The principal beach resort destination for adventure seekers is Ocho Rios, Jamaica – a verdant strip of Caribbean coastline known as the “Garden Parish”. Explore waterfalls along one of the many rivers of Ocho Rios, go sailing, or simply unwind on a deck chair. Discover some of the best hotels in Ocho Rios – bookable on Culture Trip.
Adults-only resorts are a speciality in the Ocho Rios area – designed to offer a calmer, quieter environment where all of the hotel’s resources are dedicated to providing the best stay imaginable. Sandals do Caribbean luxury to the utmost – with a champagne and caviar bar and a butler service to the 74 suites, all with ocean views. And lest we forget the multiple peacocks strutting around the place. No wonder this resort has attracted writers such as Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, in the past.
Occupying a prime slice of beachfront real estate in the heart of Ocho Rios town is Moon Palace, a family-friendly resort with a ton of fun activities. For example, FlowRider – no, not the rapper – is a surfing simulation ride that creates artificial waves of water for you to practice your technique. And if you want a little alone time, the Playroom offers a variety of activities and games for kids of all ages – including arcade games and air hockey – so you can enjoy the hot tub in peace.
Rooms all come with their own private verandas at the Jamaica Inn – where the delightful building features historic architecture painted a calming pale blue and white. As the name suggests, the onus is on celebrating all things local, such as the cuisine – where the chef sources local ingredients as much as possible and turns them into regional and western-fusion dishes. The sandy beach here is especially pretty, dotted with squat palms and sun loungers.
Fancy spending your luxury vacation staying inside a palatial treehouse? You can at the Hermosa Cove – the Cottonwood Cottage is a thing of fantastical marvel. In fact, every building of the resort has its own unique charm, with arcades, spiral staircases and other unusual features. The cove occupied by the resort has coral-dappled azure waters overlooked by palm-frond pagodas – borrow a kayak to get even closer to the sea’s more tranquil inlets and bays.
For couples who are looking for a resort that balances a romantic setting with plenty of opportunities to be active, take a look at Jewel Dunn’s River. Included in your all-inclusive package, you can play tennis, beach volleyball or try your luck at a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course. Look back to dry land from the deck of a Hobie Cat – or jump into one of the kayaks and explore the nearby coves and beaches at your own leisure.
One of the larger family-friendly resorts in Ocho Rios is the Hotel Riu – where there’s a water park with various thrilling slides and an array of entertainment programmes for adults and kids of different ages. When it comes to all-inclusive eating, you can order snacks at any time of the day or night, head to the buffets – both Italian and Asian – or have an a la carte meal at either the Kulinarium restaurant or the on-site steakhouse.
There is very little of the Ocho Rios shoreline that remains undeveloped. With time, it quite possibly all will be – while Frankfort Bay remains relatively peaceful. Hotels in this area are smaller, blending more naturally in with the tropical vegetation. For example, Prospect Estate and Villas consists of five luxury villas and one large, 18th-century house – set amid 1,000-acres (404ha) of land. Frangipani Villa, for example, has four ensuite bedrooms and a private terrace and pool overlooking the sea. Bliss.
Named after the beautiful flowers common to Caribbean islands like Jamaica, Hibiscus Lodge is a two-storey building with verandas on both levels overhanging the Caribbean’s turquoise waters. This is a good option for anybody looking to stay in Ocho Rios in a hotel rather than a resort. The Almond Tree is an on-site restaurant specialising in Jamaican cuisine – while the bars, cafes and other amenities of Ocho Rios are a few minutes away on foot.
Looking for the perfect place to unwind in Jamaica? Check out our pick of the best spas and wellness centres in Jamaica.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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