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Here at HotelChatter, we read about hotel furniture on a (far) too-regular basis—mostly in press releases about newly-renovated hotels, or the occasional hotel furniture sale. A lot of it goes in one ear and out the other. But when we learned of a resort in Jamaica that was making its own furniture, we decided it was worth a closer look.
Husband-and-wife team Braxton and Debbie Moncure stumbled upon the un-developed land of Bluefields Bay in 1981 (at the suggestion of a local friend), and quickly set about converting the property into one of Jamaica's most coveted all-inclusive luxury resorts. Now, with the help of their two kids, Houston and Rachel—plus a team of 50 locally-employed staffers—the family continues to grow Bluefields into a diverse, artistic, sustainable hotel community, whose six villas just so happen to boast some killer seafront views.
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Since you all seemed to enjoy our photos of Goldeneye in Jamaica, we thought we'd do you one better and post this video, taken inside one of the Beach Cottages. That hammock is possibly the most inviting one we've ever seen, and the cottage's spitting-distance proximity to the beach doesn't hurt either!
Here's a little eye candy for your mid-week slump: a gallery of photos from inside one of the brand new Beach Cottages at Jamaica's Goldeneye, former home of Ian Fleming and preferred getaway of Jay-Z & Beyonce, Bono, and anyone else with a one-word name.
We were lucky enough to spend a few nights here earlier in the summer and loved the mix of high and low. High, being the beauty and top-of-the-line materials used in the decor, and low simply being the laidback vibe that lilts through the place like a warm Jamaican breeze or slice of reggae --which is, of course, available in abundance on your in-room Squeezebox music player.
Everywhere you turn at Goldeneye, the former home of Bond creator Ian Fleming, there are stunning views. But if you're lucky enough to spend time at the luxe resort in Oracabessa, Jamaica, it's this sign that will lead you to some of Goldeneye's best eye candy.
Tucked under the bridge that leads from the resort's open-air 'reception', over the lagoon to Low Cay Beach is the Wata Sport Beach, and this is where you'll find Dane and Dave Fletcher. These young gents will set you up for any of the water-based diversions Goldeneye has on tap, from snorkeling and kayaking to jetskiing or a tour of the coral reef on the resort's house boat, Glasseye.
Nothing says "I heart you boo" more than a romantic getaway, but sexytime isn't just for Valentine's Day. So if you don't have time to catch one of the V-Day packages we're profiling this week, we're also presenting you with some year-round sexy options. Whether you're into raunch, roses or Rosé, every day this week, we’ll pick a different property that we think will knock your socks—and who knows what else—off.
Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica, is an over-the-top playground with a loyal following of guests who dig the ‘no-judgment’ atmosphere and all-inclusive price tag. Know up front that Hedo isn’t really for the shy and many of the rumors you hear are true. Yes, there’s a “prude” side with a perfectly nice beach for newbies or those uninterested in baring all. But it’s said many eventually cross over to the “Nude” side where all the antics (which, let's be honest, is what you're going for) take place.
The beachfront resort, a favorite of reggae singer Sean Paul, will join the company's stable of hotels in Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Wyoming and St. Lucia. It will be official January 1.
The 398-room hotel is best known for its sweet location on two miles of white-sand beaches. It also has a spa, golf course, 13 tennis course and a whopping 54 pools.
It's Friday! In other words, we’ve been ready for the weekend for about four days now. And hell if we couldn’t go for a laidback jaunt to Jamaica right about now, especially if this delightful amenity was to greet us in our hotel room — which it would, if we were to stay at Riu Ocho Rios Hotel.
As the date stamp concedes, this photo isn’t exactly new, but it still stopped us in our tracks while browsing the ol’ HotelChatter Flickr pool.
Says Flickr user His Naima:
The bottles are full when you arrive (the liquor is free), and the refrigerator is stocked with mixers of water, soda, tonic, juice, etc. (also free). This is a cool amenity, since all the bars on the property close at 10pm!
[Photo: His Naima]
Current temperature in Montego Bay, Jamaica: 85 degrees. Current temperature on the East Coast of the US: Not nearly warm enough.
