Liquid Sunshine is Sprinkled Over Round Hill
October 17th, 2014
~ A luxury resort you need to know about.
Image: Round Hill Hotel & Resorts Entrance
A recent holiday escape sent my family and I to the Caribbean Island of Jamaica. We started off our travels on the far western tip of the island to witness the most beautiful turquoise waters I’ve ever seen on 7-mile beach in Negril. We spent ALL of our days frolicking in the water until it was time to continue our adventure to the magnificent grounds of Round Hill Hotel and Resorts located in Montego Bay.
Image: Kingslay Blake
Once we arrived, we were greeted by the handsome head bellman in blue, Kingslay Blake, who has been with Round Hill for 40-years! He is a charming man and no visit to Round Hill would be complete without a handshake from this genuine Jamaican. He drove us to villa #15, and as he unlocked the door to invite us in my family and I stood in the entryway with the look of awestruck on each one of our faces. The beauty of the white, fresh, crisp and clean décor complemented nature’s bounty outside, which is immediately seen thanks to the bi-fold louver plantation style doors that covered every wall on the ocean side throughout the villa. This infinity view connected all the dots between the room, terrace, pool, and ocean giving you an endless feeling of OHM as you looked out in the distance.
Our villa, splendid in so many ways, with its vaulted ceilings, plantation furniture, black-and-white-checked tile floors, comfy, canvas-upholstered overstuffed sofas, made me relax in its beauty as images danced around in my mind of the wealth of history that had soirée the rooms. I was told many famous celebrities and politicians slept at this resort enjoying tranquil days and extravagant fete’s---- the late John F. Kennedy and Jackie Onassis even had their honeymoon here.
On the other hand, my two teenage boys gave high fives to the freedom they would experience as they zipped away to their own rooms.
Every day started with a swim in the ‘very large’ private pool by the men in my family, while momma dearest strolled down to the beach to enjoy a paddle board run on the tranquil water. We would all meet back at the villa an hour or two later to enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast of fresh fruits (the mangoes were to die for), eggs, French toast and muffins made for us by our ever friendly and so accommodating cooking staff. I literally, and I think my family included, had to pinch ourselves a few times to be sure this was for real.
Highlights of my trip usually entail a beauty getaway equipped with a charming spa and extravagant treatments. Unfortunately, Round Hill’s Spa was under construction, so despite my wonderful sugar rub treatment, the setting just was not complete. So instead, I am going to share another incredible opportunity I experienced, but his time with the entire family: A cooking lesson.
But this wasn’t any regular kind of lesson. We took a cart ride driven by Mr. Kingslay Blake along with Round Hill’s award-winning Executive Chef Martin Maginley to the organic vegetable garden, where we saw the bounty of vegetables being harvested. We picked some arugula, smelled some beautiful lemon grass and learned about the important ingredients to make a garden grow--- it takes more than silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row! A BIG storm was brewing in the distance as you can see from the ominious clouds, so we had to hurry along. We later met Chef Marvin, head chef from Martin's team, back at our villa where we put on our white aprons and chef hats and got cooking. As Chef Marvin took us through the steps of marinating the jerk chicken, we sipped some tiki tonics of Carrot & Beet Root or Coconut Lime, which were delicious, even for someone who isn’t a big fan of beets. We all played a role in the kitchen, while one was sautéing the red snapper, the other was putting the final topping on the Chilled Gazpacho, another gathered chips and prepared fresh salsa. It was a family affair that was unlike any other we ever experienced- yes, my two boys even agreed, which they touted 'this was cool"! Besides, we had the opportunity of doing it without ever leaving our villa- and this day in particular, worked in our favor due to a monsoon-like storm pushing through Jamaica. Chef Marvin couldn’t have been more accommodating or patient, remember you are dealing with kids, as long as you were safely conducting a task he had a “Yeah Mon, No Problem” attitude that was typical Jamaican. It was a win win all around!
More and more resorts are offering these family experiences, so inquire about it on your next vacation. This is one trip that I find myself reflecting back on due to its uniqueness, beauty and tranquil setting. Even after I arrived back home, the following three days when I awakened in the morning, for a split second I thought I was in Villa #15, normally the opposite happens, you dream of being back in your own bed.
No wonder Jamaican's call rain "Liquid Sunshine", even when the sun isn't smiling at you, the droplets of rain make you experience other forms of beauty to experience.
This image sums it all up........ footloose and fancy free. Thank you Round Hill for a lifelong #familyofmemories no photo album can ever capture.