There’s a reason why Jamaica is now leading the world in terms of demands by international travelers searching for destinations, according to a recent survey from the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association. In fact, demand is so hot it’s pretty much where it was before the pandemic and expected to keep the momentum.
As you think about where you and your family want to go in 2022, put Jamaica on the list. It has everything you need for an ultimate family getaway. Whether you all are water worshippers, adventure addicts, or nature lovers, you can find it all on this island that is vibrant yet can be serene and spiritual. Raft down the Martha Brae River, explore the country’s caves, and refresh yourself under the many waterfalls. Jamaica is a birder’s paradise too, with hundreds of species of birds. Soak up the culture, the reggae music, the food, jerk pork or chicken, callaloo, plantain, rice and peas, oxtail, ackee and saltfish, mangoes. Do sample a guinep, a small fruit, where you peel away the skin and out pops a jelly-like substance. Drink like a local. Go for a Red Stripe beer or a rum punch. As for where to stay, make it easy on yourselves by choosing an all-inclusive. Here are some of the best ones where you and your family will have a good time.
Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort & Waterpark, Runaway Bay
The kids will love having the new waterpark right on the property. They can swim and splash to their heart’s content. There are 10 attractions, including a family raft ride, lazy river with rock grottos and waterfalls, and there are live musical performances at the waterpark. When they want to come out of the water, there’s a Kids’ Club with amusement for toddlers to teens. Meanwhile, parents can play at the pool or beach. Come together in the evenings for a poolside movie.
You’ve heard about Negril’s 7-mile beach. There’s a reason it’s the story line in many vacation tales. Why not write your family’s chapter? Beaches Negril is ideal for families. Room options are plentiful. Even if you have a big family or two families are traveling together, there’s a room for you. The Tropical Beachfront Three-Bedroom Walkout Grand Butler Family Suite sleeps 12. Picky eaters in your group, no worries, there are nine restaurants. Nobody will be bored with kayaking, windsurfing, hydro bikes, snorkeling, hobie cats, paddle boarding, knee boarding, scuba diving, basketball, tennis and more. Everyone will enjoy the Pirates Island Waterpark and the Xbox Play Lounge. The little ones will love Beaches’ Kid Camp and Caribbean Adventures with Sesame Street. For teens, there’s Club Liquid and the game room Trench Town. When you’re ready to kick back for a bit of renewal, there’s the Red Lane Spa.
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, Lucea
This is a family spot for sure. The Grand Palladium gets kudos for being home to the largest Kids Club in the Caribbean. Then there are 10 restaurants, plenty of places for a late-night slip-away for the grownups. Do take advantage of babysitting and childcare. You’ll love that you stay at one but enjoy the facilities at all three of the resort’s properties. Your big decision will be making up your mind about which of the five pools to take a dip in. Snorkel, sail, kayak, play mini golf, or wind down at the full-service spa.
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Montego Bay
The 18th century Rose Hall tropical estate is straight out of the movies, a drop-dead gorgeous playground. Enjoy six restaurants, six bars/lounges, yoga and Pilates classes, tennis, golf, beach volleyball, billiards, arcade/game room, boat tours, concerts, live shows, karaoke, kayaking, parasailing, snorkeling and sailing. There’s a Kids Retreat and Teen Zone. A big attraction though is the Sugar Mills Water Park, the largest water park in Jamaica, with lagoons, lazy river, jungle garden with a rope and wood suspension bridge, and replicas of the former Rose Hall Plantation.
Bluefields Bay Villas, Bluefields
Maybe the last thing you want is to spend time at a big resort. Make your way to Bluefields Bay Villas on Jamaica’s stunning south coast. They are perched along the hilly coast and overlook the ocean. There are a mere six villas, so privacy is a premium. Each villa has IG-worthy views, private pools, butler and maid service, full kitchen and chef. You can get nanny service 24/7. There is elderly care for seniors. Soak up the sun on the beach or at the pool. Here there’s no pressure to buzz about. Do as little or as much as you like. You can arrange dive tours, deep sea-fishing, glass-bottom boat cruises and more.
Royalton Blue Waters, Montego Bay
If you have children younger than 4 years old, you might choose other accommodations. But from age 4 on there’s plenty. The Clubhouse Kids Club is where those up to age 12 can find characters Max & Ruby, watch cartoons, play games and more. Teens have their own space at the Hangout, with video game lounge, pool and ping-pong tables and more stuff beloved by teens. Everyone can come together for snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, floating down the lazy river, or trivia games. Learn while on vacation with dance and cooking classes.
Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios
Location is everything. Here you’re in a regional park and a short walk to Ocho Rios Craft Park, where you can buy arts and crafts from locals. Turtle Beach, Dunn’s River Falls and Dolphin Cove are only three miles away. Teens love the Flowrider surfing simulator onsite. There are four restaurants, Club Mongoose for ages 2-12, and Jamrock Teen Center. You don’t have to worry about the heat, there are five pools with waterfalls and the Lighthouse Waterslide to cool off. Show off your tennis skills on the championship tennis courts. Each week there’s a themed party. Drink up at eight bars or see how good you are at beating the odds at the casino. Ready to relax? Have a cup of tea at afternoon tea, find a spot on the private white sand beach, or head over to the full-service, Awe Spa.
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Montego Bay
Expect big fun and much eating. There are 16 restaurants. That’s not a typo, 16 places to please every palate. You’ll cheat yourself if you don’t go for the spice at Barefoot JerkZ, the beachfront Jamaican jerk shack. Italian, Asian, and Brazilian fare are among the many options. What’s your mood? There’s a quiet pool and then there’s the one for the party folks. The activities pool is also where you’ll find water spinning. Leave the children to the KidZ Club for beach sports, arts, crafts, and games. Come night time they have their PJ and disco parties, and teens do their thing at their club. The entire family can enjoy sailing on a catamaran, working out on boogie boards, kayaking, snorkeling. If you’re hankering to try something new, there are dance lessons and cooking demonstrations. Come nightfall, there’s Jamaican street music, steel drums, music and theatrical performances.
Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, Montego Bay
The kids will feel like they own the joint. Star Camp features its own pool and children’s park. As for you, you’ll feel pretty good too, whether you’re pampering yourself at Spa Sensations or getting your diver certification at the Dressel Diver Center. You’ll want to explore the Montego Bay Marine Park with the Airport Wall reef and for sure the Falmouth luminous lagoon, one of four such spots in the world. Be ready for more action—tennis, the gym, an array of watersports or golf at two 18-hold professional golf courses nearby. When the sun goes down, it’s all about the live music, shows and the lively game room.