All-inclusive resorts — where top-shelf liquor, delicious food, and water sports are all typically included — are the norm in Jamaica. They’re often great values, but only if the restaurants, rooms, and facilities are truly great. A team of Oyster reviewers explored 100-plus hotels in Jamaica to see which all-inclusive resorts are the best of the best.
Round Hill is phenomenal. Sincere, intimate hospitality; private child care; large, beautifully designed rooms by Ralph Lauren; and breathtaking grounds (to which no photo can do justice) -- it is easily among the best resorts in Jamaica, even with a few mosquitoes and ants in the room.
Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves' 12 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there's no beach). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica's best all-inclusive.
Situated in the heart of Ocho Rios’ resort district, Sandals Royal Plantation is an excellent luxury resort that sits right on the sea. This all-inclusive property offers some of the best amenities of any hotel in Jamaica, including a stunning, secluded beach, an elegant spa, and all meals served a la carte -- meaning there's no mediocre buffets to suffer through. The 74 sophisticated, colonial-style rooms feature a spacious, multi-room layouts with canopied four-poster beds, minibars, and private butler service -- some have balconies with beautiful sea views. The hotel even offers a free airport shuttle, a rarity in this part of the country.
The best of the three Iberostar resorts in Montego Bay, this 295-room all-suite hotel is light years beyond its neighbors in terms of decor, food, and features. While some elements remain shared with the lesser Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites -- for instance, the spa, fitness center, casino, nightclub, and shops -- guests at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall get the pick of the litter with free access to all three resorts’ restaurants, bars, pools, and beaches. The rates might be higher, but for good reason.
For couples seeking a luxurious, all-inclusive experience, with plenty of activities and dining options on-site, Sandals Montego Bay is a beautiful option, though it definitely does feel like the branded resort that it is. Large and expansive, with a long private beach and list of things to do, the resort is close to both the airport and downtown Montego Bay. Guests can enjoy restaurants and activities at the other two Sandals resorts nearby, providing even more options. The resort’s sprawling layout can be confusing to navigate, and the proximity to the airport can make the property noisy when planes go overhead, but with plenty of tours around the island and a number of restaurants, shops, and craft shows nearby, as well as local attractions, there’s plenty to do both on and off-site.
For guests seeking a laid-back all-inclusive in a less crowded area of Jamaica, Sandals South Coast is a beautiful, secluded option. The only hotel in Whitehouse, the resort is spread over a two-mile stretch of beach, and features European architecture, a wide variety of activities and entertainment options, and all of the amenities guests familiar with the brand have come to expect. Spacious and inviting, the resort is surrounded by 500 acres of wilderness preserve, making it quiet and very private. Guests who want to explore the local area will have fewer options than those staying at the Sandals properties in Negril and Montego Bay, but there are waterfalls, zip lines, and a variety of local tours, as well as the Appleton Rum factory and the nearby town of Whitehouse.
Located along the largest private stretch of Negril’s beautiful Seven Mile Beach, the large, but laid-back Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa is a luxurious resort, with open-air dining, a variety of water and land sports, and enough entertainment and relaxation options to keep guests happy and relaxed. The resort is a bit removed from the larger strip of hotels and cottages along the highway, but is still close enough to popular local attractions and shops to give guests looking to explore the area easy access to the downtown area. It is also a ways from the airport, though there is a free hotel shuttle.
Situated along Jamaica’s resort-heavy northwest shore, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is one half of a two-resort beachfront Hyatt compound. Along with its sister property, Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, the two collectively offer a long list of communal amenities, including nearly a dozen restaurants, two large pools, and an oceanfront spa. The quiet, elegant vibe is what most guests would expect of a five-pearl, adult-only Jamaican resort. Each of its 234 rooms features a spacious floor plan and a bright, modern decor. Amenities include fully-stocked minibars, free Wi-Fi, luxurious marble bathrooms, and private balconies or terraces -- many with ocean views. For a luxury property, though, the small, man-made beach is surprisingly rough, rocky, and dirty.
