Experience Jamaica the way celebrities and royals do in Montego Bay and Ochos Rios

  • 6 min read
  • Aug 04, 2022

Experience Jamaica the way celebrities and royals do in Montego Bay and Ochos Rios







Shanda DeZeil




Jamaica has always had a lot to offer, from endless beaches and jerk chicken to reggae music and black rum. But recently, it has become a place to see and be seen for Hollywood royalty and celebrities.

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are among the fans of this island Beyoncé And Jay Z, Justin And Hailey Bieber – And Kirsten Dunst And Jesse Plemons Just Tie It There If you have something to celebrate or need to get away from it all, Jamaica is happy to roll out its ultra-luxurious red carpet.

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WATCH: Prince William and Duchess Kate had an epic first day in Jamaica earlier this year

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You only need to visit the library of the Half Moon Hotel to realize how long this hotel has been a paradise for luxury travelers. Covering the walls kicks back Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry And Jacqueline Kennedy (who wrote a copy of his last will and testament on the hotel letterhead).

Jackie Kennedy and Prince Charles are among the royals and celebrities who have enjoyed Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort. Photos: © Shanda Deziel

Most recently, Half Moon hosted the event Prince William And Kate Middleton During their tour of Jamaica, they made an “unofficial” pit stop in one of the hotel’s four-bedroom suites for lunch, and were surprised at how much their three children had grown. Prince George, Princess Charlotte And Prince LouisI would like you to visit this place.

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“They didn’t want to leave,” says Guy Stewart, the resort’s president. “I don’t want to go,” said William. Can we have more mangoes, please?”

We can understand why the Cambridges didn’t want to leave the Half Moon Resort!

There’s no doubt that you’ll be as surprised as the Duke when you arrive at the 68-year-old property, which the minute you walk into the reception area offers unparalleled views of the greenery and the ocean.

From the spectacular infinity pool to the lovely water bikes parked at nearly every turn for guests to use, it’s the attention to detail that shines through at Half Moon. The sprawling 400-acre property has a variety of accommodations, so you can be as social or as under-the-radar as you like.

But even if you have come to hide, be sure to check the four-legged accommodations of the hotel.

Trina is fully dedicated to the equestrian center’s horses

At Half Moon Equestrian Rehabilitation Center, Trina takes care of a stable full of rescue horses, and in just half an hour she can teach you how to non-verbally communicate with one of these magnificent animals, making them trust and befriend you. you slow And the adventurous guest can join the horses in the ocean for an early morning swim.

To stay at Jamaica Inn you have to travel two hours from Montego Bay airport (unless you’re really a celebrity and have the means to book a private helicopter). But it’s worth the drive! With over 50 fully oceanfront rooms, this boutique hotel is steeped in history.

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It also has a library full of photos of famous guests, from a 1950s photo of Winston Churchill by the sea to Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller dressed for dinner on their honeymoon. Plus, there’s a picture of Meghan Markle In her wedding dress holding her father, Thomas Markle. Meghan had her first wedding here to film producer Trevor Engelson in 2011.

Jamaica Inn has a beautiful beach and wonderful diving opportunities in its waters

But the Jamaica Inn’s biggest claim to fame is its association with James Bond author Ian Fleming, who always preferred the hotel’s beach, despite its special location down the road. As the legend goes, one night Ian and his good friend, the playwright Noel Coward, ordered martinis at the bar and, wanting to keep them as cold as possible, suggested that the drinks be “shaken, not stirred.” ».

Meghan Markle and her father Thomas at Jamaica Inn

When you walk into the property located in the heart of Ochos Rios, chances are you’ll be greeted by the hotel’s pet dog, Shadow, a friendly black lab who runs the place. Now eight years old, he’s a quiet and gentle presence, but every member of the staff is at length regaling you with amusing stories of his puppy antics (including the time he took off with a guest’s Tiffany diamond ring). defines

Shadow is a super nice dog who is sure to be your new best friend when you stay at The Jamaica Inn.

You want to follow Shadow for an early morning swim, but be sure to head back to your room to order breakfast. After all, it’s the hotel’s ultra-luxurious terraces and decks, overhanging the ocean or right on the beach — complete with cozy lounging and dining furniture — that set this resort apart. (That said, Jamaica Inn operates a turtle conservation program that’s pretty impressive.)

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For special occasions, book Room 21, an oasis in paradise with a private pool, wrap-around terrace and direct ocean access. With a policy of no televisions or radios in the rooms, every detail at Jamaica Inn is designed to provide complete rest and relaxation.

have dinner

If you’re going on a five-star vacation, you’re going to want to add some amazing meals to your itinerary, and Half Moon is a good place to start. The property boasts two award-winning, possibly Michelin-star-worthy restaurants that only get better with each other thanks to friendly competition.

The Sugar Factory, located on the site of an old sugar plantation adjacent to the resort’s golf course, is overseen by chef Chris Golding, who takes such pride in his slow-cooked short ribs that he pulls out a bullet when no one at the table orders them. And he is right, they are not to be missed.

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Then, neither oxtail ravioli nor Solomon’s bruschetta, a skewer of beef, pork, sausage, fish, and lobster is dipped in rum and flambéed at your table.

The cocktail options at Half Moon are spectacular

But before you eat any of those specials, start your night at the bar, where the rum cocktail menu is extensive—from classics like the pina colada, mai tai, and dark and stormy to signature concoctions, including the Estate Special. , which pairs with dark rum. With mint, bitters and that iconic Jamaican drink, Ting.

Former Italian chef Claudio Facchini combines the flavors of his homeland with Jamaican staples at Delmar’s oceanfront restaurant Half Moon, with a focus on fresh seafood. Anything with octopus on the menu is a must!

The food at Miss T’s Kitchen in Ochos Rios is delicious! Is your mouth still wet?

To experience the best of contemporary Jamaican dining, you need to find your way from the resort to Ochos Rios to see what some of the country’s creative chefs are up to. Anna Kay Tomlinson is whipping up island favorites like curry goat and jerk chicken in Mrs T’s kitchen, but her oxtail stew – with meat that melts off the bone – is a real revelation.

Susan and Michelle Russo of Summer House both attended Western University in London, Ontario

Kingston-born, Canadian-educated sisters Susan and Michelle Russo are making waves at their new restaurant, Summer House, by bringing a sophisticated plant-based philosophy to their country’s cuisine. Focusing on fresh summer salads and entrees that put a new twist on Jamaican ingredients—from honey breadfruit to eggplant plantain parmesan to pasta and acai souffle—Rousseaus offers an unexpected and delightful culinary experience. .

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Plus, the restaurant even has a clothing boutique featuring unique and stylish finds from local designers, for a post-meal retail treat.

do not lose

Relaxation is guaranteed at Jamaica Inn’s Ocean Spa. A full range of treatments are offered in open-air cliffside huts and can be followed by a salon in their healing natural saltwater sea bath.

Soma Yachts in Montego Bay is a truly luxurious escape on the water

No celebrity-inspired vacation is complete without a little relaxation on the water, and a quick call to Soma Yachts in Montego Bay will get the party started. With a professional crew tending to your every whim, you’ll find yourself on a private cruise enjoying bottomless mimosas and plates full of coconut shrimp.

If reggae is your thing, plan your visit during one of the island’s music festivals such as Reggae Sumfest and Rum Fest. And follow it up with a few nights of relaxation at Port Antonio’s legendary Geejam Resort and Recording Studio, where pop stars like Drake, Rihanna and Katy Perry have all come to work, play and pay tribute to the island’s musical history.

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