International – Montego Bay
Donald Sangster International Airport is 70 miles and approximately a
one and a half hour drive from
Skylark. The major
international airlines for reservations and flight confirmations in
Montego Bay are:
Air Canada: Ph. 800-677-2485 &
American Airlines: Ph.
Air Tran: Ph.
British Airways: Ph.
Caribbean Airlines: Ph.
Jet Blue: Ph.
US Airways: Ph.
Domestic – Negril
Negril Aerodrome provides daily (charter) flights between Montego Bay
and Negril as well as flights to Kingston, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.
It is ¾ of a mile from Skylark. The domestic airlines are:
Int’l Air Link Ph. 876-940-6660
Meets every Mon, Wed & Fri at 6pm, Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic
There are two banks in Negril, with ATM machines; National Commercial
Bank and Scotia Bank. Only the ATM machine at Scotiabank dispenses in
US currency, all other machines dispense the Jamaican equivalent of
the currency used.
National Commercial Bank, Sunshine Plaza: Ph.
Scotia Bank Negril Tow: Ph.
See “Foreign Exchange” in this section for other
places to exchange money.
As with driving a car (see Car & Jeep Rental), motorcycle and
mopeds can be especially dangerous in Jamaica. Nevertheless many
tourists find this an exciting, interesting and cost effective way to
explore the island.
Rentals cost between $45 and $85 per day, depending on the company,
the season, and the size and type of bike. Companies we regularly use
If you use any other companies make sure they are licensed. Your bike
should have a valid fitness transfer and registration, valid
insurance, two license plates, functioning lights (we recommend
keeping them turned on while riding even in the daytime), brakes and
horn. It is recommended that you wear a helmet.
Bicycles can be rented for about US$10 to US$15 per day or US$70 to
US$100 per week from Banmark (contact details above). Check that the
bike is functioning properly before leaving – particularly the brakes.
We recommend wearing a helmet. See also the
Negril Guide section of this directory for
See Negril Guide section of this
Car & Jeep Rental
There are various rental companies that can be arranged directly,
through the Front Desk at Skylark, or on arrival at Montego Bay
airport. In high season it is advisable to book in advance.
All of these companies can arrange for cars to meet you at the hotel
or at the airport for pick up and drop off. Prices depend on the
company you choose; the size and type of vehicle; air-conditioning;
the season; where you are picking up and dropping off and whether
insurance is covered by your credit card. Rates range from US$80 to
US$100 per day and US$250 to US$500 per week (excluding insurance).
You will need to be at least 21, have a valid driver’s license and a
recognized credit card.
Renting a car can be an intriguing experience as you learn to
negotiate Jamaica’s roads. Potholes, goats, children, vendors, other
vehicles and an unbelievable variety of Jamaican life and culture
finds its way into the street and you, as a driver, must not only get
where you want to go, but avoid all the obstacles. And most
importantly remember to stay on the left! Roads are largely unmarked
and the few signs may be difficult to locate or read. This can
especially make driving at night, without knowledge of the road,
dangerous. Still, a rental car gives you the freedom to go where you
want to go. If you get lost, Jamaican’s are always forthcoming with
directions, which may or may not be precisely correct, but will be
sure to be part of your Jamaican adventure.
Check in time is 3 Pm and Checkout time is 11 Am on the day of
departure. Requests for late checkouts can be directed to the Front
Office on the morning of your departure and will depend on whether
there is a new arrival for that room. On departure please remember to
empty your safe and ensure that your room keys are returned to
reception. Guests are welcome to use the facilities on the property
throughout the day on the day of departure – luggage may be left at
the Front Office after vacating the room. For luggage assistance call
the Front Office.
Our security personnel at the Front Desk are also our concierge
service and are available for assistance 24 hours a day. If you
require help please don’t hesitate to contact them including luggage
assistance, wake up calls, getting a taxi, parking your car, messages,
iron and ironing board, hairdryer, etc. For local activities, tours,
sightseeing, nightlife etc. see our
Negril Guide section of this directory or
ask at the Front Desk.
For international courier service there is a DHL “drop off” located in
Negril at Coral Seas Plaza, and offices located in Montego Bay Ph.
