Last Updated on November 19, 2023 by Katrina

Photo credit: Half Moon

White beaches, turquoise waters, and a soundtrack of reggae music. The Caribbean island of Jamaica has mastered the art of “don’t worry, be happy” vacationing. Jamaica’s resorts tend to be located in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios along the north coast, or mellow Negril and Seven-Mile Beach on the northwest side. A lot of Jamaica resorts are all-inclusive. Some cater only to adults, while others just embrace their fascinating, often glamorous histories. They all share one common theme, however: enjoying the beach. Here are the best beach resorts in Jamaica.

Jamaica Inn (Main Street; 844-209-6751) Ocho Rios

This boutique hotel dates back to 1950 and “once hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn,” writes Travel+Leisure. Today, it still exudes “understated luxury, which includes a waterfront spa, a private stretch of champagne-colored sand, and charming cottages with private plunge pools.” A Google reviewer says that “this is truly one of the most relaxing and beautiful places in the world” and loved the rooms’ “comfortable verandas, perfect for chilling, reading and relaxing. At the beach, you can do activities like kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling, sailing. And there are just enough shaded huts and trees.”   >> Book this hotel for less

Half Moon (Rose Hall St.; 800-626-0592) Montego Bay

Condé Nast Traveler calls this 400-acre luxury resort “iconic.” After all, it once hosted Queen Elizabeth II. “The 57 new guest rooms contain an impressive number of cheerful works by Jamaican artists and lots of wood and natural fibers,” the magazine writes, and leisure abounds thanks to a Robert Trent Jones–designed golf course, 11 tennis courts, an equestrian center, and The Fern Tree Spa. One return guest says on Trip Advisor that the newer Eclipse side of the resort is “buzzy, with its modern infinity pool and thumping ambient music. I prefer the old world charm on the ‘Founder’s’ side of the resort.”   >> Book this hotel for less

Bahia Principe Luxury Runaway Bay (Salt Coopers; 876-973-7000) Runaway Bay

“All-inclusive” covers a lot at this 525-room adults-only resort on the island’s north side: three pools, five restaurants and four bars, plus a spa. It shares some beach space with the family-friendly Bahia Principe Grand Resort next door, and the all-inclusive plan includes some water sports, daily shows, and even a diving lesson in the pool. “Drinks and food were fantastic, but so were the wait staff,” says a Google reviewer. One Tripadvisor user points out “the water on the Grand side is crystal clear, whereas the beach on the Luxury side is a little disappointing—if you’re looking for waves, this resort is not for you. We took the time to walk to the Grand side to use the beach.”   >> Book this hotel for less

Skylark Negril Beach Resort (Norman Manley Blvd.; 876-957-4364) Seven Mile Beach

This boutique hotel on Seven Mile Beach “melds local flavor, a vintage Havana feel, and a contemporary sensibility,” writes Afar magazine, which likes the “clean-lined, mid-century modern-inspired aesthetic, and a curated soundtrack that celebrates the history of Jamaican music.” Make the most of the hotel’s beach gear, easy access to the sand, and the on-site restaurant. A Tripadvisor user likes the “chill environment. We got a massage on the beach which was incredible. Everything revolves around Miss Lily’s restaurant, so the hotel feels more like a restaurant/party with rooms conveniently attached.”

Excellence Oyster Bay (Oyster Bay Peninsula Coopers Pen; 876-617-0200) Falmouth

This adults-only resort sits on a private peninsula, and while one Google reviewer says, “I see why this place is named Excellence—the property is beautiful,” they also comment that it is “definitely was more for couples than a girls’ trip. The property is a bit far out, but great location for seclusion.” Choose from suites and villas that offer ocean views or even their own plunge pools. One Tripadvisor reviewer recommends “asking for a centrally located room near the main pool. The Club rooms and villas are on the tail-ends which require more walking or calling a little car to drive you around.”   >> Book this hotel for less