Monday, December 24, 2007

Jamaica - part 3

I must say that our resort, "Sunset at the Palms", lived up to the expectations planted in my brain by various web photos and web reviews. From an aesthetic and design point of view the place was excellent, and has deservedly received accolades from the architectural and environmental communities. It is smaller and more personal than many of the sprawling, concrete boxes one finds everywhere in the tropics these days. The cabins are set in a true garden with a real, live gardener who gives nature walks through the grounds (for those interested botany and birdwatching). The beach is splendid and just a short walk across the main road. It's in a good location in the center of Bloody Bay. We spent at least three whole days just lounging on the beach. The food and drinks were all excellent. The staff were great -- very cheerful and helpful, you got the feeling they love their jobs. Later, after exploring the greater Negril area, I realized we were living in the lap of luxury.

From my informal survey based on languages overheard, the guests were mostly American and Canadian, followed by a sizable block of Germans, and a remainder of mixed, mostly European visitors. British, Dutch, French, and Spanish were all overheard.

The grounds were covered with an array of familiar and unfamiliar plants, including more Travelers Palms than I have ever seen assembled in one place. The gardener explained that in earlier times, these trees were a vital source of water for those traveling from place to place -- hence the name. He then slit one of the branches, and a clear stream of water came pouring out with the steadiness of a garden hose.

Meanwhile the beach was covered with Sea Grape and other tropical trees, providing welcome shade for those lazy days on the beach (although I spent most of that time in the water).


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