Rose Hall, Jamaica

Photo: Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Jamaica is at it again. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing—especially for travelers. One of the best resorts on the island just expanded. It modernized and became more eco-conscious in the process. While the impeccable service and the stunning views remain unchanged. It looks like you’re heading back to the Rock.

In 1954, a group of North American businessmen purchased 35 acres around a crescent-shaped bay on Jamaica’s north coast. The property they built became Half Moon. Founders Cove, a classic hotel, came first. Rose Hall Villas, private homes, followed. Last spring, Eclipse was added to the property. This is where you want to stay.

A guango tree stands at the entrance of Eclipse at Half Moon. The huge tree folds in its leaves and collects moisture at night, giving it the nickname the rain tree. But its leaves and pink flowers are open during the day. They’re eager to welcome guests into the Great House that stands behind them. This is the heart of the new resort. The colonial-style building has roof peaks that mimic the mountains to the south, custom murals, and handcrafted furniture. You won’t notice any of them. At least not right now. You’ll be completely focused on the opposite side of the building. It’s an unobstructed view of the calm Caribbean Sea. Those businessmen picked a perfect spot.

When you stop gawking—yes, you’re gawking—at the turquoise water, you’ll find that the resort is just as gorgeous as the view. Lester’s, a bar that carries more than 100 Caribbean rums, is near the lobby. Rooms are spread across the Great House, two-story cottages, and freestanding estate homes. Your Ocean Room features clean lines and sand-and-sea tones. Glass doors open onto a furnished lounge. The water is even closer now.

An infinity pool, an elegant restaurant, and the spa’s overwater treatment rooms are also along the edge of the water. The saltwater pool has its own bar, North Pointe, as well as jazz and reggae music. The restaurant, Delmare, serves fresh seafood with Italian twists. While the spa, Fern Tree, is a separate oasis with meditation gardens, a tea room, a vegan cafe, and a yoga pavilion. The scent and the sound of the ocean is never far away. It’s a very good thing.

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