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Jamaica looks every inch the perfect Caribbean paradise, with its fine, white sand, bright green, verdant interior, luxurious resorts and surrounding bright aqua Caribbean Sea. But culturally it's very different from its neighbours. A real melting pot of people, Jamaica is lively as well as laid-back, and it is intensely proud of its African heritage. The best places to stay in Jamaica reflect this blended background too.

Of course there are the vast all-inclusive resorts - all the mod. cons. in paradise, but there are also small, independent hotels and guesthouses. Perfect if you want to experience the heart and soul of Jamaica and not just the sun, sand and sea.

Anyone who's seen a photo of this paradise island will know that Jamaica has some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Treasure Beach and Frenchman's Cove frequently appear in top ten lists.

Jamaica also has some amazing diving, with a couple of especially well known sites at Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios.

Plus, Jamaica produces some of the world's best coffee, in the Blue Mountains. And this is also the home of reggae and Rastafarianism. Once at the very heart of the slave trade, the island's history is really worth the research, though it's understandable that you won't want to spend too much time inside Jamaica's museums.

You might not have thought of it, but Jamaica is actually a brilliant place to explore on foot. The lush interior is rife with idyllic waterfalls surrounded by jungle hiding exotic animals, and there are lots of charming settlements and fishing villages to 'come upon' from the jungle.

Visitors flying into Jamaica land in either Kingston or Montego Bay, which is probably the island's tourist heartland. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are where you'll find all the large resort hotels, in particular the all inclusive options. If you're looking for an independent hotel you'll find many of the best places to stay in Jamaica dotted around the other centres, or surrounded by their own beautiful island-paradise-style wilderness.

Kingston is bustling, the Jamaican's Jamaica; Negril has a laid-back, beach-y character with some very cool spots - both on the beach and on the cliffs; Port Antonio is fertile tropical charm incarnate, tucked away with a few off-beat places to stay; Treasure Beach has a really simple, off the beaten track charm; and the Blue Mountains offer a very gentle local Jamaican experience.

Best Places to Stay in Jamaica

For a once in a lifetime experience

  • GoldenEye in Ocho Rios is one of the world's great five star beach front hotels. Villas and cottages have mahogany details and direct beach access. There are two restaurants - both of them excellent, a freshwater infinity pool, an extensive spa and even a library. And the emphasis is on privacy. The Bond reference is because this is where several of the books were written - amongst all this beautiful peace and sunny tranquility.
  • The Caves just outside Negril is a beautiful, grown up five star hotel with private cottages and ladder access to the sea. Possibly the perfect spot for a Caribbean honeymoon.
  • Portland's Trident Villas is a glamorous, modern beachside resort, with big bathrooms, an infinity pool, a modern spa, private beach and gym, and manicured gardens. Plus all the suites share private plunge pools.
  • For something a bit different one of the best places to stay in Jamaica is Negril's Sunset at the Palms, an elegant treehouse hotel. Lush and secluded there are three restaurants and bars, serving fantastic regional and international delicacies.

For Jamaican flavour

  • Geejam in Portland is a gorgeous, hillside hotel surrounded by six acres of lush, green forest, very close to the famous Blue Lagoon. There are just seven rooms, with dark wood floors and furniture, and terraces over looking the sea - some have their own verandah hot tub.
  • Strawberry Hill is a boutique hotel converted from a former coffee plantation. They still have plenty of Jamaican art and antiques and of course astounding mountain views across the hills to Kingston.
  • Also in the mountains, this time near Port Antonio, Mockingbird Hill is an elegant, eco-friendly hilltop hotel with no phones or TVs, and some of the island's best food, served in an ocean facing restaurant.
  • The Tryall Club near Montego Bay is a classic Jamaican, colonial style hotel, but still a bit different from the beach resorts. It's big and has plenty of facilities.

For a classic Caribbean Island holiday

  • Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios is a classic Caribbean beach hotel with sea views from almost every room, a magnificent private beach, both formal and informal dining
  • Country Country is right on Negril's Seven Mile Beach, and its colourful cottages give it a classic beach holiday feel. There's a great atmosphere and a simple, but good value restaurant.
  • Negril's Round Hill is a five star resort, oozing elegance (and a stylish clientele to match) with a private beach and loads of facilities and activities on offer. This is the kind of resort you definitely don't need to leave.
  • Rockhouse in Negril offers a collection of thatched, stone cottages with muslin-draped four poster beds and outdoor showers. Surrounded by tropical gardens on all sides but the ocean, so you feel secluded. There's also a great spa.
  • Negril's Sweptaway is a large but peaceful, adults only, all-inclusive beach front resort with a choice of six restaurants and an award winning spa.

