Having visited Jamaica 18 years ago I always had great memories of crystal clear seas and abundance of friendly people and I had always wanted to re-visit with my boyfriend having told him how much I had enjoyed it all those years ago. Now working in the luxury travel industry I was lucky enough to stay at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios close to the famous DunnsRiver falls. This property was featured in our BBC 2 documentary The Millionaires’ Holiday Club, which aired the day before we arrived, so I had heard a lot about it and was keen to experience the hotel for myself.
We arrived in the evening time having spent the previous night and day in Miami (a great stopover option as it's just an hour and a half flight from Jamaica itself). Given our late arrival, it was not until the following morning when we woke up in our cottage overlooking the ocean that we had that 'wow' moment! We were lucky enough to be staying in one of seven cottages at the resort which feature a private infinity pool and large private terrace with direct access into the shimmering blue sea. I could not have dreamed of anywhere more perfect to chill out and relax, just the two of us.
Breakfast can be served on your terrace or at the restaurant where an à la carte menu is offered from fresh fruit to a fully cooked hot breakfast including local specialities such as Ackee and saltfish and of course freshly brewed BlueMountain coffee. We did nothing but relax during our stay here however if I had stayed a little longer we definitely would have taken advantage of the morning boat trip to Dunns River Falls, which gets you there before the cruise ships arrive and more tourists come to this popular attraction.
Between sunbathing on what felt like a private beach (as there are no official private beaches on the island), reading and more sunbathing on our terrace we enjoyed lunch either in the restaurant or on our terrace when we were feeling lazy! At dinner time there was a sumptuous 3-course meal on offer in the hotel restaurant, accommpanied by the obligatory rum cocktail!
Being on an island we sampled the “catch of the day”, which can be cooked to your liking; we had ours blackened. This ultra-relaxed schedule of sunshine and good food was broken up with a trip to the onsite spa with its wooden treatment rooms, some overlooking the sea so you can listen to the waves - I know for sure I fell asleep during my treatment!
The resort is traditional in style including its own croquet lawn and comfortable furnishings that made it feel like a home-from-home. Plus, with no phones or TVs in the rooms, you can really switch off from the outside world and being here I really felt like I was a million miles away from anywhere. I can really now understand why it was so popular back in the day with Hollywood stars including Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and although they can’t tell you which other celebrities stay here now, the charming barman, Teddy, who has been there for over 50 years may give away the odd secret!