Deciding between a Jamaica vs Bahamas honeymoon might not seem like a hardship.
But it’s not the easiest decision to make when we’re talking about the “first vacation” of your newlywed life!
You’ll find plenty of travel information online about beautiful beaches, choice accommodations, exciting nightlife, and other activities like golf or scuba diving for your honeymoon, and opinions vary on which tropical nation delivers the best experiences in these areas.
Let’s talk honeymoon planning!
Best of Jamaica vs Bahamas for Your Honeymoon
We like referring to the Sandals blog for the crucial “best of ” categories that appeal to everyone, especially honeymooners trying to decide between Jamaica and The Bahamas.
You always get the best and most detailed advice from travel experts on everything from fantastic beaches to food, activities, and nightlife. This applies to all aspects of your honeymoon anywhere in The Bahamas or Caribbean, not just at a resort!
Here’s what to know:
Jamaica vs Bahamas—Where Are the Best Beaches
- The Bahamas is a chain of 700 islands, and this Sandals Caribbean Paradise blog lists world-famous Bahamian beaches, including those on secluded Long Island, as well as Lighthouse Beach in Eleuthera, Pink Sands Beach in Harbour Island, and Coco Plum Beach in Exuma.
- Jamaica has its share of stunning, powdery sands! Check out Montego Bay’s Top 12 Beaches, the Treasure Beach Experience, and why Negril’s questionably-named but magnificent Bloody Beach is a beach lover’s heaven.
Set along a 2-mile stretch of the pristine south coast of Jamaica, this entire all-inclusive resort has been designed to embrace the coastline.
Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: are you dreaming about a long and secluded beach to stroll together on your all inclusive honeymoon? Sandals South Coast in Jamaica and Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, are two great options for romance and privacy!
Jamaica vs Bahamas—Who Has the Best Food
- The “stars of the show” in Bahamas cuisine are naturally seafood, and we can confirm that Bahamian conch (pronounced “conk”) dishes, crawfish (actually lobsters), and the buttery flavor in lionfish meat are all exceptional. Check out 32 Foods and Drinks to Try in the Bahamas.
- Dining in Jamaica is an extraordinary delight, strongly emphasizing locally produced ingredients and the most flavorful spices in beef, chicken, seafood, and even non-meat pasta classics like tasty ravioli. Check out 11 Great Restaurants in Montego Bay.
Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Sandals Montego Bay is ranked as having the best food options in Jamaica, and Sandals Royal Bahamian is located on gorgeous Cable Beach in Nassau, a food lovers’ delight in The Bahamas!
Jamaica vs Bahamas—When Is the Best Time to Visit
- This Best Time to Visit Jamaica blog was written in April 2019. However, the contents are still on point, including the best time to honeymoon in Jamaica for great weather, fewer crowds, and maximum affordability!
- You’ll want to check out The Best Time to Visit The Bahamas because specific wind, weather, temperature, and humidity graphs give you the best overview of what season is right for your honeymoon goals!
Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: we reviewed Sandals Ochi in Jamaica as the most affordable year-round destination wedding and honeymoon resort in the Caribbean and Sandals Emerald Bay as a fantastic golf honeymoon destination in practically every season.
Jamaica vs Bahamas—Which Has the Best Nightlife and All-Day Entertainment
- Musical culture is an important part of the nightlife in Jamaica and The Bahamas, and this Jamaica vs The Bahamas—Music blog explains what you can listen to and dance to during your honeymoon adventure.
- We recommend the Ochi Beach Club in Jamaica for honeymooners who like to party whether the sun is up or down!
- Nassau, Bahamas is the destination of choice for couples who enjoy casino action—check out this Nassau 43 Top Activities blog, where the #3 best activity is a visit to Bahamar Casino near Sandals Royal Bahamian or Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island.
Jamaica vs Bahamas—Which Is Safer?
This Sandals Safety Blog compares how travelers viewed their security in Jamaica vs The Bahamas. Check it out!
The blog also features common sense tips to maximize your safety when venturing outside a resort during your honeymoon.
We think you’ll also appreciate this Safety and Security link demonstrating how Sandals makes your safety a top priority.
Is the Bahamas Close to Jamaica?
We mapped it on Google, and the flight between Nassau, Bahamas, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, is just over four hours long.
