Why you don’t need an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica

Embracing Freedom: Why You Don’t Need an All-Inclusive Villa in Jamaica for a Memorable Vacation

Why You don't need an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica - Mais Oui Villa pool

One of the major decisions to make when planning a family vacation to Jamaica is whether to opt for an all-inclusive villa or a non-all-inclusive one. While booking an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica may seem tempting, offering a hassle-free vacation with everything conveniently bundled together, that option, surprisingly, might not always be the best choice for many families. 

Let’s explore why going the all-inclusive route is unnecessary and why non-all-inclusive villas in Jamaica can provide a more fulfilling and rewarding vacation experience.

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Jamaica didn’t invent the all-inclusive resort concept but they certainly perfected it, at least in the eyes of most media and travel professionals. So much so that a Jamaica vacation is almost synonymous with an all-inclusive vacation.

All-inclusive typically means that you pay one price for lodging as well as meals and whatever on-site entertainment is available. The inclusions, and exclusions, depend on the resort.  

Villas and vacation rentals in Jamaica have seen a tremendous surge in popularity, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Does that mean booking an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica is the new way to vacation, or the next best thing? 


Are there private all-inclusive villas in Jamaica? 

Yes, there are all-inclusive villas in Jamaica; however only a few villas in Jamaica market themselves exclusively as all-inclusive, meaning that there isn’t a non-all-inclusive rental option.


What is an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica?

Let’s make sure we are all talking about the same thing. 

Some staffed vacation rentals in Mexico and Costa Rica, for example, advertise as being all-inclusive because they are staffed but their guests pay extra for food. This has created a lot of confusion in the industry. 

In Jamaica, an all-inclusive villa is more than just a villa with staff.

With the rising popularity of Airbnb and VRBO in Jamaica, there has been an increase in both staffed and unstaffed short-term rentals. 

The presence of staff alone does not make a villa an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica. What usually defines a Jamaica all-inclusive villa is whether a meal plan is offered and or whether staff gratuities are prepaid. 

Quite a few villas in Jamaica offer those options as add-ons but do not market themselves as all-inclusive villas. 

Is booking an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica a good option?

Is booking an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica the best way to experience Jamaica?

Guests might assume that booking an all-inclusive Jamaica villa is a good option because of common misconceptions

  1. Upfront pricing – You are given the price ahead of time so you know what your costs will be, especially for your food. You can plan ahead.
  2. Less stress – You book the vacation and everything is included in the package.


Guests who have rented villas in Jamaica before know that you don’t need to book an all-inclusive villa to get upfront pricing or to have a stress-free booking experience. 

And, even at all-inclusive resorts, the idea that you can leave your wallet at home is a fallacy. Not everything is included. You still need money, whether credit or debit card, or cash, for laundry, excursions, airport lounge, or personal/incidental items.

So, if those are the reasons you are looking to book an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica (versus a “pay-as-you-go” or “a-la-carte” option), please read on for an alternate perspective.


9 reasons booking an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica is not necessarily the better option.


1. No two groups are alike.

With multiple people traveling together, it is impossible to create a one-size-fits-all experience that will make everyone happy all the time.

Some people won’t want all of what is included. Others may want more than what is included or rather, different options. A non-all-inclusive villa offers a more customized approach.

2. All-inclusive always comes with restrictions of some sort, even at hotels. 

Certain foods such as lobster and shrimp are probably not included. If that’s the kind of food that you want to eat, you will be paying extra anyway.

All-inclusive at a villa does not mean that food is available around the clock. Neither is it usually an all-you-can-eat scenario. Usually, there will be set meal times and menu and anything additional will be extra.

There might be more limitations or fewer food options available because you will most likely have to stick to what is on the house menu. Make sure you see it ahead of time.

3. Both all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive villas, as long as they are staffed, handle the hassle of grocery shopping.

You do not need to book an all-inclusive villa to avoid doing chores on your vacation. The key is to book a staffed villa. 

4. The all-inclusive option is not necessarily the least expensive approach.

Check out this video of an experiment comparing the cost of staying at a hotel in the Dominican Republic on their all-inclusive plan versus the pay-as-you-go scenario.

At an all-inclusive villa, food costs usually end up being a little higher than the non-all-inclusive route where you are just paying for the cost of groceries and delivery.

You are paying for the convenience and for the financial risk that the villa absorbs by fronting the grocery bill for your food.

5. There tends to be more wastage in general, especially of food. 

You are more likely to eat and drink excessively because you prepaid for the food and as such you are more likely to make unhealthy lifestyle choices.

6. You might be more likely to stay on the property rather than go sightseeing due to concerns about missing meals that you already paid for.

7. Most upgrades, especially the ones that can really uplevel your vacation such as spa, top-shelf alcohol, cooking classes, and local attractions, are not included in the all-inclusive package.

8. If you prepay your gratuity you might be less inclined to be generous to your staff.

Anyone who has ever stayed at a villa will tell you that the staff is the secret sauce. They work long hours and the gratuity is their well-earned and well-deserved incentive to do a good job. 

9. Whether your Jamaica vacation is stress-free, depends less on whether it is an all-inclusive villa than on whether the person you are booking from understands your vacation goals, if they can (and do) provide concierge-type services to help you achieve these goals, and whether your villa is professionally staffed.

