Jamaica has long been a favorite wedding and honeymoon destination for U.S. couples. The island boasts some 130 hotels, ranging from all-inclusives to upscale hotels and resorts that follow the traditional hotel plan. Multiple carriers offer air service from multiple U.S. gateways, making it a convenient place to visit for brides and grooms and their guests.
And now, with the uncertainties facing the U.S. economy, it helps to know that Jamaica ranks among the top five honeymoon destinations for affordability (according to Modern Bride magazine). Moreover, travel expert Peter Greenberg lists Jamaica as one of the destinations where U.S. travelers can still get a good return on the dollar.
Among the many luxury resorts in Jamaica is Montego Bay's Round Hill Hotel & Villas, which recently released its wedding plan and wedding/honeymoon packages for 2009.
Under its Saying I Do in Paradise wedding/honeymoon plan, the bride and groom are entitled to three nights' stay in an oceanfront Pineapple House room plus amenities such as return airport transfer, American breakfast daily and a couples massage.
The wedding ceremony segment includes the services of a marriage officer, witnesses (if needed), a decorated venue, a bride's bouquet and groom's boutonniere, a wedding cake, a bottle of champagne, a CD with 36 photographs and a gift. The couple also receives a certified copy of the wedding certificate. The package is valid from May 1 to Oct. 31 and is priced at $2,515.
The Wedding Plan, available through Dec. 19, 2009 (space permitting), costs $1,100. It offers all of the wedding ceremony elements named above, without the accommodations and attendant amenities. There are two other differences: The Wedding Plan provides a CD with 40 photographs plus a DVD video of the wedding. Under the Saying I Do plan, the DVD is available at extra cost.
A wedding at Round Hill can host as many as 120 people, but the above packages apply to a maximum of six people. Arrangements can be made for larger groups. A group rate applies when the number of guests reaches 15, and the larger the group, the larger the discount per person, according to a spokeswoman for the hotel. A location fee applies to groups of 25 or more, she said.
Wedding guests who decide to stay at the resort get a reduced nightly rate when the bridal couple books a minimum of 15 rooms for a three-night stay.
A third plan, the Round Hill Hotel & Villa Rendezvous Honeymoon package is strictly for the newly married and does not include a wedding ceremony.
Available from April 15 to Dec. 14, the all-inclusive package price ranges from $3,060 for three nights to $7,140 for seven nights.
It features a stay in a deluxe villa with a private pool, all meals, afternoon tea, all bar drinks, aerobics and the use of the fitness center, water sports (including windsurfing, snorkeling, paddle boats, kayaks and glass-bottom boat rides), a 50-minute massage per person, nightly entertainment, a cocktail party, one candlelight diner in a gazebo overlooking the ocean, a bottle of Round Hill Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, a bottle of champagne and a fruit basket upon arrival, airport transfers and taxes and gratuities.
Couples planning a wedding in Jamaica can send for an application for marriage by contacting the Ministry of National Security at (876) 906-4908. By submitting the application in advance, the bridal couple needs arrive in Jamaica only 24 hours prior to the ceremony. No blood test is required.
For additional information, call Rochelle Smith, wedding coordinator, at (800) 972-2159 or email: [email protected].