That translates into 478.47 miles, or 415.5 nautical miles, if you’re traveling on a seaworthy boat!
Is It Cheaper to Go to the Bahamas or Jamaica?
The cost of your honeymoon can vary depending on the travel season and what airport you’re flying into.
Google Flights is a good link to have at your fingertips, and you’ll be able to search a broad range of times and prices for the dates you’re looking to travel.
If you’re going to Jamaica or The Bahamas and staying at an “al a carte” resort, it’s a great idea to research food and drink options within the resort and the surrounding tourist area to get an idea of prices.
As far as the cost of your all-inclusive honeymoon resort, some couples look to popular travel websites for booking discounts, while others firmly believe that booking directly with a resort saves the most money.
Sandals Resorts International offers a handy online booking tool that lets you search for specific or flexible travel dates. It allows you to checkmark resort locations and special features you want to enjoy on your honeymoon—and you can also check for qualifying specials to save money.
When you use the Sandals online booking tool, you can view the cost of every Sandals resort you choose and see which resort best meets your honeymoon budget. It’s fantastic!
Choosing a Jamaica vs Bahamas Honeymoon—5 Questions for You
Our wedding couples who are choosing the Caribbean for their honeymoon often have the following desires and interests:
- Where are the best beach areas: do you want a more active beach scene or a longer, more secluded beach for strolling?
- How busy is the destination: you might want daily pool parties and nightlife, or you’d prefer one-on-one time… or maybe a bit of both?
- What kind of dining is available: do you want “authentic island” dishes, American-style cuisine, or more international flavors?
- What activities are available: do you want watersports, land activities, or “vacation extras” like spa treatments?
- Is the resort all-inclusive or adults-only: some couples prefer the “hassle-free” situation of a luxury-included honeymoon resort, but you might want the freedom to explore life outside the resort.
There are no wrong answers to these questions, and answering them can make the right honeymoon decision that much easier!
When we selected honeymoon properties in Jamaica and The Bahamas, we considered those five questions, and we’ll tell you what each resort is “best for.”
Here’s what we looked for in a honeymoon property:
- The top-ranked hotels on the best beaches in Jamaica and The Bahamas—we selected the best all-inclusive and a la carte properties
- The costs of your honeymoon—from affordable to luxurious and in between
- How easy is it to get to the resort—distance from the airport to the resort and whether roundtrip transfers are included in the costs.
Let’s take a look at The Bahamas first!
Top Rated Hotels in The Bahamas
Many flights destined for The Bahamas land in Nassau, and here are the best hotels for your honeymoon in or nearby the Bahamian capital.
Sandals Royal Bahamian (All Inclusive, Couples Only in Nassau)
Sandals Royal Bahamian is the most elegant all-inclusive resort with an exotic offshore island adventure.
- Easy access from the airport (VIP transfers included in a Rolls Royce or BMW in select suites)
- Private offshore island with exclusive white sand beach
- Two gorgeous pools and swim-up suites from the Crystal Lagoon
- Twelve international restaurants, including two funky food trucks!
Couples can experience it all at Sandals Royal Bahamian—an active beach and pool scene, romantic suites, and a quick trip into town for duty-free shopping or casino excitement on Paradise Island.
How to get there: 10 minutes from Lynden Pindling International Airport. Complimentary shuttle transfers.
Approximate cost: price per person / per night starts at $410 up to $739. Click rooms and suites for more information.
Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas (Al A Carte, All Ages)
- Mega-resort experience with five different hotels and a multitude of bars and restaurants
- Casino lovers
- Huge waterscape adventure park.
If you’re excited to honeymoon in a theme park atmosphere, Atlantis should meet your expectations on every level!
Meal plans are available, and there is a manmade “ocean beach” area along with a protected “Paradise Lagoon” and marine life habitats.
How to get there: approximately 30 minutes from Lynden Pindling International Airport, airport transfers are the guests’ responsibility.
Approximate cost: room price only per night starts at $348 up to $657.
Top Rated Hotels in Jamaica’s Most Popular Areas
Jamaica consistently ranks in the top five of the best Caribbean islands for a honeymoon.
There are major tourist destinations on well-known beaches around the island, as well as more secluded areas that deliver a genuine “castaway” feel in Jamaica.
Also known as Negril Beach, Seven Mile Beach is one of Jamaica’s best, most famous (and sometimes busiest) resort areas.
