Saturday, February 1, 2020

Never Homevember - Jamaica

Spending time out of the country during Thanksgiving has been our tradition since 1997.  This year we chose to go to visit one of our favorite places - Jamaica.  This was our 18th visit to Jamaica and tenth visit to Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios.   We’ve visited this small hotel (74 rooms) off-and-on since 2001 and have seen many changes over the years as it converted from the Royal flag, Beaches Flag, and Sandals flag.    We’ve seen staff come-and-go and watched friends move up the corporate ladder over the years.  It’s one of those places they remember you, even after a 5 year absence. 

Our original plans were to go to another Sandals this year, but we landed a sale price cheaper than we paid in 2001.   If only we could say the same about the airfare.

This year we had nearly perfect weather.  Rain interrupted maybe one hour of the whole trip - a first for Ochi this time of year.    Mornings and afternoons were spent on the beach, sunset in the hot tub on the terrace deck, and dinners were spent at 2 of the three restaurants most nights.  Thanksgiving night we dined at the neighboring Sandals Ocho Rios (guest of Royal Plantation can take advantage of all they have to offer but their guests can’t come to Royal) at the Japanese restaurant.   Another evening we attended the Returning Guest Dinner - a weekly affair at Sandals where you dine banquet style with management and other guests.

One fun new activity for this trip was going to the main Sandals newish speakeasy called The Rabbit Hole.   You needed a password to get in (obtained by asking a butler).   The decor inside was a mix of Alice in Wonderland meets Al Capone.  Each night there’s a short cabaret show before the venue turns into a disco.    We saw Mama perform and she did not disappoint. 

We did not take too many pictures since we’ve done this trip many times.   We also had intentions of leaving the resort but ended up lazy and enjoying the rain/cloud free days on the beach.

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