Fantastic Vacation Destinations
Wellness at Sugar Beach – St. Lucia
A Viceroy Resort
St. Lucia’s Pitons – twin mountains rising up from the Caribbean Sea – were created by volcanic activity almost 300,000 years ago. The peaks were considered to have mystical properties and were worshipped as Gods by the local Arawaks. Now deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bay of white sand beach between them is the setting of Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort. Drawing on the spirit and beauty of the site, the property is a haven for wellness of the mind and body.
Dotted along the treetops, the Rainforest Spa offers all-natural rituals using locally sourced ingredients like coconut, aloe vera, and cocoa. There are seven traditionally built treehouse treatment rooms along with a relaxation pavilion and an earthen Amerindian steam dome—known as a temascal. Guests can venture off-property with the Sulphur Seduction treatment which involves a morning trip to the volcanic sulphur springs near the resort to bathe in the black waters, followed by a sulphur mud bath and exfoliation treatment, shower in the Piton waterfalls, and a massage back at the spa.
NO DAYS OFF
The property’s fitness program includes daily classes on the hour, ranging from gentle sunset yoga and morning walks to military bootcamp and ‘beast mode’ body burn classes. For the more intrepid guest, the Piton Recovery starts with a hike of the island’s Gros Piton followed by a stretching session, rehydration with coconut water, and revitalizing snack of potassium-rich bananas before having a muscle releasing massage back at the Rainforest Spa.
In anticipation of Yoga Month in September, guest can practice their flow while the sun sets behind the Pitons.
The Christopher Unveils Three New Villas in St. Barth – December 2019
Just in time for the Caribbean high season, The Christopher will open its three new four-bedroom villas in December 2019. With the addition of these spacious retreats, the 42-room hotel concludes a tiered renovation following the hurricanes of 2017, which included the addition of the new Christo restaurant and a Sisley Spa.
French designer Olivia Putman created the spaces to integrate a modern aesthetic seamlessly with nature. The villas are completely open to the sea, evoking feelings of ease and relaxation. Taking inspiration from the bow of a ship, Putman used a mix of natural materials including bamboo, sandstone, and volcanic stone, accented with pops of the hotel’s signature orange. Interior lighting was strategically configured to maximize the exterior light and its ever-changing nature throughout the day. Each villa will have four bedrooms and a private pool, blending the privacy of a personal rental with the comforts of a hotel.
The Christopher is an under-the-radar gem on St. Barth with a strong base of repeat clients. With its location on Pointe Milou – among some of the poshest villas on the island and minutes from hopping Le Ti St. Barth night club – it has a prime westward view towards the bay of St. Jean, making it the best place to catch the sunset. Its Christo restaurant, new as of 2018, focuses on organic meat and vegetables and its Mango Beach Club offers casual poolside fare. The Sisley Spa treatment rooms look out over the water and have a natural soundtrack of lapping waves.
Unlike other islands, visitors to St. Barth don’t stay put at their hotel or resort. Instead, they visit the beautiful area beaches, go into the town of Gustavia for a gourmet meal or some shopping, or stop at bakeries for freshly made croissants. (St. Barth is part of France, after all!)
What else is new at The Christopher?
- The Sixth Annual St. Barth Gourmet Festival kicks off the season November 6-10. The Christopher is hosting the festival’s patron chef, Arnaud Faye, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) and two-star chef at Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze. He will be joined by seven top French chefs, each working at a restaurant on the island during the festival and creating special multi-course menus.
- November 20-24 is the St, Barth Cata-Cup, a catamaran race that circumvents the island. The Christopher is the perfect spot to sip a cocktail and watch all the catamarans sail by.
- During festive season, St. Barth becomes the place to see and be seen – celebs throw parties on yachts and clubs are packed to all hours. The Christopher is the ideal spot to sneak away from the madness and relax – maybe before joining in again the next night!
Contributed by: Kathryn Coughlin – Alice Marshall Public Relations
BELMOND CAP JULUCA – ANGUILLA
Belmond reveals its newly designed flagship Caribbean resort, Belmond Cap Juluca, through the lens of British movie star Naomie Harris, in a short film portraying the serenity and magic of this iconic barefoot luxury escape in Anguilla. Located on one of the Caribbean’s best beaches; wrapped around the pristine white sands of a half crescent bay, Belmond Cap Juluca has been transformed to encapsulate the art of living well.
