Roughly an hour and a half flight off the coast of Florida amidst the plots of lands which make up the Caribbean, lies the once Spanish colonized and Pirate inhabited city of Kingston, Jamaica. Unlike the more touristy sections of this country which are known for their commercial resorts and nightlife, Kingston boasts a well-balanced offering of both excitement and relaxation. The root of Jamaican culture and beauty lies within its’ often neglected and misrepresented capital.

Let’s be truthful, when Heed was invited to visit Kingston there were a few initial inhibitions amongst our team that were based on unfounded and pre-conceived notions. All myths were completely ‘put to rest’ once we experienced Kingston for ourselves. That’s right! No one was kidnapped and sold for ransom, there were no incidents with machetes against travelers of alternative sexual preference and no panhandlers held us up for our wallets. Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, we can focus on the historically rich, artistic and inclusive environment Kingston provides.

Local Sites

City Street
City Street
Night view of Kingston
Night view of Kingston
City Mural
City Mural
Local School Children
Local School Children
Emancipation Park Statue
Emancipation Park Statue
Infinity Pool atop Strawberry Hill
Infinity Pool atop Strawberry Hill

Must See(s)

Devon House – An 11-acre property built by Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel, is nestled right in the center of Kingston. The estate also houses a FREAKING AMAZING ice cream shop voted #4 best place to eat ice cream in the world.

Devon House Estate
Devon House Estate
Staircase - Devon House
Staircase – Devon House
Grand Ballroom - Devon House
Grand Ballroom – Devon House

Bob Marley Museum – Bob’s previous residence repurposed and dedicated to the reggae musician and his many acheivements. You can’t help but get inspired as you walk through the halls of the icon’s home. Apparently, you’re only allowed to take photos inside the museum if you’re President Obama. So, we were only able to snag a few exteriors for you. Be sure to take a gander inside yourself.

Life-size statue of Bob Marley
Life-size statue of Bob Marley
One of Bob Marley's Original Musicians
One of Bob Marley’s Original Musicians
Museum Entrance
Museum Entrance

Where to stay

Rafjam – High up in the Blue Mountains resides a internationally renown outbacker bed & breakfast. This spot is the ultimate ‘unplug’ from anyone’s daily hustle and bustle. Even if you are more inclined to find comfort in city life you will most likely appreciate a couple of days at this b&b. Room rates are as low as $50USD per night. Can’t beat that!

IMG_0160

 

Rafjam Signage
Rafjam Signage
Rafjam Entrance
Rafjam Entrance
Rafjam Living Quarters
Rafjam Living Quarters
Rafjam TikiBar Area
Rafjam TikiBar Area
RafJam Creek
RafJam Creek

If you’re more comfortable and better acclimated with Western Civilization’s version of vacation residency, we’ve included a shortlist of great hotels which should appease in the New Kingston area.

The Jamaica Pegasus – New Kingston’s premiere hotel with dual functionalities as a conference and vacation hotel.

The Knutsford Court – Family oriented courtyard style rooms.

Spanish Court Hotel – Modern and sleek boutique-like hotel with spa amenities.

Terra Nova All Suite Hotel – The upper echelon of Kingston stay.

Courtleigh Hotel & Suites – Heed’s favorite. It’s a good mix of luxury and home-like comfort. It also boasted a restaurant with some of the best cuisine we experienced during our stay.

The Eats

Did we mention the five-pound weight gain that came along with all of the fresh exquisite food we consumed while in Kingston? You need not look much further than your hotel to indulge in local culinary ecstasy.

 

Ackee Appetizer
Ackee Appetizer
Fresh Coconut Water - Knutsford Court
Fresh Coconut Water – Knutsford Court
Lunch at RafJams
Lunch at RafJams
Mango Cheesecake - Spanish Court
Mango Cheesecake – Spanish Court
Chicken Supreme stuffed with Calalloo and Ricotta - Spanish Court
Chicken Supreme stuffed with Calalloo and Ricotta – Spanish Court
Steamed Snapper - Spanish Court
Steamed Snapper – Spanish Court
Chocolate Cake - Knutsford Court
Chocolate Cake – Knutsford Court
Smoked Pork Chops with Citris Glaze - Knutsford Court
Smoked Pork Chops with Citris Glaze – Knutsford Court
Photography © Saudia Mitchell for Heed Magazine
Videography © Earl Christian III for Heed Magazine