I found the perfect antidote to the stress and uncertainty of these past 14 months. I found it at Sandals South Coast resort in Jamaica.

A sense of calm immediately came over me as our private car transfer from the Montego Bay Airport arrived at the resort. Palm trees lined the driveway from the entrance gate to a dramatic flower and sculpture garden located in front of the portico over the doorway, leading in to a spacious and classic hotel lobby.

With every greeting, it was evident the resort staff would take care of all of our needs and we could leave behind all worries and concerns.

Over a dozen colorful male and female peacocks gracefully pranced around the resort and doves announced each new day of our stay.

Our second floor, one-bedroom suite with an oversized balcony overlooked the cream-colored sandy beach and blue waters of the marine sanctuary beyond.

All accommodations are located in the three distinct villages named, the Italian Village, the Dutch Village, and the French Village. There are as many as two-dozen different room types to suit every desire and personality. There are also twelve over-the-water bungalows featuring outdoor showers, private outdoor tranquility soaking tubs, and a glass floor to view the sea below while lying in bed. Another unique room category is the roomy rondovals with swim-out access…my personal favorite. These rooms and some of the other room categories provide personal butlers who will think of everything for you before you ask. Of course, if you make a request, they are right on it.

One early morning, while enjoying a cup of coffee on my balcony, I could hear music coming from the ground speakers spaced-out along the footpath that follows the beach from one end of the resort to the other. Four feet off shore near our room was a round thatched-roof palapa with two wooden benches perfect for quite thoughts. I walked out to the palapa as the water is shallow in that area. It was a moment of solitude for me where I had the beach to myself. The water was like glass and there was a stillness in the air so as to not drown out the gentle music. It was a perfect few minutes in time I will recall in the future when I need some stress relief.

Located down the beach is Latitudes Over-the-Water Bar. The walkout to the bar is lined with firepits and seating areas to relax and have conversations with your travel companions. Spectacular sunsets award anyone who ventures out there. And as total darkness overtakes the daylight, one can look back to shore and see the pale-yellow lights of the resort spread along the beach.

There are plenty of activities from kayaking to paddle-boarding to sailboats, and more. The resort offers soothing spa services, a spacious fitness center, several clay tennis courts, and nightly entertainment in the Cabaret. 

Dining is resort causal yet sophisticated. We loved the food and the variety of cuisine ranging from Asian, to French, to Italian, to Mediterranean Seafood, to Jerk, and other Jamaican specialties and national dishes. 

My wife and I are already planning to go back.

John Werner

As a 45 year veteran of the travel industry and the President of MAST Travel Network since 2002, John’s career has included 14 years as a travel agency owner. He has served in various capacities on the Board of the Midwest Chapter of ASTA including Treasurer and Vice President. John has also held several positions on the Board of Directors for MAST including Vice Chairman and Board Chairman during the years he owned Travel Group International, a MAST member during the 1990s.