Two Gentlemen in Jamaica

Jul 23rd, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Two Gentlemen in Jamaica

So a friend and I are thinking of a long weekend in Jamaica. (We were thinking of Florida but our thinkging has changed.) He wants to go to Round Hill. I was at Half Moon Club in the early 90s and really liked it. I hear great things about Negril.

I also hear that Jamaica is not the best place for two men to go. Is this true? (When I was at Half Moon with another male friend, we had no trouble. But that was a long time ago.) Would we have a problem on a longweekend in MoBay or Negril?
Travelling is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 09:44 AM
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I think that depends on what you mean by "two men". Jamaicans can be homophobic, at least towards gay Jamaicans. How they would react to "two male" visitors is hard to say. I would think if you kept everything low key you would be OK. However, you might want to think of another destination.

The only resorts my wife and I have stayed at in Jamaica are Sandals and of course they do not allow same-sex couples. You would have to check the policies of others.

When we were at Secrets Capri last year (in Mexico south of Playa Del Carmen) there were several same-sex couples there (this is an adults only resort) and no one seemed to make an issue of it. Have you considered Mexico?

Reisender is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 11:02 AM
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I'm assuming also from your email that you're gay. Despite the fact that Jamaica is incredibly homophobic, I think you'll find the Jamaican people very welcoming. If you are really friends and not a couple, I don't think you'll have any problems at all. If you're a couple, you should scrupulously avoid any overt public displays of affection, as you would in most of the Caribbean (Jamaica's certainly not the only gay-unfriendly destination in the region). If you find that problematic, then I think Jamaica isn't the right destination for you, but if you understand that throughout the Caribbean, very conservative religious and cultural values prevail, you'll be fine. This is as much a problem with women wearing skimpy dress in public as for two men who insist on, say, holding hands, kissing, or dancing in public. I'm not saying this can't be a little uncomfortable for you if you are used to being more open, so carefully consider the trade-offs of going to Jamaica against the many positives.

Round Hill would be a lovely place to go for a long weekend, and you won't have any problems there. Hotel Mocking Bird Hill in Port Antonio is very gay-friendly, but it's a bit of a drag to get there, so I can't really recommend it for a long weekend. I would strongly recommend Goldeneye or Strawberry Hill (fly into Kingston if you go to Strawberry Hill), but these are very expensive properties.

I think you'll also find Negril a friendly, welcoming place. Maybe the Rockhouse or the Caves or the Sea Splash (Norma's is a wonderful restaurant).

You'll find many fewer problems at the upscale places. It's also easy to get lost in the crowd in a large, all-inclusive resort but since most of these are family-oriented, I don't think you'd feel comfortable at one.

On previous trips to Jamaica, I've seen gay couples at all kinds of resorts, and if they are just quiet about their affection and sexual orientation, it's rarely a problem.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Thank you both for your replies. I am not sure what we'll end up doing, but I will let you know how it turns out. I've always heared that Negril is very pretty. I hope to see it, if not now, later on!
Travelling is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 12:00 PM
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An additional question. Does Negril have any luxury hotels that are not all-inclusive megaresorts?
Travelling is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Just to give correct information:

Sandals does allow same sex couples. They don't advertise it though. They changed their policy a couple of years ago.

If you prefer the Couples chain, only Couples Swept Away allows same sex couples.
BjorkChop is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 03:34 AM
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If you're white, weatlhy, not flamboyant/overt, you'reunlikely to
experience any problems or tensions on island. Half Moon has gotten bigger since you were there in 90s; Round Hill has gotten a Ralph Lauren makeover.
A private villa at either would work well. Negril has a great beach, but is getting tackier and tawdrier. Luxe places on the cliffs like The Caves,
Tensing Pen, even Jackie's on the Reef
(tho more oriented to women) would work well. So would Mar Blue in Old Wharfe,
Treasure Beach. In MoBay, you'd be outside the city/hip strip downtown (there, only Margueritte's, an upscale restaurant, would probably be of interest). Round Hill will be the most
'formal', The Caves the most intriguing and private. Avoid MoBay 24-28 August, election time, which will be motorcade and political rally crowded/traffic at snail's pace....
tivertonhouse is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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To answer your question about any luxury, non-all inclusive resorts in Jamaica - there is a Ritz Carlton in Jamaica.
tom42 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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While the Ritz-Carlton is a very nice hotel, it would not be my choice. If you are a golfer, then there's an extra draw, but the hotel itself lacks any kind of Caribbean character (it's a big convention hotel), and the beach is, frankly, lousy.

The poster was asking about luxury non-AI properties in Negril specifically, and The Caves is probably the best of the lot. Tivertonhouse made some really good recommendations there.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Bjorkchop please post link to that fact. I still doubt if Sandals in Jamaica will allow it, maybe on some other islands maybe. Where do you get the info?
Reisender is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Bjorkchop is absolutely correct. Sandals accepts same-sex couples, though I can't for the life of me understand why a same-sex couple would go there. And the information about Couples Swept Away is also correct. I believe that the Couples San Souci resort also allows same-sex couples but not singles. Of course, Grand Lido resorts have always allowed same-sex couples.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Here you go:
liza is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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I would agree that the Caves or Rockhouse would be good chices in Negril. I can't imagine the staff or anyone staying at the caves thinking twice about a gay couple. It is really a wonderful resort if you want a quiet, peaceful getaway. Rockhouse may be a bit more happening, but not as unique.
beachbum2 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Rockhouse, Caves, Tensing Pen, or Banana Shout on the cliffs would be good choices. I would simply be cautious of your public affection when walking through town or walking down the beach. Rastafarians do not agree with homosexuality and frankly could be offensive if it is thrown in their face. However the small boutique type properties should provide you with a wonderful vacation
rastavibes is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Interestingly enough I called Sandals to see if they really have changed their policy (this was before liza or Doug responded) and boy did I get the run around! No one was willing to answer that question at all! No wonder, because the "indecent act of buggery" is still illegal in Jamaica.
JAGIRL is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 09:12 AM
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I had also heard about the homophobia in Jamaica when we first planned our trip there last year. I was worried at first but everyone was so nice. We stayed at FDR Pebbles, because we have kids. They picked up on the fact that we were together and both mom from the 1st day. The staff went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They even planned a special night for us so we could get a break from the kids. They see a lot of travelers from Europe which is more gay friendly then the US. That is also why Sandals changed their policy. I forget which country it was but they were going to ban advertising of Sandals because of their poicly. So they changed it to allow same sex couples and sent that information to many travel agency directly. Even though it is illegal in Jamaica I found Jamaica to be more accepting then the US. Pretty sad. The manager at the resort we stayed at was even interested in us doing a group down there for gay/lesbian couples with children. HTH
MDHerbal is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Also I forgot to add, that we felt so welcome and had such a great time we are going back at the end of Sept.
MDHerbal is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 10:15 AM
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I think Doug's advice is first rate.. particularly that as long as you avoid overt PDAs you'll be absolutely fine.

At our resort in Cayman we have a lot of gay couples stay with us, but they do seem to follow that motto re public displays of affection.

Mind you, they are mostly long time couples, so the dead giveaway that they are a couple and not just a couple of buddies is when they are sitting at the bar or restaurant eating or drinking and don't have much to say to each other... gay or straight, after many years together couples do tend to run out of of conversation a little !
TomCayman is offline  

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