Calm waters are ideal for even the youngest swimmer at Sunscape Cove Montego Bay Credit: Jaden GonsalvesSunscape Cove: family luxury in Montego Bay Michele Peterson June 13, 2016 8835 A premium playground for adventure-loving families With tables draped in white linen, glimpses of the Caribbean beyond a freshly- clipped lawn and red-billed hummingbirds flitting about the flowerbeds, breakfast at Terrace Restaurant within the new Sunscape Cove Montego Bay feels like a privileged club. This beachfront resort set on a secluded peninsula overlooking Montego Bay Marine Park recently reopened as a member of AMResorts, a collection of all-inclusive luxury resorts located in sun destinations throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. The sense of having joined a private club here isn’t an accident. The resort features Jamaica’s first Sun Club, an upgraded section featuring elevated resort amenities. Our inter-generational party of two has arrived for a week of exploring its unique combination of family-friendly features and luxury. Boutique-style Luxury Sunscape Cove is set on Montego Bay Marine Park Credit: AMResorts Our experience begins upon arrival with a concierge welcome, private check-in and chilled fruit punch. The resort features a no-wristband policy, an innovation that adds to guest comfort as you can avoid the pesky ID bands typically used at all-inclusive resorts. Sunscape Cove offers 122 elegant guest rooms set within low-rise buildings with decorative gingerbread fretwork and airy latticework. Each of the guest rooms feature spacious balconies or terraces overlooking the lush gardens or Caribbean Sea. Connecting rooms, family-sized rooms (some with bunk beds) and cribs available upon request, mean there are lots of options no matter the size of your entourage. Our Junior Suite offered an impressive view of palm trees and sea. Sun Club guests can access Terrace Restaurant at Sunscape Cove Montego Bay Credit: AMResorts Beyond the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely à-la-carte breakfast at Terrace Restaurant and exclusive access to Da Mario restaurant for evening dining, other features of the Sun Club section include complimentary room service, an exclusive Sun Club Lounge and an upgraded mini-bar refreshed daily. Tots also enjoy cartoons, milk, cookies and other special treats. Sunscape Cove guests also have access to all food and beverage options at the adjoining Sunscape Splash resort featuring an international buffet and à-la-carte restaurants, all without reservations required. A swim-up bar, a beach bar and various grill restaurants round out the dining options. We fell hard for sunset dining at Seaside Grill, the resorts’ open-air restaurant set on a premonitory overlooking two beaches. Here, families can indulge in grilled specialties such as steak and chicken or Jamaican cuisine like conch topped with coconut rundown sauce. A thrill for all ages is watching the sun slip below the ocean’s horizon in a spectacular display of red, orange and violet. Adventure Central Sunscape Splash water slide is fun for all ages Credit: Jaden Gonsalves It’s easy to balance active and leisure time here. With four outdoor swimming pools to choose from, guests at Sunscape Cove also enjoy full access to Sunscape Splash where the towering Black Pearl Pirate Ship surrounded by slides and meandering lazy river will delight kids of all ages. Even during March Break when the resort was at close to full occupancy, there were no line-ups. Other kid-friendly diversions include an Explorer’s Club for children ages 3 to 12 with supervised activity programs daily. The largest kid’s club in Jamaica, it’s spacious and packed with plenty of toys. Daily activities during our visit included Jamaican bracelet making, soca dance classes and treasure hunts. Tennis, mini-golf and a special teen zone will appeal to older members of your entourage. Evening movies under the stars are a great wind-down to a full day of fun. There’s no need to tote the kids from attraction to attraction when there’s so much to do onsite. Take a tour of The Black Pearl Pirate Ship Credit: Jaden Gonsalves Montego Bay Marine Park Credit: Jaden Gonsalves Perhaps the best feature of this property is its prime location overlooking Montego Bay Marine Park. Established in 1991 to protect the coral reefs, flora and fauna and shoreline, it offers an eco-system ideal for spotting herons, egrets and pelicans. Its warm, shallow waters serve as a nursery incubating a wide range of marine life. We spent many afternoons floating above brilliant angelfish and spotting barracudas, yellow starfish and crab the size of dinner plates. With snorkelling and non-motorized watersport equipment included in the all-inclusive plan, it’s an especially carefree way to experience the wonders of underwater marine life without complicated advance planning. Culture Celebrations After soaking up your share of sunshine on the white sand beach, it’s important to make time to get into Jamaica’s spiritual heart, and that means music. If you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to hit Reggae Sumfest, a three-day festival in Montego Bay that showcases the best of dance hall, reggae and hip hop music. As well, each year on August 6, Jamaica celebrates Independence Day, commemorating independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Celebrations take place in parishes across Jamaica and are a fantastic opportunity to participate in this cultural extravaganza of street dances, festival bandwagons, drumming, arts and crafts and nightly music events. But you don’t need to head offsite to keep the reggae vibe happening. Sunscape’s nightly entertainment includes a wide range of family-friendly performances such as talent competitions, fashion shows, folkloric spectacles to our favourite, a circus act complete with jugglers, jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics and flying trapeze by a dance troupe from Kingston. Other resort highlights include cultural evenings outdoors featuring Jamaican dishes such as jerk chicken, macaroni pie and corn on the cob. By the end of our stay, we both agreed that the new Sunscape Cove Montego Bay is more than just a vacation getaway. Its winning combination of boutique-style luxury, superb natural setting and family-friendly amenities is an adventure for the senses–and all ages. Travel Planner Air Transat offers non-stop service from Montreal to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Sunscape Cove Montego Bay is 10 minutes from the airport. www.airtransat.com The Sunscape Resorts & Spas collection includes all-inclusive properties in Jamaica, Mexico, Curacao and the Dominican Republic www.sunscaperesorts.com Visit Jamaica: The official tourism site offers a wealth of information on activities, travel and island hospitality. www.visitjamaica.com Related
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