Tuesday, July 22

Fabulous Packages at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios!

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share with you a few packages running currently at the beautiful and chic Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.  They have just introduced an over the top, ultimate in luxury package which includes every creature comfort and amenity that you could possibly think of...including private jet transfer to an airport a mere 20 minutes drive from the hotel!  More below....and there is something for everyone, as the Hot Summer Savings Summer Package runs through to October, so you still have a chance to book that.  Also, check Jetsetter right now to get on-board with a fabulous flash sale running which has six days left!

This package is designed to be a wow factor package and is a five night, all inclusive, over the top package that we created for the discerning traveler.  With Private Jet transfer from LA, Miami or NYC (other cities can be arranged also!) - landing direct to the chic Ian Fleming International Airport in St. Mary....you will not be disappointed with the special amenities and excursions to be experienced.

You will be able to choose whether you would like to stay in the modern Villa 7, an exquisite two story luxury villa with an infinity pool built right on the bluff overlooking the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea....or the traditional White Suite - just as stunning, and where Sir Winston Churchill once stayed.

The veranda of the White Suite...

A Butler will be on-hand to meet and greet you as you arrive to the hotel, and show you to your  exquisite accommodation...where you will be given a Tour and a welcome bottle of champagne with a platter of the most divine fruits and cheeses as well as a special gift from the Owners.  Be pampered with a sublime couples massage in your villa just before sunset to relax you and get you in the mood for a beautifully prepared five course meal under the stars.

Each day, be more pampered with massages or treatments from the award winning Ocean Spa....and if you are ready to explore, we have a helicopter ride arranged to transport you along the north coast of Jamaica....another excursion will be a half day at the private beach with waterfalls, and a picnic prepared by the Chef's at the hotel.  Swim, chill and enjoy the waterfalls.  Take a luxurious drive one day over to the historical and beautiful Good Hope Great House, where LyndaLee, your host will take you on a private hiking tour and pointing out over 100 species of birds....the tour will end with a private tour of the spectacular Great House, complete with antiques and breathtaking views.  

Chef Maurice will be on-hand to treat you to a very special Cooking Class and meal in your villa...be prepared for a delicious Jamaican style meal.

 A private cooking lesson will be set up with Executive Chef Maurice in the privacy of your villa...

An exclusive insider's tour will be arranged at The Good Hope Great House, where you will be able to hike and spot some rare species of birds, swim and then tour the antique filled Great House with your host, LyndaLee.

Back at the hotel, a special evening awaits with five course dinner and wine pairing either set up on the beach, in your villa or on the magical rooftop terrace.  The dinner ends with you letting off sky lanterns and making wishes!

 A charming and divine English Style Tea will be served to you in your room each day....this is Marvin showing off a splendid tray of treats....
A one of a kind, five course gourmet meal, complete with wine pairing from the Manager's choice from the Global Wine List, and ending with sky lanterns to make those special wishes...

This boat will transfer you both to a private and beautiful beach complete with waterfalls and picnic prepared by Jamaica Inn Chefs!

Also included in this superb package is a private in room shopping experience will also be arranged with John Hardy or Pandora.

All inclusive, of all meals and beverages, all taxes and service charges, afternoon tea everyday, private transfer and oceanfront accommodations - please see the website link above for rates from each city to make your booking with that special someone!

You still have a chance to book this Special Package running until October of this year!  You will receive free nights if you book three nights or more so it is entirely worth it.  See the website for more details and how to reserve one of these spectacular ocean front room now!
The breathtaking premier veranda suites at Jamaica Inn - so magical!

  • Stay 4 nights for the price of 3 – save 25%
  • Stay 7 nights for the price of 5 – save nearly 30%
  • Stay 14 nights for the price of 10 – save nearly 30%

  • Hope to see you soon at The Inn, I am sure you will find a package right now to suit your budget and needs...

    Tuesday, July 1

    Hometown Hidden Gems in Ocho Rios, Jamaica!

