Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Which Is Best For Your Family Getaway?

It’s no secret that Jamaica ranks high on the list of must-visit destinations for many travelers. This island caters to a diverse range of visitors, from families to couples, solo adventurers, and groups alike. Known and loved for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and pulsating music scene, Jamaica offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.

Beaches Negril Waterbike

When it comes to accommodations, all-inclusive resorts reign supreme on this island. Jamaica has lots of these resorts sprinkled throughout the island, each with its own personality. At some of these resorts including Beaches Resorts, you’ll find everything from dining and entertainment to water sports and other themed activities available right on-site. But, the challenge comes with the decision of which resort to choose. To simplify things a bit, we’ll compare the family-friendly Beaches Negril and Beaches Ocho Rios in the hopes of helping you to decide on the best Jamaica getaway!

Insider tip: Opting for an all-inclusive vacation at Beaches Resorts allows you to maximize your getaway without ever needing to leave the resort grounds, unless, of course, you really want to.

All-inclusive family-friendly resorts in Jamaica

Going all-inclusive for your family vacation can be a game-changer. Even with that said, finding accommodations in Jamaica that tick all of your boxes can be tough. Fortunately, there are options like Beaches Negril and Beaches Ocho Rios that are two of the island’s standout choices in this category. But, before we delve into why they’re such fantastic options, let’s take a closer look at the perks of all-inclusive accommodations.

Beaches Ocho Rios Family Beachfront Dinner

Nowadays, it’s becoming more evident that all-inclusive resorts offer a host of benefits that often surpass those of traditional accommodations. With these resorts, convenience is a huge benefit. Everything you need including dining, entertainment and activities can be found in one place. Added to that, when you book an all-inclusive package, you know upfront how much your vacation is going to cost, which means less surprises and more control over your vacation budget. This leaves you with the freedom to fully enjoy your stay and maybe even splurge on optional upgrades. While all-inclusive resorts like Beaches Resorts in Jamaica are incredibly popular, there are some noteworthy differences between these resorts that we’ll explore in detail below!

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Location

Where is Beaches Negril located?

We’ll start with Beaches Negril. Surrounded by nature, this resort is loved for many reasons, including its alluring beachside vistas. Located along the renowned Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica, this resort boasts irresistible crystal-clear waters and powdery white sands. Being conveniently located on one of the best beaches in Jamaica, guests at Beaches Negril have access to prime beachside spots and other exciting attractions.

Beaches Negril Aerial Front Beach Sailboats

Not sure you’ll find enough to do at an all-inclusive resort? Beaches Negril offers loads of entertainment options day and night, along with a variety of land and water sports. The resort’s Pirates Island Waterpark with its ginormous waterslides is a sure thrill too. And, let’s not forget, what guests really love about this resort is its versatility—it’s perfect for any kind of vacation, whether you’re traveling with family or enjoying a getaway solo or with friends.

Beaches Negril: Proximity to airports

Beaches Negril is about 47 miles from Montego Bay's Sangster International Airport (MBJ). The journey to the resort from the airport usually takes about an hour and a half, depending on traffic. With such a short travel time, you’ll be able to quickly switch from flight mode to relaxation mode just as soon as you land in Jamaica.

Beaches Negril: Nearby attractions

Beaches Negril's prime location means that you'll have quick and easy access to some of the best attractions in Negril. This makes it possible to see more of the natural beauty of Jamaica and explore the diverse cultural heritage of this island as well. Some of the notable nearby attractions include:

  • Rick's Café: Popular for more than just tropical cocktails and appetizers, Rick’s Café is where it's at if you want cliff diving in Jamaica and breathtaking sunsets all in one place. The views here are phenomenal.

  • The Negril Lighthouse: Take your explorations off-the-beaten-path and explore the Negril Lighthouse in Jamaica. Here you'll find panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea just a short drive from the resort. This is a great spot for photos.

