Montego Bay and the Northwest

Accommodations

 

Accommodation options vary widely from cheap dives and inexpensive guesthouses to luxury villas and world-class hotels. In the center of town, on Queens Drive (Top Road), and to the west in Reading there are several low-cost options, while the mid-range hotels are concentrated around the Hip Strip along Gloucester Avenue (Bottom Road) and just east of the airport. Rose Hall is the area's most glamorous address, both for its private villas and mansions surrounding the White Witch Golf Course, and for the Ritz-Carlton and neighboring Half Moon, the most exclusive resorts in town. Also on the eastern side of town is Sandals Royal Caribbean, easily the chain's most luxurious property, complete with a private island.

Along the Hip Strip several mid-range hotels provide direct access to Mobay's nightlife, a mix of bars and a few clubs, and guesthouses farther afield offer great rates.

Mobay is the principal entry point for most tourists arriving on the island, many of whom stay at one of the multitude of hotels in the immediate vicinity. The old Ironshore and Rose Hall estates east along the coast are covered in luxury and mid-range hotels.

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Cannon Cottage

Cannon Cottage (minimum 3 nights low season, 4 nights high season, 2 bedrooms US$250 low sea- son, US$300 high season, 3 bedrooms US$300 low season, US$360 high season) is a charming three-bedroom located at

In: Villas, Guesthouse

Wharf House

Wharf House (from US$170 nightly per room or US$640 for an exclusive rental with up to eight guests, add US$40 per day for cook and 15% gratuity on total, breakfast included) is an impeccable 300-plus-year-old collection of stone hewn buildings facing Bogue Lagoon, a protected marine sanctuary. Gun slits in the 18-inchs walls were once used to protect the sugar and rum warehoused on site. The property has been remodeled into a rustic luxury accommodation fit for modern day barons with TV, sound system and Wi-Fi throughout.

In: Villas, Bed and Breakfasts

Tranquility on the Beach

Tranquility on the Beach is one of the top villa options in the Montego Bay area, sleeping up to 14 with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms. Located at the mouth of the Great River, the villa shares tennis courts with Serentity villa next door. Amenities include beach club membership at nearby Round Hill, wireless internet, AC, a staff of nine, gourmet chef, kayaks, snorkeling gear and a gym, all 20 minutes from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

In: Villas

Silent Waters

A luxurious hilltop oasis commanding fine views of the city, the river and the sea

In: Villas

Villa Kelso

Villa Kelso is one of the best properties in the Duncans area with amazing views of the Caribbean, a private pool, expansive grounds and beach privileges at the private Silver Sands Beach Club (half hour by foot, five minutes by car) included, arguably the finest stretch of white sand on Jamaica's North Coast. Rates range depending on how many guests are accommodated starting at USD 2,800 per week for up to four adults in the low season to USD 5,959 for eight guests in the high season.

In: Villas

Goat Hill

Goat Hill is one of the most over-the-top gorgeous villa properties in the greater Montego Bay area, and likely boasts the best view of the city itself. With only three bedrooms sleeping a total of six, the villa is perfect for intimate retreats with a few sets of couples. Lit tennis courts, a Jacuzzi, pool, open format and attentive staff make it a top-pick. It's also relatively affordable (US$7,000/week low season, US$8,000 high, US$9500 Christmas).

In: Villas

Good Hope Carriage House

Good Hope Carriage House (US$5500/US$7000 low/high, plus 10/15% gratuity) is a six-bedroom villa at Good Hope Plantation offering luxurious accommodations at the center of a working citrus plantation where Chukka Caribbean offers a number of tours. Antique furnishings, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi and top-notch cuisine prepared by attentive staff make this the best accommodation option in the area.

In: Villas

Silver Sands

Silver Sands is a gated community of 44 rental cottages and villas that range considerably in their level of price and comfort, from rustic to opulent. Even at the higher end of the price range, Silver Sands villas are among the best value for your money to be found in Jamaica, on what is considered by many the island's finest beach.

In: Villas

The Last Resort

The Last Resort (Ivor Conolley tel. 876/931-6070, cell tel. 876/700-7128) is the most remote accommodation option in Cockpit Country. It's the headquarters for Jamaica Caves Organization, led by chairman Stefan Stewart. The facilities were recently renovated but remain rustic with 20 bunk beds (US$15 per person) and a common bath. One private room has a queen-size bed. Expect intimacy with the surrounding environment--bug repellent is an essential item.

In: Accommodations

Hyatt Ziva & Hyatt Zilara

Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is a 387-room all-inclusive resort catering to families. The best rooms are located at the ground level with swim-out pools from the balconies. Food options include both buffet style and a la carte options, including an Italian restaurant, Di Roza, serving pizzas from a wood-fired oven and Fuzion, an Asian-style restaurant with a chef station as its centerpiece doing noodles in a wok. Calypzo is a beachfront grill, Choicez and indoor/outdoor buffet-style restaurant.

In: All inclusive