    Hi Friends,

    I'm writing today to tell you all about my three fave hidden gems in Ocho Rios, the sweet resort Town I live in beautiful Jamaica.

    All across the globe today, there is a super amazing hidden gem - which is a service becoming more and more popular for visitors called RelayRides which is a peer to peer car sharing service.  As you plan your vacation, and if you have car rental needs, do not forget to use this special and unique service whereby you can go online and book a car based on your own preference and get rates that are usually 30-40% than than the usual. Car owners just have to go online and register if you are interested. Based on this fab service, I thought I would share my three fave hidden gems in my hometown, and if you happen to be looking for adventure or amazing places to stay or have a meal - then I have you covered with these picks!

    I've written about Ocho Rios many times on this blog, showcasing my fave hotels, things to do and restaurants....but now I want to delve into the real hidden gems of my town where I go to eat, stay and play I hope you enjoy reading about these special haunts.

    Fave sweet hidden gem where I go for a fabulous Sunday breakfast,  lunch with friends - and sunset drinks:

    This special and unique boutique property in Ocho Rios offers beautiful Villa accommodations - one to three bedroom - check the website for more information (linked above.)

    What is so special about this sweet gem? - My Hidden Gem Tip:

    The vibe of this new property is just very magical and serene. It's small, private and enchanting with a team of efficient and professional managers including a super talented Executive Chef who has taken the menu repertoire to a new level. Having just won the coveted award from The Jamaica Observer Food Awards "Chef on The Rise" there is a lot more to be seen from Conroy.  If you stop in for a drink on a Friday evening at sunset, ask for the cocktails to be served in one of the sweet gazebos overlooking the water...and surprise, Conroy will also send you down a platter of of some of the mouthwatering nibbles he offers.

    Where I like to hang out and chill on a Sunday morning for a superb breakfast, lunch sometimes during the week and sunset cocktails with friends.

    A Magical Organic Farm in the Cool Hills above Ocho Rios

    My next hidden gem is a beautiful and rustic organic farm up in the hills of St. Ann the parish that Ocho Rios is located in....about 20 minutes drive up in the cool hills. The small and neat Zionites Farm awaits. This is the Farm where the popular and now fast becoming best-selling Stush in The Bush products are made and packaged.  I've already posted quite extensively on Stush in the Bush and I have linked a popular post above (highlighted.)  My friends and I recently went back up there for an afternoon filled with a lovely tour of the organic gardens and grilled organic pizza topped with the most divine vegan cheese and the famous vegan pesto....soooo yum. 

    My Hidden Gem Tip: If you would like another menu Chris and Lisa, Owners of the Farm will arrange, or if you would like to pair the meal with wine, they don't mind you bringing your own wine.....get ready for the most yummy lemonade ever also!

    My friends and I recently visited Zionites Farm where we had the most sublimely delicious grilled balsamic onion and vegan cheese pizza (and more!) and  fresh lemonade.  Only a 20 minute drive from Priory in St. Ann.

    Yes - I've written about this small boutique hotel many times on this Blog,and there's more than one reason it makes my hidden gem list.  That so many people who are not staying at the hotel and do not realize that they can make reservations for lunch and dinner...or just show up for a sunset cocktail looking out to the beautiful Caribbean sea. You will be served in the most elegant and lovely way by a team of staff members who have been working at The Inn for many years - and if you drop info for cocktails, expect lovely platters of mouthwatering hors'doevres complimentary.  

    A collage of some lovely snaps taken by Owner of Jamaica Inn, Eric Morrow. 

    My Hidden Gem Tip (The Summer Season at The Inn):

    Summer Rates are running now at The Inn!  Effective to the middle of December - see the website for more information and for special Packages and Offers.  If you love Yoga, then be prepared for a fabulous and unique Yoga Retreat to take place in September (23-28) - the all inclusive package includes all food and beverage, beautiful accommodation, return trip to airport - a welcome gift, an Opening Reception on the beach, two decadent Yoga classes daily, afternoon tea, two unique excursions, A closing Party -- and ALL taxes and service charges!

