*This was an unpaid press trip with Sandals.
Our first time in Jamaica…
I thought it was time to share a bit of wanderlust! January is such a depressing month so I purposely saved these photos to share when we all need a bit of sun and sand – even if it is just through a screen.
Back in September, Jord and I were lucky enough to be invited to beautiful Jamaica with Sandals, the luxury hotel group. It came at the perfect time; I was exhausted after filming the second series of Scotland’s Home Of The Year and Jordan was gearing up to play some shows with his old band. We knew we’d need a bit of downtime, and it was the perfect way to extend the summer a little longer.
For what it’s worth, neither of us had ever been on an all-inclusive holiday before! I think I just didn’t fancy committing to one resort – I like to explore and try different restaurants and get a feel for the country I’m visiting. That said, I shouldn’t have worried – our trip to Sandals packed in everything we could ever want, and we didn’t even leave the resort. There was just no reason to!
The trip of a lifetime…
We stayed at the Sandals South Coast resort, the dreamy beachfront location looks on to the sparkling Caribbean Sea and all rooms have a view of the water. It really did feel like the trip of a lifetime, we felt so lucky to experience it!
The resort had everything we could ever want and so much more – there are 9 restaurants, including the most incredible buffet breakfast AND lunch at the Bayside Restaurant, as well as a brilliant Japanese restaurant, Sushi On The Sand, which was definitely our favourite, an Italian restaurant (with an antipasti buffet!), and a place to stop for coffees, ice cream and crepes whenever you wanted!
It was the kind of trip where we could truly switch off, we always got up early for a sunrise walk along the beach (a-thank ya, jetlag!) and an early morning coffee from our favourite place. Then we’d usually head to the gym before a delicious buffet breakfast. The buffet was incredible, there was always a theme for both lunch and breakfast which meant endless options every day, and we were always offered a fresh mimosa as soon as we were seated. I really had to exercise some self-restraint!
After breakfast we’d sit around the pool, sometimes we took part in the water aerobics class which was so much fun. At first we thought we’d do it for a laugh to kill some time before it was acceptable to head to the swim-up bar for a cocktail, but it was actually super hard! I felt the burn!
There was a great range of activities to do too, we went kayaking out on the waters and swam in the sea, but mostly we played cards around the pool or read our books with a Piña Colada in hand. It was a really chilled trip for us, having arrived exhausted and in need of some serious downtime.
On the final day we each had a massage at the spa and it was the perfect way to end the trip, the spa is a little slice of paradise within the resort – we were so well looked after!
Oh, what I would give to be back there in that delicious Caribbean weather. It was actually rainy season while we were there at the end of September/start of October, but we had great weather – although when it did rain, it POURED. That was usually the hour when we’d head back to our room for an afternoon nap or go to the gym, so it never really interrupted our day – and the lightening storms were amazing to sit and watch from our balcony. I definitely wasn’t put off going during the down season, I’d say I preferred it.
In the evenings we’d head out for to one of the many, many bars at the resort – one of which was Latitudes, the over-water bar. We often went here at sunset for a margarita quite often and then walked back along the beach to dinner, stopping to get photos as we went.
After dinner we’d usually play table tennis or a game of giant Jenga, usually taking turns to go to the bar for another cocktail. We were like an old retired couple living our dream life.
Before our stay at Sandals South Coast, I wasn’t sold on all-inclusive – I like to have options, lots of options – but now we’re totally converts. I loved not carrying money around, never worrying about the bill or added costs, and having access to everything we needed – we never got bored of the restaurants, in fact I don’t think we even ended up being able to try them all in the end! The entire trip felt really luxe, and there was enough Jamaican culture to make sure we felt like we were actually there.
We both said we’d absolutely return to Sandals, it was the perfect relaxing holiday – everything we needed without the stress of planning, booking restaurants etc. It was completely worry-free.
And yes, we did quote The Office the entire time we were there.
Working on this post has given me serious sunshine withdrawals! I’m already dreaming of my next getaway! Have you been to Jamaica? Have my photos made you want to visit?
* We were kindly hosted by Sandals for this trip, and they also paid for my flight and we paid for Jordan’s. We were not paid for this content. Thank you to Sandals for having us on such a magical holiday!