Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Jamaican Attraction: Doctor's Cave Beach Club

Doctor's Cave Beach Club, Montego Bay (also known as Doctor's Cave Bathing Club) has been one of the most famous beaches in Jamaica for nearly a century.

It is noted for its crystal clear turquoise waters and near white sand. Its sheltered location provides calm waters encouraging even the most diffident swimmers to practise safely.

Dr. Alexander James McCatty had founded a sanatorum in Montego Bay in 1880. He allowed his friends including several doctors to bathe at his small beach which was entered through a cave. In 1906 he donated the property to the community and the private members club was formed, which continues to this day.

In the 1920's, Sir Herbert Barker, an English osteopath, visited the beach and was impressed by the curative powers of the waters. He wrote an article which helped the beach become well known and gradually hotels were built nearby so that tourists could enjoy the beach.

To mark the centenary of the club a 15 foot tall bronze statue, Balance, by Basil Watson was unveiled on 18 November 2006. It features a woman being balanced above a man with their arms at full stretch.

The beach has a broad swath of very clean, near white sand some 200m long. It is fringed by trees, and has numerous facilities: bar, restaurant, well appointed changing rooms & showers. For members there are several club rooms.

As well as for members, the beach is open to the public (entry J$350). Chairs and umbrellas are available (J$300 each). The beach can get crowded in season, but out of season its peace is only disturbed by the chant of holdidaymakers undergoing organised games in the adjacent Breezes Hotel property some 200m away.

The beach is part of the protected Montego Bay Marine Park which has many species to be seen on coral reefs which can be viewed by snorkellers, probably using local boats to access the best locations.

See you at Doctor's Cave Beach

1 comment:

Buffy said...

Well written article.