In today's world of bureaucracy-driven mediocrity and chain-like sameness, it is refreshing to find a unique place of relaxation where tradition and elegance trump all. My husband and I just returned from our tenth anniversary trip, and as selective consumers, we are not easily impressed. However, we were blown away by the Jamaica Inn. From the moment they picked us up at the airport (professional driver, cold drinks, letter from the hotel), it was clear that service is the mantra at this grande dame. The setting is beautiful...the hotel is immaculate...the food is delicious...the cocktails are divine. And the key ingredient to the success of this property is the people. You will be hard pressed to find a staff member who has been there fewer than 10 years. Whether it's your housekeeper Sadie, your bartender Teddy or your croquet "coach" Rupert, they love their jobs and it shows. On the whole, the suites are not large, but they're elegant and comfortable, and the verandahs are the draw anyway. The verandahs serve as extensions of the room (complete with couches and chairs), which helps to enlarge your living space. We started our stay in a balcony suite and ended in a premier verandah suite directly on the water (you could almost touch the water from your verandah), and both were wonderful. However, if you can swing it, go for the premier verandah suite on the water--we fed the tropical fish in the morning and had our own ocean view throughout the day. There are not a lot of activities per se, but you can be active. We took out the kayaks the hotel provided, we snorkeled on the reefs in front of the hotel, we swam and played croquet. We also enjoyed reading on the quiet beach (helped by the library of books you can borrow) where you often are offered complimentary drinks and are free from the "hawkers" selling their wares on other beaches. There is a nice beach bar and an evening-oriented elegant bar by the dining room. There is a small fitness room (one elliptical, one bike, one treadmill plus some free weights) which does the trick but it is quite hot. We chose to walk/run outside of the resort because it was a bit cooler. We did not choose the all-inclusive plan (the suites have a small refrigerator so you can self-cater), but we did enjoy the meals we ate at the Inn. In addition, we enjoyed local restaurants for dinner, especially Toscanini. The managers are on site all of the time and really get to know the guests--not just at the weekly manager's reception. In fact, they already know many of the guests because there are so many repeat visitors. It was amazing to my husband and me to see the camaraderie and loyalty of so many people. This is a close-knit community--perhaps even a family-- where you are welcomed whether this is your first time or were here two months ago (some guests were). We've been to several islands and many resorts around the world, and we enjoy the variety of different experiences. This is the first time we've left a place asking ourselves "when will we return?" The Jamaica Inn makes a lasting impression and thus far is our siren of the Caribbean.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since 1950, Jamaica Inn has consistently been ranked as one of the top resort hotels in the Caribbean. Jamaica Inn is a small, elegantly timeless resort located in beautiful Ocho Rios, Jamaica. With just 52 suites spread over 8 acres, there are sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea from every suite. This property boasts a 700-foot premier private beach, which is often considered to be the one of the best in the Caribbean. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Jamaica Hotel Ocho Rios
- Jamaica Ocho Rios
- Jamaica Inn Ocho Rios