You might see supermodels wafting around in little gossamer numbers and A-listers propping up the bar, but Strawberry Hill is anything but bling. Commanding a spectacular position 915 m up in Jamaica's Blue Mountains, it's the last word in intimate mountain retreats and rubbernecking is a no-no.
Starting out as a coffee plantation in the 18th century, Strawberry Hill went through various owners before it was bought in 1972 by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records renowned for shaping the careers of Bob Marley (who convalesced there after being shot in 1976), U2 and Grace Jones. The resort consists of 12 colonial-style wooden cottages with verandas: studios, one and two beds, plus a main house, mahogany-paneled bar, a restaurant and a spa. An ongoing renovation program is due to finish in early 2012.
At night, beyond the granite-lined infinity pool you can see the lights of Kingston far below. By day, there's no need to do anything more arduous than lie by the pool with a rum punch or sit in the gazebo and admire the magnificent greenery unless it's a Sunday, when a new brunch beckons with its jerk pork, ackee and salt fish, and johnnycake (fried dumplings).
If you hate reggae and like dressing for dinner in designer jeans and 5-in. heels, then Strawberry Hill is not for you. But if you like your luxury laid-back and have even a passing interest in the photographic archives of megafamous musicians a half-dressed Jones here, Marley and Mick Jagger gurning for the camera there you'll love it.
Rates start at $355 for a one-bed cottage (two people sharing). See islandoutpost.com.