A Musical Journey Through Jamaica
Bob Marley. Island Records. Reggae. Jamaica has a musical heritage like few other places. Learn about the island's reggae roots, stay in three immaculate properties and soak up the sun in one of the Caribbean's most under-rated destinations.
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Day 1: International Flight
Your ten-hour flight to Kingston leaves London in the late morning and lands in Jamaica in the afternoon, perfectly timed to get you to your hotel for sundowners.
After you have collected your bags, you will be met by one of our team on the ground for a two-hour private transfer to your first hotel, the achingly cool GoldenEye. As it has been a long day, we've pre-booked dinner for you - make sure you try the saffron poached snapper! - before an early night.
Day 2: Messing About in Boats
GoldenEye is a tribute to two supercool Brits: Bond ('James Bond') and Blackwell (Chris, of Island Records fame). The Bond connection comes from the fact that GoldenEye was once Ian Fleming's house, and where he wrote most of the Bond novels. Blackwell, the record producer who signed Bob Marley and the Wailers and Toots and the Maytals, later bought the house and turned it into a hotel.
If you can tear yourself away from the place, today is all about sea-faring fun. After an early breakfast, you will make your way down to the dock to embark for a day of deep-sea fishing. After spending the day going after barracudas, marlins, and wahoos, not to mention munching on the best picnic in the Caribbean, return for a rather special supper. This evening, we have arranged a private, candlelit dinner on the furthest flung tip of the peninsula, kicking off with a couple of Blackwell rum punches, before your private chef serves up a roster of culinary delights, accompanied by some fine wines (or more rum punches).
- Sailing lesson
- Stand up paddleboarding
- Glass bottom boat excursion
- Picnic and sundowners at Firefly (Noel Coward's Caribbean bolthole)
Day 3: Spa-ing
The FieldSpa at GoldenEye is tucked away in a remote spot beside the lagoon and best reached by kayak or stand up paddleboard.
After a soak in the bush baths, we recommend a peppermint and rosemary massage to soothe aching muscles from yesterday's deep-sea fishing exertions. Spend the rest of the day snorkelling, sailing or just doing not very much at all.
Day 4-5: Geejam
After breakfast this morning, you will be privately transferred to Geejam, an hour-and-three-quarters along the coast at Port Antonio.
The next two days are all about soaking up the sunshine and frolicking in the sea, and your evenings are best spent in the ska bars in town - ask the friendly hotel team for advice on which to try. If you subsequently feel inspired, you can even lay down a few tracks of your own in the hotel's recording studio, complete with sound engineers. We also highly recommend a wander around Port Antonio with an ice cream.
- Deep-sea fishing
- White water
Day 6-7: Strawberry Hill
This morning you will be privately transferred from Geejam to your final hotel, the wonderful Strawberry Hill - another property owned by Chris Blackwell. The two-and-a-half-hour journey takes you along the coast and over the legendary Blue Mountains.
The next two days are all about exploring the estate; we recommend taking some long and leisurely walks around the gardens, which are home to over 350 different plant species. For dinner, dig into snapper fish and plantain at the Old Plantation restaurant, but not before you sample a few Blue Mountain Mist cocktails in the bar!
- Guided hike in the Blue Mountains
- Coffee plantation hike and tour
Day 8: Marley’s Kingston and Flight Home
Today is sadly your last day in Jamaica, but before your early evening flight home there is plenty of time for a guided tour of the stomping grounds of Bob Marley's youth.
With your private guide, you will retrace the steps of the world's most famous Rastafarian, from his childhood church to the Tuff Gong music studios founded by Marley in 1965. As you walk the streets of Kingston - including the iconic Trench Town neighbourhood - your guide will explain how the city and people left an indelible mark on the Jamaican superstar and his music and tell you stories of his youth.
After a last lunch, you will be privately transferred to the airport (your bags will be brought in the same car) in time to check in for your nine-hour flight home.
Day 9: Arrive Home
Your flight arrives in London at breakfast time.
Will is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.