The Most Romantic Hotels in Jamaica

This always popular Caribbean island beckons couples with sun, fun and reggae—and these 10 hotels turn up the heat on romance, too.

Montego Bay
Montego Bay is a very popular destination for couples looking for romantic getaways.Shutterstock

Jamaica has been synonymous with romance for more than 70 years, ever since Hollywood's top couples and New York's literary elite chose to book romantic trysts and honeymoons at some of the island's most famous hotels. This is also the birthplace of the all-inclusive resort, which now number in the dozens having lured millions of couples to enjoy no-hassle, no-worries fun in the sun at swim-up bars and a different internationally themed restaurant each night.

But Jamaica is also home to several one-of-a-kind hotel gems that deliver just the right mix of reggae rhythm and romantic amenities to keep couples coming back for more. Here are 10 of the most romantic hotels in Jamaica that we love checking into as a couple.

Half Moon

Fern Tree Spa
A couples massage at the Fern Tree Spa is a fantastic way to both begin and end your romantic vacation.Half Moon

A resort-wide renovation is about to give this 65-year-old Montego Bay resort a refreshed and notably more contemporary look (plus a vegan eatery), but the retro Caribbean romance at the heart of Half Moon lives on. First there's the resort's lushly landscaped 400 acres, where low-rise buildings are tucked amid towering palm trees and flowering bougainvillea. Then there's the two-mile curve of beach that's perfect for a stroll at sunset or horseback riding (the horses even take riders for a refreshing swim).

New by late 2019 will be two additional accommodation categories, Prestige Ocean Rooms (offering ocean views) and Estate Ocean Rooms (offering views plus outdoor living space), as well as seven new restaurants and bars, including Delmare for seafood and The Great House Restaurant for all-day dining, plus Spice beach bar and grill, Lester's Bar specializing in Caribbean rums and Ital Café serving vegan cuisine. The Fern Tree Spa is also a couple's favorite, with its Caribbean-inspired menu and overwater bungalows.

Jamaica Inn

jamaica inn
The White Suite deck at Jamaica Inn.Jamaica Inn

For old-school romance it's hard to top Jamaica Inn, an intimate and legendary 48-room beach resort in Ocho Rios that has welcomed guests into its nostalgic world of periwinkle blue since 1950. The property's walls and verandahs are awash in the soothing hue and when it's juxtaposed against the verdant green lawn that leads to a golden sand beach and vivid aquamarine sea, the effect is mesmerizing. This is a property for couples who crave a quiet escape, personal service and traditional notions of romance, such as live band music at dinnertime—and dancing in the moonlight, too. Accommodations range from Balcony and Verandah Suites to private Beach Cottages.

There are no swim-up bars or internationally themed restaurants, just a retro-cool ambience in the Lounge with its vintage photos of past guests you might recognize (including Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn), delicious Jamaica-inspired dining on the al fresco terrace, and a treehouse-like Ocean Spa nestled amid greenery above the gently lapping waves.

Round Hill Hotel & Villas

Round Hill villas
A sunset view from one of the Round Hill villas.Round Hill Hotel & Villas

Couples craving privacy along with space to relax and unwind will find it in one of the 27 luxury villas at Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay. While each villa, set on a hillside overlooking a serene bay, is individually decorated, most feature polished wood floors, romantic mahogany four-poster beds and private pools. The resort also has 36 Oceanfront Rooms designed by Ralph Lauren (who owns a private villa on the property), which feature airy white and blue décor and offer easy access to the spa, beach and stunning infinity-edge pool; rooms on the upper level feature cathedral ceilings and spectacular bay views.

Dining-wise, the property offers a modern Jamaican menu at The Grill, located on a breezy rooftop, and light Caribbean cuisine using Jamaican ingredients at The Restaurant at Round Hill. And if you end up combining too many rum punches (a Round Hill specialty) with too much champagne or wine, revive with a couple’s massage at the resort’s spa—where some of Jamaica’s natural ingredients are used to counter the effects of overindulgence.

Hyatt Zilaria Rose Hall

When life gets hectic and couples need to escape together—no kids, no mothers-in-law, no BFFs—this contemporary, 344-room resort in sunny Montego Bay makes it easy: It's all-inclusive, it's adults-only (although it shares some facilities with the adjacent family friendly Hyatt Ziva), and you can be on the beach in no time after landing at Sangster International Airport. At 493 square-feet even the smallest rooms at Hyatt Zilaria Rose Hall are airy and spacious and each has a balcony or terrace. Couples who love to cool off with a relaxing dip at any hour can book a Swim-Up King with a semi-private pool while those seeking pampering can opt for a butler-serviced One-Bedroom Oceanfront Suite.

More indulgence awaits at the resort’s five restaurants, where the cuisine ranges from island-sourced ingredients prepared by local chefs at Jamaican Rootz by Horizons to dishes inspired by international cities such as London to Shanghai at Urban Heat by Flavorz. And true romantics can savor French cuisine at Petit Pariz or Italian at Di Roza. Guests who don’t get enough ZZZs via dining can enjoy a couple’s massage with an ocean view at the Zen Spa.

