Jamaica is a big island—the third largest in the Caribbean with legendary resort areas such as Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios—and it’s also well known for its sizable roster of all-inclusive resorts. So choosing the perfect property in the right location can be a challenge for first-time visitors to Jamaica. But that also means this lush and mountainous island with its energizing reggae rhythms and spicy cuisine has an all-inclusive that will appeal to just about everyone.
From sprawling properties with a lively, anything goes vibe to more intimate boutique options ideal for romance and even family-friendly resorts with waterparks and character meet-and-greets, the island’s all-inclusive landscape offers a buffet of great vacation options. Here are 10 of the best all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica.
Sandals South Coast
It takes a 90-minute shuttle transfer on scenic (yet sometimes bumpy) mountain roads from Montego Bay to get here, but once guests arrive at adults-only Sandals South Coast near White House on the island’s less-developed southern coast, they’re instantly compelled to surrender to Jamaica’s mellow vibe.
That’s because this 372-room resort is set on 500 lushly planted acres, features an uncrowded two-mile beach and is known for its Latitudes overwater bar, where couples can relax in hammocks for two suspended over the clear turquoise Caribbean. Yes, the resort’s design—a trio of villages that nod to Italian, French and Dutch design—lacks local flair, but the layout spreads guests out along the beach and at three pools (with swim-up bars) so there’s a welcome sense of space.
Local flavor is on tap, however, at the seven bars and especially one of the nine restaurants, The Jerk Shack, serving spicy Caribbean favorites. Other dining options include Italian, French, Pan-Asian, seafood and sushi. This is also one of a handful of Sandal’s resorts that feature accommodations usually found thousands of miles away in the South Pacific: 12 overwater bungalows arranged in the shape of heart and featuring bright contemporary decor.
Couples who can’t afford such a major splurge and sought-after all-inclusive Jamaican vacation can opt for a Beachfront Deluxe room at less than one quarter the cost or upgrade to a Beachfront Club Level Junior Suite. Also included in the rate: Wi-Fi, tennis, nightly entertainment, watersports such as kayaking and paddle boarding, catamaran sails and snorkeling.
Couples Swept Away
Negril is indisputably a party town and to vacation amid the reggae rhythms of Seven Mile Beach but also have a quiet and romantic spot to relax—not to mention access to Jamaica’s largest fitness complex—makes Couples Swept Away a top choice for active couples seeking to enjoy it all.
Set on 19 beachfront acres, the beach resort offers 312 suites located in three-floor bungalow-style buildings and featuring wooden blinds, private verandas, soothing pale blue and white décor, and a customized minibar. When feeling social, guests can head to nine bars and six restaurants, which include Feathers for Caribbean-infused continental dining, Lemon Grass for Pan-Asian and sushi and Patois Patio for international favorites from pizza to steak.
Sun worshipping with a rum cocktail in hand or working up a healthy sweat are both options at one of the three pools (with 5 hot tubs) or at the 10-acre Sports & Fitness Complex, which has a lap pool, air-conditioned squash and racquetball courts and wellness bar serving fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Other included activities include scuba diving, golf and tennis, and water sports such as windsurfing, wake boarding and water skiing. Also complimentary: Wi-Fi, a sunset catamaran cruise and Shipwreck Beach Party (every Friday night) featuring dancing and local island cuisine.
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
Conveniently located in Montego Bay, home to Jamaica’s Sangster International Airport, the 344-room adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is a two-for-one playground, since guests can also access the facilities at family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall next door.
That means a total of 13 restaurants and six bars and lounges, ideal for couples who like trying new cuisines each day and socializing in different settings—including Hyatt Zilara’s IslandZ swim-up bar at one of its several adults-only pools. The resort also offers Swim-up Junior Suites, which feature direct access to a private pool (Swim-Up Rooms access the shared pool).
Other accommodations range from Resort View Rooms to Oceanfront Grand Butler Suites and since many categories are available with either one king or two double beds, Zilara is great for friends’ getaways. Décor is crisp white and blue with tile floors and natural wood accents.
