#ROOMSERVICE: HILTON, ROSE HALL

Let me start of by saying I love Mobay |Moh-bay| but the traffic from Rose Hall to Fairview was literally the death of me. But to know me is to know that no amount of Vannessa Bling or Alkaline could distract me from the hatred I have for travelling. But you may be wondering why I would be making my way to the middle of town when my home for the weekend was on the fringes. Well, what’s a guy gonna do with one swim shorts on a 3-day staycay? After a long drive to a quick visit with Body ‘n’ Beach I was satisfied with my gorgeous coral Nautica shorts and sunscreen thanks to Shanice the owner.

Excited to get the ball rolling, my island crew -Sam, Jahbari, Delessia- and I rolled our way onto the property of Hilton Rose Hall to check into our us$370/per night room. Yeah, we shared a partial ocean view room with two queen beds and a hot ass balcony off the left tower overlooking the main pool. Can we talk? I think we perhaps all find ourselves doing this - roaming the property for a good half hour after checking in to locate exactly where our favorite things are. Don’t you do that?  Well this for me was easy, as of my group I was the only newbie to the Hilton Rose Hall. Trusting my friends’ taste I followed in suit as they lead me through the winding stairs and broad hallways to the main dining room with the mountainous amounts of food and drink. Scratch that, I mean the sinfully delicious mountainous amounts of food and drink.

After a relatively quick dinner at the buffet we soon returned to our room to chill and digest before our night out in the ‘cuzzi’. This as I was told was all the rave here - midnight escapades by the jacuzzi. So again, like a faithful follower I indulged my pals and grabbed my swimmies, flip flops and UE bluetooth WATERPROOF speaker (gifted to me by my dear friend Laurie Chin). Oh and let’s not forget the bottle of water that went on to save my life, but we’ll talk about that soon enough.

Down and in we went steaming away in the hole in the ground. Now, I’m black in case that wasn’t already established. But this is what I’m tryna’ get at; as a black man I’m not exactly fully understanding of the concept of sitting in hole filled with hot as balls water sweating my bejeebers off. But no sooner I had arrived at the conclusion that my time to exit the ‘cuzzi’ had come than we stumbled upon a lovely couple from Colorado named Luke and Abby. Luke and Abby Lake were here for a destination wedding of a friend and were determined to make it all about them until the wedding, smart!

Five minutes into the formalities known to strangers sharing hot water space in a jacuzzi and the Lakes were catching us up on the suspect whereabouts prior to joining us. Say no more! We instantaneously ‘go go power rangered’ our way into covert operation ‘unpermitted fun’ guided by our new friends. Despite how small the juvenile act, there is something about embarking on an adventure in the wee hours of the night that just spells lifelong memories to me and I was right. From sliding down head first in the CLOSED waterpark to losing my brand new Calvin Klein prescription glasses in the water (Luke later found them for me, what a guy!), my first night at Hilton Rose Hall set the precedent on how I now ‘do’ all inclusive.

But the unexpected fun didn’t end there. Here we are the next morning lounging by the pool (Jahabri and I) minding everybody else’s business but our own and there I spotted a wandering woman. Sipping juice from a cup with a pleased puss expression, wandering eyes and a mumbling lip strutting her stuff in our direction was funny girl Elva Ruddock. And yes, that’s exactly weh me bawl out. In the people dem big big hotel I’m there yelling out the woman full name. Understandably startled but equally intrigued Elva propped her rump down left of my lounge chair and the rest was history. Half hour of breathtaking jokes and hotel philosophy later we ran off to legally enjoy the water park. Heading the call of the ocean we ventured out to sea in kayaks (and btw my kayak game stroooong!) but in true weekenders fashion we had to try something new, this time it was sailing. Despite our words of confidence we used to reassure the guide that we were fully capable of going out on our own, we never knew jack didly squat about sailing. Needless to say 90% of our time out there was spent trying to get back to shore. Sigh. 

I soon after had to zoom back into Kingston for a quick presentation to drive back to Mobay same day, thanks AIR OCHI aka the highway. While we made the trip in record breaking time we were still too late in booking our dinner reservation at the ‘Luna Di Mare’ where as per my pals’ review is quite the place. So foolishly we opted to dine at the open Seaside Grille and Bar. Now any seasoned all-inclusive traveller knows that the words ‘seaside’ or ‘grill/e’ shouts mediocrity and blandness and that’s exactly what we received.

But we were determined not to end our staycay on that sour note so back to the cuzzi we went. About and hour in and we had decided that it just wasn't the same without our partners in crime Luke and Abby so we jumped out and made our way to get some grub and brown liquor (lol). Here we would find ourselves intrigued by the seemingly pumping club ironically placed in front the kid’s game room. Long and short of it we danced our back foot of and crashed face first into our beds confident that we had a damn good time on yet another weekend together.