Jamaica All Inclusive Resorts: Everything You Need to Know

All Inclusive Beach Vacation

There’s a reason Jamaica stands out as a top all inclusive vacation destination for those in search of the perfect beachside escape. It’s not just the laid-back rhythm of reggae, or the punchy flavors of jerk cuisine that keep travelers coming back; it’s the allure of an all inclusive resort experience that Jamaica so masterfully delivers.

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Jamaica's Top Vacation Destinations

Jamaica is dotted with numerous tourist hotspots, each offering a unique flavor of the island’s vibrant culture and breathtaking beauty. To begin, let’s look at the main areas frequented by tourists in Jamaica, which is also where the majority of Jamaica’s all inclusive resorts reside:

Montego Bay

Montego Bay, fondly referred to as "MoBay" by locals, is the gem of Jamaica's northern coast. It's a harmonious blend of vibrant city life and serene natural beauty, marked by its pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and rich cultural heritage. The city's lively reggae beats, historic colonial architecture, and the warmth of its people make Montego Bay an unforgettable Caribbean destination. Montego Bay is home to several luxury all inclusive resorts and hotels. The Sangster International Airport is also located here, making it a convenient entry point for international tourists.

Negril

Negril stands out as one of Jamaica's most enchanting destinations, celebrated for its laid-back vibe and amazing beaches. The town is famed for its Seven Mile Beach, a seemingly endless stretch of powdery white sand and crystal-blue waters. Beyond the beach, Negril's cliffs offer breathtaking sunsets and opportunities for cliff diving, while its eclectic mix of local eateries and vibrant nightlife ensures visitors experience the heart and soul of Jamaican culture. It's a great spot for those seeking a more relaxed vibe, and it's home to a mix of all inclusive resorts, smaller boutique hotels, and local restaurants.

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios, often called "Ochi" by locals, is a jewel on Jamaica's north coast. What makes it special is its harmonious blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural richness. Ocho Rios is home to the famous Dunn's River Falls, a cascading waterfall that visitors can climb, providing both a scenic view and a thrilling experience. The region also boasts the lush and expansive Fern Gully, a haven for plant lovers. Alongside its natural attractions, Ocho Rios offers a bustling town center with vibrant markets, local crafts, and a taste of authentic Jamaican cuisine. Its port regularly welcomes cruise ships, making it a popular spot for day-trippers. Ocho Rios boasts several high-end all inclusive resorts, including the newly opened Sandals Dunn's River.

Runaway Bay

Situated between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay is less crowded but equally as beautiful as its more popular neighbors. Runaway Bay offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure in a less-populous setting. Its proximity to some of Jamaica's prime attractions, like the Green Grotto Caves and the Bob Marley Mausoleum, add a little something extra for those wanting to explore local Jamaican culture. Many travelers feel that beach resorts in Runaway Bay offer access to a more authentic side of Jamaica. There are several all inclusive resorts in Runaway Bay for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

South Coast

The South Coast is emerging as a destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. This region of Jamaica is graced with rugged coastal landscapes, tranquil beaches, and lush countryside, providing a perfect backdrop for both adventure and relaxation. Its location away from the main tourist hubs ensures a quiet, intimate Jamaican experience. According to our travel advisors, Sandals South Coast stands out as one of the top romantic resorts in all of Jamaica for honeymoons and intimate getaways. Nestled within a 500-acre nature preserve, this all inclusive resort is the epitome of tropical elegance. It boasts overwater bungalows, world-class dining experiences, and a vast range of activities, from water sports to spa treatments.

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The Best All Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica

As a travel professional, when evaluating resort choices for clients, various factors come into play. Sandals Resorts, particularly in Jamaica, tick several boxes that make them a top choice for travelers seeking a luxurious and comprehensive experience. Sandals all inclusive packages include gourmet dining, offer diverse accommodations like overwater bungalows, and provide a wide range of land and water sports.

With multiple prime locations across Jamaica, including Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril, and the South Coast, Sandals Resorts cater to varying traveler preferences, from exciting nightlife to romantic, tranquil beaches. Designed for couples, the adults-only environment offers a romantic, relaxed vibe, while their commitment to local engagement and environmental responsibility ensures an authentic and sustainable Jamaican experience. Sandals' consistent positive reviews and long-standing reputation further attest to the brand's dedication to guest satisfaction.