876-979-0543, or Ph.
876-952-0485. Federal Express is not
in Negril, the nearest office is located in Montego Bay at 10 Queens
Drive, Ph. 876-952-0411 (2). You may
call either DHL or Federal Express to schedule a pickup from the
hotel, but this adds a considerable charge to the delivery cost.
Domestic courier service is operated by TARA Couriers from Negril
Aerodrome, Norman Manley Blvd., Ph.
Being in a natural environment, there are a number of creatures
(mostly harmless) that also inhabit our locale. Some of the more
Jelly Fish (Stingers) – At certain times of the year
there are stingers in the sea water. They are translucent bodies
that float near the surface of the water. Usually observable
through a facemask, they can be avoided relatively easily. If
stung you should abort the dive, do not rub to prevent further
discharge, wash the affected area with an antiseptic, and apply
vinegar or rubbing alcohol to the skin immediately. Where allergic
reaction occurs, treat the stung area with cortisone and if your
condition deteriorates seek medical advice. Severe stings,
especially in the face and throat area may cause breathing
difficulty and shock in susceptible divers. If this occurs,
immediately notify the Front Desk or the General Manager to seek
immediate medical attention.
Fire Coral – On nearly every reef you can find fire
coral. Fire coral is also potentially found on the ropes used to
secure the bouys on our swim line and for this reason we do not
recommend touching the ropes or buoys. Creamy tan in color , it
comes in a variety of shapes because it can grow other coral, for
example sea fans, it is not always easy to distinguish. Upon
contact, nematocyst, small stinging cells located on the polyps
will discharge causing a burning sensation. Rubbing the area will
only induce further discharge, making it worse. After the dive
apply some meat tenderizer to reduce the sting. An antibiotic or
cortisone cream might be beneficial.
Fire or Bristle worms – This worm, resembling a large
centipede, can be seen crawling through the reef, feeding on
polyps of stag horn coral and soft gorgonians. Don’t play with
them; the bristles of white hair, that become visible when the
worm is disturbed, will penetrate your skin and are nearly
impossible to remove. They will cause an irritation that can last
a few days and is quite painful. Cortisone cream may help to ease
Stingrays – Although southern and yellow stingrays are
able to cause a potential serious injury with their venomous spine
located at the base of the tail, they will not seek you out to do
so. If stung seek medical attention as soon as possible, but if
there is a time delay, it helps to keep the injured area submerged
in water as hot as you can tolerate. This will assist in breaking
down the protein-based venom and alleviates the pain.
Barracudas – Although their appearance is intimidating,
they are not really dangerous animals. Because they need to pump
water through their gills to breath, they are often seen with
their mouths open, displaying a fierce set of teeth. However,
these are normally not used on humans, providing you follow the
basic rule of leaving them alone. In standoff situations where a
barracuda approaches you, don’t swim away but swim towards him.
They are generally the losers in this game and will turn away.
Mosquitoes – At certain times of the year mosquitoes can
be numerous in the West End of Negril. In undertaking the
re-landscaping of the garden we paid particular attention to this
problem, eradicating plants where pools of water formed in the
leaves creating an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes. Also, in
renovating the rooms we replaced all of the fly wire, built
additional screens and put mosquito nets on each bed. In addition,
we regularly spray the rooms and grounds for bugs. The measures
outlined, combined with a few simple steps can ensure peaceful
Sea Urchins (Sea Spikes) – These are black round spiny
creatures that are observable submerged, clinging to rocks and the
sea floor. If touched their spines will spike you and break off
under your skin. Most often such encounters occur by stepping on
the urchin while getting into and out of the water across the
rocks. They are usually not on the metal ladders and so this is
the safest way to access the water. If stung the spines should be
removed with tweezers.
Local tradition is to soak the stung area in urine (your own or
your partners will work!). The acid helps bring any submerged
spine to the surface and relieve the pain. For those a little less
adventurous you may alternatively soak the area in vinegar,
ammonia or an antiseptic to assist the body in dissolving them.
Our spa team will be happy to assist with soaking the injured area
in vinegar. Afterwards an antibiotic cream can be applied. In a
serious case or if infection occurs, a doctor should be consulted.
