Tips from 35,000 Feet: Montego Bay

By: Katie Manning

January 11, 2013

Whenever we touch down in Montego Bay we’re always excited to get checked in at one of the 80 tree-house style cabins at Sunset at The Palms, one of the most unique places to stay in Jamaica. We not only get a birds-eye view of the surrounding landscape from balconies carefully crafted from wood, tile, stone and rattan, but the resort is only a 5-minute walk from two miles of white, sandy beach. We recommend asking long-serving staff member Sharty to walk you around some of the 10 acres of landscaped tropical gardens – he’s an expert in Jamaican botanicals and can identify every bloom and shrub. We also love their onsite spa and always smell good enough to eat on leaving!

Sunset at The Palms | Montego Bay
Terrace room at Sunset at The Palms © Sunset at The Palms

If delicious Caribbean seafood and an absurd selection of potent margaritas are on your checklist for a meal in Montego Bay, then we can highly recommend paying a visit to Marguerite’s Seafood By The Sea. Just a brief look over its past clientele (Tiger Woods, Ralph Lauren, Spike Lee and Uma Thurman to name but a few) is enough to know that there’s something special about this place – we keep coming back for their lobster and fillet steak, not to mention their numerous pasta dishes. We also always try and get a table on the romantic seaside for the perfect soundtrack to our exquisite meal.

Soothe Spa | Montego Bay

Relaxing at Soothe Spa Montego Bay © Soothe Spa

If by some odd turn of events, we’re ever feeing in need of relaxation in Jamaica, or if we’ve simply become addicted to the laid back vibe of the island, we head to the oh-so luxurious Soothe Spa  – nestled between the verdant mountains and warm Caribbean waters. We love that it honours the proud botanical legacy of the natural Jamaican terrain with unhurried massages using indigenous berries, fruits, plants, herbs, seawater and marine salts. It’s almost a cultural experience really!

Day O Plantation | Montego Bay
Poolside dinner and drinks at Day-O Plantation © Day-O Plantation 

Montego Bay has a whole host of established nightlife spots, but one of our favourites is the Day-O Plantation. Being set upon a hillside, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, this is the perfect place to enjoy superb cocktails and nibbles on a poolside patio – a world away from the bustle of Montego Bay below. We love their regular entertainment nights that feature acts such as steel pan drummers, limbo and fire dancers as well as performances from one of the hosts, Paul!

Take our advice and be careful when you order rum in Jamaica. Its Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum is the world’s biggest-selling high strength rum. Not only does it account for more than 90% of all rum sold in its homeland, but it also has a potency of over 60%!

Have you visited Montego Bay? Where do you like to go when you’re in town?

Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places