Would you like to enjoy magnificent resorts in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations?
Jamaica has so much to offer and having resorts like Sandals and Beaches on the island makes this spot one of the most ideal destinations for North American travellers.
This blog post is a summary of a Travel Talk Thursday live event. You can find the recording of the discussion at the bottom of this post.
We have the pleasure of being joined by Sandra Brosseau from Sandals Resorts and Louise Paquette from the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Here we’re blending some of our favorite things together- Sandals and Beaches resorts and Jamaica! We’re going to learn about the experience, culture, and history of Jamaica and what Sandals and Beaches resorts have to offer to every guest.
Choosing Jamaica versus other Caribbean destinations
Of course, there are many reasons to choose Jamaica as a destination but we will focus on five main reasons:
First, it has a warm and calm ocean so, especially if you’re traveling with children, there’s no concern that the waves are too strong. There are also shallow-water areas around Jamaica that give a natural barrier against hurricanes, making it one of the safest places in the Caribbean, even during hurricane season.
Second, many travellers prefer Jamaica because they speak English on the island. There’s no language barrier interacting with any of the locals.
The third reason is that Jamaica is the largest island of the Caribbean with a lot of geographic diversity between the different regions. It’s a beautiful green lush island. On the eastern parts, you’ve got two mountain ranges, including the Blue Mountains, the highest peak on the island at over 2000 meters in elevation. This is also the region with some of the best coffee in Jamaica- or anywhere, for that matter!
Jamaica has beautiful lush vegetation, with more than 120 rivers on the island, cascading waterfalls, over 3000 different species of flower, over 200 bird species, and, of course, stunning beaches offering you more than beauty.
The fourth point to touch on is the quality of the food. The Jamaican cuisine has developed a worldwide reputation and you’ll surely find some delicious dishes to enjoy, whether you’re tasting some local cuisine that you can get at an all-inclusive resort or the food you’ll get when you go into some of those nice Jamaican restaurants. You’ll taste jerk chicken, patties, ackee and saltfish, and more.
Last but not least, the greatest strength of the island nation is the Jamaican people, they bring a characteristic warmth and superb customer service that’s a core part of the culture, making their tourism and hospitality world-renowned.
Jamaica’s amazing regions
Ocho Rios is on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, at the foothills of the Blue Mountain range. It’s ideal for those who need to be in constant movement since there are 30 excursions within a 16-kilometer radius, meaning you’re not going to lose hours of driving if you want to explore the countryside and do an excursion.
Some of the most popular excursions are:
- Dunns River Falls
You can climb the wonderful waterfalls with your guide. It’s a lot of fun that takes about an hour or an hour and a half from beginning to end. Recently they’ve added a small water park for little children so they’re set up to cater to families as well as adults.
- The Blue Hole
This is another beautiful water excursion. You just go and play in the gorgeous water, or you can swing from the ropes, or enjoy the beauty that you’ll find in this area. It’s a great leisure activity.
- Mystic Mountain
Mystic Mountain is a fun park with zip lining, bobsledding tracks, and other activities. It’s considered to pay homage to the Jamaican bobsled team. There you can enjoy the following rides:
- Sky Explorer
- Pool water slide
- Raggamuffin, a new ride
- Anancy´s Web Rope, a sort of obstacle course.
- Island Routes
Island Routes is a full-day excursion. It’s part of the Sandals and Beaches family and it offers you the chance to drive in Jamaica (on the left-hand side of the road, of course!). They do a caravan of six to eight cars and you all follow your guide who’s in the first car. It’s a great way to do a driving tour because you get to see the beautiful countryside.
- The village of Nine Miles
The village of Nine Miles is located between Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios, up in the hills, and it’s famous for being where Bob Marley was born. Naturally, on the bus ride up to his village, you will hear his life story and how his music style developed, the birth and evolution of reggae.
Montego Bay is another beautiful area of Jamaica with a heavy emphasis on tourism. Perhaps the best thing about it is that the airport is nearby so all of the hotels in that area are 5 or 10 minutes or at the most a 30-minute drive. The two Sandals properties, for example, are just a 5 – 10 minute drive from the airport.
The most popular activities in the area are:
- Eating at one of the many restaurants, apart from the stunning restaurants at Sandals and Beaches Resorts, you must go to Scotchies. It is where they cook jerk chicken the most authentic way.
- Rafting on the Martha Brae River
- Visiting great houses, the most infamous would be the Rose Hall Great House, one of the largest sugar plantations in the Montego Bay area. They do daytime and night tours. (Are you afraid of ghosts? Enjoy the mysterious history behind this Great House at night!)
- Having fun at Montpellier Jungle Outpost, it is an old plantation dating back to 1700 that has been turned into a mega-adventure park.
On Jamaica’s South Coast, you’ll enjoy a lot of eco-tourism with a great relaxed atmosphere. Most of the farms on the island of Jamaica are there so if you’re driving along, stop at some and you can just buy fresh mangoes right there.
Enjoy excursions such as:
- YS Falls
This site is famous because here you’ll find seven waterfalls, natural pools, tractor and jitney rides, canopy tours, and a zipline adventure. There are acres of land and there are lots of activities to do.