There is no permanent damage from such a sting, although it may
remain tender and somewhat numb in the area for a few days while
the poison from the sting clears.
Hydroids – There are a variety of hydroids on the reef,
all causing a mild to moderate sting when touched. They can be
found at any depth, but the most common place where divers
encounter them is on mooring lines. Because hydroids belong to the
same class as fire coral, first aid for stings is the same:
application of meat tenderizer and cortisone cream.
Sponges – Some of the beautiful colored sponges can also
produce a mild sting, but if you follow the “hands off” rule, that
type of injury is rare. Vinegar can be used as first aid, followed
with a cortisone cream.
Scorpion fish – Sometimes they are called stonefish or,
by Jamaicans, “poisonous grouper.” Like the rays, these fish have
spines containing venom, which is used as a defense against
possible attackers. Scorpion fish are experts in camouflage and
blend in very well with their background. They tend to lie
motionless unless seriously harassed, after which they will
quickly move away. If by chance, you get stung, first aid and
treatment is the same as mentioned above for stingray’s punctures.
Pacific Lionfish – The lionfish is a voracious predator
which eats only other fish and occasionally young lobster. They
originate in the Pacific and Indian oceans but have found an ideal
home in the warm waters of the Caribbean and can grow between six
and 18 inches. The fish are often used as ornamental fish because
of their colourful bodies and long separated spines, and are,
therefore, often placed in aquariums for attraction. Depending on
their species, the fish can appear yellow, brown, red, orange,
black, maroon or white. The fish confuses and traps its predators
(other fish) by extending its long spines and moving closely
towards it. Before the prey can escape, it charges and gobbles it
in a split second. The fish can also be dangerous to humans as its
spines contain toxins that produce a sharp pain upon contact.
These are treatable with a tetanus shot but it is advised that if
you see these fish that you stay away from them and advise the
front desk of the area in which they are seen.
As soon as the sun starts going down ensure that all the doors to
the room are kept closed – be sure to check the door to the shower.
At the same time lower the mosquito net and tuck it into the sides
of the bed.
Ensure that lights are not left on in the rooms in the evening as
this attracts the mosquitoes
Use an insect repellent such “OFF”, available in our Boutique. A
natural remedy is to rub the juices from a freshly-cut lime
(available at the bar) on your skin.
Ensure that you sleep with your mosquito net tucked into the bed.
Tuck the ends in prior to entering and the sides can be gathered and
tucked in once inside – note the net drops inside the posts.
For those of you wishing to take more radical action, in addition to
the above steps, light a coil on the floor by the bed about a half
an hour before the sun starts to go down and let it burn throughout
the night. Coils are available at the Skylark Boutique. To protect
the floor please put the coil on the coil dish, which should be in
Housekeeping will hook the nets over the top of the bedposts to put it
up during the day. To put it down, the nets are lifted back over the
post, while keeping the elastic attachment on the post.
Others – There are obviously a host of other creatures that
inhabit the air, land and sea at Skylark Negril. If any of them are
bothersome please notify the Front Desk.
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We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. If you have
any problems with your credit cards while on the island you can call
their offices at:
Cruise at Sunset
See the Negril Guide Section.
The local currency, the Jamaican Dollar, is represented as J$ and
pronounced the “Jay”. It is a free floating exchange rate, however,
over the past five years it has been weakening at a rate about 10%
each year. Of course fluctuations are unpredictable and may occur at
any time. You can exchange your US dollars at the Front Desk; and US
dollars is readily accepted everywhere. See Foreign Exchange for more
information on currency exchanging.
Customs & Departure
We recommend that you reconfirm your flight on the morning of your
departure and check if it is scheduled on time. It is often best to
ask if the incoming plane departed on time and is scheduled to arrive
on time. Allow 90 minutes to travel by taxi to the airport in Montego
Bay and you should be at the airport two hours prior to departure –
the lines can be very long, particularly for departure! Additionally,
there are at times very long lines going through Customs which may
cause a delay to your departure gate making it very important to
arrive to the airport at least two hours in advance.