After what felt like 96 days of January, I realized I desperately needed a break from the cold weather and chaos of the city. So, I decided to go to the one place that was free of snow and filled with relaxing, tropical beaches: Jamaica.
From the moment I got off the plane, I knew I was in paradise. It was 30 degrees when I left New York, and when I landed in Jamaica 3.5 hours later, it was sunny and in the 80s. From the airport, it was a quick 35 minute ride to Meliá Braco Village. Just one look at all of the beautiful palm trees along the road and the crystal clear ocean in the distance and I knew that I had made the right choice.
Meliá feels like a quaint yet luxurious village with perfectly manicured landscaping and British Colonial-inspired architecture. I was greeted by extremely hospitable staff who drove me via golf cart to the private check-in area. I stayed at The Level, which is an exclusive area of the Meliá Braco Village resort with personalized amenities that include additional dining options, an exclusive bar, all-day tapas, a private concierge and 24/7 room service. I’d recommend staying at The Level if you’re looking for a more quiet, intimate experience. The award-winning resort caters to brides, bridesmaids and couples because of the stunning location, lavish amenities and endless custom options.
The room had a heavenly king-size bed with 1.5 bathrooms, a separate living area with a sofa, dining table, two closets, a mini refrigerator that was restocked daily, and a sink area. The bedroom led to a private oceanfront terrace with a jaw-dropping view. Seriously, check it out for yourself:
There was no shortage of food at the resort. It’s fully equipped with six restaurants and four bars, each of which had the friendliest staff. My personal favorite was Nikkei, a teppanyaki table service restaurant with a very lively atmosphere and great food cooked with the freshest ingredients. For special occasions, they have a gazebo on the beach and in the garden. I was able to experience breakfast in the garden gazebo accompanied by a guitarist and violinist. The menu included traditional Jamaican options along with made to order omelets, fruit, pastries and mimosas. The gazebo is very popular among couples who are getting married at the resort as it’s the perfect spot for bridesmaid brunches, wedding cocktail parties or rehearsal dinners.
Not only is Meliá Braco Village excellent for tropical getaways, but it also makes for the perfect wedding venue or honeymoon spot, too! The resort has recently unveiled a Romance by Meliá Bridal Suite, which is located in a secluded area of the resort for ultimate privacy.
The suite has a lounge area for cocktails, a fitting room with a pedestal, wall mirrors, vanities for hair and makeup application and glass wardrobes for hanging dresses. The suite is complimentary to every bride who has a wedding at Meliá.
But, my favorite spot was the spa. YHI Spa offers couples massages and beauty treatments that were created to embrace full relaxation. I opted for a massage and I’m so glad I did. I was greeted with slippers, a robe and tea. The service was exceptional. I didn’t think it was possible to feel any more relaxed after spending the day on the beach drinking fresh coconut water, but the massage proved me wrong. I walked out feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the resort tour. I give the spa a 10/10!
I spent the majority of my time at the beach because it was 85 degrees and I couldn’t resist the breeze and bath-temperature water. If you’re more of a pool person, they have two large pools, including a private pool for those staying at The Level.
On the final night, we had a 4-course farewell dinner on the beach with live music. Many brides and couples choose to do this during sunset with a violinist. The view was stunning and the meal was exceptional. Per usual, the service was top-notch.
Overall, my first trip to Jamaica was perfect. Between the ideal weather, picturesque beaches, delicious food and hospitable staff, you can only imagine how hard it was to get back on a plane to cold New York.
Whether it’s for your wedding, a couples retreat, a family trip, book Meliá Braco Village. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!
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