My wife and I both believe this was the perfect place to recharge batteries after a very tough year. The food, the staff, the beach, the gardens, the spa and general location were all perfect. Our room's spacious veranda was like a home away from home. Jamaica Inn is not perfect (as no resort is), but if you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy great food and drink and the multi-hued Caribbean, this is it.
Some of the (very few) complaints I have read seem nitpicky.
--You occasionally hear automobile and truck noise from the distant highway, but it is rare. There are boats and jet skis that travel past the resort (outside of their roped-off private beach and swim area), but far less than at the Sandals and Couples resorts.
--It gets hot and humid in the Caribbean (especially in the non-peak months). Your husband couldn't wear his t-shirt and shorts to dinner???--get over it. How much cooler would he really have been in shorts?!?! How much of a stretch is it to wear khakis and a collared golf shirt???
--the two robbery reports (out of hundreds of reviews) are disconcerting, but we noticed roaming security and razor wire on the perimeter of the resort. It sounds like they are addressing to their best ability (Jamaica is a risky country compared to US and British islands). They did reimburse and offered a free return trip. We used our safe and never felt at risk. Most seasoned travelers also leave expensive jewelry at home and keep an eye on diving watches and electronic equipment. Diamond-studded Rolex watches will receive attention (as they are designed to do) anywhere you go. Leave them at home.
-- The buildings are older (external AC units, electrical conduits visible but hidden as much as possible in the main corridors, etc...) but our room was very attractive and comfortable. The outdoor dining areas are beautiful. I’ve been in more attractive rooms (Four Seasons, etc…), but the private veranda and the rest of the resort makes-up for the very slight lack of perfection here. All rooms have beautiful verandas and a view of the ocean. We spent our time on the veranda, the beach and at the restaurants. After initially noticing the older, but well-maintained, buildings, that all faded away quickly.
The property is bordered by two rocky outcrops that block the images of the other behemoth resorts, which adds to the feeling of intimacy and seclusion. When doing a boat trip to Dunns Falls, we noticed that JI clearly has the most scenic beach in Ochos Rios. No other place else even compared in beauty and size.
I can see why some very-young people might find the resort stuffy, but we found all staff and most all guests to be quite friendly. It's a pretty simple decision. If you want to hear loud South Pacific Island type music (even though you are in the Caribbean) and drums or want to sing karaoke, then go to the Sandals right up the street. If you want to go on a raucous booze-cruise, then go to Sandals. If you want to have a nice dinner with great (albeit pricey) food and great wine then JI is the place. If you want a wide champagne colored beach with great beach service, go to JI. If you want a smaller, narrower, more crowded, beach then Sandals at Ochos is the place.
If you have the money and like classy, genteel, places like Caneel Bay, Peter Island, and Turtle Island--this is the place for you. If you like big cruise ships, Atlantis or Sandals all-inclusive resorts, this place is definitely not for you.
It wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t perfect, but we felt it was the perfect place for us (40-somethings) to recharge our batteries, make our own fun, and enjoy fantastic food and one of the best beaches we have ever visited (Fiji, Hawaii, California, other Caribbean, etc…)
P.S. Teddy and Rupert are the best!
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Jamaica Hotel Ocho Rios
- Jamaica Ocho Rios
- Jamaica Inn Ocho Rios