7 unique experiences at resorts in Jamaica

Eduardo do Valle

Daniel Aratangy, Richard Kohler/Publicity

Stand-up paddling in Montego Bay

Decameron: 2 Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, Montego Bay

Montego Bay has beautiful beaches, like Doctor's Cave Beach, which supposedly has healing waters, and Cornwall Beach, where the Royal Decameron resort is located. As they are close to one another, anyone staying there can explore all the beaches on a stand-up paddle board offered by the hotel. You can also go to Dead End Beach, a little bit farther, which is close to Sangster International Airport.

About the resort: Located at Cornwall Beach (perfect for snorkeling), the resort has pools, a spa, a marina, restaurants, bars, and hosts lively parties.


Ska party (or reggae karaoke)

Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae – but also of ska and dancehall. For anyone who wants to learn more about the island’s other music genres, the tip is to keep an eye on the events schedule of Grand Bahia Principe, which has its own 'village' with a sports bar, show venue, souvenir shops, and many other attractions. The highlights are the nightclub, which specializes in ska, and the karaoke joint, where everyone sings their hearts out to reggae classics. Even if you’re not a great singer, fun is guaranteed.

About the resort: It has seven restaurants, a water park, tennis courts, and a nightclub. One of the most luxurious resorts in the region of Runaway Bay, it offers free transportation to the attractions and has excellent restaurants.


Grand Bahia Principe: Salt Coppers, Runaway Bay

Luxury spa (truly luxurious!)

Secrets Wild Orchid: Freeport, Montego Bay

Relaxing at wonderful beaches, swimming in incredible pools… it’s great, but no one remembers that relaxing can be tiring. After exciting days at the Secrets Wild Orchid, your body will ask for a spa treatment (or a complete spa day) at the Secrets Spa by Pevonia, a huge facility with an area of 15,070 ft2 [1,400 m²], 20 individual showers, five areas for couples, a jacuzzi for eight people, a dry sauna, and two steam rooms, where treatments for the body and face, manicure, and even a beauty salon will take your Jamaican experience to the next level.

About the resort: Very exclusive, the resort doesn’t require wristbands: guests can explore all the facilities freely, with no restrictions.


Jamaican barbecue in Negril

The sea, fire, Caribbean music, and... pepper! At the RIU Palace Tropical Bay, the paradisiacal coast of Negril becomes the setting for traditional Jamaican barbecue, a classic on the island. Like in any barbecue, the aroma of meat and wood is almost omnipresent. The difference lies in the flavor, with the addition of scotch bonnet chili peppers, a Caribbean variety with pungency ranging from 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units – Jalapeño, for example, ranges from 2,500 to 8,000. The tip is to always have a cocktail in hand – preferably made with Jamaican rum, another classic on the island.

About the resort: The beauty of Negril is even more scenographic at this place next to Seven Miles Beach. It has accessible pools and an area completely designed for kids.


RIU Palace Tropical Bay: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril

Playing golf in the Caribbean

Iberostar Rose Hall: Branch Developments Rose Hall Main Road, Little River, Montego Bay

The legend of the white witch Annie Palmer served as an inspiration for this golf course at the Iberostar Rose Hall – which looks more like a fairytale than a witch scenario. On the White Witch Golf Course, 18 holes are scattered across 600 acres, a space that offers views of the Caribbean Sea from almost everywhere. In addition, it’s a historical region, with holes signed by golf legends.

About the resort: Versatility is the trademark at this resort, which has a water park, 11 types of rooms, activities for kids, bars, and a restaurant.


Becoming a kid in a water park...

You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy the five pools that comprise the water park at this complex, at the Montego Freeport in Montego Bay: adults will also have fun on the slides and swimming in the pools at the Sunscape Resorts & Spa.

About the resort: Located on a peninsula in Montego Bay, it’s divided in two: the Sunscape Splash is more family oriented and the Sunscape Cove is more reserved, resembling a beach club.


Sunscape Resorts and Spa: 1 Sunset Boulevard, Montego Freeport

...or trying to surf in another pool

Moon Palace: Main Street, Ocho Ríos

Despite its famous beaches, the region of Ocho Ríos is not known for its waves. But this won’t be a problem for guests at the Moon Palace. At this very luxurious resort, the highlight is the FlowRider Double Wave Simulator, a pool with artificial waves and two lanes where even amateur surfers can practice until they feel confident like a professional.

About the resort: This place complements their all-inclusive system with credits used in activities like diving and spa treatments.