Port Antonio, Jamaica, offers stunning views through the fresh canopy to the ocean. Fireflies—or “peenie wallies,” as Jamaicans call them—pop up like sparks in the darkness, flashing here and there. You know you’ve arrived in paradise. It takes no imagination to see why the island was a hideaway for Hollywood’s elite, socialites and royalty.
The Trident Hotel
Talk about opulence. There are 13 romantic oceanfront villas furnished in midcentury modern style with original artwork, large one-bedroom suites with a terrace and plunge pool that looked into the ocean just a few feet away. Jazz buffs will enjoy Mike’s Supper Club, with its speakeasy-style lounge that boasts a 1917 Ferrari red Steinway baby grand. tridentportantonio.com
The tiers of small cascades tumbling over rocks about 10 meters up into a refreshing Jacuzzilike blue-green pond entice you to jump if you dare, or chill and feast on forested surroundings.
Frenchman’s Cove Beach
Soft white sand and crystal clear water create a welcoming combination of river and ocean. Swim among tiny fish or soak up the sun on the beach.
The former winter retreat of the English playwright, composer, actor and director Noel Coward and his crew, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Sophia Loren, offers a spectacular mountain view overlooking Port Maria. Visitors to the museum are taken back to another era, another world.
One of Port Antonio’s must-go, must-eat stops is Mille Fleurs, with its romantic dining on the verandah overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Blue Mountains. Expect a fusion of Caribbean flavors with a continental flair.
Once known as the “wickedest” place on Earth, a place noted in history for buccaneering, debauchery and trading, today Port Royal is a small, quiet fishing outpost with a population of about 2,000 and is undergoing a rebirth. Visitors like to explore its storied history, such as the Giddy House, a former weapons-storage room that remains tilted at a crazy angle from the an earthquake.
The Portland Jerk Festival is held every July. Feast on hot and spicy chicken, pork and lobster, as well as jerk vegetables and the all important sides—roasted breadfruit, festival and hard-dough bread. Wash it down with a Red Stripe beer! | visitjamaica.com/portland-jerk-festival.
Words: Collin Nash