The Best Adults Only All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica
Published by: Heather Loriece, Founder of 527 Photo
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
2021 was coming to an end and we didn't want the holiday blues set in, so right after Christmas, we jetted off to Jamaica for 5 days. We booked this trip very last minute but from my research, it seems that Jamaica doesn't have a ton of resort options and even less that are adults only. We stayed at two resorts during our quick trip, so here's the rundown...
Excellence Oyster Bay
All I can say is WOW. We absolutely loved this resort and would definitely visit again. This hotel is one of the more expensive resorts on the island and for good reason. It's modern design and secluded beaches make it the perfect getaway for couples celebrating a milestone like a honeymoon or anniversary, but you could definitely grab a friend and have the best time, too! While the setting is very romantic, there are many activities at the resort that would make it a fun girls' trip.
Excellence Oyster Bay is about 45 minutes east of Sangster International Airport (MBJ). Excellence offers a rate with transfer included but if you don't book that rate and need a transfer, we booked with Adventours & Excursions . Andrea was fantastic and easy to get in touch with via text.
A quick note about MBJ, TSA pre-check does not apply there so you'll want to consider their fast track security program, Club Mobay. It was a very chaotic airport and took us about an hour to get through security without Club Mobay.
There were a ton of things that we loved about this resort - quality food & drinks, excellent service, lots of gluten free menu options, a beautiful secluded beach, great entertainment (loved the saxophonist!) and stylish accommodations that were clean and well-maintained. Also, the whole resort smelled AMAZING!
This was my favorite part of our stay. Oyster Bay is on a peninsula near Montego Bay so the resort has its own private beach only available to guests of the hotel. If you're looking for shade, there are about 20 palapas and lounge chair sets on the beach, but get there early. They tend to fill up fast. The water was a pretty color green and relatively calm. Great for swimming!
Fancy lobster and steak? You can easily find it at Excellence Oyster Bay's Lobster House restaurant with beautiful ocean views. In fact, the resort has 11 restaurants including sushi and a steakhouse. All-inclusive resort food can often be flat out bad, but Excellence serves up quality fare that will keep you satisfied. I had a lobster risotto that I still think about. As I mentioned before, they do a great job of catering to special diets. At check-in, they will ask your dietary preferences and every restaurant you go to, the host and server will confirm it. Plus, every restaurant has gluten free, vegan, etc. noted on the menus. We had gluten free bread and pasta and it was magical. :) You also do not need to make reservations at restaurants and that's honestly so nice.
The rooms are absolutely beautiful, spacious and smell luxurious, but I do have some thoughts on how to make your stay the best it can possibly be. We booked a Junior Suite Private Pool room that was gorgeous and had a large pool on the patio, however, there were some things we didn't love about it.
· Being on the first floor, it was VERY noisy. We could hear everything and everyone that walked by - staff rolling carts, guests walking to the elevator, lawnmowers. The noise was all night long and woke us up several times.
· The private pool didn't get any sun so it was cold and we ended up not using it. I'm not sure if this was due to the time of year (December) or if it's like that year round.
With that said, there were some very nice things like the large patio. We sat out there nightly and watched the stars. The large jacuzzi tub in the room was perfect for when it got a little chilly out and the hot tub by the pool was closed. I believe all rooms have a jacuzzi tub. The stocked mini bar (all rooms have this) was very luxurious with full bottles of rum, vodka and red wine, plus soft drinks, plenty of water daily, and snacks (those M&Ms didn't stand a chance with me). If we stay again, we'll book either an ocean view room on an upper level floor or stay in the Excellence Club Beach Houses. I'll talk more about this next.
We didn't pay extra for an Excellence Club room but I scoped it out while I was there to share all the deets. At first, I wasn't convinced it was worth it, but I have since changed my mind and recommend it especially for a longer stay, say 6+ days or if you're just feeling fancy.
· Upgraded rooms like the Beachfront Houses
· Private beaches and bars including the beach at the ultra luxurious Beach Villas on the other end of the resort
· Upgraded alcohol options
· Access to 3 Club restaurants with elevated menus
Final Thoughts on Excellence Oyster Bay
As I mentioned, there were a few things with our room that could have been better, but I still give this resort 5 stars. The overall experience was just very enjoyable and the quality of everything was top notch. A few other things to mention, there is a coffee shop on site. Go ahead, have that latte every morning - it's included! Covid testing is free and you'll get your results within 24 hours. If you test positive, the resort offers a free extended stay in the quarantine wing of the hotel. Bring lots of $1 bills. It's hard to get change from the front desk and you'll want to tip servers & bellboys, they certainly appreciate it.
I look forward to going back and experiencing this slice of heaven again!
Other Adults Only Resorts
Couples San Souci
This is a couples only resort in Ocho Rios, about 2 hours east of MBJ airport. We stayed there a couple of nights and, overall, I would rate this resort 3 stars. It's a more affordable option but since the hotel classifies it as 5 stars, I expected more. There were definitely some things we loved like the private beach in a bay and the jungle feel of the property grounds, but a lot was lacking with the service, food, drinks and accommodations.
We booked a Beachfront Suite and there was nothing beachfront about it. It should have been labeled as Pool and Beach View Room. The staff wasn't as friendly as other resorts, though they were always available. The mixed drinks were not good and the food was ok. Little to no gluten free options available. It also took 2 days and 3 calls to the front desk to get our mini bar stocked. Once it was stocked it had full bottles of rum, vodka, champagne, red wine, soft drinks, water, but no snacks. The plugs over the nightstands only worked when the light was on so our phones didn't charge at night and it took us a while to figure out why. There wasn't conditioner in the bathroom amenities. Reservations are required at most of the 5 restaurants.
These are all small inconveniences, but they add up to what I consider to be 3 stars instead of 5. Just want you to know in case you're considering this resort. Also, the hotel needs an update. The website makes it look a lot nicer than it is.
Couples has other properties in the area, Couples Swept Away and Couples Tower Isle, though, I'm not sure if the experience is any better at these.
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
We didn't stay here so I can't speak to the quality but it is adults only and all-inclusive and worth looking into. I found the price to be comparable to Excellence and after reading Google reviews, we chose Excellence.
Have so much fun in Jamaica and don't miss the jerk chicken!