High Life dining with a 180-degree view of Caribbean Sea
High Life Restaurant, located near Negril’s seven-mile beach, held its soft opening beneath the stars, affording diners a spectacular 180-degree view of the Caribbean sea from West Cliff Estate in Westmoreland, overlooking the island’s deep West End.
The upscale restaurant’s menu boasts an array of culinary delights, featuring everything from sandwiches to entrées. A definite highlight is their tantalising Jerk or Grilled Lobsters, an absolute must-try for patrons in search of an exceptional dining adventure. To elevate your dining experience, a diverse selection of beverages and wines is also available to accompany these delectable dishes.
“Our goal is to provide quality food and beverages while maintaining traditional Jamaican hospitality with a modern twist,” said Garth Vickers, managing director of High Life Resort and Spa, which also includes the restaurant.
Vickers, a finance professional and entrepreneur originally hailing from Westmoreland, now resides in the United States. He has expressed that the upcoming hotel and culinary haven, situated on a sprawling 30-acre expanse of vibrant tropical greenery, aims to embody Jamaica’s motto, ‘Out of Many, One People’, developing a feeling of community that will bring people together.
“We wanted to provide a high-end villa concept in Negril that is private and exclusive,” he explained during the weekend opening.
“Our target market consists of travellers seeking privacy, exclusivity, and security. It is not suitable for regular visitors who wish to be in the heart of Negril.” He continued, “High Life Hotel and Restaurant is for travellers who do not want to vacation on the white sand beach but can access it if they so desire.”
With an investment of US$86 million over a six-year period, visitors may enjoy the 12 villa-style rooms, a spa, a mini gym and two enormous jacuzzis.
“I was born and raised in Negril before moving to the United States, where I studied and worked in finance and hospitality. It makes sense that as a product of Orange Hill and Negril, I should return and invest in the space,” Vickers said.
All night, a staff of chefs, waiters and waitresses and bartenders, under the guidance of general manager Latoya Hammond, were kept busy, serving delectable food. Mutabaruka, a dub poet and broadcaster, oversaw the night life on the hill, near Orange Hill, where world-class marijuana is grown.
Ian Myles, deputy mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, commended the directors exceptional facilities and pledged that the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation would provide support for timely approvals to allow the investment’s development.
“Its vision is immeasurable. I am pleased, and whatever assistance we can provide to ensure the development’s completion, we will provide,” said Myles, who also spoke at the opening. He continued, “What it does in terms of employment and economic development is something that all of us as leaders support. We need more of this.”
He did, however, encourage the High Life Restaurant management staff to guarantee consistency in the quality of the meals and the luxurious accommodations.
Dr Carey Wallace, executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), believes Jamaica is on the right track, citing a substantial rise in the number of visitors who are now spending their vacations with local citizens.
“Last year alone, 29 per cent of tourism arrivals were in non-hotel accommodations, meaning Airbnb, villas, and so on, earning US$100 million in the local accommodation sector,” Wallace stated in his keynote address.
On the other hand, Wallace, who possesses a PhD in social psychology, holds the belief that if crime, violence, and harassment persist without restraint, the country will not be able to reap the benefits of the tourist industry.
“I’m telling Jamaica that if we loosen our grip on crime in this country, we’ll put tourism dollars in your hands, and that is the chance we now have,” he added.