When it comes to variety, Jamaica delivers. It’s that rare Caribbean country that has amazing resorts in three separate environments: on the beach, in the rain forest and at private estates. You can come up with an extra special Jamaican honeymoon on different price points, and choosing the right hotel is key to a memorable trip. Here’s the best of the bunch.
GoldenEye ResortGoldenEye Hotel, Oracabessa, Jamaica
Yes, intuition is correct: this resort is named after a James Bond adventure. In 1953, author Ian Fleming conceived the world’s greatest spy at this very resort–though back then it was his private estate. He wrote all fourteen of the James Bond book here. Now the property is a high-end, 22-room resort, one of the finest on the island. You can choose a beach hut ($425 a night) or splurge on a beach villa ($1,100 a night). If you’re a huge Bond fan, though, you might want to consider the Fleming Villa, where the author wrote his novels. It’s virtually untouched and Fleming’s original desk is still in the room. It’s $6,000 a night and has five bedrooms–would James Bond turn down such a great opportunity?
Round Hill ResortRound Hill Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Fashion designer Ralph Lauren designed and owns the Round Hill, and the 110-acre property is everything you can imagine from a fashion designer (bold, rich colors, intuitive design, an English, Old World feel.) There’s a seaside terrace, infinity pool, restaurant, and sprawling beach. To maximize privacy, there are only 27 individually designed private villas ($900 a night) and 36 oceanfront guest rooms ($400 a night), all of which are huge, beautiful, and luxurious.
Strawberry Hill HotelStrawberry Hill Resort, St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica
You may not think it makes a lot of sense for Jamaica-bound honeymooners to skip the famed beaches and shack up in the hills, but Strawberry Hill Hotel pulls it off. Some 3,000-feet high above the Caribbean Sea in the Blue Mountains, Strawberry Hill Hotel is a mountain village resort featuring twelve breathtaking 19th-century, Georgian-style cottages. The resort was opened by Chris Blackwell, who introduced reggae music to America in the 1960s by signing Bob Marley. This tiny hideaway is as posh as it gets. The food is spot on, the views are unforgettable, and the cottages are perfect little romance shacks. We recommend the Studio Suites, the lowest category cottages at 400 sq. ft. The four-post bed has that romantic netting, the ceilings are arched, and everything is drenched in luxury. The rooms start at $515 a night.
The CavesThe Caves Hotel, Negril, Jamaica
Here’s an all-inclusive resort that won’t make you wear a wrist band. You also won’t find clusters of fist-bumpers with tan lines and bad ankle tattoos crowding a swim-up bar. The Caves in Negril features intimate cliffside cottages, and has been voted the most romantic hotel in the entire Caribbean. You can expect above-and-beyond service from the staff, as well as refined caribbean food and an excellent spa. There’s a bar in an actual cave, and you can show off to your girl by jumping right into the sea from the cliff. Rooms (all one bedroom suites or higher, each with balconies) will run you about $700 a night.
Sandals Royal CaribbeanSandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay, Jamaica
There’s a chance your girl has flipped through one too many magazines and gotten excited by some Sandals ads. Sandals hotels are a very couples-geared resort chain in the Caribbean that are not really anything like what’s depicted in the magazines. Sandals Royal Caribbean is the exception. We’re not even sure how it’s a Sandals. It’s five-star at its finest. The resort has a Balinese-themed private island you can play on, just to give you an example of the amenities here. There’s a champagne and caviar bar, swim-up suites, sunset cruises, private butlers. It’s also all-inclusive, including all meals and booze, and one of two places in all of the Caribbean with overwater villas. They were just added to the resort last year, and they are tricked out with outdoor showers and tubs. Rooms start at about $600, and overwater bungalows start around $2,500 a night (if you stay longer, the room rate gets cheaper).