At dinnertime, opt for Asian, Italian, Brazilian, Jamaican or seafood restaurants (plus casual options, buffets, 24/7 room service or private beach dining) as well as the Zilara-exclusive Petit PariZ, serving upscale French. Unlimited Wi-Fi, non-motorized watersports, a fitness center and oceanside fire pits are also included in the nightly rates, while treatments at the Zen Spa are additional.
Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Three-for-one? At adults-only Secrets St. James Montego Bay, guests enjoy additional access to not only one other resort (Secrets Wild Orchid right next door on the same peninsula), but those booking a room in the Preferred Club can also join the party at nearby Breathless Montego Bay, which offers seven additional restaurants, five bars and two pools.
Between the two Secrets properties, there are two large pools for all guests (and two more reserved for Preferred Club guests), nine bars (including the atmospheric beachfront, Cuban-themed Piano Bar) and 10 restaurants, such as Blue Mountain for Jamaican cuisine, Bordeaux for contemporary French, Portofino for Italian, El Patio for Mexican, Himitsu for Pan-Asian, Oceana for seafood and, of course, World Café for international buffet.
Décor in the 350 rooms and suites channels a romantic British Colonial vibe with four-poster beds (one king or two queens) and every option has a private balcony (with garden, ocean or oceanfront views) and a whirlpool tub and separate shower in the bathroom. The usual lineup of non-motorized watersports, plus tennis, basketball, a fitness center, yoga classes and a jogging trail are just a few of the included amenities. Catamaran sails, spa treatments and golf are available at extra cost.
The family-friendly sister brand of Sandals, Beaches has two resorts on Jamaica—Negril and Ocho Rios—but Beaches Negril earns kudos for its location on the widest stretch of Seven Mile Beach.
That said, this is an all-inclusive Jamaica resort designed with kids of all ages in mind, so it’s great for multi-generational travel or families vacationing together but perhaps not the best option for couples seeking adult-time (unless, of course, you adore Big Bird and other Sesame Street legends, since Beaches has a partnership with the franchise).
Other youthful activities include the Pirates Island Waterpark, Kids Camp, Club Liquid tweens and teens hangout and an Xbox Play Lounge—plus two pools and a Lazy River. Adult amenities include the usual array of complimentary watersports (such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and water skiing) and more than a dozen land activities, from basketball and bocce to billiards and volleyball. Of course Jamaica has a lot of other things to do outside of the resort if you’re tempted to go off-site.
Beaches Negril is a 20-acre resort with rooms and suites available in 32 categories sleeping four to nine people. The property features nine restaurants—among them The Venetian for Italian, Mariachi for Mexican and BBQ park for Southwestern barbecue—and seven bars, where adults can gather to socialize sans kids.
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
The 295-suite Iberostar Grand Rose Hall is an adults-only resort located just 14 miles from Montego Bay, which makes it ideal for a long-weekend getaway with a spouse, romantic partner or group of friends.
All accommodations are spacious (they are called suites and the smallest is 691 square feet) and feature a private balcony with a rattan swing for two. They have garden, ocean view or oceanfront views and are available with one king or two queen beds with colonial-style mahogany headboards and elegant brocade accents in teal and gold. Marble bathrooms have both a walk-in shower and a whirl pool tub.
Spain-based Iberostar is known for going “grand” with its Grand properties and Rose Hall is no exception. The lobby features dramatic red and gold décor with black-and-white marble floors and a large rotunda encircled with graphics of ancient Greek and Roman statues. But there’s a more Caribbean vibe around the large, cabana-lined pools featuring a swim-up bar and in the beachfront buffet restaurant—one of six at the resort, including four specialty eateries serving Italian, Japanese, seafood and steak and gourmet international fare.
Included amenities range from windsurfing and kayaking to one complimentary round at a nearby golf course.
Azul Beach Resort Negril by Karisma
Design-savvy sun-seekers who love upscale contemporary décor will feel pampered in one the 285 suites, bathed in natural light and decorated in chic ivory, taupe and pale blue, at Azul Beach Resort Negril by Karisma.
