The Jamaican Islands along with the capital Kingston and touristic city of Negril & Ocho Rios are considered a safe destination for LGBT tourists but in the same time Jamaica ins one of the least friendliest destination in Caribbean Islands for the gay travelers. But on the islands we can find some gay friendly hotels Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Jamaica is the most homophobic island in the Caribbean, with harsh anti-gay laws, even though there’s a large local gay population.
Many all-inclusive resorts, notably the famous Sandals of Jamaica, allow same-sex couples, although they were forced to do so to be able to advertise in Britain. Still, avoid open displays of affection — such as handholding on the streets — in Jamaica: You could be assaulted for trying it.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Jamaica face legal and social issues not experienced by non-LGBT people. Sexual intercourse between men is legally punishable by imprisonment, though this law is no longer enforced and repeal is pending. Sexual intercourse between women is however legal.
In 2006, Time magazine labelled Jamaica “the most homophobic place on Earth” and in 2013 the majority of LGBT people were subject to homophobic violence.
Ocho Rios is a port town on the north coast of Jamaica. A former fishing village, it’s now a resort with a cruise ship harbor and a busy bay beach that’s lined with hotels. The surrounding parish of Saint Ann is home to rainforest, rivers and waterfalls. Dunn’s River Falls is a terraced, 180m mountain waterfall with lagoon pools, surrounded by trees.
Top attractions to visit in Ocho Rios
Best Day Trips in Ocho Rios
- Ocho Rios to Blue Hole with Transportation
- Dunn’s Falls, Bob Marley’s Nine Mile, and Optional Mystic Lagoon with Transport
- Ocho Rios Blue Hole and Dunn River
- Private Customizable Ocho Rios Sightseeing Tour
- Private Blue Mountain Tour with Hotel Transportation
1. Jewel Dunn’s River Adult Beach Resort & Spa 4* – Gay Friendly Hotels Ocho Rios
This adult-only all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios features on-site dining, a full-service spa and a 9-hole golf course. Dunn’s River Falls is 2 km from the resort. Spacious rooms are decorated in Colonial décor.
Guest rooms at Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa include a 4-poster bed and stocked minibar. A private balcony or terrace is featured. Cable TV is provided in all rooms.
Casual dining is available at Aquamarina Beach Grill which serves made-to-order sandwiches. Contemporary Caribbean cuisine is offered at the formal Platinum restaurant. Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort also offers drinks at Sunken Treasure Swim-up Bar.
The Radiant Spa features traditional massages, tanning and a variety of other treatments. Two pools are available at the resort. The Falls Pool includes a water feature and dive-in movies. A private section of white sand beach with lounge chairs.
Experience the adults-only, all-inclusive, luxury Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa, located just moments from spectacular Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s must-see attractions. Offering 250 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites featuring breathtaking views of the sparkling Caribbean Sea, the lush Jamaican mountains or tropical gardens. Pamper yourself with concierge-service or completely indulge with a butler-serviced suite.
Let me start with this: if you are looking for a wild party, I would look elsewhere. This is an Adults Only resort but it isn’t a singles resort (though there are plenty of single folk around), and it isn’t a Spring Break Redux resort. There are a lot of couples there for their honeymoon, anniversary, or just a vacation (both heterosexual and gay couples); there also seemed to be a lot of friends groups (couples or single gals), and some adult families as well. The vibe is very friendly but relaxed. If you want non-stop entertainment, then I’d choose another resort.
We are laid back people who wanted to relax in a beautiful setting with great service and we got that in abundance. The resort is “small” in footprint, which I ended up loving. Everything was conveniently located and really nicely kept– extremely clean and well-maintained property. If you’ve read the other reviews, you know the staff is outstanding– easily, the most professional and service-oriented staff I have ever seen at an all inclusive. All of the staff were professional, and 98% were extremely friendly on top of that. You do not receive different service if you tip or don’t tip, but let me tell you, I REALLY wish I had brought more tip money with me because the staff deserve the extra bump. Tipping here is very low-key too, with the staff being really discreet so as never to make someone who isn’t tipping feel bad. I appreciated that.
There are two pools, both of which have swim-up bars with plenty of seating. The main pool is a little more “rowdy” in that there are games and music. My husband and I hung out at the pool by the piano bar, which was quieter and had more natural shade. Shade is a bit of an issue– if you want it, you’ve got to grab a towel and reserve your spot shortly after breakfast, but if it matters to you you’ll make it work. The pools were nicely kept and maintained. There are also two hot-tubs, one at each pool. They are great at night! I think the pools must have some heating at night too because sometimes they felt warmer at night than in the day.
