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Run Away to Jamaica

December 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Travel


On a comforting  chaise lounge facing a pale blue sea, I reach my hand out to accept a pina colada, a velvety sweet texture of rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice that cools me from the sultry Caribbean heat. Music spills at just the right volume behind me, mixing with the fragrantly sweet air and salty mist that whispers gently off the sparkling ocean. I exhale and smile, thinking back to how eager I was to peel off my sweater just a few short hours ago. The small plane I was on smoothly touched the landing strip of Donald Sangster International Airport, as the verdant mountainous terrain and turquoise coastline of Jamaica’s Montego Bay unfolded below me. After quickly gathering my luggage and clearing customs, the humid air and jostling vibe of Jamaica embraced every inch of me with warmth as I stepped outside. Now I lay on Grand Lido Braco Resort and Spa’s luxury beachfront property in Trelawny, glad to be away from Toronto’s frigid temperatures. A dip into the warm sea melts all my worries away, while tropical palm trees jut from silvery sands. Just a few metres away is where I rest my head – a main floor suite stocked with white wine and fresh, mouthwatering fruit and seafood platters. I walk towards the back of the suite and pull open the French windows. Lush chairs are set for me to indulge in a view of white sand and a lapping ocean. I take a moment to listen to the soft waves hitting the barren shoreline. Of all the wonderful tastes and sounds and scenery of Jamaica, this was my one love.

I slip on a semi-casual dress and head outside, where the temperature is just as hot as it was when the sun was out. The loud chime of the region’s insects punctuates the air, singing out the tropical and laidback atmosphere that defines Jamaica. Dinner at Piacere, the  resort’s Nouvelle French fine dining restaurant is upscale, as suited waiters serve a sumptuous dinner and well-paired wine. I offer a tip, but the waiter politely declines. Tipping is forbidden at all SuperClubs Super-Inclusive properties. “Everything is irie,” he assures me.

The next morning, I leave the picturesque village of cobblestone streets and gingerbread architecture of Grand Lido Braco and head to the newly renovated Breezes Runaway Bay, situated on the North Coast of Jamaica on 22 acres of beachfront property. While my companions enjoy Chukka Adventures’
fun-filled Ride n’ Swim, a popular horseback ride adventure in Trelawny, a friendly bellhop quickly takes my bags as we pass through Breezes’ expansive lobby that spills onto lush greenery and a swinging hammock. I can hear the other guests playing a light game of water polo as I make my way to the delightful Blue Mahoe Spa for  a Tropical Body Mousse wrap. An active, pulsating atmosphere reveals itself at Breezes, where the lull of Braco is replaced with scuba diving programs, water skiing, golf and dreamy marriage ceremonies. “There were six weddings here just Saturday, and we’re the first and only hotel to offer underwater weddings,” says “Crazy J”, the resort’s onsite photographer.

As the sun begins to set, I observe guests splashing in a glorious infinity pool, as Jamaican rum shots overflow at the pool’s swim-up bar. “Jamaica is an open book,” reveals the resort’s leading entertainer “Crazy Chris”. I look around at the perfumed gardens and breath in the luxuriant air and exchange smiles with the friendliest staff and finally, disagree. It’s a paradise that jams.,


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