    Happy to collaborate and mention about the special global service RelayRides for this post - do not forget to use this hidden gem of a service when you travel this Summer!

    Wednesday, June 18

    Fab Summer Offers in Jamaica! {Recap}

    Hello Friends!

    It has certainly been awhile, and I wanted to catch up after being away for a small vakay.  Writing up today about some super amazing Summer Specials happening in Jamaica that you can book right now if you are looking and waiting....now is the time.  As I have written on this Blog many times, our rates drop up to 40% in the Summer months from end of April right through to mid December, and you can often find great deals being offered at hotels during this Summer Season.

    Now as a former General Manager of a hotel, I know what many of you are thinking...that the Summer Season in Jamaica usually means, (gosh hard to write this) hurricane season also.  Please do not panic and let this be the concern that stops you from booking a vakay of a lifetime.  There is always a small risk of us having impact from a hurricane later on in the Summer, but I have to say - for many years we have been okay (knocking wood as I write) and please be assured that if this were to happen, you would be fully refunded for your vakay or new dates offered.  

    If you read my recent blog post about the Summer Specials at the fabulous hotels of Island Outpost, then you are aware of those wonderful offerings.  Please check out their website for more information:

    Fabulous Offers are running currently at the unique and chic Island Outpost hotel  - The Caves. Make sure you check them out. A divine and romantic spot for couples. This is the view from The Blackwell Rum Bar which is open in the evenings. Make sure you book a private, gourmet dining experience in one of these cave grottoes - it is a mind-blowing experience. Photo courtesy of Island Outpost.

    Another beautiful hotel that I obviously write up alot about, (as I am connected to this hotel with PR) - is Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios. They have some great Special Offers running currently.  Check out the Hot Summer Savings running until September 2nd.  This hotel has a beautiful beach, and is renowned for it's elegant history and vibe. Most of the staff have been working there for over 15 years, some over 30!

    Does this picture looking over to the beach at Jamaica Inn make you want to book a well deserved vacation?  Have a look at the website to check out more, and don't forget to read the Blog, which I write!  Photo via and credit to Eric Morrow.

    Let's head over to Round Hill in Montego Bay - another chic, beautiful and fabulous Hotel waiting for you to experience.  I have written about Round Hill many times on this Blog. There are a few Summer Exclusives running currently, the Summer Escape runs to the 31st of October. Only a fifteen minute drive from the airport in Montego Bay, it is easy to get to.

    Look at this magnificent view to the ocean from the Pool - how surreal and beautiful. Check out more Exclusive Offers running at Round Hill Hotel  right here. Photo courtesy of Round Hill.

    There is a sweet boutique hotel, which is only a few years old in Ocho Rios called Hermosa Cove, that I write about from time to time...I think you should check out their packages running to see what would suit your taste, but I can safely say it is a very sweet and charming property. The Owners are always around to meet and greet, and one of my good friends - Conroy Arnold - is the Executive Chef here.  He worked at many top hotels and restaurants, including Nobu in NYC and Goldeneye in Jamaica. He just picked up a coveted award, for Chef on the Rise in Jamaica.  One of the Packages that I just love, is the Artful Getaway. This is a package created to host the guests on culture tours right here in Ocho Rios...check out the website for honeymoon packages also.

    Pretty and unique Hermosa Cove in Ocho Rios - a lovely, new boutique hotel offering beautiful one to three bedroom villas and an award winning Chef!  

    Heading over to magical Port Antonio, a place I write alot about on this Blog - you must have seen the rafting pictures recently?  If you stay in Port Antonio, make sure you book this unique and magical excursion - a one of a kind experience. I love both Geejam and Trident - two very chic and exclusive hotels. Check out their websites for packages running currently:

     The Trident Hotel - very exclusive, private and luxurious.  Courtesy of Trident Hotel.

