Wedding and party atmosphere may be chaotic for guests who like quiet
Over an hour's drive from the airport
Wi-Fi signal can be spotty in some rooms
Beers in the mini-fridge not free in lower-tier rooms
Non-guests can purchase day passes to use the resort
This upscale all-inclusive resort a half-hour drive from Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica's more intimate adult-only options, with 225 rooms. It's also a good value; the Couples Tower Isle is similarly sized, but more dated and typically much pricier. The Jewel's white-sand cove beach is on the small side and has some small rocks, but guests can expect plenty of loungers there and at the three pools (all with a swim-up bar and hot tub), free water sports, free excursions, and no reservations needed at most of the a la carte restaurants. Modern rooms all have private outdoor space and turndown service; some suites have butler service.
An upscale, adult-only all-inclusive with lots of freebies
The Jewel Paradise Cove might be one of Jamaica's best values for an adult-only, all-inclusive resort. Sure, it's not in one of the island's most popular destinations (Montego Bay or Negril), and the beach isn't as impressive as at the (pricier) adult-only Couples Swept Away. But the Jewel is a bit smaller than many all-inclusive options in Jamaica, with a compact, easy to navigate property, and almost none of the hassles many associate with all-inclusives -- no wristbands, no towel cards, no early morning rush to reserve a lounge chair, and no long waits to make reservations at the restaurants (they're only needed for the Jade Samurai -- book when you arrive). Most guests will feel that the many extras add up to a great deal -- the water sports, glass-bottom boat tour, Konoko Falls excursion, diving excursion, and shopping excursion are all included in the rates -- though oddly, alcoholic drinks aren't free in the minibars in lower-tier rooms.
With three swim-up bars and lots of organized activities, the atmosphere
here is fun and can be lively -- though at certain times of year the resort can also feel somewhat empty. The grounds feature both landscaped tropical green spaces and open, grassy areas for lounging and events. Common areas include a courtyard that holds a giant chess board with nearly life-size pieces, and a large covered porch that houses pool tables,
couches, and an ATM machine. Landscaped walkways meander through the gardens,
between buildings, gazebos, and along rock outcroppings next to the ocean.
Over an hour's drive from the airport in Montego Bay, and a half-hour drive east of Ocho Rios
Located along a stretch of Cardiff Hall Beach in Runaway Bay, the resort isn't immediately near a whole lot, other than other neighboring resorts. It is situated on a strip of beach with white sand and plenty of small rocks, and has a rugged coral cliff setting that carries its own brand of natural beauty. Golfers will appreciate that the property is a few minutes' drive to the Runaway Bay Golf Club an 18-hole, championship course. Most guests remain on the grounds or by the beach, as there's little in walking distance and even the nearest pharmacy and grocery store require a 5-minute drive. There are a few other attractions in driving distance, including duty-free shopping in the town of Ocho Rios and the Coyaba Botanical Gardens, both about a 30-minute drive away. And Dunn's River Falls, a spot for river cruises, is a 20-minute drive. Music fans can tour Bob Marley's final resting place, an hour's drive away. But the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston is a full 2-hour drive away.
Modern rooms with turndown service and private outdoor space; some suites have butler service
Rooms are upscale and modern, with Venetian plaster
walls, tile floors, and dark wood furniture, but they're not quite stylish and only the graphic prints of tropical scenes nod to the island location. Amenities in all include minibars (alcoholic drinks are only free in Oceanfront Concierge Rooms and above), iPod docks, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi (spotty in some rooms), white duvets on the beds, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and turndown service. All have balconies or terraces with at least a couple of chairs; views are of the garden, pool, or ocean. Some higher-tier room categories have concierge or butler service (expect butlers to unpack for you and arrange priority seating in the restaurants, among other services). Bathrooms are contemporary, with big walk-in showers or shower-tub combos (some of the latter have body jets). Guests can choose between Bath and Body Works toiletries, or the
resort's own spa brand. The resort also has it own lemongrass room fragrance, a signature scent used in both
guest rooms and the spa.
Three pools with swim-up bars, a small cove beach, a spa, and multiple a la carte restaurants that don't require reservations
The resort's all-inclusive rates include a whole lot -- not just food and drinks, but also glass-bottom boat tours, a daily scuba dive (for certified divers), sunset cruise, reef snorkeling excursion, use of non-motorized water sports equipment (kayaks, peddle boats, Hobie Cats), pool and beachside movies, a Konoko Falls tour, and a shopping tour. Since the resort isn't near one of Jamaica's major tourist destinations, the tours do help compensate. Guests of Jewel Paradise Cove also get waved green fees at Runaway Bay Golf Club. Rates do not typically include airport transfers, Scuba certification or refresher instruction, photos taken by the resort's photographer, or spa treatments (though use of the sauna and steam room is covered).
Wi-Fi is free and available throughout the
resort, and we found the signal to be considerably more reliable than at other resorts
in the area -- but it might depend on your room, as other guests reported spotty connections. Nightly entertainment might include live music, a steel drums
orchestra, circus-style performance, and cabaret shows. Movies are shown regularly at the
pool areas, and on the beach. The fitness center, with its ocean views, is open 24 hours, features free weights, cardio equipment, and guided group exercise classes.
offer a variety of cuisine options, from sushi, to pizza, to buffet-style
dining. Platinum is the most formal option, with multi-course meals and its own wine cellar. Reservations aren't needed at most venues, but they are required at Jade Samurai (a teppanyaki restaurant that's one of the resort's most popular) and Golden Sabre Sushi. Bars include a piano
bar, a dance club, and outdoor venues.
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