Category Archives: Jamaican Reviews

Breakfast at Smurfs Café in Treasure Beach

If you are in the vicinity of Treasure Beach you need to find your way to Smurfs Café & Sports Bar. A Treasure Beach institution, this unassuming ‘Café’ has a roomy shaded seating area at the back and the host Miss Dawn serves the BEST BREAKFAST EVER!

Continue reading Breakfast at Smurfs Café in Treasure Beach

Club MoBay VIP Airport Lounge Review

Sangster International Airport – Montego Bay, Jamaica

I have travelled through Sangster International Airport, or Montego Bay Airport as it is more widely known, more times than I can remember. In the process I have learnt some tips and tricks for making the experience that little bit more relaxed and enjoyable. However there is one thing about Montego Bay Airport that I have been missing out on as I wasn’t even aware I could take advantage of it…

Continue reading Club MoBay VIP Airport Lounge Review

Match Resort – Port Antonio, Jamaica

Match Resort Review – Port Antonio, Jamaica

The austere front aspect of Match Resort in Port Antonio belies the welcoming interior and friendly staff tucked away inside. After thumping our small wheely suitcases up the steps from the parking lot we were greeted by a cheery reception area with a leather settee and bar stools up by the counter. After settling into the settee I noticed there was a locked fridge stocked with soda, water and beer and a few snacks for sale, along side a small selection of souvenirs.

After a short wait a member of staff briskly appeared from the stairwell at the other end of the room and warmly greeted us.   We were asked if we had a reservation and after going through the formalities we were handed a form to fill in with our details. The receptionist asked if we needed any help with anything and recommended the on-site bar and Scotch Bonnet Restaurant if we wanted a bite to eat. We agreed that we would drop off our bags in the room and then come back down for a swim and to order food.

 

Match Resort Port Antonio
Match Resort Port Antonio

Second Floor Room with a View at Match Resort

Once we had been given our keys we were warned with a smile that whilst the room was on the second floor and there wasn’t a lift (elevator), it would be worth the climb as it was a nice room with an ocean view from the balcony.

We left the reception area and walked up the first flight of stairs which gave access to bar and restaurant which overlooked the outdoor patio area and swimming pool. Continuing up the stairs we noted that the building was actually an L-shape and had a lot more rooms than we anticipated.

When we finally reached our room we unlocked the door into a freshly renovated room with twin beds, an en-suite bathroom, and a balcony with the most beautiful view of the ocean in the distance. There was also a small fridge, TV and cable, free Wi-Fi, built-in wardrobe, chest of drawers and a mirror. The en-suite bathroom had a bathtub and overhead shower, with complimentary mini bars of soap and a shampoo dispenser over the bathtub.  The balcony had a table and 2 chairs and directly overlooked the terrace area and swimming pool area.

Overall my review of Match Resort accommodation is that the room was very clean and pleasantly decorated throughout. The A.C. and Cable worked and the beds were comfortable. There were complimentary toiletries and fluffy towels.

 

 

Match Resort Swimming Pool Terrace

After refreshing ourselves we changed and went down to the terrace area and ordered our meal before heading to the pool area. The pool was on a lower terrace to the restaurant and bar area and was reached by walking down a stone clad walkway flanked with beautiful flowers.

There were a few sun loungers and the area was pleasant enough, but the pool had leaves floating on the top and my friend complained that it the water looked a bit murky. But we had the pool to ourselves so we made use of this by doing laps up and down until our legs and arms turned to jelly, whilst chatting and keeping our heads well above the water!

One other person came down to the pool whilst we were there. After we had swam and chilled out around the pool for around 45 minutes we decided to go back to the room and bathe as the food wasn’t ready.

When we passed the bar we told the barman that we were going upstairs and pointing to our balcony overlooking the terrace we thanked him when he said he would call us when the food was ready.

We went back upstairs to the room with quivering legs and showered and got dressed. After about 40 minutes we were ready and hungry, so we decided to go back downstairs and sit on the terrace as we hadn’t been called for our meal. The barman hurried over and apologised for the wait and took our order for drinks. The terrace was pretty in the evening festooned with lights and well stocked bar area. Our food arrived after about 15 minutes of sitting downstairs on the terrace.

Scotch Bonnet Restaurant

So after a long drive, a pre-meal swim and about a 1 hour and 45 minutes wait, I was ravenous when the plate was placed in front of me…. But what a plate of food! It was presented with spiralized raw cucumber, carrot and beetroot on the side, with the fish and garlic potatoes elegantly stacked and centered in the middle of the plate with a salsa style topping.

I have to say that after quickly snapping the photograph I dove into the food, I ate literally everything on the plate. The potatoes were just the right texture with a delicious and full garlic flavour which complimented the fish and garnish perfectly, the spiralized vegetables were fresh and light and put the crunch on the plate.

Overall I would highly recommend the food. I don’t know whether it was because the food was so good, or that I was so hungry coupled with the cordon bleu sized proportions, but I could have eaten this twice over!  Needless to say, I sent my compliments to the Chef and gave them top marks for this unexpected meal.

After dinner we sat and enjoyed a drink on the terrace before returning to our room to relax, ready for the next day’s events. A short while later we heard a knock at the door and my friend returned smiling with two plates of cheesecake that the management had thoughtfully sent up, as a gesture for waiting so patiently for our meal.

We gratefully ate the cheesecake and after flicking through the cable and mainly chatting we settled down to rest.

 

SCOTCH BONNET RESTAURANT - Port Antonio
SCOTCH BONNET RESTAURANT – Port Antonio

Match Resort – Breakfast Included

When we arrived at the Hotel we were informed that breakfast was included and we had a choice of a traditional Jamaican, English or American style breakfast which would need to be pre-ordered. I went for the Jamaican breakfast that came with Ackee and Saltfish and boiled hard food, whilst my friend went for bacon and eggs.

The next morning we went down for breakfast and sat inside the restaurant where you could help yourself to tea and coffee. When our plates were served they were huge portions and my plate was far too much for me to consume in one early morning sitting! I love Jamaican breakfast, but cannot manage the standard (fill you up until lunch) portion size you get served! Non-withstanding my food was good (the hard food was a tad salty) and my friend cleared her plate of eggs and bacon.

Match Resort Amenities

  • Air-Conditioned Rooms
  • TV and Cable
  • Private Balconies
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • En-suite bathrooms with hot water shower
  • Outdoor pool and terrace
  • On-site Scotch Bonnet Restaurant
  • Bar with Terrace
  • Tour Desk
  • Free Parking
  • Ocean and Mountain Views
  • 5 Minutes from Port Antonio Town Centre and San San Beach
  • Toiletries, soap, shampoo, towels, linens
  • Closets and Room Safe
  • Transportation, tours and airport shuttle can be arranged

Conclusion – Match Resort

I would recommend the Match Resort if you are looking for budget priced accommodation in Port Antonio.

