SuperClubs, the father of the super all-inclusive. A brand well known throughout the Caribbean. Heading up its portfolio of hotels is the Grand Lido range, two hotels on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Grand Lido Braco is around an hours transfer from Montego Bay, on Jamaica’s north coast (Jamaica is currently mid-construction of a new road link, Highway 2000, which will link Montego Bay to Ocho Rios - this may cut transfer time to the hotel to 40 minutes. At present the roads are a little ramshackle).The property is fronted by a nine-hole golf course and a drive way leads you to the main reception. Here you are greeted by a cobbled street leading to the main fountain/courtyard. The layout is reminiscent of some old colonial Caribbean towns and gives easy access to all of the properties amenities. Go straight and you hit the beach - a long stretch of white sand with all of the usual Caribbean water sports on offer, from Scuba (which unfortunately I missed out on as the weather was a little choppy) to kayaking.
If you swing a left at the fountain and head down you will come to one of Braco’s main draw cards for the more liberated, the nudist section. Here is where it all comes off for those who so wish, a definite way to enjoy the calming trade winds to their maximum. No photography is permitted in this zone - a good thing for egos.
The property prides itself on its high-class appeal, it is one of the most expensive in the range. For your money you get a quality product. The range of food on offer is highly commendable - from the buffets to the al a carte restaurants.
Take in a a world tour for the taste buds with French cuisine in Piacere, Japanese sushi in Munahana and the delights of what made the food of Jamaica famous, Jerk, in Nannys Jerk Pit. Nannys really is some authentic Jerk. It aches of the real Jerk to be found outside of the resorts, and that is saying something for a large resort who normally hold back for reasons of taste (Jerk is a very spicy, flavoured national dish).
For the romantics it has to be Piacere. A beautifully set French restaurant with five star service. The waiters are exceptional. The food is of a very high quality with a good and varied choice of dishes. Jacket and trousers is necessary for the gents and certainly no sandals. The ambience is full of amour and it is probable to be in the company of some newly weds. Make sure you book in advance.
The spa at Grand Lido is small but well thought out. It offers an array of massages and body treatments. For a real delight it is possible to have a massage in the open under the shelter of some tropical trees right on the beach. It is a delight to encounter a full body massage whilst listening to the gentle lapping of the ocean only a few metres away. Afterwards, if you can pull yourself from the bed, head for a detox in the steam room and then rinse off in the open air shower.
The nine-hole golf course is a good place for those who haven’t played in a while to warm up, or for the beginner. There are resident pros on hand to help that troublesome swing and perfect that nagging grip. For more of a challenge there is a nearby 18 hole PGA-quality golf course.
Grand Lido is a top ranking hotel/resort with swim up bars, nightly entertainment, fantastic food and warm hospitality. The staff really know how to look after their clients.
The atmosphere is warm, the temperature is warmer and your choices are fairly endless. Grand Lido does not feel like a typical all-inclusive and gives the more independent minded extended choices. And for those who wish to shed all of their inhibitions, as well as their kit, this is the place to come.
Prices at SuperClubs Grand Lido Braco start at £1289 for 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis departing from LGW for dates through June 2005. To book contact Air Tours on 0870 241 5339.
For more information on SuperClubs visit: www.superclubs.org
By Ben Kilbey