Ready to drink cocktails on the beach and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this Caribbean jewel? Welcome to one of the most famous islands in the world! Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music and has long been a top travel destination!
In this post, I will talk about Jamaica’s best places to stay! It’s hard to decide where to stay on an island that’s so beautiful, especially for first-time visitors since every spot is unique in its own way. But fear not, I’ve made a list of the top areas in Jamaica by interest, that way you will know what each town has to offer.
One thing is sure though, all of the cities have incredible accommodations! From all-inclusive resorts with a swim-up bar to spa hotels, this island in the Caribbean sure knows how to offer its tourists an unforgettable time! I highly recommend booking your hotel in advance though. As I mentioned before, Jamaica is very popular, and everything sells out months in advance.
Now that we’ve covered that part let’s start this virtual journey and discover Jamaica’s best beaches, tropical jungles, and nature reserves!
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Negril – where to stay in Jamaica for the first time
- 2. Kingston – best place in Jamaica for a cultural experience
- 3. Montego Bay – where to stay in Jamaica for nightlife
- 4. Port Antonio & Drapers – best place to stay for nature lovers
- 5. Ocho Rios – where to stay in Jamaica for families
- 6. Treasure Beach – best off-the-beaten track place in Jamaica
- BONUS: Where to stay in Jamaica for snorkeling
- Frequently asked questions about Hotels in Jamaica
If you are in a hurry
If you want to book your hotel as quickly as possible, check out this list of the best places, all located in Negril
The Cliff Hotel
Best luxury hotel
Little Bird Cottage
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Coco La Palm
Best value for money
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here’s a map that will help you visualize all the best places to stay in Jamaica, that I will be talking about in this post:
1. Negril – where to stay in Jamaica for the first time
Ola traveler! I hope you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime because this is what’s expecting you in this stunning Jamaican town! Crystal clear waters, scuba diving, and luxurious beach resorts! Yep, we’re heading to Negril, one of Jamaica’s best places to stay for first-time visitors.
Located on the island’s west coast, Negril is a top choice for tourists, and once you look at some pictures, you’ll understand why!
It’s the perfect paradise offering some incredible beaches, including the famous Seven Mile Beach, where you’ll find many bars, restaurants, and the best hotels!
The atmosphere in Negril is super chill, and it feels as if time stands still and the holiday never ends here. What can be better than a non-stop vacation when all you need to do is drink cocktails, sunbathe on the best beaches, go swimming and enjoy that perfect island weather. If this sounds like your type of holiday, I recommend booking the next one in Grand Cayman Island. You won’t regret it!
Ready to go horse riding on the beach or scuba diving? Because I’m so ready! But before we get all carried away, you should remember that Jamaica is a famous destination and all the hotels sell out super early. Hence, I highly recommend booking yours in advance.
Hello palm trees, how I’ve missed you! This stunning hotel offers a great setup for your holiday. The beach views are perfect and you can enjoy them either at the swimming pool or on the private balcony of your room. Guests also have access to a sun terrace, a restaurant, and a spa.
Other accommodation options in Negril
Chill by the outdoor pool of this hotel that offers a private beach area, a sun terrace, and spa services
Located near Seven Mile Beach, this budget hotel has a game room and a swimming pool
Hop from your room straight into the water at this great cottage that has a balcony and free wifi
Things to do in Negril
- Go scuba diving with your friends
- Sunbathe on the beach
- Enjoy the restaurants on the Seven Mile Beach
- Explore the Xtabi caves
- Admire the views of Bloody Bay
- Catch a scenic sunset near the Negril Lighthouse
- Go on a cruise tour in Negril
- Have a drink at Canoe beach bar
2. Kingston – best place in Jamaica for a cultural experience
The Blue Mountains surround Jamaica’s capital city, located on the southeast coast of the island. Kingston is a great place for people who want to learn more about the city’s past, visit museums, and interact with locals!
As the largest city in Jamaica, you can imagine that it can get super busy at times, and you might forget you’re actually on an island. There are certainly not so many beaches as you would find in Negril, but if you go a few miles outside of Kingston, you will find some, like Fort Clarence Beach. Most of them are frequented by locals, so you won’t encounter that touristy vibe, but I’m sure some of you will be looking for exactly that!
