For sun-seeking travelers, Jamaica has long been a favorite Caribbean destination, with Montego Bay serving as a particularly popular homebase—or at least a convenient gateway to other idyllic beach towns on the island. It’s a classic but ever-evolving destination. Just recently, the country implemented a new online entry form that travelers can fill out prior to arrival to ease the immigration process. It’s one of many changes happening in Jamaica. Here’s what else is new in and around Montego Bay.
Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters, the newest adults-only Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort, is set to open November 15. Just 35 minutes from Montego’s Sangster International Airport, the property includes 352 suites, a full-service spa, instructor-led fitness classes, an entertainment plaza, and poolside cabanas available for bookings. If that’s not enough, the resort is also home to an impressive 11 bars and 12 restaurants.
Reading Road Trip
Since 2009, the Sandals Foundation has worked to positively impact the countries where Sandals and Beaches resorts operate. The non-profit organization spearheads a number of initiatives, including several that welcome resort guests to participate. In October, for the first time in three years, the Sandals Foundation relaunched one of its most popular projects: the Reading Road Trip. Every week, guests can sign up to visit a local elementary school, read to the students, and plant trees with them as part of Foundation’s new focus on food security and sustainable farming. Reading Road Trips aim to show the kids that reading can be fun, but the guests end up enjoying them just as much.
Luxury Villas and Suites
Beyond Montego Bay, there are other popular beach towns with noteworthy accommodation upgrades. Bluefields Bay Villas is known for its group-friendly private villas, but the luxury all-inclusive property also debuted four new suites this past September. Each studio-style suite offers an outdoor soaking tub and a private veranda overlooking the Caribbean Sea—an ideal setup for couples. Meanwhile, families and groups of friends can head to Seven Mile Beach and check into the new Firesky Reserve Villas at Beaches Negril. The four-bedroom, three-story villas include spacious living areas, a private pool, direct beach access, and a dedicated butler, amongst other perks. For a different but equally luxe experience, the resort also recently unveiled its new Eventide Penthouse collection, featuring six suites with three or four bedrooms each and a rooftop terrace for stargazing.
Enhanced Airport Experience
No one likes saying goodbye to paradise, but MoBay’s international airport is making the experience more tolerable with recent boosts to its departure lounge experience. Enhancements include upgrades to the retail space, but the biggest draw is its new Bob Marley-themed restaurant—the only one of its kind in the world. Bob Marley’s One Love restaurant pays homage to the Jamaican reggae pioneer, showcasing his music, album covers, and other memorabilia, including a Volkswagen he once drove. It’s also an extension of the overall Jamaican vacation experience, serving authentic cuisine from the island alongside dishes inspired by other Caribbean countries.