  • Mayfield Falls: Tranquility at its most refreshing! Mayfield Falls is a bit further afield, but it’s worth the journey. This attraction tends to be less crowded than the larger and more popular Dunn’s River Falls. Serene and wonderful.

  • Negril’s Seven Mile Beach: This beach is just a short walk from Beaches Negril, and that’s sure to be a high point for your vacation. This is an extensive stretch of beach that is ideal for leisurely walks, sunbathing, and water sports.

Beaches Negril: Overall vibe of the area

With its sandy, sun-kissed shores and swaying palm trees, walking around in Negril feels like stepping into a postcard-perfect paradise. There’s a certain charm about this Jamaican town that you won't find anywhere else. This is part of the reason it's one of the best places to stay in Jamaica. Besides convenience, what draws visitors here is the laid-back vibe of this town and the variety of attractions to explore, including some of the island’s finest natural wonders.

Beaches Negril Watersports Banana Boat

In Negril, your vacation can be as active or as laid back as you desire. Your only obligation will be staying present and appreciating the beauty right in front of you. The local community and businesses in this area, Beaches Negril included, pay special focus on sustainability and respect for the environment, which you’ll see evidence of as you take in the beauty all around.

Negril is an entertainment hot spot in Jamaica too. This area has a vibrant nightlife scene inclusive of lively beach bars and often reggae music performances which can help you get better acquainted with Jamaica’s musical heritage. This town totally transforms at night, which can allow you to get a full picture of life in Jamaica. A Negril vacation is best for travelers who want a little bit of everything.

Expert tip: With seven miles of beach access, Beaches Negril is an ideal choice for a sun-drenched beach vacation! And if you want more beach adventures, you can check out this Jamaica travel guide, which covers plenty of other stunning beaches to explore across the island.

Where is Beaches Ocho Rios located?

Beaches Ocho Rios caters to both the serene and the adventurous traveler, especially those eagerly counting down the days to their island getaway. If that sounds like you, then your days will be well-spent at this family-friendly resort on Jamaica’s north coast. Guests love the inspiring tropical scenery that leads from the airport to the resort in this destination. Upon arrival at Beaches Ocho Rios, you'll be more than ready to kick off your shoes and dive into the pool. After checking into your well-appointed suite, of course. Plus, you'll have convenient access to Ocho Rios’ best natural attractions and cultural landmarks, ensuring you make the most of your time in Jamaica.

Beaches Ocho Rios: Proximity to airports

There are two airports in Jamaica that are near Beaches Ocho Rios. These include the Ian Fleming International Airport (OCJ) and the Sangster International Airport (MBJ). The Ian Fleming International Airport is the closer of the two, about 8.7 miles from the resort. This airport is mainly used by private charters and small planes.

Beaches Ocho Rios Aerial

If you’re planning a trip to Jamaica, you’ll more than likely arrive via the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. This airport is around 60 miles west of Ocho Rios. It can take between 1.5 to 2 hours to drive between the Sangster International Airport and Beaches Ocho Rios. Along the way, you'll get to enjoy scenic views of Jamaica’s coastline and lush interior landscapes.

Beaches Ocho Rios: Local attractions

Ocho Rios is one of the best places in Jamaica to dive into all the incredible things this destination has to offer. If you decide to stay in this area, you'll be able to embark on many exciting tours and excursions close to your resort. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Dunn's River Falls: Don't leave Jamaica without visiting the island’s most famous waterfall. This cascading waterfall is the largest on the island and offers a unique climbing experience and picturesque views. The best part? It’s just a short drive from Beaches Ocho Rios.

  • Mystic Mountain: Stunning to look at, there’s a range of activities on offer at Mystic Mountain including bobsledding, zip-lining, and aerial tramway rides. From this attraction, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views over Ocho Rios and the Caribbean Sea.