The twin room cost in the region of  US$80.00 for bed and breakfast, which is very reasonable for the overall experience. The room was clean and comfortable and the staff were really friendly and very accommodating.

The Scotch Bonnet Restaurant was a hidden gem and the terrace was inviting and would be ideal for an intimate setting in the evening. The menu has a selection of fine Jamaican, International and fusion dishes; average price of JA$1,200 – $1,500 per main meal. Rum and Coke was around JA$600.00 per glass.

Match Resort Address

Match Resort
Dolphin Bay 
Port Antonio
Portland
Jamaica

 




Boardwalk Bistro at Island Village, Ocho Rios

If you are looking for a stylish beachfront eatery with a finger-licking menu and authentic Blue Mountain Coffee, I have found the spot in the coolest corner of Ochi!

If you live or work in the surrounds of Ochi, the Boardwalk Bistro is ideal for when you to get away from it all and avoid the crush of the town. Visitors to Ocho Rios and passengers from the nearby cruise ship pier, will love the warm Jamaican hospitality and beautiful settings without having to hike for hours to get there.

Boardwalk Bistro – Island Village, Ocho Rios

If you haven’t been to Island Village before you are in for a treat! The Boardwalk Bistro is set among the wooden buildings and lush surroundings that make up the beautiful settings of the Island Village complex.

There is a selection of stores, cafe’s, restaurants and entertainment facilities set around a boardwalk that incorporates picturesque natural spring lagoons (seek them out to see the fish), tropical flowers and fruiting trees.

If you look around you, will see that this complex is dreamy and creates the ambiance of an authentic Jamaican village, I love it!

Boardwalk Bistro
Boardwalk Bistro

The Boardwalk Bistro, Ocho Rios

The Boardwalk Bistro is nestled at the far end of the shops and a mere 10 steps away from the private sandy beach at Island Village, in Ocho Rios. You can relax and people watch in the shaded alfresco eating area directly on the boardwalk whilst enjoying your meal, or take in some intimate Jamaican ambience by sitting inside the Bistro.

The interior of the Boardwalk Bistro has a warm and inviting, carefully thought out decor. The main feature being a stunningly fluid Jamaican Guango wood counter that wraps around one wall.

The Bistro’s open kitchen is situated in full view of the dining area, so you can watch the chefs in action and take in the sights and smells of the cooking before you get to sample the food. The sea breeze along with the huge extractor and ceiling fans helps to keep this area cool.

Take a moment between mouthfuls of food to admire the sweeping Guango wood counter and the tables and chairs which are smooth and weighty and handcrafted from locally produced Guango and Cedar wood.

Then take in the masks and pictures adorning the walls depicting early Jamaican and African scenes, which are gently lit by the stained glass wall sconces in the evenings.

The beach front location is ideal if you want to leave your older children nearby on the beach, whilst you take in a Blue Mountain Coffee or a Jamaican Red Stripe Beer on the cool and shady boardwalk!

 

Inside the Boardwalk Bistro Island Village Ocho Rios

 

The Menu at the Boardwalk Bistro

The Bistro is a champion of getting the right mix of local and international foods on the menu. So whether you are in the mood for something new, or an old favourite, you are sure to find something to tempt you.

Although you can get plated foods, the Boardwalk Bistro is an advocate of eating with your fingers. They serve many of the foods in paper stuffed into decorative wire racks forming cones, with ramekins for dips on the side. Ideal for finger dipping!

Jamaican Flavours on the Menu

  • Breakfast: Jamaican style, served with boiled yam, banana and dumpling
  • Jerk Chicken or Pork
  • Curried Mutton
  • Brown Stew Oxtail
  • Snapper (fish)
  • Coconut Curried Shrimp
  • Salt-Fish Balls
  • Soup
  • Rasta Pasta
  • Chefs Salad
  • Chicken Bites
  • Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Bammy, Rice and Peas, Sweet Potato Fries, Plantain Chips, Johnny Cakes, Festival

 

International Flavours on the Menu

  • Breakfast: English, Continental, Eggs Your Way, Waffles
  • Cheese Burger
  • Cheese wonton
  • Pita Pizzas
  • Boardwalk Pitas (filled pita bread)
  • Wraps
  • White Rice, Potato Wedges

 

Soda Float Boardwalk Bistro
Soda Float Boardwalk Bistro

Drinks and Desserts

The Boardwalk Bistro serves a their own brand of  100% Blue Mountain Coffee, the much celebrated ‘Strawberry Hill’ coffee brand, alongside teas and iced coffees. Plus they have a range of smoothies, shakes, juices, soda floats, sodas and water.

If you want something alcoholic they have wine, beers, cocktails and many ways of serving the Jamaican staple Rum! If you have any room left, they also have a small selection of desserts on offer.

 

My Experience of Eating at the Boardwalk Bistro

I visited the Boardwalk Bistro for a lunch date with a friend and we took residence on one of the much coveted teak tables on the boardwalk overlooking the beach. We were served  in good time by a smiling waitress who handed us menus with botanical illustrations of Jamaican fruits and trees on the front, which I absolutely adore (I know I have weird Art crushes!).

We decided to go for finger foods to share, so we selected some Jamaican and International side order options from the menu.

We went for Salt-Fish Balls, Cheese Wontons, Bammy and some Plantain Chips.

As soon as I saw it on the menu I couldn’t resist ordering a Cream Soda Float, which reminded me of my Dad, who used to make them for us as children. It didn’t disappoint and the ice-cream was nice and creamy.

The food was served in paper covered baskets and wire racks, so we took a basket each and filled it with a few of the fried delights and started tasting! Overall the food was really good.

I especially loved the Salt-Fish Balls, which were a perfect mixture of juicy, salty, bouncy, frittery crispy deliciousness and the Plantain Chips, which tasted as though they had dropped straight off the tree to the chopping board. The Cheesy Wontons were suitably crispy and cheesy and gave a little international edge to the other Jamaican side orders.

Despite ordering fried foods which were presented in unforgiving paper packaging, I noted there was a distinct lack of oil on the paper. Which I always use as a good measure of whether the food will be overly greasy and dripping in fat. So full marks to the Chef for achieving the crunch without the grease!

If I had to find one little fault about the whole experience, it would unfortunately be the bammy. Which is one of my all time favourite Jamaican side orders. It was a bit tough, like it hadn’t quite been soaked long enough before it was fried. But non-withstanding we ate most of it anyway!

We were full after eating the food, so I slipped the paper out of the rack with the remaining Plantain Chips (too good to waste!) and took them with me to nibble on whilst wandering around the Island Village shops afterwards… Delicious!

Our meal including drinks, came in at around $1,800 (Jamaican), not including the tip we added. We thought the cost was very reasonable for the ambiance, service and what we ordered. Highly recommended!

 

NYAM Boardwalk Bistro
NYAM Boardwalk Bistro

 Want to Visit the Boardwalk Bistro?

