In case you missed it, Prince Harry has brought Meghan Markle as his date to his best friend Tom Inskip's wedding in Jamaica this weekend, and it's hugely significant for two reasons.
First, Inskip-known to all as "Skippy"-was Harry's last single wingman, making his wedding to the Honorable Lara Hughes-Young the end of an era. We probably won't be seeing half-naked photos of Harry in Vegas anytime soon-or ever again. Second, Markle's presence by Harry's side at such a significant event-where's she'll be chatting and clinking glasses in an intimate setting with his closest friends-indicates that their relationship is most certainly serious.
Round Hill, the iconic Montego Bay resort where the guests celebrated, has seen its share of glamorous and historic events over the years. In a bit of a coincidence, Markle has been to Jamaica for a wedding before: her own, which took place in 2011 at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.(She and producer Trevor Engelson divorced in 2013.) Here, we take a look back at reasons why Round Hill remains the hotel of choice for celebrities and royalty alike.
Soon after their wedding in Rhode Island in 1953, a young Senator-to-be John F. Kennedy honeymooned at Round Hill with his new bride, Jackie. The newlyweds stayed in Villa 10, a large four-bedroom property with a pool, private bar, and spacious indoor-outdoor entertaining veranda. Several years later, JFK wrote his famous "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" inaugural address by the sparkling pool of Villa 25, which features views of the Caribbean Sea.
It's a favorite of Ralph Lauren
The designer owns two of the 27 cottages on the property-in a unique agreement, owners can purchase villas and then allow the resort to let them out at the owner's discretion-and is frequently seen sunning himself by the infinity pool overlooking the azure beach during his multiple visits each year. Lauren designed all 36 charming rooms in the main hotel (known as Pineapple House), featuring bedding from his home collection, and he also designed the hotel's common areas and chic, preppy bar.
You'll be in royal company
Prince Harry aside, other titled guests have included HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, and Sir Paul McCartney, as well as society royalty like Truman Capote, Babe Paley, and Vanessa Noel, who is vice-chairman of the resort's board.
The resort is a family affair
Head Concierge Kingsley Blake is a Round Hill institution. He's been at the resort for more than 40 years-winning Concierge of the Year at the Caribbean Travel Awards-and still works at Round Hill alongside his nephew. Many of the staff is related to one another-unique at a luxury property-and the resort works hard to support the community.
It's on the Charity Circuit
The Sugarcane Ball, benefitting the local Hanover Charities, an educational non-profit, is one of the most glamorous philanthropic events in the Caribbean-guests have included Anna Wintour, as well as Round Hill regulars like Ralph Lauren, Lauren Bush Lauren, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, and Vanessa Noel. The charity's mission is to improve the health, welfare, and education of nearby Hanover parish residents, with funds going to orphanages, schools, health clinics, green areas, and educational scholarships.
Pierce Brosnan has vacationed at Round Hill, and Bond author Ian Fleming was a guest in Cottage 16 before he moved down the coast to start his own Round Hill-inspired hotel.
The Hills are Alive
The Sound of Music was written here, in three-bedroom, bungalow-style Villa 12, after original villa owner Oscar Hammerstein met the real-life Maria von Trapp on property.
The villas are the height of luxury
The private villas feature up to six bedrooms and two private pools with Caribbean views. Guests have their own private staff of three-a chef, housekeeper and gardener-to make each morning's breakfast. No word on which villa Harry and Meaghan are staying at, but we suspect at least one member of the wedding party is in Villa 20: a six-bedroom, 8,850-square-foot villa with two private pools, two outdoor showers, a private bar for entertaining, and colonial-style indoor-outdoor study and sitting area.
It features the Caribbean's only Elemis Spa
The spa, located a leisurely five-minute hike around the bay in a former 18th-century molasses wharf house, features products from high-end skincare brand Elemis. The spa also boasts a pool terrace and open-air yoga pavilion, and offers guests the option of al-fresco massage treatments. The beachfront spa lawn, meanwhile, is a popular spot for weddings-it's likely here that Tom and Lara are tying the knot this weekend.
Guests enjoy champagne tea daily
There's a surprisingly elegant afternoon tea each day at 4 p.m. in the Ralph Lauren-designed indoor-outdoor bar, where guests mingle over sandwiches, champagne, and cocktails underneath the resort's distinctive striped awning. The wood-paneled bar looks out over the water and is dotted with framed photos of former guests such as Michael Douglas and Taye Diggs. Not pictured on the bar's historic walls: past A-list guests like Lupita Nyong'o, Emma Thompson, Paul Newman, and Grace Kelly. If only these walls could talk.
Follow Town & Country on Facebook!
You Might Also Like