Montego Bay hotels

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Mad Montego Bay

In the heart of Jamaica, the geographical King of Cool, lies its hip-and-happening offspring, Montego Bay. If the beaches laden with tanned beauties don’t seduce you, the ever-growing crowds of American college kids enjoying Spring Break on gaudy Gloucester Avenue (known, slightly embarrassingly, by the party crowd as ‘the hip strip’) will probably try to.

But don’t think drunken debauchery is the be all and end all of a Montego Bay holiday. More organic attractions include Doctor’s Cave Beach, Cornwall Beach and Walter Fletcher Beach, all boasting views you thought only existed on a postcard. Choose from diving, snorkelling, swimming or surfing, or just chill out on the sand with a drink and a pair of perve-enabling dark sunglasses.

Montego Bay's Top 10

10. Museum of St James Exhibitions, relics and a 200-seat theatre are housed in this civic centre museum.

5. Burchell Memorial Baptist Church Slave leader Sam Sharpe was a deacon at this church, which now houses his remains.

9. Dead End Beach It’s not the most appealing of names, but the sunsets will blow your mind.

4. Town House This quaint little house is currently a clothes store, providing the perfect excuse to shop in the name of sightseeing!

8. Creek Dome This hexagonal building is known as the ‘keeper of the creek’, although it merely houses a spring rather than any sort of troll-like creature.

3. Sam Sharpe Square Three statuesque admirers stare at the National Heroes in the centre of this cobbled square.

7. Bellfield Great House See how people lived back in the very refined day.

2. Greenwood Great House The court jester’s chair is an original from the 17th century. Resist the urge to sit on it…

6. Barnett Estate Get some sweet lovin’ in the daylight hours by visiting this huge expanse of sugarcane.

1. Rose Hall Great House A great house indeed – this massive mansion gives equally great views from the hilltop.

Montego Bay History

  • Greenwood Great House – This estate built in the 18th century still has its original furniture and impressive library for a glimpse into Montego Bay’s plantation past.
  • Croydon Plantation – This coffee and pineapple plantation offers tours and samples and teaches visitors about the agricultural history of the island.
  • Sam Sharpe Square – Named after the national hero Sam Sharpe, this square contains the Cage, a jail that once housed runaway slaves.
  • Burchell Memorial Baptist Church – Sam Sharpe’s remains are buried in this 19th-century church.
  • Fort Montego – This is the remains of the first fort built in Jamaica.

Montego Bay Art & Culture

  • Gallery of West Indian Art – This gallery features arts and crafts from all over the Caribbean.
  • Ambiente Gallery – This gallery features local artists and sells prints of their work.
  • Maroon Attraction Tours – This tour takes you to historical and cultural points of interest and gives you a look into Montego Bay life.
  • Jamaica's Spirit of Reggae: The Bob Marley Experience – This all-day tour takes you to Bob Marley’s birthplace and traces his life and music.
  • Dome House – This theatre offers performances in both dance and drama.

Montego Bay Shopping

  • City Centre Building – This plaza features duty-free shops selling jewellery, crafts and pottery, among other things.
  • Clapper's Music – If you love reggae, this is the place where you can find a complete collection.
  • Sangster's Book Shop – Drop by here if you need something to read on the beach.
  • Super Plus – This shopping centre is the biggest in Montego Bay and has a supermarket.
  • Harbour Street Craft Market – This is a mammoth crafts store that encompasses three city blocks.

Gay & Lesbian Montego Bay

    Montego Bay is not known to be overtly gay friendly, so gays and lesbian are encouraged to be discreet.

  • Ibersostar Grand Rose – This adults-only resort is fairly relaxed. However, public displays of affection are strongly discouraged.
  • Sandals Resorts – A reasonably relaxed resort for all lifestyles.
  • Hip Strip – This local street is crowded with bars. There is one gay bar here, but be aware that it known to be raided by police.
  • The Twisted Kilt – This is a restaurant/bar with outdoor seating.
  • Far Out Fish Hut – One of the best places to get seafood in Montego Bay.

Montego Bay Outdoor

  • Doctor's Cave Beach Club – This is a small beach but very clean and fun and often crowded.
  • Martha Brae River – Enjoy a lazy tube crawl down this river to see the beautiful scenery.
  • Montego Bay Marine Park – This is the best place to see the amazing marine life in the waters surrounding the island.
  • Animal Farm – Here is where you can bird watch and learn about the Montego Bay’s cultural history at the same time.
  • Widowmaker's Cave – This is one of the must-visit scuba diving destinations.

