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Jamaica Vacations - When to Go and Where to Stay

Jamaica is a leading tourist destination in the World, attracting all kinds of visitors. The natural beauty, rich heritage, attractions and activities, and dynamic popular culture have attracted explorers, adventurers, couples, singles, families and groups of all kinds. In Jamaica, there is something for everyone. This may make you decide to leap into action and plan a trip to this exotic island, but before you do, here is some help with deciding when to go and what kind of accommodation to book.

beach in jamaica

First of all, you should choose a time of the year that will suit you. Although Jamaica is an all year destination as it is always relatively warm, there is a High and Low Season. The High Season corresponds to the North American winter, beginning in mid-December and ending in mid-April, with the Low Season making up the rest of the year. The High Season is about ten degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the Low Season when day time temperatures will soar to ninety degrees, which is still bearable for most people but something that those with a low tolerance for heat should remember.

While the High Season usually presents a more comfortable climate, and the hurricane and wet seasons are in the Low Season, winter storms in North America do affect the weather in Jamaica and can produce Northerly winds that can blow cold and hard for several days without abatement.

Nevertheless, the High Season is the more popular time for visitors to Jamaica and this is so even though most accommodation and airfares are much higher at that time. Even bars, restaurants, and attractions may offer significantly lower rates in the Low Season. So if you have a tight budget, you have to weigh the pros and cons of the weather and the cost.

Whenever you decide to go, the next important decision will centre around the type of accommodation you should choose. There is a great variety of accommodation in Jamaica and each type has its advantages. The three main types of accommodation are hotels, self-catering villas and self-catering apartments, and in each category there is a great price range. For example, you may be able to rent a villa for less than a thousand United States dollars per week; but there are also villas that go for over twenty thousand per week.

self-catering cottage on the beach in jamaica

The price is usually a reflection of the quality of the Jamaica accommodation, with the more expensive ones featuring high quality furnishings, fixtures, and amenities. A high price is also an indication of a high level of services offered. And of course, the location will impact very heavily on the rental prices.

In Jamaica, there are two main types of hotels, the usual nightly rate hotel and the all-inclusive resort. John Issa of Superclubs in Jamaica took the Club Med concept several steps further and developed the all-inclusive which sees guests pay one price and enjoy everything on offer, including unlimited food and drink. This concept has become very popular in Jamaica and elsewhere. It appeals to many people who like to know upfront the total cost of their vacation as they feel stressed with the unknown.

While the all-inclusive resort is an attractive option for the above reasons, many find that they are like giant entertainment factories, and that after a few days, even the abundance of food loses its appeal. But more damning is the criticism that all-inclusive resorts unwittingly keep their guests trapped as they do not venture out of the compound since they do not want to pay additional amounts for goods and services that are "free" back at their hotel. Some feel that they could be in any country, so cut off they are from the rest of Jamaica. It is not uncommon to hear visitors who have been to an all-inclusive report that they will not go back there as they want to see the "real" Jamaica.

Self-catering villas in Jamaica, like those at Silver Sands Villas, almost always come with a compliment of staff, that is cook, housekeeper, and more, depending on how much you are paying.The staff are there to make the vacation go smoothly as the guest does not have to worry about cooking and cleaning, but yet they can enjoy the luxury of a private home with all its space and intimacy, at much less than an equivalent standard hotel. For many visitors, unaccustomed to staff, this poses a great worry, so again one has to weigh the pros and cons and decide what one is most comfortable with.

Self-catering apartments are equipped with kitchens but don't usually come with cooks, although there is housekeeping service either every day or every other day, so the cleaning and tidying is not a chore while guests are on vacation. These are the least cost option and usually attract the more lively types of visitors who go out to eat most meals and who want to meet other visitors and locals in bars and clubs. They also attract the type of visitor who likes to explore and discover the culture and people of the countries they visit, wondering off the beaten track and thinking nothing of taking a chance that may end in disappointment.

turtle beach towers in ocho rios jamaica

Visitors who decide upon self-catering villas and apartments should be pleased to know that many of their concerns may be alleviated if they book their Jamaica accommodation through a reputable agent with a transparent and proven track record of service. A good agent will know the properties they are offering well and be on hand to help with any problems that may arise, just like the front desk of a hotel.

So before you make that booking, consider these tips and choose carefully the time of year, and type of accommodation that will best suit you. And remember to book through a reputable agent like Mysilversands.

Jamaica Villas Happenings