The Boardwalk Bistro can be found in Island Village Plaza, at the far west end of Ocho Rios Town Centre.

There is ample Parking and clean Washrooms located in Island Village Plaza. The Car park, Washrooms and The Boardwalk Bistro are fully accessible by wheel chair users. 

If entering the plaza through the car park entrance, you will pass the washrooms (stop first if you want to refresh yourself before finding a table) as you walk through the archway. Immediately turn right and follow the boardwalk towards the sea. The Boardwalk Bistro is the last shop on the right-hand side.

If you are coming from the Cruise Ship Pier, head straight down the street passing Oceans 11 and take the first right across a small bridge to the boardwalk, which leads to the sandy beach. The Boardwalk Bistro is the first shop you pass on the corner, conveniently located directly opposite the beach.

If you are coming through the main entrance, walk past the cinema and down the steps, continue past the water feature, lawn and washrooms and follow the boardwalk towards the sea. The Boardwalk Bistro is the last shop on the right-hand side.

Boardwalk Bistro Address

Shop 1/2 Island Village Plaza, Turtle Towers Road, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Phone

(876) 398-2582 / (876) 384-9578

 

Maybe I will see you there when I come back! 

 

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Bless up, Jules

Keep the Conversation Going….

Have you ever visited the Boardwalk Bistro in Ocho Rios, Jamaica? Who did you go with and what did you eat?

Share your experience and join the Comments Below….

 

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‘Anya Goes to Jamaica’ Book Review – Introducing Children to World Travel

‘Anya Goes to Jamaica’ Book Review and Interview – Introducing Children to World Travel

Whilst searching online for children’s books I was drawn to an illustrated image of a beautiful girl with a big pink bow in her hair, standing with her arms outstretched underneath a banner that read ‘Anya goes to Jamaica’. Intrigued I clicked through to the website and discovered that the little girl was the main character in an adventure book based on world travel.

The first book in the series is all about Anya’s trip to Jamaica, which is perfect timing for me as… I live in Jamaica!

Introducing ‘Anya the World Traveler’ Book Series

Thinking this was a great way of introducing my nieces and nephews to where I had moved to, I poured through the mesmerizing illustrations and content on the AWA book series website. I really connected with the book and wanted to share the launch of these interactive, magical and educational journey books with you, so that you are able to share them with the young readers in your life.

Being a blogger I had to get the ‘inside scoop’, so I got in touch with the author Nikko FungChung to ask her in her own words all about ‘Anya goes to Jamaica’ and how she is going about introducing young readers to world travel and different cultures.  After corresponding with Nikko I am even more in love with the books, the principles behind them and how she is taking on the publishing world with a brilliant, beautiful, bright, brown-skinned main character who is known as ‘Anya’, the World Traveler.

 

Why the Children in your life will love the ‘Anya World Traveler’ Book Series …

Introducing children to literature at a young age will enliven their minds to a world of possibilities, and Nikko FungChung captures the essence of childhood discovery in her books. Readers are taken on an adventure through the book discovering the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of each destination, subtly introducing children to different cultures and customs.

I feel that by reading the books, children will be more tolerant and learned about other parts of the world and people who may not necessarily look the same as they do. The main character ‘Anya’ is bright as a button and full of adventure and interacts with both boys and girls in the books, so she will be sure to appeal to both young male and female readers.

Children’s Literature Featuring a Black Main Character

I especially love that our international jet setter ‘Anya’ has brown skin and is of mixed heritage, as she will engage a whole generation of young readers who can identify with a main character that looks more like them. The majority of the children’s picture books feature main characters that are white, which can give a lot of young, aspirational readers a feeling that they are less important, or that what their life experience is secondary and doesn’t matter as much.

 

“I believe that every child no matter what colour their skin is,

deserves to be depicted in literature as the super hero, the achiever,

the adventurer, or anything else their imagination conjures up. “

 

On the flip side having a main character that isn’t white helps to redress the balance for white children too, they get to learn and understand about other ethnicities, becoming more rounded and hopefully becoming more enlightened world citizens too!

In Conclusion, this book is simply beautiful and is a perfect addition to any child’s bookshelf. It’s also ideal if you are planning a trip to Jamaica with young children, why not pack a copy in your hand luggage and read it on the flight to introduce your child to all the wonderful things they will get to experience on their trip to Jamaica!

 

Anya goes to Jamaica souvenir
Anya goes to Jamaica souvenir

Interview with Nikko FungChung Author of Anya’s World Adventures Book Series

Without further notice I would like to introduce you to Nikko FungChung, an amazing mother who was so frustrated at not finding good children’s literature, she started making her own!

Not only a fantastic business woman, Nikko is a social advocate who includes other entrepeneurs on her own personal journey, through collaborations forged and featured in the book series.

The interview includes behind the scenes stuff about Nikko and her family, an introduction to the book series, tips and advice for travelling to Jamaica with young children and an exclusive about which destination Anya will visit in the next book!…..

 

1. Please introduce yourself and your beautiful family….

My name is Nikko FungChung, I am the author and creator of Anya’s World Adventures Children’s Travel Book Series. I am a wife and a mother to three wonderful children; my 4-year-old daughter Anya, 10-year-old son Kenneth and my 5-year-old step-daughter Daijha. My husband Daymean was born and raised in Jamaica, this is where we met. My family is also of Caribbean descent, but my heart has always and will always belong to Jamaica.

This is why it made sense that Jamaica be the first stop in the Anya’s World Adventures Book Series.

 

2. When did you start Anya’s World Adventures and who are the creative forces behind it?

I started writing the stories in 2014, to date I’ve written about 46 countries. With very little knowledge of the publishing world, I spent a year researching different options for distribution, self-publishing, trying to sign with a big publishing house. I decided self-publishing was the route for me, but I needed time to figure out the funding because it is VERY expensive to create, publish and distribute your own book. It’s funny actually because I have a few other businesses that in essence seem more complex than this, but being a self-published author has been the most demanding venture of them all.

In 2016, an investment company, Demography is Not Destiny, took a chance on me and gave me the money I needed to get started. This was the same year that I found my illustrator, Fuuji Takashi, who has been a blessing from day one! She resides in the Philippines and we have never met in person, yet we are so in sync. Fuuji really understands my vision and brings it to life better than I could’ve ever imagined.

 

3. Tell us more about your Company Philosophy, what makes you tick?

Anya’s World Adventures is a complete and fully interactive learning experience for young readers. Each book in the series will introduce them to a new country and culture through the eyes of a child. When I’m writing it’s important to me that everything is factual and accurate while maintaining that story-book feel.

At the end of each book, Anya purchases a souvenir to keep as a reminder of the adventure. Readers can purchase these souvenirs and collect them as they read each book in the series. I’m really big on giving back and supporting other entrepreneurs, so I source these souvenirs from small business owners, craftsman and/or artisans in the subject country.

