Jamaica’s party scene is legendary. Travelers wanting to tap into the island’s high-energy action — or those just looking to let loose by a beautiful beach — would do well at these 10 hotels.
The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa lives up to its name -- it's a large, upscale, all-inclusive resort with multiple pools, numerous restaurants, bars, and even its own shopping areas. The look throughout is fresh and modern, and there are a wide array of activities and amenities, like tennis and water sports on the beach, as well as adult-only clothing-optional areas. The 516 rooms mostly blend bright, contemporary design with subtle colonial details, and include a nice array of modern electronics like flat-screen TVs and iPod docks.
There's a constant party atmosphere at ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, one of the area's largest all-inclusive resorts. The massive, upper-middle-range property feels like a city unto itself. Seven restaurants, an enormous private beach, and two large pools (including an adult-only pool) all top the list of features. The 846 rooms are typical of the Riu brand, with dark, traditional decor that's pleasant, but dated. In-room amenities are excellent, including daily-stocked minibars, liquor dispensers, and private balconies, many with ocean views. While downtown Ocho Rios is less than 10 minutes away by car, there's little of interest within walking distance.
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 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.
Negril is a nonstop party during spring break, and Negril Tree House has a prime location in the heart of the action -- right on Seven Mile Beach and next door to great bars and restaurants. It's not an all-inclusive, but a good-sized buffet breakfast is include, and with so many nightlife options to explore around town, most guests appreciate the flexibility. The boutique hotel also features a beach bar and grill with freshly-made jerk chicken, as well as room service. The large, rustic rooms rooms have great balconies and hammocks, and guests only have to step outside to feel sand beneath their toes.
The least expensive of Montego Bay’s Iberostar trio, this upbeat, and at times rowdy, all-inclusive mega-resort features tons of amenities -- four restaurants, four bars, water sports, a spa, a theater, a casino, and a nightclub -- all for seriously affordable rates. The rooms may be small, the decor may be outdated, and the grounds may be packed to the brim at times, but it's one of the best values on the island.
A friendly resort with a mellow beach, free minibars, and a surprisingly solid buffet -- the Riu Negril is a great value. Rooms aren't spectacular, and many activities require a long walk across the sprawling resort, but most guests are sold once they join revelers on the dance floor.
Spring breakers won't be bored at the bustling Hotel Riu Montego Bay -- but if they are, the hotel is a five- to 10-minute drive from Montego Bay's shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. The large all-inclusive resort offers pretty much everything for a Caribbean vacation: four restaurants, a large pool, a huge beach, and a modern spa all top the list. Rooms are spacious and clean, though the dark, colonial decor frequently looks dated. All feature minibars with premium liquor and private balconies -- some with sea views -- though the tube TVs in some rooms and lack of free Wi-Fi are a let-down.
Designed for adventurous couples who want to add a bit of spice to their vacation, the all-inclusive Hedonism II is a popular mid-range nudist resort tucked into a quiet, private section of Negril’s Seven Mile Beach. With a wide variety of activities and entertainment, this adult-only property encourages guests to explore their wild side and indulge themselves. There is both a “prude” and a “nude” section of the resort to accommodate different comfort levels, and property highlights include the nude beach, waterslide, and a variety of pools and whirlpools on both sides. And guests that want to explore the area are close to a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops in downtown Negril.
A massive, beautifully landscaped 850-room mega-resort, the Grand Bahia is great for families or couples, but it's a pretty tame crowd--even with all-night karaoke and access to a nude beach. The huge, slightly dated rooms come with Jacuzzis, the streaming pool is superb, and the restaurants are better than at most all-inclusives.
The all-inclusive, 430-room Sunscape could be a decent family destination, were it not for the decidedly adult drinking contests, nude beach, and late-night parties. This barely mid-range property is dated, and room amenities are scarce, inconsistent and cheap, but it’s an acceptable budget option for those who need little more than a bed and a nice beach.