JamaicaHotelHistory.com
The History of Early Jamaican Hotels in Postcards & Maps

I was curious as to what hotel my widowed grandmother went to in the late 1950s and where she met her second husband. 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. I asked questions. Then, realizing that I had a couple of old Esso Jamaica road maps (I like maps), this history of old Jamaican hotels was born. About 190 vintage postcard pictures were added to document 55 of the early places.

Why stay at an older hotel? The biggest advantage is the first hotels grabbed the best natural beaches and other best locations. These days they plop a resort anywhere and add a man-made beach and cove. Some examples: The Palmyra Resort and Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall and my favorite: Club Ambiance.

Maps

The core of this list was obtained from the Esso Jamaica road maps that I have. (Many editions were printed every few years starting in 1958. I need 1963 and ~1975.) Some earlier hotels are from my Collins Road Map of Jamaica from the mid-1950s. A list of the principal hotels extant as of 1952 can be found in this Handbook Of Jamaica starting on page 26. The cutoff date for inclusion here is early 1970s. Very useful in finding what is at a spot now is WikiMapia, where people identify what is seen in Google's satellite photos.

I was unsuccessful getting my high-end panorama stitching package to do a mosaic stitch of the Collins map scans. They don't fit in with the Esso maps linked to below, so here is the northern coast in four maps: Negril To MoBay and MoBay To Runaway Bay and Runaway Bay To Annotto Bay and Annotto Bay And East + Kingston. [Legend: The initials after a town note whether there is a: PS-Police Station, PO-Post Office, and T-Telephone.]

Postcards

Postcard pictures were obtained from several sources. All of the Cards pictured here were for sale at one point. Most of the cards are for sale now. You might even have multiple cards of the same scene to choose from. For Jamaica collections see:

Travel Brochures

I found some hotel brochures from 1953. They are noted alongside the hotels below. Or see list of all travel brochures.

Help

If you have any information that you can add to this page, especially the year of openings, name changes, and closings, a link to my e-mail can be found at the bottom.


The Hotels

Hotels are listed in island clockwise-order. From each postcard picture page you can go directly to the next hotel.

Table of Contents to the Below:

West of Montego Bay (west to east)

For map scans of this portion of Jamaica see Esso: 1961 and 1967 and 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 2005.

Montego Bay (south to north)

For scans of Montego Bay inset map see Esso: 1961 and 1967 and 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 2005.

Between Montego Bay & Ocho Rios (west to east)

For map scans of this portion of Jamaica see Esso: 1961 and 1967 and 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 2005.

Ocho Rios (west to east)

For scans of the Ocho Rios inset map see Esso: 1961 and 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 2005.

East of Ocho Rios

For map scans of this portion of Jamaica see Esso: 1961 and 1967 and 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 2005.

Port Antonio & East

For scans of the Port Antonio inset map see Esso: 1961 and 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 2005.

Kingston (alpha within neighborhood)

South Middlesex


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