Bob Marley’s former home, Kingston, is well worth a visit on your next trip to Jamaica. Hike through the coffee plantations of the Blue Mountains, explore the Hope Botanical Gardens and stroll along the pink-sand beach of Lime Cay, before returning to one of these top hotels for a rum punch. Book your stay with Culture Trip.
For a quiet stay near Emancipation Park, book the Altamont Hotel. The simple, traditional rooms sleep from one to four. Outside there’s a small shaded pool with a bar for afternoon refreshments. Expect a hearty Jamaican-style breakfast each morning, plus the restaurant serves juicy ribs and freshly caught fish for dinner.
A former Great House owned by a sugar cane plantation owner, the Terra Nova is one of Kingston’s most luxurious hotels. Centrally located, it offers boutique style with a nod to old European opulence. World-class chefs have created one of the finest dining experiences (and dining rooms) in Jamaica. Afternoon tea and Sunday Brunch are popular with locals and tourists alike. After dark, the Regency Bar is the place to be seen as Kingston’s great and good mingle over cocktails.
Centrally located in New Kingston, the Spanish Court Hotel is within walking distance of top bars and shops. Couples and discerning travellers will appreciate the hip, modern vibe of this luxury hotel. Rojo Restaurant is a formal affair, serving up sweet potato crusted snapper and fresh lobster, whilst the Lounge offers casual bites. Take a dip in the outdoor pool, complete with cabanas and poolside lounging beds, or head to the rooftop Sky Terrace, the perfect spot for a sundowner overlooking a lap pool.
The best known hotel in Kingston, the Pegasus features the largest swimming pool in the city. It’s regularly frequented by visiting heads of state: even President Obama paid a visit. Some 300 modern rooms range from deluxe doubles to a two-bedroom royal suite. The smart, cultivated gardens have a walking trail marked out, plus there are two tennis courts for active guests. The large restaurant serves excellent international and Jamaican food, while the 24/7 cafe is a reliable Kingston coffee shop.
Situated just 30 minutes from Kingston, high in the Blue Mountains, this tropical gem deserves a mention. Owned by Chris Blackwell of Island Records fame, this property comprises a series of hillside cottages with spectacular mountain views. Polished wood floors, crisp white linen and hardwood furniture create an old-world charm. The restaurant is well worth the journey up the mountain, while the bar serves great cocktails as the sun sets over Jamaica. Head to the infinity pool for the best view from any pool on this side of the island.
Located prominently on Chelsea Avenue, not far from the famous Chelsea Jerk Centre and Scotchies restaurant, is the Knutsford Court Hotel. Set back in tropical gardens, the outdoor pool – conveniently close to the well-stocked bar – offers a place to cool off from the Jamaican heat. Rooms range from snug doubles up to a two-bedroom townhouse. Breakfast is included, and the restaurant serves excellent Jamaican food: the red-pea soup is particularly good.
Centrally located, close to the larger Pegasus Hotel, the Courtleigh is a Kingston institution in its own right. With 128 rooms – 89 deluxe rooms and 38 boutique suites featuring traditional Jamaican furnishings and mahogany beds – getting a good night’s sleep is a cinch. Start your day with a swim and workout in the onsite gym, or head to nearby Emancipation Park for its network of running trails. Come sunset, swing by Mingles bar for a rum cocktail before dinner at Alexander’s restaurant; make sure you stick around for Wednesday’s jerk barbecue night.