Continued (page 3 of 5)
HALF MOON BAY
North Coast Highway
Though half a century old, this vast upscale resort is a pristine paradise. Facilities include tennis and squash courts, a golf course, stables, a mall, a spa, a gym, four restaurants, seven bars, two beaches, and 50-plus pools (most belonging to villas). In fact, the only thing Half Moon Bay lacks is local color.
ROUND HILL HOTEL AND VILLAS
Tel: 876-956-7050 or 800-972-2159
If you like Ralph Lauren's all-American style, this hotel should suit: Mr. Polo is one of the 29 villa owners who collectively run this swanky former sugar plantation. Take a suite in a villa, or an ocean-view room with A/C (deluxes were decorated by RL himself). Embrace the lifestyle during your stay: Frequent the Elemis spa, dress up for dinner, and drink G&Ts in the tropical-WASP lounge.
Make like 007 in Ian Fleming's three-bedroom cliff-top house or one of its four satellite villas. (The star property is the beachfront Royal Palm). The atmosphere, though suitably glamorous, is also decidedly laid-back. Take dinner in gardens where, as plaques prove, famous visitors have been planting trees for 50 years.
Light House Rd.
This posh hideaway comes with nine brightly colored wood, thatch, and stone rooms that evoke Marrakech's aristo-hippie glamour. A no-under-16 policy keeps the peace. A warren of eponymous caves includes a dining grotto and a hot-tub hideout (part of the Aveda spa). Not surprisingly, this resort is a mecca for honeymooning couples.
Tel: 876-965-3000 or 876-965-0635
This theatrical, organic-looking beach retreat has some fun with its funky, playful cottages. The mini Moroccan riads on the beach are the honeymoon stars. Jake's isn't about snappy service or bright, shiny accoutrements. Its charms are simpler and more of the Red Stripe, hammock, and sunset stroll variety.
ROCK HOUSE HOTEL
West End Rd.
On the far west tip of Jamaica is this hip collection of timber, stone, and thatch houselets perched upon the cliffs. Villas, with terraces and alfresco showers, are the stars of this property. There's a great on-site restaurant and bar, and yoga classes and a cliff-side spa cabana are also available.
RITZ-CARLTON GOLF AND SPA RESORT
1 Ritz-Carlton Dr.
A short drive from the airport, this 4,000-acre former sugar plantation has been converted into a 427-room megalith that is now outfitted with Austrian blinds, patterned rugs, crystal chandeliers, and mahogany furniture. Facilities include an 8,000-square-foot spa, four restaurants, a jerk pit, and a bar with 150 Caribbean rums, plus the famous White Witch golf course (green fees extra).