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Jamaica's Most Romantic Resorts
There is far more to Jamaica than cruise ports and tourist-infected attractions. In fact, the best parts of this 4,400-square-mile island nation are those that relatively few visitors ever see, including some of the most beautiful and exclusive resorts in the world.
From the James Bond classic Live and Let Die to How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Jamaica's resorts have often stepped in when Hollywood needed a backdrop to action and romance. Once the cameras were off, however, these properties quickly resumed the task of pampering and pleasing privacy-loving guests like singer Mick Jagger and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
The pinnacle of Jamaica's small luxury resorts is Goldeneye, the clifftop former home of 007 author Ian Fleming. The 18-acre estate is ideal for destination weddings since it can be rented on a buyout basis, with one- to three-bedroom villas holding a total of 22 people. Surrounded by tropic 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 sedate 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 at Strawberry Hill, The Caves offers a variety of Aveda spa treatments, expertly administered in an open-air gazebo.
The Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn, situated on six beachside acres two miles east of Ocho Rios, aptly calls itself "a small grand hotel." This elegant and intimate resort hotel 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, the Jamaica Inn has been known as a private getaway with first-class services and amenities. Past guests have included Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
The Round Hill Resort and Villas
The 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 bonfire and calypso music. Spa services are available at the wellness center, and tennis, a fitness center, and a freshwater pool are all onsite.
The Sandals Royal Plantation
Proving that there's a place for luxury in the world of all-inclusive resorts, too, the 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 constantly kept 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. Also very popular for destination weddings and honeymoons.