Jamaica - Only All-Inclusive?

Old Dec 30th, 2003, 07:25 AM
  #1  
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Jamaica - Only All-Inclusive?

I've been to Jamaica on a cruise ship stop and thought that the place looked beautiful - but I always hear about the all inclusives. Is that the only decent nice place to stay? We have two children (11,13) and don't necessarily like to be confined to a single location for all meals, entertainment, etc. If there are resort-type hotels that aren't all inclusive, are there good restaurants available?
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 06:29 AM
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Try posting on www.jamaicans.com Either the discover forum or westside wanderings; you'll get a lot of helpful suggestions...........Dan
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Suggest you check into villa rentals in Jamaica for far more flexibility, personal style, freedom and value for money, let alone more Jamaica than any AI could offer.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 09:58 AM
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Bri
 
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There are many nice hotels that offer both, all inclusive or not. The Ritz Carlton, Coyaba Beach Resort,The Wyndam to name a few.
To be quite honest you are better off to go all-inclusive and then try a few different restaurants ,some of which are very good,
Unless you get away from the resort areas,food is not that cheap.

Bri
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 10:32 AM
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cdt
 
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We went non-inclusive at the Wyndham Rose Hall. It appeared most guests were on the all-inclusive plan. Turned out not to be the best choice for non-incl. because there were few restaurants nearby and we didn't want to rent a car in Jamaica.

I would think a good place to do non-inclusive would be Negril, where you could pick one of the better non-incl. hotels and be within walking distance or a short cab ride of many dining options.



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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 10:49 AM
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I've done both AI and non in Negril and would not go back to AI - food too good and cheap to do that. My 13 yr old daughter and I stayed at Coco Lapalm in Negril in April and we loved it - the resort is in a great location - just a short and beautiful walk to lots of great restaurants. It is easy to hail a boat for snorkeling right off the beach. You can arrange for trips to Mayfield or other falls and you can take a cab to the cliffs to jump off or just look at the view. My daughter fell in love with Jamaica and the people there treated her like a little princess. We were approached about hair braiding, parasailing, etc. but not once did anyone ask us about drugs and we never felt threatened in any way. We walked everywhere along the beach - night and day. Other places to consider are Charela - more water sports included, Idle Awile and for luxury, Moon Dance Villas. You can get great suggestions for drivers for day trips and for restaurants at www.negril.com.
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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 05:33 PM
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I pop on to this site once in a while, as I have fond memories of places we've stayed in Jamaica. We are definately NON AI people. Go to Negril and stay at Coco La Palm or at Charela Inn. (they are close to each other) Charela has a fantastic restaurant so even if you don't stay there, do eat there one night. The staff there is wonderful. You will wonder why anyone would pay twice as much (or more) to stay at an AI. You will use the beach as if it were "main street" in a town...and can walk for miles, stop in anywhere you are interested in eating, checking out, etc. Have a lovely trip. (Charela even has some family suite options among their rooms.)
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Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:42 PM
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We never stay all-inclusive in Ja (well not after the first time), partyly because we love trying different restaurants. Our food taste tends toward Caribbean casual and there's a LOT of that, very reasonably priced too, but not in the big non-AI hotels.

So I guess it depends where you stay, what your eating options are. At the Ritz Carlton outside MoBay your dining options ar elimited to that hotel or getting to MoBay. In Negril you can stroll in any direction and find plenty of places to eat. In Treasure Beach things are spread out but there are some nice options. Ochi has lots of restaurants of every type.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 02:43 PM
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We have only stayed at A/I in Negril. Loved every minute of it. It takes alot of the detail out of the day-to-day worries while on vacation, such as keeping up with valuables, money, etc, picking from a myriad of places to eat, logistics of getting from one place to the other, such as when planning to find somewhere to eat. Not worrying about bar tabs, running up credit cards or maintaining the necessary amounts of cash.

I enjoy the getting away from normal life aspect of vacation for a few days, being pampered, whims catered to. Our experience with Couples resorts have been fantastic. The food, service and surrounding have been wondeful, each time. The staff very friendly and helpful.

OTOH, while at the A/I, we have enjoyed getting out on a couple of days and visiting the environs of Negril. Eating a a couple of different places, shopping for trinkets and art at different places, and of course, strolling along the magnificient beach. Hiring a driver is definitely the way to go.

On our next trip, we intend to spend a couple of nights, or so, at one of these independents that everyone raves about as THE only way to vacation. Maybe my vision of our Jamaican vacations will change afterward. But, we have thoroughly enjoyed each of our A/I experiences and readily recommend the same to everyone. Guess we just haven't made it to one of those "horrible" A/Is everybody here speaks of. Couples resorts are extremely consistent and excellent. FOr children vacations I have heard good things from Beaches (I think) and Starfish.

Liza, you knew I'd show up eventually!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 11:46 AM
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If someone asks I'll always share you know that

I'd stay AI if I could pay about the same as I do staying not AI...I just can't see paying so much more $$ and then having to spend more to eat and play off the resort where/when I want to. I LIKE "worrying" about the next meal, it adds to my fun. I should say I have a pretty non-stressful life at home and am not on vacation to veg out, I'm looking for excitement and culture out of my trip and I haven't found that in any large resort, AI or not.

It just isn't my style to stay put and if I'm going to be going from place to place, why pre-pay for lots of drinks and meals I won't use?

That's just me though....I don't judge people who choose AIs or large resorts, they are obviously what many people are looking for in a vacation.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 01:44 PM
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I think half the fun in visting a new country is sampling local cuisine - from my first visit to Jamica I would definitely say - the food outside of the resort was better than food in the resort - even simple things like banana bread,ice cream were sooo goood and we sampld stuff like the spice bun, coconut drops , fruits like sweetsop,jackfruit, naseberry - yummeeee.

But then I am one of those who charts out what restaurants we will eat at as a part of my vacation planning
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