A scenic hour and a quarter's ride to the east of Montego Bay's Sangster International
Airport is the lush and lovely all-inclusive Grand Lido Braco Resort
. This upscale haven for
adults (over 16) attracts mostly couples, some of whom are taking advantage of the resort's
offer of free weddings and vow renewals, some of whom are just re-kindling their own flames
in a picture-perfect setting of palm trees, hibiscus blossoms, and the sparkling Caribbean.
A SuperInclusive SuperClub Resort, Grand Lido Braco was built to resemble an old Jamaican village. Its pastel buildings with
gingerbread trim house everything from guest check-in to gift shops, restaurants, and the nurse's
office. At night the cobblestone streets, which intersect at a bubbling fountain, are lit by fairy lights,
which seems a bit redundant as the stars in the Caribbean sky seem to do the job quite well.
We swooned over the chilled towels offered at check-in and toasted the week ahead with our
welcome glass of champagne (the first of many---it flows as freely as the tropical breezes here.)
Since everything is prepaid, a quick swipe of our credit card to open our room's phone line for
any international calls, along with our signatures on the card for a key to our room safe, got us
on our way.
NUDE OR PRUDE?
All guests share the village's common restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Accommodations are separated into two very (VERY) distinctive areas: the “au naturel” and the “textile”
sides. On the former, which we chose although it is a bit more expensive than the clothing
side, one is expected (and reminded, if necessary) to honor the (un)dress code except when in
transition to the resort's common areas. The nude pool is HUGE and freeform, with little nooks
for chlorine kisses as you float lazily in the current. Together we'd muster just enough energy
to kick our floating mat up to the swim up bar for our tropical drink fix, thankful this is an all-
inclusive resort since we had no pocket for our wallets. The hot tub on this side would hold a
small football team and was host to many a late night gathering of new friends.
...Which brings me to one of the main reasons we prefer this side of the property---there's something
about being butt naked which makes it incredibly easy to meet people and make friends if you want
to. Within an hour of arrival we knew most of the folks in the pool by name. If you want your
privacy, it's certainly available, but if you want to join the fun in pool games (directed by a terrific,
energetic, entertainment staff) or if you want dinner companions, you're one of the gang as soon
as you arrive.
One last thing about the au naturel accommodations: Most of the guests are not hard-bodied
teenie-boppers. Because this is an upscale resort, you will find a wide variety of age groups. If
you haven't “dared to bare,” try it. You'll never want to sit around in a wet
bathing suit again.
The pool on the clothing side is also very large with a swim up bar. Very centrally located, it
nestles against the Victoria Market restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch buffets. The proximity gives you the advantage of
knowing what's on the menu before you even dry off. If your cover-up is handy, it's just a
few steps to the cafe to eat, then back to the pool to cool off again.
No matter which side of the resort you choose as your home, count on comfortable, well
kept accommodations with luxurious bath amenities to pamper you after a day in the sun.
You may find your bath towels arranged in the shape of a heart on your king sized bed,
strewn with pink hibiscus blossoms. Too lazy to get dressed for dinner? Just a phone call
to 24-hour room service and a quiet, romantic evening for two is yours en suite.
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Photos ©Jána M. Jones 2001