Photography provided by Royalton Negril

I bumped along the road to my destination in Negril, Jamaica, the ride punctuated with frequent laughter and “ya mons.” I had known my travel companion, a Montego Bay local, for all of five minutes, yet already I felt a sense of camaraderie with the man with a constant twinkle in his eye. This is the way of the Jamaican people; you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t eager to strike up a conversation or crack open a Red Stripe with you. Several small villages, two bamboo-tree tunnels and one fiery sunset later, I arrived at Royalton Negril, a waterfront resort offering a new brand of all-inclusive with a distinctively luxurious feel.

As I descended to the beach level with an icy cocktail in hand, I took in the campus of pristine pathways, rocky coves and lush greenery. The far-reaching property curls around the bay, with a band shell at its center. Royalton Negril boasts 407 luxe guest rooms, every last one equipped with a balcony or terrace, a rain shower, and a signature DreamBed. The cherry on top? 24-hour butler service to meet your every need during your stay.

Photography provided by Nexus Tours

Royalton Negril balances relaxation with excitement, all without requiring you to set foot off the grounds. There are Royalton Fit activities galore, global-inspired dining options, private beach harbors and lively water parks. Plus the aforementioned band shell regularly hosts concerts for a truly Jamaican experience.

Photography provided by Aisha Sylvester/

If you do opt to venture off property, the beach city of Negril has plenty more to entice the explorer in you. Just an hour from the resort, Mayfield Falls is an experience you won’t want to miss. With the help of Nexus Tours, you can make your way up the falls with a fun-loving crew to show you the way through the many small pools and to direct your attention to the lush plant life that surrounds you. The refreshing sea-foam green water left me feeling rejuvenated and at least a few years younger.

To truly appreciate the signature turquoise Caribbean waters, I recommend an excursion on a glass-bottom boat. Famous Vincent is your best bet, as Vincent himself and his trusty team will make it a day you won’t forget. You can snorkel from the boat or just sit back, relax and view the majestic marine life on display, including starfish, stingrays and sea turtles.

Photography provided by Mandy Ebert

For a lively evening of reggae and cliff jumping, Rick’s Café is a great final stop for the day. Locals and tourists gather here to take in the incredible sunset views. The animated crowd sticks around until just after sundown, then the once boisterous spot mysteriously empties. That raucous liveliness is replaced with a quiet serenity, making this the supreme setting to let the sun set on your Jamaican adventure to Royalton Negril.

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.