There is an all-inclusive vacation in Jamaica for everyone. The lion’s share of the island’s stellar offerings is concentrated in and around Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril on Jamaica’s north shore – making them perfectly positioned for guests who want to venture beyond ‘the gate’ and explore well-preserved plantation era houses, the famous Dunn’s River Falls and dramatic YS Falls. Almost all visitors fly into Montego Bay and from there, travel onwards by car to their resort. Here is a sampling of the best all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica for those who want to head off for some Caribbean sun, safe in the knowledge that the credit card will not take a pounding.
Originally published in the The Telegraph UK: Jamaica All Inclusive Resorts
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Montego Bay
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, situated on the site of a former sugar plantation, the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is a humongous place promising fun for the whole family just 15 minutes from downtown Montego Bay. Set on a 2,500 square foot private beach – the longest in Jamaica – the property’s selling point is the spectacular Sugar Mill Falls water park, the largest on the island with its 280-foot waterslide and lazy river. Six tennis courts, a choice of pools, 10 restaurants covering every dining base, watersports, Soothe spa and a championship 18-hole golf course complete the line-up.
Sandals Montego Bay
Sandals Montego Bay is the original outpost of this all-inclusive resort chain. There are 272 rooms and suites decked out in tropical colors with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea but, if it is privacy you are after, opt for one of the Beachfront Hideaway Butler Villas. Facilities are second to none with seven on-site freshwater pools, three whirlpools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, 12 restaurants, Red Lane spa, every land and water sport conceivable – and even an over-the-water chapel should you decide to say, “I do.” Price refers to selected dates between September 1-30, 2021. Sandals Montego Bay is arguably the best in the Caribbean’s best-known all-inclusive resort chain.
Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean, this couples-only outpost of Sandals pays homage to Britain – accommodation buildings are named after the Royals – and is best known for its overwater villas, the first in the Caribbean to offer them. Designed as Tahiti-style bungalows, each comes with a glass floor that reveals the underwater world, a private infinity pool, hot tub, butler service and private water taxis to whisk guests to and from the main resort. Sandals Royal Caribbean also has its own private offshore island, home to the Royal Thai restaurant – the pick of the resort’s eight restaurants. Price refers to selected dates between September 1-30, 2021. Sandals Royal Caribbean is best known for its overwater villas, the first to offer them in the Caribbean.
Half Moon, Montego Bay
Half Moon in Montego Bay, is the pick of Montego Bay’s many all-inclusive resorts, Half Moon mixes modern luxury and historic grandeur to great aplomb and counts Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Rainier of Monaco, and John F. Kennedy as high-profile past guests. Two private beaches and true Jamaican hospitality means there is little need to leave. Originally opened in 1954, Half Moon oozes old-school colonial charm: expect elegant, whitewashed pillars, Georgian arches and locally handcrafted woodwork dotted throughout the resort. The sweeping open-air lobby, with its marble floors and black-and-white photos of its A-list guests, opens onto a restaurant and bar overlooking the sparkling Caribbean Sea. At the end of the lobby, you will find Half Moon’s original west cottages to the left and the newer Hibiscus suites and Half Moon villas to the right.
Azul Beach Resort Negril
Azul Beach Resort Negril offers a winning combination of unbeatable location – the property is situated slap bang on Jamaica’s celebrated Seven Mile Beach – and bold, bright, Miami-style décor. Facilities include a designated adults-only pool and beach area, lazy river, an array of land-based activities and watersports (non-motorized are included in the rates), and both buffet and à la carte dining options. Nesta Rasta Lounge specializes in rum and reggae, while there’s nightly music at the Seven Mile oceanfront bar. The world-renowned Rick’s Cafe is approximately 15 minutes’ walk away.
Sunset at the Palms, Negril
Sunset at the Palms, this laid-back, adults-only, all-inclusive features 85 treehouse-style rooms set amidst 10 acres of lush, tropical grounds teeming with birds and butterflies. Sunset at the Palms is more akin to a boutique hotel than your average all-inclusive Caribbean resort: no building is more than two stories tall while Palm Grove Restaurant, the heart of the resort, is delightfully open-air. The resort is not beachfront – you will have to cross the road to reach white sand – but, once there, the private beach club offers non-motorized watersports and has an open-air grill and bar. Guests get fast-track processing through immigration and customs at Montego Bay Airport, helping make arrival and departure hassle-free.
Beaches Negril Resort and Spa
Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, this family-friendly resort fronts a pretty stretch of Seven Mile Beach in the heart of Negril in western Jamaica. It offers just as much to entertain kids as it does adults. Restaurants run the range from a creperie to a toes-in-you-sand beachfront spot for seafood and sunsets. True to the character of most Sandals-owned resorts, Beaches Negril mixes British colonial style with Caribbean flair in both the rooms and common areas. Guest rooms have dark wooden furnishings, four-poster beds and plantation shutters for a look that falls somewhere between classic and modern. And the restaurants are all designed to give you a sense of place, with most open to sea breezes and salty air. Be prepared for some ambient noise, as they are usually some sort of game or competition going on by the pool or on the beach. But the overall feel is one of relaxation and beach vibes.
The Royalton Negril Resort
The Royalton Negril Resort sits on a scenic beach just east of Seven Mile Beach and has an adults-only area (the Hideaway at Royalton Negril). There is as much to love here for families as for holidaying couples looking for the escapism for which Negril is known. Royalton’s style is contemporary and comfortable, and this property has breezy public spaces decorated with modern, clean-lined furnishings and artworks in shades of white, grey, brown, and blue. Natural stonework pairs with wooden beams for a look that is true to the property’s Caribbean spirit, but far from colonial.
Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios
Jamaica Inn, just over 90 minutes’ drive from both Montego Bay and Kingston airports lies the achingly beautiful Jamaica Inn – a child-free hotel set along a secluded private beach that has been in the same family for over 60 years. Spread over eight acres, all suites and cottages feature colonial-style décor and provide stunning sea views. But it is what happens outside that really counts: within the tropical grounds you’ll find a croquet lawn, swimming pool and Teddy’s Bar on the beach where the bartenders will whip you up a complimentary Planter’s punch. An all-inclusive option is available, with a minimum stay of three nights required. Jamaica Inn a child-free hotel set along a secluded private beach that has been in the same family for over 60 years.
Sandals Royal Plantation, Ocho Rios
In a setting of Jamaican elegance, Sandals Royal Plantation has pitched its flag at the pinnacle of the all-inclusive experience, offering butler service, premium drinks, and top-notch dining. The hotel sits on a clifftop above a pretty cove and offers a spa, plenty of water sports, golf, and evening entertainment. As one of the island’s original hotels, Royal Plantation has a setting of old-time Jamaican elegance, with classical columns, flattened arches, four posters, reproduction antiques in dark hardwood and even some statues. As all-inclusive hotels go, it is not large (though there are still 74 suites) and the atmosphere is lowkey and elegant, with smartly dressed butlers to attend to your needs.