Caribbean Jamaica: hidden coves of gleaming sand, dramatic cliffs clad in verdant forests, life set to the slow and oscillating off-beats of reggae and the lapping shore. Few places on the planet have achieved such a venerated reputation, or have been hailed as often as paradise on earth. Fewer still have accumulated such an array of luxurious resorts and opulent accommodations.
Nestled between the brilliant beaches and the leaning palm groves of the Jamaican coast, from the bustling resort centres near Montego Bay in the north, all the way around the island to its more rugged and remote south shore, all-inclusive hotel complexes now offer their services to more tourists than ever before. But which ones stand out from the crowd?
To help you decide, here is Hopper’s pick of the ten top all-inclusive resort options on the island.
This exclusive, adults-only resort has carved its own little enclave of quietude and relaxation out of the pristine beaches and majestic cliffs of Jamaica’s Emerald Coast, making it one of the most romantic all-inclusive destinations on the island. With just 150 suites, guests here have plenty of space to spread out and relax, while the five separate restaurants, six individual bars and smattering of elegant swimming pools rarely fails to impress. However, Sans Souci’s pièce de résistance is unquestionably its proximity to the postcard perfect beach nearby.
Every year visitors flock to the Sandals Negril resort to enjoy its reputation for unadulterated luxury and hedonism. Between the five full service cocktail bars and the seven on-site restaurants, visitors can opt for a dip in one of the whirlpools or a watersports session on the bay. What’s more, the whole resort stands just metres back from Jamaica’s iconic Seven Mile Beach, while every single one of the rooms enjoys walk-out access onto the warm, grainy sands. Pure paradise.
This couples resort does well to combine the energetic and festive spirit of the Caribbean with the laid-back charm of its jungle setting and beachside character. All-inclusive holidaying here means the full package, with guests enjoying access to six open drinks bars, four award-winning restaurants and a plethora of various pools, hot tubs and Jacuzzis. Those feeling a little more energetic should be sure to make the most of the resort’s unlimited scuba diving, waterskiing and windsurfing, heading to the lively drinks joints and on-site nightclubs after dark.
This curious patchwork of European colonial architecture and picturesque strolling piazzas oozes with Parisian charm and Italian passion throughout. It’s set over more than 500 acres of protected land on the southwest coast of the island, strewn out across more than two miles of magnificent pearly beachfront. What’s more, it is home to the largest swimming pool in all of Jamaica and offers guests access to a separate on-site scuba pool, where the all-inclusive crowd get unlimited diving privileges.
Awash with grand Ionian columns and white-washed neo-classicism, the Grand Palladium of Montego Bay oozes extravagance and charm from the first glimpse. It’s also massive, with a whopping 540 suites in total. Accordingly, it’s packed full of various amenities, boasting no less than seven separate restaurants, 13 cocktail and drinks bars, a fully fledged casino and its very own shopping center. What’s more, the Palladium is within easy reach of an 18-hole golf course and one of northern Jamaica’s famous horse riding trails.
If you’re looking for a chilled-out, relaxation-heavy holiday surrounded by the quietude of Jamaica’s coastal palm forests, and away from the busier resorts that pepper the picturesque inlets and beachfronts of Montego Bay, then this homely little hidden gem of a hotel is the perfect option. With just 52 rooms it’s one of the smallest Sandals resorts around, while the on-site whirlpool, round-the-clock room service and well-equipped fitness centre mean the Carlyle can pack a punch well above its weight.
The grand European colonnades and sun-kissed plaster façade of this award-winning hotel complex give way to an opulent and grand interior like no other in Jamaica. Between the two all-inclusive buffet tables, guests enjoy access to a range of other eateries, from the Kiniro Japanese sushi house to the rough and ready surf and turf joint. There’s also a sprawling on-site spa facility, a handful of outdoor pools and lounging areas, and, of course, great access to the nearby beach.
This grand and opulent hideaway is nestled on the coastal cliffs of Jamaica’s north coast, boasting one of the most secluded locations on the island. The buildings are surrounded by a series of regal gardens and terraces, all weaved together by the harmonious use of Victorian adornments, neo-classical colonnades and the palatial styles of European Baroque. True to its name, the Royal Plantation remains one of Jamaica’s most exclusive resorts; a place where big names come to unwind on the beaches, and the jet set flock to sample caviar in the al fresco bars.
This adults-only resort is a haven for those with more refined tastes and classier predilections, nestled neatly in the coastal palm forests just off the world-famous Seven Mile Beach. Guests can expect calm and quietude amidst the stylish eateries and cool cafes, not to mention top-quality treatments in the on-site spa and wellness centre. Those looking to experience the authentic Jamaica during their stay should be sure to try the freshly caught Lobster on Saturday nights (when in season), or opt to explore the island a little more by sea kayak or wind surf – everything’s possible!
The grand and sweeping Sandals Grande Riviera Beach Villa still proudly bears the sheen that one would expect of Jamaica’s newest arrival. All the rooms are clustered around the centralized Great House that sits proudly over the Ochi Beach Club and self-proclaimed Riviera, where patrons can be spotted sipping rum cocktails well into the night. Elsewhere, the resort boasts a verdant setting and guests get full access to the nearby golf & country club. There’s also unlimited water sports, five on-site restaurants and all-day room service for those feeling a little lazier than the rest!