    One of the beautifully decorated villas at Geejam in Port Antonio.  Photo courtesy of Geejam.

    There is so much that Jamaica has to offer in the Summer Season! Do not miss out on the above offers, or ask your travel agent to check out the hotel you are interested in to get you information on special offers. Do not forget to check out the Trip Advisor website to look over feedback on the hotel you are interested in staying at - it is a very helpful resource.  I think you will find that the above hotels all have impeccable feedback!

    Hope to see you soon in Jamaica!

    Friday, May 30

    {Product Love} Loving the New Samsung Galaxy S5!

    Hi Friends,

    So I thought I would check in and let you know that I will be off the air for a week, then back to report on some fun and interesting things I will be doing when on vacation.  Today I thought I would do a Product Love Post as I happen to believe in this fantastic product....one of the things I am always concerned about when traveling, is that I have a phone that will automatically roam, and that will take great pictures and videos.  I think the new Samsung Galaxy S5 is a fabulous phone in this regard.  I also want a phone that is not going to lose its battery power when I have been using it for hours and hours taking pictures....I know many of you can totally understand where I am coming from in this regard.

    The brand new Galaxy S5 has been upgraded with features that we the customers asked for.  I am super excited to write about this phone as it delivers.  The camera quality is a big thing to me and now the new camera has 16 megapixels and the auto-focus in built in. So I do not have to play around with the settings before I take a picture.  Just point and you are good to go for an end result of high quality pictures, that I will feel comfortable using right here on this Blog.

    A modern, slim, and sophisticated design that I just love...

    I am also loving the look of the new phone, that is much slimmer, very modern and sophisticated design - which will fit right in with my travels to the jet setting South Beach and chic Palm Beach. The super Amoled HD screen is now measuring at 5'1' - so amazing to view my pictures, videos that I take and all the apps.

    For someone who lives on a tropical island and is at the beach alot (as you all know) - it is also very important to have a phone that is water resistant - well guess what, this one is!  So I never have to worry anymore about getting the phone wet when I am at the pool or chilling out on the beach.

    With exercise, the other aspect I think is just fabulous is that this phone also has a built in heart rate monitor. Very useful for keeping a track of heart rate while exercising.  

    Lastly for me, the smart battery management system is one of the best upgrades. So that when my battery is at 10%, what happens is that there is a function that will shut down the less essential Apps you may have running so that you only use what you need at the time.  Smart and just what I need.

    All in all, a superb phone with many upgrades since the last model and one that I am proud to take with me on my vacation (as it so beautiful looking), secure, with a fabulous camera, water resistant....and a great battery life - no worrying for me!

    If you already have a Samsung and thinking of upgrading, I can more than recommend the Galaxy S5.  If you do not have a Samsung, then now is the time to invest in one for sure.

    Cannot wait to share the pictures with you that I take on this lovely phone on my travels...until then...!

    Thursday, May 22

    {Events in Jamaica} Countdown to The Polo Challenge Cup!

    Hi Friends,

    It is a very exciting time in Jamaica right now as we are on the countdown for The Challenge Cup this weekend. I recently wrote a post on the event here to tell you about the details, if you are in Jamaica.

    The last time a Polo Game was played at Chukka Cove was back in 1993, so this occasion makes it even more auspicious in terms of "bringing the polo back to Chukka" and it should be a fabulous event as there is so much more has been planned for you to not only enjoy some quality Polo, but to party also!

     Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and Couples Resorts will join forces again after 21 years to put on The Challenge Cup this week Saturday at Chukka Cove Farm in Jamaica.

