Jamaica WOW counting down to 50
SO has thus far shared 23 Jamaican 'wows' — from the majestic natural views of Blue Mountain peak to the unique over-water dining experience of Floyd's Pelican Bar. The countdown continues this week with an exclusive peek at a few of those luxe abodes right here on The Rock, including the city once billed "the wickedest" in the world and a cliff-side attraction that offers an adrenaline rush of a jump.
Nestled in Whitehouse, Westmoreland is advertising guru and watercolour artist Patrick Waldemar's exquisite enclave Amedis. Jointly-designed by Waldemar and German architect Axel Wichterich it is situated on roughly a quarter-acre of land and is absolutely breathtaking. Those fortunate enough to gain access marvel both at the harmonious seaside surroundings as well as the simplicity of it all. Amedis, which from Latin translates to "this is I" and from patois a me dis! includes two pods with open living space in the middle. The left pod is for living, dining, kitchen and pantry and includes a closet and powder room. The right pod hosts three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Be warned! It's difficult, after visiting this 1,400 square-foot living space and 900 square-foot exterior patio, to leave.
Goat Hill is the kind of place you build to relax when you've, dare we suggest, experienced it all. This three-bedroom intimate deluxe villa sits cosily in the hills of Montego Bay. A tour of the villa takes you through an imaginative arrangement of individual pavilions enclosed in cut-stone terraces and balconies. The bedrooms are designed so that there is a connection, as well as a separation, and each is accessible by its own stairway. Those fortunate enough to gain access will first marvel at the three glass walls that open on to the balcony, providing an ocean view. There is, too, the 10x10 Jacuzzi and adjacent waterfall that flows to a pond below. A walk to the upper balcony affords a view that will keep you there for hours before the reality hits home that there's lots more, like the suite where you literally step from the bed into the pool. It might not come as a surprise that it's owned by one of the Caribbean's most stylish men, Patrick Casserly, who is in residence this Easter weekend with his family, celebrating his birthday.
The west end of the resort town of Negril is cliff-side terrain, with villas and boutique hotels sitting above the aqua ocean waters. Rick's Café is found along the west end's stretch and is a hugely popular tourist stop. Why? Perhaps it has much to do with the 40-foot leap (let's be politically correct and make that, dive) into the sea below for the adventurous at heart. Resident divers are an added treat, performing somersaults into the sea. Rick's is also a terrific vantage point from which to see Negril's oh-so-picturesque sunsets while enjoying bites from the restaurant.
It was once deemed the richest and wickedest city in the world. Today, it is astonishing to see what's left of Port Royal. However, in the 17th century, before the 1692 earthquake that sank the city (which is, by the way, still under water), Port Royal was the centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea. The city grew but was destroyed again by another earthquake in 1907. Although the area is today a shadow of its former self with few tourists' attractions, there's still the museum, which has preserved artefacts dating back to the 16th century, Fort Charles, Nelson's Quarter Deck and the famous Giddy House. The town boasts some of the most popular seafood restaurants like Gloria's Rendezvous, Sir Henry's and Why Not on the Dock. There is, too, the Morgan's Harbour Hotel and Marina, which was first the home of plundering pirates such as Black Beard and Sir Henry Morgan (after whom the hotel is named). There has been a plan to recreate the old city, with a focus on a 17th century-themed attraction that reflects the city's heritage. Here's hoping it comes to fruition.
Global A-listers like Ivana Trump, ex-wife of business mogul Donald Trump; British paparazzi magnet Nancy Dell'Olio; singer Mica Paris; Prussian Prince Frederick Alexander Von Preussen; and construction heir and film producer Hamish McAlpine have given Hanover Grange two thumbs up after experiencing its magnificence. Home of art enthusiast Theresa Roberts and her private equity attorney-at-law husband Andrew Roberts, Hanover Grange was built with Theresa's two passions in mind: her love for Jamaica and her love for the arts. The house showcases classic Jamaican art from icons like Barrington Watson and Albert Huie, as well as contemporary pieces from Monique Lofters and Kristina Rowe. On entering, one is stunned by the jaw-dropping Schonbek black crystal chandeliers. Other features include the infinity pool, and Hanover Grange- embroidered Ralph Lauren linen.
Rose Hall Great House
Rose Hall Great House was once the home of the tryrannical Annie Palmer. Feared by slaves for her merciless rule and penchant for black magic, Palmer was infamously referred to as The White Witch of Rose Hall. The plantation's most impressive building, by far, is the Great House, built in 1770 by George Ash for John Palmer, Custos of St Thomas and his wife Rosa. The Great House, whose architecture is Georgian was built of cut stone on the first two levels and stucco on the third and uppermost levels. To this day, it is said that lucky visitors to the house have glimpsed Palmer's spirit wandering the halls. Today, the old sugar estate on which the Great House sits, is home to several modern buildings, namely the Half Moon, Iberostar, Rose Hall and Ritz-Carlton resorts, as well as world-famous golf courses like White Witch, Cinnamon Hill and Half Moon.