A weekend at Strawberry Hills, Jamaica

Continuing our celebrations of the hubby’s birthday, we jetted off to Jamaica for the weekend.

Cayman Airways fly direct from Grand Cayman to Kingston late in the evening on Fridays & Sundays so you can score a mini-break without having to take any time off work. The flight time is just 50 minutes, which is just about enough time to sink a rum punch, and you are on your way to your hotel before you know it.

Kingston isn’t a place you want to stick around in – it’s a bit rough around the edges and doesn’t offer much to tourists aside from the Bob Marley museum. However, just over 2 hours away is the stunning coastline at Treasure Beach (one day I really want to go there and stay at Jakes Hotel), and rising up around the city are beautiful mountains, which we were headed for.

A 45-minute, stomach-flipping drive up steep, narrow, winding roads takes you high into the clouds and spits you out at relaxation station aka. Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains. Made famous by Bob Marley who used the “village” as his hideout in the 70s, the 12 cottages (now owned by music mogul Chris Blackwell) have been lovingly converted into hotel rooms, which hang perilously from the side of the lush mountain.

Ours was the great man's room itself :)

On our first night, we acquainted ourselves with our gorgeous little balcony, ordered room service, popped open a bottle of wine and sat back to enjoy the ridiculous view. The steep mountains give the impression that you could just reach out and touch the lights of Kingston, but the clean air, cool temperature and serene surroundings remind you that you are over 1000m above the madness. Staring at a view like this is like watching the fire – mesmerizing and utterly relaxing.

Waking up the next morning with sunbeams poking their way through the slats in our windows, we flung open the doors before reclining back into the soft white sheets to take in the magic.

Before heading outside to enjoy it from a different angle with some fresh Blue Mountain coffee.

It wasn’t long before our rumbling stomachs started crying out for sustenance and we headed up to the main house for breakfast.

Sufficiently stuffed we ventured outside the resorts gates to explore. The mountains are safe to walk in, unlike Jamaica’s cities, and the residents from the villages are incredibly friendly. Life is slow-paced and everyone has time to stop, chat and tell you proudly about the surroundings they call home.

Passing through the community of Red Light we climbed up to a little church and made friends with some of the locals.

Before stopping for well-earned refreshments.

EITS café is one of the quirkiest restaurants I’ve ever eaten in and the food is delicious. If you ever find yourself anywhere near the Blue Mountains make sure you put it on your itinerary. It’s attached to a guesthouse if you want to stay the night and I would seriously consider one of their rooms if I ever get the chance to return to the area. And I promise I don’t usually take photos of toilets, but this one required it.

But we were celebrating and had treated ourselves to luxury and as we headed back to Strawberry Hill to get ready for dinner, the light started to change and throw a mysterious haze over the landscape.

Before exploding into a fluorescent sunset.

We watched it unfold as we sipped on some birthday bubbles.

And then headed back up the hill for dinner.

Strawberry Hill