Jamaica Alive! (Hunter Travel Guides)


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Downstairs, the Georgian splendor of the Grade II listed building is brought to life; many of the 18th-century details, like floral moldings and original chandeliers, are still present. Come midnight, the piano begins to tinkle, and an ebullient crowd belts out familiar show tunes. A butler is assigned to each guest; waiters effortlessly remember orders from the day before.

The 39 rooms — designed by Jacques Garcia — have stone fireplaces, hand-embroidered headboards, and baby-eiderdown duvets. Go for a dip in the outdoor pool, stroll the landscaped gardens, or grab a bite in the lively restaurant, which is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal. The chandeliers, sconces, door handles, decanters, and carafes are more exquisite than those typically found at other five-star hotels. No surprise, really, given that this working Bordeaux wine estate is owned by the year-old French luxury glass and crystal maker Maison Lalique.

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Four years of restorations went into the 18th-century compound, whose glamorous interiors glass-inlaid oak desks, glittering chandeliers, and Deco-inspired furnishings bring a touch of urbane luxury to the pastoral region. Le Barn , an easy half-hour by train from Paris in the forest of Rambouillet, forgoes the airs of Lord and Lady So-and-So and invites you play in the stables.

Equestrianism is first among them, as Le Barn lodges a neighboring horse school. An on-site restaurant nails comfort classics made with high-quality ingredients: potato and cottage cheese fritters, poule au pot, grilled squid and chorizo, a gorgeous steak frites. Tear yourself away for Mediterranean-inspired small plates and a glass of Syrah at the bustling ground-floor restaurant , where an open kitchen and communal seating encourage guests to practice their French with the mostly local clientele.

As a Starck production, Brach is full of unexpected surprises, from the custom scents in each of the public spaces to the foot subterranean swimming pool, fitted with over-water trapeze bars and gymnastic rings for aqua aerobics and amateur acrobat sessions. The result is the epitome of understated luxury, with original stained-glass windows and Art Deco chandeliers tempered by sleek mirrored surfaces and custom-built furniture in dark blues and caramel. A new interior courtyard suffuses the common areas with light, while the all-marble subterranean spa — home to a hammam, a sauna, and a foot indoor pool — is an oasis of calm in the busy St.

Hotel St. George is a breath of fresh air in a city dominated by clean-lined Scandinavian-style architecture. Adjara Group, the hospitality team behind the hugely successful Rooms hotel and Fabrika hostel, are single handedly making Tblisi, Georgia, one of the coolest cities on the globe. This past spring they opened the Stamba , their most glamorous property to date. Located in a former printing house, at its industrial Brutalist center is an ambitious weeping fig tree that grows up through two of its five floors.

Guests can view its branches as they swim in the glass-bottomed rooftop pool. Vintage tiles, green-leather banquettes, and potted plants give the restaurant the feel of a lush courtyard in Cuba, and its open kitchen sends out addictive comfort food, both local order a khachapuri and international. The Art Deco-meets-industrial glamour of the public spaces continues in the spacious guest rooms, each with a unique design but many with deep brass soaking tubs, Soviet-era pendant chandeliers, oversized windows, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. At this whitewashed retreat, perched above Agio Ioannis beach, each of the 32 rooms feature private plunge pools and unimpeded sea views.

If you venture out of your room, you can relax at one of the two infinity pools or sundecks. Pro tip: Opt for the pool at the top of the hotel which was blissfully empty our entire stay but still staffed for any cocktails and snack requests. The third Santorini property from husband-and-wife hoteliers Antonis Eliopoulos and Kalia Konstantinidou, this suite retreat had a former life as a three-story Cycladic mansion — the domain of an eccentric Greek socialite with a passion for horses.

Elements of the original estate can still be found throughout; the ground-floor stables have been converted into guest rooms, each with its own private patio and plunge pool or hot tub, and the interiors have been modernized with bespoke furniture, mosaic floors of locally made tile, handcrafted textiles, and Aegean accents.

The sleek, clean-lined building rises above moss-covered lava fields and surreal milky blue water. By the check-in desk, a window perfectly frames dramatic clouds that rise from the ground, while outside, guests wade in a private section of the geothermal lagoon.

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Floor-to-ceiling windows and a neutral color scheme in the 62 suites emphasize the views outside, while an elaborate tasting menu at the fine dining restaurant Moss showcases Icelandic cuisine. But the real reason to go is for the 4, square-foot spa, where guests nourish mind and body with a series of scrubs made with exfoliating silica, collagen-rich algae, and minerals. It might be the only place the world where you can get a massage while floating in geothermal waters. Architect Fabrizia Scassellati renovated with care, sourcing fabrics and furnishings from local artisans, and preserving original details that lend the rooms a sense of place.

Modern additions — a pint-sized elevator, automated check-in system, colorful tiled baths — are balanced by original wood-beam ceilings, terracotta floors and a central staircase of pietra serena , a Tuscan sandstone typical of Renaissance-era Florentine palazzi. Rooms are filled with books and antique furniture, fires crackle in the 16th-century fireplaces, the long-abandoned garden blooms with hydrangea, and every nook has a story to tell.