  • Dolphin Cove: Love dolphins? If so, a visit to the Dolphin Cove marine park might be just right for you in Jamaica. Here you'll be able to swim with dolphins, sharks, and stingrays in a natural environment. Truly memorable, and great for animal lovers.

  • Blue Hole: A true wonder of Jamaica, this attraction consists of strikingly blue pools and waterfalls deep in the jungle. This is an off-the-beaten-path excursion that includes swimming and cliff jumping.

Beaches Ocho Rios: Overall vibe of the area

Ocho Rios on the north coast of Jamaica is fondly called Ochi by the locals. In this part of Jamaica, you’ll find some of the most popular attractions. If you’re wondering if Ocho Rios is a good fit for your next vacation, there are some questions you might want to ask yourself. Firstly, is relaxation and escaping from the hustle and bustle your goal? Do you value natural beauty, adventure, and cultural richness? If so, then you’re likely headed in the right direction.

Beaches Ocho Rios Side View

Ocho Rios is a little more upbeat than laid-back Negril and it's slightly smaller than the tourist hub of Montego Bay. This makes it possible to find a balance here for both travellers who want to do as much as possible, and those who just want to put their feet up and relax. This town is known for its lively outdoor markets, friendly locals, and energetic ambiance. This is a great place to stay if you want to explore Jamaica beyond resort life.

Many people consider Ocho Rios to be a family-friendly destination, and this description fits as there’s so many activities children and travellers of all ages can enjoy here. Beaches Ocho Rios adds to this versatility as this resort also caters to diverse ages and interests. Whether you want to spend your vacation exploring the best local attractions or simply enjoying your resort's all-embracing amenities and inclusions, you’ll be able to do just that in Ocho Rios.

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Beach experience

Beach experience at Beaches Negril

  • Seven Mile Beach: The extensive Seven Mile Beach is one of the most well known beaches in the Caribbean. Stretching into the equally beautiful Bloody Bay Beach, this strand is what the best island dreams are made of!

  • Beach activities: The fun starts out on the beachfront at Beaches Negril, and extends throughout the resort! You can look forward to beach parties, live shows and a host of other activities and entertainment during your stay at this social resort.

  • Sand and sea: Beaches Negril is on one of the best white sand beaches in Jamaica, which means you’ll be able to set up for sunbathing, swimming, and beach games pretty much whenever you feel like it. The water is clear and inviting too!

  • Accessibility: Although this resort is quite popular, Beaches Negril ensures guests have easy access to resort amenities, ensuring comfort and convenience are always readily available.

Beach experience at Beaches Ocho Rios

  • Exclusivity: The beach at Beaches Ocho Rios offers a more secluded atmosphere, which means you may be able to have quieter and more private beach time at this location. Serenity is always a win!

  • Family-friendly: The shallow waters of the beach at this resort make it a safer and more enjoyable option for families with young children.

  • Sand and sea: Love spending time by the water or just lounging on the sand? Even more reason to vacation at Beaches Ocho Rios! This beach near this resort has beautiful white sand and waters so refreshing, you’ll feel compelled to take a dip!

  • Tranquillity: A sense of peace is one of those things you can often find beachside. At this resort’s beach, you can escape from the crowds often found at more popular beaches.

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Price

The price you’ll pay for a vacation at either Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios will depend on a number of factors. This can include the number of adults and children included in your travel party, the time of year, and the type of rooms or suites that you choose. Keep in mind that prices are subject to change without prior notice as well. You can check out the up-to-date rates for Beaches Resorts before you make your final decision. Here’s what you can expect price wise:

Prices at Beaches Ocho Rios

Beaches Ocho Rios has some of the lowest vacation starting prices of all the Beaches Resorts in Jamaica. Rates at this resort start at $269 per person/per night (PP/PN) in USD, based on double occupancy (2 adults). The price for children starts at $61 per person/per night (PP/PN) in USD, when booked with two adults. With these rates, it makes it convenient to go on group vacations here, or bring the entire family along for the fun!

