I have a soft spot for Jamaica. The first time I visited the island I was with a group of friends and had the chance to explore it in full. This year an opportunity took me back for a five day trip with focus on Reggae Sumfest, a unique experience in itself, during which my home was Sandals Montigo Bay.
The resort is a first in many ways: first all-inclusive (ever), first Sandals, and first couples resort for me (sans the couple part). Despite it’s age and proximity to the airport this Sandals location is as good as any other. The resort is newly renovated with a wide variety of rooms: beach suits with modern bathtubs on the deck, a few different butler villas and villa suits, Sandals Club villas, honeymoon walkouts, Caribbean luxury rooms, and Club cottages. The resort is fairly small and stretches across the beach, everyone is minutes away from the beach, no ride needed.
I had the pleasure of staying in one of the cottage rooms: further away from the main building, near an intimate swim-up bar with a patio facing the ocean steps. The rooms itself are all fantastic, the cottages in particular are very spacious with plenty of room to walk around, a Jacuzzi tub and HD TV, in addition to any other possible necessity you might need, including room service.
There is a good selection of restaurants on the grounds, two of which require reservations, most require dress code. My favorite by far was Stew Fish (no reservations needed), a seafood patio directly on the beach, as you enjoy your meal the waves crush against the beach creating a sense of tranquility. At night there are a few fire pits around, and while it might be too hot to sit by the fire peace can be found at a safe distance with a cold pina colada in hand.
The tide is pretty high in August so most cabanas are deep in the water and there really is no better place to watch the sunset than in the privacy of a cabana with a glass of Red Stripe while thinking over you dinner options.
Things to remember: Jamaica is very relaxed, it is after all “the home of all right” so you don’t go into the restaurant starving, you anticipate your hunger, same goes for room service, I got into the habit of calling in breakfast and going back to sleep.
If you are feeling adventurous enough I’d strongly recommend checking out a local jazz bar and having lunch at Scotchies Mobay.
To see the adventure through Instagram look up #XOJamaica16.