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Vol. 6, No. 30 | How I Became An All Inclusive Convert
I didn’t realize how much I needed this vacation. Although I travel quite a lot, I can’t remember the last time I actually had a real vacation where I did lots of nothing. I’ll admit that at first I was freaked out and completely stressed when my boyfriend said that not only was the plan to stay at an all inclusive in Jamaica, but we’d stay at TWO. But it turned out to be exactly what I needed and I came away with a whole new appreciation for all-inclusive vacations.
Here are the thoughts that I had over the past week 10 days while staying at Ocean Coral Spring in Trelawny and Moon Palace in Ocho Rios:
All inclusive hotels have finally figured out that people still want to get the sense of the country that they are in. At both hotels, I felt like I was in Jamaica. There was a jerk hut at both locations. Reggae music played all day at every touchpoint at Moon Palace and there was lots of Jamaican food available.
Speaking of food, this was my biggest worry and argument against these destinations. When I’m in Jamaica, all I want is Jamaican food. I was able to have tons of it and I have to admit, it was pretty solid. I had ackee and saltfish every morning. All the other staples were accounted for…cornmeal porridge, curry chicken, brown stew fish, fried dumplings…mmmm.
Frozen daiquiris haven’t been completely banished and that’s a good thing because I had several well balanced frozen mango daiquiris. There was a great emphasis on mixology at Moon Palace that I appreciated. I even spotted a bottle of St~Germain there.
I was at the spa at Coral Spring and they had “hibiscus (sorrel strength) and rosemary infused water. First, it was delicious and second “sorrel strength” should totally be a thing. Jamaicans brew hibiscus (aka sorrel) for hours until it’s this deep red color and the taste is so different than anytime I’ve had a hibiscus anything.
I guesstimated that about eighty percent of the guests at Ocean Coral Spring were Jamaican and I thought that was really cool. When I was clearing customs in Kingston, the agent mentioned that he stayed there a few weeks ago. When I was on the beach at Moon Palace, the server said he stayed there a few months ago. It was nice to see that Jamaicans were also enjoying these places.
When I got to Moon Palace after five days at Coral Spring, I found myself comparing the two the whole time. They were so different-pros and cons on each side. Ultimately, I’d stay at either of them again.
While I have a new appreciation for all inclusive resorts, it still wouldn’t be my first option. The introvert in me will always prefer small, boutique hotels. On my last day at Moon Palace, I saw an article in Vogue about a celebrity dermatologist’s weeklong vacation in Ocho Rios. I longed for the experience she had just eight minutes down the road.
Hope you’re all well! If you’re in Atlanta, I hope you’re staying dry. I completely forgot how rainy this summer has been. When I came back yesterday I saw my umbrella in my tote and went “oh yeah, it was raining a lot”…then it rained last night…and now it’s raining again.