The film is a soulful reflection on the power of being able to disconnect from the everyday and reconnect with yourself. “For me, Belmond Cap Juluca embraces the soul of the Caribbean; the place where I feel most at home. It is magical to be able to just take a moment to breathe in and do nothing, and simply enjoy the joy of being surrounded by beauty and nature”, says Naomie.
With an authentic connection to the Caribbean, clean-living values and a truly international lifestyle, Naomie’s experience of Belmond Cap Juluca speaks to the modern traveler who seeks sanctuary and the luxury of time to indulge in pure escapism.
Arnaud Champenois, Senior VP Brand & Marketing, Belmond, comments, “We are delighted to work with the beautiful Naomie Harris on this film to capture the essence of ‘barefoot luxury’ that we have created at Belmond Cap Juluca, a true authentic escape. Naomie brings this genuine feeling to the narrative that inspires you to walk in her footsteps.
With the opening of our new flagship property on Anguilla and sister hotel, Belmond La Samanna on Saint Martin, with its retro-chic pastel refresh celebrating contemporary nostalgia, we have redefined luxury Caribbean escapism.”
Designed to create a sense of calm and total escapism from the moment of arrival; every detail of the resort, by US design firm Rottet Studio, complements the outstanding natural beauty of the view and signature Greco-Moorish architecture. The result is a world of timeless glamour and barefoot luxury that is as beguiling as the setting itself.
As guests approach the Main House and heart of the resort, the high domed ceiling is deliberately designed to reveal and dramatically frame the mesmerizing view. The resort invites exploration and discovery; with lush hanging botanicals, a shaded courtyard with a deep green tiled Moroccan pool and sensitively placed locally-crafted artifacts, sculptures and botanical prints sourced from V&A London. The aesthetic reflects the style of a private residence that over the decades has acquired beautiful keepsakes from across the globe. The handcrafted limestone floor tiles have been purposely selected to entice guests to walk barefoot, as though meandering through their own home.
Offering new levels of beachfront service and seamlessly connecting the Main House with the cove of Maundays Bay, is the stunning palm-lined terraces with sea view infinity-edge pool. The show-stopping new space offers guests the best of both worlds – direct access to the beach and shaded corners to enjoy refreshing cocktails and healthy poolside tapas.
Located along one of the most spectacular beaches on Anguilla, the 108 newly designed rooms and suites embrace laid back island life – with cozy nooks to read and write and space to dine alfresco. The outrageously large bathrooms open onto walled botanical courtyards, providing serene sanctuaries for relaxation. Flowing natural fabrics, injected with a mix of blues, greens and botanical prints, along with the clever use of handcrafted dark grey floor tiling create an instant sense of calm in a space flooded with natural light.
The three and five-bedroom private villas offer generous space for families and groups of friends to embrace the exclusivity of dining, swimming and socializing in private but with front row access to the island’s best beach.
THE ART OF DOING NOTHING
New traditions and modern luxuries define the guest experience at Belmond Cap Juluca. Mornings begin with an invigorating ‘swim to breakfast’, where staff meet guests at the water’s edge of Cip’s by Cipriani with a fresh towel, robe and fruit juice in hand. Stylish pedal bikes and VW vans, painted in the resort’s signature color turquoise, provide a novel way to potter about the property. A lesson with the resident yogi at the pavilion offers a tranquil setting for sunrise yoga and a coaching session with the tennis pro or game of basketball and croquet are a fun way to punctuate relaxing beach days. The elegant crescent of the cove and crystal clear waters provide the ideal backdrop for all things aqua – be it paddle boarding, kayaking or swimming the length of the bay.
The Arawak Spa is a space to awaken the senses and experience the healing powers and holistic rituals of the ancient Arawaks, with signature treatments featuring locally-harvested Anguillan-salt and local rum. A haven to disconnect, the villa is nestled within landscaped gardens and boasts a private swimming pool, fitness center, three all-suite treatment rooms and access to two private beach cabanas for pampering on the edge of the lulling Caribbean Sea.
FEEDING THE SENSES
Whether in the mood for rum punches around the pool or fresh seafood tapas at sunset, Belmond Cap Juluca feeds the senses with relaxed dining experiences unique to Anguilla. Freshly squeezed fruit juices, smoothies and light bites are on offer at the fashionable new Maundays Club and by night, service turns to sophisticated Peruvian tapas as reggae music fills the night air and cocktails flow.
