Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Photo by Kerri Allen
All-Inclusive is IrieI'd had my concerns about Montego Bay. It had always seemed tourist-tread and dreadfully expected. That, and anything too close to my Brooklyn perch often lacks a sense of real adventure.
But I needed a break and something easy, and MoBay offered that. I was willing to turn my mind off and give into some pampering. Could I go in for an all-inclusive? Would it be, as the Jamaicans say, "irie" — all good — after all? It seemed worth a try.
I was surprised at the reasonable rates for the spacious rooms overlooking the blue bay at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall. A grand staircase from the hotel's entrance and a glass of bubbly greeted me from the humid air and I knew right away I'd made the right choice. Shoulders dropped from ears.
I was assigned an individual butler for the duration of my visit to help with any needs (like finding higher SPF sunblock--thank you!) and indulged in the culinary treats of Iberostar's Chef on Tour program. Mallorca's Chef Fernando Pérez Arellano of the Michelin-starred Zaranda was on hand while I was on the island, serving up a seven-course meal along the water.
The spa was a standout with its heated tile chairs, a waterfall in the pool and open windows to welcome in the Caribbean air. That, and a coffee cocktail (in a plastic glass, of course), upped the relaxation level while taking a soak.
I still pride myself on being an intrepid adventurer, but sometimes you have to give into some all-inclusive ease and be a regular ol' tourist. It's surprisingly irie.