Our Favorite Jamaica All Inclusive Resorts

Each adults-only Sandals resort in Jamaica has a unique flavor and essence, yet they all promise a consistent standard of luxury, service, and authenticity, which is why Sandals Resorts are our most recommended in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Caribbean overwater bungalows

Elegance meets island charm at Sandals Royal Caribbean. What sets this resort apart is its private island, just a short boat ride away, where guests can experience secluded beaches and specialty dining. The over-the-water bungalows, a recent addition, have set a new benchmark for luxury accommodations in the Caribbean. Each bungalow offers transparent glass floors, allowing you a peek into the colorful marine life below.

Sandals Negril

Sandals Negril swim-up room

Located on the longest stretch of Negril’s famous Seven-Mile Beach, this resort is for those who love being close to nature. Environmentally-conscious travelers will appreciate its EarthCheck certification, proving its commitment to sustainable tourism. The resort’s laid-back vibe is complemented by beachside fire pits, world-class diving sites, and beachfront walkout rooms that let you step directly onto Seven-mile Beach. Enjoy unlimited drinks and fine dining at seven restaurants and five bars, including two swim-up bars.

Sandals South Coast

Overwater Bungalows in Jamaica

It’s an idyllic oceanfront oasis tucked away in Jamaica’s untouched south coast. Featuring a two-mile private beach and three distinct European villages (Dutch, Italian, and French), it gives guests a taste of Europe with the warmth of Jamaican hospitality. The over-the-water bar, Latitudes, is a highlight where guests can enjoy cocktails on hammocks suspended above the turquoise waters. The swim-up rooms at Sandals South Coast are some of our favorites with honeymoon suites and Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suites available.

Sandals Dunn's River

The newly reimagined Sandals Dunn’s River, located on the beautiful north coast of Jamaica, offers a luxurious and enriched experience just minutes away from Jamaica’s national treasure, Dunn’s River Falls. This stunning resort is a haven of exclusivity with several luxurious accommodation options to choose from, including 260 rooms and suites categorized in 14 distinctive styles within its expansive 25-acre property. Our favorite, no doubt, is the Sandals’ Love Nest Butler SuitesĀ®! Experience unparalleled luxury in these groundbreaking Rondoval suites that include private rooftop hideaways, a private pool sanctuary, and a Tranquility Soaking Tub for two. Top it off with 24-hour in-room dining, personal butler service, and in-room check-in. You have to see it to believe it! Guests at Sandals Dunn’s River also enjoy complimentary greens fees at the nearby Sandals Golf & Country Club.

Sandals Royal Plantation

Sandals Royal Plantation

Sandals Royal Plantation is easily one of the most romantic resorts in Jamaica. Each of its 74 suites is tucked into a magnificent coral bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea and offers an ocean view, ensuring guests are always connected to the beauty of their surroundings. Every room at this all-suite resort also offers in-room butler service. The resort’s C Bar, the only champagne and caviar bar in Jamaica, is a testament to its commitment to luxury. Green fees at nearby Upton Estate Golf & Country Club are also included, along with transportation.

Sandals Montego Bay

Montego Bay, Jamaica Resort

The flagship of the Sandals brand, Montego Bay is the heart and soul of the all inclusive Jamaica resorts experience. Beyond its pristine white sands, the resort offers an array of water sports including snorkeling and windsurfing. The nearby bustling town, just a stone’s throw away, offers an authentic taste of Jamaican culture, from street food to local handicrafts. At night, the resort comes alive with private beach parties and live music, capturing the island’s vibrant spirit.

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Upton Estate Golf & Country Club

Offering the best of both worlds, guests can enjoy breathtaking ocean views on one side of the resort and the serenity of the lush mountains on the other. A secluded private beach sits on the ocean side, while a 100-acre Garden of Eden makes up the serene side of this all inclusive resort. With 11 bars, including the Caribbean’s first speakeasy, and 16 restaurants, it’s a haven for food and drink enthusiasts as well as romantics. Golf lovers will appreciate complimentary greens fees at the nearby Upton Estate Golf & Country Club.

Beaches Resorts In Jamaica

If you're traveling with a group or family, Beaches Resorts has two beautiful locations in Jamaica, Beaches Negril and Beaches Ocho Rios, each offering a unique and unforgettable vacation for families, groups, and singles alike.

Beaches Negril is located on the famous Seven Mile Beach, offering a serene and picturesque backdrop. This resort is a paradise for those who love water activities, beachfront relaxation, and gourmet dining. It boasts a variety of luxurious accommodations, multiple dining options serving international cuisine, and a plethora of recreational activities including water sports, land sports, and entertainment for all ages. The pirate-themed waterpark is a highlight, and the resort’s spacious, family-friendly accommodations make it an ideal choice for those traveling with children.