Montego Bay Sport

  • Golf at the scenic Rose Hall Golf Club.
  • Go on a zip line tour through the Jamaican jungle with Canopy Tour.
  • Take a jeep or ATV tour from one of several adventure companies on the island.
  • Bobsled along a thrilling course with the Jamaica Bobsledding Tour.
  • See amazing marine life whilst scuba diving off Cornwall Beach.

Montego Bay Events

January cruises into town with the Jamaica Jazz Festival, where many well-known performers get together from around the world.

Jamaica’s favourite son is suitably celebrated in February’s Bob Marley Week, one of the biggest events of the year and the perfect excuse to get your reggae on.

Spring Break hits Montego Bay in March. Hordes of students fill the bars, clubs and streets with unapologetic rambunctiousness. Go and enjoy or avoid at all costs, depending on your point of view.

August celebrates the Emancipation and Independence Celebration with a music competition and other events to celebrate freedom from slavery.

Christmas Day is huge in Jamaica. Spice up the usual roast and gravy with traditional specialties like rum cake and gungo peas.

When To Go

  • Jamaica is very popular due to its warm climate, and Montego Bay is no exception. Temperatures are a constant 30°C (86°F) year round and the water is just as lovely.
  • Even during the rainy season, overcast weather only puts a dampener on part of the day.
  • Montego Bay can be extremely busy from mid-December to mid-April, and prices increase accordingly.

Getting Around

  • Walkingis easy between Gloucester Avenue and Downtown. And let’s face it, you’re going to be having a few drinks…
  • Busesdon’t run in town, but they can take you to the surrounding suburbs.
  • Taxisare widely available but can be pretty pricey at around US$8 per ride.

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Recommended hotels

1 Riu Ocho Rios All Inclusive

3 stars
4.3 / 5 8 reviews

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50% OFF

Boasting an ideal location and offering numerous conveniences along with the resort's leisure-focused options, the Riu Ocho Rios Hotel exceed the expectations of any and every guest. GeneralThis... More

It was ok, nothing special
My stay at Riu was ok, nothing special. The rooms was clean and I love having my own bar and fridge. The hotel looks attractive, pool clean and nice, however they need to improve on the food,...
3 Sep 2014

2 Royal Decameron Club Caribbean - All Inclusive

3 stars
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It was surprisingly amazing!
For a hotel that isnt a 5 star.. trust me. It is worth the visits. The hotel staffs were really friendly and couteous, the food was delicious, the ambiance was on point.. and the courtyard room was...
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3 Samsara Resort

3 stars
3.3 / 5

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SUMMER 2015 EB20 RO

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4 The Negril Escape and Resort Spa

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Epitomizing the richness of the Jamaican culture, the Negril Escape Resort and Spa is a family-run management-style hotel that offers unmatched hospitality and personalised service. GeneralThe... More

5 Negril Treehouse Resort

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Norman Manley Boulevard Map

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Secrets St James Montego Bay provides 350 sumptuous suites in an adults-only playground. The British Colonial style resort is hidden away on a private peninsula that offers paradise. Sip Jamaican... More

7 Club Ambiance - All Inclusive

3 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

PO Box 20 Main Road St. Ann Map

SUMMER SPECIAL

This charming and informal beach resort is an idyllic getaway for those looking for a romantic and fun-filled holiday in Jamaica. GeneralHealth conscious guests can workout in the well-equipped... More

8 Couples Tower Isle - All Inclusive

5 stars
4.6 / 5

PO Box 330 Tower Isle Map

CAMP COUPLES - $25 RESORT CREDIT DAILY

Chic vacationers exploring the beauty of Jamaica find tropical sanctuary at the 19-acre beachfront Couples Tower Isle - All Inclusive. While in Ocho Rios, tourists can enjoy a walk around Coyaba... More

Featuring an elegant decor and a warm hospitality, Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort welcomes you for an unforgettable vacation. GeneralThe property comprises 2 well-appointed conference rooms for... More

10 Doctors Cave Beach Hotel

2 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

Gloucester Avenue Map

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For a truly unforgettable Jamaican vacation, visit the intimate Doctors Cave Beach, an enchanting little resort hotel with a storybook setting. GeneralThe hotel's courteous and friendly staff... More

Great Experience
No complaints except the water outage but the hotel was very helpful
30 Jan 2014
Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency. Taxes may be payable in addition.
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