Under new management, we wanted to revisit Jamaica Inn and compare it to our review of two years ago to see what changes have occurred, if any.
Revisiting a resort, which you loved on your first visit, can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you are familiar with it and can get right into vacationing, without having to get accustomed to the property. But on the other hand, there may be some trepidation that the second or subsequent visits may not live up to your first impressions.
We gave a glowing review to Jamaica Inn two years ago and wanted our readers to know whether it just made a good first impression or did it have sustainability. We have to say that Jamaica Inn was every bit as good as the first time.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, really, since the five-star Jamaica Inn is still the number-one ranked hotel in Ocho Rios, with the Sandals Royal Plantation, number two. (see our review of the Royal Plantation.) In addition, Jamaica Inn is one of those resorts whose return guest list is impressive. We met a couple who have been coming to Jamaica Inn for twenty-five years, and they are seasoned world-travelers. Over its long history, Jamaica Inn has played host to some famous celebrities, not the least of which was Marilyn Monroe, who have the option of staying anywhere in the world they wish.
Even when fully booked, Jamaica Inn never appears crowded, giving you the sense that the entire resort belongs to you which you may share with a few others. As return guests we were greeted with the Jamaica Inn traditional, “Welcome home!” And you do feel right at home the minute you step back onto the property.
Replacing the long-standing manager of eleven years is Mr. Kyle Mais, an engaging and affable gentleman who is also a native Jamaican. We had an extended conversation with him and owner Eric Morrow about some of the changes and “inn-provements” that have been made and will be made at Jamaica Inn in the near future.
Jamaica Inn, which is usually closed in September, will remain open. Beginning August 4th, they are reinstituting Sunday Brunch, which judging from all the meals we have had here, should prove to be very impressive. We partook of the Tuesday night beach barbeque, which we missed on our last visit. Along with a fire pit, it’s elegant dining from head to toe. Well, not really to toe, since you are welcomed to put your bare feet in the sand. The selection of salads, meats, fish with all the trimmings, were prepared to perfection, and topped off with fresh fruits and sumptuous desserts. Chefs Derrick and Maurice continue to be an impressive gourmet team.
Jamaica Inn is also planning on a new villa accommodation, along with a larger fitness facility and new entranceway.
In our White Suite accommodation, an outdoor love seat was added in the garden. Owner Eric still talks about building a tree house on this accommodation as well. We’ll have to take some vine-swinging classes when that happens!
For a detailed review of the White Suite, please see our article at www.intimacytravel.com.
The privacy, expansiveness and tranquility of the Jamaica Inn White Suite continue to impress us the second time around. You can enjoy an in-suite breakfast in the morning (try the coconut pancakes) . . .
Take your private stairs for a swim in the crystal clear, perfect temperature Caribbean Sea, or just laze in your private pool at sunup. . .
Sunsets are truly spectacular as the “light show” changes minute by minute, with each scene more extraordinary than the next. They can be viewed from various vantage points on your property.
Make sure to schedule a romantic, candlelight dinner out on your private promontory.
Another new and impassioned project of Jamaica Inn is supporting the preservation of sea turtles. It’s unfortunate that we had an early Thursday departure, because Jamaica Inn arranged for transportation for its guests to witness an actual hatching of sea turtles at a nearby beach preserve later in the day on Thursday. Evidently, the guardians of this preserve know the exact day and hour of the hatching, so this is truly, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Jamaica Inn believes that “that more we give the more we get back.” And to that end, they ask guests to contribute $1.50 a day to the Jamaica Inn Foundation, which sustains “critically needed services for vulnerable Jamaican girls who have been abused; in need of education, counseling and guidance or any other situation that requires our help.”
Kudos to Jamaica Inn for supporting and promoting these worthy causes.
As we continue to write reviews on hotels and resorts around the world and especially the Caribbean, the White Suite at Jamaica Inn will be the standard by which we measure all others. Thus far, it remains our best accommodation.
Gary de Sesa & Kita de Sesa are travel agents and owners of Gary D Travel. Contact us at 516-300-9924
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