Your Winter Escape Roundup: waar te verblijven dit seizoen in Jamaica, de Bahama's en Miami

Your Winter Escape Roundup: waar te verblijven dit seizoen in Jamaica, de Bahama's en Miami

november 3, 2019 0 Door admin

Translating…

Serenity personified, courtesy of Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

FOR CLASSIC CARIBBEAN VIBES: JAMAICA INN

Given their bottom lines, most Caribbean hotels work hard to get you to stay on property. Jamaica Inn, though, works hard to get you off. That’s because the storied 48-suite, 4-villa boutique hotel in Ocho Rios—which dates back to the 1940s and has over the years welcomed everyone from Winston Churchill and Errol Flynn to TS Eliott and Marilyn Monroe—is deeply committed to something all properties ought to put above all: community. 

Local excursions are thus part and parcel of your blissful stay. There’s a private boat ride to breathtaking Dunn’s River Falls, and rafting on the Martha Brae River in Trelawney. Guests can visit the local farmer’s market with Jamaican Inn’s executive chef, then return to property for a cooking demonstration. Dinner reservations can be made at local gem Miss T’s Kitchen, which has just opened a new wine bar and serves up the best curried lobster in all of Jamaica (yes, I said it!). A must-do is the lovely boat ride to Jamaica Inn’s thriving fish sanctuary: Via the Jamaican Inn Foundation, which also supports local schools and a women’s center, this sanctuary has brought stretches of vibrant reef back to life single-handedly.

Of course, it’s also easy to simply stay put and bask in all the on-property joys. The stunningly manicured 8-acre resort sits on a 700-foot private beach that will carry you to otherworldly levels of R&R. All rooms have private balustraded balconies or large verandahs overlooking the water—as if designed to promote reading and contemplation. A live band performs at the restaurant every night, and menus feature all things local: ackee and saltfish for breakfast, Jamaican patties for lunch, curried goat or fresh snapper for dinner. Take a “Spice and Fruit Tour” of the gardens with the ever-knowledagble Mr. Henry; get schooled in “Rumology” at Teddy’s Beach Bar with the vivacious bartender Jevvon; enjoy a new CBD oil massage treatment in a cabana hanging over the sea at the divine Ocean Spa. It all adds up to Jamaica exactly as you want to experience it. Jamaicainn.com

LOCAL TIP Have Jamaica Inn book your trip to Stush in the Bush, a farm-to-table dining experience at ZionItes, a 15-acre certified organic farm in the hills of St. Ann. It’s the irieital Jamaica that few get to see—and taste. Stushinthebush.com 

FOR FOODIES: GRAND HYATT BAHA MAR

Full disclosure: I am not a big hotel kind of girl. “Boutique” might as well be my middle name. So even though I don’t have to be asked twice to hop over to wonderful Nassau, Bahamas—especially given its need for tourism support in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama but left the other islands mostly unscathed—I was daunted by a stay at Baha Mar: a colossal development that’s home to three hotels and one more in the making, the largest casino in the Caribbean, six swimming pools, a Jack Nicklaus signature 18-hole golf course and more. 

But once I settled into my divine room in the sky at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, I found myself appreciating the quite special aspects of the complex: a swimming pool with massive glass windows showcasing the turtles, sharks and sting rays at the neighboring wildlife sanctuary; a pink flamingo mini-farm; a palatial 30,000-square-foot ESPA spa; a vibrant community arts center. 

Then I began eating. And eating. And eating some more. And this brought me to a dramatic conclusion: Baha Mar is the Disneyland of food, boasting some of the best food I have ever eaten in a big-hotel setting.

