Craving a romantic and affordable Valentine’s Day escape with your sweetheart? No problem Mon— as Southwest Airlines recently began daily nonstop service from William P. Hobby Airport to one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations— Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Which is good news for travelers out of the DFW area because Southwest Airlines offers daily nonstop flights to Houston from Dallas Love Field. With flights beginning as early as 6 a.m., you can have coffee in Dallas and cocktails in Montego Bay before the sun goes down.
Better yet, Southwest is offering complete vacation packages during Valentine’s Day weekend (airfare and all-inclusive accommodations) from $973 per person for 3 nights.
Apart from being one of the only airlines flying nonstop to Jamaica out of Houston, Southwest is also the only airline offering international flights out of Hobby Airport. Along with daily non-stop flights to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Southwest operates non-stop flights out of Houston Hobby to Liberia, Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Mexico City, Belize and Aruba.
Speaking of all-inclusive vacations, Jamaica is the birthplace of the all-inclusive resort and visitors are spoilt for choice in Montego Bay.
Where to Stay :
If you want an all-inclusive resort that offers something for everyone; the 352-room Royalton White Sands (Montego Bay)— with multiple pools, private beaches, five specialty restaurants, six bars and a host of fun-filled activities for all ages— certainly has it all. The resort even has on-site water parks for kids and adults. (www.royaltonresorts.com)
Or for an adults only experience, it doesn’t get much more enchanting then at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort (multiple locations)— a luxurious Georgian-style oasis featuring seven pools, unlimited water sports, a slew of gourmet dining options and an offshore island complete with new over-the-water suites. Additional perks include unlimited access and complimentary transportation between all three of Sandals’ Jamaican resorts. (www.sandals.com)
Though it would be all too easy to spend your entire vacation within the comfy confines of your resort, you’ll want to get out and experience all that this mystical island has to offer. Think—lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, soaring mountains and some of the best attractions in the Caribbean.
What to See :
Rose Hall Great House (Montego Bay)—a beautifully restored Georgian style plantation mansion which was home to the White Witch of Rose Hall, Annie Palmer. Legend has it that Palmer tortured her slaves and murdered all three of her husbands. Guided history tours of the mansion are offered during the day, but those interested in paranormal activities will undoubtedly enjoy taking the tour at night when they might catch a glimpse of Palmer’s ghost roaming about the house. (www.rosehall.com)
What to Do :
Chukka’s Good Hope Estate (Falmouth)— a coconut plantation offering canopy tours, river tubing and off-road adventures in all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and dune buggies. (www.chukka.com)
Dunn’s River Falls (Ocho Rios)— Jamaica’s most popular attraction featuring a stunning 600 foot cascading waterfall in which visitors can climb with the help of experienced guides. (www.dunnsriverfallsja.com)
Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures (Ocho Rios)— nestled above a rainforest nearby Dunn’s River Falls, offering everything from gondola rides and zip lining tours to exhilarating bobsled rides down a 1000-meter long track. (www.rainforestadventure.com)
Rick’s Cafe (Negril)— an island hotspot most famous for its daredevil cliff divers. (www.rickscafejamaica.com)
Where to Eat :
Scotchies (Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Kingston) —one of the island’s most famous spots for sampling spicy jerk cuisine.
Miss T’s Kitchen (Ocho Rios)—a lovely open-air restaurant operated by Jamaica’s rising star chef, Anna-Kay Tomlinson. Be sure not to miss the braised oxtails, a sumptuous stew that won rave reviews from Food Network’s Guy Fieri. (www.misstskitchen.com)
Getting Around :
Paradise Travels Private Transportation and Tours (www.paradisetravelsinja.com)
Getting There :
Southwest Airlines offers daily service departing at 10:35 a.m. from Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport and arriving at 2:50 p.m. at Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
For more information about Jamaica, see www.visitjamaica.com