There's more to Jamaica than sandy beaches, nice as they are. The island's fertile internal slopes are a haven from the heat with spectacular views of the coastline and sparkling Caribbean Sea beyond, and also home to the Strawberry Hill, a seriously elegant plantation house hotel.
At a height of 3100 ft in the heart of the Blue Mountains overlooking Kingston, Strawberry Hill has 12 white cottages and villas in neat Colonial style with furnishings made by local artisans at the local workshop.
The Restaurant serves excellent quality contemporary Jamaican cuisine while the wood-lined bar is the perfect place to enjoy a rum cocktail surrounded by photos of the family and friends of owner Chris Blackwell, producer and founder of legendary Island records. The secluded spa has five treatment rooms and uses lotions and potions created from local botanicals such as lavender and coconut.
For those keen to explore beyond the hotel, there are several local hiking trails, and thanks to the Island Records connection, they can arrange fascinating music themed tours of Kingston and further afield on an island at the centre of reggae culture, and the birthplace of Bob Marley.
Why We Love It
Sunday Brunch is something of an institution at Strawberry Hill. Try their take on Egg Florentine, made with local speciality callaloo instead of spinach.
The Trident hotel in Port Antonio is a refreshing blend of old and new, with its 1960s original location and its ultra sleek 21st century facelift.
With only thirteen villas, the resort is small and quite an island hideaway. Each ocean front villa has a comfortably furnished patio, private plunge pool, and is decorated with understated sophistication with light furnishings and 60s artwork.
Trident's restaurant Mike's Supper Club is the place to be with its speakeasy-Jazz bar design and great selection of Japanese-Jamaican inspired dishes and classic cocktail selection. If the food and drink doesn't attract guests then its bright red baby grand piano, which comes alive in the evening with Jazz musicians, will.
Activities at the resort include snorkelling, kayaking and boat excursions, a range of water sports and a fully equipped gym. Guests can also explore the nearby Blue Lagoon, unspoilt beaches and local markets.
For a little R & R guests can retreat to the sun loungers on the private beach, or treat themselves to a Spa day. Maybe even chuck in a pool side cocktail into the mix and guests will never want to leave this tropical haven.
Why We Love It
For chilling out Trident has a winning combination of great Caribbean vistas and an infinity swimming pool!