For families

  • Jakes in Treasure Beach is a chic hotel right on the water. The decor is an eclectic mix of antiques, with more stained glass and mosaic than you'd expect. Some cottages have their own kitchens, and they run plenty of classes - cooking, art, fishing, for example.
  • A little way along the coast from Montego Bay you'll find Coyaba, an elegant, but friendly beach front hotel. Here you can try all sorts of watersports just minutes from the hotel, and there are babysitters, kid's clubs and a spa, to make it as relaxing as possible.
  • If you're looking for a small family friendly resort, Hermosa Cove in Ocho Rios is for you. There are just nine, cosy, hand-crafted villas with kitchens and private pools. If you don't want to self cater there's an excellent seafood restaurant and the hotel will happily stock your fridge for you.
  • The Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay offers luxury for all the family. Elegant and serene, there's also plenty to do, from riding, tennis and kids clubs. Their villas range in size, the largest has seven ensuite bedrooms. There is also a huge spa.

For great value

  • Catcha Falling Star in Negril is a stylishly rustic cliff top hotel, with charming thatched cottages. Here you'll find outdoor showers, bougainvillea filled gardens and terraces overlooking the sea. Some cottages have their own kitchens too, though they don't allow children. Rooms start from as little as £52 per night.
  • Also in Negril, and also a laid-back, cliff side hotel, the Tensing Pen offers secluded cottages, some with their own ladders directly into the sea. They're big on yoga and spa treatments, and there's the echo of reggae music heard throughout.
  • The Hibiscus Lodge in Ocho Rios is just a few minutes from the centre of town, but it's also got great cliff top views. This is a classical tropical hotel. Rooms start from £85 per night.

Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Jamaica, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively widen the net and check out all our Caribbean recommendations.

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The best hotels in Jamaica

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  • Catcha Falling Star

    Negril, Jamaica

    Stylishly rustic clifftop hotel. Rooms in thatched cottages feature four poster beds, outdoor showers and terraces with seaviews. Some come with kitchens. Outdoor pool, bougainvillea filled gardens and waterfront massages available. Great Caribbean cuisine and lively bar area. A great value choice.

    21 rooms from $85
    Total relaxation  -  Secluded setting, massages available and quiet terraces overlooking the ocean to read from
    Views  -  Great views from its location on the Negril cliffs
    Local markets  -  Cars into town can be organised by hotel
    Restrictions on children  -  No children
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Jakes

    St Elizabeth, Jamaica

    Chic boutique shorefront hotel. Rooms feature an eclectic mix of mosaic headboards, antiques and stained glass windows. Cottages with kitchenettes. Outdoor pool, lovely gardens and access to beach. Excellent seafood cuisine and laid back bar. A very cool stay for families or couples.

    49 rooms from $115
    Beach Life  -  Very cool atmposhere, especially considering the Pelican bar, Jamaica’s coolest bar a boatride away
    Families  -  Full of family friendly fun, from art and cooking classes to river safari; larger suites are perfect
    Fishing  -  Catch snapper, jackfish, kingfish, tuna or grouper and ask the chef to cook them
    Sights nearby  -  Black River and YS Falls
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet, Fodors, Kiwi Collection
  • Tensing Pen

    Negril, Jamaica

    Laid back hotel on cliffside. Rooms have muslin-draped four poster beds, terracotta floors, big bathrooms - some with outdoor showers. Outdoor pool, yoga space and spa treatments. Very cool reggae can be heard throughout the property. Superb modern Jamaican cuisine. Secluded, relaxed and friendly.

    22 rooms from $120
    Honeymoons  -  Some of the cottages sit in their own coves, with outdoor showers and ladders leading directly to the ocean
    Total relaxation  -  Yoga lessons on the sea-facing terrace, no other hotel in sight and no televisions in the hotel
    Fishing  -  Mahi mahi, wahoo, blue and white marlin, sailfish, tarpon, and barracuda
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, I Escape
  • Hibiscus Lodge

    Ocho Rios, Jamaica

    Stunningly situated clifftop hotel. Rooms feature tropical print furniture, large bathrooms and views of the sea or gardens. Outdoor pool, lush gardens & popular restaurant. Just a few minutes walk from the centre of Ocho Rios. A great value choice for a beach holiday.

