TO JAMAICA, WITH LOVE
Those of you that follow me on Instagram know that these past few days have been a dream. For Noam’s birthday, we decided to jet off to Jamaica and experience two types of jungle-themed adventure. We couldn’t believe how much we fell in love with this country – the people, the vibe, the beaches! For a family of five with different personalities and needs, this was the perfect spot to put everyone in complete bliss. Action and adventure for the kids, amazing culture and food for Noam and total tranquility for me ☺. Our trip was split into two chapters – the first half was spent at a private villa in a secluded complex while the second half was at a beautiful resort in Ocho Rios. Read on for a full review of our stay in paradise.
The Sunrise Villas are located in the vicinity of Ocho Rios and Tower Isle. We had the whole villa to ourselves – all 12 bedrooms just for us! it's like 5 beautiful houses in 1 complex. Next time we go (yes, there will DEF be a next time!), we’re inviting more families and kids to come along. The space, the ambiance and the comfort of the villa was perfect for getting acquainted with Jamaican culture. We had the ability to stroll around to nearby markets (we asked for a driver and in 5 min we were there), meet local people and run around freely. The views were spectacular complete with ocean surroundings and tropical greenery. Not a sight we are used to from our apartment in NYC! you can also ask for a cook or for someone to get groceries for you...they were all so nice!
One day we drove to Frenchman Cove which is a beautiful beach with swings that hang right above the water. The kids splashed around in their birthday suits while Noam and I relaxed in celebration of his actual birthday. Everyone we met along the way was so friendly and willing to share a piece of their culture with us. The carefree vibe is magnetic and we felt so welcomed from the very beginning of our stay.
The boys loved all of the adventures we were able to embark on, including a rafting trip that was so tranquil and sweet. The kids sat on small pillows on our bamboo rafts while Noam and I rowed them around. It’s an amazing way to take in all of the scenery – and certainty works up an appetite! We stopped for some local jerk chicken (Ori’s new favorite), corn and grilled yams and had a delicious authentic meal.
Next stop, Moon Palace Jamaica! This all-inclusive resort is in Ocho Rios and has everything you need for a complete, worry-free family vacation. We were definitely feeling the spirit of laid back, “don’t worry, be happy” vibes. Once you check in, you have everything you need all around you. It was my first time doing an all-inclusive package with the kids, and I can’t believe I waited this long. It takes all decisions out of the equation, and for someone who is constantly making decisions (what to make for dinner, where to take the kids after school, etc. etc.) this was a much needed break. You don’t have to think about anything – except maybe which spa treatment you want!
We had all meals, activities and kid’s programs at our fingertips with no added costs. We could spend our days completely carefree with everything already laid out and planned for us.
The kids did watersports with Noam one day and had a blast. The beach by the resort was picture perfect and just steps away from our rooms. It’s so nice to not have to think about packing towels, snacks, drinks, toys since everything is available to us through the resort. There was even a great kid’s club and a cute water park – we had to beg Ori and Yuli to leave and spend some time on the beach with their parents. Although the two hours they played in the kid’s room was a nice chance for us to get alone time, the best moments were when we were all together on Noam’s birthday.
We ordered room service from the TV in our room and enjoyed a cozy breakfast in bed for his big day. For dinner, we chose to go to the resort’s Italian restaurant and the food was fabulous. I’m usually someone who likes to venture outside of hotels for food, but all of the restaurants in the hotel had delicious options that everyone was excited about. At dinner, we talked about our days, the new activities we tried and experiences we shared.
For Noam, this was a birthday to remember. For the rest of the family, this was a vacation we’d never forget. Sharing these new places, faces, flavors and excitement with my clan is what I live for! Now to decide where to jet off to next…