Prices at Beaches Negril

The starting point for vacations at Beaches Negril are slightly higher than Beaches Ocho Rios. Rooms at this resort start at $323 per person/per night (PP/PN) in USD, when booked with two adults. For children, the starting point is a bit lower, and you can expect to pay around $58 per person/per night (PP/PN) in USD. This is also based on booking for two adults. There is a bit of a price difference between these resorts, but the amenities, ambiance, and conveniences at either one of these properties makes a Beaches Resorts vacation entirely worth it.

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Room options

Luxury level

Your Beaches Resorts vacation can begin in a Luxury Level room at Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios. All rooms in this category include standard amenities like air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, an iron and ironing board, coffeemaker, telephone, refrigerator, clock-radios, in-room safe, iPod docking stations, hair dryer, ceiling fan, and mahogany furniture. Rooms also include a private bath and shower, with full balconies or patios and tiled rooms. If you choose to stay in a Luxury Level room during your vacation, you can expect comfortable and elegant accommodations and convenient access to resort facilities and daily activities.

Concierge Service

If you want a vacation with a difference, you can go for Beaches Resorts’ Concierge Service rooms and suites. These accommodations offer a range of amenities that go above and beyond to ensure your stay is nothing short of exceptional. Concierge guests have access to the Suite Concierge Center from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily where the dedicated Concierge team is always on hand to assist. The team can help with everything from arranging excursions to making restaurant and spa reservations.

As our guest, you’ll also enjoy a seamless check-in experience, complete with a complimentary glass of Champagne upon arrival. Once you make your way into your suite, you’ll find an in-suite bar stocked with premium spirits, including scotch, gin, vodka, and rum, as well as a selection of beers, wines, and soft drinks. And, let’s not forget the little touches that make a big difference – his and her bathrobes are provided to ensure your ultimate comfort and relaxation throughout your getaway. Whether you’re unwinding on your private balcony or preparing for a night out, you’ll find everything you need at your fingertips.

Good to know: Room service is not included in Concierge rooms at Beaches Resorts. For that extra touch of convenience, you might want to consider upgrading to Butler level accommodations!

Butler Elite Service

From breakfast in bed to personalized adventures, your butler-included Beaches Resorts vacation will be second to none. Rooms and suites in the Butler Elite Service category include all the amenities and services offered at the Luxury and Concierge levels and then some. But, before getting into the amenities, let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from the butlers.

All butlers at Beaches Resorts are professionally trained ensuring you receive nothing but the utmost in service excellence. Your first encounter with your butler typically happens upon arrival, where you’ll be greeted with refreshing lemongrass-scented hand towels. Welcome cocktails will be up next, and your butler will check in to ensure your accommodation is ready. Butlers are available for private check-ins from your suite, and they can also assist with unpacking your luggage. They handle various personal requests, from wardrobe management to serving meals on your terrace, or even delivering personalized cookies and games for the kids. Overall, the goal of your butler will be to ensure that you’ve got everything you need.

Butler Elite Service is available in top-tier rooms and suites at Beaches Resorts and can be a good addition if you want an indulgent and relaxed vacation.

Rooms at Beaches Ocho Rios

Now, let’s explore the type of accommodation you can find at each resort. Rooms and suites at Beaches Ocho Rios balance practicality with comfort. While you won’t find Butler service at this resort, you’ll still have your pick of Luxury and Concierge service levels. It’s good to know that many of the rooms at this resort can accommodate a maximum of five people in a room. Here are a few of our favorites:

Caribbean Oceanview Penthouse One-Bedroom Concierge Suite

What's an island vacation without awe-inspiring scenery? For those breathtaking ocean views, you might want to consider the Caribbean Oceanview Penthouse One Bedroom Concierge Suite at Beaches Ocho Rios. Positioned on the top floor, this spacious suite can sleep up to five guests and boasts a king-size bed, plasma TV, an en-suite whirlpool and a private deck with panoramic ocean views.