Casual all day dining is on offer at Cip’s by Cipriani where breakfast is served overlooking the water’s edge and delicious Italian cuisine takes inspiration from the famous ‘Cip’s Club’ menu in Venice. For a more sophisticated ambiance, destination restaurant Pimms is an invitation to dine on modern Caribbean classics and Anguillan delicacies in elegant surroundings.
The epitome of barefoot luxury is the resort’s authentic Caribbean beach bar ‘The Cap Shack’ – located on the most remote stretch of Maundays Bay – serving up creatively mixed rum punches, catch-of-the-day beach tapas and snacks. From sunrise to sunset this characterful sun kissed venue is a true seat in the sand.
Reasons to Go – The Caribbean Edition
You don’t have to go far to reach the beach—yet. But in just a few short months, travelers will be looking to swap cold and grey winters for the delights of white sand beaches. It’s never too early to start thinking about heading to the Caribbean, and here are your reasons why:
Two Nations One Destination
Why visit: Not sure which island is best for you? Take advantage of Belmond’s “Island to Island” package, which offers accommodations in both Anguilla and St. Martin – and a seamless connection via a 25-minute Caribbean boat ride.
With over 200 new restaurants already operational and almost 40 more on the way, St. Martin is coming back as an even more effervescent culinary destination. Belmond La Samanna sits on the French side of the island – crisp white villas are dotted along the coast of Baie Longue’s mile-long white sands. The property was renovated and restyled in December 2018 by London interior design firm MuzaLab. New seaside restaurant L’Oursin serves fresh seafood and French cuisine. Top your meal off with a bottle from La Cave Wine Cellar, a treasured piece of the property that was built in 1972 and is located two stories below sea level. As the largest private wine cellar in the Caribbean, it holds 12,000 bottles of wine and Champagne, including 150 varieties of Bordeaux and the property’s own private label: Hospices de Beaune La Samanna. What’s more: St. Martin is now easier than ever to get to, with a 30 percent flight route increase since 2018. But, book soon, as stay-over arrivals are up 144 percent over 2018 year to date.
After a few days of channeling your inner bourgeoisie exploring St. Martin’s chic shops and restaurants, head across the Caribbean Sea to Anguilla, just a 25 minute boat ride away. Sister resort Belmond Cap Juluca also reopened in December 2018, following Belmond’s acquisition of this long-beloved property and a top-to-bottom redesign by Rottet Studio. The white sands of Maundays Bay, known to be one of the most crystal-clear beaches in the Caribbean, offer a private and quiet escape from the rest of the world. Once a place of worship by the indigenous Arawaks, the energy of the property exudes a peaceful, barefoot luxury that has kept loyal guests returning year after year. Each of the 108 rooms has private access to Maundays Beach, as well as a dedicated butler. Soak in the Caribbean sun in complete privacy or sway to live calypso and reggae at the Cap Shack, a laid back beach bar with a vintage ’ 80s food truck serving up everything from fish tacos to rum punches and poke bowls. Mornings begin with a leisurely swim directly from guest suites over to the seaside Cip’s by Cipriani, where a ‘Julucan’ – a.k.a. staff member – awaits with a warm robe and fruit juice in hand. Afternoons can be lolled away with yoga next to the crashing waves, rides on any of the bicycles that are left dotted around property, or a more adventurous sunset sail or kite surf around the Caribbean Sea.
Why visit PONANT: Guests will be able to see the Caribbean like never before onboard two of its new PONANT EXPLORER ships, each featuring an underwater lounge – an industry first – and a collective seven new itineraries.
The recently launched Le Champlain and Le Dumont-d’Urville will offer 29 sailings for the 2019-2020 season. Of particular note is that guests can enjoy the Blue Eye Lounge. Located eight feet below water, the unprecedented views from the lounge offer a peek into underwater life through the whale-eye shaped portholes; as well as project images of the sea onto screens in real time. For a completely immersive experience, the lounge also brings the sounds of the sea inside. Highlights of Le Champlain and Le Dumont-d’Urville’s seven new itineraries include:
Maya Treasure of the Yucatan / Le Champlain
A brand-new itinerary around the Yucatán Peninsula, the ship will visit Mayan sites such as Uxmal, Palenque, and Chichen Itza. Also on the program: a stop at the capital state of Merida, guided tour through a cacao plantation, and visit to Chaak Tun cenote, regarded by the Maya as passageways to the world of the gods.
