In­side Meliá Braco Vil­lage in Ja­maica | TRAVEL

Upscale Living Magazine - - Contents - | BY SELENE NEL­SON

As the birth­place of reg­gae and rum, it’s no sur­prise that Ja­maica is one of the go-to des­ti­na­tions for travellers seek­ing laid­back lux­ury. While this trop­i­cal is­land cer­tainly isn’t short of up­scale ho­tels and re­sorts, few can ri­val the newly ren­o­vated Meliá Braco Vil­lage. Si­t­u­ated on Ja­maica’s north coast, just 45 min­utes from Mon­tego Bay air­port, this five-star all-in­clu­sive re­sort of­fers guests a cool yet ca­sual haven with all the crea­ture com­forts you could pos­si­bly want… and then some.

Ex­plor­ing the re­sort is a re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self; you can stroll along wide cob­bled streets while ad­mir­ing the tra­di­tional colo­nial-style ar­chi­tec­ture, lis­ten to au­then­tic Ja­maican mu­sic as lo­cal Mento bands play, then pick up a fresh coconut or re­fresh­ing su­gar cane juice to stave off the hot Caribbean sun. The bright, friendly staff can’t do enough for you, whether it’s sug­gest­ing the tasti­est cock­tail (the Mai Tais are ex­cep­tional!) or ad­vis­ing you about the re­sort’s ac­tiv­ity sched­ule.

Guest rooms and suites look out onto beautiful land­scaped gar­dens or turquoise ocean vis­tas, and if you want a bit of me-time, just step through the French doors to your own pri­vate bal­cony. In­side the rooms, the neu­tral decor is con­tem­po­rary and bright, with soft creams tones and nat­u­ral wood ac­cents. Ev­ery room boasts a cof­fee ma­chine, smart TV, safe, bath­room ameni­ties, comfy bathrobes and slip­pers and 24-hour room ser­vice. For an even more up­mar­ket stay you can up­grade to the pre­mium suites in THE LEVEL, where you’ll en­joy di­rect beach­front ac­cess as well as en­try to the VIP LEVEL Lounge, Golden Sands restau­rant, and an ex­clu­sive pool.

The pri­vate beach is ob­vi­ously the re­sort’s main drawer, and it def­i­nitely doesn’t dis­ap­point.

The long, nar­row stretch of pris­tine white sand is pep­pered with canopies where you can kick back and re­lax while staff fuss over you. The warm, azure wa­ters are calm and great for kids, and if you want to get a bit more ac­tive you can snorkel, sail or ca­noe. If you’d pre­fer to sip a cock­tail while en­joy­ing your dip, head to one of the two swim­ming pools, both of which have cov­ered swim-up bars.

Even from the beach the smell of jerk cook­ing seems to float on the breeze, and if it stirs up hunger pangs then you’re in luck. There are five onsite restau­rants, so what­ever cui­sine you’re into, there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one. Feast on tra­di­tional Caribbean food at the beach-fac­ing O’Grille, or for Ja­panese, Chi­nese and Peru­vian fu­sion, head to Nikkei Restau­rant. The Ital­ian dishes at Rasta Pasta will

please even the fussi­est of eaters, and for some­thing a lit­tle fancier, 876 Prime Steak­house of­fers din­ers some ro­man­tic in­ti­macy. At the pool­side Mar­ket Place, break­fast is a re­laxed af­fair; sip­ping cof­fee while watch­ing the waves is an idyl­lic way to start the day.

For those seek­ing a more ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence – or for guests trav­el­ling with kids – there’s also a basketball court, ten­nis court, foot­ball pitch, chil­dren’s play­ground, ob­sta­cle course and 24hour fit­ness cen­tre. If you have to – gasp! – work while on va­ca­tion, there’s a busi­ness cen­tre and WiFi through­out the re­sort… although it would be a shame to in­ter­rupt your bliss­ful ex­pe­ri­ence with real-life du­ties. The YHI Spa can help ease you back into hol­i­day mode: here you can in­dulge your­self with a range of heav­enly treat­ments like firm­ing fa­cials, body scrubs or in­dul­gent mas­sages.

While Meliá Braco Vil­lage has ev­ery­thing you could pos­si­bly want (and more), if you’re look­ing to get out and ex­plore the lo­ca­tion is hard to beat. Just a short drive away from jun­gle-cloaked moun­tains, thun­der­ing wa­ter­falls and lively, ram­shackle towns, here you can eas­ily dis­cover the de­lights of Ja­maica’s unique laid-back cul­ture and still be back in time for cock­tail hour. This is a re­sort that’s as re­fined as it is re­lax­ing, and it of­fers a quiet refuge away from the hus­tle and bus­tle. Even if you think you don’t do all-in­clu­sive, Meliá Braco Vil­lage will change your mind.

Top Left Shaker Disco From

Top 2nd Photo Right The Meliá Braco Vil­lage Ho­tel in Trelawny Bot­tom The

beautiful Meliá Beach

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