Negril has a fascinating history, and it’s also a major tourist hotspot that’s close to beach town nightlife.
We researched top-ranked hotels based on traveler reviews and in-depth ratings by booking and travel websites, and we’re starting with the resort that we know the best!
Sandals Negril (All Inclusive, Adults Only)
Closer to the water’s edge than anywhere else in Negril, life can truly be what you imagine in the relaxed chic, and free-spirited Sandals Negril.
- stunning sunsets on a long stretch of Negril Beach
- included activities, including extensive watersports and land sports
- active pool scene with daily activities scheduled
- good dining and drinks (seven gourmet restaurants featuring French, Italian, Caribbean, Latin, Japanese, Seafood, and made-to-order pizza)
- casual nightlife, including a piano bar and pool, beach, and dock parties.
You’ll enjoy a mix of active and secluded at Sandals Negril, and we love the “barefoot elegance” vibe at this couples-only resort. It’s one of the most casual Sandals resorts in terms of resort dress codes, and many couples appreciate that.
Sandals Negril offers honeymooners exclusive accommodations like beachfront swim-up suites.
Check out our extensive Sandals Negril review!
How to get there: 75 minutes to two hours from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (depending on traffic). Complimentary shuttle transfers.
Approximate cost: price per person / per night starts at $251 up to $608. Click rooms and suites for more information.
Couples Negril (All Inclusive, Adults Only)
- direct beachfront property (quite busy in season)
- good dining and drinks (six restaurants including seafood and salads, Mediterranean, Asian, Caribbean, a pastry cafe, and a fruit and veggie bar)
- great selection of activities, including watersports, golf, a catamaran cruise, and a shopping shuttle into town.
Travelers enjoy the intimate resort atmosphere at Couples Negril, and reviews of the dining options are generally highly positive.
Depending on how “free” you want to get on your honeymoon, Couples offers “au natural” sunbathing (other resorts in Negril, like Grand Lido Au-Naturel, fully embrace the “no clothing” rule poolside).
How to get there: 75 minutes to two hours from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (depending on traffic). Roundtrip transfers are included.
Approximate cost: price per night for two people starts at $710 up to $1,001.
Tensing Pen Resort (Breakfast Included, All Ages Property)
- couples seeking a “rustic-chic” Negril experience
- the ability to go “off resort” for lunches, dinners, snacks, and drinks, as these are not included
- yoga classes on offer
- great views of the Caribbean Sea from the resort’s single infinity pool.
While not directly beachfront, Tensing Pen offers dramatic views from its rocky cliff setting.
Boho couples rave about the thatched cottages delivering an off-the-grid feeling of relaxation on your honeymoon. You can stroll to the Negril Lighthouse in around fifteen minutes!
In addition to yoga, the oceanfront “spa huts” (additional charge) are also popular features of this unassuming Jamaican property.
How to get there: approximately two hours from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (depending on traffic), check with the resort on what transportation is offered.
Approximate cost: price per night (room and breakfast only) ranges from $320 to $450 plus taxes and fees.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Boasting twelve world-class beaches, the Montego Bay area offers vibrant Jamaican culture and easy access to local shopping and great music.
Locals and tourists who love the area affectionately call it “MoBay,” and there are fantastic honeymoon resorts to choose from!
Sandals Royal Caribbean (All Inclusive, Adults Only)
This luxury all-inclusive resort in Jamaica embraces the refined British heritage with a Georgian-style Great House, manicured gardens with roaming peacocks, authentic British Pub, and afternoon tea traditions.
- Honeymooning in the Caribbean’s first Over-the-Water Bungalows—a Sandals exclusive
- Enjoying a Private Offshore Island together—included in your Sandals honeymoon.
Sandals Royal Caribbean is a magical experience for couples who love pampering, nature, and adventure rolled into one!
Our favorite day here is spent on the private island, whether you book a beach cabana or enjoy drinks at the island’s swim-up pool bar.
How to get there: approximately a nine-minute drive from Sangster International Airport with complimentary transfers included.
Approximate cost: price per person / per night starts at $337 up to $2,288. Click rooms and suites for more information.
Sandals Montego Bay (All Inclusive, Adults Only)
The first-ever Sandals all-inclusive resort, Sandals Montego Bay, now has even more ways to enjoy luxury while reveling in the spirit of romance and fun on Jamaica’s coastline.
