Pros

  • Beautiful luxury resort situated on its own private peninsula in quiet Trelawny Parish
  • Pristine white-sand beaches with beachside service and plenty of loungers
  • Beautiful main pool plus a rooftop plunge pool, swim-up bar, and poolside service
  • Excellence Club for upgraded guests has private pool, bar, check-in, and dining
  • Exclusive Beach Villas new as of 2019, with private pools, terraces, and butler service
  • Spacious, contemporary rooms feature large terraces, rainfall showers, and living areas
  • Most rooms have ocean views, plus plunge pools or jetted tubs
  • Dining ranges from lobster and Asian fusion to extensive buffets and a steakhouse
  • All-inclusive plans cover top-shelf liquor and all meals, minibars, and 24-hour room service
  • Beautiful Miile Spa includes a stunning hydrotherapy circuit and salon
  • Full gym with wide array of modern equipment, free weights, and class space
  • Children under 18 not allowed
  • Free Wi-Fi and valet parking
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Cons

  • Airport transfers not included in rates
  • Hydrotherapy circuit is only free for spa guests who have booked treatments
  • We spotted some lines at a la carte restaurants
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Bottom Line

Tucked away in its own private corner of paradise, the Excellence Oyster Bay is one of northern Jamaica's nicest all-inclusive resorts. This luxury adults-only property, which occupies its own peninsula about 40 minutes west of Montego Bay, has an exclusive, but light-hearted vibe. From the gorgeous pool to the pristine beach and numerous dining options, the vibe is elegantly casual. Rooms are spacious and contemporary, and feature spacious terraces, plus private jetted tubs, plunge pools, or beach views in most. There's also a full gym with cutting-edge equipment, plus a beautiful spa featuring a beautiful hydrotherapy circuit. A stay here isn't cheap, but its easily one of the poshest spots in Trelawny Parish or Montego Bay. The only real competitor around is the Royalton Blue Waters, though it lacks the same secluded atmosphere. 

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Amenities

  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pool
  • Spa

Oyster Hotel Review

Excellence Oyster Bay

Scene

Private and secluded luxury resort with a laid-back vibe and just enough buzz

It's a rare resort in this part of Jamaica that manages to actually feel away from it all. Situated at the end of a long, private peninsula, beyond dense mangrove forests and a bioluminescent bay, Excellence Oyster Bay really is away from it all, which helps make it an excellent romantic retreat or spot to celebrate a special occasion. What's more? Children under the age of 18 aren't allowed, helping to keep things even more calm. That doesn't mean it's a sedate property, though. At night, theater shows liven up the vibe and the Martini Bar buzzes until late for guests looking for a refined spot to kick back with some cocktails. Aside from that, though, you won't be bothered by any noisy parties, vendors on the beach, or shot-doing packs of spring breakers here. During our stay in early 2019, we saw couples of all ages, as well as families traveling with adult children, and groups of friends all posting up by the pool, in the bars, and along the beach. The Excellence Oyster Bay has broad appeal, and while it's not the cheapest resort in the region, you do get what you pay for here. 

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Location

In sleepy Trelawny Parish, on its own private peninsula, a 40-minute drive from Montego Bay

If you're coming to Excellence Oyster Bay expecting easy access to the rowdy beaches and bars of the Montego Bay region, you're mistaken. Instead, the resort is situated on its own peninsula just east of the Falmouth cruise port (in sleepy Trelawny Parish), and is for travelers looking to while away their time in peace and quiet. There isn't much nearby -- a few casual jerk stands and bars are a 10-minute walk down a poorly lit road -- and most guests only leave the resort on guided tours of nearby sights like Dunn's River Falls. You can rent a car if you'd like to explore independently, but driving in Jamaica isn't the easiest, and most guests don't bother with the hassle. Montego Bay, the Hip Strip, and MBJ airport are about a 40 to 50 minutes away by car, while Dunn's River Falls is an hour to the east. 

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Rooms

Spacious and modern rooms with large terraces -- most with ocean views plus jetted tubs or private plunge pools

Rooms at the Excellence Oyster Bay are spacious and contemporary, done up in a mix of dark woods, creams, black marble, and pops of bright color. You'll find cool carved-wood room dividers that can be rolled back to allow in more natural light, as the area around the beds can be a bit dark. Otherwise, things are open and breezy, with semi-separate living areas that have chaise-style couches and rocking chairs, plus desks and at least two large flat-screen TVs in every room. The quietest rooms are outside of the main building, though the only real noise you'll hear in the main building will be for a couple of hours in the evenings during the nightly shows. King-size beds, powerful, air-conditioning, and an overall quiet setting all mean that the resort is highly conducive to a good night's sleep. 

