December 4th, 2017
My youngest children and I recently had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful island of Jamaica for the first time. Our experience was so delightful that I am eager to share our journey with the hopes that you too may visit this charming all-inclusive resort.
We flew with Sunwing Airlines from Vancouver Canada to Montego Bay Jamaica. The kids were so excited for this adventure that we could barely sleep the night before and of course, waking them up to go to the airport was as easy as pie! Our fight was early in the morning and because we are travelling as a group we had a fair amount of luggage to manage. We were greeted with a smile at the Elite Plus Sunwing check in counter and before we knew it we were boarding our flight-what a pleasant surprise for the girls to receive a cute beach bag full of colouring pictures and mazes, crayons and a beach ball! On board we enjoyed a cool snack pack for the kids while I indulged in a glass of bubbly to celebrate the fact that I had us all packed up, ready and on our way!
We arrived in Montego Bay in the evening and were promptly greeted by a Sunwing Experiences Agent that swiftly directed us to our van transportation off to our luxury resort. Arriving at Melia Braco Village was like stepping in to a glorious movie set-the lush tropical garden pathways were all up-lit with soft lighting and the many lanterns with flickering candles created an ambiance of instant relaxation-heavenly. While checking in the girls giggled while treating themselves to the decadent chocolates and fresh fruit thinking that I did not notice, truthfully I was so looking forward to family time with them that I didn’t have the heart to limit their treats! Our concierge was so pleasant showing us all The LEVEL rooms have to offer-OCEANFRONT being the most jaw dropping highlight, however we also appreciated amenities such as a private bedroom, 2 bathrooms, 24 hour room service and even a pillow menu! The room itself has a spa like in feel which really resonated with my design mind.
After a great night’s sleep I was awakened by the sound of tropical birds and waves crashing outside. I truly don’t think there is any better sound to wake up to-I enjoyed a coffee to myself in the rocking chair on my balcony while soaking in the excitement and anticipation of enjoying the days ahead. It didn’t take long before the kids were awake and ready to explore Melia Braco Village on the hunt for some breakfast options- and it turned out there where plenty of options. My kids love a great buffet-I think the little ones also feel so grown up being able to pick and choose their own tropical fruits, pastries and fresh juice smoothies. My son loved the omelet station so much that he ordered the same breakfast daily and joked that he can’t go back to plain old cereal anymore! Spolied…
Our daily activities included deciding between 2 pools, the beach and how much jerk chicken we could eat in a day! Part of the charm of this resort is the people, day by day we be-friended bartenders, game organizers and even the lifeguards. We learned new names, made friends and l loved chatting with locals about Jamaican culture -it amazes me how much we learn while travelling, its such a blessing to watch the kids take in ideas, learn new words, cultures and foods. Somehow by day two Ava was confidently ordering a virgin Bob Marley drink and Seth had locked down a secret handshake with our Concierge while joking about how he could beat him at a game of Dominos. Our days were spent soaking in the sun, dancing and we even tried raw sugar cane for the first time and it’s delicious.
By days end our focus would turn to the excitement of a new restaurant to try-with 876 Prime topping our list for an incredible steak house experience in a glamorous sparkly dining venue. The mirrored walls and over sized chandeliers oozed glitz and gave me plenty of inspiration for future client dining room designs! The layout of Melia Braco Village is quaint, somewhat like a traditional streetscape with a large fountain in the center-this makes for fabulous nighttime entertainment because you feel like you have happened upon a secret performance, made just for you-the street style bars have oversized shutters that open up to the street allowing you to enjoy each performance from outside or sitting inside sipping a cocktail in style at Jiggers.
A highlight of our family time together was being able to challenge my children at the Adventure Park. The great thing about this attraction is that it’s fantastic for a range of skill levels-this meant my 8 year old twins could compete alongside my 16 year old and everybody felt like a winner..and boy did they compete! The funniest part was watching my son who is taller them me ride a small bike across a bridge suspended in the air..what a circus..so fun. Eve, who is a little less brave even ziplined all the way to the end with a big smile on her face, priceless.
When I have the luxury of travelling to a beautiful place, a spa treatment is always high on this working mama’s wish list, so you guessed it-Saturday was declared SPA day for me! Fortunately, there is a safe kids club at the resort, filled with lots of crafting goodies for the girls to enjoy so I could get pampered without mom guilt. Entering YHI Spa I was welcomed by the scent of cinnamon, soft music, a fluffy robe and accompanied by my therapist to my treatment room via an inviting environment that is in keeping with the colonial style of the rest of the resort. My sugar and coffee scrub was blissful and smelled like heaven-I loved it so much that I bought some of the product to enjoy a little reminder of my experience at home.
Other stand out highlights on our trip to Melia Braco Village with Sunwing were the many delicious food options-each night we devoured a new delicacy. Everything from brick oven pizza at Rasta Pasta, outdoor dining Jamaica style dinners at O’Grille, morning breakfasts in bed and even an entertaining Teppanyaki style dinner at Nikkei. The cleanliness and safety of the resort was superior but on top of all that I truly appreciate the architectural style and design thought put in to creating a luxurious environment filled with interesting furnishings, quaint seating areas, art + culture books plus a colour palette that blurs the lines between indoors and out. These type of details are what make my creative soul sing with excitement and provide me with the inspiration I’m seeking while travelling so I can bring back these ideas to my design clients.
After an idyllic week in Jamaica it was time to say farewell to the new friendships we had made with fellow travelers and resort staff to venture back to Canada. I enjoyed one last Mojito by the beach before our Sunwing Experiences driver arrived to take us to the airport. We hugged our newly made Jamaican friends goodbye and drove off back through the lush gardens that had been such a welcoming site upon our arrival. We laughed and reminisced about our adventures over pizza and burgers on board our Sunwing flight until the kids drifted off to sleep, I’m sure dreaming about our incredible adventure together at Melia Braco Village.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Sunwing. As always, all of the opinions here are my own.