In the birthplace of reggae, the five-star resorts of Montego Bay and Negril get the most publicity. But don’t be fooled – it’s possible to have an affordable break in Jamaica. Rather than spend your cash on expensive resorts, put it on the experiences that really matter – the Luminous Lagoon or Bob Marley Museum, perhaps. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo those little luxuries, though, as the budget-friendly hotels below prove. Better yet? They’re all bookable on Culture Trip.
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This family-run design hotel on Treasure Beach is a Jamaican institution. It has various accommodation options, including 49 budget-friendly, open-air cottage lodgings, creating a tropical and intimate vibe. And for that true getaway experience, rooms are free of TVs. Instead, visit the Jack Sprat bar and restaurant, a beachy haunt serving grilled fish and jerk chicken-topped pizzas. Alternatively, hop on a boat and take the 25-minute ride to Floyd’s Pelican Bar, a rustic shack in the middle of the ocean doling out drinks and good times.
Sitting in a cliffside neighbourhood, the Oasis Resort has 60 rooms spread over three floors to create a low-rise boutique aesthetic. It also has a bar and restaurant arranged around a pool, all hugged by lush island gardens. And with the attractions of Negril (along with a PADI dive school) right on the doorstep, there’s plenty more to explore nearby.
The Westender Inn is just steps from the Caribbean Sea. It has a restaurant, Westie’s, which serves authentic spice-rich local dishes – dine outdoors for a romantic starlit meal. Two pools give the option of saltwater or freshwater dips, while a weekly bonfire party is ideal for those seeking a little nightlife. Book a hammock-strung suite or a roomy self-catering cottage.
Drinks accompany weekly live reggae nights on the sand at this smart three-star establishment on Seven Mile Beach, one of the most desirable coastlines in Jamaica. It has an on-site restaurant and bar, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the outdoor pool is bookended by a swim-up bar and waterfall feature.
Find a bijou atmosphere at the charming Home Sweet Home Resort, conceived by Charlie Rossley, the owner and operator who bought a few run-down cliffside cabins and lodges. He gradually built the plot into this 17-room hotel with epic sea views and a private pool. A more personal approach to service includes airport pick-ups and drop-offs.
A family-owned property, Toby’s Resort sits in lively Montego Bay, a playground of the rich and famous. And although you don’t need to splash the cash at Toby’s, there’s a small spa with exclusive treatments. Breakfast isn’t included, but you can add it for an extra cost. Passes to Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club, which gives you access to a restaurant and bar, along with the convenience of a parasol and clean toilets, are also available for purchase.
For an authentic slice of Jamaican life, stay at the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel in Ocho Rios. A gourmet breakfast comes as standard with the room tariff, while fine dining is available at the on-site Almond Tree Restaurant. There’s also a swinging bar, which is a beautiful spot for a nightcap or sundowner. The hotel is big on hospitality, and it’s a popular venue for small weddings – especially for couples seeking epicurean catering at accessible rates.
For a budget family holiday in Jamaica, Pure Garden Resort Negril is ideal. Under-12s stay for free, and there are self-catering options available so you don’t have to shell out for the whole clan at one of the nearby restaurants. The ambience is super casual, and while the resort has a pool and restaurant, it best suits those looking for an affordable sightseeing base. It’s also just across the road from Seven Mile Beach and next to Time Square Mall.
For more hotel options, check out our guide to the best hotels in Jamaica, for every traveler, bookable with Culture Trip. Why not treat yourself to an extra-special night or two? Find unique stays on the island in our expertly curated guide to the top boutique hotels in Jamaica, or these hotels for every type of traveller, and book now on Culture Trip.
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