with wicker chairs and plantation blinds. Prices start at US$ 180 per night for two people.

All units are fully screened, and there are ceiling fans in every room. Kitchens are fully equipped. Daily maid and cooking service for one meal per day is included in the cottage rates. Guests provide all groceries needed for meal preparation.

Perhaps I should have followed my neighbor’s menu. As I woke up from my midday nap in a hammock beneath a coconut palm, a delicious smell wafted through the courtyard. “What’s that?” I asked TuTu, staff member and my new friend, who happened by at that moment.

“Why Sheila, that smell there is brown stew chicken simmering in a rich gravy.” At that, my stomach growled loudly and we both laughed. Jamaican cooking never disappoints. I decided to have the same dish prepared for me the next day.

Nirvana on the Beach is simple living in a perfect climate.
Nirvana on the Beach is simple living in a perfect climate.

Nirvana’s beach is private. Aside from hammocks, there are lounge chairs and charcoal grills. Nirvana even has a playhouse and swing set for children.

With 24-hour security and the caring, long-time Nirvana staff, you’ll instantly feel at home. If requested, the staff will provide transportation to any destination in Negril and arrange activities of any sort. Water-sports options available from friendly, local operators include scuba diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, banana boating (riding on a long “sled” pulled by a ski boat), kayaking and sunset cruises.

Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean Islands, with several major resort developments in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, but the Negril area still has an authentic Jamaican feeling, because no high-rise buildings are allowed.

At Nirvana on the Beach you have the best seats for incredible sunsets in hues from lemon yellow to sparkling tangerine, always a breathtaking end to any day in Negril.

And you get to experience what the original hippies did: a place that brings you back to yourself, a simple life in a perfect climate and days filled with the wonders of an incredible natural environment still unmarked by mass tourism.

With open-air showers, no television, the windows open to the Caribbean breezes and a Jamaican staff who seem to know what you need even before you ask — this truly is Nirvana.

Nirvana’s private beach offers choice seating for viewing sunsets.
Nirvana’s private beach offers choice seating for viewing sunsets.

If You Go

Nirvana on the Beach


Jamaica Tourist Board