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Point of Interest
A selection of the natural products used at the spa. - Errol Crosby Photos
This bedroom features locally crafted pieces.
One of several breathtaking views at Jamaica Inn.
The entrance to the Ocean Spa, at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
Upstairs this structure is where you will receive a most memorable massage to the sounds of the sea.
Gift certificates are also available at the Ocean Spa, Jamaica Inn.
Jamaica Inn is a favourite with couples who want to make the ultimate statement with their wedding destination. This is an ideal spot for a reception
Sebert Freebourne, a senior bartender, wears a courteous smile as he pours drinks.
The efficient and expert staff at the Ocean Spa: (From left) Tamara Brown Morris, therapist; Sheree Adams Jackson, spa manager; Yolanda Newby, therapist; and Tyrone Smith, spa attendant.
The bartenders are courteous and always ready to serve at the bar where legend says Sir Winston Churchill taught author Ian Flemming to make the famous 'shaken, not stirred' martini.

Jamaica Inn Spa: Exciting the senses

Barbara Ellington and Janelle Oswald, Hospitality Jamaica Writers

When we heard that Ocean Spa at our island's very own Jamaica Inn hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann had placed sixth in the list of Top 10 Best Spas in the World, we decided to put those results to the test.

Ocean Spa scored 96.00 out of 100, just one point behind St Regis Aspen Colorado in the United States of America, which scored 97.33, based on a Travel & Leisure Magazine spa survey.

The experience at the 48-suite and two-bedroom cottage boutique hotel begins upon arrival, as courteous staff greets you. From the lobby, you automatically have to pause to drink in the magnificent view of perfectly landscaped grounds and pristine white-sand beach. The vista is punctuated by visitors lounging on their towels or beach chairs, while others enjoy the pool and swim-up bar.

Inside this classy blue and white boutique hotel lies a chic establishment with old school charm - where gentlemen are still required to wear long trousers and collared shirts after 7 p.m. and the staff knows all their guests by name. They have mastered the simple art of serving visitors for decades with its lavish, uncompromising first-class service.

Photographed by glossy fashion magazines like VogueElle and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, the late Caribbean travel expert, Marcella Martinez, cancelled a Jamaica trip when Jamaica Inn was sold out or otherwise unavailable.

Known in the '50s as the jetsetter's destination of choice, Jamaica Inn has hosted Hollywood aristocracy and British nobility. Former guests include: Errol Flynn, Noel Coward, Vivian Leigh, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Ian Fleming and artist/stage designer, Oliver Messel and the late British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

The Spa

Tucked away in a private cove, the Ocean Spa captures the hearts of spa connoisseurs and critics around the globe and leaped ahead of the international luxury Parisian brand - the Four Seasons Hotel George V.

Here, guests will experience the healing touch of nature balancing the mind, body and soul. The treatment by expert, courteous and friendly staff makes it even more memorable.

Once the formalities at the reception area are over, you are led across a path that reveals a beautiful, lush, fruit tree-filled, exotic floral garden where more than 23 different birds have been spotted by ornithologists while strolling the hotel grounds. Hidden behind a bamboo gate, Ocean Spa consists of open-air thatch-roofed treatment rooms designed to blend into the dense tropical foliage.

The welcome includes an ice-cold face cloth to cleanse, cool and relax the face before treatment, while sipping iced lemongrass-ginger tea.

Offering the Top Seven R Factors - relax, recharge, reenergise, rejuvenate, restore, revitalise and replenish - the sanctuary reflects divine, heavenly, tropical bliss. The natural acoustics of the Caribbean Sea crashing against the rocky cliff, combined with the occasional chirping birds outside, gives a feeling of being caressed by the warm trade winds. Don't be surprised if you fall asleep in the hands of your personal therapist. Skilful, healing hands kneed your every muscle and sinew and the cares you brought with you just melt away.

All products used are drawn from the natural botanical gardens of Jamaica, sourced from local organic farmers and wild-gathered by environmentally sustainable methods. Best of all, they are manufactured right there in Ocho Rios.

There are other skincare merchandises which include internationally acclaimed spa line Repechage, Naniki Natural and Plantation Soaps.

Blue Mountain Moments

This revitalising treatment begins with a gentle and invigorating scrub from head to toe that is absolutely blissful. Using grated coconut and Blue Mountain coffee granules, each brush stroke aids the removal of dead skin cells and circulate a healthy blood flow around the body. The sweet aroma of the treatment also stimulated all my senses helping to relieve stress and tension. It was rinsed off in warm water under an open-air bamboo shower and only colourful butterflies to keep me company.

Aa oatmeal, ground Blue Mountain coffee and coconut milk mixture was spread over my body, which softened and nourished my skin. I learnt that this secret formula removes impurities and dry surface cells, including cellulite. I was amazed by how sensational I felt from the thick, organic substance left on my body, and I was wrapped in foil and left in silence to meditate with only my face exposed to the cool breeze entering the open air bamboo hut. This treatment ended with another warm shower (80 minutes cost US$180).

My treatment concluded after I was led up an open-air tree house, where I had an Ocean Deep Massage with oil, focusing on my back, shoulders and feet. This replenishing massage literally sent me to sleep to the sounds of the sea crashing on the rocks below (50 minutes cost US$120 OR 80 minutes for $180).

My feet were also blessed and pampered with a deluxe Coco Cream Pedicure and I experienced the wonders of coconut finished with a hot peppermint towel and a fabulous, bright, sparkly polish (US$65). 

Barbara Ellington's Treatment: Ocean Ritual

This signature spa experience begins with an organic pineapple and coconut body buff. This exfoliation will remove unwanted surface cells, smooth the texture and bring a glow to the skin. This is followed by an invigorating outdoor shower and a head-to-toe coco pure cocoon using Jamaica's finest organic coconut butter and milk and provide the skin with a new-found glow.

Once again, I showered under the clear Jamaican skies before the treatment concluded with an aromatic, blissful stone massage, guaranteed to gently melt muscle tension. It also left my skin feeling like a new-born babe.

For the purpose of this story, I got an added bonus of a pedicure, and an element that elevated this to stratospheric levels was the warm towel applied to the feet after they were scrubbed. Absolutely to die for!

I must confess two things. This rivals the best spa experiences I had in Bangkok, Thailand, and I was so relaxed that I dozed off about three times during the treatment. It is definitely worth the drive from anywhere in Jamaica. It lasts 120 minutes for US$300.

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