Jammin’ in Jamaica
Written by Chloe Hambidge
Highlights- Negril, Montego Bay, Kingston, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio
Tropical allure, ombre shores and a vibrant culture that will catch your eye and get you dancing, Jamaica is a much-adored hotspot of the Caribbean. All this bliss and the added allure of pristine beaches glowing golden at every turn, it’s never been easier to stumble upon a lavish haven, whether that’s a world-class resort or a small and humble hotel brimming with all thing’s luxury. Rightfully earning a golden reputation amongst the Caribbeans crown, jam to rhythms of reggae music and let your tastebuds dance alongside you with tantalizing tastes promised at every dish. Soak all this wonder up for yourself with breathtaking vistas adorned with powdered sands and turquoise waters hugged by a backdrop of lush greenery, a picture we can easily make into a reality. Everything about the island presents an illuminating backdrop of indulgence; and that’s before you even get a sip of their rum. Lounge on a beach with a fruity cocktail in hand or fly through rainforest via zipline- Jamaica widens your horizons to what holidaying can truly be; even take your adventures into the underwater world with snorkeling opportunities coming to life under the translucent waves. It’s a tropical oasis like no other as you live the barefoot island life, mix luxury with authentic beachside grills and it won’t be long till you figure out why Jamaica is held in such high regards by Brits and wanderlusters worldwide. Unrivalled hospitality will cross the Ts and dot the Is with the heavenly serenity of your surroundings taking care of the rest.
Being the third largest island in the Caribbean succumb to the awe-inspiring emerald mountains, waterfall-haunted mountains and platinum coasts as it engulfs you. Encouraging a slower type of travel, Jamaica comes with its own melodic soundtrack. With the art of reggae guiding your travels, these grooves drifting to you from one Rasta- coloured beach bar to another. To truly immerse yourself in this upbeat way of life spend some time in Trench Town, Kingston, where renowned Reggae artist Bob Marley spent his formative years. Re-invigorate the soul with this guide to all things Jamaica as this rich island becomes your happy place.
This powerfully beautiful island holds boundless limits of natural beauty, don’t miss any of mother nature’s gifts with this guide promising something for everyone:
Glowing with immeasurable beauty this 180ft (55m) deep “Blue Hole”- as regarded by the locals, opens to the aquiline sea ahead but what makes this place so magical is its freshwater properties. Fed by freshwater springs this hotspot shimmers a kaleidoscope of green from emerald to jade thanks to the cold freshwater that blankets the warm mass of seawater lurking below, mirroring its lush tropical greenery canopying over it. Feel as if you’ve stumbled upon your own private lagoon as its nestled amongst a protected cove and surrounded by forested cliffs.
Near Port Antonio is where Frenchman’s Cove lays, a honey pot of tropical scenery it’s the perfect retreat to unwind. Where water from the towering Blue Mountains flows into the Caribbean Sea, this magical intermingling of waters creates an eye catching cocktail of tropical marvel made all the greater with a dramatic canopy of luxuriant greenery and a powdered white-sand beach. Owned by Frenchman’s Cove Resort, a visit here is joined by equally as impressive amenities from a snack bar serving jerk chicken and fish, alfresco showers, bathrooms, a secure parking area and the option of embarking on a boat trip to the one and only Blue Lagoon.
Dunn’s River Falls & Park.
With Jamaica holding natural wonder in excess, Dunn’s River Falls and Park is where it seems to all come together. With tiers of seemingly white glowing limestone, climb to godlike advantage at 180ft (55m) high and step down to come face to face into a 180m series of beautiful cascades and pools, perfect to cool off in after your worthwhile trek. Shaded by a tall cocoon of rainforest it’s an ideal day trip to experience such natural bliss that Jamaica boasts. The park has expert guides on hand as well as delicious food stalls and a restaurant, it also has a kids playground for the little ones. Even venture through a hard-selling craft market to get the perfect trinket to remember your time at these magical Falls whilst giving back to the community.
Doctor’s Cove Beach.
