The Royal Treatment

Royal Plantation offers clients casual luxury

By: Bryce Longton

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 Cushion.

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 bathing suits.

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 wedding.


The Royal Plantation

Commission: 10 percent, plus
10 percent on spa treatments booked at the Red Lane Spa
prior to arrival.