I check in to the uber-modern Spanish Court Hotel, in hip New Kingston, where I lounge beside the infinity pool on the roof and take in views of the lush Blue Mountains encircling the city like an improbable backdrop. I revel in the stark contrasts that make Kingston endlessly fascinating:
the manicured lawns of well-to-do uptown neighborhoods, the historic buildings and museums comprising its downtown harbor, the humble ghettos — like Trench Town — where reggae music was born, the modern music studios responsible for the island’s prolific music scene. I might pay homage to a musical king at the Bob Marley Museum, in the house on aptly named Hope Road, where he lived and recorded. If I’m lucky, I convince a friend to take the drive to Hellshire beach, where clapboard huts beckon with good food that belies their unadorned origins: Feast on brown-stew snapper at Screechy’s, my favorite, and you’ll be forever ruined for all other beachside fare. Nights are spent at haute Miami-style nightclubs or rugged street dances, where towers of speaker boxes pump out the latest reggae. My love affair with Kingston is more than a decade old, yet still I’m awed by a city that’s really an island to itself, with an unbridled energy, spirit and passion that’s 100 percent Jamaica, distilled and concentrated.
Caribbean Travel & Life that was written by Baz Dreisinger