If you’re traveling on a budget and backpacking around the island, you could consider looking for accommodation here in Kingston, you’ll find some of the cheapest best hotels in Jamaica.
Back in the town center, you’ll be able to check some of the island’s most important cultural centers. The Bob Marley Museum is for sure a big one, and for the fans of the late singer, I’m sure this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! You can also visit his birthplace in Nine Mile Village, there’s a museum there as well.
This hotel has an elegant design and it offers a room with a crystal chandelier and piano music. Talk about a romantic stay! You can enjoy your breakfast on the sun terrace and then head to the swimming pool for some sunbathing!
Other accommodation options in Kingston
Have a quick breakfast, go for a dip in the swimming pool and then head out to explore the Emancipation Park
A pet-friendly accommodation that offers family rooms, breakfast, a terrace, and board games
This place is incredible! So colorful and joyful! It’s perfect for 2 guests, and it has a kitchen and free wifi
Things to do in Kingston
- Visit the Bob Marley Museum
- Admire the architecture of the Devon House
- Check out the art scene at the National Gallery of Jamaica
- Go for a stroll in the Emancipation Park
- Spend a fun day at Hope Botanical Gardens
- Spot some cute animals at the Hope Zoo
- Buy lots of fruits from the Coronation Market Jamaica
- Learn more about the town’s history at Fort Charles and Port Royal
3. Montego Bay – where to stay in Jamaica for nightlife
Located on the north coast of Jamaica just 2 hours away from Negril, Montego Bay is the 2nd largest city in Jamaica.
It’s one of the best places to stay on the island if you want to bar hop and go duty-free shopping.
Gloucester Avenue is the place to be in Montego Bay after dark! That’s where you’ll find all the bars, pubs, and clubs. So if you want to dance, listen to music and have a few drinks, you know where to go!
What’s great about Montego Bay is that no matter what type of activity you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it here! We’ve covered nightlife, but you can also do other things like snorkeling and scuba diving. The protected area of Montego Bay Marine Park is home to a remarkable array of aquatic life!
Don’t think that I forgot about the beaches! Doctor’s Cave Beach is the most popular one in Montego Bay, but it’s probably the most crowded one as well, so if you’re looking to relax, I would recommend heading to other beaches like Dead End Beach and Sandals Cay.
Gotta love these tropical holidays! If you’re looking for other incredible destinations, then check out the places to stay in the Dominican Republic! I’m sure you’ll love it there!
This Montego Bay resort has everything you need for a perfect holiday, including a private beach area! You can relax by the swimming pool all day long, or maybe hit the tennis courts if you’re in the mood for some exercise. At the end of the day, I recommend heading to the spa for some relaxing time.
Other accommodation options in Montego Bay
Admire the ocean views from your private balcony in this hotel that has swimming pools and a spa
Enjoy your stay in Montego Bay in this hotel that offers an airport shuttle service and family rooms
This spacious apartment is equipped with all the facilities you need including a pool and a kitchen
Things to do in Montego Bay
- Drink lots of cocktails on Doctor’s Cave Beach
- Party all night in the clubs on Gloucester Avenue
- Have dinner at Marguerite’s, a fine dining restaurant
- Relax after a night out on Dead End Beach
- Try your luck at Mosino Casino in Montego Bay
- Go snorkeling in Montego Bay Marine Park Trust
- Try ziplining and ATV-riding on a tour
- Visit the Rose Hall Great House and the Montego Bay Cultural Centre
4. Port Antonio & Drapers – best place to stay for nature lovers
Located on the north coast of Jamaica, Port Antonio and Drapers both have that laid-back island vibe! These towns are perfect for nature lovers, as tropical jungles and waterfalls surround them.
Port Antonio is not as hectic as Montego Bay and Kingston, and it’s an excellent place for people who want to mingle with the locals, attend the markets and explore the not-so-touristic side of Jamaica.
As a gateway town for the jungles and mountains of the island, Port Antonio is the place to be if you enjoy different outdoor activities like hiking. This island is perfect! Not only does it have beaches but also mountains and jungles that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The views of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains will be the ideal backdrop for your pictures! Out of all the towns on the island, Port Antonio is for sure the most photogenic in my opinion! Just east of the city, you’ll find the Blue Lagoon, a stunning place that you can’t miss!
