15 Best Places To Stay In Jamaica as a Student | 2023 Study Abroad Guide

Because island destinations like Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril are dispersed and travelers might not always have time to see them all, travelers with Jamaica in mind will find this question a little more challenging to answer before any excursion. So we have provided you with a good list of the best places to stay in Jamaica as a student.

All three-holiday destinations provide a ton of activities and are wonderfully gorgeous and character-filled. For starters, Montego Bay is a significant cruise ship port with a wide variety of beach resorts and several excellent Jamaican golf courses. 

A former fishing community, Ocho Rios is well-known and adored for its abundance of rain forests, rivers, and waterfalls.

The Caribbean sea that surrounds the island and the sand beaches along its coastline are constant wherever you are in Jamaica.

But Jamaica is a dynamic, vibrant, and age-old nation that has much more to offer than just the sea, the beaches, and Bob Marley. You can get a peek of the best places to stay in Jamaica as a student from this guide.

Why Should You Visit Jamaica?

Giving a thorough introduction to Jamaica is unnecessary because this unusual island nation has more than established itself over the past 50 to 60 years.

Bob Marley’s and reggae’s birthplace, Usain Bolt’s country of origin, and a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.

However, it’s important to note that compared to the past 50 years, Jamaica is now far more prosperous and organized.

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Even the advent of the first European explorers in the 15th century (Christopher Columbus) wasn’t the beginning of Jamaica’s history because the Taino, who lived there and were almost completely wiped out, were already there.

Up until it declared its independence in 1962, Jamaica was a colonized nation, first by the Spanish and later by the English. These are some of the factors that make Jamaica so intricate, fascinating, and multilayered. It offers much more than just sand beaches and unnaturally clear waters.

Visit Kingston, the nation’s capital, if you’re interested in these things, which you should be. However, Jamaica’s most well-known features—its beaches, the sea, and its natural beauty—are well-known for a reason.

From Negril to Ocho Rios, every single city in our guide offers at least two or three fantastic beaches and is very close to a national park, a river, a waterfall, or a mountain range.

The majority of our guides are about those topics, and under each section, you’ll discover a thorough list of the nearby beaches and their unique characteristics, information on the scenic surroundings of the cities, and occasionally even a schedule of tours that will help you learn more about them.

What are The 5 Best Parts of Jamaica?

Jamaica is not a large country, so you may travel there in one holiday and visit at least two or three places. Before everything else, keep in mind that the water and beaches are wonderful no matter where you go.

Because of this, it is preferable to consider landmarks, national parks, cultural institutions, and restaurants rather than assuming that the sea and beaches would always be present.

  • Negril: The ideal option if you’re a beginner to Jamaica, Negril is a city with a very balanced selection of amenities located in the country’s western regions.
  • If you’re seeking for a lively nightlife and shopping, Montego Bay should do the trick because it is fancier and livelier than Negril.
  • If you wish to visit art galleries and museums, stay in Kingston.
  • Port Antonio: A town with some of the nation’s most beautiful beaches, the liveliest landscape, and the legendary Blue Lagoon.
  • Ocho Rios is the ideal destination for a family holiday because it is a tranquil, laid-back city with plenty of parks and natural beauty.

What are the Best Places To Stay In Jamaica as a Student?

1. Negril

2. Montego Bay

3. Kingston

4. Port Antonio

5. Ocho Rios

6. Grand Palladium  

7. ClubHotel Riu  

8. Jewel Paradise Cove  

9. Iberostar Rose  

10. Hedonism II

11. Sunscape Splash

12. Jamaica’s South Coast / Treasure Beach

13. Runaway Bay

14. Mandeville

15. Sandals Ochi

1. Negril

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

Staying in Negril is the ideal way to begin your trip to Jamaica. It’s a tiny town with no more than 7,000 permanent residents, and it’s situated on the westernmost point of the Island.

The city is renowned for its white sand beaches, its close proximity to MBJ Sangster International Airport, and the variety of water sports that are available to tourists. Negril is definitely your best bet if this is your first visit to Jamaica.

When you’re from Jamaica, you should feel proud that Negril is famed for its beaches. The water is crystal clear and entirely translucent, and the sand is lovely and golden in color.

2. Montego Bay

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

Montego Bay is the ideal destination for people who want to shop, go out at night, and don’t think that white sand beaches are the most essential thing in the world. It’s still Jamaica, therefore it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t have lovely beaches; in fact, it does.

But compared to Negril, it unquestionably has more shops boutiques, and nightclubs. The proximity to Sir Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ), one of the biggest airports in the nation, is undoubtedly another advantage.

Due to the numerous nightclubs that can be found there, Montego Bay is frequently chosen by people as their home in Jamaica.

