Marilyn Monroe honeymooned at Jamaica Inn, one of many stars that have graced the elegant lawns and terraces of this sanctuary-like seaside hotel in Ocho Rios. Opened in 1968 and family-run, it has successfully kept its colonial charm – magnificent trees, croquet, afternoon tea and an affable black Labrador – yet is far from stuffy. There’s a small and perfect beach, everything’s painted a harmonious white and blue, all 48 suites and four cottages come with roomy balconies or verandas, and the cocktails – administered by long-serving staff – are definitive.
Jamaica’s got a rhythm and style like nowhere else, and while everyone’s heard about the rum, reggae and Rastafarianism, it’s the scenic beauty of this huge and charismatic island that surprises. If you like the sound of dramatic drives through saw-tooth mountains rising to over 7,000ft, jerk chicken barbecues on the beach and outdoor adventures from horse riding to floating downriver on a bamboo raft, this is your kind of island, with plenty of great things to do. Some of the most stylish places to stay here have grown out of the music industry, and the island also gave birth to the concept of large all-inclusive beach resorts. Here are ten of our favourite stops around the island.