It’s official, Jamaica has arrived at Sovereign. This tiny island with a big personality has won over a legion of super-fans, thanks to a unique brand of knock-your-socks-off beauty, musical soul and laid-back living. Throw in some fantastic cuisine and an infectiously enthusiastic population, and you’re looking at the breakout star of the Caribbean. Sound like your particular brand of rum? Kick off your shoes and let’s get to know Jamaica…
Jamaica has the kind of beaches that keep postcard sellers in business, and they’re even better in real life – all smooth, silky white sands and vibrant sapphire waters, with palm leaves and Bob Marley riffs catching the breeze. The backdrop is pretty stunning, too – Jamaica is famous for its lush scenery.
Must-visits include the legendary Seven Mile Beach in Negril (not quite seven miles, in fact, but gorgeous nonetheless) that regularly tops lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Montego Bay – Mo’Bay to its friends – is Jamaica’s second city after Kingston. In many ways, this is classic Jamaica; it’s got the island’s famous tropical beauty and easy-going vibe, not to mention an all-star line-up of luxe resorts.
Sandwiched between the city and the coast, the Hip Strip is Mo’Bay’s lifeline, with its bars, street vendors and jerk eateries serving up a condensed hit of Jamaican life. It’s our pick for a colourful Caribbean escape – if it sounds right up your street, here’s where to stay…
Wake up to sea views
For a real get-away-from-it-all, Round Hill Hotel & Villas offers fabulous luxury villas and boutique oceanfront rooms within its 110 acres, in an insanely pretty spot in Montego Bay. If you can tear yourself away from the sea-view infinity pool, make the most of the free transportation to the celebrated Tryall Golf Club for a round.
As the sun starts to dip, choose barefoot elegance at the torch-lit beach barbeques, dancing to calypso music or live jazz. For something a bit more intimate, you can enjoy private dining in your own villa or in a seafront gazebo.
Join the party
Looking for a family holiday? Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall brings its all-inclusive party vibe to Montego Bay’s spotless shores. In between paddling around your swim-up room, sipping the local tipple with a rum sommelier and tasting authentic Jamaican jerk, the entertainment here is pretty much non-stop.
The interactive live shows run six nights a week at the outdoor theatre, switching from beach parties and circus performances to steel drum shows. By day, you can snorkel in the crystal-clear Caribbean, take a dance lesson or see the chefs put on cooking demonstrations.
Candlelit beach dinners
If you’re thinking Jamaica for a couples’ retreat, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is an adults-only resort in Montego Bay. It’s all-inclusive, with cabana-edged swimming pools, and a swim-up bar so you don’t even need to leave the water to grab an ice-cold rum punch.
Splash out on blissful spa rituals or a round at the White Witch Golf Course, before picking from the Brazilian steak house or Moroccan-themed rooftop lounge. Save a night for dinner on the beach – it’s as romantic as it gets.