Jamaica is my absolute favorite Caribbean island and my island away from home! I’ve been 4 times, all for different reasons, and I can’t get enough of it. Every time I go, it’s a new experience and I fall in love all over again as if it were the first time.
There is something about the people, the energy they give off and obviously the cuisine that just warms my heart and makes me feel at home. I also just love getting to see brown faces, faces that look like me because it’s an instant welcoming feeling. Regardless of our backgrounds, it’s all about just sharing good energy, vibes and happiness with one another! The beauty of the island is unmatched and no matter how many parts of the island I have been to, I am always treated like family and in awe at the beauty of every single area from the warm Caribbean sea water, to the natural resources like almond trees that just grow openly.
Each time, I’ve stayed in a new place that is a whole new experience from the last. I’ve stayed at all-inclusive resorts, boutique hotels and a rented a local villa and I’m going to share my opinion about all 3! I know everyone has their style of travel, so read below to see which one would be perfect for you and your next trip to the beautiful island of Jamaica, mon! Oh, and make sure you swing by Scotchies not too far from the airport, for the most authentic jerk experience in Jamaica!
Beach front vibes from the Riu
The first 2 times I went to Jamaica, we opted for all-inclusive resorts and loved them. A girlfriend and I stayed at the Riu Montego Bay and then Secrets Wild Orchid, both were great and highly recommended! Typically the all-inclusive option comes with a free airport transfer, all you have to do is ask or sign up for their member program. The resort operates like a hotel and can schedule you anything you need for transportation and excursions off of the resort. The all-inclusive option is great for families, kids and large groups, super budget friendly and has a wide variety of food at their daily buffet as well as specialty restaurants on the resort. They have huge pools, a gym, shows with live music, an on site club, and other activities and entertainment each night of the week!
Perfect for: Groups of friends with different budget restrictions and travel styles since the amenities will make anyone feel comfortable whether they’ve traveled the world or it’s their first vacation. The variety of rooming options is perfect for people to choose from (anything from garden view rooms to beach front balcony suites) and once you step foot on the resort, your meals and drinks are all included!
Views from our villa at Round Hill Yummy room service at Round Hill
A couple of years ago, I surprised Jermaine for his 30th birthday by inviting his friends down to Jamaica to celebrate! I got he and I a stay at Round Hill Hotel and Villas and absolutely fell in love! Not only was he so surprised and appreciative, but it was an upscale, romantic and sexy getaway for us to enjoy each other before we moved to the Riu to meet the guests for the partayyyy portion. Boutique hotels are typically not all-inclusive, so everything was paid out of pocket but the attention to decor and detail, exclusive service and amenities were so worth it! Sometimes, they even feature private pools connected to the villa! OWWW.
Perfect for: Couples looking for a sexy getaway or small groups of friends looking to connect with one another since these are going to be a bit more private than most large resorts. You’ll have less interactions with children (if you don’t have kids or opted to leave the kids at home for adult time) and time to relax and just unwind!
View from our VRBO rental in Trelawny outside of Montego Bay Private pool and sunset
AirBnb or VRBO:
A couple of weeks ago, my sister celebrated her 40th birthday by renting a beautiful countryside house via VRBO and it was breathtaking! It was similar to the experience we did for my birthday for 30 and to me, this is the best way to get the true local experience anywhere! You’ll most likely be a bit outside of the touristy part of the city where it’s more quiet and relaxing. Look for a house with a chef so that you can experience the most local tastes and get recommendations on things to do and see straight from the source. You can chat with them, learn how to cook dishes with them and by the end of the trip they will almost become like your mom away from home 🙂 It’s also so easy to split the price among a group and food cost ends up coming out to about $25-40 per person, per day… including alcohol!
Perfect for: Large families or groups of friends because you get to spend so much time together bonding and just hanging out in the space. I also prefer a house rental because of the freedom and privacy… you get to play your own music, dance all over the place, swim in your own pool and truly make the space your own!
So tell me, here or on my Instagram — have you been to Jamaica? If so what’s been your travel experience? If you haven’t been yet, make it over there and enjoy the true Jamaica vibes, mon! You will love every second of it!