The learning and adventure continues on the website where readers can join the AWA Club. Membership is free! With the AWA Club, members can practice new languages, try new recipes, access printable activities and much more!

4. What inspired you to create children’s books and the supplementary content on the website?

I wanted to give my children a more accurate and less biased view of the world in comparison to what they are shown on television and movies. I also wanted to give them a way to connect with their roots so they can understand all the different cultures and ethnicities that make them who they are.

I went to the library to get some books for my son so that he could learn about other countries and I realised the only books on the shelves were all facts, no fun! These books certainly weren’t going to keep the interest of my 8-year-old, never mind anyone younger. While it is important to learn about the imports, exports and government structure of foreign lands, I think it’s even more important to learn about the people, culture and lifestyle.

Every book in the Anya’s World Adventures Series is filled with facts, presented in a way that children will understand, allowing them to retain the information while enjoying a fun adventure!

 

Bamboo Bobby and his Brother
The real life Bamboo Bobby and his Brother depicted in the book

 

5. What sort of readers does your book series appeal to and what do you hope they will gain from reading the series?

The language and content of the Anya’s World Adventures Book Series will appeal to children as young as 3 years old and as old 9 years old. It’s been a big hit so far with preschool all the way up to some fifth and sixth grade students. The reach of this book is very broad because the information is interesting and useful and the images capture the attention of early and proficient readers alike.

 

“I hope to make the world a little smaller with this book series.

When you learn about other countries, it broadens your horizons.

Living, learning, working or volunteering abroad all become options.

If we don’t allow our children to weigh out all the possible options,

we are doing them a great disservice and limiting their potential”

I also want the children who read my books to gain a better understanding of how similar we all are regardless of our race or cultural differences. It’s my belief that most of the world’s conflicts are caused by a lack of this type of understanding.

We get so consumed with our own existence and our personal way of life that it’s easy for us to turn a blind eye to something that is happening to a stranger across the globe and sometimes even in our country, because we don’t feel a connection with them.

Distance creates such a huge mental gap that instead of empathising, sympathising and offering assistance to others, we watch the news like it’s just a bad movie and continue with our day. I want to close that gap. I want our children to be a better, more caring generation and that begins with understanding and acceptance of other cultures and people.

 

6. How have you chosen the different destinations for the ‘Anya World Traveler Book Series?

When I first starting writing, I was focusing more on countries that I feel are most misrepresented in mainstream media. It was very important for me to provide a different and well-rounded view of these places.

In regards to release dates I want to do one country from each continent/region and then go back around the globe again and again. I don’t really see a finish line in sight because there is so much to learn and so much more to see and I am really enjoying the process. I think I’m most excited to complete the books about Africa and the Middle East.

7. Do you plan to travel to all the different places featured in the book series and will your children be accompanying you?

Yes, of course! I would love to visit most, if not all with my children – maybe one country a year because we still have to travel home to Jamaica yearly as well. If I can just introduce them to the idea of being citizens of the world and not being afraid to go to new places, then when they get older they can visit anywhere that I could not take them.

In the meantime, I do a lot of reading and research on each country before I write the book. People are also a big resource from me. I love to sit and listen to stories about their childhoods and upbringing so that I can make my stories more accurate and authentic.

Anya at the beach
Visiting the beach illustration from ‘Anya goes to Jamaica’

 

8. Please introduce the main character ‘Anya’ and some of her sidekicks who will be featured in the Anya’s World Adventures book series. How do you hope your readers will relate to them?

Anya is a world traveller! If you meet my daughter, that’s the first thing she will say to you and she has only been to Jamaica, lol (laugh out loud). In the book Anya has a magic globe that takes her on magical adventures all around the world.

The great thing about children is they have great imaginations, so I was able to focus more on Anya and her experience without having to add parents, passports and TSA (Transport Security Administration; they search luggage and passengers) agents into the mix.

In in each country she meets up with a friend – sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl who she will visit. This adds an element of relatability for children because they get to see how another child who looks a lot like them, lives and plays. The friend she visits also has a parent or guardian there which I use to introduce foods, dress, hobbies, crafts or trades and so on.

9. You recently travelled to Jamaica with your young family. What are your top tips for getting to an overseas destination with children in tow?

  • Take a practice trip to somewhere more local. This will get them used to the airport process and plane travel.
  • Pack lots of snacks! Remember that water and juices cannot be carried on, but you can pack as many cookies, fruits and crackers as you’d like. These make for great bargaining tools and distractions.
  • Check EVERYTHING! I tried to be frugal on our first trip to NY (New York) and only checked two bags. It is impossible to get from point A to point B with a toddler and rolling suitcases and your smaller carry-ons.
  • Make sure to pack two extra outfits for children in your carry-on just in case you need to change them or your bags are delayed.
  • If your child has the tendency to get lazy after a two second walk, bring an umbrella stroller (push chair).
  • For international travel, having another adult or even an older child is helpful especially when navigating security and immigration.
  • Explain the trip to them before you go: will there be connecting flights, show them on the calendar what day you will leave/return.
  • Vacation rentals are great because they feel like home, being able to do laundry and cook for yourself is such a luxury when on vacation.

 

Anya loved the beach in Jamaica
Anya loved the beach in Jamaica

 

10. Would you recommend Jamaica as a family friendly destination and why?

Jamaica is an absolute paradise and it has something for everyone! We were travelling “back home” so we spent a lot of time visiting family and hanging out around the house, but we did make a few stops at some tourist destinations. Turtle Rivers and Gardens in Ochi (Ocho Rios) is a must see for all ages! Doctor’s Cave Beach is a great day trip in Montego Bay.

 

11. Which part of the island did you stay in during your family vacation to Jamaica? Where else did you visit?

Portmore is home, but since this was the kids first trip to Jamaica we decided to use a vacation rental in Draxx Hall, St. Ann, right next to Ochi (Ocho Rios). The location was ideal because to our right we had all the tourist attractions and to the left some more homey necessities. We visited family all over – Portmore, Spanish Town, Kingston, New Kingston, Negril, Mobay (Montego Bay), St. Mary etc.

12. Share some of your family highlights of the trip with your children to Jamaica?

Spending time with family was really the best part. I fell in love with Doctors Cave Beach and Turtle Rivers and Gardens (big up our tour guide Odane, he is the best). We actually already booked our next trip to Jamaica for Spring 2017!

13. What were Anya’s and her siblings favourite thing about the trip to Jamaica and why?

I was surprised that they enjoyed the regular, every day stuff much more than the more ‘exciting’ outings. I think they would both live on the beach forever if they could. They didn’t want to leave, I think it was nice for them to see their family and have a better understanding of where they come from. We raise them in a very Jamaican home, but actually going to Jamaica allowed them to connect the dots.

 

Anya enjoying Mango in Jamaica
Anya enjoying Mango in Jamaica

 

14. How about the Jamaican food and culture, what new things did you and the children enjoy trying?

Our children our very well versed in Jamaican cuisine and culture so there were no surprises for them there.

