Sitting comfortably on the outdoor verandah at KiYara Ocean Spa it’s hard to know which is more refreshing: The Ambrosia cocktail spa director Carolyn Jobson is handing me, or Jobson herself.

 

Too often in spas you’ll find staff trying a little too hard to set the mood. From the sterile white walls and minimalist furniture to the battery of products with names you (and often they) can hardly pronounce, spas often overdo it. Not here.

 

As I sip on the lemongrass, fresh lime (from trees on the property) and iced tea concoction that has been only slightly sweetened with brown sugar, Jobson settles comfortably onto a chair across from me, running her hand through her hair and training her gaze in the same direction as mine: past the trees, over the rocks and out over Cutlass Bay.

 

The soft lilt of reggae music filters through the trees and across the water from a neighbouring resort.


No stress, no pretense, no fuss. No need.


This is Jamaica: The ambience creates itself. It is in this oasis of calm that the Jamaica Inn’s tiny spa exists.


The award-winning hotel — Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Readers Choice, World Travel Awards and more — was built in 1950 and has been nabbing accolades ever since. Part of the attraction is the stunning collection of 47 suites and six two-bedroom cottages spread over 2 1/2 hectares of land.


But most exciting is the fact that on this island that has become synonymous with massive all-inclusive facilities, the inn is a reminder of the way Jamaica could have been.



If you go



  • Costs Rates start at $252 (U.S.) per night in the low season and can go as high as $1,570 per night for cottages.

  • Children over the age of 10 are permitted in certain seasons.