Are You Sure I’m in Kingston?

Tale As Old As Time Afternoon Tea - The Kensington Hotel

Joe Pike enjoys a Red Stripe at Strawberry Hill Hotel's infinity pool overlooking Kingston

Perhaps the biggest surprise of my recent travels to the Caribbean was my two-day stay in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica that has seen its fair share of negative press.

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It has its share of ills that befall any big, bustling, urban destination, but if you are simply painting the city with a negative brush and ignoring all of the opportunities to learn about Jamaican culture here, you are missing out on some excellent selling points that will give VIPs a more well-rounded Jamaican experience.

Sure, Kingston is probably not what VIPs have in mind when they dream of beaches and turquoise waters in the Caribbean simply because the island nation’s capital doesn’t have any beaches to speak of. 

What it does have, though, is a wealth of culture and knowledge, from the Bob Marley Museum to the historic Devon House Heritage Site, to help get VIPs into the Jamaican and Rastafarian frame of mind before they go off to sunbathe in the more tourist-intensive parts of the country.

Now, there are a ton of more-than-adequate business hotels that may make more sense for a one-night stay in Kingston, but if it’s the best your clients want, even for one night, I recommend the Strawberry Hill Hotel. 

Strawberry Hill, a signature mountaintop oasis, offers a mix of rich Jamaican heritage balanced by healthy conscious living. Perched in the Blue Mountains and located 3,100 feet above sea level, this boutique property houses The Living Spa, a Main House, and a dozen handcrafted 19th-century Georgian style cottages, including one-bedroom, two-bedrooms, studios and a deluxe villa. 

I stayed in Highgate, one of three cottages that offer full mountain views. The cottages are both rustic and luxurious. Our cottage had two bedrooms, both on the second floor and both offering separate balconies with mountain views. There is one TV on the first floor and the two bathrooms are pretty simple and rustic as well. The main selling point at this resort is the view from the rooms, the service and the main swimming pool and bar. 

The pool, in fact, has perhaps some of the best views of Kingston you will find anywhere and the bar usually has its fireplace going on any given night. It gets pretty cool up in the hills of Kingston, which is why a fireplace in the Caribbean isn’t as crazy as it sounds. I recommend this for affluent couples who enjoy being secluded and completely private. 

Advisors should direct any queries to Executive Assistant Manager Gillian Wedderburn([email protected]).

Visit www.visitjamaica.com. 

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