A Firsthand Look at The Geejam Collection in Port Antonio, Jamaica

Studio Villa, Trident Hotel

Studio Villa, Trident Hotel

 

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During a recent visit to Port Antonio, the lush, more tropical side of Jamaica, Travel Agent got a firsthand look at the Caribbean’s latest collection of barefoot luxury resorts with a twist…and a shout. The Geejam Collection, made up of three luxury resorts, is led by music veteran and hotelier Jon Baker; partner and co-owner, Steve Beaver; and businessman and Port Antonio native Michael Lee-Chin. This trio of hotels is especially well positioned to be the go-to spot for music aficionados.

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Here’s a closer look at the collection members:

The Trident Hotel

The Trident Hotel, which opened on April 15, epitomizes laid-back luxury with just 13 studio, one- and two-bedroom villas with private, heated plunge pools and terraces overlooking the sea. It was thoroughly renovated but maintains most of its original Jamaican-Georgian exteriors.

The hotel’s main 80-seat restaurant, Mike’s Supper Club, takes cues from the uptown Harlem style of years past and boasts an original Ferrari, a red 1917 Steinway piano, live music and spectacular views. The menu is designed by New York City’s Jamaican hot spot, Spur Tree, and will feature internationally influenced dishes with an emphasis on Jamaican and Japanese cuisine. Mike’s Supper Club has a live jazz band on weekends, and the popular mento band, the Jolly Boys, perform at both Mike’s and Geejam Hotel’s Bushbar when they are not touring.

We stayed in Villa No. 14 (there is no No. 13, for superstitious reasons), also known as the Shiprock Villa because it is so close to the ocean and the rocks. It was easily one of the best rooms we’ve ever stayed at in Jamaica. There’s a king-size bed and a flat-screen smart TV to watch an array of movies on Netflix and to listen to just about any type of music. The room also comes with an outdoor shower, as do some others, and some villas have outdoor bathtubs. Our tub was inside.

The best part of this room, however, was the private patio with a small swimming pool and lounge chairs. It is completely gated off from the other villas so you basically have a backyard to yourself. The pool is only about two feet away from the ocean and elevated some two feet above the ocean. It’s not uncommon to get sprinkled by the ocean as the waves crash the rocks. The villa is also the closest one to the hotel’s private beach. Most beaches in the Caribbean are public unless they are man-made like this one.

There is a helipad for access to all hotels. All three can arrange for a tennis pro to play with their guests. Also, a local jerk tasting (Port Antonio is the birthplace of jerk cooking) can be arranged for foodies. The collection also offers private tours and fishing expeditions on Geejam’s private sport-fishing boat, surfing expeditions at the nearby Long Bay Beach, and even recording studio time at Geejam Hotel.

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Geejam Hotel

Set in the heart of the bush, this hotel’s seven double rooms consist of three deluxe cabins, one suite, and a self-contained three-bedroom villa. Also included are a state-of-the-art recording studio, healing spa, swimming pool (Sanwood only), gym and Bushbar, forming an exclusive universe within the natural beauty of the grounds.

Hands down, the coolest feature of the resort is its famous recording studio where the likes of Amy Winehouse, Cee Lo Green, Snoop Dog and more have cut records. The property borders Drapers, a little-known village until Gwen Stefani of No Doubt gave it props at the 2003 Grammy Awards, as a result of the band recording their last album at Geejam Hotel.

Within immediate proximity is Frenchman’s Cove (voted by Conde Nast readers as one of the world’s top five beaches) and the equally enchanting Blue Lagoon. Geejam sits tall amongst several other stunning beaches.

Trident Castle

The faded-glamour charm of the Trident Castle still reigns on this sprawling seven-acre oceanfront estate. Much of the original furnishings and interiors have been refurbished and kept intact, creating an exceptional retro-chic ambiance. Built as a private residence by architect Earl Levy beginning in 1979, the Castle has become a symbolic landmark of Port Antonio’s history, and since been converted into a high-style pied-à-terre for seekers of uncommonly refined living.

The Castle has eight bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, and modern amenities, including 500-count sheets, compact digital surround sound system, Apple TVs, mini-bar and Wi-Fi.

The public rooms include an opulent ballroom and banquet hall, an elegant drawing room and living area, adjoining sunrooms and a state-of-the-art photography studio. One of the coolest features here can be found in the main living area, an old antique piano that was handpicked and even tested by Ludwig van Beethoven, who played it first to make sure it was up to standards. Fun Fact: Rapper Snoop Lion recently filmed a reggae video at the Trident Castle, where he took over the property for a week.

The Castle’s culinary team serves bespoke meals that blend Jamaican recipes with global accents in the property’s glam dining room, on its outdoor terrace, or poolside. A bar located within the sunrooms features a full repertoire of cocktails, wines and specialty elixirs.

The hotel also houses a Romanesque swimming pool with deck overlooking the ocean, helicopter pad and a petite private chapel arranged among its expansive lawns and terraces. Available for both individual bookings and buyouts, Trident Castle’s rates start at $275.

Agents should reach out to Sales/Reservations Manager Rose-Marie Barrant ([email protected], 876-993-2737) with any queries or requests for any of the Geejam Collection properties.

When in Port Antonio…

Among the attractions and activities that your clients can avail themselves of in and around Port Antonio are the following:

  • The Royal Mall in the heart of the downtown area is home to several shops, a coffee house, Internet café and the Ambiance Lounge.
  • Muskgrave Market, another downtown shopping hub, includes a crafts section selling handcrafted beaded or leather jewelry, coral and hard-wood jewelry, and hand-woven purses and baskets, wood carvings and paintings.
  • Rio Grande rafting excursions led by skilled, licensed captains.
  • The Errol Flynn Marina is a beautiful place to visit, go for a swim, have lunch or dinner, or enjoy a drink while watching the sunset.
  • Winnifred Beach, also known as Fairy Hill Beach, is about a 30-minute drive west of Port Antonio. It is a good spot for clients who want to mingle with locals at one of their favorite cooling-off spots.
  • Somerset Falls and Reach Falls offer playgrounds for swimming and exploring. Guides will show visitors the “hidden falls” at the former site and the Mandingo underwater cave at the latter.

This antique piano at Trident Castle was once played by Ludwig van Beethoven.

This antique piano at Trident Castle was once played by Ludwig van Beethoven.

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