Thursday, 16 January 2020

Jammin' in Jamaica

I know, I know, once again I've been off the radar. Apologies to you all, life has gotten in the way and I still have loads of content to finish in my draft folder, but in the spirit of new year, new me, in 2020 The Basic Traveller is going to be one of my number on priorities.

I'm definitely not doing these posts in order - I owe you all one on South Africa, Iceland, DC and Bologna from 2019, so keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks as I get myself back on track, and then open it up to you guys as well as some more travel tips and tricks and looking ahead to what 2020 might have in store. So, let's dive straight in...Jamaica 🇯🇲

Let me just say as a disclaimer, this was a family holiday so I'm not going to mention budget and prices but share the highs and lows of the island over new years of 2019.

While many people might instantly think of Kingston (and yeh...something else too) when first thinking of Jamaica, there is actually so much more to this island, and flying into Montego Bay on the north-west, just a 9hr flight from Gatwick, it is much bigger than first expected.
Our hotel, the Jamaica Inn, was a 2hr drive in Ocho Rios towards the north-east. This all-inclusive family-run resort was to be our home for the next week and the place where we would first see in 2020. This hotel has been home to some of the super famous back in the day; Winston Churchill, Marlyn Monroe, Kathryn Hepburn and Ian Fleming, just to name a few, and on our trip we weren't disappointed, catching a glimpse of ex-Prime Minister John Major the last before we left, to my father's delight.

With rooms on the beach, breakfast overlooking the sea and a spa that was the pure definition of tranquillity, as you can guess I barely left the hotel, but still somehow managed to catch a cold that I am battling over a week later.

However, when I was eventually dragged off the beach into Ochos Rios and out onto the island, specifically to Noel Coward's house Firefly, I wasn't disappointed. The views from Firefly were incredible, and I completely understand why Sir Noel built his own house about half a mile from his guest house!

Amongst the other places we visited, the Seville Great House was another standout moment, learning Jamaican Patios from our guide, you have to be aware and remember the dark slave-trade history that runs through Jamaica and is ever-present in the remaining Great (Plantation) Houses.

Back on the beach, however, 5 hours behind the UK we saw in 2020 in Great Gatsby style with the most incredible buffet and party on the beach.

Jamaica is not a place for doing things, although there is plenty available if you want to, but is a place for just being, relaxing, and enjoying the wonderfully chilled pace of life.

Have a good week my loves!

Kate xxx

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