All you have to do is listen. Built in by Gabriele Bozzi Corso and passed between aristocratic families over the centuries, the hotel is the latest from brother-and-sister hoteliers Antonia and Enzo Fiermonte. The marble and ironwork staircases transport guests to another time — and to the stylish bar, where they can grab a cocktail and enjoy aperitivo hour in the courtyard. Their grandmother whose brother was boxer-turned-Hollywood star Enzo Fiermonte, a. Lake Como has no shortage of world-class hotels — but strangely, until recently, none were located in Como itself, an ancient walled city built by Julius Caesar.

The four-story, pink stucco property, which formerly housed a bank and offices for architects and dentists imagine climbing a spiral staircase made of marble for a teeth cleaning!

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When it opened in , the hotel quickly gained a reputation as an oasis for artists and creative types — and Raffles honors this tradition with nearly works from Polish artists, making the new Europejski a destination in itself. The wine is just as fastidiously produced: the vineyards are tilled by horses, and port is made only when conditions are ideal. When art dealer Iwan and Manuela Wirth took over the Fife Arms about four years ago, the Scottish hotel had a storied past — but its future was looking a little grim.

Built in the village of Braemar in the s to capitalize on the newfound popularity of the Highlands as a tourist destination thanks to Queen Victoria, an influencer if ever there was one , this formerly grand property had not aged well think: awkwardly carved-up public spaces and a leaky roof. However, in the hands of the Wirths, the Fife Arms has become a place you may never want to leave.

In lieu of a concierge, a gamekeeper and a gillie, or hunting attendant, are at your service. At Tahini , the on-site restaurant specializing in Japanese haute cuisine, the artfully prepared sushi is best enjoyed in the palm-strewn interior courtyard. The views over old town from the rooftop splash pool, the cozy, cave-like spa, and the in-house cinema — where guests choose the film — make this the type of place you want to spend time in, packed itineraries aside.

The art is one-of-a-kind, too, with works from fledgling locals and international superstars, all curated by the cofounder of Stockholm Fashion Week. For a nightcap, try Papillon, an intimate, mahogany-paneled bar off the lobby serving old-school vibes and stellar cocktails. For those who find the ski resorts of Courchevel and St.

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Moritz too blingy, there is Verbier. For all the cosmopolitan coolness, you never forget where you are. Andrew parish and stay the night at a small camp halfway to the peak. The next morning, they rise well before dawn to make the last push to the top for a brilliant Jamaican sunrise as well as a feeling of accomplishment. The trail is clear enough, though portions are not maintained as well as they could be.

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Solid boots, trekking poles, and rain gear are advised; the weather is known to change frequently. After climbing the Blue Mountain, coffee and adrenaline junkies may thrill themselves further with a high-speed cycling tour around the coffee plantations of St. Group tours are available, or rent bikes and wander the hills solo.

Either way, visitors will capture the beauty of these rugged mountains, feel the cool mountain air, and hopefully taste some fresh brew along the way! The Lagoon is the meeting point of the Caribbean Sea and the Martha Brae River, and at night these waters come alive with self-illuminating micro-planktons in the water. As the boat plies away from the dock to the middle of the shallow lagoon, the wake water suddenly glows a brilliant blue from the disturbance in the water only to fade as soon as the movement ends.

Once in the middle of the lagoon, the curious can jump from the boat into the water and float on the surface, covered with tiny glowing water droplets every time the body shifts in the water. Glistening Waters is one of only four places on Earth exactly like this and the only one of those four where the natural light show can be experienced every day of the year, regardless of temperature, season, or weather. Caving in Cockpit Country is a thrill for adrenaline junkies in Jamaica. Perhaps the most remote, isolated, and extreme part of Jamaica is Cockpit Country, a sprawling reserve in central Jamaica where the bush is thick, and the trails are all but invisible.

Intrepid hikers can venture into Cockpit, though be forewarned, amenities are non-existent, and even the most seasoned navigators may get turned around quickly. To explore this fascinating wilderness, where locals believe spirits and superstitions reign, a local guide is required for both hiking and caving. Over caves exist within the Cockpit Country, but finding them is tricky, and access is never easy. Any exploration of the Cockpit Country will make the time spent in Jamaica rich with a diverse landscape and local culture and history.

By hiking these hills, visitors follow in the footsteps of the Maroons, escaped slaves who made the mountains their homes after fleeing from their sugar cane plantations. Owen is the GM here, talks to his guest everyday. We have a private cook at the pool everyday and 2 butlers that make everything happen. These are just a few of team that make this Jamaican spot the best I have ever seen. Grand lido this week holds the number one spot for trip advisor Jamaica.

Way to go my friends, I will return soon. Thanks for giving so much to my wife and I. Read more. Date of stay: September Trip type: Travelled as a couple. Helpful Share. Dear Kent D, Thank you for choosing Grand Lido Negril a second time for your recent vacation and taking the time to share your experience with us. We are pleased to view your comments highlighting our amazing resort, the hospitality of our hosts, especially those mentioned in your comments; they will be commended for their outstanding service. It was a pleasure hosting you and we look forward to welcoming you and your wife again for another incredible vacation experience.

