How Rosemarie Ingleton Spends a Long Weekend in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Children are allowed but only from ten years old. I don’t like big all inclusive resorts with tons of people and kids running around screaming and in need of a giant slide in the pool. I love kids – I have two grown kids myself – but when I’m on vacation I like to relax. I like the calm and discreet properties. I also love Goldeneye, which is further up the coast and another little secret paradise. The common thread for me is private, luxurious, and a distinctly Jamaican vibe. I don’t want to sit in a compound that could be anywhere and think, “Wait, where am I again? Am I in Florida? ‘ I want to know that I am in Jamaica.
You must apply for permission to visit the island and obtain a documented COVID test 72 hours before departure. You must also take another COVID test at least 72 hours before returning to the United States As I was only there for a long weekend, on-site testing was arranged by the Jamaica Inn concierge upon my arrival, so that would be ready when it was time to go. On the way to the airport, my hostel driver gave me my first ice cold Red Stripe, and he plays Bob Marley’s “One Love” on the radio as he takes me to the hotel. This is how we welcome Jamaican nationals when they return home. So it was like a whole atmosphere, and it starts from the airport.
I arrive at my hotel, where they welcome you with a good Planter’s Punch rum cocktail. I literally went straight to the room, put on my swimsuit, and met my friends on the beach as they had been there a few days before I arrived. All bedrooms have water views, and are pretty and calming, with four-poster beds, white linens, and white curtains. My bedroom window overlooked the blue water with the fish swimming below. For lunch I ordered my favorite dish in Jamaica: a whole red snapper with fried bammy triangles, made from squeezed cassava, coconut water from a fresh coconut with a straw and another Red Stripe. If you are in a resort you should specifically ask for whole fish which they normally don’t do. But you can also go to any fisherman’s hut by the sea in Ocho Rios (a short drive away and the concierge can direct you) where they come with fresh fish every day and they’ll cook it for you. you. I’m the girl who goes to a cabin by the sea and chooses my food and waits with a red stripe for it to be grilled while chatting shit with my friends and the locals.
The hostel’s beach is ultra-private and just a secret paradise. You are part of the Caribbean Sea but you are in this crystal clear alcove, and it is nice and quiet for swimming and snorkeling. The hostel is more about stand up paddleboarding than jet skiing, and the water is as blue and clear as it could be. On the beach there are palm trees, thatched umbrellas, blue beach chairs, and a large expanse of fine, soft sand. It wasn’t very crowded, maybe three more lounge chairs with occupants. But even when the place is packed, it never gets too crowded, as if there is no rush to grab a spot on the beach. On the property there are hawksbill turtle nests that hatch in the sand each summer. I haven’t seen any, but the hostel has a special calendar with dates scheduled for newborns.