Exploring JamaicaWords by Jennifer Stein
“Once you go, you know” is an often-repeated phrase you’ll hear when discussing Jamaica. Although this could obviously apply to any locale, veteran travelers to this culture-rich Caribbean island will quickly remind you that what Jamaica has to offer is truly unique. From its classically Caribbean white-sand beaches to a true rain-forest experience, its natural beauty will often coax your senses to simply stop and soak it all in. Combine this with an unending list of activities and a well-deserved reputation for its citizen’s easy-going nature; it is little wonder why Jamaica annually ranks among the top choices for destination weddings and honeymoon getaways.
Located just 500 miles south of Florida, getting to Jamaica is among the easiest in all the Caribbean. Direct flights into Montego Bay (Sangster International Airport) are now commonplace within many North American cities. Upon arrival, navigation within the country remains straightforward with American currency and English being accepted as the norm. “The fact that Jamaica has been able to be so accessible and welcoming to its guests and yet, maintain its culture and identity is very unique,” says Alex Ghisays, Public Relations Director for Couples Resorts. “The beauty and the adventure might be why they come, but I’m convinced that the people are why they continue to come back.”
Along with Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril stand out as popular destinations for couples searching for the perfect wedding or honeymoon location. While Montego Bay and Ocho Rios remain known for their shopping and vibrant night-life, Negril contently welcomes lovers with a laid-back, tranquil vibe.
Whether your dream wedding includes an elaborate setup with an extensive guest list or a simple, understated ceremony of just a few, many resort options exist. The result is a competitive culture of properties willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their guests leave with complete satisfaction. “Combining the bride’s dreams with the resort’s experience and resources are the key to a successful event,” says Tracey-Ann Jones, Romantic Sales Supervisor at Half-Moon Resort. “Being able to provide that is very rewarding.”
Destination I Do always treasures its time in Jamaica. The following are some favorites from our most recent forays:
How to Get There
Offering an impressive number of direct flights to Montego Bay and Kingston, Fly Jamaica sets a festive tone for your destination wedding or honeymoon. A recently launched program for those couples having a large guest list gives the newlyweds complimentary airfare with a minimum number of additionally-booked tickets.
Among the wedding and honeymoon leaders in the all-inclusive category, Couples Resorts currently consists of four unique resorts--two being located near Negril and Ocho Rios. Although each maintains its own distinctive flavor, the formula for fun remains as the consistent theme. Lounge at the beach, go snorkeling during the day, then enjoy fine dining and memorable entertainment in the evening. A wedding coordinator is on staff at each location to ensure your day goes as planned.
The Tryall Club
A private club often known for its world-class golf course, Tryall offers a unique approach for those who cherish their privacy. Luxurious villas can be rented by the week and come with their own pool and dedicated staff. Elevated ocean views serve as the ultimate backdrop for wedding day pictures while first-class cuisine and service make the experience complete. A recently-added catamaran provides the wonderful experience of a sunset cruise and a fabulous rehearsal dinner venue. “The fact that we are able to provide a wonderful staff and intimate surroundings on such a breath-taking property is what makes us special,” says CEO, Doug Brooks. We agree.
Consistently ranked among the top resorts in the Caribbean, Half Moon exemplifies the combination of elegance, activities and class. The 400-acre property includes a multitude of scenic places to have the perfect ceremony and the staff to make it a reality. Striving to provide a truly customized experience to each occasion, Half Moon is eager to meet the highest of expectations. With 6 restaurants, 51 pools, 13 tennis courts, a championship golf course and a team of dolphins (no kidding), the possibilities are endless. Half Moon is also introducing the arrival of Fern Tree, a 68,000 square foot, state-of -the-art spa, sure to provide the ultimate in bridal pampering and relaxation.
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