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Frequently Asked Guestions

Travellers to Jamaica have over 526 hundreds of hotels, resorts, condos, gueshouses, villas to choose to from with more on stream to be built in the upcoming year.

Finding a hotel that meet your needs and budget can be bewildering, especially when you try to find the perfect rock-bottom, last minute, bargain price for the perfect hotel on a beach. Though it can be done, always keep in the back of your mind what is your ultimate objective in having a great time in Jamaica.

Here are some tips when choosing a hotel in Jamaica.

Hotel Location

The best way to choose your Jamaica hotel is to first choose a location. As in buying a house the most important thing islocation, location, location, location. Hotels within each location will be priced based on seasons and amenities. Based on type they usually fall within the same price range. If you want beachfront property expect to pay more than usual.

Costs to get to your hotel location will vary due to distance. The most expensive being Port Antonio and Treasure Beach. It is however well worth the money as these vacation destinations are relatively free from commercial activities and is centered around local and beach life. These are also the best areas to stay at should you be looking for heavenly seclusion and natural beauty.

Traditionally persons feel comfortable staying within the heart of the resort town forgetting that there are much better properties to choose from on the outskirts which are less expensive, not over-run by tourist and feels more authentic with easy access to the main towns. For example in Montego Bay outlying areas are Rosehall, Trelawny, Greenwood and Round Hill Bay offering the best in accommodation than staying on Gloucester Avenue the "Hip Strip"

Time of Travel

The time you choose to travel will have a great impact on the price of accommodation. In Jamaica high season for example December - March and June-Augst, hotel prices increase by 40% or more. Some hotels have even higher rates for 'peak' season; usually at Christmas and Easter. Some hotels have year-round rates. Others also discount room rates based on the number of nights you stay.

What you hope to achieve during your trip.

Each location offer different types of travellers an assortment of things to do and see for example

Negril, Westmoreland is popular for its laidback atmosphere, its budget accommodation and luxury all inclusive resorts. Its seaviews from West End Cliffs and beach life on Norman Manely Boulevard makes it ideal for singles and spring breakers.

Ocho Rios, St. Ann and surrounding areas of Oracabessa, St. Mary is popular with families and couples as there are plenty on offer for excursion lovers and sightseers. There is Dunns River Falls to climb, swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Cove and horseback riding at Chukka Cove to name a view. The newly opened Island Village (free access) provides various amentities such as bars, restaraunts, discos, open air entertainment and beach life for everyone.

Runaway Bay , St. Ann and surrounding areas of Mamee Bay and Discovery is popular with families and couples seeking budget to luxury villa accommodations and beautiful white sandy beach whilst getting away from the tourist crowds. Activities are centered on local life. It is recommended to rent a car to get to the hot spots and excursions in the Ocho Rios areas. Most popular resorts in this area are Hedonism III, Grand Bahia, Royal Decameron and other new developments scheduled to open later in the year

Port Antonio, Portland and surrounding areas of Titchfield, Fairy Hill, San San and Long Bay is the most beautiful of all the vacation destination. It is however on the western side of the island and a bit more expensive to get to. Its a favourite with the affluent tourists and well-known personalities coming in from North America and Europe. Its turquoise waters, unmatched sea views and natural beauty is popular with couples, groups, families, eco-tourists and movie-makers. You can find a mix of budget accommodations and luxury villas. Hardly any resorts in this area.

Montego Bay, St. James is famous with singles and couples seeking to enjoy the night life on offer here. It is also home to major music events held here yearly. Its the most well known of all the vacation destinations due to heavy ad placements in the overseas market and American themed entertainment establishments to be found here. Its far from the real Jamaica that you can get.

Rosehall, St. James and Falmouth, Trelawny outside Montego Bay are popular with families and couples due to the number of all inclusive resorts and expensive luxury resorts and villas to be found here. Persons come here for the quality golf courses and children facilities to be found here.

Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth is popular with families and couples looking for seclusion and quality time with love ones. Its the name giving to five bays where you can find budget accommodaton and luxury villas. The lovely brown sandy beach is never crowded and many enjoy the experience of staying in this area and enjoying the local life.

Kingston, The Capital is popular with returning residents visiting family, friends, businessmen looking to conduct business in the capital and used as stop over for visitors on their way to Port Antonio and other resort towns on the southern and west coast. All the major hotels are located in the New Kingston area. There are unknown budget accommodations which are available on the outskirts of New Kingston such as Hope Road, Portmore or in the hills of St. Andrew providing expansive vews of the harbour and the city below and hills beyond.

If you have never been to Kingston please note that there are no beach resorts or villas in Kingston. Main activities are centred around New Kingston where all the business hotels, clubs, bar and grills and important events happens. Visitors wishing to have a holiday in Kingston usually stay at The Hilton, The Altamont , The Courtleigh, Knutsford Court Hotel, The Hilton or Jamaica Pegasus. These are business hotels where rates begin at US$120 double occupancy. Should you have children the only amenities provided by these hotels are a pool where children can enjoy themselves during the hot days.

 

Price

Each type of accomodation commands a different price level. Hotel Resort accommodation starts at the US$150.00 whilst luxury hotels start at in the mid-US$300 per night. There are always a few lower-priced hotels that are the staple of the areas however they can range from the dowdy, unpleasant sparsely furnished which can go for US$80 per night to little known properties that are great value for money.

Lower-priced hotels don't get lower than $50-$70. The rest, where most everyone sleeps, run $115 through $260 a night, depending on the hotel.

Compare hotels within the same price range and make note of what amenities each place offers. Airfares eat away a big part of most everyone's vacation budget causing travellers to compromise. If you can always go for the best alternative to avoid disappointment.

Once you have chosen your location and your price range, you can now narrow your choices to the type ofaccommodaton in your price range.

Hotel Type

In Jamaica you can choose from an assortment of accomodations from rickety cabins and cottages about to fall down at any moment around your ears to ultra luxury accommodation with your own private butler. Spend what you save on the room on dinner, actvities, souveniers. Soon, you'll have your choice narrowed down to either "a" or "b," so check "availabilities." If your finalists have vacancies, your final choice should be something like which is easiest to get to, how many restaurants nearby, things to do see and the likes.

Don't shell out big bucks on your room if you're going to be away from it for periods of time every day.

Large groups tend to go for villa accommodation. Villas tend to start at US$1,350 in low season for a one bedroom villa and up to $16,000 for a 8 bedroom. Most villas tend to come with a private housekeeper and cook with swimming pool. Most tend to be on its own private beach and amble security. Villas are generally found in the Runaway Bay, Ironshore and Belmont areas in Montego Bay, Port Antonio and Treasure Beach.

For persons wishing to do self-catering, Negril and Ocho Rios offer condo like apartments.

All Inclusive resort are a favourite for individuals and families just wanting pay one price for their accommodaton, excursion and meals. This is popular as a number of other amentites are through in to entice visitors to stay at these properties. The only drawback is not getting to more about the area where you are staying.

Budget hotels are the accommodation of choice for returning visitors where cheap price is of most importance over furnishings, the number of windows, firmness of the bed and amenites that a properties has. Returning visitors will have explored the area and know where best to stay.

Cheap hotels are largely found in Negril and Ocho Rios.

 

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