If you're looking for a large, opulent, modern hotel, with enormous, plush suites, late-night entertainment, and a Michelin Star restaurant, I’d suggest that Jamaica Inn – indeed Jamaica itself – is probably not for you.
What you get at Jamaica Inn, however, is this beautiful ‘boutique’ hotel, with fewer than 50 suites, that oozes dignified charm and heritage, where time seems to stand still, where you can relax and quickly forget your usually busy life. Despite its colonial-style elegance, it’s by no means 'stuffy'. You’ll meet like-minded guests from all over the USA, Canada and Europe, and of all ages - from a few families with young, well-behaved children (aged 10+), and honeymooners, to retired couples - many of whom stay there year after year.
The views, whether looking out across the immaculate gardens to the sandy beach and clear, blue sea, or looking inland from the Caribbean towards the perfect blue buildings, are wonderful. (A trip down the coast by boat reveals that nowhere else on that coastline matches Jamaica Inn’s beach.)
The food is certainly good, with a fresh range of international and local dishes available each day. All rooms/suites are lovely, and simply decorated; (we prefer the upstairs level for its views and privacy, even though access to the gardens/beach not so immediate). Although there are no TVs (or clocks!), there is strong wi-fi throughout the hotel, including on the beach, so your iPad/tablet will be useful. And I was pleasantly surprised to realise, half way through our stay, that (in March, anyway) there are no flies, mosquitoes or other aerial beasties, anywhere.
What makes Jamaica Inn perfect, though, is the people who work there, some of whom have been there for decades. Get to know the team and you will make new friends. The beach bar team of Winston, Rupert, Marvin, Damar and, of course, the legendary Teddy, will not only serve you your complimentary Planters Punch each day, and many other delightful concoctions, they will also chat and get to know you, and make sure that they don’t beat you too heavily at croquet! And the dining staff, including Ryan and Carter, will entertain you while ensuring that you put on weight.
You’ll find that everyone who works at Jamaica Inn - including the excellent and approachable manager, Kyle, and co-owner, Eric - refers to the place as ‘home’. When we first arrived, we were warmly greeted with the words, “Welcome home”. I thought they had made a mistake – we hadn’t been there before. But over the days, we came to regard Jamaica Inn as our special home from home, and to understand the relevance of the welcome. On our last day, when we told the beach bar team that we really didn’t want to leave, Rupert wisely pointed out, “But you have to leave, so that you can come back home again!”
Quite simply, if you’re going to Jamaica, and are looking for total rest and relaxation in the most gorgeous of settings with wonderful people looking after you, look no further than Jamaica Inn. We certainly look forward to coming home again soon.
- 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