Adults-Only, All-Inclusive Resort with Lively Nightlife
From the rolling rhythms of its reggae music to its dress code of swimsuits and flip-flops, Jamaica embodies the concept of "laid-back." Club Ambiance, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort located on the island's secluded north coast, channels that concept of free-spiritedness: it has live entertainment, unlimited cocktails, a clothing-optional beach, and a disco club that stays open until the last person leaves. This laissez-faire atmosphere is one of the reasons the hotel attracts repeat guests, many of whom reportedly refer to Club Ambiance a "home away from home."
You can enjoy a lazy afternoon on one of the property's three white-sand beaches, which stretch along the Caribbean Sea. Wade in small swimming coves, sunbathe on the secluded nude beach section, or take to the water on complimentary paddleboats and kayaks. There's a lively scene at the ocean-view pool, where people frequently partake in volleyball games and aerobics classes.
The tempo picks up when the sun goes down. The resort's weekly theme nights, such as reggae Mondays and Saturday barbecues, include live music and cabaret shows, and restaurants serve buffets and à la carte dinners (extra fee). After the bars stop mixing cocktails at 11 p.m., head to the Disco Club, where the party doesn't end until the last person leaves or melts the stereo system.
Runaway Bay, Jamaica: Quiet Resort Area near Subterranean Lakes and Waterfalls
Runaway Bay is nestled on Jamaica's famed north coast, between the cultural hubs of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The secluded town is one of the island's smallest; Lonely Planet calls it "a one-street village.” It's noticeably quieter than its tourist-laden neighbors. Despite its size, Runaway Bay has some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean, and guests can take advantage of this popular pastime in the coral reefs around the resort.
About 4 miles (7 km) west of the resort, you can explore the limestone expanses and subterranean lakes of the Green Grotto Caves, which were used as a hideout for Spaniards during 18th-century English colonization. The hotel offers shuttle service to the caves for $30 per person. A minimum of two passengers is required for each shuttle ride.
Take the scenic 25-minute drive from the hotel (or a $15 shuttle, minimum of six passengers) to visit one of Jamaica's most famous attractions, Dunn's River Falls ($20 admission not included). It's a series of waterfalls cascading from the mountains to the sea, and it served as a filming location for the first James Bond movie, Dr. No. Today, tour groups frolic at the bottom of the waterfall or make the 600-foot climb to the top in a daisy-chain fashion behind a local guide.