The bartenders differ somewhat in their skill but they were happy to be generous with the pour. I’ve seen people say the drinks are watered down, but I didn’t think so at all. There are also lots of top shelf brands, particularly at the Tree Bar at night. I drank Tanqueray and tonic most of the week (they had Beefeaters too) and if you like scotch you are in luck- for some reason, lots of scotch options. We found the house red wine (a tempranillo) to be very drinkable, which is unusual for a Caribbean resort. Its the first time I’ve ever been happy to drink wine with dinner.
I was really happy with food and drink. When I go to an all-inclusive, I have to admit I don’t expect much; as long as it’s sanitary and edible, I will make it work. The food was much better than that with plenty of variety to satisfy adventurous eaters and pickier eaters alike. Platinum is the only dress-code restaurant and you should plan on a slower pacing for this meal. I thought it was good for an all-inclusive, but it wasn’t outstanding. The soups were really tasty as a starter and the fish entree was fresh and well-cooked. The best part was the chocolate mousse spiced with cardamom for dessert. Yum! Moonstone, the Italian restaurant, was probably my favorite restaurant even though the seafood (salmon, and the mussels starter) there didn’t seem as fresh to me. The lasagna was pretty good though and we liked the antipasto bar. Again, the pacing here is a multiple-course sit-down meal so expect that. I mention it because a couple of times I saw really hungry ill-mannered guests complaining too loudly about the pace of service. It’s not fast food– that’s available at the buffet or the grill if you’re starving. The Jade is the japanese hibachi and requires reservations. I thought it was only ok. We didn’t eat at the buffet restaurant except for breakfast (really nice, stable menu with some rotating options– always has an omelet station and a smoothie station), and once for lunch. It was great for lunch! Not sure why we didn’t go back except that we discovered the pizza place and the grill was really convenient to the pool. I recommend the jerk pork wrap. The food was definitely better than I expected and we were both pleasantly surprised; not on par with my favorite places to eat in the States, but very very good for an all-inclusive resort.
Finally, our room was more than adequate. We were on the first guest floor of the Diamond building, right above the buffet restaurant. We had zero view, but we didn’t pay for one and I honestly didn’t care. It was very very quiet. Because we were looking onto the Riu property next door, I thought we might have bleed-over noise but not once did I hear the Riu or the restaurant below. The room was clean, well-maintained, and a good size. There was plenty of storage and the bathroom was great– included a jacuzzi tub. Housekeeping came twice a day– once in the morning (I think- we weren’t there) and once again in the evening for turn-down service. They changed towels if need be both times. I do think the rooms are quite different across the resort though. We made some friends who were in the two story buildings with lanais on the opposite side of the property, and they said their bathroom was a closet (and no jacuzzi).
How much does a room costs at Jewel Dunn’s River Adult Beach Resort Spa?
Prices start 155 $/night for King Room.
Where to book online – Jewel Dunn’s River Hotel – Gay Friendly Hotels Ocho Rios Jamaica – you can find the best hotels deals in Ocho Rios during Jamaica’s Carnival (Bacchanal) which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Ocho Rios on Booking.com or Trip.com or Hotels.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.
2. Moon Palace Jamaica 5* – Gay Friendly Hotels Ocho Rios
Offering a spa and a swimming pool with a wave machine and water slides, Moon Palace Jamaica – All Inclusive is located on the beachfront in Ocho Rios. The property has a dolphinarium where guests can swim with dolphins at an additional cost. Each stylish modern room has a liquor dispenser stocked with international brands.
Rooms have full or partial views of the sea and offer satellite TV, air conditioning, a minibar and a coffee machine. A bottle of red wine is also provided on arrival and free WiFi is available. The private bathrooms come with a shower and bathrobes.
At Moon Palace Jamaica Grande you can enjoy all-inclusive meals in the restaurants, as well as free snacks 24 hour a day. You will also find a tennis court, a fitness centre and water sports facilities.