In case you’ve had enough of the tropicals, you can cool off with a day at the beach. Winnifred Beach Frenchman’s Cove Beach are some of the best ones here. And if you want to explore the areas nearby the 2 towns, then head to Boston Bay Beach, it’s such a beautiful place!
A gorgeous hotel that offers a private beach area and a plunge pool. The accommodation provides different activities such as live jazz music nights, hiking, and snorkeling. Of course, you’ll be so tired after a full day of exploring the Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio, so head to the spa to relax!
Other options in Port Antonio & Drapers
I love the design of this boutique hotel, which offers a pool with a view and an outdoor dining area
A budget accommodation that has a shared garden, comfortable rooms, and provides breakfast
Chill on the balcony of this lovely cottage that has an outdoor pool, free wifi, and a backyard
Things to do in Port Antonio & Drapers
- Go shopping in Musgrave Market
- Check out the beautiful Nanny Falls
- Take lots of pictures at the stunning Blue Lagoon
- Buy souvenirs from the Port Antonio Craft Market
- Chill on Frenchman’s Cove beach
- Go hiking around the Blue Mountains
5. Ocho Rios – where to stay in Jamaica for families
Looking for hotels in Jamaica for you and the kids? Perfect, then stick around because next, I will tell you all about Ocho Rios, a former fishing village located on Jamaica’s northern coast near Runaway Bay.
Ocho Rios means “8 Rivers” in Spanish, and allegedly, this is the spot where Christopher Columbus made landfall back in 1494. And that’s not the only thing that makes this town super popular. It was also used as a filming location for 2 James Bond movies, Dr. No and Live and Let Die. Check out this video if you want to find some of the spots!
Many families chose Ocho Rios as their destination in Jamaica as there is a wide range of all-inclusive resorts here and many activities that will entertain the kids!
Beaches, lush gardens with playgrounds for the little ones, and adventure parks! Main Street is the place to be if you’re hungry! As the name says, this is the main street in Jamaica, where you will find fine dining restaurants, cafes, local markets, and shops.
Now let’s check out the best family-friendly hotels in this former fishing village!
Relax and enjoy your time on the island with the family at this all-inclusive resort! Offering 4 outdoor pools, a kids club, and different water sports facilities on site, the accommodation guarantees non-stop fun! And if the parents need some time to relax, there’s also a spa center on-site!
Other accommodation options in Ocho Rios
Grab some breakfast and then spend all day chilling near the pool at this hotel that’s known for its fine dining
This accommodation offers family rooms equipped with a flat-screen tv and an airport shuttle service
A great place to stay in Ocho Rios with your family where guests have access to a private pool and the beach
Things to do in Ocho Rios
- Spend a fun day at Mystic Mountain Adventure Park
- Take the kids to the Dolphin Cove Marine Park
- Relax on Ocho Rios Bay Beach
- Head to Dunn’s River Falls to admire the views
- Grab a quick lunch at Mahogany Beach
- Have fun on a atv-guided safari tour
- Visit the Turtle River Falls & Gardens
- Buy souvenirs from the Ocho Rios Craft Market
6. Treasure Beach – best off-the-beaten track place in Jamaica
Craving an authentic experience in Jamaica? Then head to Treasure Beach, a spot on the southeast coast where you can enjoy tranquil walks on the beach without the crowds of tourists blocking your way.
If you like going off the beaten track, exploring empty beaches, and discovering the hidden gems of Jamaica, then I think you’ll enjoy staying here! The Treasure Beach area includes 4 coves: Billy’s Bay, Calabash Bay, Great Pedro Bay, Frenchman’s Bay, and the villages that sit above them.
Technically it is not just a beach, but hey, that only means you’ll have lots of sites to visit! I’m a sucker for places like Treasure Beach. I always feel that I can find something unique to make me remember the area forever. And as much as I love being in touristic places, nothing compares to the feeling of visiting a beach or a village that’s super authentic.
There are tons of locally-owned restaurants in Treasure Beach to try traditional Jamaican food. If you want to continue with this vibe and not throw it all to stay in a fancy big hotel (yes, there are some here as well), you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of guesthouses and small boutique hotels here as well.
