Jamaica no longer has any pandemic-related travel restrictions in place. Travellers are not required to take a COVID-19 test to board a flight to the destination.
Celebrity hotspots in Jamaica
Jamaica has been a favourite destination for the rich-and-famous for decades. Hollywood A-listers, recording artists, super models, royals, and high-profile political figures (including Canada’s own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) flock to the island to escape the public eye while enjoying secluded beaches and luxurious accommodations. From chic boutique hotels to iconic island attractions, here are some of the top spots for celebrity spotting along the sun-drenched shores of Jamaica.
- Round Hill Hotel and Villas: Elegant landscaping and luxurious plantation-style villas make this iconic Montego Bay property fit for a king (or a prince). Round Hill has been attracting VIP guests for decades; Prince Harry and Megan Markle, Grace Kelly, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Onasis, and Sir Paul McCartney are just a few of the big-name guests who have checked in over the years. The tasteful guest rooms even boast celebrity styling with interiors designed by Ralph Lauren.
- Island Gully Falls: Cascading turquoise waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest make Island Gully Falls (aka: the Blue Hole) a picture-perfect locale for social media influencers and snap-happy celebrities. Rap megastars Cardi B and Offset were recently spotted posing together at the sparkling swimming hole. Celebrity duo Justin and Hailey Bieber also visited the hidden gem in the hills of Ocho Rios during their Jamaican holiday in 2021.
- Geejam Hotel: For recording artists and Grammy winners, Geejam Hotel hits all the right notes. The musically inclined boutique hotel is tucked away in the treetops of Port Antonio, making it the perfect hideaway for a private escape. The hotel’s on-site recording studio has hosted some of the hottest names in the music business, including Drake, John Legend, Amy Winehouse, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna.
- Mystic Mountain: Thrill-seeking celebrities looking for some high-flying fun head to Jamaica’s renowned eco-adventure park located among the treetops of Ocho Rios. Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson visited Mystic Mountain to enjoy a tandem ziplining excursion, while TV actress Kristen Bell was spotted riding the park’s famed bobsled.
- Trident Hotel: Nestled on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, this intimate hotel is known for attracting a celebrity clientele thanks to its secluded surroundings, discreet staff, and deluxe accommodations. The spacious 10-acre property is home to 11 stunning oceanfront villas outfitted with modernist décor and individual plunge pools. The hotel also offers an on-site helicopter pad for VIP arrivals and a private beach where guests can enjoy some sun and sand far away from the crowds. Trident Hotel is a favourite family vacation spot for Beyoncé and Jay Z, and has hosted Hollywood starlets such as Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington
Photo credit: Island Gully Falls / Jamaica Tourist Board
Celebrate Reggae Month this February
Each February, Jamaica pays homage to its musical roots with a month-long celebration of all things reggae. This year's Reggae Month programming includes a lineup of live concerts, a film series, and family friendly activities that celebrate the island's contemporary reggae talents and honour the life and achievements of legendary reggae superstar Bob Marley. In Kingston, the Bob Marley Museum will host a series of tribute performances, museum tours, and reading sessions on February 6 in honour of what would have been Marley's 78th birthday. Visitors can also enjoy short acoustic performances every hour on the deck at the newly opened Marley natural Dispensary. The Easy Skanking 78 concert will see a host of high-calibre musicians pay tribute to the King of Reggae on stage at the famed Tuff Gong Studio, with the show broadcasting live internationally.
And in Canada, NuFunk Concerts' annual Bob Marley Birthday Tribute Concert returns to Lee's Palace in Toronto on February 11. Now in its 17th year, the long-running musical tribute showcases top talents from Canada's reggae music scene while collecting donations for the local Parkdale Food Bank. This year, North America's #1 Bob Marley Tribute band, Lazo & Exodus, are joined by up-and-coming Toronto band Reggaddiction and The Pressure Drop Selectas.
Photo Credit: Jamaica Tourist Board
New UNICO 18˚77˚ boutique hotel planned for Montego Bay
Approximately 8,000 new hotel rooms are slated for development in Jamaica over the next two to five years, including a new luxury-focused boutique resort currently under construction in Montego Bay. UNICO 18˚77˚ – the second outpost for RCD Hotels’ UNICO brand – will feature roughly 450 guest rooms in addition to elegant over-water bungalows. Designed with thoughtful details that highlight local Jamaican culture, the adults-only all-inclusive property will bring together Caribbean artwork, cuisine, and mixology for a curated island-inspired experience. A new Hard Rock Casino & Resort and a Ritz-Carlton Hotel are also scheduled to break ground in the St. James Parish region in the coming years.
Photo credit: RCD Hotels
Fitcation experiences in Jamaica
With many travellers focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on holiday, wellness-focused getaways are now more popular than ever. Exercise enthusiasts who are looking for a burn beyond the hotel gym can work hard and play hard during a Jamaican ‘fitcation’ planned around these high-energy athletic events throughout the year.
- Jake’s Off-Road Triathalon (April 29, 2023): Hardcore triathletes swim, ride and run their way to the finish line during this famed sporting event on Jamaica’s South Coast. The world’s longest-running triathlon is now in its 27th year and attracts participants from across the globe thanks to its challenging course, which features a 300-metre ocean swim in Great Bay, a 25-kilometre off-road bike ride on back-country mountains, and a seven-kilometre trail race.
- Discover Jamaica By Bike (May 4-7, 2023): Pedal heads can explore the island on two wheels during this annual cycling event. The four-day bike tour winds along scenic trails and through residential communities, allowing riders to discover the island’s hidden gems, snack on authentic Caribbean cuisine, and get to know the locals. The 500-kilometre route transverses westward across the island starting in Port Antonio across to Ocho Rios and Negril, down to Mandeville, and finishes in Kingston.
- Jamaica Fit Trip (November 3-6, 2023): Negril might be known as the capital of casual, but this group fitness retreat is anything but chill. High-energy trainers lead participants through four days of challenging workouts and soul-searching empowerment sessions designed to elevate mind, body and spirit. The schedule includes endurance-style bootcamps, Afro Cardio classes, yoga sessions, Zumba, and Beach Olympics.
- Reggae Marathon (December 3, 2023): Hundreds of running enthusiasts from around the world descend on Negril’s sunny shoreline each year to take part in this irie road race. Runners load up on carbs the night before during an epic pasta party on the beach then head off at sunrise the next day to run the full marathon, half-marathon or a 10K race.
Photo credit: Discover Jamaica By Bike / Jamaica Tourist Board