Don’t just visit Jamaica. Experience Jamaica, become one of the locals at the welcoming Doctor’s Cove Beach. With a unique history destined to peak you interest, this beach gets its name from English chiropractor- Sir Herbert Barker- who claimed the waters had healing properties and sent the beach into a frenzy. Taking on calmer waters these recent years, this spot is still beloved by locals and tourists alike being one of the allusive Montego Bays’ greatest assets. A pretty arc of sugary sand hugging the lapping deep-blue gem studded with dive platforms and speckled with free loving tourists, a day here comes with limitless possibilities. With bucketloads of facilities at hand, indulge in a restaurant, a grill bar, an internet cafe, water sports and snorkels, beach chairs and towels available to rent.
The elusive Port Royal is a historic gem featuring tales of sex, money and booze thanks to its ties with the careless ways of wild pirates including Sir Henry Morgan (inspiring Captain Morgan rum), Calico Jack and Blackbeard Teach as they reigned supreme way back in the 17th century. Divers everywhere would know of the famed Port Royal, after an earthquake in 1962 which led to parts of the town slipping into the sea. The remains located 12m below the surface of Kingston Harbour form one of the best conserved underwater heritage sights and is truly unmissable. This underwater adventure opens doors to pirate heritage and transports you to when the town was hailed “the wickedest city on earth”. Or for those who favour dry, land explorations, open your mind to the cities rich history at Fort Charles, the Maritime Museum and St Peter’s Church. There’ll be plenty of time to compare stories on your travels, whether you’re a history buff or a thrill seeker, excitement here is a given.
After what seems like infinite opportunities to feed your wanderlust, we cannot forget the true meaning of holidays. With the blazing Caribbean sun and some of the best beaches in the world, allow Negril to open these doors for you. Bathed in serenity and picture perfect vistas, the award of relaxation is given to Negril ten times over. Sunsets at Seven Miles Beach are legendary as you escape the world to cliffs overlooking the ongoing sea, the view alone being an antidote for just about anything. Explore colourful coral kingdoms or sit peacefully on horseback as you take a ride along the beach. Despite Negril’s much acclaimed tranquillity, this paradise is what you make it with nightlife easily spilling into daytime. With quirky spots like Rick’s Café indulge in cool creative cocktails and adrenaline inducing cliff jumping, or the Rockhouse Restaurant perched on the cliff side. Negril is also home to the largest waterpark in the country, Kool Runnings, featuring countless waterslides, go-kart racing, kayaking and lots of other attractions spanning over a marvellous five acres.
With all this is in consideration the only thing missing is a hotel dappled in luxury, palm fringed walkways, a golden beach oasis, in typical holiday fashion, leave any worry behind as this is something Jamaica has mastered in aplenty. After days of exploring and soaking up all this cultural gold mine has to offer, tear yourself away from the steady grooves of Reggae guiding your adventures and experience luxury nestled amongst this countries unparalleled beauty.
Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios
No schedules, no background noise, just a beautiful setting topped off with impeccable service. This elegant boutique hotel is promised to inspire peace and relaxation amongst a timelessly sophisticated resort cherished by Jamaica since the 1950s. Featured in The Millionaires’ Holiday Club, the six secluded acres house 53 spacious, colonial style suites and cottages each presenting magnificent vistas of the sea. Complementary non-motorised water sports are included in this lavish stay and visit in the summer to have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of witnessing the endangered hawksbill turtle nest and hatch along the hotels beach.
Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Montego Bay
Dripping with elegance which can only be created by Ralph Lauren, Round Hills guestrooms are the epitome of understated luxury thanks to Laurens’ exclusive designs. Spoilt for choice, take in views of the sea as it stetches before you from magnificent advantage from your very own hillside private villa. Luxuriant gardens surround you, with lush sweet smelling fauna emitting calmness guiding you to a secluded cove and golden sand beach- it’s as if you’ve stumbled upon your very own paradise. With award-winning restaurants equipped with expert chefs and a spa dappled in Elemis products.
Laidback yet opulent this peaceful oasis envisions carefree luxury Jamaican style. With direct access to the shimmering water from Lagoon Cottages whether for snorkelling or kayaking; as well as a complimentary glass bottom boat tour, experience everything this island escape has to offer. The name Goldeneye may ring a bell, as you sip a martini poolside recline just like they do in the movies with the elusive Fleming Villa being where James Bond came to life and much acclaimed fame. A creative hotel oozing style and sophistication, this stunning 52-acre site is brimming with natural beauty as well as a world class spa and three delightful eateries.