This is my first full week back to reality and while my body is physically sitting in Dallas, TX, my mind and heart are in Jamaica, comfortably reclined beachside on a lounge chair sipping rum punch. If you follow me on Instgram, Snapchat, Facebook or any other instant-sharing platform on the Internets, you've probably seen enough pictures of bright blue ocean water and my Jamaican breakfasts, but *spoiler alert* there are more of those. There's also more about the beautiful resort that is the Hyatt Zilara, that I recommend anyone considering Montego Bay check out.
Let me start by saying that after the past 3 weeks, I can tell you almost as much about a guy named Matthew as I could about my husband (his name is Patrick). Our relationship is over now, but to say that he led me on and subjected me to an insanely wild emotional rollercoaster wouldn't be farfetched. Hurricane Matthew (if you've been sleeping under a rock) really tried it. When I heard that he was recking havoc in the Atlantic and headed toward the Caribbean islands, I thought I was cursed. This trip was all I could think about the few weeks leading up to it, and to have to cancel? Nope. Didn't even consider the possibility. Long story short, God heard my pleas and promises to be an upstanding citizen and left Jamaica relatively unscathed (but ya'll, seriously, prayers for Haiti. My heart breaks). After I got a bad feeling about Miami (where we had a layover) I called American Airlines the day prior to our trip to review our options. And while I'm still shocked myself, the same God secured us the last two seats on a direct flight to Montego Bay...AND American Neverdoesanythingrightbutionlyflythembecausemymiles Airlines waived the change fee! Oh, yeah... and all flights to Miami the next day were canceled. Won't he do it? Chea mon.
I'm not exactly sure how we decided on Jamaica for this year's vacation destination, but I'm glad we did. I'm no geography expert and knew very little about where to stay in Jamaica, but after doing a bit of research I decided on the Hyatt Zilara. The Hyatt Zilara is an all-inclusive adult-only resort in Montego Bay and connects to its sister property, the Hyatt Ziva which is kid/family friendly. All Zilara guests can enjoy the amenities of both properties, but families staying at the Ziva property are not permitted at the Zilara. It's a lovely balance. We spent quite some time at the Ziva property and while there weren't many children running amuck, it's nice to have the option. Also, it's October. The scene might be different in the summer months.
When we arrived to the airport, we breezed through customs and followed a guide to the Hyatt's airport lounge where we were checked in and offered alcoholic beverages and a cold towel. We waited all of 10 minutes before being directed to the complementary shuttle to the resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a gentleman who knew my husband's name before he could introduce himself. "You must be Patrick," he said before directing us on a mini tour of the property and escorting us to our room. His name was Tarrick and he was our butler. I know, right? He took us up to our room which was a massive, ocean-view butler suite featuring a living room, bedroom, two full baths and two doors leading to an oversized balcony with breathtaking views. It was intense. He then gave us the rundown on a small old-school Nokia cellphone (which we later dubbed "the burner") and let us know that at any point we could use it to call one of our three butlers on duty for relatively anything.
I have to admit, the whole butler thing took some getting used to. It felt slightly wrong to have someone do things for me, a perfectly able-bodied human, that I could do myself. My husband thoroughly enjoyed it though.
Practically every morning for me started with a traditional Jamaican breakfast consisting of ackee and salt fish. I first tried it in NYC and fell in love. If we're being transparent, I liked the Miss Lilly's NYC version better, but it was a great breakfast nonetheless. The Hyatt property has somewhere upward of 10 restaurants and my favorite for dinner was the Jamaican flaire at Horizons. I tried escargot for the first time at their French restaurant and, let's just said I was bed and bathroom bound for most of the next day. But hey, YOLO.
All in all it was a much needed, very relaxing trip and I pretty much 100% recommend the Hyatt Rose Hall properties should you make a trip to Montego Bay. Tell them I sent you.
Back to reality.