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Beaches Ocho Rios is nestled in the lush greenery of the St. Ann Mountains, offering a contrasting experience to its sister resort. It provides a mix of adventure and relaxation with its expansive waterpark, nearby golf course, and relaxing spa treatments. With a focus on family-friendly fun, the resort offers professional childcare services and engaging activities for kids, allowing adults time for their own activities.

Jamaica Travel & All Inclusive Resort FAQ

Below are some of our most asked questions about traveling to Jamaica, all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, and what to expect during your stay. Have more questions, contact one of our travel advisors for free with no obligation!

  • What are the entry requirements for U.S. and Canadian tourists?
  • U.S. Citizens: A valid passport is mandatory when leaving and re-entering the United States. U.S. tourists must also have a return or onward ticket for entry into Jamaica.

    Canadian Citizens: Canadians are also required to present a valid passport indicating their country of citizenship.

    It is crucial for both U.S. and Canadian tourists to stay informed about any travel advisories by regularly checking the Jamaica's Tourism Board's official website: https://www.visitjamaica.com/plan-your-adventure/travel-tips/entry-requirements/

  • What currency is advisable for U.S. and Canadian tourists to use in Jamaica? And what about at the resorts?
  • Resorts widely accept U.S. and Canadian Dollars. If you take a guided tour off the resort, you may want to have some Jamaican Dollars (JMD) on hand as well. Jamaica has a multitude of banks in all resort areas, making currency exchange relatively straightforward for U.S. and Canadian tourists. The daily fluctuation in exchange rates makes it wise to shop around for the best rates before converting your cash. Most ATMs in Jamaica accept international bank cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, and Plus logos.

  • What's the best time of year to visit Jamaica?
  • Our favorite time to visit Jamaica is from November to mid-December when the weather is ideal and the room rates are most reasonable. The peak tourist season is from mid-December to April; while the island is bustling with activities and events, the prices for accommodations are usually higher during this period.

  • What is the weather like in Jamaica?
  • Jamaica boasts a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humid conditions prevalent year-round. For those visiting from colder climates like Canada or the Northern U.S., this climate provides a warm, welcome escape. However, the island experiences two rainy seasons from May to June and September to November. But even if it does rain, these are usually short, tropical showers providing a refreshing break from the warmth of the afternoon sun. Remember to check the weather conditions during your planned travel dates and pack accordingly.

  • When is hurricane season in Jamaica?
  • The hurricane season in Jamaica typically runs from June to November, with the highest likelihood of hurricanes occurring between August and October. However, the occurrence of hurricanes is usually rare, and visitors can still enjoy their stay during this period, keeping an eye on weather advisories.

  • What is the food like in Jamaica?
  • Jamaican cuisine is flavorful and often spicy, featuring dishes like jerk chicken, curry goat, and ackee and saltfish. Jamaica's tropical climate yields an array of fruits like mangoes and pineapples that are incorporated into the meals. At many all inclusive resorts, guests have the opportunity to indulge in a wide array of dining options, from international fare to local Jamaican dishes. These resorts often feature multiple restaurants, each specializing in different cuisines, ensuring that there is something to satisfy every palate.

  • Is Jamaica safe for tourists?
  • Jamaica is generally safe for tourists, especially within resort areas. Exercise usual cautions like avoiding isolated areas and not displaying valuables openly. Most resorts have robust security measures in place to ensure guests' safety. If you do venture away from the resort area, consider doing it as part of a guided tour arranged by the resort.

  • Can I drink the tap water in Jamaica?
  • Tap water in Jamaica is generally safe to drink due to stringent testing protocols imposed by the government, but if you have a sensitive stomach, it's advisable to stick to bottled or purified water, widely available at resorts and stores.

  • What is the official language in Jamaica?
  • The official language of Jamaica is English, locally spoken with a distinctive Jamaican accent and cadence. English is used in government, commerce, education, and is universally spoken and understood across the island, especially at all the major tourist destinations and resorts. However, while English is widely spoken, tourists will also have the delightful opportunity to hear and experience Jamaican Patois (or Creole), a colorful and expressive linguistic variant of English interspersed with words and phrases from various languages, reflecting the island's diverse heritage. Patois is predominantly spoken in informal settings and is a significant aspect of Jamaican cultural identity. It embodies the vibrant and dynamic spirit of the Jamaican people.

  • What about transportation and airport transfers?
  • Taxis, buses, and car rentals are available. However, many all inclusive resorts offer shuttle services and/or guided tours to popular destinations and attractions. If you use another provider outside of the resort, always use an authorized taxi services and check for the official 'JUTA' (Jamaica Union of Travelers Association) license.

    Many resorts, such as Sandals, offer complimentary airport transfers to and from their properties as part of their all inclusive package. These transfers are usually done in comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles, ensuring a safe and relaxing ride for guests.

  • What is the time zone in Jamaica?
  • Jamaica is in the Eastern Time Zone (ET) and observes Daylight Saving Time.

  • Are there any required vaccinations for traveling to Jamaica?
  • No special vaccinations are required for travel to Jamaica, but it is always wise to be up-to-date on routine vaccines like measles, mumps, rubella, and seasonal flu. Jamaica does not currently have any COVID-19 testing, vaccination, or mask requirements. You can check this link for the latest: https://www.visitjamaica.com/canada/covid-19-travel-resources/

  • Which airlines fly direct to Jamaica?
  • Numerous airlines offer non-stop flight service to Jamaica, including American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and Air Canada, among others, connecting major cities in the U.S. and Canada directly to the Montego Bay and Kingston airports. Depending on your departure city, you can be in Jamaica in as little as two hours! Jamaica is among the most accessible island destinations from the U.S. and Canada, typically not requiring a long-haul flight.

  • Do all inclusive resorts in Jamaica include food and alcohol?
  • Yes, all inclusive resorts in Jamaica typically include all meals, snacks, and beverages, including a variety of alcoholic drinks. Many resorts even include complimentary in-room mini bars. Some resorts may offer premium dining and beverage options that require an additional charge, so it's always good to confirm the details with the resort beforehand.

  • Is it worth paying for an all inclusive resort?
  • Absolutely! Paying for an all inclusive resort can offer excellent value, particularly if you plan to take full advantage of the amenities, food, and beverages available. It allows for a worry-free vacation where almost everything is taken care of, enabling you to relax and enjoy without concerning yourself with individual expenses. Many resorts, such as Sandals, even include most tips and gratuities in their all inclusive package pricing.

  • What should I expect from an adults-only all inclusive resort in Jamaica?
  • Adults-only all inclusive resorts in Jamaica offer a serene and mature environment, ideal for couples or small groups of friends. Expect a sophisticated atmosphere with upscale amenities, gourmet dining, and premium beverages. Many adults-only resorts focus on creating a romantic or tranquil ambiance, offering amenities like spa treatments, candlelit dinners on the beach, and rooms with private pools or Jacuzzis.

  • Do I need to tip at an all inclusive resort?
  • While tipping is included in many Jamaica all inclusive resorts, it is generally appreciated when guests leave additional tips for outstanding service. It's a personal choice, but small gratuities can go a long way in expressing appreciation to the staff, who often go above and beyond to ensure guests have an exceptional stay.

    For example, Sandals Resorts includes tips in their package prices, meaning guests don't need to tip for most services. However, there are exceptions where tipping is appropriate and recommended, such as for airportāŸtransportationāŸproviders,āŸbutlers, golf caddies, and spa attendants. Spa attendants typically receive around 20%, considering a 12.5% gratuity is already included in the bill. Butlers can be tipped as seen fit, usually at the end of the stay, with amounts ranging from $20-30 per day per butler, and overwater bungalow butlers receiving $50-100 per shift. Cabana butlers, who provide personalized care, usually receive between $20-50. Many guests choose to convey their gratitude in thank-you cards, enclosing the tip before leaving.

  • What's not included in an all inclusive vacation?
  • In an a typical all inclusive vacation package, there are a few notable services and amenities that are not included, requiring additional fees for guests who opt for them.

    Spa treatments are not part of the all inclusive offerings, so guests seeking these wellness services will need to pay separately for them. Many off-resort tours, even those provided by the resort, may not be covered in the all inclusive price. For golf enthusiasts, while greens fees might be included, golf caddies (mandatory) are not included, representing an extra charge. Medical assistance, possibly for unexpected illness or injury during the stay, is also not included and may incur additional costs.

Conclusion

Jamaica beckons with its vibrant culture, pristine beaches, and mesmerizing landscapes. It's more than just a destination; it's a journey into a world where every moment is alive with rhythm, beauty, and adventure. Whether you're seeking a romantic retreat, an adventure-packed excursion, or a tranquil seaside respite, Jamaica has it all. Don't just dream about paradise; experience it firsthand. Dive into the heart of the Caribbean and book your Jamaican adventure today!

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