• Wednesday, November 25, 2020

countries open to americans

Jamaica Mon - Spreading One Love to Americans
September 16, 2020
By , Founder

Jamaica — the land of One Love — is spreading that love by welcoming Americans. You know, if white sand beaches, turquoise waters, best lobster in the Caribbean and a chance to really unplug are your thing. And the fan-favorite lodging — and by fan we mean everyone from billionaire Steve Schwarzman to Meghan and Harry to Ralph Lauren to Adele — is this hotel, which is one of the most iconic in the Caribbean.  Welcome to Round Hill. 

Good for:  Families, friends, solo travelers and special events.  The bigger the better, as this place is made for a grand party.  

Suggested stay:  At least 3 days for a quick getaway, or stay a week to really unplug.

The Highlights:  

·      The service.  When you hit a certain level of wealth, you can stay anywhere you want. What distinguishes a place isn’t the room or the bedding, but it is how people make you feel.  In a land known for laid-back, the team at Round Hill strikes that perfect balance between genuine Jamaican warmth and white glove service.  They go above and beyond and you can see that their whole purpose is to ensure you’re having a good time.  There’s a reason Ralph Lauren returns with his family every year and his daughter even named two of her kids after the staff at the hotel.  

·      The beach.  There’s not much to say, except it’s a stunner of private soft white sands and when the sun hits the water in the right way, beautiful blue turquoise.  The beach is relatively calm and shallow pretty far out, so you can even do your own snorkel excursion without taking a boat.  This is a great spot for your kids to learn to swim in the ocean.  

·      The grounds.  There are few resorts that you wake up at in the Caribbean, where immediately you have a view.  That’s Round Hill, where the moment you look out your hotel room, or if you’re in a villa, you venture out of your bedroom, you’re greeted by a visual of the Caribbean or the stunning villas surrounding you, that are a surreal scene out of a painting. The tennis program, spa, gorgeous gym and winding paths for a long walk can be enough entertainment for a full weekend, without ever going off campus.   

·      The scene.  In its full glory, Round Hill is a gathering of interesting, elegant people who have really made it in life.  It’s one of the few places in the Caribbean where New Years can be a black tie affair, royalty will drop in for a friend’s wedding (Harry and Meghan) and there’s a formality yet casual, down-to-earth vibe.  It’s a community at Round Hill, which is why people return year after year. 

We had heard of Round Hill, of course, prior to visiting, but didn’t get it until we went there in person, and experienced it ourselves.  For full disclosure, our visit was the second day the hotel was reopened after this COVID business, and they had their game on.  Unlike most hotels who are hands-off completely when it comes to entry requirements for traveling during this time, the Round Hill team even has the application and updates on their website.  If you’re traveling right now, they could not be more accommodating and more in tune with what’s going on in the outside world, so that while you’re within the resort, it’s a bubble.  A beautiful, relaxing bubble, that is.  

This is a place you come and likely never really leave, unless you venture for a few notable dinners out to the Lobster Trapp, House Boat and Marguerites in town.  There’s a reason why Ralph Lauren has been quoted saying this is one of the few places in the world he can actually unplug.  

What to know:  If you’re going to rent a villa, the nicest are 16, where Prince Harry stayed, and Villa 20.  They are like hotels unto themselves.  Otherwise ask for lots of photos of the villas so you align with the right style for you.  Hotel rooms are bright, white and cheery designed by Ralph Lauren and a walk out the front door to the beach.  The spa and gym are a must on your visit; the stroll along the water to get there is enough to put you in a zen state of mind.