Jamaica

Montego Bay Views

Yes, for your information, we did visit Montego Bay. The tourist hub of Jamaica, Montego Bay is known for its resorts. We were visiting one, namely, the Hilton Rose Hall resort. It was the Memorial Day weekend, and we wanted to experience something we lacked in our travels. An all-inclusive resort. We already knew the tradeoff: sacrificing the authenticity of some of the experience for comfort. We hoped that Rose Hall, the resort we chose, would fight some of these issues. Rose Hall used to be a plantation, which fell in ruins after Jamaican independence. Visiting would give us an unique perspective on Jamaican history. 

So we got on the plane, which was through Panama City (we were going on Copa Airlines) due to the overwhelming amount of air traffic. I hadn’t seen the Panama City airport in four years, so I didn’t remember much. It was interesting to see the skyline and the airport. We waited in the lounge. 

We were then in Montego Bay, where it was a short, but unnaturally beautiful ride to the resort. It was unnatural because of the lack of life. The little traffic that was present was composed of taxis. There were barely any cars roaming around. The “center” of the city was clean. Too clean. Pristine almost, as if there was so little life in the town that littering had ceased to continue. The perfectly kept grass throughout the way didn’t assuage my hopes.  

We arrived, and from then, the trip went pretty linearly. Our goal was to cover the main attractions of the resort, and to really indulge in the experience. We checked into the resort, and immediately ate. The airplane food just didn’t do it. After that, we had nothing else to do but explore and enjoy. The facility contained many pools, waterslides, and there were some board games if you really got bored. Plus the beach. As with the rest of the Carribean, Rose Hall impressed with calm, clear water, and white sand beaches. We were still hungry, so we ate again. After that, we scheduled a photoshoot for the evening. We then returned to our hotel room, where we had a great view of the beach and the Carribean Sea.

The photoshoot went well. Other than a few instances where my sister didn’t cooperate, we got a lot of nice photos. We went through the main waterpark itself, and then moved on to the golf course, which I didn’t know existed. The golf course was situated near the ruins of an aqueduct for the plantation, and made for a great photo. We moved on to the entrance, and in the short timespan of two hours, we were done.

By then, it was night, and we were hungry. We decided to go eat some Jamaican food, and to do that, you had to take a bus to the local restaurant, which was located about a mile away. There was a shuttle connecting the two places, but the route there was extremely bumpy, so it took a good fifteen minutes to get there. When we arrived we ate. The food was good. Not the best, not the worst, just ok. It was traditional Jamaican food, which was why we came to the restaurant. I also didn’t enjoy wearing a suit for the whole time. I was really tense, and it wasn’t the most comfortable experience. We returned home and slept. 

We started the next day off in the water. Water clothes ready, we enjoyed the waterpark and beach. There was a really nice beach and slide. I also enjoyed the lazy river. Another great thing about the waterpark was the drinks. You didn’t even need to exit the pool to get mango lassi or orange juice. Talk about prime laziness. 

After that, we took some more photos. Why not? There are a lot of weddings in the resort, so left over from a photoshoot was a nice curtain. We took some photos there too… and the day was over. Having spent half the day in the waterpark, time was cut short. We ate dinner, and slept.

We only had the morning to take photos for the last day. We went back to the golf course to explore the ruins. Our time there felt most like our time travelling, with the huge collapsed aqueduct. The grass was even long and unkempt. 

Finally, we had to check out, and get on our flight to Panama City, where we would spend a day. It would be the last of Jamaica. At the airport, we went to Club Mobay, a lounge with some information on Jamaican history, culture, and biological diversity. The food was memorable too, so it was a nice way to leave.

We left with some insights on all-inclusive resorts. We knew what the tradeoffs would be: authenticity for comfort. But in the end, we decided that it wasn’t worth it. If you visit a resort, make sure to take a trip outside to really experience wherever you visit. 

Tips: 

  • Visit somewhere else – if you don’t see the country you visited, have you really visited that country? Hiking is a good option to escape the resort.

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