I love the bohemian vibe of this boutique hotel! Everything from the design to the materials used for the bed and furniture is so unique. The lodges have gorgeous rooms and offer sea views. There are also 2 restaurants on site. Chill by the beach or sign up for a yoga class, enjoy the island life!
Other accommodation options in Treasure Beach
Enjoy your cup of coffee on the terrace or by the pool of this hotel that offers mountain views
Make some new friends at this great guesthouse that has balconies with hammocks
This palace provides beach access, a backyard, a balcony and it’s perfect for couples
Things to do in Treasure Beach
- Chill on Billy Bay Beach
- Grab a coffee at Hold A Vibz Cafe
- Admire the art at The Mud Palace Gallery
- Catch a sunset on a beach near Frenchmans Bay
- Enjoy a delicious dinner at Frenchman’s Reef
|👑 Luxury price:||$300|
|💵 Mid Range:||$200|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||Medium|
|📍 Best area:||Negril|
|👪 Best area for families:||Ocho Rios|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||The Cliff Hotel|
|💵 Best mid-range hotel:||Coco La Palm|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Rayon Hotel|
BONUS: Where to stay in Jamaica for snorkeling
Runaway Bay is a resort town, and one of the top places on the island where people go snorkeling. It’s located on the northern coast of Jamaica, and the reefs start right off the shore. The marine life is super diverse, and at times people even see barracudas, stingrays, lionfish, and sea urchins!
Yep, Runaway Bay is definitely a unique spot on the island, and right near the town, you’ll also find the green grotto caves, which are around half a million years old! Are you as impressed as I am? If that’s the case and you want to be as close as possible to the snorkeling spots, then check out the list below. It has the top hotels in Runaway Bay.
Here’s the list of hotels from most expensive to least:
- Luxury: Bahia Principe – Order breakfast in the room and then head to the pool to chill and enjoy the views of the sea! This Runaway Bay accommodation is located near Cardiff Hall Beach, and it offers different activities like snorkeling and evening entertainment. But if you want to relax, you can head to the spa for a nice massage!
- Mid Range: Tamarind Hotel – This hotel in Runaway Bay offers comfortable rooms and a swimming pool. Grab a quick breakfast, and then you can head out for snorkeling as much as you want!
- Budget: Bailey’s Bed and Breakfast – Feel at home at this budget Runaway Bay hotel with family rooms. The accommodation also offers breakfast and an airport shuttle service.
Frequently asked questions about Hotels in Jamaica
🏝️ What is the best part of Jamaica to stay at?
Negril is one of the best places to stay in Jamaica, especially for first-time visitors! It has white sand beaches, great restaurants, and a wide range of hotels like The Cliff Hotel.
🔝 Where is the safest place to stay in Jamaica?
Jamaica is generally safe. Negril, Kingston, Montego Bay, and other areas tourists frequent are the safest places to stay in the city.
🤩 What is the prettiest part of Jamaica?
Negril and Port Antonio are probably the 2 most unique parts of Jamaica. Both have incredible beaches, and Port Antonio is also a gateway to the tropical jungles of Jamaica. You will also find great hotels in these towns like Trident Hotel.
🤔 What’s better Montego Bay or Ocho Rios?
It depends on what you’re looking for. Montego Bay is great if you want to party, go shopping, and explore all day and night. While Ocho Rios is more tranquil, featuring a wide range of activities for families.
How excited are you about this trip? I hope my post helped you decide which are the best Jamaica places to stay.
If you’re having a hard time trying to decide which hotel to book (that happens to me very often) check out my top 2 favorite options, both located in Negril:
- The Cliff Hotel – A stunning hotel that has a spa and an outdoor pool
- Coco La Palm – A great hotel that has a restaurant and a bar
Remember though that Jamaica is a very popular island and people from all around the world come here for the holidays. That’s why I recommend booking your hotels super in advance, to get the best deals.
Have a fantastic trip on this beautiful island! Explore as many places as you can, including the Green Grotto Caves in Runaway Bay and Port Royal. I’m sure you’ll love every minute of it! If you have any questions about this destination, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below, I’ll make sure to answer it as quickly as possible!