Jamaica's Island Outpost

Agents don't usually use history as a selling point when pitching the Caribbean to clients, but Island Outpost's latest packages allows them to do so. Built in 1780 and run as a hotel since 1972, Strawberry Hill has been a coffee and strawberry plantation and a hospital

Island Outpost, which owns several Jamaican properties, recently announced its Jamaica's Proud History packages, offering guests a glimpse of Jamaica's past through visits to some of the island's more popular retreats. Guests booking seven nights or more in any one or combination of two Jamaican properties—Strawberry Hill, Jake's, Goldeneye and The Caves—receive a customized tour as follows.

So, why do these places appeal to the history-oriented client? Here's a round-up of tours with historical angles that these properties have to offer, making a Jamaican vacation not only relaxing but educational.

All Island Post properties offer a 10 percent commission. To book clients at any of the properties, contact Tammy Kong, reservations manager, at 800-OUTPOST.

The History

Strawberry Hill was originally a coffee and strawberry plantation in the late 17th century and later transformed into a naval hospital in the 18th century. In 1972 Chris Blackwell bought it and then restored it after the house and gardens were destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert. It received the National Heritage Architecture Award in 1986.

Jake's, a resort on TreasureBeach, buffered by the Santa CruzMountains, was the scene for Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come, regarded as one of the hippest Caribbean films of all time. Funky designs such as Morrocan domes and arches remain today.

Commander Ian Fleming was Goldeneye's earliest owner. He bought the property in 1946 and wrote 13 novels here, creating perhaps the 20th century's most well-known action hero, James Bond. Today, it is a boutique resort surrounded by beaches, tropical forests, caves and secluded nooks.

Strawberry Hill

Rates for Strawberry Hill's 12 cottages, based on double occupancy, begin at $590 per room, per night and include meals, beverage and airport transfers.

As part of the Proud History Package, guests receive a guided tour of Spanish Town, Jamaica's former capital, which is home to Georgian architecture as well as Kingston Harbor; the Jamaica National Gallery, which showcases the history of Jamaica's art movement; and Devon House, the opulent home of George Stiebel, who made his fortunes in Venezuela's gold mines.

Jake's

Rates at Jake's, which has 18 cottages, begin at $115 per room per night, based on double occupancy. The newest accommodations are the Calabash Bay Villa and Calabash Cottage, which both have uninterrupted views of both the Caribbean Sea and a secluded bay.

With the package, guests earn a guided tour of Accompong, home of the Maroons, who settled here in 1749 after the mighty Cudjoe signed an independence treaty with the British. On the return to Jake's, guests can visit the Appleton Rum Estate, the largest distillery in Jamaica, operating since 1749.

Goldeneye

Based on double occupancy, rates begin at $750 per night and include all meals and beverages at Goldeneye, which is set on 18 acres. As part of the package, guests take a guided tour of the seaport town of St. Ann's Bay and can also go west to view the first Spanish settlement, Sevilla Nueva, which was built in 1509.

The Caves

In Negril, The Caves has 10 handcrafted cottages on two waterfront acres, plus an Aveda mini spa. Rates begin from $495 per room per night, based on double occupancy and includes all meals and beverages.

As part of the package, guests can visit the Frome Central Sugary Factory, which opened in 1939 and helped make Jamaica the world's largest sugar producer.

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