In Greenwood, on the border of St. James and Trelawny, hometown of the lightning Bolt himself, Mr. Usain, there sits a locus of peace, quiet, and relaxation. As you walk through the front door, the Royal Reef Hotel invites guests to put down their bags and leave their worries behind. Judith greets you with a wonderful smile and every detail necessary for a memorable stay. Cushy couches and a grand piano open the first floor to the café tables and chairs that dot Ristorante Corallo, a well-regarded Italian restaurant.
Room #7 is bright and perfectly chilled with seamless air conditioning, a welcome escape from a humid morning. It shares an adjoining balcony that overseas the highway into the lush, green hills just beyond. Pass the two pools in the backyard to endless blue skies and the crystal clear Caribbean Sea for a gorgeous panoramic view of the northern coast of Jamaica. The Royal Reef Hotel is located 20-minutes North of Sangster Airport, just down the road from Greenfield Stadium, home of January’s Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, and only 30-minutes away from Catherine Hall and Reggae Sumfest in July. Although it isn’t downtown Montego Bay, the 30-minute drive along the picturesque A1 highway is well worth it.
Due to some unfortunate reservation issues, I stumbled across this previously hidden gem during Sumfest 2013. As I wearily arrived moments after 7am, the morning following Dancehall Night, Sumfest’s opening evening, a 12-hour celebration of the best Jamaican music on the island, Judith and chef Veronica gladly accommodated my request for a delectable, early breakfasts of eggs, perfectly crispy bacon, toast, a refreshing fruit plate, and tea with a touch of sugar and milk, the idyllic conclusion to a monumental night of dancehall music. The next two mornings offered the same mouth watering breakfast. I can only imagine how incredible lunch and dinner must be. Be sure to Sharpie your comments on the wall of the Corallo before you head home!
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Reef Montego Bay