Sandals South Coast

Sandals South Coast bungalows
How romantic is Sandals South Coast? The bungalows form the shape of a heart.Sandals

The winning combo for romance at this 372-room resort is its size (500 acres, set on two miles of beautiful white-sand beach), secluded setting (near Whitehouse on Jamaica's less-developed south coast) and ease (like all Sandals resorts, it's all inclusive—even scuba diving is part of the nightly rate). Better still, Sandals South Coast now offers couples a chance to sleep in a seductive overwater bungalow without having to fly halfway around the world to Tahiti or the Maldives. There are 12 Over the Water Honeymoon Butler Bungalows arranged in the shape of heart here, and yes, they're a major splurge.

But even couples with a more modest budget can book an ocean-view room or suite in one of the three European-themed villages (the Italian Beachfront Club Level options are romance ready) and then sip cocktails while suspended in one of the hammocks that surround the over-the-water Latitudes Bar. Other couple-centric activities include watersports such as kayaking and paddle boarding, local adventure tours and catamaran sails, while nine restaurants mean there’s a cuisine (from Italian to Asian) to satisfy every taste bud.

Strawberry Hill

Romance in Jamaica without a beach? You bet. From the lofty 3,100-foot perch of this intimate, 26-acre hideaway set at the edge of the Blue Mountains an entirely different yet decidedly sexy side of Jamaica is revealed. Strawberry Hill's ambience channels a bygone era as guests unwind in 12 individual wood-frame cottages that capture the historic details of the island's colonial past. With their white-on-white décor—accented by touches of color in African fabrics, four-poster mahogany beds and carved fretwork decorative panels—the graceful cottages offer a peaceful escape.

The property’s restaurant and pool provide more: panoramic views of forested hillsides and Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, backed by Caribbean blue and divine dining centered on Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage. Local Blue Mountain coffee is a star, too—and guests can even experience its invigorating properties with a Blue Mountain Elixir Body Scrub in The Spa.

GoldenEye

GoldenEye cottage
GoldenEye is a perfect destination for both fans of spy films and couples looking for a romantic getaway.GoldenEye

This property, located about 20 minutes from Ocho Rios on Jamaica's north shore, literally wrote the book on sex appeal and intrigue—it's where 007 creator Ian Fleming penned his James Bond novels in the 1950s and 1960s. Fleming's villa compound (with his writing desk and and other memorabilia) is still here, but GoldenEye also offers a range of accommodations that includes one-to-three-bedroom villas, lagoon cottages and beach huts. The latter two are ideal for couples, who can choose a lagoon-front cottage with a king-size bed facing the water and a private outdoor garden shower or a breezy beach hut, some of which are set atop stilts.

This intimate enclave, where vivid green jungle meets a crescent of golden sand beach and calm turquoise water, is known for its chill vibe (GoldenEye is an Island Outpost resort, owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell) and its focus on all things local and natural—from fresh grilled fish at Bamboo Bar to massages with botanical oils at FieldSpa.

The Caves

For an intimate all-inclusive experience—and no that's not an oxymoron—consider a stay at this charming 12-cottage property set atop the scenic limestone cliffs of Negril. The Caves, which gets its name from the sea caves that are prevalent in this area (and has several private ones of its own), offers one-of-a-kind accommodations that burst with color and pattern, from vibrant duvets on the beds to traditional carved wood panels on the terraces.

Part of the Island Outpost hotel group, the property also features a saltwater pool, hot tub, spa and signature Blackwell Rum Bar. Meals are served in two dining gazebos (and cave dining by candlelight can be reserved) with menus offering local specialties such as Jamaican “jerk” barbecues and steamed callaloo and bammy (cassava flatbread) as well as five-course romantic fare featuring the freshest seafood.

Jakes

Octopussy bungalow
The Octopussy bungalow at Jakes.Jakes

When the mood strikes to kick back, be happy and stay casual morning, noon and night, there's no better place than Jakes in Treasure Beach on Jamaica's laid-back south coast. Colorful, quirky and bohemian, the hotel's 49 accommodations overlook the shimmering blue Caribbean. The cozy and affordable hotel rooms are awash in vivid blue, pink and yellow hues, while the slightly larger oceanfront bungalows feature playful pattern mixes and delightful sea breezes. Larger villas offer more privacy and are surprisingly well priced.

But the real allure of Jakes is the sense of camaraderie that develops among guests during happy hours at Dougie’s Bar and meal times at Jack Sprat, serving authentic Jamaican cuisine, and Jakes Restaurant, where the menu changes daily based on what’s available from area farmers and fisherman. This is a property that immerses guests in the most colorful and creative daily aspects of local island life.

Couples Tower Isle

This might be one of Jamaica's original all-inclusive resorts, but 226-room Couples Tower Isle located on 19 acres in Ocho Rios has undergone a recent renewal that updated its interior decor—in soothing blue and cream with cheerful Caribbean artwork and fabrics—and added Oasis Spa Villas that feature private plunge pools and unlimited treatments at the Oasis Spa.

Six restaurants, five bars and room service offer around-the-clock dining and imbibing, including Veggie Bar for healthy salads and fruit smoothies, Bayside for Pan-Asian dishes and Eight Rivers (the English translation of Ocho Rios) for gourmet dining rooted in Jamaican and Caribbean cuisine.

Couples who aren’t shy can venture to the resort’s private island, where au natural sunbathing (and swimming up to the pool bar) is allowed, while those who prefer to get active can waterski, kayak, windsurf, paddleboard and more.