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The History of Early Jamaican Hotels in Ephemera:
Brochures, Postcards, Photos, Clippings and Maps
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My Story

I was curious as to what hotel my widowed grandmother went to in 1959 and where she met her second husband. We did know she flew into Montego Bay. Searching the web I found no historical information on Jamaican hotels. I also needed to learn something about the island to plan my grand tour. [Which I never took. I retired and every day became a holiday.] I asked questions on TripAdvisor. Then, liking old things, and realizing that I had a couple of old Esso Jamaica road maps (I like maps and real estate), this history of old Jamaican hotels was born in March 2011. It helps that the subject matter produced ample scannable ephemera and this site shows off my programming and data organization skills. Contributions of scans and information are appreciated. Don Wiss . My Home Page.

Later, based on two pictures my grandmother took on the trip when she met her future husband, I was able to determine that they met at the Montego Beach Hotel in February 1959. She also stayed at the Montego Beach Hotel in February 1952 with my grandfather (the hotel's first season). She liked to go south in the winter. After the early 1960s, she did not go to Jamaica, she wintered in Naples, Florida, and then in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Collections Here

The cutoff date for inclusion here is in existence by the early 1970s.

Website Building

Each hotel will be researched in the digitized Kingston Daily Gleaner. Some have been.
The hotels part of this website is generated by Excel VBA macros using data in text files. For a discussion of that, scanning, and getting newspaper articles and postcards, see Building the Site.

Site Map

The Hotels
Each hotel's page has a lovely satellite view of the property. Hotels are listed in island clockwise-order (traveling in that direction puts you on the water side of the road). There is a Google Map spotting the hotels, with the pins linking to the hotel pages.

There are 171 hotels listed below. 14 are "need location."

Lucea to Montego Bay
Montego Bay: South
Montego Bay: Miranda Hill/Downtown
Montego Bay: Doctor's Cave Beach
Montego Bay: North of the Airport
Rose Hall
Discovery Bay
Runaway Bay
St. Ann's Bay
Dunn's River
Ocho Rios
Tower Isle
Port Maria
Port Antonio
Frenchman's Cove/San San
Long Bay
Kingston: Constant Spring and Stony Hill
Kingston: Kings House to Mona Heights
Kingston: New Kingston and South
Kingston: Spanish Town
Treasure Beach