The sprawling Secrets Wild Orchid is one of the more luxurious adult-only all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay, and has a laundry list of property features, including eight restaurants and five bars, and a host of activities: a theater, a spa, a water sports and dive center, a shopping center, and a casino. But the resort shares virtually all of its amenities with the next-door Secrets St. James, and some of the best amenities and freebies are reserved only for the VIP guests staying in the “Premiere” part of the resort. (Rooms here are a touch more luxurious than those at the St. James.)
This all-inclusive beachfront resort on a remote peninsula is one of the more luxurious adult-only options in Montego Bay, and has a laundry list of property features, including 10 restaurants, eight bars, an expansive spa, nearly half a mile of beach, and tons of activities: a theater, dive center, shopping plaza, casino, and game room. Secrets St. James shares most of its amenities with its sister property next door, but rates here are often a bit cheaper.
A small, romantic resort that once drew Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, the Jamaica Inn is about quiet luxury -- a wide, soft sand beach; an al fresco dining terrace; and a stunning, sea-view spa. The 48 beautiful 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. This is not the place to party -- the whole resort typically shuts down by midnight.
For adult guests who want to enjoy an all-inclusive experience but prefer a resort that’s a bit smaller and more private, Sandals Royal Caribbean makes a great choice. With a number of small beaches and a private island, the resort feels intimate and secluded even though it’s a short drive to both the airport and downtown Montego Bay. Restaurants cater to all tastes, from a romantic French restaurant to a laid-back British style pub to snacks on the beach, and premium alcohol is unlimited. Guests can also dine at restaurants and partake in activities at the other two Sandals resorts nearby, and on-site activities and entertainment are also extensive.
Set on a private beach within a short walk of downtown Ochos Rios, the 705-room, five-pearl Moon Palace Jamaica Grande is a sprawling all-inclusive that’d give Vegas joints a run for their money in scale, features, and extravagance. After undergoing a full renovation, this family-friendly property reopened in 2015, with majestic marble interiors in a luxurious setting. The sleek beach-house-inspired rooms have balconies with water views, and include iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, liquor dispensers, and welcome wine. There are four restaurants, multiple bars, four swimming pools, a world-class spa with 23 treatment rooms, a surf machine, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Guests can even swim with dolphins (for a fee).
Across the street from the beach, the upscale Sunset has a warm, helpful staff, intimate setting, and great food -- all of which create a relaxing retreat that's a far cry from the crowded chaos at most all-inclusives. This adult-only property is designed for mellow couples or small groups.
Restricted to couples ages 18 and up, this large (though quiet) 312-room all-inclusive is on one of Jamaica's best beaches. Modern rooms with Wi-Fi and iPod docks, quality food, and a low-key atmosphere best Sandals, but Couples isn't as intimate as the Sunset at the Palms or The Caves. Hundreds of guests share the beach and restaurants.
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.
The all-inclusive Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club is one of the most kid-friendly hotels in Jamaica, offering an XBOX garage for teens and tweens, as well as Camp Sesame (full of Sesame Street characters), a water park, and babysitting services. There are activities for adults too, with golf and scuba lessons, the Red Lane Spa, and an adult-only piano bar. Since the majority of guests are families, the resort can be noisy. The 223 rooms have upscale Caribbean style.
The four-pearl Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is situated on Jamaica’s resort-heavy north shore, a 15-minute drive from Montego Bay's Hip Strip. This all-inclusive hotel offers an excellent list of amenities, including an immaculate private beach, a spa, and plenty of adult- and kid-friendly features. However, the on-site Sugar Mill Falls Water Park -- Jamaica’s largest -- distinguishes the Hilton from other area resorts. The 488 rooms are sharp and contemporary, with large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and private balconies. The hotel’s only drawback may be the lack of attractions within walking distance. However, a shuttle provides free transportation to Rose Hall Plantation House and other destinations.
Designed for families with kids and teens, Beaches Negril Resort & Spa is a beautiful property with a wide variety of activities, classes, and events. With a water park, kids' camp, teen hangouts and specialty activities, children have plenty to keep them busy, and adults can enjoy the spa or candlelit dining for two. Contemporary rooms have ocean views and the biggest one sleeps up to 12 people. The location, right on Negril’s Seven Mile Beach, puts the resort a short drive away from the town center and a number of shops, boutiques, and craft markets, as well as restaurants and bars. Since the majority of guests are families, the resort can get noisy, but the hotel is so large that it's possible to find quiet.