Moon Palace Jamaica is nestled in the beautiful surroundings of Ocho Rios, and boasts more than 700 luxurious accommodations with oceanfront and partial ocean views of the Caribbean Sea, each with 24-hour room service, free WIFI, CHI-branded amenities, complimentary calls to Continental US and Canada, and more. Renowned for over-the-top all-inclusive amenities such as unlimited gourmet dining and snacks, top-shelf drinks, a FlowRider® Double Wave Simulator, state-of-the-art Playroom for kids, a lounge designed specifically for Teens, and world-class entertainment and nightlife, it offers the perfect vacation for families and couples alike. Also home to the largest spa in Jamaica, for some serious pampering, this warm-hearted resort has everything you need right at your fingertips.
My wife and I stayed at Moon Palace Jamaica for a week before Christmas for a friend’s wedding.
This was our 2nd all-inclusive resort experience (previously stayed in Riviera Maya, Mexico), and parts were better and worse. The resort property overall was fairly small. You were never more than 3 minutes from the beach or food. The beach area was very small, but always clean and we never had to look too hard for 2 chairs together.
I wasn’t expecting much along the lines of food, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The food had great flavor and variety. We both loved the curried goat at Pier 8, the duck at Momo, and the breakfast selections were perfect.
We left the resort for an excursion (Konoko Falls, so fun), but we were a little frustrated at how long it took to actually get on the bus and go. We were told to check in at 9:45a but didn’t leave until 10:30 or 10:45
Our room was nice – ocean facing – with a beautiful view. The bathroom however was tiny! The door didn’t open very wide (or it would hit the shower door), and that just made everything feel tight. But! The Chi products were great. Loved having a hairdryer and straightener available.
Overall our experience was really great. We liked Jamaica, and as a gay couple felt comfortable for the most part. There were a few moments with staff that were uncomfortable when they would try to ask if we were friends, sisters, coworkers….. when we finally saved them from guessing and just said we were married, there was an awkward silence. For their part, no one was ever rude after this. It’s just something to be aware of as you visit new countries.
As foodies, we enjoy fabulous food and we were absolutely thrilled with the food. We were fortunate to meet the Executive Chef José who with some of the other chef’s created some exquisite off the menu meals.
Chef Sherman, in charge of all special events like the Jerk Pan by the beach, large groups and special dinner on our balconies, made us some fabulous homemade Jamaican Beef Patties and shared a jar of their amazing Jerk sauce.
La Gondola (Italian)
We had a few dinners at La Gondola. Had a fabulous special dinner prepared by Executive Chef José and chef Jason at La Gondola and of course wine selection by Jason Malachi. Service was excellent thanks to Judy-Gay and Orlando. And supervising it all was Charmaine and Elvis the managers.
Started with a Unique take on a Caprese Salad with a Mozzarella ball covered in Tomato paste made to look like a tomato, Truffle infused Tortellini to die for with clarifies butter, a rich and creamy soup with beets, beef tenderloin and finally a creamy Panna Cotta.
Another fabulous meal was this light dinner starting with a Garden Salad, smoked tomato soup, Jamaican snapper and a Chef José special desert, which was delicate and light with grated strawberries in ricotta cheese, meringue, dried strawberries with some foam – Delectable. With great service from Jamie and Brian. Jason hit the mark with the Pinot Noir which paired well with the fish.
Pier 8 (Steak & Seafood)
Managed by a fabulous people Anieka and Keniah, the setting for Pier 8 is outstanding, close to the beach and open air so you can hear the ocean lapping the beach and overlooking the bay and the lit home in the mountains. Fresh fish tank with all the seafood options. Fabulous touch to have a personalized hand written note on our table welcoming us by Richard the server. We had Tuna Tartar, Calamari, Petite Filet cooked to perfection, salad and an apple swan.
How much does a room costs at Moon Palace Jamaica?
Prices start 846 $/night for Deluxe Room with Resort View. The Governor Suite is 1060$/room per night with breakfast included – if coming on a honeymoon this is the perfect choice for gay couples. double room features air conditioning.
This double room features a minibar, private entrance and bathrobe.
Where to book online – Moon Palace Jamaica – Gay Friendly Hotels Ocho Rios Jamaica – you can find the best hotels deals in Ocho Rios during Jamaica’s Carnival (Bacchanal) which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Ocho Rios on Booking.com or Trip.comorExpedia.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.
3. Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites 5* – Gay Friendly Hotels Ocho Rios
This complex is nestled on Jamaica’s Gold Coast amidst 12 acres of tropical gardens, 500 m from Mahogany Beach. It features artful-design, Caribbean-style boutique luxury villas with swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and free continental breakfast.
