By Christine Crosby
As a grandmom who loves to find new places I can share with my grandchildren and their parents, my husband and I recently vacationed in Nigril and Montego Bay, Jamaica—and what a time we had.
Fabulous beach vibe, friendly people, fantastic hotels!
In Jamaica, the average daily temperature is 85 degrees, and the atmosphere is comfortable and casual, the kind of relaxing beach vibe that ratchets down stress in seconds. Everyone couldn’t have been nicer—from the Paradise Tours’ shuttle drivers at Sangster International Airport to the staff at the “Five Star” RIU Palace Tropical Bay in Nigril. They instantly and genuinely made us feel welcome, as if they (unlike some Parisians I’ve known) were glad to have us visiting their country.
The RIU Palace Tropical Bay has all the amenities families would love—world class dining, spas, pools, beach, water sports, and entertainment. Service, too, was fantastic. I’d picked up the wrong luggage at the airport, but they quickly found the rightful owner, just down the road at Sandals Resort, and exchanged the bags for me. So simple and yet so grand!
Horseback riding, sailing, playing with dolphins, dining by the sea!
We launched our Jamaican adventure with horseback riding at Rhodes Hall Plantation including a ride n’ swim on the beach located on a private 550-acre estate just five miles outside of Negril. Now this was something my children and grandchildren would adore, and anyone could: You don’t have to be an expert rider, just someone willing to mount up for fun.
The next day we enjoyed sailing, via the Island Routes Survivor Catamaran Cruise, along the enchanting coastline, including spectator views of the historic Cliffside, the legendary Rick’s Café, and Jimmy Buffet’s rollicking Margaritaville. At the Dolphin Cove in Negril we got up close and personal with dolphins, and you can tell from the look on my face just how much fun I was having. The grandkids would go bananas over the dolphins.
Dining at the Sky Beach Bar and Seaford Grill to eat, helped the chef cook it, and then scuttled to the beachside table, margarita in hand, to enjoy our dinner. There’s nothing quite like eating a delicious, fresh fish dinner with your toes squiggling in the warm sand, while cool water splashes gently over them.
Throw in a villa!
The second leg of our journey included a few days at Sea Island Villa, (Villas by Linda Smith) overlooking Montego Bay, which was more private and breathtakingly beautifully.
Ah, Jamaica, I fell in love with your beauty and charm and can’t wait to take my family back for a visit.