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Jamaican elegance.

Relaxation begins in the exotic gardens of Round Hill

Step onto the secluded property of the Bound Hill Hotel and Villas Resort nestled in the hills of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and feel your troubles melt away. Take a moment to soak in the resort's quiet elegance and behold the lush landscape perfumed by jasmine and bright fuchsia hibiscus blossoms. Now, let the relaxation begin.

You'll probably want to drop off your bags before you take in the rest of Round Hill, but your next move will depend on the type of accommodations you've selected. You have a choice of places to stay at Round Hill, which originally opened its doors in 1952 as a private resort. You can select one of 27 cozy villas whose former guests and shareholders include such legends as Noel Coward and Oscar Hammerstein. Or, opt for a room at Round Hill's Pineapple House Hotel. Either choice is an excellent one, but each has a set of unique offerings.

Villas--which come as two, three, or four-room suites--dot the emerald hillside and are available for rent when the owners are not in residence. You'll feel right at home in these airy cottages. For your swimming pleasure, 22 of the villas have private pools. Each villa is decorated differently, so you may find wicker, mahogany, or bamboo furniture. However, they all have laid-back living rooms and/or verandas where you can sit back and enjoy the tranquil blue sea. After a peaceful night in a villa, you'll greet the morning refreshed and be lured out of bed by the aroma of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee that your personal cook has brewed to accompany a traditional Jamaican breakfast--ackee and saltfish.

If you select a room at Bound Hill's Pineapple House Hotel, you'll be in store for another treat. All 36 rooms have huge, louvered windows that embrace the Caribbean Sea. Decorated with dark wood floors, high ceilings with fans (there is air conditioning as well), and large comfy mahogany beds, these surroundings certainly aren't your typical hotel fare.

OK, you're settled in. Unpack your bathing suit and head to the hotel's private beach or to the freshwater pool that extends to the edge of the sea. While taking a dip in the pool, you may experience a hint of deja vu but don't be startled. You really have been here before--through film, at least. The pool scenes, as well as many others, from the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back, were shot at the resort. Like Angela Bassett, you're sure to experience something magical.

After a few leisurely laps, stroll over to the Hotel's open-air dining terrace. Ralph Lauren, who owns two villas on the property, decorated the hotel bar. As you might expect from this contemporary designer, the decor basks in lots of crisp blues and whites wrapped in a nautical scene. Ask the barkeep for a glass of the hotel's famed rum punch (alcoholic or nonalcoholic versions are offered). Next, hit the tennis courts or if it's a Friday afternoon meet the resort's head gardener for a weekly, guided tour of Round Hill's beautiful well-kept gardens. Here, you'll consume the sweet floral fragrances of dazzlingly exotic plants.

Finish the day by watching the vivid Caribbean sunset. But don't turn in yet. Nighttime activities abound at Round Hill. In fact, there is something special to do each night. Monday, kick up some sand at the beach party. It's cocktails on Tuesday; dancing to calypso music on Wednesday; steel drum or reggae bands on Thursday and Sunday; Friday is Jamaica night with folkloric performances and a Jamaican buffet; and a fancy gala dinner dance with a jazz band on Saturday.

After sun and fun, get a massage at the hotel's new Wellness Center or have a masseur come to your room. As the masseur applies the aromatic warm oil and begins to soothe your tired muscles, you realize you really are in paradise.

Prices vary by season, with starting rates ranging from $240 to $850 per night. For reservations, call 800-972-2159 or log on to
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Title Annotation:Round Hill Hotel and Villas Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Author:Brown, Ann
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:5JAMA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
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