However, both of them spent a lot more time outdoors (versus staring at a computer or tablet as they would in America) and they were so brave – holding birds, climbing waterfalls and chasing lizards, lol (laugh out loud).

 

Anya goes to Jamaica souvenir bracelet and anklet
Anya goes to Jamaica souvenir bracelet and anklet

15. There is the option of collecting souvenirs with the Anya’s World Adventure Book Series, tell us more about that?

This is one of my favorite things about the series. It’s an opportunity for me to make an economic contribution to the country I’m writing about and support and promote entrepreneurship. I research and connect with local craftsman and artisans and I purchase items from them to be sold on AWABookSeries.com

I also feature the business owner on the AWA Club pages and all of my social media platforms. For the Anya Goes to Jamaica book, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Tena Harrison, owner of Pretty Little Things JA. She handmade about 400 anklets and bracelets for this project and I look forward to working with her again in the near future.

 

16. Where will Anya travel to in the next book and what can we look forward to?

I haven’t revealed this yet so I guess it will be an exclusive for you!

In the next book Anya will be going to India!

The book is due out in March 2017.

 

17. How often do you plan to publish a new adventure book for your readers to enjoy?

I plan to publish a new book in the series once every four months, God willing.

 

18. Where can the ‘Anya’s World Adventure’ book series be purchased and in what formats is it available?

Anya’s World Adventures has been distributed to all major online book retailers in both softcover and hardcover formats. Amazon is probably the most accessible internationally. Barnes & Noble also carries the books as well as a number of smaller bookstores. The books and souvenirs are available at AWABookSeries.com as well.

 

19. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

No, I feel like I may have said too much already! I tend to be pretty long-winded.

20. Please leave your thoughts on the ‘Support Jamaica! Buy Jamaican!’ campaign on the Sweet Jamaica website?

I think this is a great campaign and one that should be more widely supported. Jamaica is an amazingly diverse country with tons of resources and talents. I can’t wait to see what it becomes once it’s full potential is realised.

Bright Parrots in Jamaica

PLEASE NOTE: This post (and website) is written in (UK) English, however any references to the book title, and specifically the word ‘Traveller’ have been written using American English, as is the spelling in the ‘Anya goes to Jamaica’ book and the AWA website. Therefore, you will see the word spelt ‘Traveler’ in some places throughout this post. Rather than being a spelling mistake, it is more out of respect to the author who has written her book in American English.

Join the Anya World Adventure Club!

The fun doesn’t stop here, log on to the website and join the AWA Club! Where your child can get additional free content including downloads, you can share travel stories, watch videos, learn languages, listen to music, receive early access to book releases, discounts and VIP event invites.

Where to purchase Anya World Adventure Book Series Online

Get More From Sweet Jamaica – Join Us Here…

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

Keep the Conversation Going….

Have you read this book, share your experience? What is your favourite book to read when travelling to Jamaica? Join the Comments Below….

‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’

Good Children’s Books for Travelling – My Review of Tunda on the Rock

Good Children’s Books for Travelling

Everyone likes a good book when they are going on holiday (vacation), so why should children be left out? The flights from the UK to Jamaica are especially long taking 9 – 10 hours depending on which way you are flying and even adults you can get a bit fidgety. A good book can help to while away the hours when confined to an airline cabin seat and will keep them entertained, educated and give you some quiet at the same time. Which is always a bonus! With restrictions on the amount of luggage you can take nowadays, I would recommend taking an electronic device as a form of entertainment as they take up little space and cover many bases. I discovered this fantastic children’s chapter book ‘Tunda on the Rock’ by Sabrina K. Marshall, a Jamaican author which can be downloaded on Amazon for Kindle. If you are looking for a Good Children’s Books for Travelling – My Review of Tunda on the Rock will give a child a light-hearted introduction to their stay in Jamaica.

Introduction to Tunda on the Rock

Tunda on the Rock is the first novel from a Jamaican born author Sabrina K. Marshall, who is a one woman powerhouse and an accomplished writer, among other things. Turning her hand to children’s literature, Tunda on the Rock is an exciting and amusing tale of an energetic puppies adventures around the island. Based in Jamaica, with beautifully described scenery and dogs that speak Jamaican patois (Jamaican Creole) anyone reading this book will be transported right into the land of wood and water. It would be perfect book to read the first chapter of the night before travelling to Jamaica, before continuing with the story on the flight and throughout the trip.

Sweet Jamaica Jules’ Review of Tunda on the Rock

I found Tunda on the Rock to be very captivating and engaging from the start and it didn’t take long to get into the story as the short chapters are jam-packed with quality content on every page. To be honest, I only planned to read a couple of chapters before going to bed, but I got so caught up in the story that I ended up reading the whole thing in one go! Each chapter introduces the reader to different elements of Jamaica which really brought the story to life in a realistic way. There were snippets of Jamaican history and descriptions of national treasures interspersed into the storyline, which give the story a thoroughly Jamaican feel. I laughed out loud in places and especially loved the life lessons hidden in the storyline, which are thought provoking without being patronising. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and feel that children of all ages would love to be introduced to this heartwarming Jamaican puppy ‘tail’.

International Children’s Books for Kindle

Whether you are travelling to Jamaica on holiday or not, this book is definitely one to add to the electronic children’s bookshelf! I am looking forward to sharing Tunda on the Rock with my nieces and nephews when I get back to the UK, as it will bring my new home in Jamaica a little closer to them and their imagination. This book is also ideal to add to your International Children’s Books for Kindle wish list, if you are looking for alternative reading titles for your child that have a Caribbean flavour.

Sabrina K. Marshall
Sabrina K. Marshall

The following information has been copied from the author’s page on Amazon.co.uk / .com. Image copyright Amazon.

Tunda on the Rock – Authors Biography

Tunda on The Rock is the first novel by ‘Jamerican’ author Sabrina K. Marshall. She was the creator, writer, and producer for the hit show, Kingston House, which premiered nationwide on Television Jamaica (TVJ) in February, 2012

When she’s not writing children’s books or teen dramas, she works with an advertising agency in New York City, holding over 10 years of experience developing ad campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. From Temple University, she has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing, from the University of London she has a Master’s of Arts degree in TV and Film Production, and she’s currently studying French at New York University.
She loves to travel, play tennis, and spend time with her family.

Authors Introduction to Tunda on the Rock

While the rest of the Bailey pack is out of the yard taking care of important business, the youngest member, who they call Tunda, with their Jamaican accents, is ordered to stay home on guard duty where it’s safe. But the courageous, day dreaming, golden-brown puppy has plans of her own.

She makes it her mission to prove her worth by partaking in a risky night-time adventure on The Rock—the dogs’ name for the area surrounding the Bailey home, consisting of a golf course, cascading waterfalls, and white sandy beaches. Her adventure is filled with new friends—and enemy by association, Rex—along with a rude awakening to the hard, poverty-stricken life outside of the luxurious Bailey residence where she’s spent her entire puppyhood.

