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Where to Stay in Montego Bay
Despite the fact that Montego Bay is one of Jamaica’s largest cities, the areas of interest to tourists are fairly limited. In fact, with the exception of several duty-free shops and a pedestrian-friendly tourist district along Gloucester Avenue, the attractions in “MoBay” largely consist of its resorts and the stretches of beach on which they sit. Still, visitors flock here in steady numbers because most of the city’s resorts are noteworthy vacation destinations in themselves, offering such a wealth of amenities and activities that some travelers never leave the grounds except to return to the airport. Because resort life is so central to the Montego Bay experience, it makes more sense to choose a property based on its features rather than its specific location.
The cheap hotel deals in Montego Bay are spread evenly throughout the area, as well as the expensive five star resorts, but all are located on or near the beach. Resorts are located somewhat close together on the west-facing beaches to the south of the airport, which is where you’ll find the actual bay and the Gloucester Avenue district known as the “Hip Strip.” To the east of the airport, the resorts are more widely spread, and the beaches face north.
Montego Bay Hotel Tips
The most significant decision influencing where you stay during your time in Montego Bay is whether or not to choose an all-inclusive resort, of which there are several. The major benefits of these resorts are the convenience of having everything in one place and the ability to effectively control costs by paying a single price for lodging, dining, activities and nightlife. On the other hand, all-inclusives require you to commit to a package deal, which may make you hesitant to seek dining and fun outside the resort. It can also be difficult to change all-inclusive vacation arrangements after you arrive if you’re not pleased with your resort. If you’d rather keep your options open, there are just as many traditional resorts at various price levels.
Montego Bay Hotel Recommendations
On the southwest side of the Montego Bay area, The Tryall Club is an upscale resort most famous for its Tryall Golf Club, the site of several high-profile professional golf events. Rather than host guests in a hotel tower, The Tryall Club’s accommodations consist of one and two-bedroom luxury villas with private swimming pools.
The Half Moon Resort, situated on the north-facing beaches just east of the bay, is inarguably one of the finest resorts in Jamaica. While on the pricey side of Montego Bay accommodations, it does offer a range of options from standard rooms to exorbitant villas, so there’s something for most travel budgets. You must be a guest to enjoy features like Half Moon’s professional tennis courts and stunning poolscapes, but even if you don’t stay there, consider making the trip out to one of the resort’s legendary dining destinations.
Just a short distance down the coast from the Half Moon, Sandals Royal Caribbean remains one of Montego Bay’s most widely recognized resorts. Another all-inclusive property, this resort offers an excellent variety of on-site dining and activities, as well as access to the amenities at two other Sandals properties in the area. One of its most special features is a Thai restaurant on a secluded offshore island that guests reach by boat.
Montego Bay Transportation
Public transportation is not a practical option for vacationers, but that doesn’t mean you have to rent a car after your arriving flight to Montego Bay. Since the majority of the area’s resorts put dining, shopping, recreation and nightlife all in one place, transportation is only necessary if you can think of somewhere else you’d rather be – a feat at many Montego Bay hotels. Virtually all of the finer resorts offer airport shuttle service, and some resort shuttles provide guests with complimentary rides to other points of interest like the Hip Strip and duty-free shopping districts.
For all your other transportation needs, taxis are the only reliable and efficient means. Though some drivers may be tempted to take advantage of a passenger’s unfamiliarity with the area to artificially inflate their fares, most hotel staff know of scrupulous taxi companies and would be happy to call one for you.