By Gina Burgos, Taking the Kids correspondent
Day 3 May 18 — Breakfast at leisure at the Bayside buffet at the relaxing but active Beaches Resort in Ocho Rios. We were treated to freshly made smoothies and omelets, delicious morning glory muffins and everything else you could want at a breakfast buffet, and, of course, more interactivity with our friends from Sesame Street. Then we grabbed some towels from the pool and headed to the Dunn’s River Falls.
Having been to the falls most recently I knew that Jude and I would be hanging out in one of the pools between the rock climbs. I wouldn’t recommend a child under 6 or 7 climbing if they are not used to serious outdoor activities. And if you are climbing, you will get completely wet; you cannot walk up the falls with a bag, towel, nothing.
Everyone had waterproof housing for their cameras, which came in handy. I left our backpack strapped to the fence and was able to keep an eye on it as Jude and I waded in the water. Rob enjoyed the falls again, this time doing the full climb.
The excursion was quick and it left plenty of time to have a relaxed lunch and enjoy the beach and pool. Rob tried out the slides and said they were awesome. The beach was fantastic. The soft sand and clear, tepid water were perfect mid afternoon. There were an array of sand toys left out for the kids to use, which kept Jude occupied for a few hours. Canopies for the lounge chairs are on a first come first serve basis (no reservations), but at that time there were so many available. The resort has a whole host of water activities for those who don’t need as much downtime, such as snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours.
There are also cabanas by the main pool available for reservation for a fee (whole or half day) with full concierge service.
We had sunset cocktails and mocktails at the Opa Bar. A little hard to find but a beautiful retreat that has a gorgeous view of the fading sunset and the rising stars. Then on to dinner at Eleanor’s restaurant.
The food was fantastic and everyone should certainly dine there one time during your stay. They ask that you dress formally, but do not let that deter you. The dining room was full of families with small children and the wait staff couldn’t have been more attentive.
Our last night in Jamaica ended with a DJ and bonfire on the beach, the NBA playoffs at the bar, but we all headed to bed for our pre-dawn wake up call. When booking your return flight keep in mind that there is a 2 hour trip back to the airport, so a 7:00am flight means 3:00am departure from the hotel. There are no tips to help you manage that!
The warmth and overextended hospitality of the entire staff made our three day trip seem like a week’s long vacation. We look forward to returning again soon to enjoy all that beauty Jamaica has to offer. Same as when we left our last trip, Jude said, “Mommy, I don’t want to leave Jamaica.” And again we assured her we would be back soon.