Some travelers may consider a Jamaica hotel’s beachfront its most important feature. For those who want to spend their vacation strolling on powdery white sand, floating in crystal-clear water, kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, these are the best beach hotels in Jamaica.
Half Moon takes its name from the two miles of spectacular, crescent-shaped beachfront -- with soft, white sand and warm, clear water -- that span the 400-acre property. Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, Half Moon strives for timeless, understated luxury (even at the swim-up bar). The 400-room resort offers attentive service, quality cuisine, and seemingly limitless activities like golfing and horseback riding.
Sandals South Coast is a beautiful, secluded hotel (the only one in Whitehouse), spread over a two-mile stretch of beach. The resort 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 Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa is large and luxurious, 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.
The beach at Sandals Royal Plantation is one of of the most beautiful and secluded private stretches of sand in Jamaica. Though its swimming area is fairly small, its sand is exceptionally soft and its water perfectly clear. The all-inclusive property's 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 sea views. The hotel offers a la carte meals (no mediocre buffet here) and free airport shuttle, a rarity in this part of the country.
The 21-room GoldenEye is hands down Jamaica's hippest and most luxurious resort. It's also one of the island's most historic, as the former home of Ian Fleming, and the hideaway at which the author scribed all 14 of his James Bond novels. Today, the property includes stunning cottages and villas overlooking a private beach and lagoon, as well as two happening restaurants, two pools, a tree house spa, and an extensive roster of on-site activities.
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.
One of the top of the island's top boutique hotels, Jamaica Inn is a quiet, intimate property with a private stretch of beach -- nestled between low cliffs -- that is blissfully serene. 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, an al fresco dining terrace, and a sea-view spa. The 48 suites and cottages include free Wi-Fi, high-end bathrooms, and balconies (some with private plunge pools), and the lack of TVs and radios preserves the quiet, unplugged vibe.
The sprawling Secrets Wild Orchid is one of the more luxurious adults-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. The beach is isolated from other resorts on the peninsula, and has white sand and clear, warm water.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a central location on beautiful Seven Mile Beach, a pool and whirlpool, and clean, comfortable rooms, the Negril Tree House Resort is a great budget option for families, couples, and groups. A good-sized buffet breakfast is included, and the hotel also features a beach bar and grill with freshly-made jerk chicken, as well as room service. While the resort is small and has fewer amenities than some of the other properties on the beach, its proximity to other activities and restaurants provides guests with plenty of nearby options. Massages on the beach can be arranged and yoga classes are available. The beachfront restaurant and bar occasionally host live music, and though the scene is lively, it's not out-of-control spring break style.
With a number of small beaches and a private island, Sandals Royal Caribbean 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.