The Essential of the Caribbean / Le Dumont-d’Urville
This new itinerary sails round trip from Fort-de-France, with an experienced diving instructor on board throughout the duration of the cruise. Guests will also enjoy a private beach day on Mayreau Island, an optional excursion to the mineral baths at St Lucia’s Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, and the opportunity to see a variety of sea life including turtles, barracudas, spiny lobsters, and parrot fishes.
You Can Be Well in Yucatan
Why visit Viceroy Riviera: Maya’s on-site shaman offers a breath of traditional wellness activities and rituals.
Viceroy Riviera Maya, set on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is an adults-only, all-villa oasis surrounded by lush jungle. The resort is less than an hour drive away from Cancun International Airport, making for an easy jaunt to the beach. Upon arrival, each guest is greeted by the resort’s resident Shaman. Descended from a long line of Yucatan shamans from the village of X-pichil, the Shaman offers a traditional blessing to release guests from cares and worries. When he is not welcoming travelers, the Shaman can be found tending to his Jardin Pak’al, the garden where he grows herbs used at the Wayak Spa, before meetings guests for a one-on-one consultation to determine individual preferences and needs to create a personalized treatment – such as the Xaman-Ek (Love Ritual) treatment involving Mayan meditation, rituals to balance the chakras, and an herbal bath made from a black Zapote tree. He can even perform a Mayan Kamnicté wedding ceremony for guests looking to tie the knot the local way.
In the Footsteps of 007 in Jamaica
Why visit Jamaica: Walk in the footsteps of Ian Fleming at GoldenEye ahead of the release of the 25th James Bond film in April 2020.
Jamaica. That Jamaica. The 25th James Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007 is heading back to the island nation and the former home of Ian Fleming, the character’s creator. The untitled movie will be partly set on the island. The film finds the spy out of active service and enjoying tranquil life in Jamaica, much like Bond’s author. Fleming was a former British intelligence officer and discovered Jamaica during a WWII mission in 1946. When the war ended, he returned and purchased 15 acres of tropical overbrush, which he named GoldenEye. The island was Fleming’s retreat and passion, and he resided there every January and February for more than two decades. In between snorkeling in the azure waters and birding in the Blue Mountains, he wrote a new Bond novel each winter. Today, Fleming’s legacy remains. His bungalow – renamed the Fleming Villa – is part of the 52-acre GoldenEye resort. Fleming’s writing desk, sunken garden, and beloved coral reef are all still part of the story. Ramsey Dacosta, Fleming’s former gardener, still lives on property and exclusively refers to him as “Commander,” a nod to his military rank. Visitors can also tour Noel Coward’s hilltop home, which is nearby. A dear friend of Fleming, Coward’s residence is a time capsule, left largely untouched since he passed in the ’70s. The local Port Maria Town Hall where Fleming and his wife married also still stands. This winter, GoldenEye will carefully expand with the addition of three, three-bedroom cottages on the resort’s lagoon.
The Sunsets of St. Barth
Why visit: Set on the quieter western side of St. Barth, The Christopher offers epic sunsets and will soon unveil three brand new villas.
Flying to St. Barth is easier than ever now that Tradewind has expanded its service from San Juan, Puerto Rico. St. Barth Commuter has also added flights, with new routes from Guadeloupe, plus additional scheduled options from St. Martin and Antigua. With new restaurants, reconstructed roads, and the last of the major hotel renovations wrapping up this season, this island is a must-visit.
The Christopher is located on the island’s quieter, more residential Pointe Milou, with westward-facing views toward St. Jean Bay, a perfect place to catch the sunset. The 42-room hotel will lift the veil on three brand new villas this December, concluding a tiered renovation following the hurricanes of 2017, which included the addition of a new restaurant, Christo, and a Sisley Spa. With interiors by French designer Olivia Putman, each villa has four bedrooms and a private swimming pool. Many visitors to St. Barth opt for a villa, and Pointe Milou is home to some of the poshest on the island. This addition will marry the comfort and space of private residences with all the services and amenities of the hotel.
Contributed by: Kathryn Coughlin – Alice Marshall Public Relations
Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Hamilton – Bermuda
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – St. Lucia
But lest the “heartical” underbelly of operations at these luxury resorts lead us on a tangent, be reminded that we are speaking of the grand experience that awaits the avant-garde tourist at Sugar Beach, St. Lucia’s Viceroy hotel, spa and villas, which has so far been accredited among:
- The Times, Sunday Times and Sunday Times Travel Magazine Travel Awards 2016 Best Long Haul Hotel in the World
- 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings – Best Hotels in the Caribbean
- 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels in the Caribbean
- Conde Nast Traveller (UK) Readers’ Choice Travel Awards 2016, #98 in the world and #9 in the Caribbean, among a slew of others.