Along the English-sounding Gloucester Avenue, in the area known as Hip Strip, the fun is primarily concentrated. 

3. Kingston

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

You might be shocked that we arrived in the city’s capital at such a late hour, but you must admit that most tourists come to Jamaica to swim in the Caribbean Sea, unwind on its beautiful beaches, or take advantage of the lively nightlife.

To discover more about the rich and intricate culture of the Jamaican people, you should travel to Kingston, an ancient city replete with historical remnants.

Early in 1692, the city was established after a terrible earthquake devastated its predecessor, Port Royal, which had served as both the Caribbean’s commercial hub and a well-known halting point for pirates.

It should come as no surprise that Kingston has the highest concentration of national monuments and museums.

4. Port Antonio

Northeast of Kingston is where you’ll find Port Antonio, a small, laid-back city surrounded by stunning scenery. 

Its population is less than 15,000, which is significant information for tourists who favor smaller, quieter cities and who usually avoid throngs of people and noisy locations.

Again, our main concern is beaches. In contrast to Negril and Montego Bay, you’ll discover calmer, less developed beaches here, yet they’re still just as sandy and sunny.

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5. Ocho Rios

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

This formerly modest fishing community, which is situated in the northern regions of Jamaica to the west of Port Antonio and to the northwest of Kingston, has developed into a wonderful gem for travelers.

It is surrounded by lovely natural scenery and has many beaches, just like the other coastal towns in Jamaica. Ocho Rios, in our opinion, is the city that caters the most to families and is the best choice for people taking children on vacation.

Let’s start once more with the beaches. Both Mahogany Beach and Ocho Rios Beach are easily accessible city beaches. They are most likely everyone’s first preference when they travel.

The Reggae Beach is more relaxed and constantly vibrating with reggae music in the background.

6. Grand Palladium  

This all-inclusive resort in Lucea, Hanover, has all the features and services of an opulent, up-to-date hotel, but it maintains a Jamaican flair with blue seas and lovely foliage. 

Young adults can participate in a range of activities and entertainment throughout their stay at the hotel.

The resort provides sports and activities in the main pool and on the beach, while nightly shows and games can be enjoyed in the theater. 

The hotel features a club as well. Between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., the Boogie Woogie nightclub is open and completely air-conditioned.

7. ClubHotel Riu  

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

The ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios is one of the biggest all-inclusive hotels in the tourist region and is well known for its nonstop party environment. The hotel is situated in a very quiet and beautiful place in Mammee Bay, Ocho Rios. 

The hotel features a freshwater pool, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and a Renova Spa Wellness Center, among other attractions. 

The property’s restaurant offers a variety of cuisines for all foodies. It’s nonstop fun and excitement because the hotel offers an exclusive 24-hour All-inclusive system.

The hotel is also adjacent to some of Ocho Rios’ most well-known sights, including Dunns River Falls and Dolphins Cove.

8. Jewel Paradise Cove  

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

The Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa in Runaway Bay is a great spot to stay if you enjoy the beach and being wet in general. 

Three swimming pools and a lovely white sand beach are on the hotel’s grounds. Read your preferred book while lounging. Or you can place a drink order at the swim-up bar by the pool.

The hotel offers live entertainment every night, movies by the beach and pool, and live music! A glass bottom boat and other water sports are also available.

9. Iberostar Rose  

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

One of the most reasonably priced hotels in the Montego Bay region is the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Hotel. However, cost does not indicate a lack of interesting features. 

The hotel offers a variety of services and free activities, including four restaurants, four bars, a casino, a nightclub, a theater, a huge pool with a swim-up bar, a spa, and hydrotherapy. 

Because of all these wonderful amenities, the hotel is frequently packed. However, this has no impact on how well the service is provided.

10. Hedonism II

According to the Hedonism philosophy, happiness is the main goal of human endeavor. 

This philosophy serves as the foundation for the hotel in Negril. Hedonism II is an adult-only hotel that advertises itself as a haven to let your primal impulse run wild and where saying “no” is hardly ever said. 

It offers a wide range of amenities and entertainment options, just like any other hotel. But this hotel has a well-deserved reputation as a nudist resort. One of the various advertising slogans for the resort is “Take a nude vacation and be no one but your beautiful self.” 

However, if you’re a prude, nothing to worry about. At this resort, there are two distinct areas—one for prudes and another for nudists.

11. Sunscape Splash

Although many people would categorize this as a family vacation spot, there are activities like late-night parties, drinking competitions, and a nude beach (yes, another one) that make it a great choice for young adults. 

This resort complex features a water park, 5 bars, 3 pools, and 7 dining establishments. 

