Arrival in Jamaica
Upon arrival at the Jamaica Inn, we were greeted and brought complimentary drinks to our room. The strong Rum Punch was the BOMB, and definitely put us in the right mood for our trip. We immediately threw on our bathing suits and headed straight down to the beach. Which, by the way, all the rooms face the water, and are all a few steps away from the beautiful clear blue ocean.
The people are knowledgeable and very kind, though I will say that sometimes they are afraid to say "no" when you ask particular questions - even though it's more disappointing to find out the real question later. For example, we knew that you had to dress up for dinner, however when we asked if this rule applied to the bar, they said "don't worry - come as you are." We were very upset when we got to the bar in our beach coverups and were told that we were not dressed properly.
Other than that experience, I will say this about Ocho Rios - the people here live off of the tourists, and as such are very nice and giving (most of the times in hopes of an extra tip.)
THAT SAID, be careful. If you wander out of the designated "tourist trap" it can be a bit overwhelming for most Americans, as many of the people are poor, and as a woman, the men can be VERY aggressive. We dined at a roadside eatery that was definitely not set up for tourists. The food was excellent, but we were followed by some questionable characters.
We found a very reliable taxi driver by literally just wandering down the street. I think the custom here is to follow patrons around for the day. We had NO IDEA - and were a little put off as he went into the store with us, ate at a nearby table from us, and was always "there" when we were ready to leave. It's a nice service, but coming from the States, it can at first seem like a set up for disaster. He was nice, and was extremely helpful - especially when it came to warding off locals looking to take advantage of us "yanks." In the end, he gave us his number and promised to pick us up in the morning to take us anywhere we needed to go.
I have to say - Jamaica Inn is pure paradise. Our room is immaculate. We watch the sun set every night. It's only $5 to have your food delivered to your room. WELL WORTH IT, because the experience is priceless!!! We contiue to be amazed at the peace, serenity, and relaxing spirit that is this hotel. If you decide to stay here - remember that this is DEFINITELY NOT a place for partiers or kids. The whole point of the Jamaica Inn exprerience is relaxation. It's very quiet, and so far, we have loved every minute of it.
The rest of this week is Dunn's River falls, ATV riding, and Black River. I will update with more info then.....