Island Village Plaza - Turtle Beach Road, Ocho Rios
The Island Village plaza is a versatile shopping centre, themed on an idealised version of a Caribbean village. Although Island village does not strictly resemble the "real Jamaica" it does a good job of providing visitors with the kind of sanitised, picturesque environment that some visitors may be expecting to find in the Caribbean. The plaza is a made up of several two story buildings, built around a central green with a stage and attractive water feature. The brightly coloured shops are built around a boardwalk which leads down to a private beach.
Visitors to Island Village can shop, eat, drink, visit a beach, cinema and museum within the complex and party in to the night. The shops and cafes at Island Village change from time to time, however, some of the more permanent residents are:
- Margaritaville - a tropical beachside café and nightclub owned by Jimmy Buffet
- Island Village Beach - a private beach belonging to the plaza (entrance fee applies)
- Reggae Xplosion - Ocho Rios's museum of reggae
- Devon House I-Scream - the Ocho Rios branch of Kingston's famous luxury ice cream parlour
- Reggae Yard - selling all manner of reggae related souvenirs
- Herba Kadabra - where you can get a palm reading and purchase mystical lotions and potions
- Hemp Heaven - specialising in day-to-day products such as clothes and lotions which are made from the hemp plant
- Numerous souvenir shops such as Carouches and Tallawah Arts
- Jewellery stores such as Casa de Oro and Tropicana.
Island Village is also home to the controversial Bob Marley statue by Jamaican artist Christopher Gonzales.
Island Village opened in 2002 and was the creation of Chris Blackwell, the Jamaican entrepreneur who is widely credited with bringing Bob Marley (and reggae music) to the wider world. As well as Island Village, Chris Blackwell also owns a range of luxury boutique hotels such as Goldeneye, Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains and the Caves in Negril.© 2014 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com