This weekend we went for our first staycation while living in Jamaica. Our plan was just to book a last minute resort on Booking.com and being that we did it two hours before we left our villa – we came up trumps with an amazing resort called The Melia Braco Village.

We’re staying in St Ann so we wanted somewhere relatively close and Braco Village is only 25 minutes away from us in Rio Bueno, a small seaside village on the border or St Ann and Trelawny. To put that in tourist terms it’s about 45 mins from Ocho Rios and 45 mins the other way from Montego Bay.

Braco Village is one of over 370 Melia brand hotels in 43 countries and 4 continents but is the only one on the island of Jamaica.

The colonial style 5 star resort boasts 5 a la carte restaurants and a buffet, luxury apartments with sea views, a private beach, yhi spa and their signature Level service.

Rooms

We stayed for 2 nights and 2 days in the Romance suite in The Level which is basically the more luxurious side of the resort. The whole resort is 5 star but if you stay in The Level you get that little extra opulence!

The resort offers garden and sea views, each with basic amenities (hairdryer, flat screen tv,  iron, safe, toiletries etc) plus daily stocked complimentary mini bars which is always a wonderful plus! The rooms all have luxury mattresses, blackout curtains and rainfall showers for maximum comfort and with their minimalistic contemporary decor they feel clean and refreshing to be in.

The Level has 2 villas on offer each with three floors of 5 apartments. The ground floor apartments have beach access which with children would have been amazing but I worried that we wouldn’t be able to leave the balcony doors open without Jenson swimming off into the sunset so we opted for an apartment on the first floor with the most amazing ocean view.

The suite offered the same amenities as the rest of the resorts rooms plus some lovely added touches such as hypoallergenic feather pillows, feather quilts, a separate lounge with a pull out bed for the boys and a coffee maker station.

My favourite part of the room by far was the sound of the waves gently crashing against the shore, you could hear it even with the balcony doors shut and it made for the most relaxing sleep.

 

The Level

Being in The Level meant that we were not only able to use the hotels range of facilities (I’ll go into more detail on this below) but we also had a host of private facilities including:

Private concierge from 7am – 11pm

Private check-in and check-out in the lounge with comfortable seating, sea views and a pool table

24 hour Lounge access which includes a private meal station from 7am-11pm and an open bar with branded drinks again from 7am-11pm

Large private pool with wet bar and walk in access for the kids!

Secluded beach area with cabanas

Private Golden Sands Restaurant

When Pete booked the resort he knew that he was choosing one of the nicer rooms but he had no idea that we would be having The Level service and I honestly think if we’d initially booked a different room we would have upgraded upon arrival. Not because there is anything wrong with the rest of the resort, it’s still luxurious but having children it was just great to have the more secluded private beach and pool as it was quieter, we always got a subbed or cabana, the boys could walk into the pool and we had the air conditioned lounge for them to chill out in if we wanted to get out of the sun but not be in our room.

Food

The Melia Braco Village has 5 a la carte restaurants as well as a buffet restaurant. As we were only there for 2 nights we didn’t get a chance to try them all but we did go to the Tepanyaki restaurant Nikkei (which you have to book in advance for) and that was an amazing experience!

We also ate at the street party on our first night as every Friday they close all of the restaurants in the evening and throw a Jamaican style street party with street food, stalls and entertainment!

For breakfast each morning we ate at The Marketplace buffet which you never need to book for; they had a lovely array of pastries, fruit and hot food including pancakes and French toast plus delicious fresh smoothies!

Then for lunch both days we ordered food at the pool bar and while Pete loved the jerk chicken and slaw I really enjoyed the veggie quesadillas and catch of the day!

Other dining options are 876 Prime steak restaurant, Rasta Pasta Italian and O’Grille Jamaican cuisine, plus the Golden Sands buffet menu (available only to The Level guests).

Entertainment and Facilities

Excluding The Level area Braco Village has a large outdoor pool, private beach, gym, spa, water sports facilities and an amazing adventure park equipped with a zip wire, obstacle course and climbing wall!

Each evening they have a different type of entertainment and for the two nights that we were there we saw a reggae band, dance show and synchronised swimming – all of which were amazing and both of the boys really enjoyed!

For the kids

The hotel does has kids club but being for ages 5-12 years neither of the boys were able to use it; however there is a pay per hour babysitting service that costs 25USD per child and then 15USD per hour for any addition child. The babysitter actually took care of the boys within the kids club room so in effect they still got the kids club experience but for pricey 80USD for two hours! The boys did love it though, they had snacks, made lots of crafts and played in the outdoor area so it was money well spent – especially as it meant that me and Pete got to go for a couples massage and eat lunch just the two of us!

Overall our stay at the Melia Braco village was wonderful; having heard nothing about it I went in with neutral expectations and they were massively exceeded! The decor, comfort, service and entertainment were all fantastic and I only wish we’d had an extra couple of days there to try out the watersports and adventure park.

The only negatives that I could say were on our first night our AC was broken, something was up with the fan speed and the whole room felt damp, in fact in the middle of the night we woke to a wet floor which wasn’t ideal! The manager was amazing though and not only moved us rooms with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries but offered us a complimentary couples massage and late check out on our final day – which I personally think is amazing customer service!

If I could suggest just one thing to the resort it would be to change the kids club to cater to a younger age as if we’d stayed there for a whole week and wanted to use the babysitter service more it would have just been far too expensive … or just hire your lifeguard to be part of the babysitting team because he was fantastic with the boys!

Have you stayed at any of the Melia resorts before? I’d love to know which ones you’d recommend!

 

Thanks for reading,

Jess x