The Conde Nast Traveller’s “Readers Choice Awards” factors among the most prestigious awards on the planet and it’s no mean feat to have scored among the top 100 in the world.
CHEVAL BLANC ST BARTH ISLE DE FRANCE, ST. BARTHS
Go with the understanding that your stay will be almost as French as France with the hottest name brand designer boutiques to boot, and do expect to see topless beaches and experience discos that start jamming by noon. And while wandering around Gustavia, the main harbor, keep an eye out for the arrival of the super yachts with the who’s who of fame and celebrity.
Belmond Cap Juluca Hotel – Anguilla
The award-winning property features Greco-Moorish architecture spread over two crescent-shaped coves with ocean-view suites and villas that offer secluded privacy set within lush tropical gardens. There are four restaurants and bars, a large salt water pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, a library and private screening room. The property was developed by Linda and Charles Hickox, nearly 30 years ago.
Belmond Andean Explorer – Luxury Sleeper Train
Ani Villas, Anguilla
Ani Villas, which was built on a 2 acre estate perched atop the cliff known as Little Bay, is another of the Caribbean’s all inclusive, eco-tourist luxury resorts.
Quite apart from its offering of breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea, guests have all the amenities they may desire, including: infinity swimming pools, cliff top hot tubs, roof decks, open lounges, a cliff top ceremony platform and state of the art gym. Additionally, there is blue whale watching or kayaking under limestone cliffs, mixologist-curated bars, executive chefs and stimulating children’s activities. Ani Villas offers the ideal package for the discerning tourist experience. Not to mention that within a short stay one could actually bask in the sun at several of the island’s 33 beaches.
Built primarily to host large groups or families, the two villas offer a combined experience of ten bedrooms, which is essentially the entire estate.
So, there is more to see and do in Anguilla than just beautiful beaches and villas. The island has a unique history bolstered by its historical sites which are all within a 20 minute drive from any given point.
JUMBY BAY – ANTIGUA
NOTRE DAME BASCILICA – Montreal, Canada
As we approached the cobble stoned heart of the city we were faced with the imposing structure of the Notre Dame Basilica, standing majestically across the road from us. I had no idea what to expect. Up to then, the most beautiful church I had entered was Scot’s Kirk in Jamaica, to which we strutted from St. George’s Primary school just up the road, in as uniformed a lined as could be expected of children, for choir practice. At seven years old the structure loomed just as large as the Basilica did in my adulthood. As an islander I remained open to all new experiences of different cultures and heritage and admired conscious appreciation of preservation in historical statements through architecture.
Half Moon Hotel – Jamaica
Jamaica’s Half Moon has a rich history, which includes being the only resort in the Caribbean to have earned a four diamond designation from AAA for over 27 consecutive years, easily ranking it among sister resorts synonymous with paradise.
Golf aficionados are drawn to its award winning 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, designed by world renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. and renovated in 2005 by legendary course architect, Roger Rulewich.
Since its development on a 35 acre crescent-shaped bay (hence the name, Half Moon) in 1954, the hotel boasts a home-away-from-home experience frequented by countless luminaries, including HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles; Prince Rainier of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Monaco and John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy. Prior to his inauguration as President of the United States, the couple spent a month at the resort.
The Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari – Johannesburg, South Africa
Naturally tourists visiting southern Africa associate that part of the world with big game and the safari industry has done a great deal to promote the image of the new South Africa to those living outside the country. Places like Royal Madikwe are able to appeal to an elite tourist niche attracted by the big five and all that the African bush has to offer but a clientele like that carries with it, expectations of luxury that are difficult to live up to. To make life more complicated, the owners of the Royal Madikwe were determined to use the lodge to help uplift the local community in ways that were essential to Nelson Mandela’s vision of South Africa. There was to be no quick importation of a chef from France or a Maitre d’ from Switzerland. The management team made a decision that they were going to hire locally, not just from within the country’s borders but from the small village neighboring the reserve.