French Village Oceanfront One-Bedroom Concierge Suite

If oceanfront living is more your style, the French Village Oceanfront Suite might be your perfect match. With room for up to four guests, these suites offer either a king-size bed or two double beds, a double pull-out sofa, and stunning ocean vistas.

Greek Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout Concierge Suite

For those dreaming of a beachfront retreat, look no further than the Greek Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout Concierge Suite. This ground-floor suite offers direct beach access, a king-size bed, en-suite bathroom, and a spacious private deck with ocean views.

Good to know: Most of the suites at Beaches Ocho Rios are set against the most incredible backdrop, some even offering large balconies or patios overlooking the sea or lush gardens. Knowing this, all that's really left to do is take your pick, and soak in the beauty of your surroundings!

Rooms at Beaches Negril Rooms

The rooms at Beaches Negril offer a range of suites for every type of traveller. Regardless of the size of your travel party, there’s a suite to fit your needs at Beaches Negril. Families seeking a touch of exclusivity will appreciate the butler level rooms, which come with an extra pair of hands ready to assist. Here’s a few of the most popular options:

Eventide Penthouse Four-Bedroom Butler Walkout

The Eventide Penthouse Four Bedroom Butler Walkout can accommodate up to 18 guests and is a great choice for large families or groups. This penthouse has four and a half bathrooms, a lounge-worthy patio, butler service, and you’ll also have quick and easy beach access. Three bedroom suites are also available in this category.

Firesky Reserve Villa Four-Bedroom Butler

If you'll be traveling with a large group, you can also consider the Firesky Reserve Villa. This option has its own private pool, a patio with ocean views, and can accommodate up to 10 people. There are multiple bedrooms and bathrooms spread across three floors in this villa which will ensure that everyone has enough room to get cozy. It’s also possible to book this option with three bedrooms.

Tropical Oceanview Three-Bedroom Butler Family Suite

Made for unwinding, the Tropical Beachfront Family Suites are the total package for families or groups who want to spend their vacation beachside. These modern suites are spacious, comfortable and sleep up to 12 people. Thoughtfully designed, your vacation within these walls will include butler service, beachfront views, and practical features like the fully stocked in-room bar and refrigerator, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and everything you need for an indulgent island escape.

Good to know: Most of the rooms and suites at Beaches Negril are well-appointed and spacious with impressive beachfront, garden, or ocean vistas. Many of the suites come with their own private pools and spacious patios. The key to selecting the best suite is going with the one that fits the occasion and caters to the needs of your entire travel group.

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Facilities, amenities and services

Beaches Negril

In the area of facilities, amenities and services, let’s see how Beaches Negril measures up. Putting this resort under the microscope, there’s quite a lot to look forward to. For starters, Beaches Negril has 3 swimming pools, 2 whirlpools, a kiddie pool, 5 bars, and 10 restaurants with diverse dining experiences. The list of inclusions at this resort is extensive, and includes Kids Camps with activities for children from age 0-17, access to a 24-hour fitness center with state of the art equipment, day and night entertainment, and land and water sports including scuba programs for children at added cost. Beaches Negril also has fun themed nights that include things like Jamaica Live, Broadway Review, and Family Feud. You can also get into dance lessons or enjoy karaoke, live music, cabaret performances and more at this resort.

Jamaica Golf Upton Estate Country Club

Guests of Beaches Negril also have access to the nearby Sandals Golf & Country Club. Green fees are completely covered. Or, you can head over to the Pirates Island Water Park (27,000 sq ft) which features 8 water slides for various age groups and a lazy river. Adults are not left out of the fun here — there are dedicated adult-only areas at this resort as well. Guests also have access to the nearby adults-only Sandals Negril!

Insider tip: If you’re planning a wedding, you’ll be in good hands at Beaches Negril. This resort offers a dedicated team of professional wedding planners who will assist you every step of the way. From customizable wedding packages to a range of stunning venues, your special day can be exactly what you envisioned.