Jamaica sounds nice and, hey, you never did take that Spring Break, did you? And you got a nice little tax return, didn't you? There's a pretty good deal happening down at the Ritz-Carlton Jamaica: booking four nights with the Escape to Luxury Package scores you a totally free fifth night, and all-inclusive rates per night start at $409. And included in this package, in addition to being able to spend a work week in the land of the beautiful sunshine, is the following:
· Overnight accommodations in a garden view guest room
· Daily breakfast at Horizon restaurant or continental breakfast from in-room dining
· Lunch at Mangos restaurant or the Reggae Jerk Center
· Dinner at Horizon or Mangos restaurants
· Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
· All taxes and gratuities
· Service charge, which includes amenities such as access to the Spa, Fitness Center, high-speed internet access in all guest rooms and wireless connection in public areas, sailing and windsurfing lessons and use of non-motorized water sports equipment
Yeah, it's like an all-inclusive sorta thang.
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven KatieK seeks Ian Fleming's ultimate writing hideout...in her mind. Enjoy.
Even if you’re not particularly into James Bond movies or books, chances are still fairly high that you’d willingly be whisked away to one of his exotic locales and play the part of the dashing womanizer or beguiling seductress, whichever the case may be.
At least if you’re anything like me. That’s why for this daytime romp through fantasyland, I’m headed straight to the source — Goldeneye Resort in Oracabessa, Jamaica, in the gorgeous villa where Bond creator Ian Fleming wrote 17 (!) of his iconic books. Though the resort has other plush options as well, I’ll opt to stay at the Fleming-designed three-bedroom house, which hugs a cliff lofted above the beach and still includes his writing desk.
For Spring Breakers and exhausted 9 to 5-ers looking for a chill beach vacay this coming winter, 16 acres of Caribbean waterfront will sound pretty darn good. And the humungous Solis The Palmyra in Jamaica, poised to open in March, looks like it might be able to deliver.
Perched on the shores of Montego Bay, the hotel has three towers, courtyards, and ocean views out of every room; a ballroom, event lawn, and gazebo for weddings; two pools, beachside cabanas, and tons of adventure gear for the using. There's also a 30,000 square foot spa, designed by award-winning spa designer Susan Harmsworth.
Guests will get preferential treatment at the nearby award-winning golf courses. And be sure to wear your bathing suit under your clothes on your flight into Montego Bay: the hotel is only 15 minutes from the airport.
UPDATE: According to Marriott's Twitter feed, their NOLA hotels are not taking reservations through Sept. 2 but current rezzies will be honored unless there's an evacuation notice.
Hurricane Gustav is whipping through the Caribbean right now and while no one knows just yet what it's impact will be when it hits the US, hotels in its wake are getting their emergency management plans in order.
The Half Moon Resort in Jamaica has already announced its cancellation policy.
In preparation for the storm, Half Moon will waive all cancellation fees for reservations scheduled for August 28 to September 1, 2008. Guests will be able to reschedule their visit at the original rate booked up to December 15, 2008 and between May - October 2009.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Half Moon, dealing with hurricane drama is nothing new. Thus the hotel boasts about being well-prepared to deal with hurricanes.
Last year, guests staying the midst of Hurricane dean were relocated to conference facilities in the Half Moon Shopping Village which doubled as a shelter. Let's hope Gustav doesn't force guests into that position again.
[Photo: National Geographic]
As all kids know, there comes a time in every young life when it's unfathomably uncool to be seen with your parents...unless you and the units are down in Jamaica, and you're traveling for free, mon.
The Half Moon Resort has a new package, "Hangin' With the Rents," that lets your rugrat stay free, as long as he/she is under 18. There's also 50 percent off meal plans for kids aged 3 to 11.
This is a massive resort sitting on more than 400 acres, with endless stuff to do, either as a family or just for kids--from tennis courts and horse-back riding to close encounters of the third kind with dolphins at the Dolphin Lagoon.
There's free snorkeling, kayaking, and floatie things available, and tons of sailing lessons, parasailing, glass bottom boat tours, and scuba, if you want to pay extra.
Or just play along the beach, or in the three huge pools (the hotel actually has 51 pools but most are part of villas, suites or cottages...but still...)
Suites are as low as US$380; two- bedroom suites start at $1,060, and the imperial suites are $1,100.