As Tunda’s adventure takes her farther from home, she learns that her pack is in grave danger, more so than she could’ve imagined. With the help of her new friend, Onyx, and the wise Mr. Rasta, Tunda makes every effort possible to save the dogs of The Rock. Will she make it back home? Will she save them?

Publishing Information about Tunda on the Rock

  • Age Level, 9+
  • Grade Level: 4 – 12
  • Length; 98 pages
  • Page Flip Enabled
  • Wordwise Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting Enabled
  • Published on Amazon for Kindle
  • by Sabrina K. Marshall (Author), Marcelo Ferreira (Illustrator), Yuki Osada (Illustrator)

Download Tunda on the Rock on Amazon UK or USA

If you would like to get your hands on this great children’s book Tunda on the Rock you can download it on Amazon UK or USA by clicking the appropriate widget below:

Want to pay in £ UK currency click the first link….

Want to pay in $ USA currency click the second link….

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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Calabash Ital Rastarant – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

If you want to try authentic Jamaican food with a twist, then you must try ‘Ital Food’. Nowadays following a ‘clean diet’ is all the rage, but Ital food has been following these principles since its inception. Tasty, healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan dishes are cooked with a flair that is innately Jamaican. Calabash Ital Rastarant is located in Ocho Rios town centre and offers a selection of dishes for breakfast, through lunch and to dinnertime and beyond.

Calabash Ital Rastarant

I am a Vegetarian, so it is a real treat to go to a restaurant where I can choose anything off the menu. Calabash Ital Rastarant is one of my favourite Vegetarian eating spots in Ocho Rios because of the sheer choice and my hardcore meat eating friends love it here too. They have a wide and varied menu with a lot of familiar Jamaican dishes cooked in a meat free format. Including, Vege Chunks, Tofu, Steamed Vegetables, Curried Chickpeas, Ackee, Porridge, Soups, Stews, Vege Burgers and more. If you can’t decide what to order ask for a mixed box, this is a selection of all the different foods cooked on the day served with rice and peas, or hard food (boiled provisions). The food is fresh and delicious and surprisingly affordable. The restaurant has a clean seating area inside and a few tables out on the balcony, alternatively you can buy take away food and they even do delivery in the Ocho Rios region. They have a selection of natural juices on offer too alongside coconut water and other beverages.

Calabash also sell natural products, supplements, t-shirts, incense, accessories, DVD’s, books, posters and beauty products to name a few of the items on offer.

 

Calabash Ital Rastarant Location and Opening Hours

Shop 8
7 James Avenue
Ocho Rios
Jamaica

Telephone Number: 876-570-5565

Calabash also offer a delivery service in the Ocho Rios region.

Opening Hours

Mondays to Thursday  7:00am- 10:30pm

Friday and Saturday  7:00am- 11:30pm

Sunday  9:00am- 9:00pm

 

Calabash Ital Rastarant
Calabash Ital Rastarant

Food Prices at Calabash Ital Rastarant

  • $380 small food
  • $450 medium food
  • $500 large food

What is ‘Ital Food’?

The word ‘Ital’ is derived from the word vital. As Rastafari believe that food and the health and well being of the consumer are all connected. It is part of the faith of the Rastafari in Jamaica and there are certain ‘rules’ of preparing, serving and cooking certain foods stuffs. ‘Ital Food’ is Vegetarian and Vegan based and is considered a ‘clean’ diet, as it contains no preservatives, colourings, flavourings, tinned foods and in many cases even salt is omitted. The food is delicious, fresh and full of nutrients to increase ‘Livity’, or our life energy.

 

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Like our FaceBook Page to get the latest news, photo’s, music, events, competitions and offers from Sweet Jamaica https://www.facebook.com/sweetjamaica.co.uk

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

 

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JamDung Bar and Grill – Salem, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

JamDung Bar and Grill – Salem, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Runaway Bay in Jamaica is a one street town that takes in Salem and Priory when traversing between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Although the town is compact there is a smattering of food and drink outlets and establishments that are worth a mention and JamDung Bar and Grill is one of them.

Location of JamDung Bar and Grill

Okay, so the location isn’t exactly picturesque as it’s situated along the busy A1 Highway, Main Street, Salem. If you are driving it’s located on the OPPOSITE side of the road to the ocean. You can drive inside the JamDung Bar and Grill compound and enjoy yourself within eyesight of your vehicle. The main road is screened with tropical planting and once you sit down and take it the drinks, food, tunes and vibes you will forget the sound of the vehicular traffic trundling along. There are several resorts that are nearby including Jewel Hotel which is within an easy 10 minutes walk along a flat and straight road. Just keep your eyes on the road and look both ways twice, before stepping out into the road and crossing; be aware of motorbikes which may be in your blind spot.

JamDung Bar and Grill
JamDung Bar and Grill

What’s Happening at JamDung Bar and Grill

All the staff at JamDung Bar and Grill are super friendly and the other patrons make visitors feel welcome. They are open in the daytime and is it a much more sedate affair with a few locals hanging out and taking in lunch or a cool drink. The evenings are when things get hyped up and busier. Monday is Karaoke Night and Friday is Old School and Retro Music Night both of which are popular, as they are fun and entertaining nights which draw in a lively crowd.

The kitchen is nearly always open and you have to try the Roast Yam, a speciality of the venue. I also recommend the Fried Breadfruit, which is an absolute favourite of mine (check out my Breadfruit recipes here!). They also have a selection of barbecue and cooked meats and fish, if you are lucky and the fish hasn’t sold out. There is seating both under cover around the bar area and out in the open where parasol’s keep the sun off the tables and chairs.

JamDung Bar and Grill - Roast Breadfruit
JamDung Bar and Grill – Roast Breadfruit

 

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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2 Bedroom Detached Property in Rose Hall, Montego Bay for Short Term Rental

Sea Views at Rose Hall

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Montego Bay, Jamaica, then this 2 bedroom detached property maybe ideal for you.

This tastefully decorated detached property boasts sea views and modern, comfortable furniture for your entertainment and relaxation during your stay. Located in a picturesque area just outside of Montego Bay, known as Rose Hall, it is a pleasant 20 minute drive from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The property is situated in a large and safe housing scheme that is quiet and secluded and gives you a home away from home feel, as you are integrated into a community setting. It is ideal for a family, or two couples who want to experience Jamaica from the comfort and privacy of their own setting away from the crowds in a hotel.

The property is fully tiled and grilled and has a small grilled veranda to the front where you can sit and chill out and catch a cool breeze! There is a gate and driveway at the front of the property and there is a lawn that wraps around all sides of the house to chill out in and play games; please note the fence at the sides of the property is made of wire and posts and may not be suitable for under 5 year olds, without supervision.