    26 rooms from $138
    Sights nearby  -  Short walk from the centre of Ocho Rios. Dunn's River Falls. Dolphin Cove and Mystic Mountain are within 15 minutes drive
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
  • Rockhouse

    Negril, Jamaica

    Unique cliffside hotel. Rooms in thatched stone cottages feature muslin-draped four poster beds & terraces - some with outdoor showers & some in secluded spots amid the tropical gardens. Outdoor pool, fantastic spa & three restaurants. Boutique & laid-back with unbeatable views. Great value too.

    34 rooms from $145
    Spa breaks  -  Outstanding facilities in open air thatched spa centre on the cliff edge
    Romantic Break  -  Four-poster beds, infinity pool and stunning sunsets
    Cooking classes  -  Complimentary cookery demonstrations every Friday
    Sights nearby  -  2.5 miles from Negril Town
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
  • Country Country

    Negril, Jamaica

    Colourful fairy tale style cottages on Negril beach. Rooms are decorated in tropical prints with shutters, bamboo furniture & terraces. Located directly on the beach yet set amid lush gardens. Excellent, simple food served at the restaurant. Buzzy atmosphere - a great value classic beach holiday.

    20 rooms from $160
    Active Holiday  -  Situated on the beach, with miles of coastline to walk along and watersports to enjoy
    Beach Life
    On the beach  -  Located directly on Negril's Seven Mile beach
    Great walks  -  Walk for miles along Negril's beach
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Idle Awhile

    Negril, Jamaica

    Chic beachfront hotel. Rooms come with colourful walls, nautical striped furniture, dark wood shutters and gorgeous bathrooms. Fresh and tasty cuisine from the restaurant and bar on the beach. Use of nearby hotel's fitness facilities. Peaceful, contemporary and cool.

    14 rooms from $160
    Total relaxation  -  Carefree ambience with a quieter environment than some bigger resorts and spa treatments available
    Sights nearby  -  Short taxi ride from central Negril or the West End Cliffs
    On the beach  -  Situated on Negril's Seven Mile Beach
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers
  • Spanish Court

    Kingston, Jamaica

    Charming city hotel. Modern rooms offer dark wood furniture, big beds and ipod docks. Outdoor pool and rooftop terrace, spa and gym to enjoy. Fantastic international and Jamaican food is served. Chic central base to explore this colourful city from.

    108 rooms from $185
    City Style  -  This chic hotel is perfect for exploring the city's museums and nightlife.
    Swimming Pool  -  Infinity edged lap pool on the roof terrace
    Sights nearby  -  Devon House Heritage Sight
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Shaw Park Beach Hotel

    Ocho Rios, Jamaica

    All inclusive beach resort. Elegant rooms have private balconies facing the sea and colourful furnishings. Outdoor pool and lush orchid filled gardens. Spa and gym for your pleasure. Superb cuisine from restaurant, both local and western foods. Quiet and charming and great value for money.

    94 rooms from $190
    Local exploring  -  Enjoy the White River passing through the resort, Shaw Park Botanical gardens and plethora of watersports
    Sailing  -  Ocho Rios outing aboard the 90-foot yacht San San
    On the beach  -  Lovely, secluded stretch of beach on Cutlass Bay
    Sights nearby  -  Rose Hall Mansion & Montego Bay City Tour
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Coyaba


    Friendly, owner managed, elegant beach front hotel. Charming rooms feature tropical print furnishings, dark wood furniture and all with private balconies. Outdoor pool, gym and spa. Three restaurants serving fresh local cuisine. Ideal for families.

    50 rooms from $206
    Beach Life  -  All watersports are minutes from hotel & most equipment can be hired. For those who like to relax, the hotel is on the beach
    Families  -  Interconnecting rooms available, babysitters and kids club
    Local markets  -  Shuttle service runs from Coyaba to “town” three times weekly
    Spa  -  featuring candle lit indoor treatment rooms
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • The Tryall Club


    Sumptuous villa resort. Rooms are colonial-chic with lively prints, large bathrooms, views of the golf course or coast & private pools. Outdoor pool, gym, golf course, tennis courts and gardens. Choice of restaurants offering excellent local cuisine. A great choice for adventure types.

