Many people ask which part of Jamaica, which town, should stay in. This is a very personal question which depends on what a tourist is looking for in a vacation.

The following table gives a very subjective evaluation of a number of factors one should consider in picking a location on the island for a vacation. The table lists several of the most important resort towns in Jamaica and the 'average relative goodness' of resorts in a given town for each factor listed. Keep in mind that for different resorts in a given town any of the factors listed, for example beach quality or relaxing environment, can differ from the average value listed. 

In the following table, except for the travel time from the Montego Bay airport to resorts in a given town and the estimated population, a value of 1=worst and 5=best.

  Montego Bay Negril  Ocho Rios  Lucea Runaway Bay Kingston 
Travel time from Montego Bay airport (MBJ) to resorts (estimated)  10 to 20 min. 90 min. 110 min. 45 min. 70 to 90 min
 4 hr.
Population (most recent estimate)  108,000  4,000  8,800  6,500  5,000  937,700
Beach quality  3  5  3  1  3  1
Availability of shopping outside resort  5  4  4  1  3  5
Relaxing environment  3  4  3  5  4  2
Range of accommodations (different types and at different price points)  5  5  4  1  3  3
Availability of entertainment outside resort (including clubs)  4  5  4  1  2  5
Availability of food and drink outside resort (different types and at different price points)  5  5  5  1  3  5
Number of attractions in or near city  4  3  5  1  2  3
Distance to other attractions on island (those not in or near city)  4  2  4  2  4  2
Golf in or near city  5  2  3  2  4  3
Scuba/snorkeling in or near city  3  4  2  1  2  1

Note: All of the cities listed in the table above, except Kingston, are considered to be resort cities. Kingston is a center for government, industry, commerce, shipping, etc. but is not a resort city and has no resort hotels (but it has many business class hotels).