Round Hill Hotel and Villas Spa

by Angelique Platas

Jun 1, 2018
June 2018

BEFORE MY TRIP TO MONTEGO BAY, essentially all I knew about Jamaica was my parents had a lovely time there on their honeymoon, more than 30 years ago. Eager to get out of the 40-degree weather and into island vibes, selling me on three full days at a 5-star Jamaican resort couldn’t have been easier. Going through customs in my long pants, sweater and Philadelphia-spring clothes in the dead heat of the West Indies sun was just the shock my body needed to usher me into relaxation mode.

Upon arriving at Round Hill Hotel and Villas, I was pleasantly surprised by how natural the resort felt. Tucked away on the hillside — hence the name — surrounded by picturesque cliffs, turquoise-blue waters, sandy beaches and lush jungle-like foliage, it didn’t feel manmade at all, more like someone discovered this oasis in a tropical forest. With rustic bars built around almond tree trunks and most of the shade provided on the beach by the thick, woven branches and limbs, guests can easily enjoy sun, shade and comfort without umbrellas lining the sand and blocking the view.

While touring the grounds of Round Hill Hotel and Villas, dreaming of my spa treatment later that day was all that occupied my mind — that, and whether my fresh sunburn would hinder my massage.

Taking the short walk from the beach to the welcome wharf of the spa, along what is known as the Enchanted Path, provided a pleasant way to ease into the peace and quiet of my spa treatment. I walked by a cove decorated with natural white rocks and stones from the beach, stacked and signed by guests of the hotel, and passed a nearly private beach offering plush bed lounges, chairs and an inviting hammock. Ignoring the siren call of the hammock, I headed into the cottage for my appointment.

When Round Hill first opened in the 1950s, spa treatments and services were not as fashionable as they are today. As the resort’s popularity grew and wellness services improved, the spa cottage went from a room with a bed or two and on-call therapists to a full-service spa, health and wellness center boasting a wide variety of natural scrubs, exotic treatments, skincare therapies and holistic services. All are in keeping with the rustic-meets-luxury and natural appeal of the rest of the resort.

After going back and forth with the menu items, from the tranquility treatment to the deep-tissue experience, I landed on the Wellness Massage option, as it was described to me as a bit of both. I walked over to the changing room, found a cubby for my clothes and changed into an oversized robe and rubber sandals before shuffling back to the main cottage for my massage.

ROUND HILL HOTEL AND VILLAS

Treatment room © ROUND HILL HOTEL AND VILLAS

I grabbed a spa water on the way to my room and got comfortable under plush sheets surrounded by aromatherapy incense. My masseuse was soft-spoken and sweet as she patiently waited for me to get situated, rolling over the wrong way and back again. She began by gently exfoliating my feet, legs, arms and hands, then back — again, after patiently waiting for me to roll over correctly. The exfoliation process woke my skin up from a long winter, helping with circulation and making the lotion and oil process that much more relaxing.

Essentially, the wellness treatment is designed to rejuvenate your skin while relaxing your muscles and releasing any harbored deep tension. The massage started with my feet and calves and moved up toward my back, arms, shoulders and neck. The kneading pressure felt amazing and, after just a few minutes, I knew I was going to have a hard time accepting the massage was over. Oil, massage, lotion, massage and repeat, forever.

After rolling on my back for more massaging of my feet, legs, chest, head and face, my 50-minute massage was coming to an end. Until my experience at Round Hill, I hadn’t had a professional scalp massage before, and to sneak that in at the end was a welcome, game-changing surprise.

Now fully relaxed, near sleep and feeling completely exhilarated and rejuvenated at the same time, I begrudgingly got up from my reverie and prepared to change. After assessing the situation that was my disheveled, oiled-up hair, I was completely unfazed — it was still island time, or irie, mon — as I slid my now slippery feet back into my rubber shoes and headed for my locker of beach clothes.

Luckily, the spa and fitness center’s private beach was just steps away, so I easily floated over to lie on the lounge chair for a bit longer in full relaxation mode. Although the spa offers “me time” treatments for teens, it’s one of the only spaces on the resort exclusively adults-only and incredibly quiet. Perfect for my extended wellness treatment and self-made R&R before walking back to reality — well, a 5-star Jamaican resort reality consisting of infinity pools, high tea and impeccable service.

Round Hill Hotel and Villas

John Pringle Drive
Montego Bay, Jamaica
tel 876 956 7050
roundhill.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Oct 22, 2019

Airbnb Acquires Urbandoor

Homesharing giant Airbnb recently acquired Urbandoor, a startup specializing in furnished and serviced apartments for longer-than-normal work trips, relocation periods or for other long-term stays.

Your Home Away From Home

Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.

News
Oct 22, 2019

Luxury Collection Plans 2020 Saudi Arabian Debut

Marriott plans to bring its Luxury Collection brand to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2020. The Assila Hotel in Jeddah joins the Luxury Collection portfolio next year.

Feature
Oct 22, 2019

Southwest Now Accepts Apple Pay

Apply Pay, the iPhone payment tool, is now available for flights on Southwest Airlines.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

eFlyer Reviews
Oct 22, 2019

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Review

The addition of 50 high-end Explorer Cabins upped Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite’s game in the rustic-luxury market by attracting those who want upscale amenities but desire an outdoorsy mountain experience — “cabineering,” as Tenaya calls it, or roughing it in the woods without the rough part.

eFlyer Lead
Oct 22, 2019

Airlines Maintain Boeing 737 MAX Cancellations Through February

The Boeing 737 MAX cancellations will continue through the new year and at least one airline is keeping them grounded even longer to avoid disruptions down the line.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Daily
Oct 22, 2019

Holland America Line’s Club Orange Available on All Ships

Holland America’s Club Orange premium amenities program is available on all ships as of this month. Previously only available on nine, Club Orange provides guests with stateroom upgrades, access to onboard events and extra privileges such as a dedicated concierge hotline. Newly available through Club Orange is the upgrade guests receive to the best available stateroom at the time of purchase. Guests also now enjoy a surprise event during the cruise, ranging from a behind-the-scenes tour to a private meet-and-greet with onboard entertainers.