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Ready, Set, Jet: Inside Sandals Dunn’s River in Jamaica, Now Closer Than Ever

The new Sandals Dunn’s River is the most storied resort within the Caribbean resort company’s portfolio – and it’s also the most fun. Its home on a stretch of white sand beach has been coveted by vacation-goers since the site’s original inception during the golden ages of travel – today immersing guests in the unique beauty and allure of Jamaica’s north coast in a deeply personal way.

The luxury resort, originally designed by famed modernist architect Morris Lapidus in the 1950s, is mere moments from the lush forests and the natural wonder of Dunn’s River Falls. It is also where Sandals Resorts’ legendary founder, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, grew up playing and fishing on the beach as a young boy, ultimately dreaming up the hotel brand that today is synonymous with luxury Caribbean travel.

The newly reimagined Sandals Dunn’s River property is set in technicolor where water from the iconic falls flows through the 25-acre estate to fill the property’s five pools including Jamaica’s longest – lined with glass-panel edges, ocean views, and a swim-up bar, the concept Sandals is credited with concepting.

The resort boasts 260 well-appointed rooms and suites, including the dreamy Tufa SkyPool Butler Suites, with private clear-glass panel-edge infinity plunge pools spanning the entire balcony length with uninterrupted 180-degree views of the oceanfront – a first on the island. The uber-luxurious and private Coyaba Sky Rondoval Villas give direct access to a winding pool inspired by Ocho Rios’ meandering rivers – complete with rooftop terraces that feature telescopes for marveling at the Jamaican evening sky. In another ‘First,” the resort’s Stargazing Concierge will arrange bespoke stargazing experiences including decadent dessert offerings or wine and cheese pairings under a canopy of stars.

Guests have almost every conceivable cuisine available with 12 exclusive culinary concepts and nine bars. Start the day à la carte at the Mediterranean-inspired Edessa over mimosas, smoothie bowls and French toast before a morning of basking under the sun on a stretch of beach that’s intimate yet globally renowned. For lunch, the Jerk Shack is as traditional as it is delicious, with its authentic island eats, shabby-chic style and romantic location on the beach. L’Amande offers French fine dining, Banyu specializes in Asian-fusion dishes, and Latin-fusion restaurant Zuka delights in Central and South American flavors, while the elegant izakaya-inspired sushi restaurant Hamani delivers a slice of Japan to the Caribbean.

Cozy drink spots on property include the Art Deco-inspired Lapidus Lounge and the glamorous Ocarina rooftop bar on top of the Tufa building with panoramic views of the ocean below. The Dunn’s Rum Club is a stylish colonial-inspired lounge bar showcasing a curated list of more than 30 rums where the signature libations are shaken and stirred into authentic, expertly mixed craft cocktails.

Jamaica is famed for its warm hospitality, which local staff members demonstrate with genuine friendliness and attention to detail and service is always on point and on time. All part of the island’s quintessential vibe. Beyond the resort gates, the majestic beauty of Ocho Rios gives way to unparalleled Caribbean experiences – moments from Sandals Dunn’s River and now moments from Miami.

This spring, Sandals celebrated a milestone for travel into Ocho Rios with the first-ever U.S. commercial flights direct from MIA. The new twice weekly departures to the island’s Ian Fleming International Airport began February 24th on the aptly-named flight AA4007 – inspired by the famed movie series filmed in Ocho Rios. The experience on board the 76-passenger yet mirrors the elegance and efficiency one would expect in the life of a secret agent, transitioning from terminal exit to beach in no time at all.

To commemorate the occasion, Sandals has launched the “Love and Let Fly” package for resort guests traveling to Jamaica on flight AA4007 – inclusive of a complimentary Island Routes Powerboat Adventure excursion with visits to an unforgettable combination of unknown hidden gems and famous island locales along the scenic North Coast, including a dive into the crystal blue water of the iconic Laughing Waters beach from the James Bond movie, Dr. No.

Rates at Sandals Dunn’s River start at $443 per person, per night through May 24, 2024.

For more information, please visit

By ML staff. Images courtesy of Sandals


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