    87 rooms from $308
    Active Holiday  -  Abundance of activities can be organised by hotel from safari, swimming with dolphins, rafting as well as all watersports
    Groups  -  Private villas come with fully equipped kitchens and private chefs if required giving a very secluded stay
    Golf  -  18 hole course within hotel
    Local markets  -  Take a golf cart over to the water wheel market-exclusively for guests
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors
  • Mockingbird Hill

    Port Antonio, Jamaica

    Elegant, eco-friendly hilltop hotel. Rooms feature muslin-draped four posters & bamboo furniture but no phones or TVs. Outdoor pool, spa treatments and rooftop canopy. Some of the best food on the island is served in the ocean facing restaurant. Chilled and charming - perfect for total escape.

    10 rooms from $248
    Active Holiday  -  Plethora of activities nearby such as snorkelling, bird watching and hiking- hotel provides extensive info
    Foodies  -  Short or intensive Jamaican cookery courses available; Mille Fleurs is a fantastic restaurant
    Eco  -  Solar heated water and lots of upcycling. Sustainability is the key word here.
    Spa  -  Outdoor garden of Wellness area offering a selection of holistic treatments including herbal baths, facials & more.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Fodors
  • Hermosa Cove

    Ocho Rios, Jamaica

    Nine hand-crafted villas. Bedrooms are full of warmth with dark wood and leather furniture and views of the gardens. All come with kitchens which can be stocked by the hotel. Private outdoor pools, and excellent seafood restaurant. Intimate, luxurious and a real home from home.

    9 rooms from $250
    Hideaway  -  Private villas come with their own pools and walled gardens, if you wish, there is no need to leave as staff can prepare dinner
    Sights nearby  -  Dunn's River Falls and Dolphin Cove.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
  • Strawberry Hill

    Blue Mountains, Jamaica

    Boutique hotel on a hilltop perch amid the Blue Mountains. Gorgeous rooms feature antique Jamaican furniture, mahogany four posters & mountain-view porches. Outdoor pool, spa & yoga terrace. Delicious 'new Jamaican' cuisine, chilled bar area. A stylish stay with unbeatable views across Kingston.

    11 rooms from $270
    Hideaway  -  Enjoy the infinity pool with a view, hammocks and spa treatments before laid back drinks in this chilled hotel
    Views  -  Amazing 360 degree views from its hilltop location.
    Great walks  -  Get Rasta Dave to take you on one of his guided walks through the Blue Mountains. He is a mine of local information.
    Sights nearby  -  Craighton house coffee estate hike and tour trips
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Kiwi Collection, Tablet, I Escape
  • Jamaica Pegasus

    Kingston, Jamaica

    Contemporary city hotel. Rooms feature art deco style furniture and large bathrooms. Outdoor pool and sun terrace, tennis courts, gym, jogging track and spa. Choice of excellent Jamaican and international cuisine in restaurants.

    300 rooms from $300
    Local exploring  -  Perfect base to see the city sights from
    Sights nearby  -  Devon House and Bob Marley’s Tough Gong Studio
    Swimming Pool  -  Olympic size outdoor pool
    Great walks  -  In the Blue Mountains
  • Jamaica Inn

    Ocho Rios, Jamaica

    Sublime hotel on a magnificent beach. Large, elegant rooms feature four poster beds, white shutters, antique furniture, and sea views. Outdoor pool, gym and spa for your enjoyment. Choice of excellent restaurants for either formal or informal dining. Secluded, gorgeous and grown-up.

    51 rooms from $316
    Hideaway  -  Cottages have private access to the beach and private pools, mobile phones and TVs are restricted adding to the seclusion
    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy 6-course fusion meals, adult atmosphere, spa, beach activities and gardens
    On the beach  -  Situated on one of Jamaica's loveliest beaches
    Spa  -  Waterfront treatments at the Ocean Spa
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Frommers
  • Half Moon Resort

    St. James, Jamaica

    Luxury resort overlooking Montego Bay. Elegant rooms feature four poster beds, antique furniture and seaside terraces. Riding, tennis and gym facilities. Outdoor pool and large spa. Superb traditional regional cuisine in choice of restaurants and bars. Secluded, opulent and family friendly.

    197 rooms from $319
    Families  -  Clubs for younger children and teenagers, along with plenty of kid-friendly activities within hotel
    Active Holiday  -  Horse riding, watersports, tennis, yoga and swimming with dolphins to keep all active types happy
    Groups  -  Villas with up to seven ensuite bedrooms are perfect for larger families and groups.
    Spa breaks  -  A 68,000 square foot spa awaits you, with wonderful treatments, pool and views
  • Sunset at the Palms

    Negril, Jamaica

    All inclusive adults only 'treehouse' hotel. Elegant rooms have bamboo furniture, large bathrooms and wooden balconies. Outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts and gym. Three restaurants and bars providing fantastic regional and international dishes. Grown up, lush and secluded.

