You’re in Jamaica and in love—in love with your other half, and with this balmy night at the beach bar. Thankfully, you chose one of the most romantic hotels in the island, where you find space to be alone, and silence to hear the gentle waves. You ask the bartender for another rum cream on the rocks, this time to go, and you two walk away until the reggae tunes from the bar completely fade.
An alluring thatched-roof cottage over a volcanic coast serves as your room. The water goes right under the rocky coastline, and you climb down the ladder that’s been carved into it and go swimming in the clear turquoise sea. You look up from the water and can’t believe your eyes. The blues of the ocean and the sky, against the limestone bedrock and coconut-colored cottages, are a marvelous sight. You feel like Robinson Crusoe. Luckily, you’re not on a deserted island, and you have a lovely partner who’s now coming down the ladder to watch the spectacle with you.
It took you only ten minutes to get here from downtown Ocho Rios, the busy and modern side of town. But once inside the Jamaica Inn, you’re transported to a bygone era of well-groomed classic hospitality that Winston Churchill, T.S. Eliot, and Marilyn Monroe enjoyed here. As you’re taken to your suite, you get a glimpse of the sweeping croquet lawns and the glorious strip of sand that’s steps away from every room. You arrive and open the door to your suite, where a waiter is setting a table for two on your private terrace. Your honey has already ordered food for both of you in advance: Jamaican patties, pineapple-raisin cole slaw, and sausage are for lunch.
You sit on the bright red sofa at the Bush Bar and order a Geejam slammer—an amaretto, gin, and orange juice concoction. The bar is hidden among trees with walkways that connect it to the beach and the rooms. From one of those walkways, you see a group of elderly Jamaican men arrive, instruments in hand. You wonder about what’s to come. Suddenly, the men start playing, and the charismatic lead singer (in his 80s!) starts singing a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” It’s The Jolly Boys! A crowd forms, and you get up and dance with your other half and realize you’re witnessing a very rare and remarkable sight. Welcome to Geejam: one of the most romantic hotels in Jamaica.