I thoroughly enjoyed my 3-day, 3-parish birthday staycation in the previous year, so much so that I opted to do a similar celebration for another year, this time situated at SeaGarden Beach Resort!
SeaGarden Resort: Garden View Room
At 3:00pm, check-in time commences. After reading and signing the necessary documents, you’ll be promptly greeted by a smiling baggage handler and refreshing glasses of rum punch. Front desk attendants will then present room keys after giving a quick synopsis of the available activities on and around the property for the day. The baggage handler, who won’t allow you to lift a finger, will only then escort you to your room. I stayed in a standard room furnished with a decorated king-sized bed, television, air conditioning, double night stands and lamps, and full bathroom. Unfortunately, rain revealed a leak in the window sill, which instigated an unexpected yet welcomed room change for us on the second night. So here’s room 1 and room 2.0!
SeaGarden Resort Property Amenities
A quick walk around the property will reveal a swimming pool with adjoining snack and drink bars, an elegant water fountain, 2 restaurants, a piano bar, entertainment room, discotheque, and gym. A white sand beach lined with gazebos and lounge chairs along teal waves is a short walk directly across the street.
SeaGarden Resort’s Private Beach
Crossing guards are on duty to halt traffic and guide you across the road from the resort to its beach. The serene private beach has a lengthy deck lined with gazebos, and lounge chairs along the water’s edge. The bar will tend to your soft drink, fruit drink, and cocktail needs as well as servings of comfort lunch meals such as burgers, hot dogs, and fries. The hours can roll by as gently as the waves do while you indulge at the beach bar & grill admiring the gradient evening sky.
Before you knew it, it’s time for dinner in the main restaurant. The wide food selection may leave your mouth willing, but heart (or stomach) weak; I found myself eating less than desired but more than I could manage at a time. After dinner on the first night, an entertainment segment was enjoyed by the poolside, filled with colourful acts (shown in the video clips below).
Buffet-style at SeaGarden Resort’s Jasmine Restaurant
A warm shower and quick shampoo after a full day of activities cut in on the time to visit the Piano Bar, which is only open on select days. Like we did breakfast (oh the omelette station!), we enjoyed dinner once again in the main restaurant of the SeaGarden Resort.
The Jasmine Restaurant downstairs laid a different selection of meals from the previous night. Polite staff members wished me a happy birthday as a waiter escorted to an available table of choice. Cocktails were served with dinner, followed by a small cake with cursive ‘Happy Birthday’ chocolate writing on its plate. It was such a lovely gesture, and a bigger dessert delight than my birthday last year! My partner & I shared 3 slices, and requested to have the remaining 3 wrapped in foil. These were shared with the 3 employees who enhanced the overall experience for us: Shandar, Julie (front desk), and Henry (reservations)!
- Room 80%
- Cleanliness 80%
- Staff Interactions 100%
- Food 65%
We spent a fair amount of time on the property, but in my true birthday fashion, you know I had to venture out! Here’s what I did off the all-inclusive resort.
Night Out at Pier 1 Montego Bay
Driving along the Hip Strip on a Friday night will hint at numerous lymes and bar parties as music pulsates with each passing building. Persons can even be seen taking a nightly swim in the public Buccaneer Beach. Vendors of many kinds are spotted along the stretch with products arrayed on their carts.
No doubt about it though, Pier 1 seems to be the Friday night hot spot, drawing a great crowd from as early as 10:30pm (in Jamaica, that’s early!). I rang in my birthday by dancing to a barrage of dancehall and hip hop musical selections with lively patrons. The party by the marina apparently raves until the wee hours of the morning, left in full swing around 3:30AM.
World-Famous Seven Mile Beach
The next morning, we headed out to the second destination of the weekend: Negril, Westmoreland! Walk in the sun on one of Jamaica’s most popular beaches, Seven Mile beach, and observe many beach-front resorts populating the area.
During the walk we were amused by a man, wrapped in wires, cables, and telephone receivers who ‘rang’ as persons passed by. He informed them that “Jamaica is calling” before breaking out into song if a patron chose to answer the line. Numerous locals can be found along the shores selling hand-made jewelry, apparel, crafts, marijuana, and water sport activities such as parasailing, snorkeling, and glass bottom boat tours.
You can walk in shallow water for a few metres before it becomes deep enough to submerge yourself in the warm sea. Some of the swimming areas left me disappointed due to the obvious increase in seaweed since my last extended visit some time ago.
Party at Margaritaville: Negril
The highlight of the beach that day was at Margaritaville, where the party came alive! This was a complete contrast to my visit last year. Kids and adults alike swam in the clear waters under the afternoon sun, taking turns bouncing on a trampoline in the sea. A lively host with an equally vivacious crew of dj and dancers attracted most persons from the water with an entertaining show.
Patrons could enjoy free rum punch shots, group dances, and watching as entertainment raved on. A number of persons, myself included, were coaxed into the centre circle to show off moves; the vibe never dwindled. Even a little rain wasn’t enough to stall the party, it was surely 5 o’clock somewhere. This Margaritaville seemed much livelier than the MoBay location at the time. The hip strip venue had smaller crowds when visited; the main pull being the waterslide which spat you out into the Caribbean Sea.
Chukka Adventures: Good Hope, Trelawny
About 45 minutes away from SeaGarden Beach Resort in Trelawny, follow the signs to Chukka Adventures, Good Hope for thrill-seeking good time. Their long waterslide starts in darkness then opens up to a view of the sky and trees before plunging you into a pool. The pool will lead to stepping boulders acting as a path to a large waterfall fountain. You get a great view of this section and more whizzing through the air via the zipline adventure. 5 sets of steel cables 1000ft in length fly above the famous Martha Brae River and its surrounding greenery. Subscribe to the YouTube channel for views from the zipline!
Due to rain that day, the tours were delayed for some time, so zipline and pool area were the only activities we had time to experience before leaving. Other activities offered on-site included ATVs, mud buggies, river tubing, Plantation Great House tour, obstacle course, and bird aviary. I would love to go back and enjoy a full [rain-free] day to see how different it is from the Negril Adventure Park I visited. Another great birthday recorded!
What activity/ies would you recommend to celebrate a birthday? There’s always nex year!
Let me know in the comments!
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