My trip to Jamaica was a great time. The Jamacians were so friendly; they say Yahmon to everyone as a way to say thank you/you’re welcome, and they also say Respect meaning the same as well. We learned how they love Reggae music; we heard Bob Marley everywhere we went, but we also heard a lot of other Reggae music as well. We also learned that Jamaican Rum is great (and Jamaican Rum Cake).
Montego Bay Airport
I flew into Montego Bay with about 10 friends for my friend since second grades wedding. Customs in Montego Bay was pretty slow, and the airport was very hot, but we finally made it through customs, collected everyone’s bags, and the headed over to Negril where we were staying for the week.
When we boarded our private shuttle bus to take us to Negril, we were greeted with smiling faces and Red Stripe beer. Once we got out of the airport, we road along a small, windy two lane highway (on the opposite side of the road from America), making many stops along the way. The group wanted to purchase more alcohol, and we had many bathroom breaks on our 2.5 hour drive. Additionally, we learned that everyone in Jamaica has special “herbs” that they sell. Overall, if you get motion sickness from being in the car, definitely take some medicine before your ride. We compared the ride to Grand Theft Auto or Mario Cart. We had many close encounters to other motorists, bikes, and people. We also saw so many stray dogs and goats. The ride was an experience!
We stayed at the beautiful Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica. It is a small boutique hotel with only 37 rooms. The entire wedding took up all of the rooms, so it was fun to be able to walk around and know that everyone we saw was part of the wedding. The hotel has a cute passport that you can fill out when you complete activities at the resort, and then if you get a certain amount complete, you can get a discount in the store or a free gift. The grounds of the hotel itself were beautiful; you walk around through lush gardens, and most of the rooms are cute little villas, and then there are a few traditional rooms as well, but they fit in with the Jamaican theme.
Many of the rooms are Villas that look out at the beautiful Caribbean sea. I shared a Villa room with my friend and her boyfriend since my husband could not come, and our Villa had a loft with two double beds in it. The rooms were equip with mosquito nets, and they also had air conditioning, which was very important because it was extremely humid during the day. Our rooms also had outdoor shower, which was a fun touch.
There are three restaurants within the hotel.
The Rockhouse Restaurant is the main restaurant, with a gourmet menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would highly recommend the banana pancakes for breakfast, the fish sandwich for lunch, and the coconut chicken for dinner.
Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar
Pushcart was slightly more casual, and we hung out at the bar here at night a few of the nights. Everyone ordered different variations of jerk chicken, pork, and other traditional Jamaican meals.
Pool Grill & Bar
We also hung out at the pool every day and ate lunch at the Pool Grill & Bar. The fish sandwich was amazing; I got it every day! Everyone also drank tropical drinks by the pool every day as well.
The hotel has a beautiful infinity pool, and this was definitely the gathering spot for the entire trip. At any point in time, there were people lounging by the pool, swimming, and enjoying some delicious drinks and food. You can also catch the most beautiful sunset at the pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
There are many cliffs around the resort that you can jump from. The jumping points can be closed at certain times if the waves are too rough. Everyone had a great time jumping in off the cliffs and from the bridge, which was attached to the bridal suite room.
Gym & Yoga
The resort has a small gym on site that my friends used every day. They also offer free yoga classes at 8AM. I wanted to take a class so badly, but we had morning activities planned every day except for the first day, and I was still jet lagged from flying from the west coast and having a 3 hour time change.
I did not personally enjoy the spa, but the bride and groom got a free massage, and another friend got a manicure and pedicure from the spa. If you are staying as part of a wedding, they were offering a discount of up to 30% off for guests.
Catamaran Cruise and Snorkeling
On our first day of the trip, we went snorkeling with the YaMon Red Stripe Catamaran Cruises. We were picked up at the hotel, and brought a few miles down the beach to the famous Seven Mile Beach, which is known for its beautiful white sand. We took little boats out to our larger Catamaran boat, and we spent the day sailing around, snorkeling, and eating lunch on Bobby Cay Island. They offered us fresh jerk chicken or fresh lobster (that they kept in a cage in the water right on shore of the island). They cooked for us over an open fire, and it was delicious!
We got ready for the wedding in the bride’s villa. We had makeup artists from the island come in, and they did a great job! The wedding ceremony took place by the pool and the cliffs. Then, the cocktail hour was at the pool bar, and the wedding party took some photos. After that, the wedding reception took place in the Rockhouse Restaurant, and the dance floor was packed the whole night! Overall, we all had a great long weekend in Jamaica!