From the first moment I set foot onto the Caribbean island of Jamaica many years ago, I fell in love with its vibrant culture, rich flavours, beautiful people and incredibly breathtaking landscapes. This is the island whose laidback spirit gave birth to the musical legend Bob Marley and his message of peace and love. It is the birthplace of reggae music, spicy jerk chicken, the expressive language of Patois and the place where glorious seaside cliffs and white sand beaches offer views of the most spectacular sunsets. It is not surprising that like me, Jamaica has stolen the hearts of many.
When I heard that Hyatt was returning to Jamaica with a joint venture into the world of all-inclusive with Playa Hotels & Resorts with the opening of their first all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay’s exclusive Rose Hall, I must admit my curiosity was peaked.
The property has many great dining options; their authentic Brazilian Churrascaria steakhouse for one. However, my favourite one has to be the beachside Barefoot Jerkz chicken shack. In my opinion, it’s one of the best on the island. The chef comes from the famed Scotchies restaurants (best jerk in Jamaica!). His sauces are all homemade and utterly delicious!
Jamaica is where I first tried parasailing – the closest thing to flying in the sky like a bird. I also tested my courage (and fate) by jumping high off a cliff at Rick’s Café, an island landmark and one of the most famous cliff-diving spots in the world. Joyously, I experienced the meaning of ‘living in the moment’ when I climbed Dunn’s River Falls. This is an island bursting with places that cry out to be explored. Hyatt guests can go on a number of exciting excursions offered through Island Routes such as horseback riding, gliding along rivers, or soaring above a jungle stream on a zip-line under a canopy of trees. Montego Bay’s waters are something to behold both above and below the surface; enjoy a Reggae Catamaran cruise, climb a waterfall and swing like Tarzan into a freshwater pool, or snorkel off a coral reef.
Praised by many to be one of the most influential cultures on music, I have to say that watching a live performance by The Voice winner, Tessanne Chin, during the gala grand opening celebration was an incredible moment topped only by the spectacular waterfront firework show.
After enjoying the best that Hyatt Ziva and Zilara have to offer, which included the most relaxing beachside massage, it’s safe to say that this is a welcome addition to the world of luxury all-inclusive.