There are several clichés about Jamaica, from laid-back locals and rum punch, to jerk chicken and steel drums. While these are true, there is a lot more to the country and its people. And whatever the Jamaicans do, they do it with heart, taking to the theme and running with it, especially when it comes to luxury.
Luxurious Magazine’s Senior Reporter, Sabi Phagura, headed out to the island to scout out some of the luxury places on offer which combine good food, wellness and a healthy dose of spiritual awareness.
Names like Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio conjure up images of beauty, romance and relaxation. But the real beauty is the hospitality of the locals who will enhance your experience of the country. This was paramount from the moment I stepped off the plane and checked into the five-star Royalton Negril. The healthy flow of rum, I quickly realised, equalled that of the smiles of everyone we met.
Negril is a super-chilled town on the westernmost tip of Jamaica. It’s where Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan came to get away from it all. Indeed, there are several luxury hotels lining the world famous Seven Mile Beach, but it’s the smaller hotels that really captured my attention. Tensing Pen is one of the most romantic and intimate boutique hotels and Caribbean resorts in Jamaica. Picturesque, serene, and devoid of TVs in its rooms, this place is a haven for those wanting to escape the stresses of modern day life.
Just a short distance away, you can find Rockhouse Hotel. Equally chic and popular with celebrities looking for a quick weekend getaway, this chic abode is perched upon the scenic cliffs of Negril’s west end. And just as the views are good for the soul, the food is good for the body. One of the first to embrace the farm-to-table concept, an organic farm can be found on site.
Diners and guests alike can take a tour of the farm to see all the food on offer. A walk around here and it felt like a mini-education on gastronomy. It’s not often city folk like myself get to venture around farms and see how food is grown. And the educational tour worked. I knew exactly what sorrel was when I was served it mixed with ginger and a touch of sweetener during a pit stop.
The green leafy plant has many uses, but in Jamaica, it is commonly mixed with ginger and rum and drunk over the Christmas period. And if farm-to-table is a concept you can’t get enough of, a trip to Zimbali Retreats is a must.