- Experiencing the first-ever Sandals resort that has been extensively renovated to 21st-century standards—check out the humorous MoBay in a Minute video for a perfect intro!
- Exchange program with Sandals Royal Caribbean to enjoy fourteen pools, eight whirlpools, three beaches, 21 international gourmet restaurants, and eleven bars between the two Montego Bay resorts.
Sandals MoBay has been a dream honeymoon destination for over four decades, and it’s been redesigned with all couples in mind.
One thing to note is MoBay’s proximity to the airport—it’s so close planes occasionally fly overhead! While most of us love that experience, keep it in mind if you’re seeking more seclusion.
How to get there: approximately a five-minute drive from Sangster International Airport with complimentary transfers included.
Approximate cost: price per person / per night starts at $344 up to $968. Click rooms and suites for more information.
S Hotel Jamaica (All Inclusive, Children 16+ Welcome With Adults Over 21)
S Hotel Jamaica is a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel situated in Montego Bay. This trendy beachfront property boasts modern design, luxurious amenities, and a vibrant atmosphere, making it an ideal choice for travelers looking for a chic and energetic stay in Jamaica.
- Boutique hotel experience near Sangster International Airport
- Authentic Jamaican cuisine is offered at four restaurants that include a pool grill and pastry shop.
This 120-room hotel opened in 2019, and most guest reviews have been glowing.
S Hotel has a great location for couples who want convenient access to the “Hip Strip,” the center of Montego Bay music and entertainment on Gloucester Avenue.
The hotel began as a family-friendly resort, but a kids 16+ age limit recently went into effect, and minors are prohibited from drinking alcohol on the resort.
How to get there: approximately a four to ten-minute drive from Sangster International Airport, with airport transfers being an additional charge that should be pre-booked with the hotel.
Approximate cost: price per night varies from $449 to $779, depending on room category. Taxes and fees are additional.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
With an alluring combination of smaller pristine beaches, lush rainforests, waterfalls (Dunn’s River is world-famous), and the stunning Blue Mountains as a backdrop, it’s no surprise that Ocho Rios is becoming massively popular with honeymoon couples.
It looks like heaven on Earth, and the only downside for some travelers to Ocho Rios is the lengthy transfer from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (approximately 90 minutes in good traffic).
But we’ve got great news!
More international flights are being scheduled into Ian Fleming Airport, cutting the transfer time down to approximately a half-hour—and when you book your honeymoon at a Sandals resort, complimentary airport transfers are always included no matter what airport you select.
Sandals Resorts in Ocho Rios
The family-owned Sandals group is so committed to developing sustainable tourism in Ocho Rios that they dedicated a website link to their three luxury-included resorts in this unforgettable part of Jamaica.
- With all-inclusive prices starting at $201 per person per night, Sandals Ochi makes your honeymoon truly affordable! Ochi is best for a party vibe at the pools and beach and the best-priced honeymoon suites with private pools in the Caribbean.
- With just 74 elegant suites serviced by professional butlers, Sandals Royal Plantation offers exclusive dining, golfing, and Jamaica’s only champagne and caviar bar! Royal Plantation is best for its private beach and old-world glamor honeymoon suites with two beachfront balconies starting at $801 per person per night.
- Sandals Dunn’s River is brand-new in May 2023, and prices start at $363 per person per night. Honeymoon suites include Swim-up Rondovals with private pools or oceanfront Skypool Suites you must click on to believe! Dunn’s River is best for couples who want the most modern and breathtaking resort in Ocho Rios for your honeymoon of a lifetime!
And when you book one of these super-special honeymoon resorts, you get exchange privileges with other Sandals in Ocho Rios!
Sandals in the Bahamas vs Sandals in Jamaica—Our Verdict
Just like we said at the beginning of this article, it’s not easy to choose a honeymoon resort in Jamaica or The Bahamas because the possibilities are endless!
Here’s what we recommend:
Best for a Long, Secluded Beach
Best for Unbelievable Honeymoon Bungalow Suites
- Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica
Best for On-Resort Party Vibe
Best for Barefoot Honeymoons
- Sandals Negril in Jamaica
Best for Local Tours and Breathtaking Amenities On-Resort
- Sandals Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica