Exclusive Travel Tips:
What to expect when staying in accommodation in Jamaica.
The style and type of accommodation in Jamaican hotels and guest houses may be somewhat different to your expectations. As a country, Jamaica has some truly exclusive coastlines and lush hills and many of the accommodation offerings are in spectacular locations. But quality of accommodation varies tremendously.
To start with, star ratings. As a seasoned traveler you will appreciate that different countries have different ideas about their 'star rating' system. A five star hotel in a country like Jamaica would possibly only achieve three stars in Dubai.
Accommodation ratings are not awarded in a realistic or truthful way many times. We have seen some wonderful sounding and looking hotels that rate themselves as 4 or 5 star in Jamaica, which in reality if all the facts were taken into consideration, would struggle to achieve 3 stars! While some two stars deserve three, if only for the location.
Therefore star ratings, especially those given by the owners themselves or on booking agency sites should be taken lightly, as they have a huge incentive to convince you to book with them in a very competitive industry. At Exclusive Travel, being consultants not sales people, we have our own rating system that renders a more accurate rating for each establishment we include. As our policy is to serve the real facts to Jamaica visitors, good or bad. You can read more in depth about how we do that here.
For those looking at all inclusive type resorts in Jamaica, there is a good choice at different budgets and service. Mainly along the North Coast from Ochi (Ocho Rios) along the coast to Mobay (Montego Bay). From three star family resorts to exclusive five star luxury Butler service.
Hotel accommodation ranges from back to nature wooden cabin hotels set into wonderful beach coves or high up in the hillside lush jungle, to those with every luxury including spas, pools, Jacuzzi and butler service.
Vacation Apartments and Villas in Jamaica vary greatly. While the south coast around Kingston offers a normal selection of great and not so great city apartments, its when you start on the North Coast from Port Antonio along the coast to Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and round to Negril, that choice becomes vast. On the low end there are budget cabins at $40 a night up to exclusive luxury villas at $40,000 a week. You can see some of our 'Exclusive' vacation villas here.
For travelers looking for Guest Houses or B&B, there is a BIG awakening. If like many your used to the seaside guest houses across the UK and Europe, which apart from great breakfasts and squeaky beds, are all much the same, you will find much difference here in Jamaica with many of the guest houses.
Also be aware that solar water heating is not yet big in Jamaica, so cool showers are the norm in many establishments. I say cool as its never really cold and actually feels wonderful after 30+ in the shade temperatures. And do remember that in many exotic countries like Jamaica, there are those pesky mosquitoes to bug you at night, especially away from the coast. So do pack the repellent or score the skin of some lemons and use. Then cut them open and leave around the bed. You can read up about natural mosquito repellant here.
Remember its not always the price that sets a place to be 'exclusive'. Some of the Apartments, Hotels & Guest House/B&B places in Jamaica under $100 listed on Exclusive Travel are truly exclusive due to their location or particular service. One last point, there is a government room charge for hotel bookings which you can read about here.