By day I feasted at the charming airstream trucks set up on the beach and offering a dazzling array of yumminess: Umami burgers, Mexican delights, authentic barbeque, well-dressed hot dogs, a range of sliders, custom daqueries. Evening came with anxiety: Did I want to go to Greece, Japan or China? I reveled in all three: the feted Katsuya served up truffle ponzu ceviche, lobster dynamite, and miso glazed black cod; Shuang Ba was a journey through the regional cuisines of China, from Peking duck salad, lobster soup and cherry fois gras to chili boiled beef and conch dumplings (a great local touch); Cleo Mediterráneo perfected seafood paella, moussakah, kebabs, curried calamari and a rack of lamb that still makes me salivate. Nights were spent enjoying the music at rooftop hangout Skybar, or sipping Appleton 12 years rum at the classy T² Cigar Lounge, partly owned by Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake (just for kicks, order a “Sexy Back,” made from patron, raspberry and strawberry). And for a midnight snack there were lamb kofta meat balls, crab cakes, and kobe beef sliders at Jazz Bar, featuring live performances most nights.

By the end of my stay I still hadn’t sampled everything—but I did plan an eating agenda for my inevitable return: sample Stix Noodle Bar, where chefs hand pull traditional Chinese noodles; taste osso bucco and asparagus with burrata at Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz; try the antojitos (“little cravings”) and mezcals at Costa;  order grilled oysters and Nassau grouper at 3 Tides Fish House; devour a steak at Carna by Dario Cecchini. Then, most importantly: go to the gym. Hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/thebahamas/grand-hyatt-baha-mar/nasgh

LOCAL TIP There is one very, very vital Bahamian dish that you cannot get at Baha Mar—a dish it should be criminal to leave Nassau without eating: fresh conch salad. Get it, along with great local vibes, at Stingray Point Native Food & Pub, located on the strip of famous, music-filled conch shacks under the bridge to Paradise Island.

FOR PARTY-LOVERS: THE MONDRIAN SOUTH BEACH 

You came to Miami Beach to party. Of course you did—so did everyone else. Make that mission easy by checking into the Mondrian South Beach: a feted 218-room hotel that’s also ground zero for all things revelry. Set on a lovely stretch of waterfront along Biscayne Bay and boasting funky, Instagram-friendly décor by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, the hotel has a sprawling pool area that beckons for swimming, yes, but so much more: people watching, sipping bubbly, lounging on the comfy day beds while admiring the unofficial bikini fashion show unfolding around you, snacking on sushi and sliders, sipping more bubbly and jumping in the pool to sober up.At the Sundance Pool Series every Saturday and Sunday there’s a DJ and Rosé specials, turning up the see-and-be-seen factor by many a notch.

The indoor-outdoor Mondrian Caffe is also quite the South Beach scene, especially during happy hour—and especially on Fridays, home to Sunset Fridays. Order up coconut rum-based concoctions like the Sunset Breeze, with fresh lime juice and watermelon, and pair it with specially priced Cuban sliders, tangerine charred octopus and beef empanadas. Extend Saturday night’s festivities into Sunday at the Caffe’s all-you-can-eat buffet, which boasts an intense spread of sushi, BBQ selections, omelets, salads, and make-your-own parfaits. There’s a complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary included, but you’re in South Beach, after all, so go for the bottomless Mimosas or the “Grey Goose Experience” (at surprisingly affordable prices). 

For all that partying you’ll need two things: fashion and a hangover strategy. The Mondrian has got you covered. Thanks to their partnership with Lady Jetset, a white-glove concierge fashion rental service, a different designer outfit can land in your room daily. As for that hangover, nothing tackles it like a spa treatment, making the hotel’s modish GUYandGIRL Spa a must-visit. Try their deep sleep “dream-inducing treatment,” which uses guided breathing meditation, lavender balms and an acupressure point sequence to give you the rest you’re not getting in Miami, night after joyful night. Morganshotelgroup.com

LOCAL TIP Bodega Taqueria Y Tequila boasts some seriously delicious tacos (try the barbacoa and the  camaron al coco, with coconut shrimp), an excellent tequila and mescal collection and a cool, warehouse-style back room that’s the perfect place to get your night started (Bodegasouthbeach.com). If you’re traveling in October, be sure to partake in the Caribbean-themed fetes during Miami Carnival weekend, which gets more robust by the year; any party by Jay Upscale Promotions (Instagram.com/jayupscale/?hl=en) or Scorch (Thescorch.com) is sure to be a winner.