There is a large master bedroom with a King-size Bed, ample storage space and a ceiling fan. The second bedroom is also a good size and has a double bed and a single bed, storage closet and a ceiling fan. The large open living area runs the length of the house and has front and back doors and a ceiling fan to keep you cool and breezy. The Sitting Area includes a large L shaped sofa that is ideal for spreading out and relaxing on, whilst watching the wide-screen TV and Cable, or whilst surfing the Wireless Internet. There is a modern glass dining table and six chairs to enjoy home cooked meals with family and friends, ideally located next to the open plan Kitchen. The fully fitted kitchen includes an electric oven, microwave, toaster, kettle and fridge / freezer, alongside all the essentials for creating and consuming self-catering meals. The bathroom has a bath with shower attachment, with the convenience of a water pump and hot water; there is a solar-powered water heater on the roof and a back-up water tank on the premises.

Local Amenities

There is a small local shop located less than 5 minute’s walk away from the property, where you can buy all your kitchen basics and a cool beer, or a drink of Jamaican Rum! There is also a business area located a 5 minute drive away in the scheme, that has a medical centre, a couple of Jamaican Cook Shops (Take Away), a small shop, hairdresser and so on.  If you drive out of the scheme in a westerly direction, towards Montego Bay you will find The Half Moon Golf Club and Shopping Centre located 3 minutes’ drive away from the house, along with a Gas Station (Petrol Station). Less than one minute further you will find the famous Scotchies Restaurant, a Police Station and numerous beach bars. The crossroads at Ironshore is 4 minutes’ drive away and has Burger King and an ATM Machine on one corner, a Gas Station on another, the Blue Diamond Shopping Centre on another, and finally the large and modern Whitter Village Shopping Centre, where you will find many stores and a Dentist. Continue a further 12 minutes’ drive and you will reach the airport. The Hip Strip in the town, which includes Aqua Sol (water and amusement park), Doctor’s Cave Beach, Margaritaville, and many other restaurants, shops and bars is less than a 5 minute drive from the Airport.

If you drive out of the scheme the other way, in an Easterly direction towards Falmouth and Ocho Rios, you will reach the nearest beach ‘Chill Out Beach Hut’, a beach bar and grill. There are other beach bars along this strip, some not as fancy as others. The nearest Gas Station (petrol station) in this direction is 8 minutes’ drive away, you will need to pull off the highway on the left hand side of the road, where you see the sign for ‘Chill Out Beach Hut’ and drive down the slip road until you reach it. The attractions of Ocho Rios are about 2 hours’ drive away, if you are cruising and taking in the scenery.

The Fine Print!

Please note: As the hot water is solar heated it is in limited supply and can be less in times of cloudy weather. On occasions there is water and electricity outages in Jamaica. The property has a water tank that supplies water to the house in times of water outages, which uses a pump to supply the kitchen and bathroom. We have some emergency lighting in the house in case of power outages. Please help us be more sustainable by turning off the ceiling fans when not in use or when leaving the property.

 

Montego Bay

Montego Bay in Jamaica is one of the top resort destination towns in the Caribbean. The modern and airy International Airport is located just 20 minutes drive away from the property, creating easy links to travellers from all over the world. Montego Bay has a thriving hip-strip where you can enjoy dining, shopping, drinking and other amusements and of course the beach. There is also downtown Montego Bay with its bustling shops, banks, craft and food markets and other amenities. Rose Hall is a picturesque area just outside of Montego Bay which boasts several Golf courses, horse riding and further shopping malls and amenities with easy driving distance. There are the historic sites of  Rose Hall Great House and the top 5 Trip Advisor rated things to do in Rose hall are, Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Half Moon Beach, Tennis and Golf Club, Half Moon Tennis Club and Half Moon, Rose Hall Spa.

 

 

If you are interested in booking this modern, spacious detached house in Montego Bay get in touch below!

Prospect Plantation – Jamaica

 

[text_justify]Prospect Plantation is picturesque and full of Jamaican flora, facts and history. There are a few surprises too, it’s not all about sedate jitney rides through the grounds….[text_justify]

 

Things to Do in Jamaica

[text_justify] This well thought out offering from Dolphin Cove Ltd gives you a glimpse into agricultural life in Jamaica and can be found on the A3 between Reggae Beach and White River, St. Mary. If you are coming from the direction of Ocho Rios it is about ½ mile from White River, there is a sign and you have to pull off of the main road to the right hand side and approach the Plantation’s Driveway. Once the guard lifts the barrier, follow the driveway until you reach the car park and ‘reception’ area. There is a clean  bar area, restrooms and a gift shop and you can pay for your excursions here. I would recommend telephoning in advance to let them know you are coming and perhaps book the tour you would like.[/text_justify]

 

[text_justify]When I visited in the week, it was deserted apart from our party of three people, but they still welcomed us and gave us a sugary cane juice drink when we arrived. We were offered a jitney ride around the plantation, which is basically a tractor pulling an open sided truck with long bench seating onboard. When we embarked on the tour, we also had a guide and a security guard onboard and the three of them made a jovial group stopping and pointing out different crops and points of interest along the route and generally keeping us amused, entertained and informed.[/text_justify]

 

Prospect Plantation - Coconut Climber
Prospect Plantation – Coconut Climber

 

[text_justify]The jitney made several stops throughout the plantation and we were shown various crops and a grove where various dignitaries and celebrities have planted different tropical fruit trees over the years. We were also able to get off the jitney on a few occasions, first by the Ostriches which you can feed if you wish. Here we also watched Farmer Joe climb a 30ft Coconut tree and we were introduced to tropical fruits and invited to eat some coconut. We were told that Farmer Joe ate the Ostrich eggs, which might explain how he managed to climb the tree with such speed and ease! An Ostrich egg is also presented to you to stand on and take a picture, which unbelievably does not break. If you choose you can take some small notes as a tip was expected.[/text_justify]

History of Jamaica

[text_justify]We next made a stop by the Great House where you are free to walk around the lower floor of the property laid out in the original style. We were also able to walk through the beautiful and extensive gardens. There are bubbling water features and many unusual plant specimens and it is tranquil and fragrant with panoramic views to the ocean. The great Mahogany Tree which was planted by Sir Winston Churchill in 1953, takes centre stage in the front garden.[/text_justify]

 

[text_justify]Back in the jitney we ambled along until we came to a clearing where they had camels with their proud and able trainers. There was a cute and noisy young Camel in the paddock, who got most of the attention. If you choose you can take pictures with the camels and for an additional charge you are also able to ride them. Off again we made our way, slowing down by a Church in the grounds, before finishing the tour back were we started. The tour guide invited us to give him a tip too when we neared the reception area.[/text_justify]

 

Prospect Plantation - Jamaican Fruits
Prospect Plantation – Jamaican Fruits

 

