Jaw-dropping beaches, sparkling seas and a distinct take-it-easy vibe are just a few of the things that define Jamaica. And while the Caribbean is famed for its all-inclusive hotels, the best way to tune in to the rhythm of island life is to rent a private villa. In this guide we’ve put together a selection of places to stay in Jamaica, including homes in the best Jamaican resorts and some of the largest and most luxurious mansions on the beach.
Located in Jamaica’s northwest corner, Montego Bay (or Mo’ Bay as the locals call it) is a vibrant place, jam-packed with Caribbean charm. Part city, part resort, this popular Jamaican resort town is home to 2 of the island’s best beaches, as well as the ‘Hip Strip’ of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife.
A big advantage of staying in Montego Bay is that the airport is just outside the town, so transfer times are short. It’s a short drive to some fantastic attractions too, like the Rose Hall estate, where you can tee off on a top golf course, tour a beautifully restored plantation house, or ride a zip line through the trees.
Our Montego Bay villas are located in exclusive beachfront and hillside resorts close to the region’s beaches and not far from the main town.
6 bedrooms – sleeps 12
This sprawling mansion on the beach sits on 4 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and comes with complimentary membership at a luxury beach and golf resort. The home has a whopping 19,000 sq ft of living space and offers 6 glamorous bedroom suites, a large infinity pool, and multiple living and dining areas both indoors and out.
There are plenty of areas for entertainment including a home theater room, a game room, and an impressive entrance terrace with a full-size pool table.
The home also has an outdoor hot tub, a fully-equipped gym, an in-villa spa and 3 fully-stocked bars.
The rental rate includes extras like complimentary cell phones and various staff including housekeepers, a butler, a chef and a security guard. Membership at the Half Moon Resort includes unlimited complimentary green fees and use of the resort’s private beach, swimming pools, tennis courts and other facilities.
Built around a wide sandy beach on the north of the island, Ocho Rios is Jamaica’s cruise ship capital. Once a quaint fishing village, the Jamaican resort town was developed for tourism in the mid-1980s and has since become one of the island’s most popular vacation destinations.
It has some knock-out beaches, including well-known Turtle Beach which is fringed with coconut palms and backed by upmarket resorts. At one end is the cruise ship pier, at the other is a smaller jetty for water sports, and in between there are a raft of casual restaurants and beach bars.
Bubbling with life both day and night is Main Street in the town center, a great spot for shopping, dining and partying. The most famous attraction though is the Dunn’s River Falls waterfall, which is just a stone’s throw from Ocho Rios.
Canoe Cove on the Beach
7 bedrooms – sleeps 14
Just a few miles from Ocho Rios town, this mansion on the beach is one of the finest examples of luxury villas in Jamaica. The property is built around a secluded sandy cove and offers impressive facilities such as an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a 5-hole golf course, plus tennis and basketball courts.
There’s a hot tub for 10, as well as a gym and a massage room, spacious indoor/outdoor living areas and a thatched poolside gazebo with a bar and dining area.
The villa comes with a full set of staff including a chef, a butler, a gardener, and housekeepers. Other highlights include a helicopter pad, luxury sun loungers around the pool and on the beach, and a set of paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkels available for use.
You probably won’t want to leave but if you decide to head out there are restaurants and bars nearby, and attractions like Dunn’s River Falls, and the Mystic Mountain Adventure Park.
Located on the northern coast, the quaint town of Runaway Bay is one of the most scenic Jamaican resorts. The vibe here is super-relaxed, even by Caribbean standards, with quiet beaches, clear water and an abundance of lush tropical surroundings.
The area is well-known for its miles of sugar-white sands and for its nearby coral reef which is popular for snorkeling and diving. It’s also home to Nine Mile, the district where Bob Marley was born.
Runaway Bay is home to a golf club and a handful of shops, restaurants and bars which stay relatively quiet all year round. If you want a livelier vibe though, the buzzing towns of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are within easy driving distance.
Hidden Bay By The Sea
6 bedrooms – sleeps 12
This expansive mansion on the beach occupies an elevated beachfront location just a short ride from Runaway Bay town center. It consists of an imposing main house where you’ll find the larger living and dining areas, plus 4 of the property’s 6 suites. There is an additional cottage to the rear which has 2 further suites as well as a kitchen, a living room, a sun terrace, and a hot tub.
At the heart of the home is a good-sized swimming pool set in pretty manicured gardens overlooking the sea. From here, stairs lead down the cliffside to a sunbathing platform and a private beach where you can swim, snorkel, kayak, or boogie board.
As with many of the villas in Jamaica, this property is fully staffed with a chef, a butler, a gardener, and housekeepers.
The perfect place for lazy days spent by sparkling seas, this pretty coastal town is located just a few miles east of Runaway Bay. Christopher Columbus is thought to have been the first visitor back in 1494, today the area is a top-rated tropical island getaway with pristine beaches, warm sea, and stunning Caribbean scenery.
There’s a wide sandy beach popular for sunbathing and snorkeling. There are a handful of local facilities too including shops, restaurants, and beach bars. The Columbus Park in Discovery Bay marks the spot where Columbus is said to have landed, and it features an open-air museum, scenic gardens, and the remains of an old sugar plantation.
Whispering Waters on the Beach
7 bedrooms – sleeps 14
Built around a private sandy cove, this beautiful villa offers peaceful accommodation in a picture-perfect setting. The home has 7 spacious suites, plus numerous living and dining areas and a private infinity pool. The villa also has an air-conditioned gym, a private tennis court, and a hot tub and shower.
The home’s main gathering place is an immaculately-presented veranda with a lounge and a bar. Other amenities include a BBQ area, an oceanfront dining sala, water sports equipment, and villa staff. This property is just a short drive from the region’s main airport and is located close to the region’s beaches, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions.
If you’re thinking of booking a Jamaica vacation and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact us today. Additionally, our dedicated concierge team can arrange any added extras you need such as great-value car hire. You can see all of our Jamaica villas here.