Picking the best place to stay in Jamaica can make a big difference in the type of vacation you end up having while on the island. This is probably one of the most important decisions you will make to ensure you have a fantastic holiday. It’ll be your new home away from home for however long you’re in vacation mode. We all want to get a great deal on our vacation and, long after you’ve decided that you’re definitely going to Jamaica, hours will be spent online trying to get the most bang for your buck.
Cost will still always be your biggest concern, so know your overall budget and then go from there. Most booking engines allow you to filter according to cost, location and amenities. Use these so the choice doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Seeing a result of over a thousand options pop up isn’t necessarily good news!
So ask yourself what’s really important to you to feel you’re going to be going on the vacation of your dreams. While that great deal may be calling your name, pause and ask yourself a few important questions before you hit that ‘Book It Now’ button.
Jamaica has a wide range of options for varying from a small boutique hotel to a sprawling all-inclusive. If you want your most mind boggling decision to be whether your next drink will be a Bob Marley or a Piña Colada and what you’ll wear to that night’s beach party, then one of the many all-inclusive resorts that dot the island may be exactly what you’re looking for. However, if a unique, more personalized and quieter experience is what you’re searching for then you may want to check out reviews for one of the distinctive boutique hotels that offer a one of a kind vacation.
When searching for hotels, other things may be important in identifying your best stay such as the proximity of the hotel to major tours and attractions you’re interested in visiting or if breakfast and other add ons like a great game of tennis or green fees for a round of golf are included with your room.
A new trend is that more than one type of accommodation may be included on one property such as a main hotel with a five star separate option or even a general stay, one just for families and an adult only section. Make sure you check which one you’re booking so you don’t get caught by surprise when you arrive.
Other options may turn out to be the answer with a little more information. For example, did you know that you can book into a couples’ centric hotel if you want to take your mom on a great vacation for just the two of you? It’s based on double occupancy not your romantic status.
Another surprise is a spot like Beaches which is advertised for families, but in this day and age when families come in all shapes and sizes, it’s a cool option for those looking for say a cool, girl-friends only group package for a great bachelorette trip.
A villa is often another way to enjoy a unique stay in Jamaica. Each one has its own character and usually comes with the benefits of a washer and dryer (meaning you get to pack less), a kitchen to cook in (saving you a lot of money) or, on the other hand, often comes with staff who’ll take all those pesky concerns off your hands. For groups and families, a villa is often a good choice, almost always yielding more space at a lower price per person than a hotel room.
And it’s a great way to feel more connected to the culture you came to visit. Many villas also come with great add ons like a discount on golfing greens fees, dedicated beach clubs and spa services and special rates to enjoy various nearby attractions. An added bonus? It’s your way to live out that fantasy of actually owning a home right on the beach.
Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfasts
These are usually small family run establishments and may not be the most luxurious of accommodations, but many offer breakfast with the package and are generally cheaper than hotels, but not as cheap as hostels. This is a good option for couples and families, offering a level of privacy and the basic amenities. These places often allow visitors to Jamaica to interact more with locals and the day to day culture of the destination they’re in.
Not to mention, most owners are often very willing to give great suggestions on local restaurants or outings that the bigger tour operators may not have on their radar. This is when you’ll find yourself sampling the delicious lobster seasoned to perfection from a local fisherman right on the beach.
Apartment or House Rentals
AirBnB has certainly changed the accommodation game all over the world and in Jamaica it’s no different. Many villas listed on villa websites also pop up on VRBO and AirBnb, but so do unique options like a small one bedroom in the middle of the Trench Town Culture Yard, cozy cottages in the middle of the city and luxe penthouse apartments within walking distance of everything you are dying to check out.
Some apartments and house rentals come with a driver, or even a cook eliminating an additional fuss of doing everything yourself. However, even if they don’t, having a kitchen or kitchenette can help cut costs and many apartment complexes have pools and some have beach access as well. And usually independent renters are more than willing to offer up a ton of ideas and great tips to better experience the local scene.
There are online backpacking groups that will always make suggestions about what the best hostel options are in the area. The global backpacking community is usually extremely friendly and helpful and most hostels across the island will recommend others depending on where you want to bunk down next.
Usually you’ll share a room and a common meal area, but this choice means you’ll also make new friends and have a great time with fellow like-minded travelers.
View list of places to stay in Jamaica on Jamaica Experiences directories >>>
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