So, yes, you will pay one price upfront if you rent an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica but there are trade-offs and limitations that you will have to be comfortable with.

Can you get an all-inclusive villa holiday in Jamaica?


So, yes you can have an all-inclusive holiday in Jamaica but do you need to?


The answer is No, you don’t.


One smart idea is to create your own “all-inclusive” experience!

How to create a brilliant alternative to booking an all-inclusive Jamaica villa and avoid an unexpected bill at the end of your vacation 


If you have convinced yourself that an all-inclusive villa vacation is the most stress-free and budget-friendly way to visit Jamaica, then, by all means, forge ahead. Do yourself a favor, though, and do your research beforehand so you know exactly what is included. 

However, what if you could have a villa vacation that is stress-free to plan, designed around your interests, and where you can budget ahead of time?


The Mais Oui Villa Experience

After briefly dabbling with the all-inclusive concept many years ago, we developed our custom Mais Oui Villa experience from the ground up based on our own observations as world travelers and from feedback from guests we have hosted over the past 20+ years. 

“We just got back from the best multi-family vacation we ever had. Three families. 7 adults 9 kids. Everyone in own beds throughout 8 bedrooms. House was amazing. Pool, jacuzzi, spa, gym, pool table, ping pong table, foosball table, giant chess board, frisbee golf, video games, roof top movie theatre, kayaks, pool and beach toys and tennis court. Endless activities. Food was incredible. Lobster, king crab, shrimp, conch, fish, filet mignon, jerk chicken. Indian, thai, Chinese, Mediterranean and especially Jamaican. Best value ever. We usually do 5 star all inclusives but food always a let down. Not at Mais oui. The staff was incredible. They work very professional and very hard. Thank you all for all you did. Wish I could list some negatives but it was exactly as advertised. Darrell, thanks for everything. You made it the easiest vacation we've ever had. Great value for 14 days. Can't wait to come back. Cheers to all. And thanks for a vacation we will never forget.”

Do you want what Jon L had? You can have it!


How does it work?

Once you have booked Mais Oui, we get to work planning your vacation. We find out what you’re interested in and we help you plan all the details. Everything from meals to spa services to excursions is arranged, ensuring a stress-free vacation. 


Flexible dining

Want steak and lobster every night or do you want a simpler menu? Do you want breakfast and dinner only or three meals per day? It’s your choice based on your budget. 

Why settle for a pre-fixed meal plan when you can have a more personalized one that you create with the chef? Let the chef know your group’s likes, dislikes, and dietary restrictions, and let the magic unfold!

For the ultimate convenience, grocery shopping will be in the capable hands of our staff so you won’t need to waste time going to the store. As long as your budget is realistic, rest assured that your food bill will be within your budget. 


Villa in Jamaica with chef and butler - shrimp dish. Jamaica villa with chef and butler. All inclusive Jamaica villa alternative

An adventure-filled experience with a private van and driver services

Want to see the island? Do you have a particular interest that you would like to pursue? Golf? Fishing? Scuba diving? Private yacht charter?  Let us know and we will help you arrange it. 

We help you arrange your itinerary to maximize your time, ensuring that each person’s interests and preferences are catered to.

Take advantage of our trusted private van and driver service to ensure that you see the sights in privacy and comfort on your own schedule and based on your desires – not on what we think you should find enjoyable!


Kid-friendly Jamaica – River rafting on Rio Bueno

Healthy lifestyle experience

For the ultimate in relaxation and to create an even more holistic vacation experience, skilled spa therapists come to you at the villa, to create your own unique Jamaica spa vacation.

Want to brush up on your tennis game with a pro? No problem. We can arrange clinics and tournaments on our court.


Spa at luxury villa in Discovery Bay Jamaica - Mais Oui


Would you like live entertainment one evening? A fire dancer? A DJ? What about a decorator coming in to create a spectacular setup for a celebratory dinner? 

The options are endless. Tell us your ideas and see how we can help.

So, as you can see, while all-inclusive villas in Jamaica, have their merits, opting for the non-all-inclusive route can offer a richer and more immersive experience, tailored to your personal vacation style!

Forget about booking an all-inclusive villa in Jamaica and embrace the flexibility, customization, and cost-savings that may be possible. 

To feel more confident and prepared to plan a Jamaica villa vacation, learn what is involved with booking a private villa and how to avoid unexpected expenses. Read our article: 6 Steps to Budgeting for your Jamaica Villa Vacation and get our free download.


Budgeting for your Jamaica Villa Vacation

Contact us today so we can show you what a private personalized Jamaica villa vacation at Mais Oui could look like for you and your group. You’ll definitely appreciate the difference.


For those who want an experience that marries privacy, luxury, high-touch personalized service, unparalleled amenities, and sustainability, look no further than our 8-bedroom staffed villa, Mais Oui, the perfect choice for family vacations and celebrations.


Click here to book Mais Oui Villa direct from owner

If you love our house and want to stay with us, here is the link to our own website to book directly with us: https://MakeItJamaica.com

If for whatever reason you wish to book through an online agency, here are the links to our listings. They will charge you a fee, but if you don’t mind, and it makes you feel better, even safer, then, by all means, go ahead and book through them. We prefer for you to book through them than to not book at all.





We look forward to hosting your group soon!


‘Til next time.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian

Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.

Visit our website: https://MakeItJamaica.com

Give us a call: 833.624.7684 (toll free) or 914.709.0457

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!