The sun has just peaked overhead, and I’m dozing on the beach
pina colada to the left of me, extra towels to the right. I could
make an entire week of napping in different locations at the Royal
Plantation: hammocks, the chairs by the pool or on the pier even
under the lazy fan in my suite. It isn’t that I am particularly
tired, just particularly relaxed given the pampering since I walked
into the breezy hotel.
My flight arrived just after 6 a.m., and I found my driver
waiting with a smile and a cooler full of cold drinks for the
two-hour journey to the hotel. From the moment I stepped into the
lobby, I was immediately attended to cold grapefruit juice and
hotel keys were quickly presented.
Even as I was shown around my room, I noticed the attention to
detail the Royal Plantation provides. The staff slipped off their
shoes to walk softly around my room a custom Peter Fraser, the
general manager, picked up in the Philippines.
Fraser, who has a lengthy history in the hotel industry, has
created an attitude of casual luxury throughout the property. For
example, clients can select a pillow of their liking from a menu,
which includes Memory Foam, Water Filled, Buckwheat and Body
The same sort of attention to personal preference is mirrored in
the C-bar, the Champagne-and-caviar bar where clients can mix and
match chives, sour cream, eggs and more to concoct the perfect bite
of caviar, washed down with Champagne. And if guests catch the
bartender opening a bottle, they can watch him do it by sword.
Champagne aside, one of the best things about the Royal
Plantation is the food, and I recommend clients start at the Le
Papillon restaurant. Be sure to try the pumpkin soup the pumpkins
are grown on site.
Afternoon teatime on the terrace is another must. The Royal
Plantation puts a spin on the sometimes stuffy tradition, serving
up scones and crumpets to guests, often while still in their
The hotel also takes “flagging someone down” to a whole new
level. Even while sunning on the beach, all guests have to do is
wave a blue flag and the staff will come see what they need whether
it is a drink, more sunscreen or another towel.
Unlike the larger resorts that dot the island which boast
constant entertainment, loud disco music and a go-go attitude the
Royal Plantation aims to offer guests a quiet retreat. Clients can
take in the spa, wander the beaches and dawdle over breakfast
without seeing much of anyone unless they want to.
Not that there isn’t plenty to do here. Clients can play a game
on the giant Harry Potter-esque chess set or gawk at the resident
peacocks that strut the property, learn how to roll cigars or even
take a Jamaican cooking class. Scuba diving, snorkeling or kayaking
are also on the menu.
Those in the mood to wind down can book the Mocha-Chino
Experience at the resort’s Red Lane Spa. Tension will melt after a
coffee scrub followed by a warm coffee wrap and milk bath, capped
off with a chocolate massage.
If your clients feel like seeing more of Jamaica, the concierge
can book them on a canopy tour, an outing to the nearby duty-free
shops or a hike through waterfalls.
And should your clients become especially enamored of the island
and the hotel, they have a stand-alone bungalow complete with
private pool, butler and hammocks perfect for a destination
The Royal Plantation
Commission: 10 percent, plus
10 percent on spa treatments booked at the Red Lane Spa
prior to arrival.