Jamaica's All-Inclusive Hotel Deals

by Brian Tagg
(London, England)

I feel that these hotels do the island a disservice by encouraging visitors to stay in their hotels and not venture out.

On my recent visit I was dismayed as I drove up and down the north coast road by the lack of tourists outside their hotels.

I have built a house in the mountains, although it is beautiful you seldom see any tourists. I know a lot of this is because of the roads and lack of signs, but I can assure you it is well worth the effort.

It would also bring benefits to local economy giving the country people a chance to share in the tourist trade.

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Dec 11, 2010
by: Kathy/VA United States

If we had not ventured out of the Resort, we would not have met the beautiful people of Jamaica as we did.

I don't stay in a resort now, I choose to stay at a regular hotel or with the new friends I have come to know and love their on the Island.

Sure the all you can eat food and alcohol is good if all you want to do is east and get drunk, but my self, I eat my three meals a day and only drank two drinks in 7 days. I choose also to remember my trip-haha

It's a beautiful experience to go outside the resorts. The locals love talking to you and you leave a piece of your heart there when you leave the Island.

Aug 31, 2009
of course!
by: Shannon

I couldn?t agree more! I stayed in an all inclusive 2 times. I was disappointed by the generic Jamaican culture it shows.

It?s not really Jamaica! If I had to eat one more slice of pizza or once of pasta that a Jamaican cooked trying to Americanize the buffet so we could find something to eat- id puke.

Jamaican food is glorious! I mean- glorious. You can't eat any better food than you get in little shack restaurants or local restaurants. You don?t really experience Jamaican either if you stick yourself on a sand plot between the ocean and your resort building.
Jamaica is about loud music, happy people, good food, and a lot of laughs.

The resorts don?t really present you with a good Jamaican example of all these. My best advice for tourists is that they leave their resort, and I'm not saying climb Dunns river or rafting...I'm saying travel off around lunch time, take a cab or ask if the resort offers any local guides that will take you out (VERY cheap, it?ll cost you 1/25th of what you?d pay for excursions) I say lunch time because a lot of people don't feel safe to travel off in the evening or closer to night fall.

Walk around the town your in, eat local food, talk to locals, drink a beer at a jerk hut. Laugh and live a little. A lot of people are frightened by Jamaica, and there are parts that you should be if your not apart of that parish.

Most tourist towns though, the people are VERY friendly, always want to help and there usually isn?t crime that goes on.

You have your bad and good parts of Jamaica, but you also have those parts of the states. I'm in my early 20's but I've been traveling to Jamaica sense I was young. I like guest houses because you do what you want, eat what you want, and it?s still a big piece of paradise...and that?s something a big fancy shamcey all inclusive chain can't touch.

My other recommendation is if you want an all-inclusive, pick a small no brand hotel/resort. The people are always more friendly, it?s more personal and you'll enjoy yourself way more!

And please- always remember to tip the fine people who help you out everywhere. Jamaican salary is very low, and even a couple $1 bills make the world of a difference to a bag man, or a bartender.

Aug 31, 2009
Totally Agree
by: Jean UK

Hi Brian, this is so true so much so that I know for a fact that hotels actually promote that it isn't safe to leave the hotel so that they will stay within the hotel grounds and only venture out to go on (highly priced) trips to YS Falls etc.

I know someone who never left the hotel!! Last year I had to stay overnight in Mo'bay, due to a flight delay, and was put up in a 5 star hotel (usually stay in small guest house), the room was nice and the surroundings (apart from the dust and noise from the road building) but OMG the food was so inferior to my usual cow foot/fried chicken/curried goat etc (I wasnt the only delayed person thinking this).

When I first started going to Jamaica you could get charter holidays with 'Small and Friendly' hotels (still have the Thomson brochures) but now from the UK you have to get the flight and book the hotel/guest house separately - through the internet or when you get there.

I, like a lot of people, do not want to stay in all-inclusives.

Don't get me wrong the hotels do employ locals but it would be nice if other locals could also benefit.

Where I go all I hear is how slow it is and nobody has any money, there are days when my friend hardly takes anything in her bar, most requests are for 1 cigarette!!

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