….and so after ten days of a study trip my holiday begins. I met he who likes to think he is obeyed at the Norman Manley airport and whilst he was still on English time and therefore somewhat fuzzy I regaled him with a non stop 2 hour commentary about Jamaica as we wended our way across the mountains to Ocho Rios Top Gear
I had done this route a couple of times in the days previous so I could tell him about the food on offer at road side shacks and the building of the new road across the island which had come to a stop due to difficulties about labour used.We arrived at a rather grand hotel and were met with cool towels and a credit card swipe for our stay. Tired we had a quick plateful of jerk chicken from the buffet before retiring to bed. The bubble of raw Jamaica had burst, I was experiencing the tourist side of this island now and I have to say so far it seemed very American.
The next morning we woke to this view and no I do not have any complaints but in an all inclusive resorts such as Sandals you are somewhat closeted from the outside world and if that’s what you want then fine, no problem………but for me I’m so glad that I had tasted the real Jamaica in the week before. I’m somewhat uncomfortable to soak up the indulgences of on tap food and drink , OK I knew what I had signed up for but after a few days it did make me feel like I had overdone it on the One Love cocktails and the lazing around…….. my curious feet were itchy! The service and the quality of the food is impeccable and the Sandals brand does what it says on the tin……everything included with water sports and snorkelling. The Grey Traveller stayed at the Royal Plantation, a quiet adults only resort with access to the much busier sister hotel of Grande Riviera. The grounds were beautiful, well kept with happy peacocks strutting their stuff and whooping in the early evening. The water is picture postcard turquoise and a great backdrop for weddings as we witnessed one day. There are quiet lounge areas, a small pool and two beaches and there is no reason why you would not return home rested from a Sandals sojourn if not a little heavier.