When we go on cultural vacations that involve a lot of sightseeing and whatnot, of course it’s critical to pick the most interesting cities, even if they cost a fortune while we are there. However, when picking an all-inclusive destination it’s much easier, mostly because they are designed that you never have to leave until you are heading back to the airport.
So with this in mind, we are mainly concerned with the weather and with the features of the exact resort we will be booking into. It doesn’t matter if the local restaurants outside the gates aren’t too good, or if there is nothing particularly interesting to see nearby. If the resort itself has all the features we want, and the rooms and restaurants are nice, we can go wherever it’s cheapest.
Ocho Rios is your best bet in Jamaica
If you were to book a normal hotel and then get your meals and entertainment elsewhere then you’ll find the best prices to be in Negril. Ocho Rios is more upscale, and it’s harder to save money there when you are on your own. However, Ocho Rios is home to most of the best-value all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, which are US$50 per night cheaper per couple than similar places in Negril or Montego Bay.
For example, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean in Ocho Rios has off-season promotional rates as low as US$130 per night per couple on a fully all inclusive basis. In Negril the cheapest all inclusive resorts start at over US$200 per night in the high season, and over US$180 per night in the off season.
During the high season you can find resorts in Ocho Rios starting at only around US$150 per night. As we’ve discussed before, this is far less than you’d spend each day on food and drinks if you went to, say, Miami Beach, or Hawaii, and you still get the tropical climate and a hotel room to boot.
If you are going for a stay of only 3 or 4 nights you might consider staying in Montego Bay itself. All three of the main resort areas use the Montego Bay Airport as the entry point, but Ocho Rios and Negril involve up to a 2-hour shuttle ride to reach the resorts, while many resorts in Montego Bay are less than 30 minutes from the airport.
Fortunately, Montego Bay has a few resorts in the lower price ranges as well, so it’s competitive. If you are staying for a week then it’s worth the longer shuttle ride to reach a nicer resort for less money, but on a weekend trip you might consider paying a bit more for the short ride. After all, having an extra few hours in paradise should be worth an extra $30 or $40 per couple on a short trip.