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Honeymoon Elegance the Way It Should Be

By Michelle R. Mangio
Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Specialist of Magical Escapes Vacations


Palm Island Resort - romantic dining on the beach     Let’s face it – most couples, when imagining their honeymoon, conjure up images of incredible romance on a gorgeous tropical island. And just as many imagine an exotic getaway, somewhere they’ve never been and might never go again. After all, many reason, is it even possible to find that old-world luxury, service, and romance in a destination everyone goes to?

The answer to that question is the Jamaica Inn, resting elegantly along a private stretch of soft sand in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

As I’m writing this, about to gush about this amazing hotel – and trust me, I’m truly about to gush – you might think that I’m biased. And I would have to say yes, yes I am… because I had the extreme pleasure of a romantic getaway at this resort with my husband this past June, and I fell in love. The Jamaica Inn is the type of place I’ve been dreaming of, and didn’t even realize how much I longed for. I close my eyes, and I can still see the view from my verandah. I’ve been there, I love it, and now I’m telling you: this is the hotel to honeymoon at if you are looking for an intimate getaway, where old-world charm, luxury, and personal service embrace you, coupled with romance and beautiful surroundings.

Let me put it another way: when I vacation, I am the type of person who has to do and see it all. I might have an amazing room in a fabulous resort, but I rarely spend much time in it (though I may want to). I’m at a new place, and I want to get out and explore. And when we first planned our journey to Jamaica Inn, I had our schedule booked with tours, activities, and inspections.

Then we arrived at the Jamaica Inn. We were met at the airport by a personal driver, who helped us into a private car, provided refreshments, and drove us to the Inn. Upon arrival, we were greeted like family, given drinks as they checked us in and then escorted us to our accommodations – whereupon we discovered we were upgraded to one of the cottages overlooking the ocean.

Now, I’ll confess… the view was amazing. I could (and did) spend hours just gazing out at our view, soaking in that blue, blue ocean. I took dozens of pictures, but none did it justice. Yet it wasn’t just the spacious rooms, the comfortable bed, the beautiful view. It wasn’t just the great dining (though it was great), the intimate resort, the private beach, the many hammocks, or other special little touches.

It was also the people, who made us feel like family. It was the service and the friendliness of the staff. My husband mentioned that first day to one of the staff members that we would need to take one of the big leaves from the tree near our cottage home with us, as our four year old son enjoyed collecting leaves. Days later, when we checked out, he was reminded by that same person to take a leaf home for our son. That the staff remembered such a tiny detail goes to show the level of service they provide: they do listen, they do care, and they do take care of you.

So what did I do? For perhaps the first time ever in any vacation I have taken, I threw all of our plans out the window. I didn’t want to leave the resort. I wanted to stay right there and enjoy it – and we did. Swinging in a hammock reading. Lying in the sun. Swimming in the beautiful Caribbean waters. Sharing stories with the staff at the bar. Enjoying high tea while playing games in the library. Getting a couples massage in a cabana over the ocean. Enjoying a private candlelight dinner on our verandah at sunset. It was the kind of perfect escape I had always dreamed of.

I told you I would gush. For those of you who have read many of my articles, I often try to be objective in the writing of them. Yet, it is my passion for travel and my passion to ensure that your honeymoon is equally unforgettable that my clients love and keeps them coming back to me. And I realized that there was no better testament to what a gem this resort is than to express how much the Jamaica Inn has ignited my passion for their intimate, elegant property.

So what is it that really sets the Jamaica Inn apart from other resorts on the island? For one, in this modern world of commercialized all-inclusive resorts dominating the market, here is an intimate, five-star property on a beautiful stretch of private beach in lush Ocho Rios. Since 1950, the Jamaica Inn has been consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the Caribbean, including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, TripAdvisor, and the World Travel Awards. It rests on what many consider to be the premier private beach in Jamaica, and all 47 of its suites – suites, not rooms – overlook the beach, the Caribbean Sea, or both.

The resort boasts many amenities and services for its guests. Activities, such as croquet, snorkeling, kayaks, sunfish sailing, exercise room, swimming pool, are all complimentary, with windsurfing, sailing, tennis and diving available for a modest fee. Even beauty care can be scheduled in-room by appointment for those who desire it.

The KiYara Ocean Spa is located on the seaside cliffs overlooking Cutlass Bay, and offers a wide range of holistic and blissful treatments. The name means “sacred place of the earth spirits” in the language of the Taino people (the original inhabitants of the area), and reflects the Spa’s commitment to balancing nature, the body, and the spirit. Treatments are drawn from native plants of the islands, some coming from local organic farmers and others gathered in the wild using environmentally sustainable methods.

An outdoor relaxation and resting area overlooks the ocean, in a peaceful setting surrounded by lush rainforest. Many of the treatment rooms open up to the ocean air, and a few are located in treetop or cliffside cabanas.

For the perfect compliment to any Honeymoon, I highly recommend the Couples Moonlight Serenade, seventy-five minutes of romantic bliss. A champagne toast on a romantic candlelit deck over the ocean, followed by a couples massage… if the therapists don’t lull you into dreamland, the relaxing sound of the waves beneath you might very well do the trick.

The dining at Jamaica Inn is a gourmet lover’s delight, from breakfast through the amazing six-course dinner. Indeed, Gourmet Magazine named the restaurant at Jamaica Inn its pick for a romantic dinner in Jamaica, and the Jamaica Observer awarded the Inn the “Best Kept Secret for Breakfast” in the Table Talk 2003 Food Awards.