    85 rooms from $375
    Honeymoons  -  Beautiful tree house rooms, massages and spa treatments, adults only atmosphere and sunset drinks
    Cooking classes  -  Island cooking classes.
    Sights nearby  -  Negril Lighthouse
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only hotel
  • Round Hill

    Montego Bay, Jamaica

    Sensational 5* hotel. Large rooms feature white shutters, dark wood furniture and gorgeous bathrooms. Private villas have dedicated staff for every need. Spa, beauty salon and gym at your disposal. Outdoor pool, private beach area, tennis court & kids club. Luxurious, romantic and laid back.

    110 rooms from $389
    Families  -  Plenty for children's entertainment, kid's club and restaurants are child-friendly
    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy the spa, beach front horse rides, sailing, scuba diving and gourmet seafood
    Kids Club  -  Complimentary kids club. Activities incl nature walks, arts & crafts, watersports, talent shows, reggae lessons ...
    Great walks  -  Jogging and walking paths around the property
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
  • GoldenEye

    Ocho Rios

    Exquisite 5* beach front hotel. Villas, cottages and stilted beach huts have mahogany beds, shutters and direct beach access. On site restaurants serve up traditional Jamaican styles with a twist, from their organic garden. Historic and luxurious with the emphasis on privacy. Honeymoon heaven!

    47 rooms from $400
    Groups  -  The enormous villas have kitchen facilities, living room area, hammocks and private terraces
    Writing a novel  -  In the spot where all Bond novels were penned, find peace, quiet and inspiration
    Swimming Pool  -  Freshwater outdoor infinity pool, plus four acre private lagoon
    Birdwatching  -  255 bird species can be viewed from the surrounding area.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, I Escape, Kiwi Collection
  • Geejam

    Portland, Jamaica

    Gorgeous hotel set amid six lush acres. Rooms feature darkwood floors, white furniture, wooden terraces and enormous bathrooms. All rooms come with built in entertainment systems. Outdoor pool, gym and spa treatments. Superb Caribbean fusion food in the restaurant. Secluded and chic.

    7 rooms from $425
    Hideaway  -  Set in 6 acres of forest stretching down to the beach, enjoy the space and quiet from the tree canopy deck
    Private Hot Tub  -  Several rooms come with private hot tubs on their verandahs
    Sights nearby  -  10 minutes drive from historic Port Antonio.
    Views  -  Wonderful views from the hillside location.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
  • The Trident

    Portland, Jamaica

    Contemporary beachside hotel. Villas have stone floors, big bathrooms, 1960s style furniture, private terraces and plunge pools. Outdoor infinity pool, manicured gardens, private beach area, spa and gym. Two excellent restaurants offering western or local cuisine. Luxurious, chic and glamourous.

    13 rooms from $450
    Romantic Break  -  Villas have enclosed gardens with plunge pools for maximum privacy, jazz nights and walks by the Blue Lagoon
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor infinity pool
    On the beach  -  Private beach
    Sights nearby  -  Blue Lagoon
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith, Fodors
  • Sweptaway

    Negril, Jamaica

    Sensational all inclusive beach front resort. Contemporary rooms feature wooden floors, shuttered windows, terraces and bamboo writing desks. Three outdoor pools, award winning spa, tennis courts, gym and private beach area. Six restaurants offering excellent range of cuisine. Characterful luxury.

    312 rooms from $478
    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy the quiet of an adults only resort, with sailing trips, candle lit beach dinners and nightly entertainment
    Spa breaks  -  Award winning spa offering extensive treatments from the beautiful spa centre
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only resort
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors
  • The Caves

    Negril, Jamaica

    Characterful 5* hotel on the cliffside. Funky, colourful cottages feature elegant rooms with white shutters, dark wood floors and enormous bathrooms. Some have small kitchen areas. Outdoor pool, spa treatments available and ladder-access to the sea. Grown-up ambience with superb service.

    13 rooms from $550
    Honeymoons  -  Candle-lit dinners in the caves, in-room spa treatments and breathtaking clifftop views
    Romantic Break  -  Designed for couples and with no children, complete romance, privacy and quiet
    Cooking classes  -  Cooking and cocktail classes can be arranged
    Views  -  Great views from the clifftop location
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, I Escape, Fodors, Kiwi Collection
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