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The Jamaica Palace Hotel on its hill above Port Antonio’s Turtle Harbor is full of lovely quirks: A swimming pool shaped like Jamaica; more than 2,000 original local artworks filling the public spaces and rooms; black-and-white checkerboard terraces between stark white, vaguely classical columned buildings; hand-crafted sleigh beds or round beds in some of the higher-end rooms; a waterfall wall crafted from cave stones in the “Gallery” dining room; caged birds twittering (and, in a few cases, talking) amid the five landscaped acres.

The property was converted from what was meant to be a high-end shopping complex into a unique hotel marrying Olde Worlde opulence of chandeliers and Oriental rugs with bright Caribbean colors and a modernist artistic flair. Perhaps because it’s not on a beach (though free shuttles to one are always available), the hotel is rarely crowded, but the service remains smart and professional even when the place is half-empty.

 - Reid Bramblett