April 17, 2021


Travel-Lickin' Good

In Jamaica, the Caribbean’s Ultimate Swim-Up Suites

What is a “rondoval”? The dictionary description of the word this marketing term arrives from, “rondavel,” a round Southern African creating with a peaked roof, but at the Sandals South Coast resort in Jamaica, it may well just be identified as the great space for a sensual but socially distanced couples Caribbean getaway.

Or, you can just simply call it a “Smurf House” — an lovable nickname that personnel and company have adopted for the blue-painted structures at the resort’s Rondoval Village

What is unique about these rooms is that they’re not just swim-up — they every come with their possess personal plunge pool, outdoor shower, and twin loungers on a semi-submerged patio — meaning you have your have plunge pool at the edge of the key pool.

The charming Rondovals — a combination of “round” and “oval” — come across a home in the room blend at Sandals South Coastline somewhere between the ground-floor swim up rooms at the resort’s oceanfront, three-story “village” structures and its overwater villas, the most special addresses on house.

Designed on a patch of previously underutilized land driving the principal hotel structures, the Rondoval villas are waterfront — not oceanfront. So if waking up to the sound of crashing waves each early morning is your jam, these rooms could not be for you.

On the additionally side, the Rondoval village is a silent oasis away from the pool and beach action any time of working day, the rooms have stunning sights of the mountains, and you do have a decision of two pools — your private plunge, fed by a trio of waterfall spouts, and the 17,040-square-foot river pool, the longest in the Western Hemisphere — ideal outside your doorstep to splash all over in.

Swing open up the slatted doorways of your massive round space and you’re greeted by a blaze of sparking sunlight reflecting off of the communal Rondoval Village pool, which snakes in between the community’s 20 thatch-topped villas and flows less than a trio of bridges.

There is no present in the pool, which tends to make it excellent for wading or lounging on floats (you can get blow-up peacocks, loungers, and other floats at the present shop, or just pack your very own). You can wave at your fellow villagers from your patio as they bob on by — normally with colorful cocktails in hand — or be a part of the every day ritual and circumnavigate the waterway oneself.

The fixings for a floating cocktail party are always close at hand many thanks to the stocked fridge in the villas, which involve a bottomless bottle of Appleton Estate rum and other libations along with Fruita fruit punches between the selection of mixers. And whatsoever is not quickly on-hand can speedily be fetched to the place by Sandals’ uber-productive groups of 24-hour on-contact butlers, who are just a mobile-mobile phone connect with away for home-service breakfasts, mid-working day treats, drink orders, restaurant reservations, and very a great deal whichever else your heart wants.

Talking of hearts, you’ll normally come across anything passionate arranged in towels, flower petals, and colored sticks on your mattress when you return to your villa after a working day invested at the seaside or pool. Our butlers, Venice and Romeo, didn’t just wait close to for us to check with for things: one particular working day they recommended that they deliver us a lobster lunch on our patio — fantastic idea, who could say no to that? On one more, we returned to the area soon after meal to locate a very hot bathtub drawn in the two-human being tub — something we in all probability would not have done for ourselves, but immensely enjoyed at the close of a long (if not specifically stress filled) day.

African rondavel designers realized all about trying to keep buildings neat in hot climates, and the Rondoval rooms are aided in this regard with 20-foot peaked ceilings, a suspended ceiling supporter, and a climate-command program that shuts off and on quickly when doorways are opened or shut. In addition to a comfy king-sized mattress, area features contain a tiny seating location and large Tv set you are going to likely by no means use, a glass-enclosed shower with a selection of two shower heads (or use the two!), and an out of doors shower for getting the beach front sand off.

Eventually, the out of doors shower and plunge pool could be appropriate for au natural bathing, but except you are a little bit of an exhibitionist that will almost certainly want to wait around right until some of the shrubbery all around the Rondovals grows in. For now, there are lots of sight strains into the pool and patio place (and the rooms by themselves, if you depart the doorways or home windows open up) from the other villas, the large pool, the bridges, and even the walkways bordering the elaborate. You can pull closed a massive out of doors curtain throughout the pool entry place for a very little a lot more privateness, but even that is subject matter to the vagaries of the blowing wind.

For a couple of evenings of escape from the pandemic, we observed the Rondoval rooms — and Sandals South Coastline — a secure and welcoming sanctuary. Possessing obtained our pre-trip unfavorable assessments and run the gauntlet of the Providence, Charlotte, and Montego Bay airports with N95-high-quality masks, we arrived at the vacation resort.

But like us, all of the friends experienced possibly been a short while ago analyzed or vaccinated, and virtually all things to do ended up outside aside from spa remedies.

Potential was sensibly restricted on the sunset catamaran cruise we took, and thanks to occupancy premiums hovering in the mid-20 percent assortment, there was a great deal of elbow rooms at the beach front, the pool, and even the swim-up bar. The resort’s in-drinking water gazebos, cabanas, and shady palapas (reservable every day via your butlers) furnished other social distancing options. Even the beach front volleyball nets have been divided in 50 percent to cut down team measurements.

We comprehensively savored all of the resort’s features, from some great tennis instruction to a wild ride on the Massive Mabel float, towed by a speedboat, as nicely as standout eating solutions like the waterfront jerk shack, casually classy foods at Neptune’s and Schooner’s, and primarily the Latitude overwater bar for sunset toasts and Cafe de Paris for coffee and crepes morning, midday, or late evening.

And although we felt relaxed with the resort’s well being and basic safety protocols, far more risk-averse vacationers could have invest the vast majority of their go to in just the confines of the Rondoval Village — plunging in their pool, wading in the lazy river, sunning on the deck and purchasing place assistance — and nonetheless had a superb several times in Jamaica.

If that experienced been the extent of our stop by, we definitely would not have complained.