26 Hope Rd., Kingston
The nineteenth-century home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire is now a National Heritage Site, a house museum, and a center for the best local shopping and desserts. The ground level is inhabited by independently owned specialty stores that celebrate Jamaica’s rich, local flavors through gourmet delicacies. Not to be missed: Devon House Bakery’s selection of beef, chicken, fish, and vegetable patties and the fresh fruit smoothies and coconut water served in its shell from CocoRaw. For your sweet fix, grab a box of truffles made with local cocoa at Chocolate Dreams and try a scoop of tropical ice cream—coconut, guava, and mango are all winners—from the beloved Devon House I-Scream.
The Spa at Strawberry Hill
New Castle Rd. B1, Kingston
The view alone will send you into raptures—the spa overlooks the Blue Mountains of Jamaica—not to mention the heavenly foot soak you get upon arrival. As you soak, an aesthetician determines the best treatment for your skin. They’re experts at tension-relieving face massage, deep pore detoxification, and revitalizing tired skin with island plant essences and unique lymphatic drainage acupressure techniques.
New Castle Rd., Kingston
This is another Chris Blackwell property (the other is GoldenEye), and as the founder of Island Records, Blackwell keeps the walls of these white wooden cottages lined with an array of historic rock-and-roll memorabilia. (This is the place Bob Marley chose as an escape when he faced threats to his life in the mid-1970s.) It feels like a secluded mountain village tucked high in the contours of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Range, over 3,000 feet above sea level. The nineteenth-century Georgian architecture has a sophisticated, laid-back charm, matched by hand-dyed batik linens and four-poster beds with billowing drapes. And it’s almost a magical experience to stroll through the morning mist in the private gardens before breakfast. The hikes (led by expert staff members) give you a real sense of what the interior of the island is all about; afterward, unwind with an aloe wrap at the spa. But our favorite thing to do was to take in the views—every last heart-stopping one of them.