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Super Tan at SuperClub in Negril, Jamaica

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Super Tan at SuperClub in Negril, Jamaica

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Read any over-zealous all-inclusive resort travel ad in the lifestyle section of a Sunday paper. You've seen them. They beckon weary city-folk, like myself, to come revel in paradise. It promises to free you from the worry of overspending on each and every amenity and meal, while simultaneously spoiling you rotten.

Air Jamaica had just inaugurated it's new non-stop service from Houston to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and the price was right - US$100 each (a promotional rate), so my mother and I decided to go all-inclusive. After the MoBay customs check the two hour plus shuttle bus ride to Grand Lido Negril, found us ragged and weary from bouncing around or through the various potholes in the road on the western side of the island, sapping precious time from our weekend visit. Mental note: take the 15-minute flight from Montego Bay.

Immediately, smiling staff faces approached us with hibiscus-garnished drinks at Grand Lido Negril, welcoming us; our burdensome luggage was whisked away, never to be seen again until we in our luxurious junior suite. We knew we were in paradise. Within minutes, the hotel manager was handing us schedules, directions and our room keys, warmly encouraging us to savor life as a "Super-clubber". We left the beautiful open-air lobby, making our way to our personable junior suite located beachside. Fragrant, exotic flowers lined each walkway; decorative tile lined the walls and airy Jamaican artwork hung casually against a white backdrop, proving we were where the details were not overlooked.

The Grand Lido Negril Junior Suites are lovely, with a full beach view from the patio of the buccaneer sounding Bloody Bay, a powdery strand carving seven miles towards the other end of the beach to the sea cliffs. The Grand Lido Negril sits on two acres of the beach, with one of their two beaches au natural. An oversized hibiscus graces the pillows - each afternoon. The soothing, strolling clarinet player serenaded us at dusk each evening. Never once did we tire of his presence beneath our balcony.

The sun always seems to shine at the Grand Lido Negril. But I wasn't worried if it didn't, not with the unique sunny weather guarantee that would have given me a voucher good for a year to come back for more sol. So rain or shine, hurricanes be damned, time to get bronzed on Bloody Bay Beach.

What does all-inclusive mean in the islands: I don't know, but at SuperClubs, the first all inclusive resort in Jamaica, and possibly anywhere, an all-inclusive means free, well, at least not added to the tab, it is all part of the deal - don't worry, it is only money.

I was still out to challenge the SuperClub vacation claim of delivering a 100% all-inclusive package. With flip-flops clapping against my heels, I headed for the beach to "test the waters" of the copywriters. Mother and I were soon approached by several snorkel diving instructors, anxious to have us join them aboard their close to shore catamaran. We gladly hopped onboard. The sailing excursion lasted two hours, cruising south along the western coast. We snorkeled in the pristine waters along the marine park cliffs. We photographed the cliff-diving at world famous Rick's Restaurant! Before I could say "Bob Marley" we were back sailing through the graduating turquoise-blue waters. Our delightful crew prattled historical facts and legends about the different areas we were touring, as most of us kicked back and sipped on anything rum related. We hardly noticed when the vessel docked as we were gently awaken from our reverie with the sound of steel drums and guitars - A lovely conclusion to a lovely excursion.

Dining at the Grand Lido Negril is an equally pleasurable experience. Being the Houstonian foodie that I am, I was skeptical that 'resort food" could compete with the posh French cuisine I'd enjoyed in metropolitan cities. I couldn't have been more wrong. From fine wines to decadent chocolate pastries. In a word: Magnifique! I hear Ralph Lauren lives on the island over by Round Hill, so this is probably a great place for the fashion runway types. And no bothersome check at the end of the meal! This SuperClub concept was winning me over. In the evening I had to check out the Atlantis Disco.

For over 15 years SuperClubs has been winning Jamaican culinary awards from the Professional Culinary Arts Competition that runs for a couple of days in July each year. Every thing seems to be island themed. The lunchtime jazz adds a special soothing flavor.

The smoked shrimp is superb and you haven't lived until you try to coconut mashed potatoes. You have to taste everything jerked, from sausage, to beef, to chicken and even fish! I especially enjoyed the pumpkin soup which can be served cold or hot, or that other island soup staple, callaloo, made from the malanga plant, that looks like creamed spinach, but is more divine. The national dish is salt fish and ackee and often you find ackee with the free ranged scrambled eggs at breakfast. Another native dish is chocho or St. Christophene a type of superlative squash. Each morning saw me with Blue Mountain coffee with orange honey, served espresso style.

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Tracey, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent ' Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com To book travel visit Jetstreams.com at www.jetstreams.com and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at www.beachbooker.com


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About the Author

Tracey,
Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com Leave Your email next to the logo for FREE e travel newsletter.

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