Villas in Ocho Rios Jamaica: Little Known Facts You Should Know Before You Book
Are you searching for Villas in Ocho Rios Jamaica or vacation rentals in Ocho Rios Jamaica?
If so, read on.
Most people search specifically for villas in Ocho Rios simply because Ocho Rios is one area that everyone knows. It is one of the six areas that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) markets – Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril, South Coast, Kingston, and Port Antonio. Recently they have been marketing Falmouth, which used to be included with Montego Bay, as a separate area.
The Tourist Area of Ocho Rios
The tourist region of Ocho Rios actually includes all areas on the northern coast of St. Ann parish. This means all areas between Discovery Bay, as the western border beside the parish of Trelawny, Runaway Bay, St. Ann’s Bay, and White River to the east beside neighboring St Mary’s parish. Most people would also include Tower Isle, Boscobel or Oracabessa which are just a little further to the east of Ocho Rios in St. Mary.
So, if you are looking for “villas in Ocho Rios”, do yourself a favor and look beyond of the “town” of Ocho Rios for your vacation rental. You have options for a wide variety of accommodations along a beautifully large area from which to choose.
A couple top-secret facts regarding villas in Ocho Rios
TOP SECRET #1:
TOP SECRET #2:
Most wealthy Jamaicans don’t have their second homes in Ocho Rios itself but in one of the smaller towns in the region. That should tell you something.
Take Discovery Bay, for example.
Discovery Bay is known for its exclusive villas – so much so that there is a street called Millionaire’s Row where the likes of Butch Stewart of Sandals’ fame has a vacation home.
Who might want to specifically book villas in Ocho Rios?
The main advantage of renting a villa in Ocho Rios itself is that you are very close to several very touristy and iconic attractions, namely Dunn’s River Falls, Mystic Mountain, and Dolphin Cove.
Also, as a large town, there are more restaurants and opportunities for night-life in the town of Ocho Rios itself than in the surrounding towns.
The reality is that Ocho Rios, while not a city, is a large bustling town. If you want to be in the thick of things, literally, in a town that can be overrun with tourists on cruise ship days, then by all means, book one of the villas “in” Ocho Rios proper.
Why your search for Jamaican vacation rentals should include more than just villas in Ocho Rios
Make no mistake, the “town” of Ocho Rios has loads of wonderful attractions and is a great place to visit; however, that doesn’t mean you have to stay there.
Realize that 90% of Ocho Rios’ popularity has to do with the name recognition from massive marketing campaigns by the Jamaica Tourist Board, large hotels and resorts, and the cruise lines. There just aren’t enough funds to promote all of the individual towns.
You do yourself a disservice if you ignore the other towns in the region.
Realize that you’re not talking about a really large area here. The drive from Discovery Bay to Ocho Rios is about 30-40 minutes. If you continue on to Oracabessa, which would now cover the entire Ocho Rios region, that would add an additional 30-40 minutes. So, clearly, you can choose the best villa you can find in any town in the region to enjoy all that Ocho Rios has to offer.
A Few Towns in the Ocho Rios Region with Wonderful Villas for Rent
ST. ANNS BAY
Located just east of Ocho Rios, visit Seville Great House at the site where Columbus was stranded in 1503 and the site of Jamaica’s first capital. The displays highlight the intertwining of the Taino Indian, Spanish, English, and African cultures. Enjoy horseback riding in the sea with Hooves. Neighboring Mammee Bay has beautiful beaches, private villas, and the RIU hotel. Just outside of St. Anns Bay, in Drax Hall, is a branch of Scotchies Restaurant, famous for its jerk chicken and pork.
Jewel Resorts and Water Park feature prominently in this town. Other hotels include Bahia Principe, Royal Decameron, and FDR. HEART Hotel, a training site for the local hospitality program, is also located there. Runaway Bay Golf Club has hosted many international championships. Villas are available for rent in Cardiff Hall across the street from Jewel. Flavours Beach is a good spot to check out the local scene.
We’re clearly biased. We love Discovery Bay and chose to build our vacation home there. Read our blog post, “Is A Stay in Discovery Bay Jamaica Right for You?” to see if Discovery Bay will be a good fit for your group.
See the amazing rock formations at Green Grotto Caves. Frolick in the beautiful beaches. Tour the Discovery Bay Marine Lab and find out about their work to save the coral reefs. Stop by Columbus Park to see relics from a time long past. See Kaiser Hill and imagine how simple hand-made pushcarts fueled a dream to enter the Olympics in the bobsled race.
