The month of June took the Princess team to the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Honestly not knowing what to expect, though extremely excited, the carry-on was filled with bikinis, caftans and pretty sandals, perfect recipe for a relaxing vacay. The final destination was the uber luxe Rockhouse Hotel, Negril, Montego Bay. Long over due for some Princess pampering, the Rockhouse Hotel did not disappoint.
Located 1.5hrs from the airport the drive to the hotel will give you the opportunity to checkout a little of this gorgeous island, getting out of a New York state of mind and into something far more chilled. Get treated, pampered, relax, and unwind. Greeted with a friendly smile and cool rum cocktail, if the welcome is anything to go by, your holiday is off to a flying start.
Got the cash to splash? Book yourself into a Water-view Villa. Views are perfection. Romantic. Luxurious. Need I say more?
Your true Jamaican holiday will be defined by the things you do. So make the most out of the Rockhouse and sample the dishes from their two excellent restaurants, go snorkeling, take the yoga class and soak it all in with an ice cold cocktail as the sun goes down over the ocean.
Get stuck into some seriously delicious Jamaican cuisine. It’s mostly healthy, fresh and authentic. That’s the best combination possible! Here are a couple of suggestions from the popular Push-Cart Menu located at the Rockhouse;
1. Curry Goat $12.00. Local goat cooked in a Dutch pot with curry and root vegetables served with steamed rice.
2. Braised Oxtail $13.00. Chunks of meaty oxtail braised slowly in Jamaican red stripe beer served with callaloo rice.
3. Di Real Jerk Chicken $12.00. Chicken marinated in jerk spices overnight, grilled over charcoal served with roasted yellow yam
There are of course also some great seafood dishes such as steam whole fish and calamari.
For an unusual breakfast, get stuck into the classic Jamaican breakfast, which tends to be savory and includes the iconic ackee and saltfish: Jamaica’s national dish. Ackee is a fruit that, when cooked, has a flavor and consistency not unlike firm scrambled eggs; ackee and saltfish together is something akin to a Caribbean version of lox and eggs.
Another dish that appears on almost every Jamaican table at breakfast is callaloo: a dark green, leafy vegetable sautéed with a little onion and garlic that tastes like a more robust version of spinach. No Jamaican breakfast would be complete without a wide variety of fried foods too such as Johnnycakes, ripe plantains, and breadfruit.
Workup an appetite before breakfast by heading to the stunning yoga class situated beside the pool overlooking the ocean. After an hour of posing, stretching and cleansing your mind you will be ready to dive straight into the pool and eat your hearty breakfast overlooking the stunning blue ocean.
If 8am yoga is not your thing, how bout a 915am Snorkeling adventure. Hop onto the little speedboat, which will whisk you off to an awesome snorkeling spot in the warm water where your eyes will go into sensory overload with a plethora of colors, fish and coral of all different shapes and sizes. Its a world away from you i-pad, blackberry or 6am alarm clock.
After all that activity and some serious time relaxing in the sun, you’ll be ready for you pampering session at the spa. Chose from a facial, massage, reflexology or select them all. Why not? The soothing hydrating massage oils smell like the Caribbean – fresh rejuvenating and sexy. Make sure you take some home with you.. It’ll transport you back to your vacation every time you open the bottle. All the Carribean Essentials products and treatment rituals have functional aromas and therapeutic herbs & spices. The luxury spa lifestyle brand is built around the three signature core aromatic blends – Rapture, Restore, Release. Each product and treatment is made from natural active botanical ingredients, invigorating and busting with the vitality and energy of the Jamaica.
Missing your retail therapy? Look, I’m not going to lie – there’s no Starbucks or Niemen Marcus, but definitely check out the retail store in the hotel. The Jewelry is stunning and pieces range from $10-$220. Don’t take my word for it even Americans Next Top Model is obsessed with Jewelry designer Bianca Bartley creative director/designer for the brand Peace-is-of-Bianca too. Bianca’s jewelry was used on the models when Tyra Banks took the crew to Jamaica for the hit TV show. From gorgeous Brazilian Galaxy Druzy from the brands ‘Summer Knights’ collection and delicate lines of the sterling silver series ‘Whispers on The Wind’ to the striking statement earrings ‘The Pattern of Peace-is Love’ Bianca and Peace-is of Bianca proves again that they are one we may need to keep our eyes out for!
Nightlife in Negril is pumping, however I would err on the side of caution going out to bars at night even if you’re with a girlfriend. Things get going around 11pm and they love to party! There are also options of going to see some cool live reggae, but get some recommendations from the Rockhouse about what’s on the calendar and where is safe.
Now all you have to do is figure out what you would like to do day 2…