“>

Serenity personified, courtesy of Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

FOR CLASSIC CARIBBEAN VIBES: JAMAICA INN

Given their bottom lines, most Caribbean hotels work hard to get you to stay on property. Jamaica Inn, though, works hard to get you off. That’s because the storied 48-suite, 4-villa boutique hotel in Ocho Rios—which dates back to the 1940s and has over the years welcomed everyone from Winston Churchill and Errol Flynn to TS Eliott and Marilyn Monroe—is deeply committed to something all properties ought to put above all: community. 

Local excursions are thus part and parcel of your blissful stay. There’s a private boat ride to breathtaking Dunn’s River Falls, and rafting on the Martha Brae River in Trelawney. Guests can visit the local farmer’s market with Jamaican Inn’s executive chef, then return to property for a cooking demonstration. Dinner reservations can be made at local gem Miss T’s Kitchen, which has just opened a new wine bar and serves up the best curried lobster in all of Jamaica (yes, I said it!). A must-do is the lovely boat ride to Jamaica Inn’s thriving fish sanctuary: Via the Jamaican Inn Foundation, which also supports local schools and a women’s center, this sanctuary has brought stretches of vibrant reef back to life single-handedly.

Perfect living at Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn Cottage

© Nigel Lord 2016

Of course, it’s also easy to simply stay put and bask in all the on-property joys. The stunningly manicured 8-acre resort sits on a 700-foot private beach that will carry you to otherworldly levels of R&R. All rooms have private balustraded balconies or large verandahs overlooking the water—as if designed to promote reading and contemplation. A live band performs at the restaurant every night, and menus feature all things local: ackee and saltfish for breakfast, Jamaican patties for lunch, curried goat or fresh snapper for dinner. Take a “Spice and Fruit Tour” of the gardens with the ever-knowledagble Mr. Henry; get schooled in “Rumology” at Teddy’s Beach Bar with the vivacious bartender Jevvon; enjoy a new CBD oil massage treatment in a cabana hanging over the sea at the divine Ocean Spa. It all adds up to Jamaica exactly as you want to experience it. Jamaicainn.com

LOCAL TIP Have Jamaica Inn book your trip to Stush in the Bush, a farm-to-table dining experience at ZionItes, a 15-acre certified organic farm in the hills of St. Ann. It’s the irieital Jamaica that few get to see—and taste. Stushinthebush.com 

FOR FOODIES: GRAND HYATT BAHA MAR

Sharks, sting rays and turtles from the pool!

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Grotto

www.tbfoto.com.br

Full disclosure: I am not a big hotel kind of girl. “Boutique” might as well be my middle name. So even though I don’t have to be asked twice to hop over to wonderful Nassau, Bahamas—especially given its need for tourism support in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama but left the other islands mostly unscathed—I was daunted by a stay at Baha Mar: a colossal development that’s home to three hotels and one more in the making, the largest casino in the Caribbean, six swimming pools, a Jack Nicklaus signature 18-hole golf course and more. 

But once I settled into my divine room in the sky at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, I found myself appreciating the quite special aspects of the complex: a swimming pool with massive glass windows showcasing the turtles, sharks and sting rays at the neighboring wildlife sanctuary; a pink flamingo mini-farm; a palatial 30,000-square-foot ESPA spa; a vibrant community arts center. 

Then I began eating. And eating. And eating some more. And this brought me to a dramatic conclusion: Baha Mar is the Disneyland of food, boasting some of the best food I have ever eaten in a big-hotel setting.

Flamingos on the beach at Baha Mar

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Corina Ferguson

By day I feasted at the charming airstream trucks set up on the beach and offering a dazzling array of yumminess: Umami burgers, Mexican delights, authentic barbeque, well-dressed hot dogs, a range of sliders, custom daqueries. Evening came with anxiety: Did I want to go to Greece, Japan or China? I reveled in all three: the feted Katsuya served up truffle ponzu ceviche, lobster dynamite, and miso glazed black cod; Shuang Ba was a journey through the regional cuisines of China, from Peking duck salad, lobster soup and cherry fois gras to chili boiled beef and conch dumplings (a great local touch); Cleo Mediterráneo perfected seafood paella, moussakah, kebabs, curried calamari and a rack of lamb that still makes me salivate. Nights were spent enjoying the music at rooftop hangout Skybar, or sipping Appleton 12 years rum at the classy T² Cigar Lounge, partly owned by Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake (just for kicks, order a “Sexy Back,” made from patron, raspberry and strawberry). And for a midnight snack there were lamb kofta meat balls, crab cakes, and kobe beef sliders at Jazz Bar, featuring live performances most nights.

