A small group of journalists from the USA and Canada, who travelled to participate in the Kingston City Run were not disappointed when the main activities of the annual event slated for Sunday, March 15th, 2015, were postponed. The group was hosted at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston since arrival on Thursday, March 12.
The Jamaica Tourist Board, represented by Lyndon Taylor, teamed up with Galaxy Leisure and Tours to select spots in its efforts to promote the tourism packages of Kingston and Saint Andrew.
On Friday, the group toured the Bob Marley Museum before sampling the World Famous Devon House Ice Cream at Devon House – one of Jamaica’s heritage sites. Devon House was voted by National Geographic as the fourth best place to eat ice cream around the world in 2011. Later that evening the group dined at the exquisite Spanish Court Hotel with general manager Lee-Ann Godfrey. Together with sales and banqueting manager Dilton Bartley, Ms Godfrey spoke on the hotel and its offerings being positioned in the business hub of the New Kingston. The mango cheesecake prepared for dessert was well received, after an appreciation of Chicken Supreme stuffed with Calalloo and Ricotta, one of the favourite choices from the evening’s menu.
Following dinner, it was off to a weekly Friday night session of Bacchanal Jamaica at Mas Camp.
On Saturday, the journalists including two representatives of Jamaicans.com were taken into the Blue Mountains general area. The main stop was at RafJam’s Bed and Breakfast in Irish Town where the manager Susan de Campos Palermo noted that 90 per cent of visitors to the cottage were from Europe. The one and a half acre property is neatly tucked away in a cluster of flora and fauna. Members of the group were breathless at the picturesque view of the unending mountain range, plotted alongside a river flowing from a nearby waterfall.
The Rafjam’s Bed and Breakfast is one of several houses found between two running rivers in the area.
RafJam’s Bed & Breakfast houses seven bedrooms taken advantage of by mostly backpack visitors, according to Palermo. She and her Belgian husband Rafael are still improving on the location, and, during the tour, sections that boasted stonework of Palermo were highlighted.
During the return trip to Kingston, the group had opportunity to view the city from the infinity poolside of the enchanting Strawberry Hill Hotel, also in Irish Town. Along the way, the Jamaica Tourist Board representative kept the group informed on critical highlights in Jamaica’s history and important features of the island.
Later the group joined in the warm up activities for the Kingston Run hosted at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Reigning queens Laurie-Ann Chin crowned Miss Jamaica World 2014 and Kaci Ferguson crowned Miss Jamaica Universe 2014 stopped by the Kingston City Run Lifestyle expo and Kingston Kitchen.
On Sunday, with confirmation that the day’s activities were postponed, the group were escorted to Sandals Royal Plantation on the outskirts of Ocho Rios, where they were hosted by hotel manager Arnold Nugent and group public relations manager Lyndsay Isaacs. There the journalists wasted no time diving into the inviting warm waters of the island’s North Coast.
Conversation over lunch with Ms. Isaacs was inspiring as much as the wide selections for lunch to satisfy the palate of the journalists. Again no one could resist the temptations to indulge in desserts specially made for the occasion.
On the way back to host hotel in Kingston, statues displayed through the Fern Gully caught the attention of the visiting journalists. A quick stop was made at Juici Patties in Bog Walk, St. Catherine but there was just no room for even a Jamaican patty, so photographs of the scene were the order.
Dinner at The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites hosted by Sharon Kallen, night manager was the final stop for the journalists before retiring to bed at the host hotel Jamaica Pegasus.
Trip was made possible by the Jamaica Tourist Board and its partners.
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NB: Please see our SMILE JAMAICA section for more on what the journalists said about their visit.