Travel: Excellence Oyster Bay, Jamaica

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Back in April 2019, my then-boyfriend and I decided to go on an all-inclusive vacation together. We both have never been to one before so we were excited that we could experience it together for the first time. We looked at a lot of different places and resorts but in the end, decided on the Excellence Oyster Bay because we wanted a luxury boutique-style resort, that is adults-only where the drinking water is safe with amazing food.  I’m such a huge foodie so the food is super important. This resort was only opened for shy of a year so everything was very new and the aesthetics were elegant contemporary. We couldn’t stop raving about it when we came back! 

Gadget

Good thing the resort was chilled and calm enough for me to run around filming with my DJI Osmo Mobile 2. I got it for my birthday before the trip so I made sure to bring it to break it in! It’s available on Amazon.ca.

Arrival

The flight was quick from Toronto and once we landed, we grabbed a rum punch and hopped on a shuttle to the resort. It was only about a 30-minute ride so we were the first drop-off. The drive into the resort was so beautiful and we were stunned when we saw the resort. It’s on its own peninsula so it felt quiet and private. The moment we got off the shuttle, the staff took our bags and greeted us with cool hand towels and champagne. I must say that the staff was one of the highlights of our stay, they were so friendly and provided top-notch service. Once we got our room keys, we got driven to our room.

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Room

We got the Junior Suite and were so blown away. It felt luxurious the moment we walked in. It’s such a spacious room with a king-size bed separated by this semi-private room divider from the lounge area. The furniture and style of the room had a contemporary tropical flare. The bar was fully stocked and there’s an espresso coffee machine too! Once we got in we unpacked right away. It was nice to have a walk-in closet. There was definitely no shortage of space in the room. I’m a bit of an over-packer because I like having outfit options during my trips. I go through my vacation looks in this separate post if you want to see how much I packed!

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The bathroom is spacious as well too. It’s so very comfortably designed with lots of counter space. And of course, there’s a rainfall shower. It doesn’t feel like a resort unless there’s one, right?

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There’s an in-room jacuzzi where you can have privacy or a beautiful view and the terrace is fully furnished for us to lounge around. The view from our room was so beautiful, we could hang out on the terrace all day.

Food

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The resort has a cafe, multiple bars, lounges, and a variety of cuisines including local flavours. A lot of people liked hanging by the bar area beside the lobby because it has a nice ambiance and is just a comfortable space. We enjoyed the food so much and didn’t have to make reservations. There was never a lineup to any of the restaurants. Everything was delicious and fresh. We didn’t get a chance to try all of the restaurants but we can save those for next time.

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Breakfast is definitely my favourite meal of the day. With the 24-hour room service, we would order breakfast about 45 minutes before we get out of bed. This was nice because then we would take our time and enjoy the room with the morning view of the beach. I like that the rooms have a service box so we can place all of our dishes there to keep the room clean. If we’re not ordering breakfast in, we’d be at The Kitchen having their breakfast buffet. There was so much selection and everything was fresh and delicious. Omelets are my favourite so I was always at the omelet bar. Once we filled our plates, we would sit outside to catch the ocean breeze while we’re eating. It’s such a beautiful space with a stunning view, we loved hanging out there.

Beach/Pool

We went in April so the weather was beautiful. Closer to the trip, my weather app actually said it would rain every day but once we got there, it only rained for maybe 15 minutes one of the evenings. It also wasn’t too hot which was actually perfect for us. We got there during the week and thought that the calm and quiet was because of that but even once the weekend hit, it still wasn’t too crowded. I really liked that about this resort. There were always loungers or daybeds available around the beach and pool so we never had to wake up early to hold one for the day.

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When we weren’t lounging around in the main pool, we would be up at the rooftop pool. It had such a nice view and felt relaxing as you were surrounded by the ocean.

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The beach was so beautiful, white sand with clear water. There was a bit of seaweed on the beach but you can tell that it was very well-kept and there’s always a staff there maintaining it. For us, we can’t spend too much time directly under the sun because we’ll both burn like crazy so we would spend a lot of time hanging out by the pool too to get some shade. It’s great that the pool area is directly beside the beach so we still got a beach view. There’s a swim-up bar in the pool as well as the sky bar on the rooftop to get your drinks. Easy access to my piña coladas!

Activities

I worked out during the trip because I had to check out their state-of-the-art facility. It wasn’t surprising that it was very quiet but it was nice for me because I got the space to myself. It was so well-kept and clean. I was excited to try the different equipment they had. There was a trainer on-site who could help me with my exercise but I just did my own thing. I went when I felt working out so I didn’t particularly catch a class but they have yoga and a variety of training classes throughout the week if you prefer a guided workout.

