Forget all you thought you knew about Jamaica: Bob Marley tunes, out of control college Spring Breakers and being one of the highest drug usage capitals of the world. That’s old news. Instead, think caviar, Cole Porter and the world where a private butler can still be yours in this re-created Brit bliss of Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Royal Plantation might just be the best celebrity hide-out in Caribbean. Jessica and Nick loved it in their better days. TV star Fran Drescher revealed she had a had a torrid love affair there. Even country singer Johnny Cash had a villa nearby. A little bit of Merry Old England surrounds the luxe grounds of this former sugar plantation-turned-sexy resort in Montego Bay and beckons you to a world of non-stop beachside glamour.
Why the attraction to coming here? Jamaica is an island surrounded in magic. Literally. There’s a consistent intrigue to the vibe of the island and the entire area is surrounded in lore that permeates just about everything here. There’s even a local legend that has made it famous for centuries: that of Annee Palmer who killed her three husbands, and countless slaves after she had bedded them) over two hundred years ago at her Rose Hall estate nearby. Things like that make the island seem a bit extraordinary, if not a little more interesting than the Disney-fied resorts on other islands.
A quick, non-stop flight out of Houston sets you on the path to a weeklong getaway that might just be your favorite journey yet. Fly directly into Negril, catch a private Royal Plantation liveried car to the resort about an hour and a half away, and let the fun begin. When you drive up the winding road to the property, you immediately feel you are in the English countryside of York. The Brits who possessed the island have left their impenetrable mark on just about everything nearby. This bastion of Jamaican hospitality is set on eight acres of immaculately manicured tropical gardens. The hotel is an adults-only getaway that is rich in traditional British Colonial character reminiscent of aristocratic plantation manors.