Regards, Stefano Sturni General Manager. Shannon Birkenhead wrote a review Sep. Abbotsford, Canada 7 contributions 1 helpful vote. Does not disappoint. We were her in April and was not sure if Grand Lido could make it happen for us a second time. We were here for seven days in April and 10 days this time.

Love ,love ,love this place. Butlers Ricardo and Donavan are amazing. Samantha at the front desk and her amazing smile. My favorite bartender Shania and my friend Clive best chef ever. Love my entertainment ladies Natasha and Chantel. Thank you Kenardo for looking after my Jellyfish encounter. Love all the Grand Lido staff, you are all amazing. Special shout out to Owen the man that keeps the whole thing running.

Keep up the great work. This is why Grand Lido is number 1! Dear Dragonlady51, Thank you for choosing Grand Lido Negril for your recent vacation and taking the time to share your experience with us. We are thrilled to read your wonderful comments highlighting our excellent team members; everyone mentioned will definitely receive the recognition which they deserve. It was certainly a pleasure hosting you and we look forward to your return.

GGoblin53 wrote a review Sep.


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A Grand Grand Lido. As a relative newbie to an au natural resort experience and a very vanilla couple, our travel agent a shout out to Kelly recommended the Grand Lido in Negril, Jamaica as a new option to compare to the Couples San Souci where we vacationed 4 years ago. Grand Lido GL turned out to be way beyond our expectations. The one building sat on the end of a peninsula point between Bloody Bay and 7-mile Beach.

The Royalton begins were the old resort was located, with the GL situated on the previously uninhabited point where it provided endless views of the Caribbean. The facilities are relatively new and in like new condition. The rooms were spotless and maintained daily by a great staff. The suite was well appointed with lush towels and crisp clean sheets. Your favorite top shelf adult beverage was stocked to our request.

The tile showers were equipped with double rain shower heads and plenty of room for two If you liked spending time in your room, nothing was missing. The pools were not large but more than adequate for the intimate number of guests in the suite resort and included an infinity pool, a large hot tub and a separate swim-up pool and bar. All overlooked the Caribbean with stunning views. But most of all, she served us a beautiful smile, wit and impeccable service. The Reggae Grill at the pool, with Chef Madman, served lunch daily consisting of grilled jerk chicken, beef filet skewers, shrimp skewers, fresh fish, pork chops and lamb chops, all cooked to your order and temperature desired.

We loved the Jamaican side dishes, especially the Callaloo and mashed sweet potatoes. The fresh fish was the best. Speaking of food, we love Jamaican dishes and it was excellent throughout all 3 resorts. All the restaurants were great, even the Gourmet Marche International Buffet we only went twice and the room service.

The open-air Ocean Point Grill on the GL property was our favorite a shout out to Dex, the bartender, who could mix a perfect slightly dirty martini. The GL private guest dinner poolside was a special treat of lobster and filet, but you could eat lobster and filet everyday if desired. We also enjoyed a private romantic dinner on a point overlooking the Caribbean on our last night.


  1. The Earth and Sky of Jacques Dorme!
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  4. You will not go hungry! But what we enjoyed the most were the wonderful Jamaican people. The GL package comes with 2 personal butlers. Our thought was, "What on earth do we need a butler for? They supplied a pre-programmed cell phone that direct dialed them a push of a button to call them directly with any need you may have. They made our vacation experience easy and memorable. Each morning they would call to check on us and determine any needs we had, checking throughout the day, even setting priority dinner reservations at any restaurant in the entire resort complex.

    Once we allowed them to do their jobs, they became our vacation family. He even gave us a personal tour of the reefs around GL. The reef was in good condition, alive with sea life, 's of fish species, starfish, conchs, eels and sting rays. I am sure he was amused at the 2 crazy Americans with bare bottoms in the air snorkeling around the reef for hours. The nightly entertainment was good, most consisted of very athletic entertainers performing dance and music.

    The Michael Jackson impersonator was awesome with his looks and moves. We had heard a lot about the unusual people, lifestyle groups and open sexuality As it turns out, it was fetish night. The evening show was a cirque du solei type show that was erotic and sensual, but the side show of guests dressed up was equally entertaining. We looked like the preverbal "turd in a punch bowl" in our summer attire, a wee bit out of place. We also wandered down to the "nude" pool afterhours to see if the hype was true.

    Honestly, our expectations exceeded the reality, so we may have spice it up a little bit before returning to the GL! We will be back soon.

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    Jamaica Alive!  (Hunter Travel Guides) Jamaica Alive! (Hunter Travel Guides)
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    Jamaica Alive!  (Hunter Travel Guides) Jamaica Alive! (Hunter Travel Guides)
    Jamaica Alive!  (Hunter Travel Guides) Jamaica Alive! (Hunter Travel Guides)
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