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In Defense of All-Inclusive Resorts: Jamaica's Jewel Runaway Bay Resort

Where: Jamaica
May 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | ()

This contributor has never been a big fan of buffets, nor was I ever one to run to the ever-popular yet much-aligned all-inclusive resorts.

In Jamaica, walking through immigration at Montego Bay felt like Bourbon Street on any given Saturday. I was waiting for beads or boobs to be thrown my way.This added travel fuel to the not in favor fire. I was already unsure of the all-inclusive adventure ahead.

But once scooped up by Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort’s private car, the tide turned for the better. And after a few days at the all-suite resort, it was easy to see why all-inclusives can be oh-so-addictive.

Pool Concierge: At Jewel Runaway Bay, there are four bars pouring premium liquors. Three of the four are swim-up bars. The pool concierge is basically a cocktail concierge. Cocktails can be delivered in between laps. Detox...retox.

Cinema Spins: The silver screen is delivered weekly at Jewel Resorts. Their dive-in movies are experienced poolside or mid-swim. There is no red carpet, nor any need to dress up. Less is better in a bikini under water.

Fore!<: Their 18-hole championship golf course is included in the all-inclusive rate. Hit it hard with 18 holes or simply hit the back nine or if even that sounds too exerting, just fire off a bucket of balls.

Wet & Wild: All non-motorized water sports are included too.. Walk out to the water’s edge for snorkeling, stand-up paddle boards or kayaking.

Foodie: The six, very different restaurants keep things interesting on the foodie front. If you really want an adventure, ask the concierge where to find the best jerk in town. There are few local haunts nearby that are worth a visit.

Cultural Kicks: The music played by the locals late at night makes for an authentic ambiance. More local lure can be found on beach walks filled with crafts and characters.

The Butler: If you want to be sinfully spoiled, call the butler. Each suite has one.

Rates at the Runaway Bay start at $227 a night this summer, which is offseason.

[Photos: Jewel Bay Resorts]

Disclosure: Karen Loftus stayed at the Jewel Resort as a guest of the hotel but all views and opinions are her own.

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