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This all-inclusive resort lies just up the road from the north coast’s popular Dunn’s River Falls attraction. As with other Jewel properties, it truly is all-inclusive: One rate covers all premium alcoholic drinks, airport transfers, non-motorized water sports, a 9-hole pitch and putt golf course (and greens fees at, and transfers to, the 18-hole Runaway Bay Golf Club at a sister resort), and all snacks and meals at dining choices that range from beach grill to wood-fire pizzas, teppanyaki-style Japanese, to elegant Jamaican-infused International.

Every guest room has a Caribbean Colonial–style decor, complete with four-poster beds, marble-topped tables, and balconies. The best rooms with the best views are in the Diamond Building, which stretches right out onto the beach, but you do pay a bit more for them. Ask for a room facing the center of the property—they all have angled balconies for sea views—as those on the back, facing the neighboring Riu property, catch the noise of its disco late into the night. Emerald Lanai Building rooms are close to the beach, but are older and smaller.

Evening entertainment tends to be blessedly more laid-back than at some frenetic resorts, consisting of a piano jazz bar by the smaller pool, dive-in movies at the main pool, and evening drinks in the Emerald Tree Lounge in a grove of almond trees festooned with Christmas lights.

 - Reid Bramblett