A Civilized Anachronism
It is by choice that the venerable Jamaica inn never changes: The most beloved of the island’s Old Guard, it’s the classic privately owned inn all the others try to emulate. If you can, book the White Suite, which stands on its own promontory on one of the island’s prettiest beaches. It was the favored accommodation of Winston Churchill, who loved the light here for his watercolor painting (and no doubt the establishment’s exemplary service and timeless grace as well).
The guest rooms are tastefully furnished with Jamaican antiques, but it’s their spacious balustraded balconies that really make them special, furnished like open-air living rooms with sofa, writing table, rocking chair, and gorgeous ocean views. Breakfast on your balcony is a must, as is dinner by candlelight, but be sure to step out at least once for the mise-en- scène of dining on the romantic, lantern-lit terrace restaurant under the stars to the sound of the swaying palms and the nightly orchestra. The affluent patrons seem to enjoy the high-season jacket-and-tie dress code; there’s a smooth transition from the daytime’s relaxed comfort to the evening’s retro, old- fashioned elegance.