The Sensatori hotel in Jamaica, a super-stylish Thomson concept, boasts four fashionable swimming pools.
The ‘Amber Pool’ was created with esteemed designer Jonathan Saunders.
We’d landed at Montego Bay the previous afternoon, an hour and a half’s transfer away from our resort in Negril. The city on Jamaica’s most western point is worlds away from the city-life hustle and bustle of Kingston in the east.
The hotel is a spectacular Caribbean retreat, injecting that element of luxury that keep couples returning to Sensatori resorts, which are also springing up across Europe.
Donning my bikini I open the glass back doors in my ground floor swim-up suite, walking straight into the pool outside. The water-lapped suites are a real feature at the hotel, which is a bonus in the searing Caribbean sunshine – each morning I practically roll out of bed and into the pool.
When I’m not feeling energetic there are lilos so I can doze while bobbing about in the water. And as soon as I tire of the pool, I simply stroll about five metres in the opposite direction to my room and directly into the sea.
Despite our long journey and the five-hour time difference, there is no chance for tiredness. This is the grand opening weekend of the Sensatori – securing its name as one of the most stylish addresses in Jamaica.
Local bands, exotic dancers, spectacular water shows and succulent local dishes are par for the course during our black tie event – a regular occurrence for all guests
At the pop-up restaurant next to the beach, I tuck in to a variety of fine cuisine as the soft sand fills the gaps between my toes and gentle waves and steel drums provide a backing track.
This incredible dining experience isn’t just for us, just for the launch; it’s a treat anyone staying at the hotel can enjoy twice a week, included as part of their package.
But if you feel like venturing beyond the resort, there’s plenty to do. We head to famous local bar chain Margaritaville for a blended cocktail, before jumping aboard a catamaran boat for an hour and a half to one of top 10 best bars in the world – Rick’s Café. On the boat we sunbathe and sip top local drink Coco Mania and Ting (Malibu and Lilt, Jamaican style).
Upon arrival we anchor the boat and climb up the steps along the rocky point of the West Side Cliffs upon which the bar is perched, and ordered a round of Red Stripe. A brave hedonist from my group opts to jump 30 metres off the edge of the Café into the sea; a notorious, supervised tradition.
We soak up the sea air as we watch the burning sun slowly set. Since the Cafe’s inception 40 years ago, visitors and locals alike have designated this idyllic drinking hole Negril’s go-to meeting point and the best place to watch the sun set.
After a light dinner we donned pum pum shorts and headed into town for an authentic night out in a bar called Bourbon Beach. We dance and chat with locals as we sip more coconut rum and Ting.
There’s also an option to head inland. We venture out on Jamaica’s Black River on a crocodile-spotting safari. The animals are huge and toothy but not terrifying as they seem to have that chilled-out Caribbean attitude (not that I fancy putting it to the test).
At the world famous YS Falls I encounter a paradise setting featuring lush tropical foliage; palm trees, red and orange plants and flowers blossoming everywhere.
In the middle lays a stunning tiered waterfall of clear water cool enough to refresh but warm and welcomingly still. Guides and supervisors help us safely climb in and up to bathe, splash and play for ages. Daredevils can even take a rope swing dive.
A picnic lunch of local delicacies, fruits and fresh cakes finishes off the morning in style.
We dry off in minutes from the baking sunshine, jump back in the car and headed to the Appleton Estate Distillery for a talk and tour of the spot where all Jamaican rum supplying the world is made.
We learn about the wide range of rums including white, dark and cream, none younger than three years old. We even brew and sample our own molasses
At the end we are treated to a tasting of all the Estate’s varieties including incredible rum cream in banana, rum & raisin and coffee flavours.
Watching one final sunset, it is a bittersweet farewell to this Caribbean island and its latest stylish offering.
But we are flying home on the brand new Thomson Dreamliner, a tech-filled plane that has humidity control and special lights that are supposed to help adjust to the new time zone.
It made returning to our own island – a grey and soggy one – that little bit less painful.
Thomson offers 14-night holidays to the 5T Sensatori Resort Jamaica on an all-inclusive basis from £1,899 per person. Price includes return Thomson 787 Dreamliner flights from Birmingham airport departing on the 11 July 2014. To find out more about this holiday or to book visit your local Thomson travel shop, www.thomson.co.uk or call 0871 230 2555
Alternatively, the Thomson offers 14-night holidays to the 5T Sensatori Resort Jamaica on an all-inclusive basis from £2,229 per person. Price includes return Thomson 787 Dreamliner flights from London Gatwick airport departing on the 17 July 2014. To find out more about this holiday or to book visit your local Thomson travel shop, www.thomson.co.uk or call 0871 230 2555