There are only a few different configurations when it comes to room layouts. Most feature one massive floor plan with a bedroom, partially separated bathroom, and living room that can be cordoned off with the aforementioned wooden screens. Bathrooms are separate, though wooden screens are the only division between sinks and beds (toilets are behind frosted-glass doors). Other units, like the Honeymoon Suite, have separate bedrooms, massive walk-in closets, and in-bedroom soaking tubs, along with separate living rooms. The Beach House Suites that we visited also feature in-room soaking tubs, with partially separate living areas. 

Beach Villas, which are new as of 2019, are exceptional, with huge indoor floors plans, separate bedrooms and living areas, large private pools, butlers, and direct beach access from big, breezy porches. They also include their own kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and palapa. All other rooms have spacious terraces, and many feature plunge pools, private pools, or jetted tubs that look out to terraces. Those terraces have beach views in most units, though check ahead if this is something you're after. 

Other features include large vanities and rainfall showers, turndown service, free minibars that are refilled every day (plus full-size liquor bottles and coffee), and free and fast Wi-Fi. 

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All-Inclusive / Food

Generous all-inclusive plans at the Excellence Oyster Bay for all meals and drinks

The Excellence Oyster Bay all-inclusive plan is generous by any stretch of the imagination. Top-shelf liquor, cocktails, beer, most wine, and meals at all restaurants are included with prices here, as is 24-hour room service and daily-stocked minibars. You don't need reservations at any of the restaurants, unless you're after the seats at the hibachi tables in the Asian-fusion restaurant. Select wine bottles are not included in rates and will incur an extra cost. Water sports, like kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are also free to use. Spa treatments are not included, and you'll have to pay extra even if you're only looking to use the hydrotherapy circuit. Also note that airport transfers are not included in rates at Excellence Oyster Bay. Gratuities and fees are also covered in nightly rates. 

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All-Inclusive / Food

Numerous dining and drinking options, from Asian to French and steaks, plus exclusive Excellence Club

Excellence Oyster Bay's dining and drinking options are numerous. There are eight restaurants and 10 bars, all of which are part of the resort's all-inclusive plans. Dining includes everything from extensive buffets for breakfast and lunch, to a la carte seafood, tapas, Asian-fusion, and Italian for dinner, plus the hotel's wildly popular French and steakhouse options. Keep in mind that there are dress codes for the dining venues (men must wear collared shirts and long pants for dinners, for instance). Reservations are not taken, except for the limited seats at the hibachi tables in the Asian restaurant. We did see lines at the steakhouse during our visit, though things generally move fast. Bars are found by the pool (including a swim-up bar) as well as at all restaurants, plus the popular Martini Bar near the lobby. There's also a cafe for hot drinks and gelato. 

The Excellence Club, which is available to guests staying in club-level rooms, certain suites, and Beach Villas, provides its own compound at the tip of the peninsula. Here, a bar, all-day snacks, private breakfast, a private pool, beach club, and lots of lounge space all come together in a quiet, secluded spot. The restaurant in the Excellence Club, Magda, is also open only to club-level guests, and has the resort's most spectacular sunset views. Club guests also receive private check-in at the Excellence Club.

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Features

Several dining and drinking spots, great Excellence Club perks, plus awesome pools and beaches

Features are numerous at Excellence Oyster Bay, with just enough perks to make a week here easily passible without getting bored. Wellness amenities shine at Excellence Oyster Bay, with a spa that's incredibly popular with previous guests. The impressive space is light and bright, with the scent of essential oils on the air. Treatments all include access to the incredible hydrotherapy circuit and relaxation areas, and numerous rooms are available for couples and individuals. You'd be wise to book your treatments in advance of arrival to ensure you get the time that works best for you. There's also a palapa near the beach for treatments. 

The fitness center here would make any big-city gym blush, with machines, free weights, class space, TRX bands, and other contemporary equipment on offer. There's also a trainer on-site well into the evening. 

Excellence Oyster Bay's beach essentially stretches the length of the resort, and as of 2019 has stayed free of the seaweed problems that plague other beaches around the Caribbean. There are numerous beachside seats, and waiters throughout the day. The main pool is also ringed by numerous in-water and poolside loungers, umbrellas for shade, as well as waiters for drinks and snacks. 

Shuttles to and from MBJ Airport are not included in rates, but Wi-Fi is free. Excursions and events can be arranged through the resort's concierge services. Should you choose to rent a car, valet parking is free. 

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Free Breakfast

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Swim-Up Bar

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.