LALIBELA GAME SAFARI, SOUTH AFRICA
A GLIMMER OF LIGHT ON THE DARK CONTINENT
Though the long awaited African renaissance may have begun, there are formidable mountains still to be crossed before poverty can be wiped off the face of the South African map and there remain vast numbers of people living a ruthless hand to mouth existence where the threat of hunger is never far away. One of the main tools for changing that scenario is the powerful swing toward eco- tourism and the growing international awareness of South Africa’s rich wild life heritage.
Lalibela is one such reserve. It has two lodge camps and one luxury tented camp and plays host to both international visitors and wealthier South Africans. As one would expect at that level, the game viewing is superb, the guides knowledgeable and, when you are not being driven around the bush in open topped four by fours, the food excellent.
The catering manager is Linda Keevy-Geldenhuys who has worked at Lalibela for the past nine years. Whilst catering in an exotic and beautiful reserve in the midst of the African bush may sound like a dream job it comes with its own unique array of problems. When you run out of an ingredient you don’t just pop down the road to your local supermarket to resupply. Guests at that end of the market can be very demanding and dealing with glucose free, lactose free or vegan diets are all just part of a days work.
Linda decided that the best course of action would be to train some of the housekeeping staff to become cooks. It was a decision that did not meet with immediate approval from others in management. They were at first skeptical that these ladies, with limited education and little exposure to the extreme culinary requirements that would be placed upon them, would be able to make the transition into safari cooks. Several years later the issue is no longer under debate. Linda has more than proved her point.
Cynthia Tshula has been cooking at Lalibela for six years now. One of Linda’s first trainees, she started off at the reserve washing laundry. She is now a fiercely proud cook with a passion for baking. Mamalinda Duku used to make a living as a seasonal fruit picker before she too started at Lalibela in the house keeping department. She has become an expert at two uniquely South African dishes, the Poitjie, a traditional but complicated African stew and Chakalaka which is a spicy stir fried vegetable dish.
This success story has not been without its hitches. Tears over burned dishes, overcoming a distrust that seems so universal between management and workers and climbing a hugely steep learning curve are just some of the problems these ladies have had to resolve. Under the hot pressure cooker like conditions of their bush camp kitchens, Cynthia and Mamalinda have discovered talents, skills and passion they never dreamed were there or that they would be given the opportunity to develop. Somewhere in the process the three ladies have become friends. The bond that exists between them now provides not only some delightful meals but adds further hope for the future of a country that once teetered on the brink of self destruction.
Writer – Mike Alexander
WADDESDON MANOR – London, England
The Manor, which sits on 165 acres of garden and park, was bequeathed to The National Trust in 1975, along with a large endowment for its maintenance.
During World War II, Waddesdon Manor was used as a safe shelter for children under five years old.
Photos courtesy of Tourism South East www.visitsoutheastengland.com
Strawberry Hill Hotel – Jamaica
Nestled atop 26 acres on Jamaica’s Blue Mountain range, Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa and Gardens is on many bucket lists, especially since being named one of the 1000 Places to See Before You Die, a New York Times bestselling book of the same name.
On a clear day, one can see up to 40 miles from the property’s infinity-edge pool, and at night the city far below becomes a twinkling mirror of the night sky. The property’s 12 Georgian-style cottages, spa, exotic gardens and restaurant offerings underwent an extensive refurbishment in October 2011.
Guests are greeted with a complimentary rum cocktail upon arrival to help set the tone for a stay that can be tranquil and relaxing or a mini-adventure with surrounding mountain trails with difficulty levels that range from easy to mildly insane. Nature lovers will get a kick out of the botanical gardens’ 350 recorded species of plant life as well as the Cinchona Botanical Gardens, a rare high-elevation botanical garden and the only such institution in the Caribbean.
History buffs may want to tour St. Mark’s Chapel, a charming and interesting landmark with gravestones that date back to the 1800s; while java lovers may satisfy their curiosity about the bean’s harvesting process by touring the island’s premier Blue Mountain Coffee Estate.
The attentive staff leaves no need unmet, offering a library with access to local and international newspapers as well as board games and wireless Internet access in the main areas.Guests may also embark on an excursion to the picture perfect Lime Cay, a small uninhabited island easily accessible by a combo car and boat ride that is approximately 80 minutes away from Strawberry Hill and well worth the trip. The area is home to white sand beaches and clear seas. Cold drinks and cooked Jamaican food are available on the weekends with abundant picnic tables and shaded areas for relaxation.