On Christopher Columbus’ first visit to Montego Bay he described the area as, “Golfo de Buen Tiempo” meaning “good weather gulf,” little did he know it would one day become golf de beun tiempo.
Jamaica is a luxurious enough destination as it is, but checking into a deluxe club room offering 480 square feet of palatial comfort with balcony views over the Caribbean will firmly ease you into the soft cotton slippers.
The Ritz Carlton Jamaica resort is set within 5,000 lush green acres hugged by a vast backdrop of tree-lined mountains. But the backdrop can remain exactly that, as those iconic white beaches beckon you like Ursula Andress did to James Bond.
Here you can indulge in local culture as fingers dip into Jerk spiced chicken wings, chilli lobster, lobster quesadilla and grilled spiny lobster tail, to a soothing reggae beat. It would be, and is, quite easy to forget why you are here.
Luckily that reason is only 10 minutes drive from the hotel. Robert Von Hagge’s devastatingly designed White Witch course is named after 19th century murderess Annee Palmer, who once owned the sugar plantation on which it stands. She was a formidable seductress who, legend has it, murdered all three of her husbands: poisoning the first, stabbing the second and strangling the third. Palmer’s serial killing went completely unchallenged because of her cruel reputation and alleged involvement in voodoo.
Laid out amongst mountainous terrain and rolling countryside this irresistible par-71 may not be any less brutal to its victims, with a bunker on the third hole enveloping virtually the entire green and 16 of the 18 holes exposed to the crashing waves and Caribbean winds. However you meander around this Caribbean temptress one thing is for sure, the White Witch, like its namesake, is a beautiful yet unforgiving mistress.
Salvation is on hand in the shape of a ‘golf concierge’ to locate your balls, give accurate yardage and handy tips along the 6,857 yard adventure, or for a chat if you are way past caring.
If the round was as monstrous as its history purveys there’s no better place to heal the wounds than the 8,000 square foot spa. Gentlemen’s face peel? Deep action salon treatment with carrot oil? Jamaican coffee body scrub? It has to be a four-hand massage, two in one – twice the fun, and then back to the Cohoba Lounge for rum tasting while watching the sun slowly set while enjoying a dirty banana. It’s the name of a drink by the way…