Located on famed Seven Mile Beach, this property welcomes couples, families and groups of friends with its cheerful modern beach house ambience and stunning setting. Nine enticing restaurants—which include Hua Hin for Thai cuisine, Ackee for Caribbean specialties and Garfield Beach House for oceanfront dining with a Mediterranean inspired menu—are complemented by nine atmospheric bars (including the chic Seven Mile Oceanfront Bar and the colorful Nesta Rasta Lounge), while the Vassa Spa indulges the senses with its soothing ambience.
Some suites are swim-up (including splurge-worthy ones located beachfront), while those on the second and third floors feature ocean and sunset views. Adults looking to get away from excitable kids can book a room in the adults-only section. There’s complimentary Wi-Fi, an Azulitos Playhouse program for kids 3-12, cooking and yoga classes, non-motorized watersports and daily live entertainment.
Sandals Royal Plantation
Designed for couples seeking a getaway that channels retro Jamaican ambience, Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios takes the winning adults-only Sandals formula and dresses it up with elements of a historic boutique hotel experience. The 74 suites are all butler serviced and feature romantic colonial-style four poster mahogany beds, private balconies and spacious bathrooms.
The relaxing beach is backed by beautifully manicured lawns and gardens with photogenic gazebos and roaming peacocks and an intimate oceanfront pool overlooks the sea. There are no swim-up bars here, but Royal Pavilion is home to Jamaica’s only champagne and caviar bar, one of two bars at the resort. In addition to the five restaurants at this property—which include Papillion for French and The Terrace for Caribbean specialties—guests can hop a shuttle to dine at Sandals Ochi, which features 16 restaurants.
Included activities range from watersports and scuba diving to rounds at Sandals Golf & Country Club and day- and night-time tennis.
Couples who love the concept of an all-inclusive vacation but not the realities of it—large resorts, many with a 24/7 party ambience fueled by loud music and free-flowing booze—should consider a stay at The Caves, a welcoming 12-cottage property set atop the scenic limestone cliffs of Negril.
Priced on an all-inclusive basis, the resort gets its name from the sea caves that are prevalent in this area (and has several private ones of its own) and offers one-of-a-kind accommodations featuring cheerful colors and patterns, from vibrant duvets on the beds to traditional carved wood panels on the terraces.
Part of the Island Outpost hotel group, The Caves also has a signature Blackwell Rum Bar (named for its owner, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell), a saltwater pool, hot tub and spa. Guests enjoy local specialties such as Jamaican “jerk” barbecues and steamed callaloo and bammy (cassava flatbread) as well as five-course romantic fare featuring fresh seafood, all served in two dining gazebos. Or dine in a cave by candlelight by reserving ahead.
Royalton Negril Resort & Spa
Divided into three sections—the Resort, the Diamond Club (with butler service, exclusive restaurants and pools and other upgraded amenities) and the adults-only Hideaway)—Royalton Negril offers options to suit several types of travelers, from families to groups of friends to honeymooners.
The 407-room property is located on a mile-long beach on Bloody Bay and features spacious Luxury Junior Suites and Luxury Family Suites (602 square feet and 678 square feet, respectively) with contemporary décor in muted neutrals, Jacuzzi soaker tubs and rainforest showers and suites are available in swim-out or ocean-view options.
Public spaces are sleek and sophisticated with polished stone floors and open-air terraces with sea views. There’s free Wi-Fi, a splash pool, a Clubhouse kids’ club (ages 4-12) and a Hangout Teens Club (ages 13-17), plus a range of non-motorized watersports and up to 500 fitness classes per month.
What is unique is reservation-free dining at all six restaurants—Hunter Steakhouse, Calypso West Indies Cuisine, Zen Teppanyaki, Armadillo Tex-Mex, Grazie Italian Trattoria and Gourmet Marche international buffet—and there are four bars for all guests, including a swim-up pool bar and a sports bar.