Dinner at the seaside restaurant is truly romantic. Amazing ocean views facing the sunset are only part of it, for dinner is held outside (weather permitting) by candlelight as if you sat among the stars. A live band performs throughout the evening, and is happy to take requests.

But if you don’t wish to dress up for dinner (casual resort wear for breakfast & lunch, but dress up is required for the evening), there is, if one can believe it, an even more romantic option: candlelight dinner on your private verandah. For a modest fee – it was around $5 in June – you can opt to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner served instead on the verandah of your suite. And this isn’t just a waiter showing up with a tray, depositing it on your table, and leaving. This is white-glove service. Imagine our delight when our staff member arrived, set out the white linens, china, and silverware, arranged all of our food, ensured we were set and needed nothing else, and then bowing his way out. And then, alone, with a full-course gourmet meal to enjoy at your leisure, together. I recommend at least one dinner – and one breakfast – to be enjoyed this way.

But if there is a crowning glory of the Jamaica Inn, it has to be their suites.

Spacious, impeccable, and tasteful, each suite has a private balustraded balcony or large verandah, complete with full-sized sofa, wing char, breakfast table, writing desk, and coffee table. There are no TVs, radios or clocks to intrude on your rest, and on the rare occasion when the ocean breeze won’t suffice, each offers ceiling fans and air conditioning to provide comfort.

There are three main categories of Suites: Balcony, Deluxe Verandah, and Premier Verandah. The difference is mainly in location, as they are all roughly the same size and layout. Balcony Suites are located upstairs in the Main Wing or East Wing Ocean Front, with views across the lawn to the beach and sea, with Deluxe Verandah Suites located on the ground floor. For honeymooners, I recommend the Premier Verandah Suites, as these are located either directly on the beach or on the water – the perfect location.

Also available is the Cowdray Suite, offering a large bedroom with separate dressing room and a large living room style verandah with amazing views of the North Coast and the Caribbean Sea.

For a bit of privacy, and direct access to the beach, consider the luxurious, one-bedroom Blue Cottage. The large shuttered verandah can be opened for amazing ocean views or closed for total seclusion, making this the perfect romantic hideaway.

On the bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea are a small number of one and two bedroom cottages, offering full kitchens, living rooms, master bedroom and large bathroom, large verandahs, and private entrance to the ocean.

The most amazing accommodations would have to be the White Suite and Cottages 3 & 4. Many argue over which is better, but all agree they make for an amazing honeymoon experience.

Cottage 3 & 4 rest along a bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea and offer true panoramic views of the ocean. The natural beauty of the landscape and rainforest were kept as much as possible around the suite. Each exclusive suite offers an outdoor shower, an infinity plunge pool, and a private entrance to the sea. Marble-floored bathrooms are oversized with separate shower and tub, and a stocked wet bar is in the living room.

The White Suite is located on its own private peninsula. To say the bedroom of the suite is large would be an understatement, as it features its own sitting area and a luxurious marble bathroom. At over 2000 square feet of living space, including a dining table and living room area, there is plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea from anywhere in the suite. The private terrace opens to a secluded pool surrounded by lush rainforest. A trail leads down the peninsula, offering chairs and hammocks to enjoy, and ending a short distance later in a private lookout point over the ocean. Private dinners or couples massage treatments can be enjoyed here.

Regardless of which room you decide to stay in at the Jamaica Inn, you’ll soon find that you don’t want to go home. The staff are courteous and friendly, and exemplify the level of service you expect in an intimate, timelessly elegant resort. The Jamaica Inn is the type of place where honeymoon dreams are fulfilled. Don’t just take my word for it; come and experience it for yourself.

Click here to Book your Dream Vacation with Magical Escapes Vacations and Travel Impressions



About Michelle Mangio
Michelle Mangio is the owner of Magical Escapes Vacations, based in Attleboro, MA. She is a certified Honeymoons & Destination Weddings Specialist, with expertise in many popular honeymoon locations, including Tahiti & the South Pacific, Australia, Aruba, Hawaii, Cancun, and more.

About Magical Escapes Vacations

Magical Escapes Vacation is a full-service travel agency specializing in complete destination planning for any occasion. “Don’t just make reservations. Make experiences. Create memories. Live your dreams.” Let Magical Escapes Vacations take the stress and uncertainty out of vacation planning by assisting you in creating a vacation to remember for a lifetime. Our unique personalized approach will exceed your expectations. We treat each vacation like it was our own, and will work with you to find the perfect getaway. So escape away today… because everyone deserves a vacation.
For more information, contact Michelle at Magical Escapes Vacations toll-free at 866-698-7849 or locally at 508-717-2535, by email at michelle @ magicalescapes.com, or online at http://www.magicalescapes.com

Palm Island Resort - romantic dining on the beach
About Jamaica Inn

Since 1950, Jamaica Inn has consistently been ranked as one of the top resort hotels and vacation destinations in the Caribbean. Jamaica Inn is a small, elegantly timeless resort located in beautiful Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Situated on what many consider to be the premier private beach in Jamaica. All of Jamaica Inn's 47 suites overlook the beach, the Blue Caribbean, or both.
For more information, visit Jamaica Inn online at http://www.jamaicainn.com


Magical Escapes Vacationshttp://www.magicalescapes.com

(This article originally appeared in the November 2008 Edition of the Wedding Day Sourcebook)
(Photos appearing in article are © Jamaica Inn, all rights reserved, and are used with permission.)





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