[text_justify] Prospect Plantation is beautiful and worth a visit if you are in the area. Although it isn’t as fast paced as some of the other attractions in Jamaica, it feels more authentic and doesn’t feel like it has been overly ‘plasticised’ like some of the other tourist traps. If you have thrill seekers in the group, telephone in advance and book a camel, horse, Segway or you can bike and hike around the plantation, which might just get the teenagers involved! There is also a ‘Flavours of Jamaica’ cooking course if you want to try your hand at making some traditional Jamaican cuisine, which you get to eat afterwards… Yum![/text_justify]

 

[divider_1px]

 

[text_justify]Prospect Plantation

 

Prospect Plantation Address and Contact Details:

Address: Prospect, St. Mary, Jamaica

Telephone: (876) 994 1058

Or check out their website here: http://www.prospectoutbackadventures.com/ [/text_justify]

 

James Bond Beach – Jamaica

If you are looking for a laid back attraction in Jamaica, or simply want to relax at an exclusive beach, then James Bond Beach in St Mary could well fit the bill…

Visiting James Bond Beach

James Bond Beach sounds suitably glamorous for an initial dip in the ocean and it provided us with an opportunity to get a drive out of Ochi, St. Ann and eastwards towards Oracabessa, St. Mary. The drive is a pleasant one along the highway which takes in ocean views along some parts of the road, whilst the farming enterprises of coconut and banana walks (plantations) that stretch as far as the eye can see make up the majority of the scenery on the journey. There are two gas stations along the highway near to Ochi, the first of which is a large PetCom gas (petrol) station just past Irie FM (on the by-pass in Ochi), that has a Pharmacy, supermarket, ATM and W.C.’s attached to it, the second one is a Texaco and is near to White River, just before the turn off for Exchange and has which has lesser facilities.

How to get to James Bond Beach – Oracabessa…

Driving along the highway leaving Ochi (Ocho Rios) the road is straight with no turn offs and it takes about 25 – 30 minutes to reach the beach, driving at the legal speed of course. There is a  large and hopeful road sign on the highway that depicts that James Bond Beach is 1km away, which is a vast underestimation as it was more like 5km when we checked it on the second visit.

Directions

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • After passing the PetCom gas (petrol) station in Ocho Rios, drive along the highway and about 15km you will pass Ian Fleming Airport.  It was previously known as Boscobel Aerodrome and had a somewhat controversial name change after the renovations that saw it re-open in January 2011; however the new name further sets the scene as we search for the elusive James Bond Beach…
  • Keep driving along the same highway towards Oracabessa and you will eventually come to a deep corner about 1.5km past the aerodrome, where you will cross a bridge, continue forward. The beach is hard to find as the sign that lets you know where to turn off of the highway has blown down
  • Look out for a Shell Gas Station on the right hand side of the road and shortly after the road will bend and you will see a marl (white gravel) side road on the LEFT HAND SIDE, with a large sign for James Bond Beach and a wooden shop (where a Rasta sells fruits on the corner) TURN HERE; if you come to Oracabessa Crossroads you have come too far
  • Once you find the side road you have to travel about another 1 – 1.5KM to reach the entrance to the beach, so be warned if you are walking! Travel up to the end of the side road until you pass Jah Willy’s and you will be forced to turn right passing the unassuming fisherman’s Beach which is much more low-key and has a little shop serving beach goers
  • At the end of the road you will see the entrance which has ‘James Bond Beach’ written across the top of the gates, you found it!

[/list]

What is James Bond Beach All About?

James Bond Beach has an interesting story to tell… Owned by non other than Chris Blackwell, of Island Records and Island Outpost fame, who not only had a successful music and movie company, but who also has several high-end and exclusive resorts under his mantle such as:

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • GoldenEye; Ian Flemings former home
  • Jake’s; Treasure Beach
  • The Caves; Negril
  • Strawberry Hill; Blue Mountains

[/list])

Chris Blackwell’s mother Blanche was born into a powerful family that made their money and livelihood in sugar and rum in Jamaica in the 20th Century. Blanche owned several thousand acres of land near Oracabessa and later sold some of it to both Ian Fleming and Noel Coward, who made homes there. She was considered to be the love of Ian Flemings later life and who he refered to as his Jamaican wife and muse, and who was said to be the inspiration for the James Bond character ‘Pussy Galore’. James Bond Beach also has the claim to fame of being the beach in which a young Ursula Andrews cavorted in the James Bond movie ‘Dr. No’.

Wash Rooms James Bond Beach
Wash Rooms James Bond Beach

What Is Offered at James Bond Beach?

You can drive your vehicle inside the complex and find somewhere to park; if there isn’t an attendant at the gate to take your entrance fee they will shortly appear before you can get out of the vehicle to take the money from you; we paid about $400 per person. James Bond Beach has a nice set up with a small but clean and sandy beach which boasts crystal clear waters, and has a few complimentary wooden loungers and a couple of picnic tables scattered about. As the sandy beach area is small the seating goes quickly and you may want to bring a beach mat or extra towel to lie or sit down on if it is busy.

If the beach isn’t your thing, or it is too busy for you, there is also a winding terrace that has been constructed over the rocks surrounding the beach and which offers up a larger area in which to sun yourself; although it could do with some repairs in places, as the sea seems to want to reclaim it. On both occasions we came there were only a few other groups present, which made it feel more secluded and quiet for a beach in Jamaica.

There is no gift shop or vendors on the beach, so once you pay for your entrance fee you will be limited to splashing the cash in the bar and restaurant…

Sunset Swimming James Bond Beach
Sunset Swimming James Bond Beach

Moonraker Bar and Restaurant

The large Moonraker Bar is prettily made from wood, is open on all sides and boasts a fabulous upstairs seating area that has scenic views across the ocean and the grassy area. The bar is well stocked and they had plenty of ice; a flask of Wray & Nephew costs about $700. There is also a restaurant with lots of fish (and chicken) dishes on offer, which cost around $1,000 – $2,000 per main dish dependant on what you ordered; but we didn’t eat there on either occasion we visited. A point to note is that the restaurant doesn’t look as though it opens when there a little or few people around.  A large grassy area that is surrounded by the clear blue sea on three sides affords you a change from the beach area and a stroll to look at the boats. The lawn and bar are packed full of people and really come alive and into their own when the venue plays home to the large stage shows and events that are held periodically.

The other amenities include large separate male and female changing facilities, offering a shower, communal changing areas with benches, wash basins and toilets; on both occasions we found them to be clean and with soap and tissues available. The beach normally closes at sundown, and I’m told it is busier at weekends when more of the locals and even Chris Blackwell and friends sometimes frequent it.

On the whole I would recommend James Bond Beach and feel it was worth the drive as it was clean, secluded, friendly, peaceful and with good vibes and amenities. The entry price wasn’t too expensive either and was indicative on what was on offer there. All round it was a nice experience…. I will definitely come again and will have to try the food next time though!

Jamaica 'One Love' James Bond Beach
Jamaica ‘One Love’ James Bond Beach

 

 

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Post Updated January 2016