Simple gym with nice selection of modern equipment
Room service available
Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel
Secure self-parking in a gated lot
No TVs, alarm clocks, or radios in rooms (a pro for some)
Prices for the all-inclusive options can be steep
Nothing of interest within an easy walk
Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, Jamaica Inn is one of the top of the island's top boutique hotels. In stark contrast to the neighboring all-inclusives and mega-resorts -- like Sandals Royal Plantation next door -- this upscale beachfront property is quiet, intimate, and relaxed. Decor throughout is a picture-perfect example of understated Caribbean elegance, with a soft color palette, chic marble details, and tasteful tropical accents. The list of amenities is typical of a four-pearl property, including a small, but immaculate pool; a wide, soft sand beach; an alfresco dining terrace; and a stunning, sea-view spa. The 48 suites and cottages include free Wi-Fi, high-end bathrooms, and water-view balconies (some with private plunge pools), and the lack of TVs and radios preserves the quiet, unplugged vibe.
Charming beachfront hotel with elegant Caribbean style and a relaxed atmosphere
This resort is a stand-out amid the many mega-resorts and boisterous all-inclusives that are packed in along the Ocho Rios coast. The decor here is a lovely blend of colonial Caribbean elements and tastefully modern tropical accents. Everything is breezy and bright, with a white and blue color scheme that's complemented by chic art and stylish hardwood furniture throughout most common areas. While only a stone’s throw off the busy A3 thoroughfare, the property is quiet and relaxed -- an ethos that's given an assist by the lack of TVs anywhere on the grounds. There are a few chances for guests to mingle here, but the vibe is decidedly low key. The pool is small but immaculately clean, with a small bar at one end. Immediately adjacent, a clean, expansive beach offers a large number of lounge chairs and private palapas. Both spaces provide a combined outdoor social area that’s substantially larger than one would expect of a smaller, boutique property. The result is that nothing ever feels crowded, which is exactly what makes this hotel such a popular choice among guests. Children are allowed on the property, but the calm and elegant vibe is clearly targeted toward adults and couples.
On an residential side street, a 15-minute frive from Ocho Rios
Those who plan on rarely leaving the hotel will be pleased, but anyone who wants to do a bit of exploring in the area will need a car, as there's little within a reasonable walk here aside from other resorts. Route A3 is a busy main road dotted with gas stations, restaurants, and other services -- all within a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Two of Ocho Rios’ most popular tourist attractions -- Dunn’s River Falls and Dolphin Cove -- are also only 12 minutes away by car. Comparatively livelier Montego Bay is over an hour-and-a-half drive west from here, and it will take about two hours to reach Kingston.
While there is an airport in Ocho Rios (Ian Fleming International), flights are typically limited to domestic and inter-island routes. Most tourists will arrive via Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, which is 90 minutes from the hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel does not provide free airport transportation, and roundtrip taxi fare can be quite pricey. For many travelers, renting a car may prove the best option as several major agencies are available in the airport terminal. Alternatively, shared shuttle transfer (arranged privately or through the hotel) is possible to and from the airport, and is the island’s most affordable mode of transportation.
Sophisticated and bright, with high-end bathrooms and sea-view balconies
Decor in each of the hotel’s suites and cottages incorporates a blend of colonial, traditional, and modern design elements. Overall, the aesthetic is polished and sophisticated, and even the most basic room here are far nicer than other properties in the area. Expect to see gleaming white walls, creamy linens, and dark wood furniture with antique silhouettes, all punctuated with subtle tropical elements like vibrantly patterned throw pillows. While decor does vary from one category to the next, sharp details can include polished wood floors, carved four-poster beds, and the liberal use of rich materials like travertine marble and granite. The effect is breezy and beachy -- perfectly appropriate given the setting -- and walls are sparingly hung with eye-catching art like Old World still lives.
All rooms are spacious, starting with the 448-square-foot (42-square-meter), one-room Superior Balcony Suites. Upgraded suites range from 522 to 652 square feet (49 to 61 square meters) -- all with multi-room floor plans that include a furnished, living-room style verandah with water views. Cottages offer substantially more floor space, between 700 to 1,100 square feet (65 to 102 square meters). Most of these feature separate living rooms, private infinity plunge pools, and direct sea access. The flagship Cottage 7 and The White Suite offer approximately 2,000 square feet each (186 square meters). Both feature a single bedroom with the same modern amenities as above plus upgraded furnishings, private gardens, and the best water views on the property.
Every room features a solid list of essentials, including free Wi-Fi and mini-fridges (on request). Televisions and alarm clocks are intentionally omitted to ensure a quiet, serene atmosphere. While radios are likewise not available, upgraded rooms do have MP3 docks. Beds in all rooms are well-reviewed as comfortable.
Like their respective rooms, bathrooms in all categories are high-end. Suite bathrooms are on the small side and feature a typical shower/tub combination. Cottages feature larger (in some cases much larger) bathrooms with a long list of additional amenities that include dual sinks, outdoor showers, large soaking tubs, and marble covering almost every square inch of the walls and floors. Premium Molton Brown brand shower products are standard in all rooms.
A lovely beach, alfresco dining terrace, and a beautiful waterfront spa
Jamaica Inn offers almost every amenity that guests would expect from a four-pearl Caribbean hotel. Among its most notable are a secluded beach, a clean pool, and an alfresco dining terrace with lovely sea views. Its small waterfront spa is also among the area’s most intimate.
The soft sand beach here is immaculately clean, well-maintained, and large, particularly for such a small property. A dozen private palapas provide more than enough shaded seating for the hotel’s 48 rooms' worth of guests. Even at or near capacity, the beach never feels crowded. It’s one of the best in Ocho Rios, with calm water that’s ideal for swimming or snorkeling. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also free for guests to use.
A la carte breakfast, lunch, and dinner service is available at the Terrace restaurant, which has alfresco and open-air dining with fantastic sea-views. The menu is an equal mix of typical Western fare and local, seafood-centric Jamaican dishes. All-inclusive dining is available as an add-on, however, the prices are exorbitant by any standard. All-day room service and beach dining are also available for an additional fee.
Those looking to balance their relaxing and indulging with a bit of self-care are in luck as well. The hotel has a small fitness room and a stunning spa with salon services. The gym has a decent handful of cardio- and strength-training machines plus workout benches and free weights -- it's surprisingly well outfitted for a hotel of this size. Like many of the hotel’s amenities, its Ocean Spa is a textbook example of understated Caribbean style. Each of the rustic, open-air treatment rooms provides great sea views and the spa has a large treatment menu -- including facials, massages, couples’ massages, and beauty services.
The hotel’s small, oval pool is clean and well-maintained with a handful of umbrellas and Adirondack and lounge chairs surrounding the deck. At one end, a small hut-style bar provides a few bar stools and a full drink menu of beer, wine, and premium liquor.
A small, gated lot provides guests with secure self-parking. Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort. While this isn't an all-inclusive property, all-inclusive rates are available, but at a steep upcharge.