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If your idea of romance looks something like rainforests and tropical beaches, then Jamaica makes for the perfect anniversary vacation. Its hot climate and laidback pace has been known to beckon lots of honeymooners, elopers, proposers, and Valentine's Day-goers, too.
Think about it: Every time Hollywood has needed a backdrop for action and romance (from the James Bond classic "Live and Let Die" to "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"), Jamaica's resorts have saved the day. Once the cameras leave, these properties are quick to resume the task of pampering and pleasing privacy-seeking guests like Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell, and now you and your partner, too.
The pinnacle of Jamaica's small luxury resorts, Goldeneye is the former home of 007 author Ian Fleming—earning it the nickname "the birthplace of Bond." This 18-acre estate is ideal for destination weddings because it can be rented on a buyout basis, with one- to three-bedroom villas holding a total of 22 people. Surrounded by tropical forests and flowering gardens, Goldeneye has three private beaches near the northern port town of Oracabessa. Room rates include all food and beverages, with the spotlight on traditional Jamaican dishes. Honeymooners will be enchanted by the three-bedroom Ian Fleming House, which features indoor and outdoor baths, a private courtyard and lily pond, and spectacular ocean views.
With 10 colorful wooden cottages perched above the Caribbean, The Caves gets its name from a series of chambers carved from rugged cliff walls. Just steps from your cottage door, adventurous couples can dive off a cliff into 30 feet of azure sea water, snorkel over a tropical reef, or relax on a series of cliffside sun decks and grottos. Like its sister resort, Strawberry Hill, The Caves offers a variety of Aveda spa treatments, all expertly administered in an open-air gazebo.
Situated on six beachside acres just east of Ocho Rios, Jamaica Inn aptly calls itself "a small grand hotel." This elegant and intimate five-star property captures the luxurious, languorous feeling of Jamaica’s plantation days, yet offers enough amenities to keep guests busy. Since opening nearly a half-century ago, Jamaica Inn has been known as a private getaway with first-class services and amenities. Past guests have included Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, and James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Round Hill Resort and Villas at Montego Bay is comprised of the oceanfront, 36-room Pineapple House and 29 privately-owned villas. A resort that mixes privacy with the amenities of a full-service resort, Round Hill boasts beachfront lunches, elegant dinners in the Georgian dining room, and a weekly beach party complete with a bonfire and calypso music. Spa services are available at the wellness center, and tennis, a fitness center, and a freshwater pool are all onsite.
Proving that there is, indeed, a place for luxury in the world of all-inclusive resorts, Sandals Royal Plantation Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios indulges guests with spacious suites, spa treatments, butler-served meals on the beach, and a cigar and piano bar.
You may also recognize this resort from Season 20 of "The Bachelor," when bachelor Ben Higgins took the ladies on a romantic getaway to Jamaica.
This north coast resort has been welcoming couples for more than 50 years but has managed to keep up with the times in terms of guests' luxury expectations. The Fern Tree Spa is first-rate, and active couples will find more than enough to keep them busy with a Robert Trent Jones golf course, a huge tennis center, a dolphin lagoon, hiking and biking trails, and an equestrian center, to name but a few resort amenities. This place is also very popular for destination weddings and honeymoons.