Rediscover Jamaica at The Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites

The Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites in Montego Bay on Jamaica’s North Coast is a five-star all-inclusive hotel that prides itself on luxury as much as safe and responsible tourism. Jamaica reopened its borders on June 15, but in spite of this, there has been a huge push for locals to explore home and experience the sights, scents and tastes of Jamaica which are not often marketed to us. This campaign by the Jamaica Tourist Board is known as Rediscover Jamaica and has been hailed as a huge success thus far, with more and more locals making reservations at the country’s leading resorts, and is possibly the largest wave of locals exploring yaad. This uptick in ‘staycations’ is also due in part to the numerous deals and specials put in place by these large all-inclusive hotels to appeal to a local crowd, and I’m here for it! Millions of people save for months and years to afford a trip to Jamaica, while Jamaica is our birthright. With that said, if you’re looking for another great location for your next staycation, look no further than Iberostar.

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Noisy River Falls, Manchester

Travel in the time of ‘Rona is such an interesting experience. I visited this beauty tucked away in the north Manchester hillsides in a little district called Oxford last weekend and like nearly all my trips to date, I had a lovely time. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy at all. Anyway, back in primary school (in Kingston at least) they taught us that the parish of Manchester has no rivers, and I’m really appalled at this ‘fact.’ I wonder what they taught the children from the parish of Manchester who grew up next to these rivers. This is the second such ‘fictional‘ river in the parish of Manchester I’m visiting, and I’m sure I’ll get around to its other two rivers eventually.

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I Felt Safer At A Hotel Than Work.

True Story: I felt safer at a hotel which is being used as a quarantine site for tourists coming from CoVid-stricken countries, than I do every day at work. Here’s why:

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Benta River Falls, Westmoreland

Benta River Falls is a family-owned business found in the lush verdant outskirts of Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland. The property features a beautiful river with seven small waterfalls flowing underneath tall bamboo trees and other tropical plants which filter out the piercing afternoon sunlight to cast a cool viridescent glow over everything. What’s lovely about this gem is the owners’ commitment to sustainable tourism. Very little has been done to modify the grounds, and the the building materials for the limited buildings and staircases are eco-friendly.

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Elle’s Favourite 10 Places (Updated)

In November 2018, I published an article featuring my ten favourite places in Jamaica. Back then I hadn’t seen everywhere beautiful Jamaica has to offer, and I still certainly have not. I barely feel as if I’ve scratched the surface, and I feel I’ll be singing the same tune in another year or two when I update this list again. I’ve now published 67 places and events across 11 parishes of Jamaica in three plus years, so you know I have a lot left to see, do and experience and thus this list may be entirely different in 2021 or 2022. Check out the previous list here, and compare it to this new list of my favourite 10 places in Jamaica to see which places didn’t make the cut this time, and which ones remain. Feel free to use this as a travel guide if you’re interested in seeing the best this lovely island of Jamaica has to offer. Spoiler alert: This article is FILLED with waterfalls! Shall we begin? 🙂

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Winnifred Beach, Portland

Winnifred Beach in Portland, Jamaica is a success story of what can happen when a community works together and fights for a worthy cause. Majority of Jamaica’s best coastline is in the hands of private owners, auctioned off and sold by the Jamaican government to large hotels and investors who rather keep the beaches of their beachfront hotels and resorts exclusive for paying guests. This practice prevents citizens from enjoying most of the country’s best beaches. It’s a prevailing notion in Jamaica that only tourists get to see and enjoy Jamaica’s finest attractions since the prices charged for us to visit these places, even with cheaper rates for locals, still make them inaccessible to many. This wasn’t something I thought much of until visiting another Caribbean island last December and realizing that not a single one of their beaches had an admission fee, and for the other attractions which did, both locals and tourists were charged the same. In fact, many Jamaican businesses which cater for tourists often ignore locals when we enter their establishments so it’s an interesting turn of events that many of these places are now trying to attract and capture support from locals since tourist arrivals are at an all-time low for obvious reason.

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Bob Marley Beach, Saint Andrew

When one thinks of going to the beach in Jamaica, St. Andrew is perhaps the last parish that comes to mind. Some go as far as to ask if this parish even has a beach to begin with, and I’m always happy to educate and say yes, SEVERAL! 🙂 All 14 of Jamaica’s parishes are washed by the Caribbean Sea so it’s a little weird that people assume St. Andrew doesn’t have any beaches just because it’s a largely urban parish and commercial centre. Three years ago I took a trip to the Carib and Wickie Wackie beaches which I wrote about here, and now I’m back with another lesser-known St. Andrew beach.

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Blue Lagoon & Monkey Island Tour, Portland

Blue Lagoon is located in Port Antonio, a quaint picturesque town in Portland which hasn’t been hit with mass-tourism like our other resort towns. Portland is my favourite parish in Jamaica because literally around every curve is a beautiful beach, cay, river or waterfall waiting to be discovered. Does Blue Lagoon look or sound familiar? Well, there may be a reason for that. Brook Shields’ movie by the same name Blue Lagoon (1980) was filmed in Jamaica, and it’s also a popular spot used in filming numerous Jamaican music videos. This coastal lagoon shrouded by thick lush greenery is rumoured to be bottomless in Jamaican folklore but is actually 65m (210ft.) deep at its deepest point, and its colour ranges from a deep mesmerizing royal blue to shimmering turquoise depending on the way the light hits its surface throughout the day.

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7 Unique Activities to Enjoy In & Around Kingston, Jamaica

The great outdoors has been elusive since early March but is finally opening up, even if it is currently blanketed by Saharan dust, and we’re not fully out of the woods yet with several countries seeing a second wave in coronavirus cases since relaxing travel restrictions. Nonetheless, I’m seeing everyone posting their beach pictures and I’m happy. I’ll be enjoying my first taste of summer soon too. I enjoy large open green spaces, beaches, waterfalls, rivers and nature trails, but you know what ‘Rona has made me realize? There are many indoor activities I enjoy too– some I haven’t even done before but are on my mental list of things to try, and I missed having the opportunity to try them. Kingston is Jamaica’s capital city, a bustling centre of business and commerce, but also has a wealth of activities to enjoy. Here are 7 unique indoor activities to add to your list of options for date nights and get-togethers, or as we’d say in the Caribbean–limes.

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How to Travel During A Pandemic

Now, now, you didn’t really think an essential worker who’s preaching “flatten the curve” would come here posting about how to travel during a pandemic, did you? Of course not. That would be wholly irresponsible of me, but I’m glad I have your attention. It’s business as usual for me everyday as I already spoke about in my previous post from the #covidchronicles. However, I’m aware that’s not the same for many of you who are staying safe at home everyday. Staying home has infected a lot of people with a serious case of wanderlust as I keep seeing a tonne of throwbacks and people lamenting having to cancel their travel plans on my social media feeds. In response, several corporate entities have made their content free as an incentive to provide home entertainment and encourage people to remain indoors.

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