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Jamaica Hotel Reviews
Jamaica was the birthplace of the Caribbean all-inclusive resort, a concept that started in Ocho Rios and has spread throughout the island, so that now most hotel rates are all-inclusive. Package prices usually include airport transfers, accommodations, three meals a day, snacks, all bar drinks (often including premium liquors) and soft drinks, a full menu of sports options (including scuba diving and golf at high-end establishments), nightly entertainment, and all gratuities and taxes. At most all-inclusive resorts, the only surcharges are for such luxuries as spa and beauty treatments, telephone calls, tours, vow-renewal ceremonies, and weddings (though even weddings are often included at high-end establishments).
The all-inclusive market is especially strong with couples and honeymooners. To maintain a romantic atmosphere (no Marco Polo games by the pool), some resorts have minimum age requirements ranging from 12 to 18. Other properties court families with supervised kids' programs, family-friendly entertainment, and in-room amenities especially for young travelers.
Private Villa Rentals
Ocho Rios is filled with private villas, especially in the Discovery Bay area. In Jamaica, most luxury villas come with a full staff, including a housekeeper, a cook, a butler, a gardener, and often a security guard. Many can arrange for a driver, either for airport transfers, for daily touring, or for a prearranged number of days for sightseeing.
The island's villas were once mostly smaller homes, but recent years have seen an increased demand for larger, more luxurious properties. Numerous villas have five or more bedrooms spread around different parts of the building—or in different buildings altogether—for extra privacy.
Most villas come fully stocked with linens. You can often arrange for the kitchen to be stocked with groceries upon your arrival. Air-conditioning, even in the most luxurious villas, is typically limited to the bedrooms.
A four-night minimum stay is average for many villas although this can vary by season and property. Gratuities, usually split among the staff, typically range from 10% to 15%. Several private companies specialize in villa rentals, finding vacationers places with the right size and price.
Jamaica Association of Villas and Apartments. Since 1967, the Jamaica Association of Villas and Apartments has handled villas, cottages, apartments, and condos across the island. 800/845–5276 or 773/463–6688. www.villasinjamaica.com. 0.
Jamaica Villas by Linda Smith. More than 90 fully staffed villas are available from this company. 8029 Riverside Dr., MD, 20818. 301/229–4300. www.jamaicavillas.com. 0.
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