February is the month to show One Love for Jamaica with a stay at one of Crissa Hotels
Jamaica is one of the hottest locations for holidaymakers at the moment who are ‘set jetting’ to the laid-back homeland of one of the world’s most famous late musicians Bob Marley. The island is experiencing a surge of interest following the recent visit of Prince Harry and Megan Markle for the premiere of the new film Bob Marley: One Love, set for general release on 14 February.
February is a month that the island will come alive with the sound of reggae, in a celebration of all things related to the music genre intrinsic to the island’s vibrant culture. Reggae Month kicks off with Bob Marley week in Jamaica from the 1st to the 6th of February followed by celebrations across the week including live shows, parades and exhibitions. The Jamaican legend would have been 79 on 6 February, and for those seeking the full Bob Marley experience Jamaica is one of the few places you can understand the man behind the album Legend.
One Love was filmed across significant locations in Jamaica and England, including Trench Town and Bull Bay, the film delves into early influences and how he shaped his artistry, along with the profound impact he had on those around him. Audiences can expect a deeper exploration of Marley’s cultural and social contributions and his “pain, his sorrows, his joys and his redemption”, says Ziggy Marley, Bob Marley’s eldest son.
The biopic celebrates the life and times of one of the island’s most celebrated musicians so there is no better time for travellers to retrace the footsteps of the reggae royalty to forge a deeper connection with his story. Perfect for music and culture lovers, Marley’s Jamaica offers a rich lens to authentically experience the island through, and a unique immersive insight into the roots and rhythms that inspired his timeless music.
Crissa Hotels offers an authentic Jamaican experience when it comes to accommodation. Visitors can choose S Hotel in Montego Bay or the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston. Both can be combined for a twin centre break which allows you to see more of the island.
As soon as you enter the S Hotel in Montego Bay, you can feel the essence of Jamaica. This property is locally owned, and it celebrates Jamaican culture.
The hotel’s life-size sculptures of renowned Jamaican icons made from recycled materials have been getting a lot of attention. You’ll findJamaican heroes like Bob Marley, Louisa Bennett (also known as Miss Lou), and Jimmy Cliff in life-sized form. Visitors can also find a plaque with information about each statue.
The S Hotel is an outstanding choice for accommodation. Every one of the 120 rooms features Jamaican furniture and comes with special amenities like dominoes and a record player with display copies of Bob Marley’s album. Crissa Hotels firmly believes that everyone possesses some Jamaican spirit within them, and they aim to give their guests an unforgettable holiday experience.
The S Hotel staff members are more like friends than butlers, and warmly welcome you. You are given their WhatsApp numbers. Unlike larger resorts in the area, you can also interact with the locals by walking out of the hotel onto the hip strip. This unique feature sets the hotel apart and makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking for an immersive Jamaican experience.
The Jamaican bobsleigh team made history by qualifying for the Olympics for the first time. Their remarkable achievement was later immortalized in the popular movie “Cool Runnings” which starred John Candy. The movie recounted how the team overcame numerous obstacles to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics held in Calgary. Despite finishing in 30th place among the 41 competing teams, the team brought pride to their country. To honour their legacy, the S Hotel now has a replica bobsleigh on display.
S Hotel offers diverse dining options, including four restaurants, a poolside grill, an all-day café, and two bars featuring Jamaican and international cuisine. The Roots Rock Restaurant celebrates local food amidst music heritage, while Jamrock Restaurant offers grilled meats beside the ocean. Rocksteady serves regional seafood, and Marketplace provides a fresh buffet and a la carte options. The Irie Baths and Spa offers massages, skin treatments, and three plunge pools for kinetic energy therapy.
Meanwhile, at Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, there are classic cars which have associations with Kathryn Hepburn and James Bond. It’s an all-inclusive hotel with four restaurants, including fine dining, serving lobster and local cuisine. The hotel has award-winning spa suites and exquisite bathrooms. Guests can enjoy entertainment by the pool with a DJ, live band, or fire pits. The Spanish Court Hotel, in Jamaica’s capital, is a top luxury choice for tourists. Its central location offers easy access to business, tourism, and dining. Stay here to enjoy city life.
According to the hotel’s owner Mr ChristopherIssa: “Jamaica is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Its history is a fusion of various people and cultures that have come together over time. The Portuguese and Spanish have influenced the country, resulting in a mix of around 30 different cultures. This diversity allows Jamaicans to adapt and flourish in any part of the world. We celebrate our black heroes on display in the lobby during Black History Month and beyond.”
Things to do on the island
Holidaymakers can retrace the steps of the reggae icon visiting key landmarks full of memories, such as the Bob Marley Museum and One Love Cafe, situated in Marley’s childhood home. Travellers wishing to walk more of Marley’s footsteps can visit Trench Town, and the Nine Mile village – Marley’s birthplace and final resting place. Exclusive excursions on the island provide experiences that connect visitors with the unparalleled musical icon.
On a winding musical pilgrimage in a traditional Jamaican country bus, fans can travel from Ocho Rios through Marley’s birthplace and final resting place, and up narrow lanes through lush hills to the mountain village of Nine Mile, with Chukka’s Reggae & Culture on Zion Bus Line. Nine Mile is the sleepy hillside hamlet where Bob Marley was born and laid to rest, and the journey up into the mountains to get there is truly breathtaking. The Zion Bus is a multicoloured Jamaican country bus decked out in Bob Marley pictures and blasting out his classic hits. You might get a chance to stop at a roadside stall and tuck into a traditional Jamaican patty on the way, too.
Step into Bob Marley’s childhood home
Bob Marley’s childhood home and museum is a place where you can learn about the musician’s humble roots. Members of the Marley family still live in Nine Mile and perform at the museum, so you’ll get the chance to listen to some of his hits before getting a guided tour of the complex and mausoleum where he’s laid to rest.
Listen to tracks in Bob Marley’s recording studio
At the height of his career in 1975, Bob Marley set up home in Kingston at a 19th-century house on 56 Hope Road. The house was converted into a museum by his wife, Rita Marley, and is filled with memorabilia, concert posters, platinum disks, and lots of his personal possessions, including his 1977 Series III Land Rover. You can also step into his personal recording studio.
A must for every reggae enthusiast, a mystical trip to Jamaica offers the chance to experience to the world-famous Rastafarian religion, culture and practices as well as connect with the essence of Bob Marley’s journey, providing a firsthand glimpse into the roots of his revolutionary music and the cultural tapestry of Jamaica. Travellers can explore the vibrant markets, indulge in authentic Jamaican cuisine, and feel the rhythm of reggae pulsating through the island.
For a full Jamaican experience, visitors can stay at S Hotel in Montego Bay or the Spanish Court Hotel. Book here Crissa Hotels | Best Luxury Hotels in Jamaica | Official Website
Famed for its beautiful beaches, jungles and Blue Mountains, as well as being the homeland of the late reggae artist, Jamaica is the number-one destination in the Caribbean for British travellers because of the island’s wealth of attractions, from its glorious outdoors, and activities, to great hotels, food and drink, and, of course, vibrant music scene.
Visiting during February will give you full access to a unique Jamaican cultural experience.
For photographs visit jamaica-tourist-board.prezly.com
Donna Richardson – Travel Journalist