Beaches Ocho Rios

Next up is Beaches Ocho Rios. This beachfront property has 5 swimming pools, including a kiddie pool and two whirlpools. Guests also get to indulge in the 7 themed restaurants (including two adults-only options) and 7 bars. At this resort, there’s no shortage of ways to relax and decompress.

Beaches Ocho Rios Waterpark Aerial View

Based on the reviews, guests of this resort love the complementary golf access to the Sandals Golf & Country Club with green fees and transfers included. And when it comes to entertainment, Beaches Ocho Rios doesn't miss a beat. From dance lessons to Jamaican Idol competitions, family shows, and cabaret performances, there’s always something fun happening on-site. The Fitness Center offers group exercise classes led by certified professionals, while land and water sports enthusiasts can enjoy basketball, tennis, windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving, and more.

But perhaps the biggest draw is the 3962 sq ft Pirates Island Water Park, featuring 11 slides for all ages and a lazy river. After a day of excitement, evenings come alive with themed events like Caribbean Night and exclusive parties like the Club Concierge Cocktail Party. For guests who value tranquillity, Beaches Ocho Rios also offers access to adult-only areas, including those at the nearby Sandals Ochi resort. With so much to offer, Beaches Ocho Rios promises an unforgettable vacation.

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Reviews

Beaches Negril reviews

The reviews are one of those things that can tell a lot about a destination before you get there. Beaches Negril has high levels of overall satisfaction with its guests, with over 87% of its reviews being positive. The resort has a high level of customer service as well with the staff often being commended for their friendliness and attentive service. Areas of cleanliness and food quality have also received positive reviews. For the latter, guests generally enjoy the wide variety of food options available and the quality of food available as well.

Beaches Ocho Rios reviews

Beaches Ocho Rios is located beachside and near some of the best attractions in Jamaica. This resort has a high overall satisfaction rate from its guests. Most of the reviews for Beaches Ocho Rios, at least 81% of these, are positive. As savvy travellers would already be aware, this is a good sign for the experiences that await at this resort.

There are certain areas where Beaches Ocho Rios really stands out, and one of these is in the customer service department. Guests of Beaches Ocho Rios can expect exceptional customer service as many of the guests who stay here comment about the high-energy and engaging nature of the resort personnel. Another highlight is the prime location of the resort which makes it possible to indulge in scenic views and easy access to the various amenities.

Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios: Which will you choose?

We get it, making a decision on which resort to stay at for an all-inclusive vacation can be tough. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal preferences. Also, don’t forget about important factors like price, location, and convenience. The little details matter. But, when comparing Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios, which is the best resort of the two?


Our answer? It depends on what you want out of your vacation. These resorts each offer different experiences. Beaches Ocho Rios, for example, is best if you want a beach vacation with a more tranquil beach setting. For an all-inclusive vacation where you can enjoy butler level suites, you might want to look in the direction of Beaches Negril as this isn’t offered at Beaches Ocho Rios. Larger travel groups may find more convenience at Beaches Negril as well, as this resort has accommodation options that cater to up to 18 guests.

Both of these resorts have water parks, so they’re pretty level there, but there are some other slight differences elsewhere, like in the number of restaurants. Beaches Negril has 11 restaurants, while Beaches Ocho Rios has 7. Diners who want more options in one place can go for Beaches Negril, keeping in mind that each of these resorts offers even more restaurant access at nearby Sandals Resorts. Again, this puts them on a similar playing field. Ultimately, when making a decision on which resort is best, think about the things you value most in a vacation destination and resort. Fortunately, no matter which of the Beaches Resorts in Jamaica you choose, you’re bound to have a memorable vacation!

Insider tip: If you’re planning a family vacation at either Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios in Jamaica, reach out to us today to secure your booking.

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13 years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!