Despite having excellent services, the hotel’s exterior is deemed to be unluxurious. However, it is a fantastic option for anyone on a tight budget.

12. Jamaica’s South Coast / Treasure Beach

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

The South Coast is probably where the explorer looking for something out of the ordinary will discover what they need most. 

This region is regarded as one of Jamaica’s best-kept secrets and contains additional treasures like Treasure Beach, a genuine jewel. 

If you’re set on a beach holiday, there are a few hotels and villas around Treasure Beach. The beautiful thing about this location is that wherever you stay, you’ll feel like you’re participating in something more relaxed and genuine. 

There are a few eateries in the area that serve traditional Jamaican cuisine of all kinds, and you can eat there to complete the authentic local experience.  

13. Runaway Bay

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

Particularly among divers looking to explore the waters off of Fisherman’s Beach and Cardiff Hall Beach, Runaway Bay is growing in popularity. Both are said to have incredibly clear vistas, and you can see several kinds of coral in this area. 

Although Runaway Bay isn’t as developed as places like Negril, it is nonetheless expanding gradually. The Green Grotto Caves and other attractions may be found in Runaway Bay, which is 10 miles from Ocho Rios. 

In addition, Nine Mile Village, the childhood home of Bob Marley, is located there.

14. Mandeville

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

Visit Mandeville to get a new perspective on Jamaica. It is the parish’s administrative center and a small city with a population of roughly 72,000. 

Mandeville, a developed area of Jamaica, is a terrific destination for relaxed, private holidays. 

You’ll have many opportunities in Mandeville to interact with the locals and learn more about how people live there. You can also locate some excellent restaurants where you may enjoy the best Jamaican cuisine. 

Despite being well developed, this region maintains a great sense of tranquility and small-town charm. 

15. Sandals Ochi

Best Places To Stay In Jamaica

With its 110-acre all-inclusive property and reasonable rates that include unlimited meals at 16 restaurants, room service, and drinks, Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is a well-liked choice for weddings and honeymoons.

Water skiing, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat tours, and free, unlimited scuba diving are among the available water sports there. Other fantastic amenities on land include tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, swimming pools, billiard tables, and croquet.

Furthermore, guests are treated to cocktail parties, spontaneous beach parties, and talent performances, so entertainment is not kept in the background.  

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Where Should You Stay in Jamaica?

In this book, we covered a wide range of topics and provided a wealth of knowledge. Let’s quickly review everything that was said before we put a dot on our last statement.

Negril is a welcoming community for newcomers. Located in the west of Jamaica, this well-balanced city provides a terrific combination of beaches, unspoiled beauty, a bustling center, and excellent lodging options.

If you’re searching for shopping and a buzzing nightlife, Montego is a no-brainer. It’s a terrific spot to feel lively and spend a lot of money because it’s packed with clubs, cafes, restaurants, and coffee shops in addition to shopping malls.

The capital and hub of Jamaica’s history, culture, and arts is Kingston. Everyone who wants to experience Jamaica in a unique way and not just as a tourist destination should visit Kingston, which we highly suggest.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, Port Antonio is the clear pick. It is the location of the legendary Blue Lagoon and has some of the nicest and busiest beaches in the nation in addition to a lot of jungles and waterfalls.

Finally, the location we suggest for families is Ocho Rios. It’s a more tranquil and laid-back city with plenty of parks and other natural beauty that will drive you and your kids crazy.

What are you waiting for? Reserve your vacation to Jamaica right away because there is so much to see and do there.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Ocho Rios vs. Negril: Which is superior? 

Depending on what you’re after. Negril is renowned for its pleasant and romantic ambiance and is home to some of Jamaica’s most stunning beaches. The Ocho Rios Blue Hole and Dunn’s River Falls, two of Jamaica’s most well-known natural attractions, are located adjacent to Ocho Rios.

Which month is ideal for traveling to Jamaica?

Jamaica is a fantastic destination at any time of year and has lovely weather all year round! It all depends on whether you prefer a busy crowd or some peace and quiet. The busiest travel season runs from December to April, while May to October are quieter months to enjoy away from the masses.

What is Jamaica’s best feature?

The finest portion of Jamaica depends entirely on what you’re searching for because it is an incredibly vibrant and diversified island with a lot to offer. Beach resorts in Jamaica, such as Negril and Montego Bay, are well-liked by both tourists and locals. Port Antonio or Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, are unbeatable choices for a busy city.


It is advised to fly to Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport (MBJ) before visiting either of these locations. Ocho Rios is 90 miles away from Montego Bay in one direction, and Negril is nearly the same distance away in the other. 

It goes further than that! In addition to these areas, there are other less well-known locations in Jamaica that may offer thrilling adventures for students.


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