We just spent five nights and six days at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. Not since our honeymoon in Venice in 1976 have we actually cried upon leaving. This should give some indication as to the intensity of intimacy Jamaica Inn provides. You don’t just “stay” at Jamaica Inn, you experience it spiritually.
Our Jamaica Inn “journey” began in its alluring lobby with a warm “welcome home “ greeting from owner Eric Morrow, General Manager Mary Phillips, and the breathtaking, multi-colored Caribbean Sea framed by lush tropical landscape. Eric, having grown up on the property and taken over the reins from his father, has intriguing details about the history of Jamaica Inn. Mary is the perfect hostess, the type of person who, after only a few minutes in her company, makes you feel as if you have known her forever.
Every room is pristine and has been thoughtfully and elegantly appointed. We have stayed in penthouses, presidential suites, European palaces and castles, yet in terms of intimacy, none, so far can compare with the ultimate White Suite - Churchill Suite (“room” 21). It is the “be all, end all” of any accommodation we have stayed in thus far – period. You can look at pictures and read descriptions, but nothing will prepare you for this villaesque playground for intimacy.
The newly remodeled dual-sink bathroom is adorned with small crystal chandeliers, a fancy old-fashioned footed bathtub and separate shower. But the amazing part is when you open the three sets of double-shutters, the Caribbean Sea suddenly becomes part of the room. Bathing and showering with this live marine mural promotes almost involuntary sighs of contentment. Adjacent to the bathroom, another set of double doors leads out onto an enormous ceramic-tiled wrap-around terrace with the Caribbean Sea “right there,” practically at eye-level. It’s the perfect place for the outdoor breakfast table for two along with a coffee/tea corner and mini refrigerator to store your champagne.
Continuing around, gives you a full view of your private pool. This is not a plunge pool. This is a good size pool for swimming and frolicking. No need to toe-dip in this pool. The temperature is perfect for getting right in and the water feels “light” and not overly chlorinated. Two white pool rafts are available for your floating pleasure as well as two sets of chaise lounges on either side of the pool for your land leisure. Anthony, our pool man, kept our pool and pool area immaculately maintained daily.
A few steps, down a short ramp, your private stairway awaits to bathing in the crystal clear water of the Caribbean Sea. Buoys mark the protected swimming area and complimentary snorkeling gear is available for perusing sea life by the coral reefs below. After a nice cool swim in the ocean, you may want to dry off and sun at your very own private “point lookout” promontory with double chaise lounge, some 25 steps away along a path just past a hammock and tree-shaded chaise lounges. Make sure you set aside one night here for a romantic torch-lit dinner, impeccably served by your private wait staff.
All in all, the entire feel of the White Suite accommodation is that of an Italian villa with a vista of its northern lakes or Gulf of Sorrento. But if you can tear yourself away from your suite, perhaps while the expert housecleaning team spruces it up, you can enjoy something the northern lakes and Sorrento don’t have – an absolutely perfect exclusively Jamaica Inn beach. No stones, no pebbles, no seaweed, no mucky bottom, and no crowds – all with a temperature-perfect clear, clean, sandy-bottom sea. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
Breakfasts were sumptuous (not a buffet, but prepared to order) and the five-course dinners delectable, so we strongly recommend the MAP plan the Inn offers. We ordered an intricate breakfast for delivery to our room and it came on time and precisely as ordered. Every meal at Jamaica Inn was first-rate, as was the service. The “catch of the day” and the lobster tails on Lobster Night (Saturday) were outstanding.
Weather permitting, which luckily in our case it always was, meals are served al fresco under the moonlight. The indoor dining area is a chic and artistic all-glass enclosed alternative. Kudos to chef Derrick Mullings, who incidentally, took time out to discuss menu options prior to our private torch-lit dinner. Somehow, we never made it to lunch, but did partake of the complimentary “Tea” and delicate finger sandwiches elegantly served on the terrace daily from 4:00-5:00. Of course you can opt for the amazing “Blue Mountain” Jamaican coffee instead of tea if you prefer.
There are one and two bedroom cottages with ocean-view plunge pools, private access to the ocean and tropical outdoor showers. (Cottages 3 and 4 are the more exclusive ones.) Smaller suites are right off the beach or overlooking the pool and ocean. All are appealing in their own way and you just can’t go wrong no matter where you choose to stay. This was confirmed by other guests we spoke to, all of whom were delighted with their own choices.
We also took a tour of the KiYara Ocean Spa located on a cliff overlooking the sea. Its color scheme and layout reflect its philosophy of balance and nature. It offers a full range of treatments and of course, couple’s massages using local, organic ingredients. Hair braiding is reasonably priced and expertly but gently done. KiYara staff have a passion to please and go out of their way to cater to individual needs, so much so that someone was dispatched to the local market to purchase a particular color bead that was not on hand.
For activity buffs, Jamaica Inn offers croquet, swimming pool, snorkeling, kayaks and sunfish sailing, which are all complimentary. Exercise equipment includes a top-of-the line Landice treadmill, stair climber, stationary bicycle and free weights. Tennis and golf (with preferred rate green fees) are nearby.
For love buffs, this is the perfect place for a destination wedding and/or honeymoon; a place for young lovers to discover each other and for the more mature to rekindle their “heightened depths.”
The entire Jamaica Inn staff is extraordinary – ultra-attentive, yet unobtrusive. Uniformed guards are stationed at its gates and we felt safe and secure. It’s not surprising that Jamaica Inn has garnished so many top awards.
If you are in love, you’ll want to stay at Jamaica Inn. You are sure to fall in love with it and more deeply in love with one another.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since 1950, Jamaica Inn has consistently been ranked as one of the top resort hotels in the Caribbean. Jamaica Inn is a small, elegantly timeless resort located in beautiful Ocho Rios, Jamaica. With just 48 suites spread over 8 acres, there are sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea from every suite. This eight-acre property boasts a 700-foot premier private beach, which is often considered to be the one of the best in the Caribbean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jamaica Hotel Ocho Rios
- Jamaica Ocho Rios
- Jamaica Inn Ocho Rios