For more information about Discovery Bay, read this article, “Top Questions We Get Asked About Discovery Bay Jamaica”.
7 reasons you should book a villa on the outskirts of Ocho Rios or in one of the smaller surrounding towns, such as Discovery Bay, for your home-base over a villa in Ocho Rios.
1. THE FURTHER WEST YOU ARE IN THE OCHO RIOS REGION, THE CLOSER YOU ARE TO MONTEGO BAY’S AIRPORT.
Discovery Bay is the closest town in the Ocho Rios region to Montego Bay’s airport. You will be at your villa in under an hour!
2. THE CRUISE SHIP PORT ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF OCHO RIOS BAY MEANS THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF DUTY-FREE SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES; HOWEVER, THE TOWN CAN BE OVERRUN WITH TOURISTS.
The smaller towns suffer much less from the influx of tourists that crowd Ocho Rios on cruise ship days.
3. BEING FURTHER EAST, OCHO RIOS IS CLOSER TO PORT ANTONIO BUT FURTHER FROM THE OTHER TOURIST AREAS SUCH AS MONTEGO BAY AND NEGRIL, MAKING DAY TRIPS HARDER.
Discovery Bay is a more central location on the North Coast than Ocho Rios itself so you have the opportunity to explore multiple other regions of Jamaica, such as Falmouth, Montego Bay, Negril, and the South Coast, without having to drive too far.
Even day trips are more manageable.
4. SOME OF THE BEST BUT ALSO MOST EXPENSIVE ATTRACTIONS, SUCH AS MYSTIC MOUNTAIN AND DOLPHIN COVE, ARE IN THE TOWN OF OCHO RIOS.
5. OCHO RIOS IS HOME TO SOME MEGARESORTS AND YOU CAN FIND HOTELS TO FIT ALL BUDGETS.
With the exception of Runaway Bay, most of the smaller towns are not cluttered with large all-inclusive compounds. Instead, there are beautiful exclusive villas that offer a Jamaican vacation experience that most people have never heard of.
6. THE BEACHES IN OCHO RIOS ARE GREAT BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THERE TO GET THE BEST BEACHES.
Mammee Bay, near St Ann’s Bay, is known for its beautiful beach.
Flavours Beach in Runaway Bay is always popular with the locals.
Discovery Bay is home to Puerto Seco Beach – one of the most highly rated beaches in the entire Jamaica. There is no beach in Ocho Rios that is as nice as Puerto Seco Beach, especially since their 2017-2018 upgrade. Guests at Mais Oui Villa get free access for 2018-2019 using our membership.
7. IF YOU LOVE GOLF, YOUR ONLY REAL OPTION IN OCHO RIOS IS AT SANDALS GOLF, WHICH IS ACTUALLY A BIT OF A DRIVE OUTSIDE THE TOWN.
Runaway Bay has its own internationally-recognized 18 hole golf course. Guests at Mais Oui get discounted rates at Runaway Golf for the 2018 – 2019 season.
If you are a golfer looking to stay in the Ocho Rios region and want to try different courses, you might want to consider staying in Discovery Bay which is only 10-15 minutes east of Runaway Bay’s golf course and only 45-60 minutes away from even more world class golfing in Montego Bay. Read our blog post on Golf in Jamaica. The White Witch golf course is phenomenal and they have discounted twilight hours.
So, now that you know that Ocho Rios refers to a whole region, consider looking at villas outside of the town of Ocho Rios for your vacation.
If you are visiting Jamaica and are looking for a villa in Ocho Rios Jamaica region, look no further than Mais Oui Villa in Discovery Bay, offering the best of both worlds – close to not only the attractions of Ocho Rios but also to those in other nearby regions like Rio Bueno-Falmouth, 30 minutes closer to Montego Bay’s airport than Ocho Rios, but without all the crowds and hustle and bustle of a large town.
Mais Oui is a large 8BR staffed villa vacation rental in Discovery Bay Jamaica, a mere 2-minute stroll to the beach. With amenities galore – pool, hot tub, tennis court, billiards, ping pong, foosball, gym, lawn chess, rooftop terrace – the villa was made for multi-generational and multi-family groups traveling together. Family vacations and reunions, corporate retreats, spa vacations, small group getaways, destination weddings, and anniversary celebrations have never been easier.
Contact us today to get a quote for your Jamaica vacation.
‘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.
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