The Caribbean is often known for its warmth and slow paced bliss, in addition to its unrivaled white sand beaches and scenic beauty. Yet, nowhere else in Jamaica seems to sum these characteristics up than the Sunset Jamaica Grande, located in Ocho Rios. The Sunset Grande is one of Jamaica’s finest resorts and I can only hope my experiences there will paint an accurate portrait of the quality and beauty located within the walls of this hotel and give you a better idea of why this resort is worth coming to.
On my recent family vacation to Jamaica, I was very excited to see all that I had heard so much about from my childhood. Many of my friends had visited the island, were in love with the people, the great beaches, and now it was my turn to experience the same. On our arrival to Kingston airport, we rented a car and immediately we set off for fun and adventure within the confines of the All-Inclusive Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios.
The two hour ride itself to the resort was interesting, many bumps, twists, turns, and a very pretty wildlife on the hillside was to keep my attention for the duration of the trip. I remember clearly as we approached the hotel, the feeling of utter amazement that consumed me, similar to the skyscrapers of Manhattan, the towering Sunset Grande loomed over. The cool shadow of the building provided shade and relieved the heat of the hot Jamaican sun, as if to say “welcome guests”.
Upon our arrival, the first order of business was of course checking in, this was handled in a quick and speedy fashion by the very friendly and efficient management at the hotel. The staff went out of their way and beyond their call of duty and we were even able to get rooms right beside each other, so the family could stay close and in contact more easily. The rooms were spacious and grand. Everything was in order, right down to the graceful blankets and sheets that were laid on the beds for us in the form of swans. The bathroom was big, and quite comfortable, stocked with the many different herbs and soaps. Yet probably the strongest asset of the rooms was not its luxurious space, or the many channels of cable, it was the amazing and simply breathtaking balcony view, endless blue ocean that echoed in the horizon. Not to mention seeing the white sand beaches and the view of the Jamaican mountainside in the background and chance to swim with the dolphins in Ocho Rios.
Next on our list was to really get to know the place, so we scheduled ourselves for the main hotel tour, which scheduled each day at the concierge desk. Our guide was a sweet Jamaican girl of about 25, who dedicated herself to showing us every building, pool, bar and restaurant, among the three main fine dinning restaurants, were EL diva, (Italian Cuisine), Ginger Lily, (Asian Cuisine), and finally South Beach, (American/Jamaican mix). In addition to the fine dinning restaurants, you have more informal ones like Jamilicious Café, that serves exclusively Jamaican cuisine, from Ackee and salt fish, which is the national dish, to Jerk pork, yellow rice and festivals, and the very festive Pumpkin soup and Red Peas soups. The food is sure to make any hotel guest salivate, and don’t forget to wash it all down with a cold red stripe beer, “ya man”. The food will always surprise and leave a lasting smile.
Next on the tour after the restaurants were the different clubs and after dinner activities, they have a club for more younger individuals to dance. While for the more mature crowd, there are nightly live musical performances where you could just sit with your significant other and enjoy the show by candle light. Next up on the tour were the gaming facilities, another personal favorite of mine, from table tennis to trivial pursuit. You name it, and they had it. There was even a gaming room stocked with arcade games and pool tables. Our tour continued, she showed us the beaches and pool facilities, the North and South side beach and pools. Both sides divided by the towering skyscraper like waterslide.
Finally coming to the close of the tour, came the relaxing and regenerating spa,
my wife actually had the pleasure of a trial run. She sampled only 5 minutes, was just enough to give her a basic idea of what the entire experience was like, since she doesn’t usually go to spas. She came out, I couldn’t help but laugh as she was in some kind of euphoric high, clearly the massage had worked its magic.
By the end of the tour it was becoming late in the afternoon, but none of us really noticed, time always seems to pass so slowly in Jamaica. This is great for a vacation because there is simply too much to do in one day. As we walked back to the main lobby, we decided to register an appointment with one of the fine dinning restaurants, called El Diva. We were lucky to get the last available spot. The demand for this restaurant was very high.
In the mean time we decided to spend a few hours on the beaches, taking in the Jamaican sun and splashing in the ocean, feeling the pure white sand between our toes and the cool Jamaican breezes in all directions, coupled with the slow rhythmic currents that ebbed back and forth to purify and relax the body, not to mention the perfect temperature.
As the evening came, we left the beach to get ready for our special outing to El Diva. Upon entering the restaurant we were immediately greeted by the manager and thanked us for selecting El Diva. We were then seated by the host and then served by the waiter. It was a full course meal, appetizers, salads, main course, dessert, and the food was simply to die for. Everything was excellent. My favorite part was when the waiter balanced 2 dishes in each hand and had a dish on his head that he was keeping perfectly level, and then bent down to my wife and asked her to take it off his head. I don’t think I have ever seen that anywhere else before.
It was truly a night to remember. The following days were similar and each one was out done by the next in its precession. All in all, the All-Inclusive Sunset Jamaica Grande is truly a world class beach resort, coupled with all the pleasures and wants of life. It is easy to come and very hard to leave, if you ever decide to take a vacation to this little paradise known as Jamaica don’t forget to come to the Sunset Jamaica Grande, where all your dreams can come true.
Sunset Jamaica Grande
P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios
Jamaica, West Indies
Resort phone: 1-876-974-2200
Resort fax: 1-876-974-2289
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