MyBlancCanvas - Excellence - Gym.JPGOur room was so beautiful so we’d pop by to hang out there too. I’d sit out by the terrace to read or just relax. Sometimes we’d just go for walks around and take in the natural beauty surrounding the resort.

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When evening came around there would be so many different shows and performances in their outdoor theatre but the one we enjoyed the most was the Michael Jackson Tribute. It was so well done and maybe it’s cause I didn’t have my glasses on but he really did look like MJ! Then afterward, the party crew would move to the Sports Bar. We had such a blast during their DJ party and karaoke night. We made some amazing friends from Chicago and even ones from Toronto who we got seated with during their Jamaican Dinner night. We thought this was a weekly event but we found out it was to celebrate Jamaica’s Independence day. It was so awesome that we caught that during our trip! The Jamaican food was so good and we enjoyed the traditional performances.

One of the nights, we decided to go on the excursion we booked earlier in the trip. The resort is right by the bioluminescent bay so we thought this excursion made the most sense. It was a quick 5-minute boat ride into the sunset and once we got there we waited until it got dark. The moment it did, we all jumped in! Even though the water wasn’t that deep, we were advised to still put on a lifejacket. We also got told by our friends to buy water shoes for the trip as it comes in handy when you’re on excursions. So glad we bought them! It was pitch black and once we moved around the water glowed so much. It was so unreal. We knew we wouldn’t be able to capture this moment with our phones so we paid for the professional photos. I’m so glad we did, what a cool experience!

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Spa

We were super excited to check out the Miilé Spa after reading all about it before booking our vacation. The moment we walked in, we were blown away. It’s so beautifully designed and looks so luxurious. There are shutters throughout the spa where you feel the ocean breeze coming in and it smelled of aroma oils throughout. The Aquatic hydrotherapy circuit was completely empty and we got a guided journey through every step. There’s a hydrotherapy pool, Swedish saunas, cold plunge pool, steam bath, ice-treatment room, tropical rain shower, Cuban shower, and high-pressure hoses just to name a few. We were there for about 45 minutes before our massage and didn’t get to finish the full circuit and was offered to come back to finish it after our massage.

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When it was time for our massage, we got brought upstairs where all the treatment rooms are. We got to the couple’s massage room and it was beautiful and smelled so good. Honestly, the whole spa smelled amazing. I’ve heard from friends to not expect too much from resort massages so I didn’t have high expectations. The massage bed was so comfortable and the massage was so relaxing that it put me to sleep. Afterward, we hung out at the resting area with loungers that swayed. I was about to fall asleep again but I went back down and continued with the rest of the hydrotherapy circuit. Just when you think that the experience is done, I got a complimentary head massage. We could have done a massage outdoors but we prefer to stay in where it’s cool. It was such an amazing experience. Anyone who comes to this resort has to go to the spa!

Our Flight Got Cancelled 

We were supposed to leave the resort at around noon, then we got our Google updates letting us know that our WestJet flight was delayed. Our resort ensured that there were still shuttle buses running to get us to the airport. It kept delaying past 3pm until there were no longer any more buses running. Our rep at the resort called a private driver so that we didn’t have to worry about finding a ride to the airport and can continue to comfortably stay at the resort. We hung out by the bar/lounge area on the big comfy couches with drinks while playing games.

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When 5pm hit, we decided to head to the airport even though we continued to get delayed notifications. Long story short, our flight got delayed many more times until past 12am. We were the last ones there and then finally got told that it was completely cancelled. WestJet provided us with 3 options, we could go back to family/friends, go to the resort you were just at but had to figure out the accommodations yourself or wait until they had the accommodations sorted out. We were already exhausted and tired so we decided to book another night at the Excellence because we knew what to expect and the level of service we’ll get. Oh, I forgot to mention that at some point the AC stopped working at the airport so everyone was sweaty and grumpy.

We called the resort right away and they quickly made arrangements. It was nice to go back to a place that was familiar especially so late in the evening. The moment we got to the room, we called for room service and relaxed. The next morning we woke up to an amazing view. I was definitely was not mad about that. We had an early flight but of course, I had to fit in one more breakfast buffet before leaving!

We felt so relaxed and recharged while we were there (aside from the flight delays). Excellence, we’ll definitely be back again! Thank you for an unforgettable trip.

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For now, a Jamaican-themed party will do! The fiancé surprised me with it because we couldn’t be in Jamaica this year. He did such an amazing job and was so thoughtful about every detail. Want to see how he recreated our trip? Check it out here! We had such a great time.

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Pictures don’t even do this resort justice, check out my Youtube video to experience our trip. Stay safe and although we are currently in self-isolation, I hope you feel inspired by this and feel excited to book a trip when all of this is behind us.

Thank you for reading!

MyBlancCanvas

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