- Water Safari at Black River
Black River is the longest river on the island and if you’re lucky you might see some of the local residents since there are more than 300 crocodiles living in the marshes of that river. It’s quite an adventure.
- Floyd’s Pelican Bar
Floyd’s Pelican Bar is very famous and yet for many travellers to Jamaica, it’s unknown. It’s characteristic because it’s built on the sand. Floyd actually just built himself a little shack so that when he was fishing he could draw his boat alongside, get his icebox and pick up a cold drink. Then his friends started joining him and his friends would bring more friends and then tours started coming. You can swim when you’re out there, you can go fishing and they’ll cook your fish for you.
This is the favourite beach destination amongst travellers. There you’ll find two beaches, Bloody Bay (the name itself is interesting!) which is 3.5 kilometers and then Long Bay which is 7.5 kilometers. There are fewer excursions in this area but the beach itself is the main attraction.
Some of the tours located around here are:
- Rick’s Cafe
Rick’s café is on the western tip of the island so you get to enjoy amazing sunsets every night. During the day you can watch cliff divers because there are two different levels from which they can jump.
- Blue Hole Mineral Spring
The Blue Hole Mineral Spring is a famous spot for tourists to Jamaica to visit. It’s surrounded by limestone and it’s like being in your own little cave. The mud around the blue hole is great for the skin, and the water has many mineral properties.
- Sunset catamaran cruises
These sunset catamaran cruises are a beautiful way to spend a romantic sunset. Just cozy up and watch those romantic beautiful sunsets with your special person.
- JamWest Motorsports and Adventure Park
At the JamWest Motorsports and Adventure Park, you can live on the wild side, driving a racing track or enjoying many different activities such as horseback riding, or do a zip line race with your loved one (it’s the only place in Jamaica with parallel zip-lines. They also have a pool in case someone travelling with you would prefer to take it easy!
The Home of Sandals and Beaches
Sandals have a great selection of resorts in Jamaica, seven Sandals resorts, and two Beaches resorts with some new additions. The difference between Sandals and Beaches is that Sandals Resorts are only for adults and Beaches for families, including kids.
All of the Sandals & Beaches properties are spread out throughout the island, so you can enjoy the resorts in the different regions of the country.
Sandals and Beaches at Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi has more than 500 rooms including butler rooms. It features a brand new over-the-water wedding chapel and also an 18-hole resort-style golf course.
They also have the Beaches Ocho Rios nearby, maybe 15 minutes away from Sandals, and at that resort, for families there’s a water park for the kids to enjoy (remember that everything is included).
Sandals and Beaches at Montego Bay
They have two hotels in Montego Bay, the Sandals Montego Bay is just a few minutes away from the airport, which has recently been all renovated, it has up to 272 rooms with a choice of 11 restaurants and an exclusive beach.
Just 10 minutes out of there, they have the Sandals Royal Caribbean with the over-the-water bungalows, villas, and new rooms, all renovated!
These two resorts in particular are some of the best resorts for couples to stay at. Our clients who go there absolutely rave about the experience.
Sandals South Coast
Sandals South Coast has brand new rondovals, and they were recently on special so some of our team took advantage of amazing prices.
By the way, there are often 7/7/7 specials, which give an extra 7% off in a particular room category (which categories are on special will vary from week to week), and even better than that, they also qualify for the free anniversary night when applicable! Depending on when you book and when you want to travel, you can get one night free when you stay for seven nights.
If you’re interested in visiting Sandals and getting some amazing prices, get in touch with us. We specialize in stacking discounts whenever possible to help get the absolute best prices for our clients.
At Sandals South Coast there’s another section that has recently been totally renovated as well, the Dutch Village where they just added some new swim-up rooms that are absolutely stunning.
Sandals and Beaches at Negril
In the Negril area of Jamaica, Sandals and Beaches have two properties. Sandals Negril with 226 rooms, all newly renovated as well. Just 15 minutes away from there you have the Beaches Negril with a stunning beach and 185 rooms, a water park, an area for kids known as Sesame Street (with all the characters included!), and, as always, everything is included!
Start dreaming today
We know that not everybody is really comfortable with the thought of traveling right now but don’t let that hold you back from making your plans for the future because there are many wonderful choices out there and there’s a lot of people who’ve been cooped up for the past year during the pandemic, waiting anxiously for the opportunity to travel again, either with their significant other or their entire family.
If you book now, you’ll not only have something to look forward to but you’ll also take advantage of amazing new policies about flexibility. If your travel date approaches and you don’t feel comfortable enough to travel, you can absolutely change your plans. Be sure to check with us about making plans and the flexibility for any specific travel itinerary!
As mentioned earlier, we at Travel Time – TPI consider ourselves promo stacking specialists. There are often great options that you would never know about on your own and so you would never get to take advantage of without talking to the people (like us!) who monitor the deals often. That’s what makes us specialists in this field and we want to help you make your travel dreams come true.
Jamaica is ready for you, they’re just waiting for those airplanes to land, bringing tourists from Canada and the USA so they can show off their amazing Jamaican hospitality.
That’s why Jamaica is one of our favourite destinations because they care and they want visitors to go and enjoy themselves.
For any kind of information that you need helping to plan your trip to Jamaica or to any of the Sandals and Beaches resorts, don’t hesitate and contact us!