Below the balconies of Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, the green and azure sea spreads across the horizon, and tranquil waves lap the shores of the hotel’s very own beach. Lining this small chunk of Jamaica real estate, near Montego Bay in St. James Parish, palapa huts shelter uber-relaxed guests and luxurious pool bars complement the classic Caribbean scenery. But if the friendly locals have anything to say about it, this is only the beginning of what Montego Bay’s beaches can offer.
Travelers who know how to unplug in casual, yet luxurious style are drawn to its lush tropical shores to kick off their shoes, wade in the crystalline water or to finally practice those watersports that have been put off too long. There is a reason that Montego Bay is a top draw for beachgoers.
Follow the doctor’s orders
A sandy corner of Jamaica with loads of fun extras, Doctor’s Cave Beach is where locals and tourists go to do more that wade in the water. Facilities abound for kayaking and snorkeling.
For local cuisine, a can’t-miss is a mobile vendor serving up grilled favorites, or an informal immersion in Jamaican gastronomical culture at the Pelican Grill, for classic dishes of Escovitch and jerk chicken. Doctor’s Cave sealed its fame after the 1920s, when an English osteopath proclaimed its water to be curative, and it’s been attracting weary tourists looking for healing recreation ever since.
Theme park on the sand
Aqua Sol is a family-oriented, lifeguarded space on Walter Fletcher Beach, ideal for picnics and mingling with others who are looking for food, fun and live music on the weekends. Situated at the end of MoBay’s famous Hip Strip, the waters are calm and safe for the kids and clear and low-current for the snorkelers. The main attraction is the smorgasbord of easily accessible amenities like the water trampoline.
Old hospital beach
Right next to Aqua Sol lies a quaint connection to the cultural heritage of Jamaica. The beautiful sands of Old Hospital Beach, also known as One Man Beach, spread out in front of the original site of Montego Bay's first hospital. The area has been developed into a fine park, with smartly manicured shrubbery and charming gazebos, which leads to the modest, comfortable beach. Here swimmers and waders enjoy calm waters protected by a crescented breakwater, with almond trees and palms dotting the sand.