Included but often overlooked in Jamaica's accommodations sector of more than 32,000 rooms are the country's small charmers: those properties with 100 rooms or less tucked into hillsides, perched in the Blue Mountains, overlooking quiet coves or in city neighborhoods surrounded by gardens and parks.
Recent travel trends have revealed an increase in interest and bookings at boutique hotels, driven by travelers' desires for more authentic, local experiences, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.
That led the JTB to create a website, JamaicaInnsandHotels.com, to promote its small hotels, inns, villas and guesthouses to "empower Jamaica's vibrant small accommodations sector to maximize the benefits of this growing market," according to the board.
The JTB is marketing and funding the program, which is open to to licensed properties with 100 rooms or less. The JTB serves as the licensing agency for all tourism accommodations in the country. The program is free for property owners who choose to participate, and they manage their own content, room inventory, property images, discounts and offerings.
"There are approximately 400 properties in the program out of the total of 436 licensed accommodations under 100 rooms currently in Jamaica," said Donovan White, the director of tourism.
He described the small-accommodations sector as an important segment of Jamaica's overall lodging market and one with appeal for travelers looking for intimate experiences.
The properties are scattered all over the island, from Montego Bay on the northwest coast to Kingston on the east coast, and they include some well-known properties such as the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, with 47 guestrooms and five cottages; the 34-room Rockhouse Hotel in Negril; and Jake's on Treasure Beach on Jamaica's south coast, with three villas, seven cottages and 20 guestrooms.