Where to stayPublished Mar 29, 2004
There’s something for everyone. Budget travelers and big spenders will both find something to suit.
Note that prices, unless otherwise noted, are in US dollars.
Prices are per room, based on double occupancy. In the case of all-inclusive properties, prices are per person.
$ = up to $50 per day
$$ = $51 to $100 per day
$$$ = $101 to $175 per day
$$$$ = over $175 per day
Resorts, Hotels & Inns
BREEZES GOLF AND BEACH RESORT
North Coast Highway, Runaway Bay
876-973-2436, fax 876-973-2352; reservations 877-GO-SUPER
This property was one of our first stops when we came to the island. At that time, it was known as Jamaica-Jamaica. The property, still part of the SuperClubs chain, has seen many renovations and is still one of the most popular resorts on the island. Guests here enjoy use of a golf course and school right across the road, as well as tennis, horseback riding, windsurfing (with a Mistral school on the property) and more. Rooms have a tropical decor and the grounds are always immaculate (as with all SuperClubs).
THE BLUE HOUSE
White River Estates, Ocho Rios
The Blue House Luxury Bed and Breakfast Villa Ocho Rios Jamaica offers all the intimacy and charm of a small boutique hotel at an affordable cost. Come experience REAL JAMAICA in a cozy, elegant guest house with mouth-watering cuisine and genial, hospitable hosts .
East of Ocho Rios at Oracabessa
876-975-7330, fax 876-975-7370; reservations 877-GO-SUPER
This SuperClubs resort is an excellent destination for families. Starting with the carousel horses and children’s music that greet arrivals at the entrance, everything is kid-friendly at this property. Three types of rooms are offered: lanai (smallest), junior suite (with a step-down living room/kids sleeping area with two twin beds/couches), and two-story junior suites. The kids program accommodates all age groups from toddlers to teens and entertains with arts and crafts, swimming, games and more. An adults-only section offers a piano bar, Italian restaurant, hot tub and pool.
876-974-1027, fax 876-974-5838; reservations 800-CIBONEY
The feel of Ciboney is much different from other resorts in this area, with the atmosphere of a small subdivision, a place with street signs and roads. The 226 villa suites are scattered throughout the hillside and each has a plunge pool just steps away. Transport from the main house to the 226 villas is available anytime. Ciboney offers 14 honeymoon suites with sunken baths, kitchen and living room. Each villa also comes with maid service.
There’s a weekly nature walk around the property, with guides pointing out lemons, limes, coconuts, guavas, mangos and other tropical fruits that are tended by 50 gardeners on staff. The property spans 45 acres.
876-974-2940, fax 876-974-2940
This 65-condo complex (a rarity in Jamaica) is situated on a hillside with views of Ocho Rios. Rooms are air conditioned and have kitchen facilities, pool, satellite TV, and housekeeping services.
COMFORT SUITES CRANE RIDGE
17 DaCosta Drive
876-974-8050, fax 876-974-8070
This all-suite hotel is perched high on a hill overlooking Ocho Rios. The recent construction offers 71 one- and two-bedroom suites with balconies, air conditioning, kitchenettes, satellite TV, telephones and fold-out sofas; two-bedroom suites also have Jacuzzi tubs. There’s a restaurant on the property.
COUPLES OCHO RIOS
North Coast Highway, east of Ocho Rios
876-975-4271, fax 876-975-4439; reservations 800-268-7537
As its name suggests, this resort is for couples only. This immensely popular all-inclusive makes vacation fun easy. It is also admirable for its promotion of off-property attractions, to which free excursions are offered. Travelers can enjoy trips to Dunn’s River Falls, a day of shopping in Ocho Rios, or a sunset cruise as part of the package.
Couples has a large white sand beach with a full menu of watersports. If you want an all-over tan, a boat will carry you out to a small island specially set aside for nude sunbathing, where you can enjoy plenty of sun as well as a dip in the pool and a cocktail at the swim-up bar.
876-974-5317, fax 876-974-2894
This condo complex bills itself as Jamaica’s first luxury seafront condominium resort. Located on Turtle Beach, each unit has a kitchenette, satellite TV, bathroom and private balcony. You have the choice of a one- or two-bedroom apartment. Facilities include a children’s playground, pools, restaurant and supervised children’s program.
FRANKLIN D. RESORT (FDR)
North Coast Highway, Runaway Bay
876-973-3067, fax 876-973-4600; reservations 800-654-1-FDR
FDR is a favorite with families. It offers a supervised children’s program, but the resort also has a unique feature: Vacation Nannies. One nanny is assigned to every suite and tends to the children’s needs; baby-sitting services in the evening are also available for a very low fee. The property is a big hit with the kids because they are offered everything a child could want, including a disco (one for kids and another for teens) and an arts and crafts center (all the kids make leather necklace name tags for their first project).
There’s a full array of watersports as well and two peaceful bays that are calm enough for children’s swimming.
Oracabessa, St. Mary
876-975-3354, fax 876-975-3679; reservations 800-OUTPOST
If you’ve won the lottery and you’re wondering where to stay on your next visit to Jamaica, this might just be the place. Located eight minutes from Oracabessa (15 minutes from Ochi), Goldeneye is a one-of-a-kind getaway.
The Goldeneye house itself is available for rent at $5,000 per day for up to six guests. The Ian Fleming Villa, a three-bedroom accommodation, has a garden dining area, private beach and full-time staff to whip up meals. A private TV room features a big screen TV, satellite programming, VCR, bar and more. Another option is Goldeneye Village, a flexible configuration of cottages (eight bedrooms, total) that may be rented as individual units or as a group. Each has indoor and outdoor dining facilities, kitchen, private beach access and entertainment/TV room. These units are newly built and decorated with local artwork and fabrics.
Goldeneye has seen many celebrities. During Fleming’s lifetime, the writer played host to Noel Coward, Errol Flynn and Elizabeth Taylor. Now, as part of Chris Blackwell’s empire, the property’s stellar guest list has included Martha Stewart, Jim Carrey, Christy Turlington, Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte and Naomi Campbell. Each famous guest has planted a tree, now marked with plaques, on Goldeneye grounds.
GRAND LIDO BRACO VILLAGE RESORT
West of Runaway Bay on North Coast Highway, Runaway Bay
876-954-0000, fax 876-954-0020; reservations 877-GO-SUPER
New to the SuperClubs chain, this resort was built with the purpose of recreating a Jamaican village, and you’ll find everyone from the peanut man offering fresh roasted goodies to the jerk cook to the woodcarver. The resort is built around a town square with cafés, art stores and a friendly feel. It’s no substitute for getting out and experiencing a real Jamaican village, but for first-timers it can be educational and fun. There’s also a full array of all-inclusive diversions: tennis, soccer, golf, beaches and watersports.
GRAND LIDO SANS SOUCI
North Coast Highway, 2 miles east of Ocho Rios
876-974-2353, fax 876-974-2544; reservations 877-467-8737
Grand Lido Sans Souci, one of the SuperClubs chain, is ultra-luxurious – the place to go for relaxation and first-class pampering. The adults-only (16 and over) resort is built on a hillside, with rooms that wind from the public areas down to the beach below. There are two beaches, one reserved for au naturel sunbathing.
A stay here includes complimentary services at Charlie’s Spa, located by a natural spring. You can have a massage, manicure, pedicure, reflexology, body scrub and facial.
AUTHORS’ TIP: While you’re at the spa, keep an eye out for Charlie, the resident turtle who lives in the spring’s cave.
Recently, the 146-suite resort added 36 one-bedroom Jacuzzi suites as well as a new freeform pool, tennis courts, a jogging track, volleyball court and an expanded games room. Your all-inclusive fee offers unlimited golf at Breezes Golf & Beach Resort, 24-hour room service, watersports and meeting facilities for up 80 participants theater-style. Day and night passes can purchased by non-guests.
876-973-4100, fax 876-973-5402; reservations 877-GO-SUPER
This all-inclusive resort is the sister to Negril’s Hedonism II. Like the longtime favorite, the atmosphere here encourages visitors to shed their inhibitions and take part in the fun. Along with swim-up rooms (the first in Jamaica), there’s a nude beach, nude pool, waterslide, circus workshop and more.
Two miles east of Ocho Rios, North Coast Highway
876-974-2514, fax 876-974-2449; reservations 800-837-4670
This classic Caribbean inn with 45 suites has drawn such visitors as model Kate Moss, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas and actor Albert Finney. Sir Winston Churchill was a frequent guest here and favored the White Suite. Each suite has a beach view, private verandah and antique furnishings. The inn is also home to a noted restaurant.
876-974-5601, fax 876-974-5912; reservations 800-752-6824
($$$$) (All-inclusive optional)
This 63-room hideaway, styled like an old plantation mansion, was used in the filming of Prelude to a Kiss, starring Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin. The property offers plenty of activities. Rooms have large private balconies.
RENAISSANCE JAMAICA GRANDE RESORT
876-974-2201, fax 876-974-5378; reservations 800-HOTELS1
This large, sprawling hotel has the largest meeting space in Ocho Rios, and hosts many meetings. Many conventioneers bring their spouses and children, who find plenty of activity. But there are lots of reasons to stay at Jamaica Grande even if you’re on your own. We stayed here recently and enjoyed a beautiful seaside room.
Downtown Ocho Rios is just a short walk away. A protected beach offers calm, quiet waters for an afternoon swim. The swim-up bar in the pool sits beneath a 26-foot replica of Dunn’s River Falls. The resort features two towers of rooms, but our choice would be the cabana rooms, right on the beach. Lower-floor rooms step right out onto the sand.
RUNAWAY BAY HEART HOTEL AND TRAINING INSTITUTE
876-973-2671, fax 876-973-2693; reservations 212-319-2100
This hotel offers something a little bit different. It’s a training institute operated by the government of Jamaica to teach young people skills of the hotel trade. There are just 20 rooms, each with air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV and private bath. The beach is a five-minute shuttle ride away; golf is available next door. The hotel also offers the Cardiff Hall Restaurant for formal dining. Prices at this resort are a bargain.
SANDALS DUNN’S RIVER
North Coast Highway
876-972-1610, fax 876-972-1611; reservations 800-SANDALS
This massive Sandals establishment is custom-made for people who enjoy fun in the form of organized activity and watersports. A new spa here features a full menu of treatments, including reflexology, body scrubs and aromatherapy. It’s located in a newly renovated fitness center (an open-air beauty that would inspire anyone to pump a little iron) and includes hot and cold plunge pools and private treatment rooms in a luxurious atmosphere.
SANDALS OCHO RIOS
North Coast Highway
876-974-5691, fax 876-974-5700; reservations 800-SANDALS
Just down the road from Sandals Dunn’s River, Sandals Ocho Rios is one of the most romantic resorts in the chain, with lavishly planted grounds that bloom with birds of paradise and buzz with the sound of hummingbirds. Sandals founder Butch Stewart grew up on these grounds; the building used for the piano bar was his grandparent’s home.
Guests at Sandals Ocho Rios enjoy the Stay at One, Dine at Six policy and can take meals at the other Sandals properties. A reservation desk at Sandals Ocho Rios arranges reservations for meals at other properties; a free shuttle to Sandals Dunn’s River makes dining at that nearby property easy.
SHAW PARK BEACH HOTEL
876-974-2552, fax 876-974-5042; reservations 800-377-1126
This low-rise hotel is set on a long stretch of white beach. It offers 33 standard guest rooms with shower only, 60 superior (with both a shower and tub) and 13 suites. Regardless of category, every room has a balcony or terrace overlooking the sea. Amenities include deep-sea fishing, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, aerobics, tennis and a children’s play area.
876-973-2678, fax 876-973-5013
Located within walking distance of the beach, this 25-room inn is air conditioned throughout and has a pool, satellite TV in the rooms and a disco.
54 Main Street
876-974-9193, fax 876-974-5440
This 32-room resort is air conditioned and has a restaurant, satellite TV, pool, health club and disco. Within walking distance of the beach.
1 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Jamaica proudly takes its place as one of the top most beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and it naturally goes without saying that the North Coast of the island is the more popular destinations.
There are numerous Resorts and wonderful white sand beaches dotted throughout this region. Accommodation in the island is numerous and plentiful, however very little is shared about the Villa industry within the island. This type of accommodation is for the adventurer, or for those who wish to explore the island and its people first hand.
If you are looking for tranquility and adventure, the Villa Maroon in Runaway Bay could offer guests just that. When next you plan to visit the beautiful Island of Jamaica, do give some thought towards the Villa industry. After all we did help to start the tourist industry with reliable accommodation.