The secluded villas offer a ceiling fan, seating area, flat-screen TV and terraces with garden views and footsteps from the beach. The bathrooms include a shower and the kitchens are equipped with all facilities for guests to make their own meals.
The restaurant Cristopher at Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites serves island meats, seafood, and locally produced fruits and vegetables. Isabella’s Rum Bar offers fruit cocktails, and guests can also request room service.
This property can arrange activities like duty-free shopping, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, horseback riding and golfing. Guests can also take biking eco-tours and helicopter tours.
The Caribbean’s most distinctive handcrafted resort, Hermosa Cove offers the discerning traveler a private island home. Nestled in twelve lush acres on Jamaica’s Gold Coast, our secluded villas evoke the intimate charm of an idyllic seaside village. Luxurious art-filled interiors open to tropical gardens with glistening dip pools. Several villas have spectacular ocean views, and all are just a short stroll from the water. The resort’s reef-studded cove features two pristine beaches with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling.
Christopher’s, our award-winning signature restaurant, serves up locally sourced cuisine with international flair, and The Broken Rudder offers the atmosphere of a cozy jerk shack down by the beach. A seaside paradise with unmatched seclusion, Hermosa Cove is conveniently located in Ocho Rios just minutes from Jamaica’s most popular attractions and most breathtaking natural wonders. Our friendly staff will help arrange your personal adventure, and even accompany you as a tour guide. Whether your dream getaway involves adventure or solitude, romance or reconnection, come indulge your senses and revive your spirit…your way.
This place is just a slice of paradise and created perfection. Every nook and cranny entices your senses and your imagination. The food is a blend of amazing flavors of local foods and a beautiful presentation. The villas are an absolute delight. It makes you want to stay forever. The staff was attentive and yet not intrusive. This place is a 5+
The grounds are amazing! The landscaping is gorgeous and takes full advantage of the beautiful water views. There are many special winding paths to discover, with hidden seating areas, a hummingbird garden, and many whimsical artistic touches made of driftwood or shells or sea glass. Such a far cry from the typical tourist hotel with their giant rows of identical chairs and noise. The grounds at Hermosa are laid out so that there are countless little private seating areas to enjoy the pools, the beach or the gardens. We found plenty of options for shade or sun-lovers. The view from the cascading pools down to the ocean is breathtaking. The snorkelers in our group enjoyed the reef very much.
There is no stress at Hermosa Cove. Peace and quiet rule the day, and you can listen to the waves and birds while you relax on a lounge chair and take in the view. When you get hungry there are two lovely spots to eat looking out over the ocean, Christopher’s and the Rudder Bar. The menu was plenty varied for our group of seven, and we found everything to be delicious and pleasantly presented. The prices were surprisingly reasonable for food and bar items, and the service was excellent. We also took advantage of the chance to order food delivered to our villa on a few occasions, and it always arrived promptly. We really enjoyed tasting some of the Jamaican flavors!
Our villa was spotlessly clean and stayed that way throughout. The decor was very tropical and supremely comfortable. We enjoyed the private pool and outdoor dining area at Pimento Hall and used them each day, which was a great way to end the day with a large family. We had a full kitchen and used it to prepare some fruit and warm leftovers, but the restaurant food was so reasonable that we ate out most of the time. The beds were quite comfortable too.
The only negative was having to leave this magical place. I can’t say enough about this stunning piece of paradise on earth. I highly recommend Hermosa Cove to anyone who would like a top-notch stress-free vacation in Jamaica.
How much does a room costs at Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites?
Prices start 510 $/night for Breadfruit Villa with Garden View (2 Adults). The Calabash Villa with Garden View (2 Adults) is 690$/room per night with breakfast included – if coming on a honeymoon this is the perfect choice for gay couples. double room features air conditioning.
This villa offers free Wi-Fi, a ceiling fan, seating area, flat-screen TV and a terrace with sea views. The full bathroom includes a shower and the kitchen is fully equipped with coffee maker. It also has a private pool and a private deck.
Where to book online – Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites – Gay Friendly Hotels Ocho Rios Jamaica – you can find the best hotels deals in Ocho Rios during Jamaica’s Carnival (Bacchanal) which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Ocho Rios on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Expedia.com and see more reviews on TripAdvisor.