On the opposite coast to the island’s busy capital, Kingston, ‘Ochi’ is a tranquil but thriving haven with plenty to do, see and eat – and some characterful places to stay
Jessica Ogden has just finished applying a fresh lick of paint to the holiday cottage, one of two she rents out at Te Moana, close to Ocho Rios, occupying a scenic position on a cliff 30ft above the Caribbean Sea.
Unlike other luxurious and more opulent villas in the area, these cottages feel rustic, cosy and uniquely personal. That’s because they are. For Jessica, a fashion designer, they are an extension of her work, following in the footsteps of her mother, Annabella, who moved here in the 1960s. When her mother died two years ago, Jessica moved out soon afterwards to live at the family home. Although she has lived abroad for most of her adult life, her roots in Jamaica run deep. Annabella ran an art gallery here, Harmony Hall, which she opened in 1981, displaying the work of local artists – the gallery is still thriving today in a former 19th-century clergy house. Now Jessica has taken on the family business with her brother, looking after the two cottages at Te Moana, and adding a few touches of her own.