My husband and I escaped on a little vacay to Jamaica in April and It. Was. Amazing!
We planned this vacation back in February and knew we wanted to have a relaxing beach vacation. Our last vacation included a 14 hour flight so our only criteria was a short flight. Ultimately, we decided on Jamaica because my sister and brother-in-law have been talking about how amazing it is since they went on their honeymoon 6 ½ years ago AND the flight is only an hour and 40 minutes.
Once we decided on Jamaica the real work started. We looked at big resorts, small resorts, resorts in Montego Bay, resorts in Ochos Rios, read every bad review on Trip Advisor, read every good review on Trip Advisor until our eyes bled and brains exploded. But, it all paid off because we found a little gem – Hermosa Cove in Ochos Rios.
Hermosa Cove is a small resort of villas on a lush topical landscape overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The owner is an art collector and the website describes the resort as “an art installation lovingly crafted into the natural landscape” which it truly is.
We had the luxury of a two story, one bedroom villa with a full kitchen and plunge pool. It was celebrity status! The property pops with pink, yellow and orange flowers, lush green leaves, white beaches and crystal clear water. The sun is bright and warm and the breeze is blowing so you never get hot. It’s truly paradise!
Everyone we met was genuinely enthusiastic about life. Happy, laughing, lots of ya’mon. It’s contagious and really makes you question the stressed out mindset we carry around in our day to day lives.
Now for the important stuff – eats and drinks. We has lots of both!
I did not go on vacation with a diet plan or any sort of rules for myself. To me, food and drinks are part of the fun of traveling and part of the cultural experience.
Hermosa Cove has one restaurant, Christopher’s and one poolside bar and grill, The Broken Rudder. We chose to eat most of our meals at one of these two places. They offer lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, smoked and grilled meats and seafood, the best smoked bacon and jerk sausage as well as traditional Jamaican dishes such as curried goat and ackee and salt fish. The curried goat was tender and delicious. The ackee and salt fish is interesting and probably won’t be my new go to breakfast but I was glad I tried it.
On Saturday night, they offered a BBQ with a smoked pig, smoked jerk turkey, and about 5 sides. We dined poolside. It was very romantical.
One of our best meals came from a fish shack along the White River. We went fishing with a local guide on a traditional long boat. Our guide, Lipton, has lived in Jamaica his whole life and told us all kinds of crazy stories including stories about the days of Bob Marley. Luckily, his stories were great because we only caught two fish and they were both barracuda. Barracuda can be poisonous but they eat it in Jamaica. The test of whether it’s safe or not is to leave a slice of the flesh out and see if ants eat it or not. If the ants go for it, it’s safe. If they don’t, it’s poisonous. Despite Lipton’s confidence in this test, we opted to trade our barracuda for some snapper and tuna from the fish shack. It was so fresh and so tasty!
Bonus, we got to see the beach and nakey tourists at the nudist resort at the head of the White River. If you’re looking to pack light on vacation this may be the place for you!
Of course, we had some cocktails with all of this food. We drank quite a few Red Stripes but also tried Appleton and Coke, Wray & Nephew (clear rum) with coconut water and with Ting (grapefruit flavored soda with an absurd amount of sugar) and a little rosé.
Jamaica was relaxing and beautiful and so much fun! We can’t wait to go back!
The one tip I have is that if you are traveling to and from the Montego Bay airport (MBJ) consider paying a little extra for Club Mobay. A ticket for Club Mobay allows you access to shorter lines through security, immigration and customs as well as to a lounge with food and drinks to relax in while you wait for your flight or transportation.
I am in no way affiliated with Hermosa Cove or Club Mobay. I just wanted to share about our wonderful experience in Jamaica.