    In order to give you a rundown about the connection with Chukka Caribbean and why the Game is being played there, we have to go all the way back to the 1980's when Daniel "Danny"Melville Sr.  - the Founder of Chukka Caribbean Adventures, decided he would construct a polo field and Club after his many visits to Palm Beach over the years where he enjoyed watching and playing polo in Jamaica. Polo was and still is his longstanding passion. He loved the name "Chukka" and thought it would be a great fit for the Polo Club...so the journey started and it has not stopped since!  The "Club" ultimately turned into a well run Equestrian Center for upcoming riders in the country - many young men and ladies who turned into some of Jamaica's best Equestrians and Polo Players started out getting lessons at Chukka Cove Farm. 

    Daniel Melville Sr. who founded Chukka Caribbean Adventures and brought Polo to Chukka Cove Farm in the 1980's.

    Captain Mark Phillips even visited to give special lessons to a young group of riders, including my sister Raquel Parke, who wrote about her experience in the Jamaica Gleaner. The rest of the Equestrian "crew" were Marc Melville, Alexander Melville, Daniel Melville II, Michelle Hall, Amanda Levy, Shawn Lim, Samantha Majendie (who went on to represent Jamaica in the Olympics) to name a few!

    As the Club and Equestrian Center grew, more stables were added to accommodate more horses both for Polo and Riding lessons.  It was then decided to offer Riding Tours to the hotel guests in nearby Ocho Rios. After that, Chukka Cove Farm grew into the dynamic Company they are today - Chukka Caribbean Adventure Tours.  Offering Adventure Tours not only here in Jamaica, but all over the Caribbean and still growing.

    Polo continued to be played for a few years at the Chukka Cove Farm location up to the last Game played back in 1993.

    Circa  1993: An Appleton Estate sponsored Polo Tournament at Chukka Cove Farm. From left, Troy Brennan, Mark Wates, Ricky Wates, Marc Melville and a team member from Appleton Estate.

    Some of the Polo Players in the above picture will be playing again this week Saturday, and how amazing that they will all return 21 years later!

    A few of the Players of the 2014 Chukka Caribbean Polo Team - from left: Marc Melville, Pancho MacLoughlin, Guillermo MacLoughlin and John Byles - who is a Director of Chukka Caribbean.

    Cut to this present day - and Raquel Parke thought it was time to get some polo action back at Chukka Cove Farm  so she took the idea to Alexandra Ghisays of The Issa Trust Foundation and the Melville's at Chukka Caribbean as they have recently founded their own Foundation. Raquel thought it would be fitting to have the two Company Foundation's sponsor the event along with other high profile Companies, like Appleton Estate.  The feel is "Have Fun, and let's give back to our two Charities." Everyone jumped on board, and so it has been planned and the busy team of Raquel, Alexandra, Daniel Melville II and his wife Anna Melville as well as Nick and Elena Lynch -  have been ensuring all will be fabulous, fun and exciting for the first Annual Challenge Cup.

    An example of the High Tea and spread Couples Resorts Executive Chef, Stefan Spath will present at the Game on Saturday.

    There will be a special High Tea catered by none other than Stefan Spath - Executive Chef of Couples Resorts.  If you have never had his amazing deserts served up at Teas like these (or at one of the Couples Hotels), then now is your chance. I have written about Stefan on this Blog a few times.

    DJ Bambino, a very popular and talented DJ in Jamaica will be spinning the latest tunes for everyone to relax, dance and party on!

    To put an even more fun spin on the Event, they also decided to have a very popular DJ to kick off the Party after the Prize Giving and get everyone in the party mood!  

    The tickets are on sale island wide at all the Fontana Pharmacies and are only USD $25.00.  This includes the full High Tea and a glass of Prosecco. Dinner will be on sale and there will be a bar set up with all the best liquor.  There is also a grand gate prize for a weekend for two at Couples Resorts.  Now this is a fantastic prize taking into consideration that there are four beautiful and chic hotels in the Hotel Group to choose from.

    I hope you all make it over to this fabulous Event this week Saturday, the 24th of May. The Game starts at 3:00 p.m. - party later on after the Game.  See you all there as it is time...to PLAY!

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