This town's reputation as a quiet place with few tourists and it's proximity to some of St. Elizabeth's best attractions was the main reason I chose it as my spot to unwind the weekend after the most brutal round of final exams I've ever experienced.
1. This trip starts in the Downtown bus park where $500 JMD takes you directly to Mandeville. NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with the town or unwilling to ask for directions, you may have some difficulty because the bus park used by the incoming Kingston buses is about a 10 minute walk from the taxi you need to get to the second stop in the journey to Treasure Beach. Walk up Main Street until you see the court then either go left toward the market (taxis are parked next to it) or walk through Cecil Charlton Park to get to the taxis that will take you to Junction.
2. Based on my observation, the taxis for Junction take a while to load because there are multiple seven seater vehicles being loaded simultaneously. I didn't mind because I got to sample a sky juice for the first time in over 14 years. The trip from Mandeville to Junction cost $250 JMD and lasted about 45 minutes. When I arrived, it was very easy to transition to a Treasure Beach taxi because both are parked right outside the Juici Patties in the town centre.
3. Getting to Treasure Beach from Junction can happen two ways, a) Junction-Cross Roads-Treasure Beach or b) Junction-Treasure Beach. If not for a helpful old farmer (let's call him Joe) I might have gone with option A. The final leg of the journey lasted about 40 minutes at a cost of $250 JMD. Keep an eye out for the sign if you choose to stay at Lashings like I did, it's easy to miss.
What to pack
A weekender is your typical 3 days, 2 nights so I would recommend two bathing suits, two sets of night clothes, 2 sets of day clothes and the amount of underwear you feel is necessary. The toiletries kit goes without saying but you can purchase any item you left behind either along the way or in Treasure Beach. I didn't find there to be a significant mosquito problem but pack your repellent just in case I got lucky on my visit and the mosquitos were on vacation or something.
Things to do
I have to separate this section into "What I really did" and "What I planned to do". First, my plans:
1. FINALLY visit YS Falls
2. Pelican-Bar and Black River Safari combination tour
3. Go on the Appleton Tour for the fourth time because why skip the rum punch?
Here's what I really did...
Day One - Stayed inside and read one of the novels on the shelf outside my room door [room 1- only room with an extra shower outside], went to Jack Sprat for lunch (10 minute walk) and a swim, went to bed early and got up way before breakfast [not recommended unless you bring snacks].
Day Two - Stayed inside and continued to read. Went outside, chilled in the hammock, then continued to read. Took a dip in the pool, watched the sunset, got a short lesson on the cause of the warm water in the pool from the owner. Turns out, he built the top part of the pool using river stones and they soak up the heat of the sun and warm the water.
Lashings was to be that place I slept after all my adventures but it turned out to be the place I needed to recover from all the exam stress and it was perfect. Quiet, efficient staff, friendly owner and well behaved dogs, so I got the rest I needed. It's a good thing that I didn't get to do anything but rest when I visited because now I have the incentive to visit again.
Around $22,000.00JMD total. The room normally goes for $8750.00 per night but I went during the May Madness Promotion and only paid $6,250.00 per night and guess what?
They're currently having a Promotion for that same discounted price for the month of August!
So the two nights cost $12,500.00, roundtrip transportation $2,200.00, I only ate at Jack Sprat once and spent less than $2,000.00 on my meal, my food and drink bill when I was checking out came up to $3,750.00 (breakfast is not included at this property) and I bought some snacks and water at a shop in the square for about $1,000.00.