By the end of my stay I still hadn’t sampled everything—but I did plan an eating agenda for my inevitable return: sample Stix Noodle Bar, where chefs hand pull traditional Chinese noodles; taste osso bucco and asparagus with burrata at Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz; try the antojitos (“little cravings”) and mezcals at Costa;  order grilled oysters and Nassau grouper at 3 Tides Fish House; devour a steak at Carna by Dario Cecchini. Then, most importantly: go to the gym. Hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/thebahamas/grand-hyatt-baha-mar/nasgh

LOCAL TIP There is one very, very vital Bahamian dish that you cannot get at Baha Mar—a dish it should be criminal to leave Nassau without eating: fresh conch salad. Get it, along with great local vibes, at Stingray Point Native Food & Pub, located on the strip of famous, music-filled conch shacks under the bridge to Paradise Island.

FOR PARTY-LOVERS: THE MONDRIAN SOUTH BEACH 

Ground Zero for all things revelry at The Mondrian

Pool at The Mondrian South Beach

Harrison Boyce

You came to Miami Beach to party. Of course you did—so did everyone else. Make that mission easy by checking into the Mondrian South Beach: a feted 218-room hotel that’s also ground zero for all things revelry. Set on a lovely stretch of waterfront along Biscayne Bay and boasting funky, Instagram-friendly décor by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, the hotel has a sprawling pool area that beckons for swimming, yes, but so much more: people watching, sipping bubbly, lounging on the comfy day beds while admiring the unofficial bikini fashion show unfolding around you, snacking on sushi and sliders, sipping more bubbly and jumping in the pool to sober up.At the Sundance Pool Series every Saturday and Sunday there’s a DJ and Rosé specials, turning up the see-and-be-seen factor by many a notch.

The indoor-outdoor Mondrian Caffe is also quite the South Beach scene, especially during happy hour—and especially on Fridays, home to Sunset Fridays. Order up coconut rum-based concoctions like the Sunset Breeze, with fresh lime juice and watermelon, and pair it with specially priced Cuban sliders, tangerine charred octopus and beef empanadas. Extend Saturday night’s festivities into Sunday at the Caffe’s all-you-can-eat buffet, which boasts an intense spread of sushi, BBQ selections, omelets, salads, and make-your-own parfaits. There’s a complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary included, but you’re in South Beach, after all, so go for the bottomless Mimosas or the “Grey Goose Experience” (at surprisingly affordable prices). 

Magic hour at the Mondrian

Sunset at The Mondrian South Beach

Harrison Boyce

For all that partying you’ll need two things: fashion and a hangover strategy. The Mondrian has got you covered. Thanks to their partnership with Lady Jetset, a white-glove concierge fashion rental service, a different designer outfit can land in your room daily. As for that hangover, nothing tackles it like a spa treatment, making the hotel’s modish GUYandGIRL Spa a must-visit. Try their deep sleep “dream-inducing treatment,” which uses guided breathing meditation, lavender balms and an acupressure point sequence to give you the rest you’re not getting in Miami, night after joyful night. Morganshotelgroup.com

LOCAL TIP Bodega Taqueria Y Tequila boasts some seriously delicious tacos (try the barbacoa and the  camaron al coco, with coconut shrimp), an excellent tequila and mescal collection and a cool, warehouse-style back room that’s the perfect place to get your night started (Bodegasouthbeach.com). If you’re traveling in October, be sure to partake in the Caribbean-themed fetes during Miami Carnival weekend, which gets more robust by the year; any party by Jay Upscale Promotions (Instagram.com/jayupscale/?hl=en) or Scorch (Thescorch.com) is sure to be a winner.

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