New Year, New Destinations: Exploring Jamaica

At the start of 2018, I made a decision that I was going to visit 10 places on my bucket list (Jamaica was in my top 5.)  I couldn’t resist a last minute trip to Ocho Rios in January with the girls to start my travel year strong! (@livingboldly @laurareidd and @melissamerk.)

All Inclusive Resort, Jamaica, Fashion

We arrived to Montego Bay via Sunwing, on a rainy day.  Most people might be disappointed at the sight of rain, but the warmth was enough to brighten my spirits. We were greeted by a lovely host from Club Mobay. Club Mobay’s VIP Meet & Greet Arrival Service and Departure Service ($80 USD) is A MUST when travelling to Montego Bay. Why? When you arrive, the customs lines are very long. With the arrival service, the host takes you to a very short line to be processed at customs quickly.  You also get access to their private lounge that comes complete with wi-fi, refreshments, snacks, and a clean place to freshen up before travelling to your hotel. After a long flight, the VIP experience was the perfect way to start our trip.

The transfer from the airport to the Moon Palace resort was about 90 minutes.  The hotel has a free transfer service which I thought was a nice touch! Upon arrival, check in was very quick and easy.  We were in our rooms in less than 20 minutes.

Moon Palace Lobby

Moon Palace Lobby Bar

One of my favourite things about Moon Palace was the FOOD! Its not often you go to an all inclusive and literally get wowed by the food options. Everything (yes everything) was so delicious. A little birdie told me that Moon Palace resorts are known for their food, and the Jamaica location did deliver! Momo, an asian fusion restaurant, was one of my favourites, but their cafe (Boulangerie) was the place the girls and I went the most.

Cafe, coffee, desserts, work spot

First, lets talk about how cute the cafe is? I must have had about 45 cappuccinos (and biscotti) over the span of a week. I am a coffee freak so that says a lot about how great they were. The ice cream is hand crafted by Palace Resorts and it was a cozy spot for the girls and I to get our work days in.

I was also super impressed with the fitness facility, it made me want to work out! It had everything you could possibly need, it was bright and not tucked into a corner like most gyms are at an all inclusive.  I am also proud to say that I worked out 5 out of the 6 days I was in Jamaica! I gave myself a standing ovation.

Waterfall, falls, tropical forrest

Jamaica was definitely a rest and relaxation trip for me, but we did manage to get off the resort for a few hours to visit Dunns River Falls with Nexus Tours.  Its a beautiful place, you walk down an easy trail to the base of the falls, and the climb to the top.

A few tips to make your Dunns River Falls visit memorable:

  • Get to the falls early if you want unobstructed pictures. It has plenty of photo opportunities, but is a very popular tourist spot.
  • The rocks are slippery, so water shoes are recommended. I second the recommendation. If you think you are athletic, or hike savvy, don’t skip the shoes.
  • They have gardens, food, and local shopping to enjoy as well.

Resort, Beach, Bikini

The main beach at the Moon Palace was a lovely spot to catch some rays, and dip in the water.  The fresh coconuts were such a welcomed treat in between the cocktails.  They were a little hard to track down, but worth the hunt.

We also spent time at the pool. Usually for a mid-afternoon snooze. The warm sun, and chill vibes were the perfect combination. You didn’t have to fight for pool chairs which was also amazing.

pool, resort, all inclusive

My favourite time of the day was sunrise (6:30 am ish.)   Although it was challenging to get up, the quiet was so meditative. I live for the space in life where you can hear yourself think.  Its so rare when I am at home to get in that space, so I was glad to have a few moments to breathe in solitude.

sunrise, beach, all inclusive, resort, moon palace

sunrise, beach, ocean, view, vacation, Jamaica

A few days before our departure, the girls and I did manage to make it to the Club Noir, the disco at Moon Palace. We arrived to an empty space, but its soon filled up with newly weds and their guests. We danced the night away, and then slept until noon. You gotta do it at least once, right?

The week went at a nice pace, but its never long enough.  On the last day, we woke up one last time at sunrise and I had 5 extra cappuccinos (on top of the 3 I would normally have) because I knew I would miss them.

beach, sunrise, ocean,

I really loved Jamaica.  The slow moving, sunny island vibes was exactly what I need to break up the rainy winter in Vancouver. Moon Palace was the perfect place to kick my feet up and rest, and I think about it often.

Our airport transfer back to the airport was quick and painless, but I can’t stress enough. Pay for the VIP service at Club Mobay to avoid the LONG customs line. You can continue your vacation at their airport lounge to eat, drink and relax at while you wait for your flight. SERIOUSLY, do it. I mentioned it twice, that means something.

Stay tuned for more travel related blog posts! I can’t wait to share my adventures!

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